zmk1962

Friday Fish Feast: a way to serve fish for many

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G'day Raiders,

Thought I'd share my approach to serving fish for the masses - especially if you are after an alternative (healthier?) to the  fried fish !  With cooking fish its tricky to get the timing right - cook too long and they are dry or rubbery - and the problem compounds when you have invited friends .... and of-course some folks are bound to turn up late. 

I like to keep things simple and as stress free as possible - so my dear Mrs and I came up with the following approach.  These individual parcels are easy to prepare a little ahead of time. Each parcel is a meal in its own right. They are simple to cook on the BBQ and the timing is very flexible and accomodating.

BBQ Fish parcels.

The photos are pretty much self explanatory, but in essence each parcel has:

170g fish fillets (flattie in the case below)

1 potato - thinly sliced

1/2 onion, sliced

1/2 tomato, sliced

1 clove garlic sliced/diced

1 chopped chilli (we like a bit of spice)

chopped Italian parsley

Rock salt / ground pepper to taste 

Olive oil.

Method:

-follow the pictures -

Cut sheets of aluminium foil (be generous as you want a solid seal that does NOT leak the juices or let steam escape)

I place the foil on a plate as it gives me a concave surface to keep the ingredients from dripping.

Lighly drizzle oil on the aluminium foil (dash of salt pepper diced garlic)

Layer potatoes, onions, tomato - sprinkling parsley, garlic salt and pepper in between layers also drizzle a bit of  olive oil !! This is mediterranean cooking !

Place the fish on top. Dash of oil, salt and pepper.

Seal the foil !!!

------------------------

Heat BBQ to 220-250C

Place parcels fish side down first 10-15min (depending on thickness of fish and your BBQ heat - you may need to experiment). If you followed the pictures this is the side with the foil seal.

Turn over to veggie side and cook 15-25min (the fish wont dry out as the steam from veggies will keep it moist). This buys you  the flexible time - waiting for the late comers !

If it all goes to plan the potatoes become like mashed potatoes underneath moist fish and the onions and tomatoes create a spicy salsa like mixture.

---------------------------

Here are some pictures...

Cheers Zoran

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2 hours ago, zmk1962 said:

Turn over to veggie side and cook 15-25min (the fish wont dry out as the steam from veggies will keep it moist). This buys you  the flexible time - waiting for the late comers !

 

 

Nice work Zoran, cooking fish enclosed to capture its own juices is a fantastic way of cooking fish so thanks for reminding us all.

 

The French call it cooking 'en papillote' which is cooked in the same fashion usually by folded baking paper or similar type of pouch & also opened it at the table in front of the guest so they can enjoy the fragrant scents from the cooking.

 

If I can offer a couple of suggestion if you don't mind.

 

In a case where I was to use potatoes in the parcel I would be pre cooking(boiling or sautéing) the potatoes to at least 75% .

The whole point of the parcel is that all ingredients are cooked perfectly at the same exact time the fish is but the fish is the star here & that needs to be just cooked.

Again on the fish, also imo, of course steam is moisture but it wont keep fish moist as much as dry it out through overcooking.

Fish protein in most fish is cooked at just 62 degrees so when you start taking fish over that then it is over cooked, & I actually cook fish like salmon to around 48-50 degrees, this is the internal or core temperature.

 

Sorry to say but its also my opinion that raw onion & garlic in my eyes is way to overpowering for delicate fish, if you were to also sauté these even if briefly it would mellow that rawness out a bit if it is something you want to keep in the dish, probably a bit different if used as part of a marinade.

 

Have done a very similar dish in a restaurant/event setting but with ginger, lime leaves, shimeji mushrooms, butter & some miso broth.

The butter combined with those Asian flavours creates an amazing rich dressing or sauce as such for the fish.

 

I don't want to sound like I am trying to be  a downer on you post, on the other hand it reminds me of great things I have eaten & served professionally & just want to pass on a few suggestions.

