Tag Archives: cooking

The Fish Shop

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Being an East Coast girl, when I heard Potts Point had a new restaurant that was claiming to be a Cape Cod/Hamptons style fish shop, I had to go check it out.

I’ve never had better fish and chips than the ones I’ve had in Australia, so a restaurant that was trying to create American fish and chips sounded a little fishy.

But it turned out to be pretty good.

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I’d read a review in the SMH saying the decor and theme had gone a little too far and was even entering the land of tacky.

And not just because there were too many tackle boxes.

Couldn’t help myself.

But when I ventured over to Potts Point to check out the quaint little fish shack, I was pleasantly surprised. The place was packed but very inviting and very friendly. The hostess was honestly one of the nicest I have come across and continually checked up on us while we were waiting in the bar for a table. The place is incredibly decked out with fish and fishing gear and oceany puns galore. Even the bathrooms are labelled “Buoys” and “Gulls.” Ingenious.

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It was very lively inside, the waiters are dressed in pirate-esque striped shirts and the food was delicious.

They’ve got a rotating list of specials each night and from my own experience and everything that I’ve heard, you should usually try at least one of them out.

We opted for the mussels, which were bathed in a delicious white wine sauce with roasted tomatoes, a bit of chilli and topped with a few slices of crusty bread.

For our main we split the Fisherman’s Basket which was very good. Honestly, it doesn’t quite compare to some of the fish and chips I’ve had here, one of my favourite places is a little shack in Perth where it’s wrapped up in the day’s newspaper and you can sit right by the water enjoying the fresh, amazing taste as the oil seeps through the paper and you make a mess of yourself trying to finish every last crumb.

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But it was still very good. The basket came with pieces of blue eyed cod, cuttlefish, oysters and crispy chips. We were full after the two courses but the meals at The Fish Shop aren’t as big as your local chicken shop. The prices are cheap but the portions are small.

The cocktails looked like they were on the tiny side as well so we stayed away from those and had our meal with some crisp sauvignon blanc. Maybe they’re incredibly tasty, but I couldn’t justify the price for the size.

All in all, I was very satisfied with this little slice of the American East Coast nestled in Potts Point, they do their fish well and they show you a good time. Highly recommended.

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The Fish Shop

Monday – Saturday
Kitchen, 12pm – 11pm
Bar, 12pm – late
Sunday
Kitchen, 12pm – 9pm
Bar, 12pm – 10pm

22 Challis Avenue
Potts Point, 2011

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Seared tuna with greens and coconut rice

Jamie Oliver is a maniac in the kitchen. Probably out of the kitchen as well  based on his Instagram posts. I’ve often shied away from Jamie Oliver recipes simply due to the amount of ingredients he uses. Even in his new book 15 Minute Meals he’s got about two pages at the beginning of the book with a pretty extensive list of things you should have in your pantry. Things like kaffir lime leaves and plenty of herbs and spices I’m not very familiar with. Despite his flair for throwing in everything but the kitchen sink, he does come up with some good simple recipes every once in a while and I really think this is one of them. While it is a 15 minute meal in Jamie’s world, it was more of a 40 minute meal in our world, with two people cooking, but I think now that we’ve gotten the hang of it we could make it much more quickly. The jiggy greens (his words, not mine) and rice are brilliant ideas as well and we’ve made those side dishes since to accompany things like dumplings. All you have to do with the rice is take a 270ml can of coconut milk, pour that into a pot, then fill the empty can with boiling water, add that to the pot and then fill the can again with basmati rice and add that to the pot. Then bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, it’s been perfect every time and it’s really quite tasty. The tuna is a bit more temperamental because it doesn’t need to cook for long. If you find yourself thinking about whether it has been on for too long, it’s already done, it’s just a quick sear and you’re good to go. While this may be more of a weekend dinner due to all the steps, it is definitely worth a try. So go on, get stuck in!

Enjoy,

Allie

Seared Tuna with Greens and Coconut Rice

Recipe from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals

serves 4

Ingredients

400g fresh tuna fillet (ask for these at your local seafood shop)

2 tblsp sesame seeds

1 tsp green tea powder (simply take a tea bag of green tea, rip it open and use one teaspoon of that powder)

Salt and pepper

½ tsp vegetable oil

Greens:

Small bunch of mini asparagus

Small bunch of broccolini (tenderstem broccoli)

1 tsp crushed garlic

½ tsp sesame oil

1 tblsp oyster sauce

Rice:

270g tin of reduced fat coconut milk

Basmati rice to fill an empty 270g tin

Boiling water to fill an empty 270g tin

Pinch of salt

Method:

1. For the rice: Place the coconut milk, rice, boiling water and salt into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat.

