Tag Archives: Charlie Court Cod

Friday Night Fish and Chips

Friday Night Fish and Chips

Friday Night Fish and Chips

It was the last day today that we could possibly fish here, so Russ decided he was going out after lunch “no matter what”. He was ready to go when I finally gave in and went along-I’d reckoned it was too windy to fish. We leave here Sunday so it’ll be a week or so before we fish again in Denham (Shark Bay) so I really didn’t want to miss out.

We spent two hours out on the reef and yes, it was a bit windy but not as bad as we’ve been out in before. The funny thing was, in two hours, I caught the only fish we ended up bringing home! We didn’t sight so much as a baby Spangled Emperor, but I caught 4 big Charlie Court Cod. I reckon CCC is a much underrated fish. It’s sweet and mosit with lovely tender flakes-much better than a lot of bigger fish out there.

Tonight we battered and deep fried our fish-we normally use panko crumbs and shallow fry. What a treat, it really was so different and delicious. We don’t fry mainly because we need to do it inside to get the heat up, and because it uses so much oi it seems a waste, but once in a while it’s worth all that.

Fried Fish

  • 3/4 cup self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • big pinch turmeric
  • water
  • fish fillets
  • cornflour (extra for dusting fish)
  • oil (enough to fill a deep pan by a few inches)
  • lemon wedges to serve
Friday Night Fish and Chips Charlie Court Cod

Friday Night Fish and Chips Charlie Court Cod

Method

  1. Whisk together the flours, salt and turmeric with enough cold water to form a batter that pours. Set aside for an hour or so.
  2. Heat the oil to about 190c or until it’s shimmering and hot. You can dip a wooden spoon’s end in it and it’ll sizzle)
  3. Dust the fish in the extra corn flour knocking off the excess. Dip in the batter and let a bit of the excess of that run off too.
  4. Fry in the oil a few minutes until crisp and golden, turning if necessary. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with lemon wedges.
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Cerviche

Cerviche

Cerviche

Always on the lookout for new fish recipes, I decided as we love pickled fish so much, it was time to make my own fish cerviche. I’ve eaten it made by my good friend Chris Whitmore years ago, and I’ve eaten yabby cerviche, but never made my own.

I looked at a few recipes, then took what I liked from them to make my own version-some used avocado and that would be nice, but at $6 each here, it was never going to happen, some used capsicum (bell pepper) but that texture seemed wrong. My daughter-in-law put me onto Ayam coconut milk powder (as opposed to the tinned stuff we usually buy). It’s cheaper and I can make up smaller batches, control the strength (milk or cream) and can add it direct to curries where I want a coconut flavour.

Reduced Coconut Milk

Reduced Coconut Milk

Marinating Charlie

Marinating Charlie

We caught a number of fish yesterday, but decided our favourite Charlie Court Cod would be good for this. It’s a lovely sweet flavoured, delicate fish, but small and not so easy to deal with. Russ does deal with it though as we’ve yet to find a fish we reckon has better flavour or texture. Most recipes said the fish should come from the fishmonger as fresh as possible. We caught these yesterday but over the years have decided that fish rested in the fridge for 24 hours seems to be the best. Some might argue, but that’s how we like it. Charlie fillets are only small so I just cut into squares (rather than cubes as you would with a fatter fillet) and marinated for 1.5 hours. It worked really well in that time.

Cerviche

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 200g white fish, diced into 1cm chunks
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced length-ways (julienned)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 small bunch coriander (pick the leaves off)
  • (optional and would add if cost was better) 1 small avocado, diced
Cerviche

Cerviche

Method

  1. Put the coconut milk in a small pan over a low heat, and reduce by half. Drop in the mint leaves, cool then remove the mint leaves and discard.
  2. Place the diced fish in a non reactive (glass or ceramic) dish and pour over the lime juice. Refrigerate for between 1/2 hour (rare) to 3 hours (well done).
  3. Pour off most of the lime juice and discard, then add the coconut milk and other ingredients-check the salt and sugar is in balance then serve garnished with coriander and/or mint sprigs.

Serves 2

Luscious Limes

Luscious Limes

Coral Bay (continued and continued some more)

Deb, Todd and the Bump

Deb, Todd and the Bump

I haven’t blogged much of late, due to a few windy days, then the arrival of family here  to spend some time with us. Todd, Deb and the Baby Bump flew up to Coral Bay from Perth on August 17th and spent 5 nights in Bayview Lodge nearby. It was our first meeting with “the Bump” and possibly mum-and-dad-to-bes’ last holiday before baby is born. It was a really special family time.

