Tag Archives: Fish

Spangled Emperor baked in tomato, olive, caper sauce.

Spangled Emperor baked in tomato, olive, caper sauce
Our Carnarvon tomatoes bought two weeks ago are well ripened and needing to be used. Yesterday, I took a kilo of the ripest and made a simple tomato sauce with them with the idea of baking some meaty fish fillets in it. I decided (after reading a Jamie Oliver recipe on line) some olives and capers would be a good inclusion along with the last of a bunch of basil also bought in Carnarvon.

We went over to Monkey Mia at 1pm today to crab for a couple of hours (came home with 10) so it was nice to know dinner was basically organised. The sun was just starting to set when we got home, so I grabbed the chance to try out a new lens I got for my camera the other day. I was really impressed with one of my photos-it shows a pile of salt in the background-that salt is about 20ks away across the bay!

Useless loop and that pile of salt are about 20ks away

Useless loop and that pile of salt are about 20ks away

Spangled Emperor Baked in Tomato, Olive, Caper Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced (I had to use a red one)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1kg tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
  • large pinch mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Small handful basil leaves, torn
  • Handful of black olives-smash lightly with the flat of a knife and remove stone
  • 1 tablespoon capers.
  • Firm white fish fillets-enough for two (sauce could stretch to feed 4)
  • Spray oil
  • Cooked pasta or rice (I used risonni because I love it)
  • Chopped Parsley and lemon or lime to serve
Spangled Emperor in the pan

Spangled Emperor in the pan

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 190c.
  2. Heat the oil add the onion and garlic and cook over a gentle heat until well softened.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, white wine, stock powder, mixed spice and brown sugar, cook over a gentle heat until the tomatoes have broken down and you have a thickish sauce.
  4. Add the olives and capers, then pop the fish in on top of the sauce. Spray with the oil.
  5. Place in a preheated oven and cook for about 5 mins or until cooked through.
  6. Serve over pasta or rice with the parsley scattered over and lemon or lime on the side.

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Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

I’d heard of fish tacos, but never taken much notice until I googled them and thought we might actually enjoy them. Next I asked a group I belong to on FB for their opinions on what made a good fish taco, took the bits I liked the best and came up with my own tonight.
I made the salsa, sauce and cabbage, Russ panko-crumbed our fish. With the accompaniments organised, Russ fried the tortillas and kept them warm, then cooked the fish. We each assembled our own tacos. Mega yummy food!

Fish Tacos

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill leaves (dried)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • Fish fillets, enough for two
  • 4 white corn tortillas
  • oil
  • finely shredded cabbage to serve

Salsa

  • 1 large tomato, diced small
  • 1 small avocado, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • salt to taste
Accompaniments

Accompaniments

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use light egg)
  • 1/2 cup natural yoghurt (I use low fat Greek style)
  • juice half a lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 chilli (jalapeno if you have it), minced 

Method

  1. Prepare the sauce mixing all the ingredients together.
  2. Shred the cabbage.
  3. Make the salsa mixing all the ingredients together.
  4. Mix the flour, spices and salt and pepper, put in a bag and add the fish fillets toss to coat.
  5. Dip the fillets in the egg, then coat each fillet lightly in the panko crumbs.
  6. Heat the oil in a pan, fry each tortilla until they bubble, remove and keep warm in a tea towel while you cook the rest.
  7. Fry the fish fillets until golden and cooked through.

Assemble
Break a fish fillet into biggish bits,top with salsa, then cabbage and lastly sauce.

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

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.

Dugong Encounter

Lemon Butter Fish over Crushed Peas

Lemon Butter Fish over Crushed Peas

Today, we had an amazing afternoon of fishing-not for the fish caught but for the things we saw, including a huge turtle that swam right under us, a huge octopus that chased a fish we’d hooked up to the boat, a dugong right by the boat, and a dickhead boat operator towing a water skier right by where we were fishing.

We see a lot of turtles, but the water clarity was good, we were in quite shallow and the turtle was big so it was a good sighting. Even two turtle-jaded people like us were impressed!

