All posts tagged: seafood

One pot wonder: Chorizo and Prawn Rice

This is a great one pot wonder. Warming, with a little kick and full of flavour. Fresh chorizo sausages are popping up everywhere. Unlike the traditional chorizo which is firm and cured, fresh chorizo look like regular snags, filled with soft sausage-meat and must be cooked thoroughly. Similar to paella rice or claypot chicken, the prize in this dish is the tasty hard cooked rice at the bottom of the pan. Still delicious even as leftovers the next day. I used a stainless steel pan for this job. Avoid using a non-stick pan so that you can scrape those tasty bits to your hearts content. I happened to have saffron needing to be used up but I’m sure you could make this dish without it. Saffron isn’t exactly an economical ingredient. One Pot Wonder: Chorizo and Prawn Rice  Serves 4 Ingredients 4 chorizo sausages (500grams/1lb) 250g peeled prawns (1/2lb) 1 tablespoon capers 2 cups rice, rinsed and drained (used a mixture of red rice and white rice) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, diced 3 cups …

Autumn is the best.

Autumn is the best. I relish the crisp air, warm scarves and feijoa laden trees. Green leaves turn to red. Red wine replaces cold beer. Comfort food replaces chilled food. I’ve been feeling a little run down this week and my clothes have been feeling a little taut. You know, when your skinny jeans feel a tad too skinny and you worry what might happen to the shape of your middle when you attempt to sit down. I’m sure it is just the change of season and I’ll accuse daylight savings of lighting trickery. Before we dive into comfort food territory, I think it’s a good opportunity to revisit some of my favourite blog recipes. Light and bright food porn to tickle your fancy. For those heading into spring, this should be good inspirational fodder for you too. All thumbnails jump to relevant posts.

Deal to a freshly caught fish

The Koala, Tofu and I are lucky to have lovely neighbours who we share our yard with. They have been fishing this summer and this week we were gifted two red snapper. I was stoked to able to cross off a bucket list item: Deal to a freshly caught fish. First I scaled both fish. With the fish and your hands in a plastic bag seriously cuts down on flying scales and mess. From what I’ve read, it’s also a good idea to scale fish outside, but I prefer to be by our sink. Our neighbour had kindly gutted one fish so I used that as a template. In case you didn’t already know, fish guts are disgusting. To be honest, I never gave it much thought. All the fish I’ve cooked or eaten have come to me sans guts. Fish guts look like a mini version of the people guts that you might glimpse in a zombie movie. It’s not all pink and red, but some orange and yellow hues. Gruesome. As revolting as …

Dumpling Wrapper Prawn Ravioli

I have an open relationship with dumplings. I adore them, but sometimes I get busy and we see less of each other but when we’re together it’s phenomenal. My maternal grandmother made dumplings for us and my parents also made them us. For most of my life, my dad owned various eateries and wontons or dumplings were always on the menu. Dumplings travel well too. No, I don’t mean fill your pockets and go for a run, but that dumplings in one form or another appear in many cuisines. The concept travels well and has wide appeal. Naturally, as an adult, I’m more curious and experimental when it comes to my dumplings. If it tastes good, authenticity is nothing. Because I never ate ravioli until much later, ravioli will always be just an Italian dumpling to me and I make ravioli using dumpling wrappers. Sure, you can make pasta from scratch, but taking this shortcut will save some time and it’s not like you’re going full lazy. There’s still at least half an hour to …

A sucker for scallops wrapped in bacon

I’ve been gorging on seafood and booze all weekend and today is the final day of the Auckland Seafood Feastival. Please note, it wasn’t until late afternoon that I realised that it was a feastival rather than a festival. On a blue skied Saturday, I attended with my three of my friends at the opening time of 11am and we didn’t leave until closing around 6pm. I would say we gave it a mighty good bash. Scampi Street I’d been raving about Scampi Street since last year so we grabbed two plates of BBQ scampi to share. Scampi Street was slightly relocated this year and didn’t have the same “street” or alley feel. I recently learned that scampi are known as langoustine so if you know that term for it, you’ll know that these are sweet and fleshy and can be good eating. The scampi were smaller than last year’s and were not cut in half (crayfish style) for easy eating. The result was messy and a little disappointing. After I’d hyped it up so …

