The following recipe for Cone Bay Saltwater Barramundi with Spanner Crab Parcel, Sage and Eschalot Cream is from chef Mark Axisa from Catalina, Rose Bay. Mark is involved with a fundraising event called Table4Ten which is designed to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer in Australia.
Some of Australia’s best restaurants have donated tables of ten for an evening of dining with gourmet food and wine, and while the Hobart and Launceston events have finished, Sydney’s is still to come on November the 8th 2011.
4 x 200 g Cone Bay saltwater barramundi portions, skin on (ask your fishmonger to portion for you)
Olive oil, salt and pepper
For the spanner crab parcels:
200 g picked spanner crab meat
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
1 wombok (chinese cabbage)
Salt and pepper
For the sage and eschallot cream:
5 eschalots (note: these are the little French onions, not spring onions) finely sliced
1 bunch sage roughly chopped
A little olive oil
250 ml dry white wine
400 ml pouring cream
Salt and pepper to taste
For the garnishes:
Red oil: 4 tbsp tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, peleed
100 mls olive oil
Enoki mushrooms, deep-fried until crispy
Baby herbs: 1 punnet picked mache
Spanner crab parcel:
Pick 4 nice green wombok leaves. Plunge into salted boiling water for 30 seconds. Then plunge into ice water to refresh. When cool, dry them off with a tea towel and set aside
Mix spanner crab meat with chopped chives, and season with salt and pepper
Place 50g of spanner crab/chive mix on each wombok leaf, and wrap up into a parcel and place them aside
Sage and eschalot cream:
Start by sautéing the fine sliced eschalots and sage in a pan using a little olive oil – cook until eschalots become transparent
Deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce until almost gone
Then add the cream, bring just to the boil, then turn down. Allow to reduce slowly, until thick
Season with salt and pepper to taste, then strain
Set aside, keeping warm
Place tomato paste in a saucepan with garlic and olive oil and cook on a very low heat for 45 minutes or until oil turns red
When oil is red, strain and discard the rest
Set red oil aside to use as garnish later on.
Putting the dish together and plating:
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
Season barramundi portions with olive oil, and salt and pepper
Pre-heat large oiled pan until just smoking. Place barramundi in the pan, skin side down and cook on high for 1 minute.
Put in pre-heated oven for 5 – 6 minutes, or until just cooked
Place spanner crab parcels in steamer and steam for 5 minutes.
Put 30 ml of the sage and eschalot cream on bottom of each plate (use a bowl plate like a pasta plate, rather than a flat plate). Place the crab parcel on top of the sauce. Drizzle red oil around, on top of the sauce using a teaspoon
Place barramundi on top of crab parcel, skin side up. Top the fish with fried enoki mushroom and place sprigs of mache around the plate in top of the sauce
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