Our Home Cook, Molly Ward takes on Eugene Burgo, Executive Chef of Mures Upper Deck, Hobart Tasmania.
If you’re thinking Easter seafood, why not tackle a whole fish for oven-to-table dramatic effect and a delicious Sunday lunch.
Food Miles: Whole fish — what’s the attraction?
Home Cook, Molly Ward: I love whole fish. Baked, deep-fried, chargrilled. It is one of the quickest, simplest and most nutritious ways to prepare a meal and what’s more, depending on the size of the fish, you can feed hordes of people. Be sure to strike up a good relationship with your local fishmonger because, believe me, they will be doing all the work.
Baked Fish Moroccan Style
Serves 4-6 people
Prep: 15 mins
¼ cup of olive oil
1 onion finely sliced
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1.2kg whole fish scaled, gutted and cleaned (I use snapper)
½ teaspoon of paprika
½ teaspoon of fennel seeds (crushed)
1 tablespoon of harissa
1 teaspoon of cumin
2 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
60g tomato paste
80mls fish stock
2 quarters of preserved lemon rind thin strips (extra for garnish)
4 vine ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Big bunch of fresh coriander
Heat oil in large frying pan and add the onion, garlic for 2 minutes then add the paprika, cumin, ginger, chilli, and fennel seeds, sauté for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, harissa, fish stock and olives (optional). Gently simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from stovetop and set aside.
To prepare the whole fish, score three to four diagonal cuts into the thickest part of the fish. Place in a large baking dish with a layer of baking paper and top with the spicy tomato sauce. Cover tightly with foil. Bake in the oven for 15-20mins at 230 degrees until cooked.
Serve on a large platter or breadboard and garnish with the fresh coriander and extra preserved lemon strips.
Serve with buttery couscous.
We teamed this dish with a Barossa Valley Rosé from Turkey Flat for an elegant and relaxed weekend lunch for six.