Tag Archives: Fishing

Pickled Fish, Potato and Beetroot Salad

Pickled Fish, Potato and Beetroot Salad

Pickled Fish, Potato and Beetroot Salad

It was a windy morning, so after a luxury breakfast of perfectly ripe Carnarvon avocado and tomatoes on toast, I suggested to Russ we head out for a drive. I wanted to take some photos so he packed a rod and a few prawns to fish for whiting off the beach. I hate fishing off the beach for some reason, much preferring to be out on the water in any sized boat. As it turned out, I had more success with my photos than Russ did with his fishing lol.

We got in late for lunch so I decided it was the right day to make a Pickled Fish, Potato and Beetroot salad I’ve been planning to do for a while. I saw a recipe recently for something similar using rollmops and thought it’d be work with our home done stuff. The recipe I saw used green apple and dill leaves-I had neither so used an original dill pickle instead-giving me a bit of crunch and a subtle dill flavour. We pickle our own fish, so I have no idea what the weight of the fish I used was. I used a 340g salsa jar of it for the two of us. With us being late home, I used tinned potatoes-normally I would cook my own, but the tinned were fine.

After lunch we went fishing out the front amongst the moored fishing boats. Yesterday we caught at least 40 undersized pink snapper (about 6 were getting close) there, today I didn’t lose a bait!

Pickled Fish, Potato and Beetroot Salad

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fish pickling juice
  • 2 potatoes, diced, cooked, cooled (or cheat and use canned baby potatoes)
  • Pickled fish, enough for two, cut into bite sized pieces (that’s how we pickle ours)
  • 1 400g can baby beets, rinsed, quartered
  • 1 small red onion, sliced fine, or use some of the onion you pickled the fish with
  • 1 dill pickle (not a gherkin) diced fairly small
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or dill leaves
Pickled Fish, Potato and Beetroot Salad

Pickled Fish, Potato and Beetroot Salad

Method

  1. Combine the sour cream, yoghurt, horseradish, lemon juice, salt and pepper and enough pickling juice to thin the dressing a little.
  2. Mix the remaining ingredients gently together in a bowl, fold through the dressing and serve.

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Deja Vu

Gums at Chinaman's Pool

Gums at Chinaman’s Pool

On April 20th 2013, we left home intending to be back by November 2013 (for my son Mick’s 30th birthday). We flew home and then came back to Perth as by then, we’d let our house to our good friends and former neighbours Ben and Tomoko. They are living in our house until their new one is built, so we have agreed to keep travelling until it is. It doesn’t look like that’ll be any time soon, so for now, we are up north of Perth for 11 weeks, and after that, we fly to the UK for 10 weeks. In October 2014, we’ll finally head to Victoria, basing ourselves at son Daniels’ place and continue to travel.

Today, and for the next 4 weeks, we are in Coral Bay. It’s a bit of Deja Vu isn’t it?! It certainly is for us as we’ve been this way so often now.

We left Perth on Wednesday morning after saying goodbye to Leah and Cosmo and our home base for the past 8 months, and to Deb and Harry (who will more than likely have forgotten us when we see him again in 11 weeks). Todd and Blair were at work so we’d said our goodbyes to them!

Wednesday night was spent in Port Dennison at the Big 4 caravan Park we’ve often stayed at, then Thursday, we had a big drive (for us) to Carnarvon where we spent two nights.

We’d given ourselves a full day in Carnarvon so we could pull everything out of the cupboards, drawers and from under bed and seats so we could take stock of it all, then shop. I told Russ I was going to be much more sensible this time around at the plantations as I always come away with WAY too much fresh produce then have to work hard to use it all while it is still fresh. It’s actually quite stressful.

Capsicums, Bananas and a Few Mangoes

Capsicums, Bananas and a Few Mangoes

Anyway, it was a good plan but it didn’t happen! The minute we saw all those wonderful fresh goodies, we went nuts. Big fat glossy eggplants (yes please), crisp zuccs (of course) capsicums (they were growing in the paddock beside the shop), the first of the tomatoes (4 bags if I can’t have a box), bananas, limes, green papaya, snake beans, herbs, a whole pumpkin, corn, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, rocket……… and once again, the problem of using them all at their best.