Todd frollicking at Maud's Landing

Todd frollicking at Maud’s Landing

We spent the 5 days of their visit fishing (Todd and Russ did that) lazing on the beach or by the pool (Deb and I did that), 4WDing along the local beaches and tracks, eating, visiting the bakery (for more eating), dining out at Finns Restaurant (still MORE eating) and up at the pub for happy hour (eating was done at home afterwards). We now know the bakery make good smoothies, toasted focaccias, pies, sausage rolls, pasties, fetta and spinach pasties, croissants and chocolate croissants. As well as the bread and rolls we normally buy!

Our family left, we booked ourselves yet another week here, cast aside all thoughts of food (especially from the

Deb at Coral Bay 2

Deb at Coral Bay 2

bakery) and got ourselves out fishing two days in a row. We did pretty well on both days bringing home the usual suspects-Charlie Court Cod and Red Throat Emperor and a Spangled Emperor, so I made another blogable  fish dish last night. I’ve cooked it before and the original is posted to food.com by chef flower but I am posting it here as I made it for two people (original recipe is for 4 and uses more fish).

First up, I sent Russ all over Coral Bay (well to the two shops) looking for a jar of red curry paste. He came back empty handed and suggested I “might have to make it”.  Shock, horror, I’ve never actually made red curry paste.

As usual, I looked at about 10 recipes, all claiming to be authentic or nearly so, then decided to make my own to suit. I’m quite proud to say, we had every ingredient on hand in the caravan. The lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves were bought at a farmers market in Northern Territory, then frozen to get them across the WA/NT border. I knew I’d need them eventually!

Coral Bay Red Curry Paste

  • 15 dried chillies, cut the tops off and shake out the seeds to discard
  • boiling water
  • 4 lemongrass, white tender bits only (about 5cm)
  • 2.5cm galangal sliced fine (jarred galangal is OK, but ginger won’t do apparently)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, I used jarred as I have issues storing chopped, fresh for more than a day or two
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (could have used toasted seeds here)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin  (could have used toasted seeds here)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (only in one recipe, but I thought it would add colour)
  • 3 coriander roots including a bit of the stems (no roots? Use the stems only)
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper (bet ours wasn’t anything related to the amazing  stuff we had in Cambodia and Vietnam)
  • 1/2 medium red onion (was supposed to be 5 shallots)
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste (Don’t have it? Use salt)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Coral Bay Red Curry Paste

Coral Bay Red Curry Paste

Method

  1. Soak the chillies in the boiling water for 15 minutes, then drain.
  2. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you get a paste.

I ended up with a bit of a chunky paste with my little processor but it was still fine. You could do this in a mortar with your pestle but I didn’t have the time.

Curried White Fish With Peas and Onions
Peas and Onions Salad

  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted in boiling water, drained plunged into cold water, drained
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped into pea size
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced

Thai Red Curry Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 240 coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar,
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, ripped

Fish

  • 400g white fish fillets
  • Spray oil
Curried White Fish With Peas and Onions

Curried White Fish With Peas and Onions

Method

To make the salad: Combine pea, tomato and red onion, into a small bowl and set aside until later use.

To make the sauce:

  1. Add a medium saucepan on the stove at high heat.
  2. Once the pan is hot, add oil, then curry paste, stir to combine well, and until fragrant.
  3.  Add coconut milk and mix well to combine.
  4. Bring sauce to boil, then reduce heat.
  5. Add fish sauce and palm sugar, mix well to combine. Add the lime juice and basil, stir and remove from heat.

To make the fish:

  1. Spray a reasonable amount of oil onto a large skillet and heat.
  2. Once pan is hot carefully place fish onto the skillet and cook the fillets between 2 to 4 minutes (depending the thickness of the fish).
  3. Shake the pan to make the fish move then turn them over and cook another 2-4 minutes.
  4. Cook until done to your liking.

To serve:

  1. Divide salad mixture equally into the centre of 2 serving plates.
  2. Arrange fish on top of salad, top fish with equal amounts of curry sauce Or you could put curry into small sauce bowls and serve with the fish and salad. Garnish with fresh red chilli slices and or fresh coriander if you wish.

