Winning Recipes from Yacht & Boat’s Winter Cook Off – Ways to Cook Your Catch

Recipe Fresh Coral Trout Fish on Game Fishing Boat Barrier Reef

From the Yacht and Boat Winter Cook Off…

Howdy folks,

The cooking competition has now been judged.

And it was hard work deciding on first prize. But Mr Evans came to my rescue by offering a second set of his two books. 

So now there are 1st, 2nd & 3rd prize winners!

First goes to C Hopper of WA with Spicy Fish Parcels, second to C Diano of QLD with Smoky Octopus with Red Wine & Olives and third to B Thomas of NSW with Fresh Coral Trout.

Click on the links below to see their recipes.

I chose the Spicy Fish Parcels because of simplicity, nutritional balance and planned preparation – the vegetables being cut evenly so they cook properly and reach their peak together.

I chose the Smoky Octopus Stew for its Mediterranean flavours and family style feast qualities, hoping that we can get all our kids to try different seafood and enjoy its health advantages.

And the Coral Trout recipe from Mr Thomas gets a special mention for its purity of flavour and cooking simplicity – I believe it’s better than lobster.

As far as fresh fish is concerned, I agree with the idea that is needs very little flavour additive.

So, when you or your mate has landed the catch I have a few specific tips about fresh fish:

1. It loses quality quickly, so scale it, gut it and cook it as quickly as possible or chill it with fresh ice.

2. Remember to ‘bleed’ it if you can, by cutting the join between the gills and lower jaw prior to scaling. This is a bit messy, but minimizes ‘weedy’ flavours from the blood and aids keeping qualities.  Remove the gills as well if you want to chill with ice for later.

3. On fish such as Luderick (Blackfish) and Tarwhine, there is a black lining between the stomach cavity and the flesh. Remove this with a ‘Scotch Brite’ pad. This effort will be rewarded with a better flavour on the BBQ – gets rid of any ‘muddy’ taste.

4. If you are going to catch-and-cook, then don’t add much except some oil, butter and lemon. Very fresh fish has its own special flavour. So the less you mess about with it the better. The same goes for Blue Swimmer or Mud Crabs.

If you are planning to take a semi-prepared dish on board, remember your hygiene safety temperatures for holding and storage – 4 degrees C.  Get the temperature down quickly after cooking by placing in shallow trays for cooling before transfer to refrigerator and then esky. Foam commercial containers are probably the most efficient eskies. But they should be kept shut until just before the contents are used.  Don’t store other things such as drinks in the same container – otherwise the kids will be opening and closing the lid and letting in the heat.

Thank you for all your entries. I’m glad you made it so hard for me.  It shows that the galley is being recognised as the most important part of the vessel after the hull.

Safe cooking till next time – CFC.

Spicy Fish Parcels

Smoky Octopus with Red Wine and Olives

Fresh Coral Trout