It is the first time an octopus has ever chased up a hooked fish-squid and other fish and sharks do it but we’ve never had an octopus do it. He was big too.

Not long after that, Russ told me he’d seen a dugong. I thought “oh yeah, bet it was a turtle or dolphin” as we rarely see dugongs in Coral Bay. We see many more in Shark Bay where around 10,000 supposedly live, feeding on the sea grass beds there. Anyhow he turned away and I spotted a big tail flicking out of the water as the dugong dived to feed. Then he was up again and resting on the water surface so we could see all his broad back and blunt snout revealed. he stayed by the boat for about 20 minutes feeding occasionally before he swam lazily away. Quite amazing and another free experience had from our tinny!

The water skier was a less pleasant encounter. The boat was several kilometres out of the ski zone, they had no spotter, the skier had no life vest, and they were skiing in 3 metres of rough water over coral. Talk about fools and if anything had happened, I feel we’d have been obligated to go help the idiots, mush as I’d have preferred not to.

As far as the fishing went, we caught a couple of feeds which are now tucked away in the freezer, so that was OK too.

Dinner tonight was a spangled emperor I caught yesterday. Russ reckons this one can be repeated at a later date! I reckon the pea puree would be great with a little mint added and served beside roast lamb.

Lemon Butter Fish Over Crushed Peas

  • Spray oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • white fish fillets, enough for two people
  • 2 green onion, ends trimmed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into 2 pieces
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
  • Lemon wedges (optional), to serve

Peas

  • 3/4 cup hot chicken stock
  • 300g frozen baby peas
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Before Cooking

Before Cooking

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Line 2 pieces of foil with same sized baking paper. Spray with the spray oil. Rub the lemon rind and lemon juice over the fish.
  2. Divide the fish among the foil pieces. Top with green onions, capers and butter, season with salt and pepper. Fold the foil to seal. Place on a large baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until cooked to 65c when checked with a thermometre.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the pea puree, bring the stock, peas and onion to the boil in a medium saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving the stock.
  4. Return the peas to the pan. Add the butter and use a stick blender to process, adding a little of the reserved stock if necessary, until a coarse puree forms. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Divide the pea mix among serving plates. Top with the fish and drizzle over the juices. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
Lemon Butter Fish over Crushed Peas

Lemon Butter Fish over Crushed Peas

Amusing ourselves on windy days

We think this one is a verticordia

We think this one is a verticordia

Too windy to fish again yesterday, we decided on an afternoon drive out to Mt Frankland and a short walk to the summit.

After breakfast and before our drive, Russ had a go at making us a loaf of caraway rye bread for our lunch. It was a great success and yummy as open sandwiches of leg ham, avocado, tomato, cheddar cheese and red onion.

Mt Frankland is about 30ks from Walpole through big trees, farmland and along sealed and unsealed roads. The term “mountain” is used loosely-we were gradually climbing the whole way as we drove to the car park, then it was a 1.2 km return walk to the granite rock summit. The last 200 metres was a steep walk up (then down) over 300 steps and two near vertical ladders. All well worth it though as it gave stunning views of what’s known as the Walpole Wilderness-over 300,000 hectares of often untouched bush land.

Brown Tree Creeper

Brown Tree Creeper

At the car park, we got out of the car to the most beautiful bird calling somewhere nearby. It sounded like a bell. I looked down to see a little brown bird right at my feet making all the noise. At home we looked him up in our bird book and found he was a Brown Tree Creeper. We saw some climbing the trunks of trees looking like little woodpeckers and quite a few on the ground where they apparently spend quite a bit of time. They certainly weren’t shy.

After the walk to the summit, we took a 600 metre return walk to the Wilderness Lookout. It was a magnificent steel structure through the tree tops at the base of Little Mt Frankland (a smaller granite rock), for more views of the wilderness. We had this whole place with it’s huge information shelter, bbqs and amenities all to ourselves to enjoy.

Walking to the summit alongside Mt frankland

Walking to the summit alongside Mt frankland

Off home, we decided to take an alternate route down Copeland Rd as we’d seen both ends of it on our drive out. The word “road” was also a loose term with it not much more than a goat track in places. We had branches scraping the sides of the car and whipping the windscreen for most of the 12 ks.