Green Papaya Salad and Garlic Prawns

Green Papaya Salad and Garlic Prawns

The day we bought all the fresh veg, Russ cooked us a leg of lamb and roast veg, Last night, I made us a fantastic (even the cook says so) green papaya salad topped with garlic prawns, tonight I’m making my most favourite Carnarvon dish-ratatouille to have along side a pot roast of beef that’s simmering gently on the stove outside. That’s about 1/4 of the fruit and veg gone!

In Carnarvon, we also found time to finally go visit the Space Museum (home to the big satellite dish that dominates the landscape) and Chinaman’s Pool on the Gascoyne river. I’s a really pretty spot and it’s the first time I’ve seen water flowing on the surface of the river (it flows under the sand for most of the year). The Space Museum was an odd collection of objects and photos and an awful lot of written information. I came away know Buzz Aldren visited Carnarvon and the dish, and that the Carnarvon site monitored the health of astronauts during the Apollo missions.

The Dish

The Dish

It’s nice to see that repairs to the huge floods in 2010 are almost complete-Service (gas) stations) have been built, roads repaired, plantation fencing and topsoil replaced and levee banks and channels made to stop future flooding (they hope).

Yesterday we drove the last 240ks to Coral Bay. As I was driving here, I hit a wedge tail eagle. I slowed right down when I first saw him feasting on a dead roo, and started blasting on my horn. The greedy bugger just stayed on his meal until I was about 50 metres away. By then I was doing about 20kph and he flew off to my left. THEN he veered back to my right and slammed into my side of the windscreen. I’m so glad our chipped windscreen didn’t break. He flew off a bit wonkily, so I drove off a bit wonkily, both of us a bit stunned and relieved it was over I reckon

Most of you that have followed this and my other blog know that Coral Bay is one of my favourite places in Australia. The caravan park is huge, it’s often crowded, we bathe in salty bore water and have to carry in drinking water, but the bakery is great, so’s happy hour at the pub (the view from the pub is pretty nice too), the winter weather is fantastic, and when we get out on the water fishing all the bad things are forgotten and forgiven.

We had intended to stay here for 3 weeks but arrived, walked into the office, looked at each other and asked to extend a week more. So now we have 4 glorious weeks here to fish, snorkel and swim.

A Happy Man Making Up His Boat Trailer

A Happy Man Making Up His Boat Trailer

Today we went fishing for the first time in 5 months, and I’m pleased to report (gloat) I caught the first fish-a pretty small flounder which is a first in itself-we’ve never caught one here. We caught heaps of just undersized spangled emperor, a few Charlie Court cod and four really good sized golden trevally which are just the thing for smoking and pickling. I have already pickled my share, just waiting for Russ to smoke his. We had a pretty big shark (not one I’d like to meet snorkelling) circle the boat today, saw a couple of dolphins and caught a huge variety of other fish. It was so good to be back doing what we both enjoy so much.

The weather for the next week looks like more of the same as we had today (around 28c with very little wind) so I imagine it will be a week of fishing and finding ways to use all our fresh veg for us.

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MIA

A portion of Nornalup Inlet

A portion of Nornalup Inlet

With nice weather promised today (and not so nice tomorrow) we headed out to do our usual fishing and crabbing on the inlet this morning.

Nice morning at the boat ramp

Nice morning at the boat ramp

It all looked fine as we crossed the water to the spot we planned to try out, so Russ started baiting up the nets while we drifted along gently, and I fished. There were a few threatening looking clouds to the south but we kept going. By the time we’d dropped the last net, the wind had really risen and the water was a mass of white capped waves. We abandoned the last two nets we’d dropped and attempted to retrieve the first four. We got three of them before we made it, soaking wet, to a sheltered place around the corner. We decided to sit and fish and wait out the wind before we tried to either get our nets, or head home.

After about an hour fishing, we headed back out and got one more net before being forced to turn around and go home. We managed to catch some really nice King George whiting, a tarwine and a tommy ruff while we waited for that hour so that was pretty pleasing.We were well entertained by a couple of very bold pelicans as we sat there too.

