Durban-style Fish and Potato #Samosas #crispy

Fish filled samosas are a great alternative to Mince and Pea Samosas.

This recipe teams white fish fillets with finely diced potato and herbs for a delicious light filling, that truly shines when dipped in a zesty mint, garlic and chilli sauce.

Fish and potato samosas with zesty lime dipping sauce

The crispy pastry, using spring roll pastry, which is substantially different to the thicker crusty version of Indian samosas is light and adds just the right amount of crunch to these delicious taste parcels.

Ensuring the triangles are firmly sealed with no “gaps” or “holes” to prevent the hot oil to be absorbed into the parcels, then shallow frying rather than deep frying makes for the least oily version possible.

These samosas freeze really well, so you can make ahead and impress guests when they arrive or have a stash to treat yourselves at your pleasing.

Prep time: 2 hours (including making filling) Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 -10 sheets spring roll pastry (thawed to room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 200 g white fish fillets such as flathead, diced into small chunks
  • 1 small potato diced finely
  • 1 onion very finely diced
  • handful of curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic and equal amount of ginger pounded to a paste
  • 1-2 small red chillies finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced coriander
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and then 1 cup of vegetable oil for shallow frying
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon and 2 pinches Salt
  • 1/2 cup or so of water
  • Handful of mint, coriander, 1 cloves garlic and 2 chillies
  • Juice of 1 lime and 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

Method

1. Boil finely diced potatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt until just tender, about 5 minutes

2. Heat oil in non-stick frying pan. Add mustard seed, fennel seeds and curry leaves and heat until fragrant.

3. Add onion and cook slowly until transparent.

4. Add ginger and garlic paste add mix through onions, then add fish, salt and white pepper and 1/4 cup water.

5. Simmer until water has totally evaporated and the fish is sealed, just turning white.

6. Remove from heat add potato, chilli and coriander and mix through, slightly break up potatoes and fish as you do, but do not mash. Taste to see if extra salt required.

7. Allow mixture to cool.

8. Mix flour in a small bowl with 3-4 tablespoons of water, adding slowly to create a thick flour “glue”.

9. Take 2 sheets of the spring roll pastry, keeping rest between dampened tea towel to avoid drying out. I have discovered that using a double layer of the pastry creates a more robust case and crispier casing for these samosas.

10. Place each sheet neatly aligned on top of each other, then cut into 3 even strips.

11. Starting at one end, place 1-1.5 teaspoons of mixture on the pastry and then turn pastry over to create a neat triangle. Ensure there are no gaps when you turn the pastry – use the glue to seal openings or gaps between the 2 sheets of pastry as you go. This will ensure the oil doesn’t enter the package when you fry it and make your samosas less oily.

Making fish and potato samosas with spring roll pastry

12. Repeat process until all mixture is used up. Makes about 12-15 samosas.

13. Samosas can be frozen at this point and shallow fried directly from the freezer when you require. They freeze really well.

14. Heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a small non-stick frying pan over high heat, add 3-4 samosas, allowing oil to come back to temperature, then lower heat to medium and cook until samosas are golden and filling is hot.

15. Finely dice mint, coriander, garlic and chilli – I used a mandolin. Place in a small bowl. Add healthy pinch of salt, add lime juice a dash of oil to create a zesty dipping sauce.

16.serve samosas with lime dipping sauce and other sauces as suits.

#Vietnamese inspired Stuffed Squid with spicy sauce #stuffedsquid

Vietnamese inspired braised stuffed squid with pork, noodle and prawn filling

I had some large frozen squid tubes so was googling around to see how to use them imaginatively.

Found inspiration in a range of Vietnamese stuffed squid recipes like this one Braised Stuffed Squid and Vietnamese Stuffed Calamari.

Didn’t have any dried mushrooms but did have frozen prawns so chopped them finely to add some texture to the stuffing.

Turned very well and made for an easy dinner. This dish would work well look great as part of a buffet spread as well. This recipe serves 2-3 served with rice but can be easily multiplied for larger groups.