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Fishing on the Reef

Saffron Tomato Relish-The Beginnings

Saffron Tomato Relish-The Beginnings

We have never pretended to be particularly good at fishing-we’re more enthusiastic than skilled-but we catch more than enough fish etc. to feed ourselves, give a little away, and freeze to take home.

After 6 visits to Coral Bay and this part of the Ningaloo Reef, we are pretty good at knowing where to fish for particular species.

We fish mostly drifting over the coral (and the coral is dense), using big hooks, big baits and no sinkers. We let out a little line to attract the smaller, pretty fish, they then alert the big ones. When we feel a decent bite, we retrieve our line as quickly as possible-if we’re not quick enough, we get taken into the coral. We lose a bit of gear, but not much and I would say 99% of the time, we are out there doing it all on our own.

Yesterday, we came home with 8 red throat emperor (we are allowed 4 each), 2 Charlie Court Cod and a stripy sea perch. We released as many, or more, size emperors too. No one else put in a line over the coral.

Depending on the tides and swell, we can go straight to a spot and catch 60cm spangled emperor, we know where the goat fish live, where we’ll definitely catch spotted cod, or Charlie Court Cod, or the red throat emperors. We can fish to order!

Russ made us a yummy brunch before we went out yesterday of smoked fish slice (it wasn’t quite and omelette or a frittata so I’ll call it a slice). We ate it with grilled Carnarvon tomatoes and toast.

Smoked Fish Slice

  • 4 eggs,whisked
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 100g smoked fish, flaked
  • Salt and Pepper
Smoked Fish Slice

Smoked Fish Slice

Method

  1. Preheat grill (broiler)
  2. Mix all ingredients together.
  3. Heat a pan over medium heat, spray with oil.
  4. Pour the mix in turn heat off and allow to stand for two minutes.
  5. Place under the grill for a further 2 minutes, or until set.
  6. Slice to serve.

For dinner I made us a recipe I’ve made quite often. It’s posted on food.com by Felix 4067 and is called Ralf’s Pretty Good Pistachio Baked Fish. It tasted great as usual, but the photos were a disaster! The original recipe uses butter-I used olive oil as that’s what we travel with.

Ralf’s Pretty Good Pistachio Baked Fish

  • 1 lb (about 400g) fish fillet ( I used red throat emperor)
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs (I used panko crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled, chopped fine and divided
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted (I used olive oil)Ralf's Pretty Good Pistachi Baked Fish (Jan's Bad Photos)

Method

  1. Cut fish into serving-size pieces and check for bones.
  2. Combine bread crumbs, 1/4 cup pistachios, cheese, parsley, and mustard in shallow dish.
  3. Dip fish in milk and roll in crumb mixture; place in shallow greased baking dish.
  4. Drizzle with butter; sprinkle with remaining pistachios.
  5. Bake at 450°F allowing 10 minutes per inch of thickness measured at its thickest part or until fish flakes when tested with a fork.
Ralf's Pretty Good Pistachi Baked Fish (another of Jan's Bad Photos!)

Ralf’s Pretty Good Pistachi Baked Fish (another of Jan’s Bad Photos!)

Today (Friday 9th) we’re not fishing so I’m making tomato relish using those beautiful Carnarvon tomatoes once again.  Weather Willie told us it would be too windy to fish today, but it’s not really! We’re quickly losing faith in the Bureau of Meteorology  especially when the weather for Coral Bay comes from Learmonth 107kms away.  Learmonth is on the Gulf of Exmouth rather than the Ningaloo Reef too, so that makes it even worse.

I’m making a triple batch of a Maggie Beer recipe. She says to use her verjuice (of course) but it would cost me around $40 to do that so I’m using cider vinegar instead. I made one small batch using verjuice the first time I made it, but since then, have used the cider vinegar. To my mind it works a (cheap) treat.

The flavours of this relish are simple, but it’s one of my all time favourites and I make it often. I have to really love someone to give them a jar of it!

NB When I triple the recipe, I only double the salt!