Dreaming of plump, sweet scampi

Auckland Anniversary means that our little city enjoys a 3 day weekend. This mid-Summer holiday means locals flock to the beach and the outdoors and gorge on fine food and booze (New Years resolutions already forgotten). If you’re interested in feasting on incredibly fresh, beautifully cooked seafood, head down to Halsey Wharf at Wynyard Quarter next weekend for the Auckland Seafood Festival. A community project with proceeds going to local charities, there’s all sorts of good juju in attending this festival. Not to be missed if you love seafood. With over 65 seafood dishes on the menu there is surely several dishes to tickle the tastebuds of seafood lovers. The Wild Seafood Challenge is on again and for $12 a good way to tick off some seafood boxes. This year’s Wild Seafood Challenge includes: Raw Kina Marinated Sea Cucumber in Coconut with Ginelli’s Lemon, Lime and Cucumber Sorbet Marinated Grilled small fish with Kawakawa aioli Grilled Octopus The Mussel Mary with Ginelli’s Champagne sorbet Grilled Scampi Last year’s super popular Scampi Street will be back and …

Scallops Bacon, Bacon Scallops

Is there anything quite as decadent as a mouthful of scallop and bacon? A fresh, sweet scallop and a smokey salty streaky bacon. Oh gawd. Scallop season here in New Zealand starts from late August and runs right through until February. The most common is known as the Nelson scallop, though most people here just call these “scallops”. Now that I’ve had both the tiny queen scallop and the popular Nelson scallop, I am confident that the Nelson scallop is lovelier by miles. They are our default scallop for a good reason! Market value is roughly $1NZ / $0.82US per scallop which makes them a treat, but affordable every now and then. Part of what makes them good value is how easy they are to cook. I don’t like things that are both expensive and difficult to cook. Nelson scallops are sold and eaten with the bright orange coral or roe. When at their peak, they are both rich and sweet. Nelson scallops are small, averaging just 30 to 40mm (1.2″ to 1.6″) and are …

All-In-One Seafood Stew

I was recently given the opportunity to test drive a recipe from a new cook book. Adie McClelland’s first Black Dog Cottage Cookbook was published in 2009 and her second book, sensibly titled The Second Black Dog Cottage Cookbook was released in August. She’s a well travelled foodie and it shows through her recipes. Her style of cooking is much like mine – unfussy and easy but with a Mediterranean angle. I think she would forgive me my casual cooking style. The Second Black Dog Cottage Cook Book has just been released throughout New Zealand. For more information please visit Phantom House Books http://www.phantomhouse.com or their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/BlackDogCottageCookbook. I wanted to make the All-In-One Seafood Stew because it’s what I would order if I were dining out. This recipe requires 10 tomatoes, which for a long time were unbelievably expensive and probably not very good. They’re starting to come down in price now so it was time to tackle this stew. After a quick scan of the recipe, I identified just one unknown ingredient: passata. Passata …

Make A Chowder (Salmon Head and Mussel Chowder)

Salmon. I love it raw. I love it cooked. I love it smoked. I love it poached. I love it pan fried. I love it baked. I love it steamed. It is creamy, fishy and super rich. Everything I’ve read says that salmon makes too strong a stock. I’m not afraid of a strong fish stock, but if a strong stock makes you queasy, this recipe is not for you. I’ve wanted to make a chowder for the longest time and a quiet, Autumn weekend at home last month was a good time for it. You can easily spend too much on seafood for a chowder. Sure, it will be delicious, but what about making a delicious chowder using cheaper ingredients? I picked up 2 salmon heads for cheap at my local asian market. Fish heads are usually cheap and I’ve been eyeing these up for a while now, wondering what to do with them. To prepare, make sure the gills are removed – they usually are. Cut the fins off with a pair of …

Experience a degustation

Celebrate The Koala and I have been together for 10 years, and we recently celebrated our third wedding anniversary. As with any good relationship, good eating has been and will probably always a part of our relationship. To mark 3 years, we treated ourselves to a degustation dinner at Kermadec in the Viaduct. Two years ago, our first official anniversary dinner was unplanned. It ended up being at KFC in Hamilton. It was scoffed down, on the way home from a wonderful weekend in the Bay of Plenty, but we can’t help thinking of how far away a degustation in the Viaduct is from “Kaccas in The Tron”. Degustation A degustation is a tasting menu, designed by the chef. You get to sample a range of delights over many courses, and the number of dishes usually ranges from 6 courses up to 12. It’s considered the best way to sample a chef’s skill. Instead of choosing what you want to eat, you completely surrender your choice to the chef. Degustation can be matched with wine …