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large squid tubes or 4 smaller tubes
  • 100g pork mince
  • 4 small prawns shelled, deveined, diced finely
  • 4 spring onions, finely diced and white and green parts kept seperately
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 20g cellophane/vermicelli noodles soaked in hot water until soft
  • 2-3 red chillies finely chopped (deseed for less heat)
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 ripe tomatoes diced
  • 2 teaspoons grated palm sugar or 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons or so of roughly chopped fresh mint and coriander
  • 1/2 fresh lime

Method:

1. Defrost frozen squid tubes and frozen prawns until completely thawed.

2. Soak noodles in bowl of hot water for 20 minutes or until softened. Drain. Cut into small pieces/short lengths.

3. Make pork stuffing, place minced pork in a seperate mixing bowl with ½ tsp salt and knead until smooth. Then garb small handfuls of the pork and slap or throw them against the sides of the bowl until tender and almost looks like a paste. Then add prawns, garlic, half the chopped chillies, half the chopped green part of the spring onions,1 teaspoon palm sugar or 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, noodles and combine well.

4. Stuff the squid tubes leaving some room at each end to allow mixture to expand. Make one or two small slits across the top of the squid tubes to allow air to escape. Secure ends with toothpicks and skewers.place in steamer over a pan of simmering water and cook for 15-20 minutes or until filling is firm and cooked and squid tubes are tender. (I steamed the leftover stuffing alongside the squid to not waste it)

5. Heat vegetable oil in frying pan, Then add tomatoes, rest of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, white part of spring onions, rest of the chillies, fish sauce and stir fry. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until tomatoes have softened. Remove the sauce from the pan to a seperate bowl.

6 Add squid to same frying pan without cleaning pan after removing the sauce. Cook, turning carefully, for 5 minutes or until squid is light golden amd covered in pan juices.

7. Slice squid into thickish rounds, spoon over remaining sauce from the bowl, garnish with chopped coriander and mint and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve with steamed rice or present on a platter on a bed of lettuce or watercress as part of a buffet or shared main.

Vietnamese inspired stuffed squid

Fabulous Japanese fusion #Kisume #Melbourne

Fine dining Japanese at its best. Wagyu Truffle Balls, Tuna Tataki, tempura kingfish, glazed tooth fish, deep fried Moreton bay bug in rice paper wrapped roll….imaginative and delicious Japanese fusion meal at Kisume in Flinders Lane in Melbourne this week. Highly recommended.

Clam and Scallop Chowder

Memories of our time in Boston when we enjoyed Clam Chowder and other delicious seafood …reviewed here Legal Seafood

The weather in Sydney and the purchase of a bag of Cloudy Bay Clams from St Peter’s Fish Butchery in Oxford St inspired me to try to recreate it at home. Not all seafood outlets sell clams in Sydney so you might need to shop around to get them. (Subject to lockdown orders of course!)

After trawling the internet for clam chowder recipes, I cobbled together a few ideas into this recipe which turned out to be delicious.

Watch out because it is more filling than you would expect with just clams, scallops and 1 potato. You won’t need much more than a small bowl, a salad and maybe a crispy bread roll. Leftovers the next day were good though! Recipe would be fine for starters for 3-4 people.

You can’t really go wrong with the combo of cream, white wine, butter and seafood!!

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 600g clam/Vongole in shells
  • 250g scallops chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 leek finely diced (white part only)
  • 1 stick celery finely diced
  • 1 bacon bone (ask butcher)
  • 4 slices bacon, rind removed and finely chopped
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 medium size waxy potato finely diced
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • black pepper
  • 2 cups of cream!
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Method

1. Put clams in large pot, add bacon bone, cover with water bring to boiled, then lower heat and put lid on for 10 minutes or so until clams open.

2. Meanwhile dice all ingredients and keep separately aside. the smaller you dice everything the more “delicate” the end product will be!

3. Remove bacon bone. Strain clams from stock through doubled up paper towel, reserving stock for chowder.

4. Allow clams to cool. Reserve Clam stock.

5. Rinse pot, add bacon and fry until fat renders and bacon is crisped but not brown. Add butter, diced leeks and diced celery. Cook slowly for 5 minutes until leek and celery soften, stirring to stop the mixture sticking.

6. Add potatoes, add the bacon bone back in, mix through, then add white wine to deglaze pan and allow to bubble away for 5 minutes until wine is reduced to about half, making sure potatoes don’t stick.

7. Add 2-3 cups of the clam stock to just cover potatoes, also the thyme and bay leaves and cover, simmering for 8-10 minutes until potatoes are cooked and tender. Add additional clam stock if required.

8. Remove clam meat from shells while mixture is simmering, throw away any unopened clams. Finely dice clam meat. Dice scallops if you haven’t done so as yet.

