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There's no doubt that Australians are crazy about seafood! So, when it comes to celebrating cultural traditions, you can't beat eating fish on Good Friday.
We've teamed up with TAFE NSW hospitality teachers from Moruya, Ultimo and Ryde to get some tips and recipe ideas to help you choose your fish and bring home the perfect meal with wine. Louise Hicks, commercial cookery teacher at TAFE NSW Moruya, is a huge fan of fish because it's light, healthy and tasty. It's also generally quick to prepare and offers a range of subtle and lovely flavours.
Louise's tips on how to choose your fish!
If you're buying fish, rather than catching it fresh, it's important to know what you're looking for in terms of quality and freshness. It's easy to get swept away in the fish-market frenzy…
"When deciding to buy a whole fish, you need to look out for signs of freshness," says Louise. "Has the fish got that lustrous sheen? Is there a vibrant colour on the scales? Check the gills to ensure they are a bright red colour. Don't forget to check out the eyes, which should be shiny and full."
"When buying fillets, check that the fish has a firm appearance. Fillets and whole fish should smell fresh like the sea or like seaweed."
[caption id="attachment_9129" align="aligncenter" width="422"] Commercial Cookery teacher from Moruya TAFE[/caption]
Louise's favourite recipe is perfect for an intimate crowd
"Depending on the number of guest, I think cooking fish whole is the easiest option. Just score it, put flavour like slices of lime and kaffir leaves into the cavity, wrap it in foil and put it on the barbecue." Simple but so delicious.
Scott Wilson, head teacher of commercial cookery at TAFE NSW Ultimo College, and Clive Hartley, head of TAFE NSW Sydney Wine Academy, share their recipes and wine tips.
Scott has shared two recipes that are currently on the menu at The Apprentice training restaurant and would suit those of you throwing a larger gathering. If you're like most people, it can get confusing when trying to match the best wine to accompany the meal. Lucky for us we have Clive Hartley, to help us get it right.
Pan-roasted barramundi, creamed leek, peas and fried garlic – serves 20 (adapt to size)
Method: Remove any pin bones & check that all the scales have been removed. Cut in to 160g portions dry the skin with paper towel, store in the fridge skin side up till required.
Matching Wine- TAFE NSW Sydney Wine Academy
Clive Hartley, of the TAFE NSW Sydney Wine Academy, suggest a riesling, say from the Clare Valley or Eden Valley, with this style of dish."This crisp, zesty wine brings out the flavours perfectly," says Clive. "Alternatively, try a classic young Hunter Valley semillon."
Atlantic salmon, chermoula, kipfler potatoes, broccolini– serves 20 (adapt to size)
Pin and skin the salmon fillets and portion into 150-gram fillets. Marinate with ½ of the chermoula. (Recipe below). Pan Fry the salmon rare, serve with the potatoes, broccolini, and the rest of the chermoula.
Method: Place skinned garlic, deseeded chilies, washed herbs, cumin and seasoning, oil and preserved lemon into the robot coupe and blend to a paste. Remove from the robot coupe and add the sliced eschalots
Kippler Potatos and broccolini:
Method: Toss potatoes with oil and seasonings. Roast. Serve along the salmon. Toss broccolini in olive oil and serve with the salmon
Matching Wines: Sydney TAFE Wine Academy
Clive Hartley says, "It depends on the cooking method but generally the richness of salmon is best paired with a slightly heavier white wine but with enough acidity that can cut through the delicious oils. So I'd recommend a Tasmanian or Adelaide Hill's chardonnay"
If you're keen to upgrade your cooking and kitchen skills, TAFE NSW can help find the right course to suit your needs. Look out for our range of short courses and non-trade kitchen operations courses, it's a perfect way to get a taste for commercial cookery!