Summer Rolls with Surimi and Nectarine

When I was a kid, many weekends involved a family visit to at least one fish market. Sometimes, cousins, uncles and aunties and grandparents came along. It was a social occasion. It was sight seeing. A big aquarium alternative where everything can be fashioned into a meal. To quieten us and keep us content until our yum cha lunch or dinner, our parents would buy us crabsticks to snack on. I think they were 50 cents and I’m sure we knew they weren’t real crab, but it didn’t matter. According to Wiki, the word “surimi” literally translates to “fish puree or slurry” and I suppose things like other kiddie favourites like chicken nuggets, hot dogs and cherrios (saveloy) are similar in build. These days I forget often about surimi as an ingredient. At my market, surimi comes in frozen vacuum sealed packs of 500 grams ($4) and 1 kilo ($7). This week the big Australian supermarket chains have frozen 1 kilo packs for just $5. Maybe that’s too cheap. You can often find surimi from …

Auckland Seafood Festival 2012

Today, armed my sister, Joey, and our cameras, we tackled my first Auckland Seafood Festival. I always suspected that it would be an expensive exercise that wouldn’t be worthwhile. I was wrong. This festival really celebrates New Zealand seafood and the new location of Wynyard Quarter is perfect. Surrounded by water and boats old and new, the festival was beautifully decorated and it was often hard to figure out what props had been brought in to entertain the sea theme and what were already there. We arrived a little after 11am to a queue shortly after the doors opened. Greeted by seafood on ice, this was a nice preview of what was to come. If you don’t like seeing eyes on your food, then keep walking. We made our way around and quickly found something we couldn’t turn down. The Wild Seafood Challenge. There were 6 different items for $2 for each item or $9 for a platter of all 6. This included: kina, prawn killers, turbo shells, sea cucumber, octopus and kina shots. The …

Auckland Seafood Festival – coming up next

I’ve been gorging myself on seafood lately. Prawns, salmon, white fish, sea cucumber, squid, more salmon, more prawns, more salmon…That’s just the last few days. I do love seafood and it generally seems to be the more politically correct “meat” to eat. It’s a long weekend here in Auckland as we celebrate Auckland Anniversary weekend. The Auckland Seafood Festival is on all weekend so if you are a seafood lover, it’s worth checking out. This will be my first time at the event so stay tuned for my report back this weekend. My sister Joey and I will be going on Saturday armed with appetites, cameras and general silliness. Tickets are $20 each and more more info can be found over at the event website: www.aucklandseafoodfestival.co.nz Things I have my eye on at the Auckland Seafood Festival: Scampi – If you like prawn, you really should try it’s hulking cousin. The meat is sweet and firm. Wild Seafood – If you’re into eating non-farmed food and are feeling a little adventurous, there is a Wildfood Seafood passport …

Surf & Turf Mac & Cheese

Surf and turf is an American export and combines seafood and meat together in a single dish. It has gluttonous origins and suggests extravagance by combining two of the most expensive things off the menu. Can’t decide between the steak or the lobster? Have both! Gluttons unite! Here in New Zealand – a country that has an abundance of great seafood and meat – we don’t really do surf and turf. In true kiwi style, extravagance only goes with a slice of humble pie and what is more humble than mac and cheese? This recipe uses 3 elements and the oven but as long as you read the recipe through before you start, you’ll be ok. There’s plenty of time to do everything even if there is a little multi-tasking involved. Clean up as you go, there’s 15 minutes of downtime at the end to take care of the dishes and throw together a quick salad. Surf & Turf Mac & Cheese Enough for 2 dinners and 2 lunches (or a nuclear family) Ingredients 250 …

Prepare Ika Mata (Cook Islands raw fish salad)

Raw fish is delish I fell in love with Ika Mata during our honeymoon in Rarotonga a couple of years ago. This raw fish and coconut cream salad is “cooked” in lemon juice and confettied with diced vegetables. I’ve eaten it a couple times in New Zealand, but never had the guts to make it at home until now. It’s absolutely a summertime dish and I’m glad to be able to cross it off this summer’s to do list. It was much easier than I anticipated. I don’t know what I haven’t made it sooner. Some raw fish dishes from around the world (alpha): Crudo, Italy Ceviche, South America Ika Mata, Cook Islands Kelaguen, Mariana Islands (Micronesia) Kinilaw, Philippines Kokoda, Fiji Ota ‘ika or Oka i’a, Tonga, Tahiti, Samoa Poisson Cru or E’ia Ota, Tahiti Poke, Hawaii Tiradito, Peru This recipe uses yellowfin tuna because it happens to be on special this week at Nosh, but you can use firm white fish such as kahawai or gurnard if the price is right. This is good eating, but can feel on the light side. If you are like …

