Ocean Trout with Harissa & Yoghurt

Serves: 6

I absolutely love harissa and together with salmon or ocean trout, you’ve got me.

This recipe from Gourmet Traveller is just weekday genius. Like, excuse to open a bottle of Riesling genuine.

I served it with some sautéed baby potatoes, though for the weekend, it would be mad to skip cous cous.

And of course labne.!

Just genius.

Ingredients

6 ocean trout fillets, skin on
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Juice of 1 lemon, plus extra to serve

Harissa

1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
6 dried long red chillies, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
8 red birds eye chillies
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 c olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Place trout skin-side up on a lightly oiled oven tray. Drizzle with oil and a little lemon juice, then roast until cooked to your liking (5 – 6 minutes for medium rare).
  2. For harissa, dry-roast spices until fragrant then finely crush with a mortar and pestle. Combine chillies and garlic in a jug and blend with a hand blender, until finely chopped. Add spice mixture and a large pinch of salt, then blend, gradually, adding oil, until a coarse purée. Season to taste.
  3. Toss herbs and pea tendrils in a little oil and extra lemon juice. Spread labne on serving plates, top with fish and a spoonful of harissa and serve with the salad.

Blackened Sumac Ocean Trout with Butter Bean and Celery Salad

Serves: 4

We both agreed that this meal reminded us of a meal at the original Kitchen by Mike, a wonderful and innovative Sydney institution that served sustainable, wholesome lunches:

The original Kitchen by Mike: nothing beat a lunch there with a cold glass of vino and an espresso to mop it up.

This recipe is so clean and honest, with the simple salad dressed with only olive oil and lemon juice, cutting against the sweetness of the ocean trout rub.

It’s as sophisticated as it is simple and Nat just loved it.

I appreciate that a simple Saturday BBQ can be just what is needed, though with just a bit more effort, you’ll have a brilliant lunch in the sun.

Obviously, white wine is a must.

Another Gourmet Traveller recipe win from their 2021 Annual.

Ingredients

800gm piece of ocean trout, skin on, pin-boned
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp each sumac and brown sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
1 celery heart, finely chopped, leaves reserved
400gm can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 c loosely packed watercress sprigs
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 c sheep’s milk yoghurt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Place ocean trout, skin-side down on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Combine garlic, sumac, sugar, spices and 2 tbsp oil in a bowl and season. Rub mixture over trout and roast until medium and crust is golden, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine celery, celery leaves, butter beans, watercress, lemon juice and remaining oil in a bowl. Season to taste.
  3. Serve the trout with salad yoghurt at the side.

Neil Perry’s Barbecued Coral Trout with Sauce Vierge

Serves: 4

Neil credits this recipe to Roger Vergé, one of the greatest chefs of all time; the recipe first appeared in Roger Vergé’s first cookbook, Cuisine of the Sun (1979). (This Roger Vergé recipe is one of the greatest beef recipes I have had and after you have had this dish for lunch, line this beef up for dinner.)

Paired with coral trout – my absolute favourite fish – this is a sublime dish. The texture is just wonderful.

You could be in the South of France.

Do yourself a favour and whilst the sun is still out, do this as part of a lazy lunch.

Ingredients

4 x 180gm coral trout fillets
Sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

For the sauce vierge (makes 500ml)

3 vine-ripened tomatoes, peels, deseeded and cut into a 2cm dice.
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled and halved
2 tbsp chopped chervil
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
8 coriander seeds, crushed
250ml extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt an freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Mix the diced tomatoes with all the other ingredients in a bowl, then set aside for 1 – 2 hours to mature.
  2. Preheat the barbecue to hot an make sure the grill bars are clean. Liberally sprinkle the fillets with sea salt an brush with the oil. Cook on one side for 4 minutes, and then flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Rest in a warm place for 3 minutes.
  3. Plate, spooning over the sauce, twist of pepper and serve.

Roast Ocean Trout with Chilli-Turmeric Paste

Serves: 4

This recipe is awesome.

Think a good lashing of a wonderful, oily paste on a thick piece of ocean trout (or salmon), roasted at a high temperature.

Served hot with a drizzle of coconut cream and a squeeze of lime, this is what you would call vibrant. I mean, ocean trout in any setting is the finest of the fish, though add this wonderful paste and this is just moorish.

It would be just as good with barramundi or even chicken breast.

Just make sure you have a glass of cold, crisp white ready to go!