Saffron Tomato Relish

  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 700 ml verjuice
  • 1 pinch saffron thread
  • 600 g ripe tomatoes, skinned (see the intro)
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
Saffron Tomato Relish-The Finished Product

Saffron Tomato Relish-The Finished Product

Method

  1. Place sugar and verjuice in a stainless steel saucepan and stir over a low heat until sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil over high heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until reduced and syrupy.
  2. Remove from the heat, add the saffron threads and leave to infuse for 5 minutes.
  3. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook for ten minutes or until softened.
  4. Add the tomatoes, verjuice, saffron syrup and cook over low heat for 1 1/2 -2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the syrup has reduced and thickened. Season with the salt and pepper.
  5. Immediately transfer to a sterilised 500ml jar and seal, then turn upside down to ensure lid is sterislised by the hot mixture.

Relish will keep in the refrigerator for a few months once opened or unopened in a cool place for up to a year

Squid

Spiced and Salted Squid with Wasabi Mayonnaise

Spiced and Salted Squid with Wasabi Mayonnaise

Much excitement at our place with the capture of three squid today. We did catch a small one the other day but these ones are big.

We don’t actively target squid, but will sometimes drop a jig over the side of the boat if we think we’re over likely squid territory and today we were. The first one I caught managed to get his revenge by covering me and the boat in ink, but I wised up after that and held the other two in the landing net until they’d finished squirting ink. It’s dreadful stuff and will stain the fishing clothes I was wearing today forever-like a badge of squidding honour.

Our squid jigs are attached to bits of flotation noodle (like nanas use at aerobics). At one stage I wasn’t taking any notice of mine and it suddenly went overboard. It was so funny to see three big squid attacking it at the surface rather than the jig but I caught one after we retrieved it from them. I’d say if you were a very keen squidder, there were heaps of them out there today but three is enough for us.

One squid will be used tonight for our entrée of spiced squid and wasabi mayonnaise, the other two will go into the freezer to be eaten at a later date and all their wings, heads and tentacles go into the bait bucket.

We also caught a few fish, but will freeze them and have a poached chicken and papaya salad for our mains tonight.  It was lovely. out there today, we saw heaps of turtles (maybe a dozen) two sharks (one I wouldn’t want to swim with ) and dolphins  as we fished.

Salted and Spiced Squid Rings with Wasabi Mayonnaise
Salt and Spice Mix

  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ¼ cup rock salt

Wasabi Mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Coles low fat whole egg)
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi paste (or to taste)
  • fresh squid rings
  • ¼ cup rice flour
Spiced and Salted Squid with Wasabi Mayonnaise

Spiced and Salted Squid with Wasabi Mayonnaise

Salt and Spice Mix

  1. Place the chilli flakes, cumin, fennel, coriander seeds and peppercorns in a small food processor or mortar and pestle. Grind until coarsely broken up.
  2. Add the salt and continue to grind until the salt and spices are finely ground.  That was too much for my little blender so I finished the mix with my mortar and pestle.
  3. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Wasabi Mayonnaise

  1. Mix the ingredients together and refrigerate until you serve the squid.

Squid 

  1. Toss the squid rings in the rice flour.
  2. Heat enough oil in a wok or deep pan to deep fry the squid rings a few at a time, cooking for about 2 minutes until golden and just cooked. Drain on absorbent paper.
  3. Sprinkle over the salt and spice mix and serve with Wasabi Mayonnaise.

Fishing today was fun until we lost a rod, reel, and rod holder!

Leggy Peggy's Chermoula on Spangled Emperor

Leggy Peggy’s Chermoula on Spangled Emperor

Nothing like the loss of some gear to put a bit of a dampener on things. We were up near the north passage for the first time and fishing quite happily when we decided to have our lunch. Russ popped a fairly good rod and reel into the rod holder and started to unwrap his sandwiches. Something took the bait, steel trace and hook, rod and reel and finally ripped the rod holder from the side of the boat. It was over the edge and gone in a millisecond! Russ nearly tipped US into the drink making a lunge for it all but to no avail. It’s not the loss that’s as annoying as the replacing of it. We’ll have to buy one in Exmouth and it’ll be more than we want to pay there.

We didn’t go out for long but managed to come home with 8 fish including one huge spangled emperor, two trevally and 5 Charlie Court Cod.