2. For the greens: Finely slice the asparagus and broccolini (in a food processor or using a knife – just make the pieces very small). Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add the vegetables and garlic and stir for 1 minute, until the vegetables have softened slightly. Add the oyster sauce and stir to combine. Spoon the vegetables into a serving bowl.

3. For the tuna: Cut the tuna into logs about 4cm (1½ inch) in diameter. Mix the sesame seeds, green tea, salt and pepper on a board, then roll the tuna logs in the mixture until all sides of the tuna are coated. Heat the oil in the frying pan over high heat, then add the tuna and cook for 30 seconds on each side, until barely cooked on the outside and still raw on the inside. Remove from the heat and cut the tuna into 1cm (1/2 inch) slices.

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Pea and haloumi fritters with tomato salad

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This is a great meal for lunch or dinner. I made it for lunch one day when I was running low on cash to go grocery shopping and decided to just make something with whatever I could find in the fridge. Luckily I had some frozen peas, a bit of haloumi, some red onion, plus eggs and flour. I’ve done variations of these fritters since- one with zucchini, corn and haloumi which has actually turned Ciaran on to eating haloumi. I never thought I’d see that day. All you really need for these fritters is some eggs and flour to make the base and then your choice of veggies. The haloumi is also essential because other cheeses will melt too much and you’ll have a puddly mess of dairy and veg. If you’re using veggies that you have to chop yourself, basically anything other than peas and corn, make sure you cut the pieces very very small or your fritters will be very ugly and fiddily.

Recipe from Vegie Project

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cooking time: 10 min
  • Servings: makes 12
  • Difficulty: easy

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 red onion finely diced
30g haloumi cheese finely diced
2 eggs
1/2 cup self-raising flour
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil to shallow fry

Tomato salsa:
2 tomatoes finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
1/4 red onion finely diced
juice of half a lime
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of chilli flakes

To prepare the tomato salsa just combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Place the frozen peas in a small saucepan with water and boil them for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

To make the fritters simply combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Drop tablespoons of the fritter mixture into the pan (about 2 tablespoons will make one fritter). Flatten the fritters slightly with a spatula. Cook the bottom side for about 3 minutes until a crust forms, then using a spatula flip the fritters over and cook for another 3 minutes.

Serve with the tomato salsa.

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Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger, and Lime

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Ah, tuna steaks.

The steak for those lacking a barbecue. Or those lacking the knowledge to actually use a barbecue.

Either way, they’re basically the low-cal, low-cost distant cousin of your basic porterhouse. Pretty distant, like twice-removed, third generation half-cousin, but the similarities exist.

I got these hefty little chunks of tuna goodness for four bucks each, and the rest of the ingredients were pretty low-cost as well. To make the meal a bit more interesting I decided to add some Soba noodles on the side. As a sidenote, if you’re searching for soba noodles in an Asian grocery store, they’re actually called buckwheat noodles, this will probably save you the ten or fifteen minutes of frustrated foraging that I had to endure.

This recipe does take about an hour but it’s fresh and delicious and I’ll bet most of you college students out there haven’t been adventurous enough to throw a hunk of fish into your weeknight dinner, so now that you’ve got the recipe, what are you waiting for?

Pan-seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger and Lime
From the Food Network ( http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/pan-seared-tuna-with-avocado-soy-ginger-and-lime-recipe/index.html)

Serves 2

Ingredients:
3 big handfuls of fresh corriander leaves, finely chopped
1 red jalapeno, sliced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 garlic clove, grated
1 1/2 limes, juiced
4 tablespoons soy sauce
A pinch of sugar
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2 (6-ounce) blocks of sushi-quality tuna
1 ripe avocado, halved, peeled, pitted and sliced

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, combine the cilantro, jalapeno, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir the ingredients together until well incorporated.

Place a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the tuna generously with salt and pepper.  Lay the tuna in the hot oil and sear for 1 minute on each side to form a slight crust. Pour 1/2 the corriander mixture into the pan to coat the fish. Serve the seared tuna with the sliced avocado and the remaining corriander sauce drizzled over the whole plate.

Soba Noodles with Sweet Ginger Scallion Sauce
From http://www.simplyreem.com

Ingredients:
1 9 oz packet of soba noodles
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted

For the sauce:
1 1/2 cup spring onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoons ginger, minced
1/4 cup corriander, chopped
2-3 tablespoons Sesame oil/any neutral oil
2 teaspoons chilli oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl, check for the seasoning. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes to let the flavours develop.

Boil the soba noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.

Add the sauce, sesame seeds and toss the noodles well, check the seasoning one last time, give it a final toss and enjoy.

