Greek, Seafood, Stew

Greek Fisherman’s Stew

Serves: 6

Wow, this is a gorgeous stew and on every level.

It tastes amazing, it is simple to prep and it’s healthy enough. Mopped up with some crusty bread, we loved every bit of it.

I’d go as far as to say this could become one of your favourites.

There is literally nothing not to like. Just make sure you season well.

Surprise yourself with this 10/10.

Ingredients

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 small head fennel, diced
½ tsp red chilli flakes
2 large ripe, truss tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
1 tsp sea salt (plus extra to season at the end)
Freshly cracked pepper
1 cup dry white wine
250gm potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 kg firm white fish, cut into 3cm pieces (we used Pink Ling)
12 basil leaves, torn
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp harissa paste (or hot sauce)
Crusty bread to serve

Method

  1. Warm the oil in a heavy saucepan over a medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until soft though not brown. Add the fennel and cook for a few minutes until softened. Stir in the chilli flakes and then add the tomatoes and salt and cook on medium for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the wine and 2 ½ cups boiling water, bring to the simmer and cook for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Check the seasoning and add the lemon juice.
  3. Add the fish pieces and simmer on low until the fish is just cooked through; another 5 or so minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise with the harissa paste (or hot sauce).
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the basil to wilt it.
  6. Serve with a good dollop of the spiced mayonnaise and some crusty bread. And a good glass of cold vino of course.
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Healthy, Italian, Salad, Side

Italian Coleslaw

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Just wonderful; creamy thanks to the parmesan; hot thanks to the chilli oil.

Italian Coleslaw

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a really sophisticated little number I pulled from Gourmet Traveller.

It speaks of the thinly sliced, super-fresh vegetables and herbs you throw in and with the parmesan, chilli oil and some seasoning, wow.

We had it with a glazed pork chop and some braised beans it was wonderful; it is hot, fresh, soaked up the rest of the plate and stood its own as a side. The next lunch served with a rare BBQed eye fillet and some hand-cut chips, it got even better.

Slaw is always good and this is a wonderful version of it.

Ingredients

180gm peas (de-thawed peas are fine or if using podded peas, start with 500gm )
¼ white cabbage, thinly sliced
Fennel bulb, thinly sliced
½ Spanish Onion, thinly sliced
3 radishes, thinly sliced
½ cup each (loosely packed) basil, mint and flat-leaf parsley, coarsely torn
¼ cup (firmly packed) watercress sprigs
1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed
40gm parmesan, finely grated
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp chilli oil
2 tbsp lemon juice

Method

  1. If using podded peas, blanch peas in boiling salted water until tender (1 – 2 minutes), fresh and drain. If using frozen, de-thaw completely.
  2. Combine in a large bowl with cabbage, fennel, onion, radish, herbs, watercress, capers and parmesan and toss to combine.
  3. Just before serving, add oils and juice, season to taste and toss lightly to combine.
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Healthy, Seafood, Stew

Simple (wonderful) fish stew

Simple (wonderful) fish stew

Serves: 6

Nat and I had lunch at Rick Stein’s restaurant in Mollymook NSW over the weekend and what a treat it was. Just as good as the first time we visited a few years back.

The highlight was a brilliant fish and shellfish soup with rouille and croutons, something I have promised to recreate. A wonderful fish stock, infused with saffron, chilli and orange, it was just excellent.

The only problem – returning early Monday morning to work after a long drive back up the South Coast – being that a fish stock isn’t the sort of thing you can quickly whip up on a Monday night. All we had in the fridge was some Parmesan cheese, bacon and assorted vegetables!

We also needed something healthy for dinner on account of a long weekend consisting of several late dinners remit with red wines, slow cooked meats and more than a handful of desserts.

This simple, wonderful fish stew is your Monday night cheater’s recipe and an adaptation of something I found online.

It is incredibly healthy, super simple and packing flavour if you can find the time to caramelise the vegetables and let the stock and tomatoes simmer.

