Seafood fest on Sydney Harbour
In Australia, summer starts on Dec 1 and we were lucky enough to spend our first summer weekend on the boat, cruising around the Sydney Harbour. I say lucky because the opportunity doesn’t present itself that often, as we live a few hours away by boat. But this time, the boat had been in the city all week for maintenance, and being launched back in the water on a Friday, we thought we’d make the most of our time in the harbour before heading back south. We were kids free (they both had a busy social schedule, apparently more fun than hanging out with us on board!), the weather forecast was for a balmy 30C and sunny days and for once, we didn’t have anything on!
The first thing we did once back in the water, was dock at the Birkenhead Point marina. Though a pricey facility, it is a very convenient spot for provisioning while in the Harbour. Not only can you find a large supermarket, bottle shop, gourmet butcher and seafood provider, but located in the same building, there is a massive outlet centre with designer shops selling at discounted prices. Needless to say that Terry accompanied me for the groceries, then retreated to the boat while I whiled away the rest of the afternoon shopping for Christmas presents. My idea of heaven…
Shopping aside, the highlight of the weekend was catching with Terry’s daughters who live in the city and had not set foot on board since last year. As always, our family gatherings are all about food, and though we were a small crowd, we certainly indulged in very yummy dinner, lunch and another dinner…Inspired by our many visits at the Sydney Fish Markets earlier in the week, the menu revolved around fresh seafood, an obsession of mine. Since we stopped cruising and catching our own fish I have been disappointed with the quality and the price of seafood sold in our local shops, and at the risk of sounding like a snob, I declared a while ago that unless bought fresh from the Sydney Fish Market, no seafood was good enough for our table! So we literally went to town, stocking up on Sydney rock oysters, prawns, scallops, fresh salmon, smoked trout, and more prawns…
We served the oysters raw, with a splash of lemon and hot chili sauce. They were so nice and fresh, they really didn’t need anything done to them.
While at the fish market, I saw a few of the stalls selling Aburi scallops: scallops served in their shells on a bed of grated cheese, seared with a blow torch and topped with flying fish roe. I never got a chance to taste them, but back on the boat, couldn’t stop thinking of the combination of cheese and seafood and decided to make my own version. It is a very simple dish, packed with cheese and all kinds of seafood, super tasty!
Brunch the next day was a simple affair with croissants, cinnamon rolls, smoked ham, some fruits and my take on fish tacos: smoked salmon, tatziki and cucumber in a tortilla. Terry commented it’s really a wrap, but I like the idea of a taco better. It is delicious all the same.
And the prawns…oh, let me tell you about these wonderful cooked tiger prawns, so crunchy and sweet they’re good simply with a bit of salt and pepper. But I couldn’t help myself and had to pair them with a cocktail sauce of my own, served with fresh bread. Very nice indeed!
There were desserts as well (mince pies, meringue and bailey cream), and shall I mention copious amount of wine drank…hence no pictures of any sweets. Let’s just say they were incredibly sinful and I might organise a special dessert dinner so that we can photograph them. So tough being a food blogger!
Baked cheesy seafood
Serves 4, as a main
16 green (uncooked) prawns, peeled, tails on
16 scallops, with or without roe
250g atlantic salmon
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
½ cup pouring cream
1 tsp sweet paprika
Handful of dill
1. Butter 4 individual 500ml capacity ovenproof ramekins. Preheat oven to 200C.
2. Divide the grated cheese evenly in 4 servings and place in each ramekins. Do the same with the seafood , alternating layers of scallops, fish and prawns.
3. Pour ½ cup of cream in each ramekin, over the seafood and cheese (this is to keep the mixture moist)
4. Bake in the oven for approx. 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Place a spring of dill on top.
5. Serve immediately with a green salad on the side and plenty of French bread to mop up the sauce.
Smoked salmon tacos
Serves 4 as part of a brunch or a light lunch
400g smoked salmon or trout
8 wheat tortillas
200g store bought tatziki
½ red onion, thinly sliced
½ Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced
Handful of dill
1. Divide all ingredients evenly and place in each tortilla
2. Fold tortilla in half and place on a plate.
3. Serve immediately, though it will keep in the fridge up to 24 hours!
Serves 4 as a starter
¼ cup whole egg mayonnaise
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 ½ tbsp coarsely chopped dill
1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
20 cooked king prawns, peeled
1 avocado, stoned, peeled and thinly sliced
2 flat bread rolls
1. Combine the mayonnaise. Tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, half the dill and half the lemon juice in a bowl. Add the prawns and toss to coat.
2. Cut the bread rolls in half. Spread the avocado slices, top with prawn mixture, sprinkle with paprika and serve. Enjoy!