We threw one a fish, two minutes later we had two

We threw one a fish, two minutes later we had two

After a big, steaming bowl of my homemade lamb and pearl barley soup, Russ put the boat in to go retrieve the last two nets but when he got there, they were gone.

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Seafood Pie

Seafood Pie

Seafood Pie

Although it still seemed fairly windy here in the park today, Russ took a drive to the boat launching facility and came back to tell me it’d be fine to go fishing. We went out at 1.15pm and came in at 4.15 pm with 6 fish. It really was much better than just sitting in the van here playing computer games!

We caught 5 red throat emperor and one stripy sea perch-they’re not as good eating as the emperor, so we decided to make a seafood pie. We had 8 Karumba prawns left of the 5kg box we bought there, and some smoked salmon I froze a while back when I decided the packet was too big to use all in a pasta dish I was making. All these bits went to make a lovely fish pie based loosely on a Jamie Oliver recipe I saw him make once on TV.

Seafood Pie

  • 400 g potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 300 g seafood (your choice)
  • 1 (310 g) can whole corn kernels, drained (we used a fresh corn cob)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted,drained
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
Seafood Pie

Seafood Pie

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 190c.
  2. Cut up the potatoes, and boil in lightly salted water until tender; drain, add the sour cream, mash until smooth, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan, and saute the chopped onion until soft-about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the flour and cook over low heat about 2 minutes before adding the milk and wine. Bring to the boil and stir until thickened.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the seafood, corn, peas, capers, lemon juice, dill, parsley and salt and pepper. Mix well, then fold the egg quarters through very gently.
  6. Pour into two two cup ramekins, top with the mashed potatoes, then sprinkle over the grated cheese.
  7. Cook until bubbling hot and well browned on top.

Note we used raw seafood, so cooked the pies until they reached 70c internally, then turned the oven off and let them sit whilst our side of broccoli cooked.

4 WDing for dummies

Sign

Sign

It never ceases to amaze me when I see old photos of vintage cars with their inadequate tyres and shockers, suspension and bodies,  sitting at the Jaws of Death in the Grampians, up in the blue Mountains, or somewhere in the very harsh outback.  We really get to do it in relative comfort these days. I always remember my good friend Henry telling me if you let enough air out of the tyres of a company car, it became a 4WD!

Coastal daisies with Ningaloo reef breaking in the background

Coastal daisies with Ningaloo reef breaking in the background

Our 4 WDing skills are similar to our fishing ones-we don’t pretend to be good, but we do enjoy it.  It’s allowed us to see things we’d have had to give a miss if we’d done these caravanning trips with a regular sedan. We’ve been on the Gibb River Road, driven out to the Bungle Bungles, we saw Australia (the movie) being filmed out of Wyndham along the Karunjie Track. Mostly though, we just like to get on to the remoter parts of beaches and fish, or get out of town and look for wild flowers.

Usually, we only drive as far as the person who thought it would be a good idea to go, is prepared to walk back for help if it wasn’t a good idea. So far, I’m happy to report we’ve managed to extricate ourselves out of what little trouble we’ve gotten into, apart from an incident on the beach at Perlubie near Streaky Bay SA last year.

Russ decided the beach we were launching our boat on was as solid as a highway, so didn’t let any air out of the tyres and didn’t engage 4WD (although I had suggested both would be a good idea). Once we got into the actual water and stopped, the big heavy Nissan and boat trailer just sank into the sand and refused to move until we found a man with a tractor to tow us out. The tide was on the rise, so by the time he arrived, we had salt water up to the seats in the cab. Needless to say, “Not Happy Jan” and no fishing done that day! Russ has learned however, the importance of being proactive, rather than reactive when it comes to 4WDing.

4WDing at Maud's Landing

4WDing at Maud’s Landing

The last couple of days with the wind up, we’ve taken two drives. The first one was out to Maud’s landing and along the beach. After our drive, we went for a long walk, then had sunset drinks. We had our part of the beach all to ourselves.

Yesterday, we went out to Five Finger Reef where Russ did a bit of (unsuccessful) beach fishing and I went hunting for wild flowers to take photos of. Once again we had our part of the beach all to ourselves. In a place with maybe

Good Fun!

Good Fun!

2000 people  staying on any one night it’s still so easy to find a place of your own!

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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.