2 large pieces of cod, each cut into three even sized pieces
There’s something about the process of marinating meat and fish that appeals to me, although I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. It certainly isn’t the waiting. I’m a very impatient person, especially when it comes to food. But, its like this, chicken breast is great, but it’s even greater when it’s been sat in an bath of salty soy and nutty sesame oil, with a few chillies, some garlic and ginger thrown in. Oh, and a dash of fish sauce, and maybe some coriander. You get the point. Perhaps it’s the sheer simplicity of it. Yes, it takes time to sit, but it’s as simple as throwing everything together in a bowl and letting it hang out in the fridge for an hour or so, and you end up with this amazing depth of flavour that is impossible to create without letting the flavours mingle together. Take lamb for instance, delicious with mint sauce. Even more delicious marinated in red wine with garlic, rosemary and thyme then threaded onto skewers with thick wedges of red onion and barbecued to perfection. Yes I did just say barbecue in February!
Basically, it’s about taking great flavours that compliment each other and having some fun creating new recipes. Remember to season your marinade well, and taste it (before you put the raw meat in it). The consistency should be fairly thin in order to coat all of the meat, here’s a few of my ideas:
- Garlic, white wine (or olive oil), lemon and thyme – perfect for chicken
- Soy, garlic, ginger and lime – great with fish
- Garlic, red wine, rosemary and thyme –delicious with lamb or beef
- Extra virgin olive oil, chilli, garlic and basil – for perfect spicy prawns
Butter marinades are also fantastic and easy to rustle up. Place a large dollop of softened butter in a bowl, add chopped herbs, garlic, lemon zest and maybe even some chopped anchovies, season with salt and pepper and rub over your meat, cook as normal. Butter marinades work best when pushed under the skin of meats, they make the meat so tender and moist you won’t believe it.
Guest Post by Kendra Thornton – Maui Onion & Sesame Seed Crusted Ahi Tuna
Just thinking about it now, I wish I could go back and have it again, but luckily for me, I discovered how it’s made and am able to replicate this meal back in my home in Chicago. It serves as a fabulous exotic Asian meal that is always a hit at dinner parties. I’ve done it once for some friends here on the east coast, and I’ll be doing it again soon and wanted to share with you how it’s made.
2 Ahi tuna steaks, about 5 cm thick
350ml of dehydrated crushed onions
475ml chopped onions
45ml of olive oil divided
15ml raw sesame seeds
240ml jasmine rice
15ml minced shallots
15ml unsalted butter
480ml fish stock
1 vanilla bean
240ml white vinegar
480ml apple juice
480ml apple cider vinegar
168g unsalted butter
4 leaves of chives finely chopped
1. Caramelize the 480ml of onions over medium high heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Set aside.
2. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Roll the fish in the dehydrated onions and sesame seeds. Brown all over.
3. Combine the rice, minced shallots, unsalted butter, fish stock and vanilla bean; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and cover. Simmer until the rice absorbs the stock. Remove from heat and fluff the rice.
4. Mix the vinegars and apple juice over medium heat. Stir until reduced to 1/2 cup. Just before serving, cube the 168g of cold butter. Add it in small quantities, and continue to mix over medium heat. Pour mixture into blender and pulse.
5. To serve put a bed of rice down with a fillet on top. Top with caramelized onions. Drizzle the vinaigrette over it all and place some fresh chives over that. Goes best with steamed vegetables; you can’t go wrong with baby carrots.
Although you don’t have to stay in some of the top hotels in Maui or go to Hawaii to in general to get the taste of the island. Try it out, it serves two in case you want to go the romantic route!
How to bone a monkfish tail
South West Indian Fish Curry
Serves 2-3 people