Finish with some chopped parsley and some croutons and you are getting very close to something you’d be happy to have in a good bistro. Seriously, with a cold beer and a good show on the TV, it just made our night.

I’ll do Rick’s wonderful soup one weekend coming up, though for your Monday night fix, this just cannot be beaten.

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 celery sticks, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
2 cans, tomatoes
1 liter, good quality fish stock
600gm firm white fish, cut into pieces
250gm raw prawns
Flat leaf parsley, chopped to serve

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil over a low, medium heat in a large saucepan and saute the fennel seeds, onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook as slowly as you can until softening.
  2. Add the leeks, tomato and stock and season. Bring to the boil and then simmer on a low, medium heat for around 20 minutes.
  3. Add the fish and prawns and cook for a few minutes. Check the seasoning and serve with the parsley (and croutons if you have managed to avoid the the wines the weekend prior!).
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Italian, Pork

12 Hour Pork

Serves: 8 – 10

My mother first made this dish for the family when I was about 21. It was a revelation!

I had never had such slow cooked meat (remember, this was 15 years ago when slow cooking wasn’t a thing in Australia) and rather than being dry or inedible, it is incredibly moist and succulent.

And unlike all of the pulled porks and beefs out there, this one isn’t just a slab of slow cooked meat. Not at all; the fennel and garlic and chilli transform it into the most unique and extraordinary flavor, unlike anything you have ever tasted.

On one occasion that I cooked it for my flatmate Aaron and our friend Nilhan, we agreed not to eat all day and even spent a few hours in the sun playing tennis (in between bastings) to build up our hunger. I served it with a truffle mash and sauteed beans and I swear to God, it was the most unbelievable eating moment of my life as we stuffed it down with our fingers, eyes closed, heart rates at 110.

It is a bit of a ritual cooking this because you have to start early in the morning and keep basting all day.

Though a few hours in and the house smells amazing. The excitement starts.

People ask to peek the meat at around 8 hours. Start your truffle mash and pour a wine at hour 10 and the excitement is palpable. People refuse cheese and snacks in order to have as much room for the pork when it is served.

It is a long runway but it is worth it. Oh, only use a pork shoulder. Pork neck – as experience told me earlier this year – just will not cut it.

Ingredients

3 – 4kg Pork Shoulder Roast, no bone
4 tbs fennel seeds
5 tbs chopped garlic
3 tbs dried chili pepper flaked
1 tsp sea salt
¾ tsp pepper
Juice of 6 lemons
3 tbs olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 celcius.
  2. Mix the together fennel seeds, chopped garlic, chili pepper and salt and pepper and set aside. Mix lemon juice and olive oil and set aside.
  3. Stab the Pork Shoulder deeply all over; around 7 times on east side including edges.
  4. Massage the fennel seed mixture into all sides of the roast and place it in a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes.
  5. Turn the oven down to 120 celcius.
  6. Take the Pork Shoulder out of the oven and loosen from the bottom of the pan. Pour half the lemon mixture over the roast, loosely cover with foil and out back in oven.
  7. Roast for 12 hours or so, adding the rest of the lemon mixture after 6 hours and basting the pork every hour.
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Healthy, Veal

Veal with Fennel Salt

Serves: 2

I pulled this recipe from a Sunday paper.

Assuming you’re good with veal, this is a great number to whip up on a Sunday night.

I oven roasted some thinly sliced potatoes to go with it plus a glass of Pinot Gris.

Sunday papers are OK!

Ingredients

1 tbsp sea flakes
1 tbsp of fennel seeds
2 veal cutlets
Green leaves (rocket, spinach, lettuce)
1 Fennel
Squeeze of lemon
Olive Oil

Method

  1. Pound the salt and fennel seeds in a mortal and pestle.
  2. Brush the veal cutlets with olive oil and rub the salt mixture into the veal. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  3. Grill the veal for 3 – 4 minutes on each side over a medium-high heat until medium-rare.
  4. Thinly slice the fennel and combine with the green leaves. Just before serving, dress with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
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