Buttery Golden Pan-Fried Flounder

When I was a little girl, a single steamed flounder, a plate of vegetables and plenty of rice would feed our family. My parents would allocate me and my sister a flounder roe each. Since flounder come with two roes by default, it was lucky they stopped at two kids. The roe was a treat!  The roe itself isn’t a thing of beauty, but I loved biting into it and imagining I was eating thousands of tiny fish at once. If you’re wondering what flounder roe tastes like, I find it mild and slightly creamy with a only hint of fishiness. The fish eggs are tiny – much smaller than other fish roe. Salmon is my number one fish, but if I must pick a white fish, it’s got to be flounder. I adore flounder but I usually steam or baked it. Flounder has a sweet flavour and a delicate texture. When cooked, it flakes with a little pressure and the large bones make it easy to eat whole. As a kid, my parents never shied away …

Tale of two prawns: Steamed Garlic Prawns & Super Tasty Grilled Prawns

A thing or two about prawns Prawns in New Zealand are imported raw as we have no prawn fishery. They are snap frozen at sea and can be easily thawed at home, so never buy thawed prawns because you don’t know how long they have been thawed for. Maybe it’s only been a couple of hours, but maybe it’s longer. Why risk it? If they’re snap frozen at sea and you thaw them just prior to cooking, they will be as fresh as possible. Prawn size and weight If you have bought prawns before, you may have noticed a special numbering system in place. It seems counter-intuitive, but the smaller the number, the larger the prawn. Less is more! Well, less is big. U10 or U20 means under 10 or 20 prawns per kilo. These are the biggest prawns and also the most expensive. Handy guide to prawn sizes (per kilo) Extra large 10/20 also displayed as U10 or U20 Under 10 and Under 20 prawns per kilo Large 21/30 Under 30 prawns per kilo Medium …

Snapper are my first world problem

Someone wise once told me, if everyone in the world put their problems into a hat, you would be glad to pull out your own. It’s true. I was pining for flounder, but at the Chinese market, flounder are held in high regard and the price reflects this. Snapper is cheap at the Chinese supermarket. At the regular supermarket, the pricing is the other way around. Snapper is expensive whereas flounder is cheap. Isn’t it funny? I had to settle for snapper. A little bit of coconut cream, chopped garlic, spring onion, green curry paste and plenty of salt and pepper. Wrapped these fish in paper and baked for 30 minutes. It wasn’t so bad. Tip: Buy flounder at the regular supermarket and snapper at the Chinese supermarket.

Oysters Hong Kong

  Since we’re messing around with oysters this week, I figured I could mess around with Oysters Kilpatrick. My asian-inspired version uses ingredients like lap cheong, spring onions and black vinegar which you can find in any Cantonese kitchen. I’ve named it Oysters Hong Kong. From a previous post:  “Chinese dried sausages or Lap Cheong are dry cured sausages normally made of pork and fat. These are smoked, sweetened, seasoned and taste like awesome. The sausages I buy from my local are vacuum packed and hail from Canada. You might like these if you like streaky bacon cooked in maple syrup.”   Oysters Hong Kong Ingredients 12 fresh Pacific oysters (opened) 2 Chinese sausages (Lap Cheong) 3 tablespoons black vinegar 3 tablespoons spring onion, chopped Preparation Turn on grill to 200°C. Slice the Chinese sausages into thin rounds and fry until brown. Set the oysters on an oven tray lined with foil. Bunch up the foil so they oysters have a nice bed to lay upon. Top with the cooked sausage and black vinegar. Grill for 2-5 minutes. …

Make Oysters Kilpatrick

I usually prefer my oysters fresh and unmolested, but things have changed since trying Oysters Kilpatrick for the first time at Mikano in April. They were Bluff and they were divine, but at $5 each, they are a special occasion treat. Oysters Kilpatrick is a dish from Australia and this 70’s retro-to-the-gills recipe isn’t for the faint hearted. Can you taste the oysters at their full potential? Maybe not. Are they delicious? Yes sir! I’ve always said Worcestershire rather awkwardly and today I noticed this month’s edition of Taste Magazine sorts me right out: How do I say…Worcestershire? The famous secret-recipe sauce named for its English home county has lost a syllable over time: ‘Wuss-tuh-shuh’ or just ‘Wuss-tuh’ for short. I’ve been ordering my oysters from New Zealand Seafoods (www.nzseafoods.co.nz) for years. They own oyster farms in Mahurangi Harbour and offer fresh, shucked Pacific oysters for $50NZ (about $40US) for 5 dozen. It’s about $6 to deliver which I consider money well spent. The oysters are always well packaged (export quality) and ready to eat. Oysters Kilpatrick …