Saturday, June 2, 2007

Snapper recipe

Ex chef Ronny with a fine snapper
Grilled snapper on spinach and potato rosti with a red wine reduction sauce

I love to fish. It's doing something when not doing something. Sitting quietly with anticipation, watching my line and dreaming. I have this Western problem of the need of filling up spaces in time and fishing does this without the feeling of being busy. And of course I walk in the door with food for the family and it feeds the primeval hunter/gatherer in me.
We have a good quota sytem in NZ to retain fish stocks, where only so much fish is allocated to fishermen and once they have caught that they can't catch any more. We also have many marine reserves where no fishing is allowed so fish stocks can build up unhindered. One of the largest is just two kilometres from our home so it is rare to come back with no fish. Our boat, called 'The Beast', is small and rough, is fast and we can go far but we catch most 200 metres from the beach so we just get up speed then it's time to stop and anchor. Snapper is our predominant fish with a sweet, white flesh and because of the export price costs close to $30 a kilo in the shops.
Son Sam and I caught some nice fat fish yesterday and this is how I cooked them.

Grilled Snapper on Spinach and Potato Rosti with a Red Wine Reduction Sauce
For the sauce - put 1 1/4 cups of red wine and 1/4 cup good red wine vinegar in a saucepan and add 1 peeled carrot, 1 clove peeled garlic, 1/2 onion thinly sliced, 1/2 teaspoon pepercorns, 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds and over a medium heat reduce by half, about 25 minutes. Meanwhle put a cup of port wine in another saucepan and reduce by half about 15 minutes. Strain first reduction into the second and set aside.
For the potato rosti - grate 4 medium potatoes, 1 carrot and 1/2 an onion in a bowl add 1/2 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, salt and freshly ground pepper and deep fry big spoonfulls in a pan until golden brown.
The snapper - generously season both sides with salt and pepper and cook in a little light oil over a high heat approx. 4 minutes each side until just cooked (depends a lot on thickness of fillet)
To assemble - put 2 rosti in the centre of the plate, add some lightly steamed spinach and the fish. Finish the sauce - bring to the boil then off the heat add 4 tablespoons butter and swirl until the butter is dissolved and the sauce becomes shiny. Pour around the food and garnish with chopped parsley.


L.M.Noonan said...

Mmmm can you see the drool?

Anonymous said...

hey so you must be home again at last how are things it s colder here .l am working on two new portaits ,thats about it hope all is well at flaxmill Billie

Shubhajit said...

I wrote many days ago about I again put my words..

"Patience - the word strictly associated with fishing. Fishing is a passion for some people and for some it is an addiction. Slip away countless hours sitting in a same posture in search of fish is something seems very irksome act but in reality it is unlimited fun one can enjoy without loosing much except time."

Fishing is indeed a very good past time and your recipe is also not very tough to make. This time when i go home i will tell my mother to make some of your recipe.