ELLENA MIDGLEY gets some fresh Christmas food ideas from Launceston’s leading chefs. FRESH seafood is a light and healthy option for Christmas lunch or dinner that people should consider putting on the table. Mud Bar and Restaurant head chef Matt Adams said over summer, seafood and a fresh salad was one of the best options if you were entertaining guests.
“The great thing about seafood is it doesn’t have to be on separate plates, you can cook three big pieces of fish and then everyone can rip in and get involved,” he said.
“You can grill them or you can barbecue them – seafood is really easy to cook and very versatile.”
When cooking seafood, Mr Adams said there were a few important details to consider.
“Obviously you need to make sure it’s fresh and try not to overcook it.
“Seafood, and particularly fish, doesn’t take long to cook so just put it on the grill or barbecue until the protein just sets and it flakes away as you cut it.
“It’s important it still has a lot of moisture in it.”
Whole pink snapper
with panzanella salad
1 loaf sourdough
12 cucumber, sliced length ways, then half rounds
1 red capsicum, roasted, peeled, and deseeded
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes (halved)
2 vine-ripened tomatoes
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
100g of baby ligurian olives
2 tbsp capers
1 handful basil leaves, picked, washed and torn
Murray River salt
Ground white pepper
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 pink snapper
Cut bread into 1cm slices, grill on both sides. Cut or tear into smaller chunks. Place vine ripened tomatoes, garlic, vinegar and oil in blender, blend for one minute. Season and pass through a sieve.
Dress the bread in some of the dressing and let soak for five minutes. Add other ingredients and toss with a little more dressing and season.
Score skin on snapper on both sides to ensure even cooking. Stuff the belly with lemons and herbs and get creative. Oil and season the outside of the fish and place on hot grills side of barbecue. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes on both sides. As the fish is scored you’ll be able to see if it’s cooked by pressing lightly near one of the cuts. Serve together with lemon cheeks.
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