Reimagining fish with infusions of flavour
During Christmas 2020, I was gifted a medium sized pot full of herbs and it’s been the gift that keeps on giving. Initially, the herbs grew so well that I wasn’t sure what to do with them all. I have a mixture of herbs including basil, thyme, chives and parsley. It was suggested that I chop them up before freezing. I now combine them with soft butter and a bit of truffle oil before placing in the freezer in portion sizes.
When I cook anything from scrambled eggs to stir fry’s, quiches to potato bakes, I’m always using a portion or two of herbs, resulting in the most amazing infusion of flavour and fragrance. Recently I made tomato and cheese toasties using only four ingredients. Placing sliced tomatoes on the bread, I added a grating of the frozen herbs for flavour, and topped with cheese before grilling. It was delicious and really transformed the taste with little effort required. Freezing herbs not only makes a meal taste amazing, but it also saves money. Thanks Fran! I think of you every time I add another herb portion!
Anything that can promote healthy living is a good thing, so I’m currently looking at recipes inspired by infusions of flavour. This week I discovered pickled ginger. It adds a surprisingly sweet and tangy taste to food and I plan to try recipes that include this amazing ingredient. These Qukes® baby cucumbers teriyaki beef bowls by Perfection Fresh Australia sound delicious and I’m sure it’s one that my family will enjoy.
The Spanish inspired Romesco sauce by my colleague Annelies features capsicum and tomatoes. Combined with herbs, garlic and onion it makes a great light snack when combined with pita bread or crispbread. Simple, flavoursome snacks and meals don’t need to be time consuming, they just need to taste great.
Fish fillets can be so tasty when infused with the flavour of herbs. My favourite option for cooking healthy fish is also really quick and easy. My family enjoys Barramundi (just be careful to remove any bones). In an ovenproof dish, add a few dollops of extra virgin olive oil. You can also use any herb-infused oil to taste. I’ve used ginger and lemongrass oil in the past and it tastes amazing and adds a fragrant quality to the meal.
Place fish fillets over the oil and add butter and herbs to taste. I include a portion of the frozen herbs I mentioned above, add vegetable salt and cover in foil. In a separate ovenproof dish, add chopped onion, potatoes, pumpkin, cauliflower, carrots, eggplant or any other vegetable you enjoy roasted. Drizzle with oil, add herbs to taste, sprinkle with salt and cover with foil. Cook in an oven at 180 degrees celcius for approximately 45 minutes depending on the size of your chopped vegetables. Tip - Vegetables cut into smaller portions will cook faster.
Halfway through the cooking process, check both the fish and vegetables and drizzle the juices over the top to avoid drying out. Once cooked, remove the foil from both the fish and vegetables and grill for 5 minutes if you prefer a crispy texture.
Served on a plate, with a fresh salad of lettuce, avocado, spinach, carrots and tomatoes, with a mango salsa with chilli and lime, this makes a delicious and nutritious meal. You can also use any leftovers the next day in fish tacos. Next time I plan to try it with the pickled ginger flavour I recently discovered, which can be found in most supermarkets. Yum!