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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Seafood Platter

Last night we had a veritable feast!  I decided that we would have a seafood platter.  I have been wanting to try out the Ginger Chilli Shallot sauce that Peter Kuruvita made on MasterChef for a while, so I decided to incorporate it into a platter.  This was to be a seafood platter with a twist though - nothing fried!

So how did I do it?  Well we certainly had crumbed fish and calamari - but I baked it all!!

First of all a trip to my local fish shop was in order.  Here I was given a biology lesson - shown the difference between female and male blue swimmer crabs, and told that the females have the better flavour!!  You need to look on the underside.  The females have a rounded section, and the males a triangular section.  Thanks Irene!  I had them cut the crab into 4 pieces for me.

Irene also advised me to get the sashimi grade of calamari as it was so tender that it needed very little, if any cooking.  The only problem here was that I had the clean it myself!!

It wasn't that hard, just a little messy.  First pull the head and tentacles from the main body.  Cut the tentacles from the head, just below the eyes.  You can eat the tentacles! At the top of the main body (inside) there is a hard clear long piece of cartilage, gently pull from the body.  Wash out the tube, make sure you have all the "innards" out.   If the squid has a spotted membrane type skin, pull it off.  Dry well with paper towels.

Cut into either strips, or rings.

Enough of that - onto the recipes!

The Calamari I cut into strips and crumbed it with panko crumbs.  Panko crumbs are available at Asian Grocery stores.  The beauty of these crumbs is that they are already quite crunchy so they need little cooking.  I crumbed the usual way, seasoned flour, egg wash, then the panko crumbs.

Lay the crumbed calamari onto a baking tray that that been lined with baking paper and sprayed with garlic olive oil spray.  Spray the crumbed calamari with the garlic spray.

The fish I used was Basa (a type of cod) but any firm fish will do.  I cut it into finger shaped pieces and crumbed it in a mixture of the panko crumbs and crushed cornflakes.  Crumbed and sprayed as above.

The fish I cooked at 220C for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.  The calamari was 5-10 minutes.

To accompany the fish and calamari I made the following Tartare Sauce.

Tartare Sauce

1/2 cup whole egg mayonnaise (I used Praise Whole Egg, Light Mayonnaise)
2 tbs greek style yoghurt
1 tbs capers, rinsed, finely chopped
4 cornichons, finely chopped (baby cucumbers)
1 tsp finely chopped dill
1 tsp finely chopped chives

Combine all ingredients in a bowl - season to taste with salt and pepper.

Now onto the piece de resistance!!

Ginger Chilli Shallot Sauce

3 long red chillis, tops removed, cut in half
3 cloves garlic
3 knobs of ginger, skin removed, roughly chopped (a knob is the size of your thumb)
bunch of coriander, including roots, washed, roughly chopped
2 shallots (green onions) roughly chopped
300ml light soy sauce
300ml mirin
250ml sweet chilli sauce
125ml white wine
100ml sesame oil

Place all the ingredients in a food processor, process until all ingredients are finely chopped.

This sauce will keep for 3-6 weeks in the fridge.

I used this sauce with green prawns and the blue swimmer crab.  It is also good with chicken.

I put the crab pieces in a large frypan and poured over a liberal amount of the sauce.  Put the lid on the frypan and let simmer for approximately 2 minutes, or until the crab starts to change colour.  I then added my peeled green prawns and cooked for a further 2 minutes, or until the prawns changed colour.  Serve immediately!

What a feast!  So how's that for a healthy seafood platter??  What about the fries?  Well we had oven fries - the kind with the beer batter are the crunchiest!!!

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