Russ's Smoked Fish Pie

Russ’s Smoked Fish Pie

Last night Russ cooked us a delicious and warming smoked fish pie, using our own smoked fish. It was a great finish to a great day out.

This morning, we toasted the remaining rye and caraway bread and topped it with Donnybrook tomatoes and avocado for our breakfast.

Peaceful Bay

Peaceful Bay


After lunch (it was still too windy to fish) we took a drive to Conspicuous Cliff and Peaceful Bay. The beach at Conspicuous Cliff was deserted apart from us and another couple and really beautiful. Peaceful Bay is a tiny town consisting of several streets (First to Fourth Street and and the grandly named dirt Central Avenue), a caravan park and shop/office, fire brigade and emergency services shed. The fibro holiday shacks all have names like digabringabeeralong, sootz us, peace and quiet, the love shack, this’ll do, etc.

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Doing what we love doing the most.

Crab Bruschetta

Crab Bruschetta

Janette and David left us Sunday morning and flew back to Melbourne after a night in Bunbury. It was a great visit and we really appreciate the fact they made such a big effort to come see us and spend some time together. It’s just a pity the weather was not so nice. I laughed when David christened Walpole Yowie country, but that’s what it felt like in the misty rain that seemed to fall for most of their visit. We still managed to do quite a bit of sight seeing and ate well over the week.

Monday we fished and caught enough to pickle a big jar full, and smoke some too. I’m always happy when I have pickled fish in the fridge as it’s now one of my all time favourite foods to snack on.

On Tuesday, Russ and I drove to Perth so I could see the dentist at 10 am on the Wednesday. I broke a tooth while we were over in Victoria but got it smoothed over until I could see our dentist over here. The Victorian dentist recommended crowning the tooth, so I booked two appointments accordingly. However, when I saw my dentist (To Tam Nguyen at Osborne Dental Clinic) she recommended I have a filling instead and promise never to eat pork crackle again!. That recommendation saved us around $1300 and a second visit to her. Funny, between talking about Vietnam to her, holidays in general with the office manager Janelle, and chatting to Petra the Dutch dental nurse, I’ve decided I love going to the dentist. We spent Tuesday night with Blair and Leah and enjoyed a great dinner out at a local Cambodian restaurant Tamarind (one of our favourite cheap and cheerful places to eat in Perth).

We drove back to Yowie country after my appointment, stopping to buy avocados, pumpkin and tomatoes at farm gates, then did our grocery shopping at Manjimups’ very, very new Woolworths. I love new supermarkets-they are always stocked to maximum capacity in the first few weeks and therefore full of specials. We walked away with quite a few!

Today, we decided to go and fish. Once again we came home with plenty of pickling and smoking fish (love to have the next lot in the fridge) a big feed of flat head (Russ caught the biggest he’s ever caught today) and he caught a huge blue swimmer crab on his fishing line so there was much joy over that! We’ve been here 6 times in 8 years and in the early years, we were told that there used to be crabs in the inlet but they’d been long “gone”. Read “over fished” here!

We arrived here this time to have our neighbour tell us the crabs are back, and they are BIG. Sure are. We came in at lunch time, then headed out with our crab nets. Sadly we caught a female with eggs, so released her and another I couldn’t be bothered cooking and picking. All our baits had been mauled, a couple went missing and one bait holder got ripped right out of the net, so they are there. It’s just a matter of time before we catch some (I hope). We have 18 more days here to do what we love doing the most-fishing and crabbing.

Tonight I’m making crab bruschetta with the first crab we’ve actually caught in 2 1/2 years.

Crab Bruschetta

  • 1 large crab, cooked and picked (ours was a blue swimmer crab)
  • 2 tablespoons whole egg mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • few drops Tabasco
  • 4 slices sour dough bread (ours was olive and rosemary), brushed with olive oil and grilled
Crab Bruschetta

Crab Bruschetta

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients (except the toasted bread) together.
  2. Divide between the slices of toast, then pop under the griller and til heated through and golden brown.

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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