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Pan-roasted barramundi fillet with blistered cherry tomatoes

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Prep: 10 mins    Cook: 10–15 mins     Serves: 6

Ingredients

2 sides (whole fillets) barramundi
500g cherry tomatoes
2 eschalots, peeled and sliced
1/2 bunch oregano, leaves picked
150mls extra virgin olive oil
60mls sherry vinegar
60mls grapeseed oil
50g salted butter, diced
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200˚C.
Using a sharp knife, trim the belly from the barramundi fillets, remove any bones from the top of the fillets and tidy up any scrap edges (keep the belly and any excess trim for barra-masalata – see separate recipe). Turn the fillet so it is skin-side up and run your knife gently up and down the skin to remove any scales. Turn the fillet back to flesh side up and using a sharp knife, cut into portion of around 200g each.

Place the cherry tomatoes onto a lined baking tray, drizzle with a splash of olive oil and place into the pre-heated oven for 5–10 minutes or until the tomatoes have just started to burst and blister. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. Turn oven to 180°C degrees for the barramundi. 

In a small saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and over a medium heat sweat off the sliced eschalots until tender and translucent. Remove from the heat and pour over the tomatoes. Add picked oregano leaves and sherry vinegar. Season to taste  with salt and pepper.

To cook the barramundi, place a frypan on a high heat and add the grapeseed oil. Season each of the barramundi fillets with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, place the barramundi fillets onto the frypan skin side down, making sure you do not overcrowd the pan and lose heat as you will not get a crisp skin. Cook for 2–3 minutes then place the frypan into the pre-heated oven and cook for a further 4–5 minutes until the fish is just cooked through. Remove from oven and place on a medium heat. Add the salted butter and allow to brown. Turn the fillet skin side up and using a spoon, coat the fish in the browned butter. Finish with lemon juice. Remove the fillets from the pan.

To serve, place the barramundi onto a serving plate, spoon over the blistered cherry tomatoes and serve with lemon wedges.

Butter lettuce salad with goats's cheese, peas and preserved lemon

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Prep: 15 mins     Cook: 5 mins     Serves: 4 as a side

Ingredients

100g peas, podded
100g broad beans, podded
2 whole butter lettuces
2 whole baby cos lettuces
100g goat’s cheese
3 x preserved lemon quarters
1/4 bunch mint, picked
2 tbsp lemon-scented olive oil or olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Method

Blanch the peas and broad beans together in a pot of boiling salted water for 2–3 minutes until tender. Refresh in iced water. Once they’re cold, remove the skins from the broad beans and set aside along with the peas.

To prepare the lettuces, discard the outer leaves then separate the leaves from the remaining hearts. Wash in a large bowl of water, drain then spin in a salad spinner to remove the excess water. Arrange the leaves in a large serving bowl. Scatter the peas and broad beans in and around the leaves, crumble the goat’s cheese over the top.

To prepare the preserved lemons, cut the rind into thin strips and scatter through the salad along with the picked mint leaves.

In a separate bowl, mix together the lemon juice and olive oil (or lemon-scented olive oil if using). Season generously with salt and  pepper, taste and then spoon over the salad and serve.

Roasted cauliflower with anchovy burnt butter

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Prep: 10 mins     Serves: 4 as a side

Ingredients

1 small cauliflower, cut into quarters
Olive oil, for drizzling
100g butter, diced
1/4 bunch thyme, picked
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 lemon, rind and juice
1/4 tsp dried red chilli flakes

Method

Preheat your oven to 190˚C.

Drizzle the cauliflower wedges generously with olive oil and rub in all over to coat well. Place the cauliflower into a roasting tray and season to taste. Put into the pre-heated oven and roast the cauliflower for 30 minutes, drizzling occasionally with a little extra oil until golden brown and the cauliflower very tender when the centre is pierced with a sharp knife.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium-high heat and cook for 4–5 minutes until nut brown. Remove from the heat and stir in thyme, anchovies, garlic, lemon rind and juice and chilli flakes. Season to taste and spoon over the cauliflower.

Barra-masalata with potato crisps

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Prep: 15–20 mins     Cook: 15–20 mins     Serves: 4–6 as a snack

Ingredients

150g barramundi (using tail and trim), skin off
100g smoking wood chips
100g brown onion, peeled and diced
300mls canola oil
100g white bread, crust removed
10g sea salt
1 egg yolk
4 ice cubes
40mls (2 tbsp) lemon juice
3 large Sebago potatoes

Method

This recipe showcases the offcuts from the barramundi fillet in the first demonstration to eliminate wastage. 
Pre-heat your oven to 140˚C. Pre-heat deep-fryer (or frying pan with oil) to 140˚C.
If you have a smoker or smoke gun, cold-smoke the barramundi for 15 minutes.

If you do not have a smoker
Line the base of a large saucepan with 3 layers of foil and scatter the wood chips over the foil. Using a blowtorch, flame the woodchips until they ignite, then place a lid over the saucepan to put out the flames. This is now your smoking pot.