9. Remove bacon bone. Add clam meat and scallops to mixture, add cream and simmer for 5 minutes until mixture is well heated through. Fish out thyme and bay leaves.

10. Garnish with pepper and chopped parsley and serve.

Oriental Prawn Rice Pilaf

I’m not sure where this name came from but it has been in the family for many years. It is really a light rice pilaf dish. With mild Indian flavours, only a slight kick of chilli and the sweetness of the prawns, peas, carrots, it is an unusual but delicious combination.

Oriental Prawn Rice Pilaf

It’s a lovely accompaniment to grilled fish, like Spicy Salmon Fillets, or a meal in itself with a tangy Cucumber and Yoghurt Raita.

Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes Resting time: 15 minutes

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 500g green prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 1.5 cups of basmati rice
  • 1 medium carrot diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 5 medium size mushrooms diced into small pieces
  • 2 large onions sliced into thin rings
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder or masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 stick of cinnamon bark
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • handful of fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger(1/2 a fingers worth) and garlic (3 cloves)crushed
  • 2-4 green chillies chopped in large pieces (thirds)
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter for frying prawns
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying onions

METHOD:

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

2. Shell and devein prawns, I cut them in half if they are too large, then marinate prawns with chilli powder/masala.

3. Parboil rice with 5 cups of water with salt until half cooked about 8-10 minutes (stain par boiled rice and set aside…don’t forget it on the stove, while doing other prep, and overcook the rice!)

4. Dice carrots and mushrooms while rice is cooking. (check the rice and strain) Then par-cook the carrots covered with water in the microwave for 2 minutes on high.

5. Heat butter and 1/2 oil in a large casserole dish over medium heat , fry prawns in batches for 2-3 minutes until just sealed, do not cook them through as they will cook in the oven. Remove prawns, draining from oil and place aside.

Fry prawns in small batches for a few minutes only.

6. Add additional oil to leftover pot and add cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, curry leaves and heat gently. Add onions and cook gently until transparent.

7. Add cumin powder, turmeric, green chillies, ginger and garlic to opinion mixture and mix through onion mixture, stirring for 2–3 minutes.

8. Remove the pot from heat, then remove the onion mixture from the oil. (This seems illogical as you add them back in later, but it has something to do with the interaction between the parboiled rice and the oil that does make a difference to the finished dish)

9. Add rice, mushrooms, drained carrots, peas and mix evenly, coating mixture in the leftover oil/butter in the pot. Then add prawns and onion mixture and gently mix through again.

10. Drizzle a cup of water over the whole dish and place in oven for 45 minutes. Leave it to sit in the pot to rest for 15 minutes or longer before serving.

Oriental Prawn Rice Pilaf with Grilled Salmon and Tarka Dhal

Three Chilli Seafood Curry

The combination of dried chillies, whole red chillies and chilli powder makes this curry sound fiercely hot, but it’s not unless you eat the while chillies.

It’s actually a great way to cater for all levels of spice lovers, because the curry itself is quite mild – but the chillies are there for the hot heads as well who want to eat them!

A quick and easy mixed seafood curry to spice up your weeknight dinner line up.

You do need a well stocked Indian Spice cupboard though so check the ingredients..although the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves are optional, but they an extra layer of add deliciousness if you have them.

Ingredients:

  • 200g flathead or white fish fillets cut into pieces
  • 100g squid rings
  • 6 medium size green prawns
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 4 dried chillies left whole
  • 2 red chillies stem cut off but left whole
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds(optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Handful of curry leaves(optional)
  • 1.5 tablespoons tamarind pulp or 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
  • 100g plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Coriander and diced red onion for garnish

Method:

1. Heat oil in heavy based saucepan with lid.

2. Add fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds if using, dried chillies and heat through until just fragrant. Be careful not to burn.

3. Add onions , red chillies and curry leaves and cook gently until onions are translucent.

4. Add ginger, garlic, chilli powder, turmeric and cumin powder and mix through until fragrant.

5. Add seafood, scatter over salt, and mix through to cover in spices. Add tamarind pulp, yoghurt and 1/2 cup of water and bring to a simmer.

6. Simmer gently with lid on for 8-10 minutes or until fish is just cooked through.

7. Check that tamarind has disintegrated and remove any chunks if necessary.

8. Garnish with coriander and diced red onion and serve with plain rice and a cucumber raaita.