The spangled emperor  (or some of him) will be cooked tonight using my good friend Leggy Peggy’s Chermoula recipe. You can find it posted on food.com

Peggy Leggy’s Note:
Chermoula is a North African marinade, used especially for fish. It also makes a great dipping sauce or salad dressing. This recipe has plenty of tang and has been adapted from one by Julie Le Clerc. I use coriander (cilantro) rather than parsley and Lee Kum Kee’s Chili Garlic Sauce rather than a small red chili. I like the end product so much that I can eat it with a spoon. Yummo!

Chermoula

  • 1 bunch fresh coriander or 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander, ground
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, ground
  • 1 small red chili pepper, seeded (or 1 teaspoon of chili sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Leggy Peggy's Chermoula on Spangled Emperor

Leggy Peggy’s Chermoula on Spangled Emperor

Method

  1. Pound all ingredients together in a large mortar and pestle or buzz in a food processor. You want a rough-textured paste.

Note: I use all the coriander stems.

Chermoula will keep several days in the fridge.

We also had another food.com recipe posted by NurseJaney. Couscous with Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas) and Golden Raisins (Sultanas).

NurseJaney is from the US hence the different measurements and names of ingredients. I’m making this recipe for a swap game I participate in most months. In return, NurseJaney and two other team mates will make a recipe I have posted there.

Couscous with Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas) and Golden Raisins (Sultanas).

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons garlic oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup golden raisin
  • salt and pepper
Couscous with Garbanzos and Golden Raisins

Couscous with Garbanzos and Golden Raisins

Method

  1. Finely grate peel from lemon to equal 1 1/2 tsp., set aside. Squeeze 2 Tbsp. juice from lemon.
  2. Combine 2 cups water. lemon juice, garlic oil, and ground cinnamon in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in couscous.
  3. Cover and let stand about 5 minutes, until water almost absorbed.
  4. Mix in garbanzo beans, golden raisins, and reserved lemon peel. Cover and let stand 5 minutes longer.
  5. Fluff couscous with fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.

And lastly we had an eggplant salad. The eggplant, tomatoes, capsicum and spring onion all came from those stalls at the farm gates last Wednesday. The salad can also be found on food.com and was posted by Middle Eastern by Mag.

Lebanese Eggplant Salad – (Salatit El Batinjan)

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 cup diced fresh tomato
  • 1 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallion (or any kind of onions)
  • 1 garlic clove, mince
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, pepper to taste
Lebanese Eggplant Salad

Lebanese Eggplant Salad

Method

  1. Put the whole eggplant as is, (only cut and remove the stem from the top), on a baking sheet and bake it. You’ll notice when it’s done that the juice came out on the baking sheet and the skin is almost toasted and it becomes soft when you punch it with a knife.
  2. Let it cool for a bit then cut it in half and remove the skin; just cut it roughly into small/medium diced pieces and put it in the salad bowl, add any juices. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix the salad and serve.

This is good with pita bread on the side

Some days in Paradise are more perfect than others

Coral Bay

Coral Bay

Saturday 4th was one of those days. Sunny, warm a slight breeze, and the clearest water you could imagine. We packed our lunch of leg ham, tomato and rocket rolls. The ham is a new one and it’s delicious, the tomatoes from Carnarvon ripe, red and delicious.

We fished for 4 hours and came home with 11 fish (8 Charlie Court cod, 2 red throat emperors, 1 golden trevally) some of which we gave to Jules (the friend of friends in Warrnambool), a few packets were frozen, and the trevally pickled.

It was a beautiful day out on the water and we were able to travel a lot further down the reef to fish at Sandy point. On windy days crossing the gap in the reef where the big boats go out to the ocean can be a bit rough and dangerous for us, but it was fine yesterday. I was surprised how well we did fishing, because on still days when the water is clear, the fish can see us and usually don’t bite as much.

Near Sandy Point

Near Sandy Point

Sunday night we had Jules (from Warrnambool, and friends with our friends Evelyn and Ray) over to dinner for her last night here. Jules brought over a great home made dukah, truffle oil and crusty bread, Russ and I cooked slow roasted pork belly, roasted and steamed veg, and a zucchini parmesan using heaps of those Carnarvon tomatoes in a fresh tomato sauce I’d made the day before. What a lovely dinner and what a lovely lady to share it with.

Monday was another perfect day, so after doing our laundry, pickling some fish and lunch, we walked over to the beach for a swim and snorkel. The water was a bit cool for my liking, but I’ve done it now, so I’ll find it easier to get in next time.

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