Thanks for  sharing :biggrinthumb:

Edited by kingie chaser
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Hey Thanks so much @kingie chaser ..... great post !   You've obviously have serious skills here - you're a good man to know !!

I find that's the beauty of food - its all about the individual palate and finding what you enjoy - both eating and cooking.  Some like a fine dining approach (where you taste each ingredient) and others like stronger flavours.

There are many fish dishes where the fish is served with strong flavours: tom yum, indian-thai-malaysian fish curry, the french "Bouillabaisse" - where the main ingredients are onion, garlic, tomatoes, fennel and in some variations orange peel.

This dish is definitely in the strong flavours category. Also re cooking time - Maria has at times microwave pre-cooked the potatoes as you suggest. But I have found if I crank up the BBQ to 220-250 and have most of the cooking time veggie side down, the veggies reduce and potatoes cook.

I guess in the end it just comes down to individual taste.  

Also, Maria and I have done variations on this as you say with a more delicate "asian" approach - pre -cooked glass noodles (instead of potatoes), coriander, touch of soy and sesame oil, chilli, garlic etc... and the cooking time is significantly reduced with this "papillotte"... it's much more delicate and hence needs more care/shorter cooking time - so with my cooking skills and short attention span its great for 2 - 4 people. 

As per my recent posts, I have had a few good catches lately which have raised expectations with family and friends that we'll have them ALL over for dinner. So I really need an approach that I can use to cater for 10+ people.

I have had folks that "never" eat fish (don't like the flavour of fish) come back for seconds or try to make their own version after having this. Here's a text from my mate's (Wayne's) 28yo son who had a go at cooking Wayne's share of the catch from Tight-Lines Tuesday...

image.png.0e7f80fd8c455778aa5078a4b6ecfad6.png

Anyway, with this topic I just wanted to open up the discussion beyond the typical "fish = fried" approach.  

Thanks and Cheers

Zoran (and Maria)

PS - Expect a PM when I am next stuck with how to cook something !!!!!!!!

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Zoran this looks absolutely amazing! Fresh healthy ingredients and simple! Entertaining can be tough to both cook and talk to guests and making parcels in advance is genius.

i too would have thought the fish would overcook but I’ll try it!

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11 hours ago, flatheadluke said:

Zoran this looks absolutely amazing! Fresh healthy ingredients and simple! Entertaining can be tough to both cook and talk to guests and making parcels in advance is genius.

i too would have thought the fish would overcook but I’ll try it!

Thanks Luke.  The times take a bit of experimenting to compensate for different BBQs which have different heights, heat output etc. I've just indicated what works on my BBQ consistently.

The one thing that is critical is to get a good seal on the foil - I use a generous rectangular cut of catering foil (its thicker). I put several folds on the foil and pat flat across the ingredients, then fold up the edges to create a good seal. The parcels puff up with steam while cooking - especially toward the end - but by then you are cooking with the folds on top so the foil is like a bowl trapping all the juices underneath and steam on top - a bit of a pressure cooker.  You also need to be careful not to tear the foil as you rotate the parcels - so I roll the parcel onto a spatula to reposition - but you only rotate once.

Anyway, doesn't hurt to give it a go - try one parcel initially - worst case you waste one serving of fish - best case you like it or find what you want to adjust in the recipe or method. As @kingie chaser indicated there are plenty of variations on this to experiment with.  

Cheers Zoran

 

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12 hours ago, zmk1962 said:

Thanks Luke.  The times take a bit of experimenting to compensate for different BBQs which have different heights, heat output etc. I've just indicated what works on my BBQ consistently.

The one thing that is critical is to get a good seal on the foil - I use a generous rectangular cut of catering foil (its thicker). I put several folds on the foil and pat flat across the ingredients, then fold up the edges to create a good seal. The parcels puff up with steam while cooking - especially toward the end - but by then you are cooking with the folds on top so the foil is like a bowl trapping all the juices underneath and steam on top - a bit of a pressure cooker.  You also need to be careful not to tear the foil as you rotate the parcels - so I roll the parcel onto a spatula to reposition - but you only rotate once.