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‘Mexican’ style rice salad

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Chorizo is a great ingredient that I never really started using until I came to Australia. For some reason I seem to encounter it a lot more here than I ever did in the States. When you get it from the supermarket it’s usually pretty inexpensive if you don’t use too much. I’d have to say my favourite chorizo recipe is creamy pesto pasta with sliced chorizo and roasted cherry tomatoes (a simple but delicious recipe my boyfriend and I came up with). But this easy salad is a close second and it keeps really well for work-day lunches.

Mexican Style Rice Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 6
Recipe from Coles

2 cups Long Grain rice, boiled until tender, rinsed and cooled
2 chorizo sausages, sliced into half circles
250g punnet grape tomatoes, halved
310g can corn kernels, drained
1 large ripe avocado, peeled, chopped
1/4 cup coriander, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Dressing:
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice 1 lime

1. Cook chorizo in a frying pan for 3-4 minutes until slightly browned. Add tomatoes, cook 2 minutes to warm through.

2. Combine rice, chorizo and tomato, corn, avocado, coriander and chives together in a large bowl.

3. Combine dressing ingredients and toss through salad. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.

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Charcuterie Plate

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A charcuterie plate is something that is just as hard to pronounce (for me) as it is to actually make a recipe for. The word ‘charcuterie’ apparently comes from the French word for ‘cooked meat’ and in other words it’s really a fancy meat platter.

A meat platter seems to be something different here though, namely the crazy tray of raw meat that you guys give away in pub raffles. Crazy Aussies. Though the day I finally win a meat raffle will probably be a great day. So no judgement.

In the US a meat tray is usually something served at lunch and it will be a massive tray with an assortment of deli meats, ham, roast beef, turkey, bologna, etc. Then you’ll have some condiments, toppings and bread and you’re left to make your own sandwich.

We went for the more French dish with some fancy jamon, some salami we found in the fridge, some brie and some pesto. A traditional charcuterie plate is supposed to have a broad variation of “fine cooked and dry cured meats sausages and pate with various acidic and savory garnishes.” Well, that’s a little pricey for a student so all you really need is about two types of meat, some cheese, a garnish of some sort and some bread. Serve with wine. Whether it’s lunch or dinner. And enjoy!

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Orzo risotto with buttery shrimp

Shrimp was on special this week! Very exciting, I know. I’d also been craving orzo for a while so I decided to throw the two together and ended up with this creamy, rich shrimp risotto. Though it takes about half an hour to whip up this meal it’s all pretty simple.

And it’s a great comforting meal for the middle of the week when you’re aching to get to Friday. The savoury shrimp is definitely a pick-me-up to get you through to your relaxing weekend. Since we usually just have pasta in this apartment it was a nice change to switch to orzo, while yes, it is still technically pasta, it’s a different taste experience than a bowl of starchy spaghetti. I’m also the only one who ever buys shrimp, usually it’s beef or steak and with my Italian roommates we always have to keep the pasta and meat separate. I’m still working on convincing them that flavour combinations can be so much better than having each part of the meal separately. It seems to be an ongoing battle.

But apparently shrimp in pasta is just fine so I went ahead and it was very well received.

Recipe: Orzo Risotto with Buttery Shrimp

Adapted from Food & Wine

Makes four servings

Ingredients:

2 medium sized zucchini (the recipe actually calls for asparagus but I didn’t have any so I substituted with my go-to veggie, zucchini)

1 3/4 cups orzo (12 ounces)

6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1/2 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp

Salt and pepper

1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth (I keep some chicken stock cubes on hand which is really helpful for recipes like this, you can usually get about 7 or 8 for $1)(But don’t forget to add it to water to create the broth before you start your recipe, I sometimes forget, well, more than sometimes)

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Instructions:

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo to the boiling water, cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, for 10 minutes. When you drain it, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water for later.

Chop the zucchini and saute in a frying pan on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Set aside.

In a frying pan (you can put the zucchini in a bowl on the side and use the same pan from before) melt the butter over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the butter begins to brown. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until pink and curled, about 1 minute per side.

With a slotted spoon add the shrimp the the zucchini on the side. Don’t drain the pan! Reserve the butter in the pan.

Once you’ve drained your orzo and returned it to the pan add the brown butter and stir to mix. Set the skillet over high heat and add the chicken stock, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Pour the stock and  the reserved cooking water into the orzo; cook over medium heat, stirring until creamy, 2 minutes. Make sure you keep stirring so that nothing on the bottom gets burnt.

Stir in the zucchini and shrimp and cook until heated through. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley and the 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the risotto to bowls and serve with more parmesan.

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