Place the barramundi fillet in a perforated steaming rack. Remove the lid from the smoking pot and place the barramundi rack over the smoke. Cover the pot with a lid and let smoke for 15 minutes.

Remove the barramundi from the smoker and place on a lined baking tray. Put into the pre-heated oven for 5–10 mins until the fish is cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. 

While the barramundi is cooling, make the base of the barra-masalata dip by putting the 300mls of canola oil in the fridge to cool (this will stop the dip from splitting). Place the onion and bread into a food processer and blend until the bread has become a moist crumb, add the egg yolk and blend until combined. While still mixing, slowly start to add the oil. Once you have added half the oil, blend the ice cubes through the mix. If the mix is getting too thick, add a little water. Continue adding the rest of the oil until you have a smooth paste and the oil is combined. Season to taste.

Place the dip base (above) into a mixing bowl. Put the smoked barramundi pieces into the food processer and blend until broken down. Fold the smoked barramundi through the base and season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Wash the potatoes well to remove any dirt from the skin. Using a mandolin, thinly slice the potatoes into 1 mm slices. Place the potato slices into a mixing bowl and run under cold water until the water turns clear and the starch is washed away. Drain and dry the potato slices with paper towel then place the potatoes into the pre-heated fryer or frying pan and cook for 3–4 mins until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp. Remove the chips from the fryer and onto a paper towel to drain any excess oil. Season with sea salt to taste.

To serve, spoon the dip mix into a serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. Serve with the potato crisps.

Barbecued lamb cutlets with chimichurri

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 Prep: 15 mins     Cook: 3 mins     Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 x full lamb rack
80mls vegetable oil (approx. 1/3 cup)
Salt and pepper to season

Chimichurri

1/4 bunch coriander, picked leaves
1/2 bunch basil, picked leaves
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, picked leaves
1 tsp cumin
1 long red chilli, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 golden shallot, peeled
300mls olive oil (11/4 cups)
3 tsp red wine vinegar

Method

To make the chimichurri, place the picked herbs, cumin, garlic and shallot into a food processor and blend until combined. Place the mix into a bowl and add the vinegar. Season to taste, then add the sliced red chilli.

To prepare the lamb rack, trim any excess fat and sinew from the meat then cut into individual cutlets. Season with salt and pepper and place on the hot barbecue. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side then remove from the grill and let rest. 

Serve the lamb on a platter with the chimichurri drizzled over the top.

Tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad with quick-pickled onion and basil dressing

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Prep: 15 mins     Serves: 4 as a side

Ingredients

1 buffalo mozzarella ball
1 large handful basil leaves, plus extra to serve
1/2 small garlic clove
80ml extra-virgin olive oil (approx. 1/3 cup)
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
4 large heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced or cut into wedges
200g mixed cherry tomatoes, halved or thickly sliced

Quick-pickled onion

1 small red onion, sliced into thick rounds
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1 small red chilli, split in half
185ml apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar (approx. 3/4 cup)
100mls water
1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
2 cloves
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp coarsely cracked black peppercorns

Method 

To make the quick-pickled onion, separate the onion slices into rings, place into a small bowl.

Place the garlic clove, red chilli, vinegar, caster sugar, sea salt, water, mustard seeds, cloves and black pepper into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat, remove from heat and pour the hot liquid over the onions. Leave onions to cool in the liquid.

Combine the picked basil leaves (keeping some leaves for garnish), garlic and a good pinch of sea salt in a mortar and pestle, and pound to a rough paste. Add the olive oil and lemon juice to taste, pound to combine, then season to taste.

Arrange the tomatoes on a platter, tear the mozzarella over the tomatoes and scatter with some extra basil leaves. Drain some of the quick-pickled onion and scatter over the tomatoes, then drizzle with the basil dressing.

Cauliflower leaf bhaji served with tomatow offcut raita

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Cauliflower leaf bhaji
Ingredients

Cauliflower leaf Bhaji
Leaves and stems of 1 cauliflower
1/2 brown onion, sliced
1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp salt (flat)
2 sprigs curry leaf
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp fennel seed
80ml water
3/4 cup besan (chickpea) flour
Oil to fry

Method

Wash the cauli leaves well and cut the stem lengthways. Shred the cauli stems and leaves. Mix with the onion, ginger and salt and then crush lightly with your hands. Add spices, baking powder, water and besan then mix until a thick batter forms. If it needs more flour add a little at a time.

Fry a tablespoon at a time in oil at 180 until very crispy. Alternately, heat 2 inches of oil in a 20cm pot until hot enough that a drop of batter starts frying immediately. 

As it cooks, lots of little pieces will come off the fritters. Serve these too! They are delilcious. 

Serve while still warm with tomato offcut raita.

 

Tomato offcut raita
Ingredients

1 cup natural or Greek yoghurt
50ml water
1/2 cup tomato offcuts
6 sprigs mint or coriander
Salt and sugar to taste

Method

Chop the tomato pieces finely and shred the mint. Mix all together with the remaining ingredients and check to season.

Top with fried curry leaves before serving with the bhaji. Enjoy!

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