Anyway, doesn't hurt to give it a go - try one parcel initially - worst case you waste one serving of fish - best case you like it or find what you want to adjust in the recipe or method. As @kingie chaser indicated there are plenty of variations on this to experiment with.  

Cheers Zoran

 

I looked at the picture again it really does look delicious!!! 😋 

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Great write up zoran !!!! Looks absolutely delicious.

I have cooked fish on the bbq as you suggested wrapped in foil but never with veggies so il give that a try next time. 

One thing you can also try adding to your veggies next time is a very (very) thin slice of lemon. That adds some flavour and the moisture/juice helps keeping the fish moist for longer.

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Ahhh. Tres bien  Merci beaucoup Madame Swordie! Vous es tres gentil. 

I am just a 🤓 and @kingie chaser is the 👨‍🍳

Cheers Zoran 

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40 minutes ago, zmk1962 said:

Ahhh. Tres bien  Merci beaucoup Madame Swordie! Vous es tres gentil. 

I am just a 🤓 and @kingie chaser is the 👨‍🍳

Cheers Zoran 

Love the French! Look I reckon @kingie chaser might deserve a Michelin Star at some point ;)

Well deserved Zoran 

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On ‎12‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 7:48 AM, zmk1962 said:

Hey Thanks so much @kingie chaser ..... great post !   You've obviously have serious skills here - you're a good man to know !!

I find that's the beauty of food - its all about the individual palate and finding what you enjoy - both eating and cooking.  Some like a fine dining approach (where you taste each ingredient) and others like stronger flavours.

There are many fish dishes where the fish is served with strong flavours: tom yum, indian-thai-malaysian fish curry, the french "Bouillabaisse" - where the main ingredients are onion, garlic, tomatoes, fennel and in some variations orange peel.

This dish is definitely in the strong flavours category. Also re cooking time - Maria has at times microwave pre-cooked the potatoes as you suggest. But I have found if I crank up the BBQ to 220-250 and have most of the cooking time veggie side down, the veggies reduce and potatoes cook.

I guess in the end it just comes down to individual taste.  

Also, Maria and I have done variations on this as you say with a more delicate "asian" approach - pre -cooked glass noodles (instead of potatoes), coriander, touch of soy and sesame oil, chilli, garlic etc... and the cooking time is significantly reduced with this "papillotte"... it's much more delicate and hence needs more care/shorter cooking time - so with my cooking skills and short attention span its great for 2 - 4 people. 

As per my recent posts, I have had a few good catches lately which have raised expectations with family and friends that we'll have them ALL over for dinner. So I really need an approach that I can use to cater for 10+ people.

I have had folks that "never" eat fish (don't like the flavour of fish) come back for seconds or try to make their own version after having this. Here's a text from my mate's (Wayne's) 28yo son who had a go at cooking Wayne's share of the catch from Tight-Lines Tuesday...

image.png.0e7f80fd8c455778aa5078a4b6ecfad6.png

Anyway, with this topic I just wanted to open up the discussion beyond the typical "fish = fried" approach.  

Thanks and Cheers

Zoran (and Maria)

PS - Expect a PM when I am next stuck with how to cook something !!!!!!!!

Totally agree with all you have said mate, especially on the variations of strong flavoured dishes, my comment was more directed at the raw flavour of onion in how you were using it in this case.

Of the dishes you mention the first thing that happens in the production is usually the onion & garlic being stir fried or sautéed before the rest of the ingredients are added.

One of my regular home dishes is thai red or green curry flathead, sometimes making my own pastes with raw ingredients but then the paste is fried before adding the coconut milk, Im not overly a fan of fried food so I cook fish/seafood many ways both at home & work.

There are no rights or wrongs really (from a home cooking scenario anyway) & experimenting is not only fun but more often than not rewarding , as you say its all personal preference.

 

I plan on getting some recipes up soon & some tips ect but anytime you get stuck for an idea I'd be glad to help via PM :biggrinthumb:

Keep up the great work 🙂

Edited by kingie chaser
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