Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Flathead Fancying

It's bizzarely chilly here at the moment. And for February in Australia that's a little bit wrong. It would normally be swelteringly, stinkingly HOT.

I am in no way complaining. I've had socks and docs and a cardie on! AND I lit the fire. Lovely.
It also inspired me to get in the kitchen and create something.

I am participating in a little game along with others over here at The Mum and The Chef to create something fab using a nominated core ingredient. This time it's "local fish".

Well, for me, that's a bit tricky as there's not much local fish up my way, in Central Victoria, so I chose fresh flathead from Port Phillip Bay.

I raided my garden for some things and bought a couple of things, but mostly thrown together from what was in my fridge and pantry.

I made up my recipes, except for the cucumber salad, which I borrowed from my "boyfriend" Jamie x ; )

Jamon and Sorrel rolled Flathead
Pumpkin, Whitebean and Coriander Mash
Shaved Cucumber Salad

Here are my ingredients...

Flathead fillets with skin and bone
white beans/cannellini beans
preserved lemon
a lime
sorrel (so lovely, like lemon flavoured English spinach)
prosciutto or, as I used, jamon serrano
not in shot are the all-important salt, pepper, lime, evoo, ginger and chilli flakes.

First, pick out all the bones from the Flathead, doesn't matter if it gets a wee bit mangled it will be wrapped up soon!
Lay 3 pieces of prosciutto on a board and along the top edge spread some thinly shredded preserved lemon skin, then place the fish skin side UP, on top of the preserved lemon.

Now lay enough sorrel leaves on top of the skin of the fish to cover and then drizzle a bit of olive oil and sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the top of the leaves.

Now carefully roll the fish towards you and wrap it up nice and snugly, like below. Then pop it on a lightly oiled tray in an oven pre-heated to about 350F/180C. It should take about 15 minutes.

While that's happening, chop pumpkin in to chunks (as much as you want for how ever many you are cooking for) and pop into some boiling water with as many peeled and slightly squashed garlic cloves as you like, I used 4.

While this is cooking, you can make the cucumber salad.
Grate a small knob of ginger into a small bowl, add a glug of olive oil, the juice of half a juicy lime, a little bit of soy sauce and about half a teaspoon of sesame oil. Mix it up well and taste to see if it needs adjusting or any salt. Now, with one of those flexible vegie peelers, peel the cucumber on to a plate, in full-length ribbons, discarding the outer, all-skin, ones and stopping as you get to the seedy centre. Roughly chop some coriander leaves and put aside with the cucumber ribbons. Don't add the dressing until you are ready to serve.

When the pumpkin is almost soft, add roughly the same amount of cooked white (cannellini) beans and as soon as they have had a chance to warm through, turn off and drain. Return to the saucepan and let dry out on top of the stove for a couple of minutes. Then add some very finely chopped coriander, roots and all (see below), a splosh of olive oil and some salt and pepper and MASH away until it's to the consistency you like.

Right, now get your fish out of the oven and start assembling everything.

Add enough dressing to the cucumber to coat and toss it together with the chopped coriander, then pile and arrange it on your serving plate and sprinke with some chilli flakes or fresh thinly shredded red chilli.

Then place your mash on the plate and carefully lay the fish on top

And then...VOILA! Ta-Da! Hey Presto! It's done.

I am very pleased with how it turned out and the flavour mix was just right.
It was fun plotting and planning what to do with my choice of "local fish" and now I'm looking forward to the next challenge!

Have a look at what some of the others came up with...here are the links to their pages.



  1. Y U M!!!!
    I love Sorrel & I LOVE the way it is one of those things that LOVES being plucked like Silverbeet- so it's happy for you to use it!. I also love its delicious tanginess.
    This looks beautiful on the plate- i can't wait to give it a whirl!
    I quite like your boyfriend's Cucumber salad too!

  2. Can Madam Burn would like to be part of this or do you have to have children?

  3. Si si! Join in, kids not a requirement!

  4. Yum! I don't use Flathead enough personally. And I have to say I haven't used those flavours together before either. Page is tagged for next fish night! Thanks for sharing! I am glad you enjoyed the challenge!


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