Fish & seafood

Fish & seafood

By
Jim McDougall, Stefano de Pieri
Contains
8 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742703824
Photographer
Alan Benson

Jim:

The mildura region is abundant with freshwater aquaculture. One of my fondest memories growing up on the murray river as a kid was hauling up nets full of large blue-claw yabbies and cooking them over a fire in a large homemade pot laden with rock salt. My father used to hang the pot from a tree to cool when they were done. To this day I can still remember the excitement and the anticipation that aroma used to bring. Wild and farmed freshwater yabbies are among the best eating crustaceans in the country.

Seafood is such a versatile and compatible protein. Recent trends in sous vide cooking have inspired a whole new way of preparing seafood, rescuing it from the deep-fryer or the harsh heat of the pan. Most seafood can be ‘cooked’ at a much lower temperature than red meat.

A good tip for testing when white fish is cooked properly is to push a toothpick into the flesh: if there is a lot of resistance it is raw. It should slide in but feel firm. For oily or red fish, personal choice is paramount, so experiment. An exception to this rule is white fish such as kingfish or swordfish, which can be eaten rare.

Stefano:

The fame and success of Stefano’s restaurant was initially established by the daily use of murray river bounty. One critic, Stephen Downes of the herald sun, was so impressed by a meal of yabbies and cod, he gave us a score of 19 out of 20! When the ban on river fish was introduced I felt like closing the restaurant. The ban continues because illegal fishing is persisting and it was not accompanied by a reduction in recreational fishing, which is overall much more harmful – but that is another story.

Luckily, some large aquaculture investments have been successful and farmed fish can be purchased. In the restaurant I have kept things simple, but it is fun watching Jim doing crazy things with seafood, such as serving sweet macadamias next to yabbies or prawns or serving trevalla with prosecco sauce.

Recipes in this Chapter

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