Ingredients

4 fillets of ocean trout
Coconut cream, for drizzling
Lime wedges and steamed rice, to serve

Spice paste

4 long red chillies, seeds removed
1 lemongrass stalk, white part, finely chopped
10gm piece of turmeric, coarsely chopped
1 small golden shallot
2 tsp dry-roasted, coarsely ground coriander seeds
1/4 c olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 240C. For spice paste, using a hand-blender, blitz ingredients with a pinch of salt until smooth.
  2. Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add spice paste and stir until lightly roasted (1 – 2 minutes), then set aside to cool.
  3. Spread spice paste over fish and bake until just cooked through (8 minutes for medium-rare). To finish, drizzle fish with coconut cream and squeezed lime juice. Serve with rice.

Gordon Ramsay’s Pan-fried Sea Trout, Peas & Chorizo Fricassée

Serves: 2

This is simply a great, 1-hat bistro lunch.

Nat took a day of work – as we all really need to do during this endless Sydney lockdown – and presented this with a glass of Krinklewood Verdelho (if in the Hunter Valley, visit their vineyard: it is wonderful as are the wines) and as we sat in the sun, we agreed that it was moments like these that made the long weeks and routine bearable.

The fricassée gives the dish a rustic, moorish backbone – chorizo, potato, paprika and peas – and the warm caper dressing just finishes it.

We have never cooked a disappointing Gordon Ramsay recipe and this lunch just continued that tradition.

This dish would be perfect for any Saturday lunch though my pro tip: have it on Monday and beat the lockdown!

And vino of course!

Ingredients

2 fillets of sea/ocean trout (or use salmon)
2 tbsp butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved

For the fricassée

100gm cured chorizo (1 small chorizo), diced
350gm waxy potatoes (we used kipflers)
Large pinch sweet smoked paprika
125ml fresh chicken stock
150gm cooked peas

For the warm caper dressing

3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp small capers, drained
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Small bunch tarragon, chopped

Method

  1. For the dressing: Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a small saucepan. Add the capers as well as the onion and cook for 3 minutes until softened. Add red wine vinegar and cook down until evaporated. Add in the rest of the oil plus the tarragon and leave to infuse.
  2. For the fricassee: heat the oil in a saute pan, add the chorizo and fry for two minutes until crisp and the red oil has rendered out. Add the potatoes and paprika and cook for 5 minute until the chorizo is starting to get browned edges.
  3. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil; and then simmer for 10 minutes or until the stock has evaporated and the potatoes are tender. Stir in the peas and cook for another two minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. For the fish: Score the skin of the trout and season generously.
  5. Heat the butter inside a non-stick frying pan. When it begins to sizzle. cook the fish skin-side down. Gently fry for 8 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden and the fish on its way to being cooked.
  6. Turn the fish and squeeze over the juice of half a lemon, basting the fish with all the lemony pan juice for a 1 minute whilst it cooks. Set aside in the pan.
  7. To plate: Spoon a pile of the fricassee into the centre of each plate. Gentley sit the fish on-top, skin side up (if using). Spoon the caper dressing around the outside and serve.

Whole Fish with Roast Capsicum and Chilli Butter

 Serves: 4

I typed this recipe up a few years back though haven’t made it since.

Next weekend, I will right that wrong.

Using whole ocean trout as your fish – truly the most beautiful fish in the world – and cooked in foil on the BBQ, when fish meets chilli butter and with perhaps some greens and potatoes on the side, something special happens.

Sure, it isn’t quite restaurant fare though it’s certainly bistro fare and it is a great recipe to dip your toe into the ‘cooking whole fish on the BBQ’ trick.

Of course, you could cook the fish in the oven by laying them down on baking paper, cutting two or three slashes into the thick flesh and baking, though I think the BBQ adds to it.

Ingredients

4 whole ocean trout
2 tbs olive oil, plus extra to brush
1 roasted red capsicum (or a jar of chargrilled capsicum, drained)
100gm unsalted butter
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
1 small red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Method

  1. Heat the BBQ to medium-hot. Brush the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. By all means, stuff lemon and coriander and garlic and butter and whatever else your grandpa included into the cavity of the fish. Wrap in foil and cook for 10 – 12 minutes, turning once.
  2. Meanwhile, very finely chop the capsicum then place in a small saucepan with the olive oil, butter, lemon zest and juice, coriander, chilli and garlic. Season. Stir over a low heat until butter is melted and well combined. Keep warm.
  3. Serve the fish with the capsicum and chilli butter drizzled on-top.