Total Pageviews

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Salmon Torrefie

I use this coating sometimes to add interest to sashimi quality tuna instead of serving it raw. This gives it that extra something crunchy with heat. The ingredients for the mixture formed part of a dish I made in a cooking class in France last year where we used another type of fish. I applied it to tuna with great success and here I'm doing it with salmon just as successfully but the salmon needs to be cured first unless it is sashimi quality from a reputable fishmonger.

Coating for 2 X 200gm thick fillets of cured or sashimi quality raw salmon, pin bones removed. Use tuna as a substitute.

7gm green anis - from a health food store
7gm coriander seeds
3gm black peppercorns
9gm sea salt
10gm instant coffee granules
40g mixed red pepper berries

Whizz all the above in a mini food processor then add 20gm sesame seeds

Cut each thick salmon fillet into 2 even logs, lengthways. Roll in the mixture to evenly coat and place in a hot pan with no oil or fat. Using tongs, turn each salmon fillet so all four sides on each one change colour but the inside of the salmon remains raw.

Remove and rest the salmon for ten minutes. Slice each log of salmon into 6-8 slices per log and place 3-4 slices on each plate. Serve with micro herbs and freshly squeezed lemon and a few drops of oil. I serve it with a coffee and mango sauce now and then but perhaps wasabi flavoured mayonnaise would work well too.

Serves: 8 as a starter.

Click link for a printer friendly version of this recipe:

Creamy Goan fish Curry

I’m not wild about preparing this because the endless list of ingredients is a turnoff but I love to eat Goan fish curry.  In order to get over my problem I consider it to be a four-stage operation. The first three stages I execute a day or so ahead leaving the fourth stage; the cooking of the fish, prawns and rice to the last minute. This is a beautiful creamy curry, delicately perfumed by the tamarind but with enough heat to hold interest and is a perfect marriage with fish.
Serves: 6


8 cardamom pods
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
4 teaspoons mustard seeds
4 tablespoons grated coconut
100ml olive oil
2 red onions, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large green chilli finely chopped
1 large red chilli, finely chopped
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
large pinch of grated nutmeg
8 cloves
4 tablespoons tamarind paste
12 curry leaves
4 cinnamon sticks
1250ml coconut cream
1200g firm, thick, white fish like:  like Sea Bream or Perch
12-18 large green prawns
Fresh coriander to garnish
Rice to serve, I use Basmati

Split the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar to remove seeds, discard empty pods. Dry fry the cardamom seeds and the coriander seeds until fragrant and the seeds pop. Grind in a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar and set aside.

Stage 2.

Dry fry the coconut and the mustard seeds until the coconut turns golden and the seeds
pop. Set aside.

Stage 3.

Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan, add the onion and cook until soft, add the garlic, chilli, ginger, turmeric and nutmeg. Cook a further minute then add the ground spices, the coconut mixture, the cloves, tamarind, curry leaves, cinnamon sticks and the coconut cream. Simmer the curry very gently until slightly reduced and thickened for ten minutes without allowing it to boil.

Stage 4.

Gently poach the fish until it becomes opaque, add the prawns for the last few minutes and cook until pink.  Serve on a bed of steamed rice garnished with freshly chopped coriander.
Adapted from a recipe by De Costi Seafoods, Australia.

click link for a printer friendly version of this recipe:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Villa Rita's sweet and sour zucchinis

Piero's cabbage patch

The restaurant's vegetable garden at Hotel Villa Rita is lovingly tendered and nurtured by the owners themselves, Piero and Rita. The result of their hard work is evident in the dishes produced by chef Vincenzo and the following recipe is an example of how important it is to use the freshest vegetables available and not to overcook them.

I used a Japanese mandolin to ensure the vegetables were all the same size. If you do not have one try and slice the zucchinis 10cm long by 3/4mm thick. I used long, sweet and what I call, summer onions.


2 kg zucchines
500g sweet white onions
250ml extra virgin olive oil
150ml white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 dessertspoons sugar

Spread the vegetables in a wide shallow pan. Mix up the rest of the ingredients and pour over the vegetables.  Cover with a lid or foil and cook on a medium for roughly fifteen minutes or until the vegetables are cooked but still al dente. This could be done in an oven at about 180c if preferred. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Serve cold.

Serves:  6-8 as part of a buffet

Click this link for a printer friendly version of this recipe:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

sarago with olives and rosemary

We recently spent a few days on the magnificent island of Elba off the Tuscan coast at the hotel Villa Rita run by our old friends, Paola and Davide.

Hotel Villa Rita is fast becoming a destination gourmet hotel thanks to the efforts of Paola and Davide. They have taken full advantage of the hotel’s idyllic setting, the peace and beauty of the surroundings, the comfort of the accommodation and the talents of their chef, Vincenzo. The food is lovingly prepared and presented and not only looks wonderful but tastes just as good. A stay, long or short at this lovely hotel is a must for anyone seeking all the pleasures Italy has to offer: style, comfort and great food.

I will be publishing a number of recipes from our stay here but this first one is my favourite. The chef used sea bream but use any firm white fish as long as it’s not too thick .

Serves 4


8 fillets of firm Sarago (sea bream)
1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
½ leek, finely sliced
Handful of Italian black olives
8 small sprigs rosemary to garnish
1 sprig of rosemary for the sauce, needles only
1 cup dry white wine
Pinch salt


Prepare the above ingredients as indicated and place in a large open frying pan except the rosemary to garnish. Roll the fish with the tails towards the centre and hold together with toothpicks. Cover the pan with a lid and bring the liquid to simmering point. Do not allow it to boil. Gently poach the fish for about 5 minutes until the flesh turns white and it appears cooked. Remove the fillets and place on hot serving dishes, remove the toothpicks and place a piece of rosemary in each one. Slightly reduce the sauce and pour over the fillets before serving.