Catch in the kitchen
by Michael Bok
Michael Bok loves his food and cooking almost as much as his fishing. Michael has agreed to share some of his favourite recipes in what will be a regular column.
Flathead amount to over 90% of the recreational catch Australia wide. Flathead are relatively easy to catch and good to eat. This is a great recipe to try on people who say they don't like fish or for children who are fussy eaters. Just tell them they are nuggets and leave it at that.
I've seen children eat these nuggets like it was their last meal - the same children that say they don't like fish. These are easy to make and children love helping.
Fillet flathead and cut into bite size pieces, making sure that all bones are gone. Dry and roll in seasoned flour. Dip in beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs. Deep fry in a light olive oil. (I prefer to do this in a wok as I use less oil). Drain on absorbent paper and serve with a sauce if you like, tomato for kids, tartare or sweet chilli for the adults. These are a great finger food with a few drinks - watch how many get eaten. Other fish can be used, but to me flathead are one of the great eating fishes and if you cant catch them, they are cheap to buy.
With the abundance of squid at the moment, the above recipe can also be used for the ever popular squid rings. The big thing with making your own squid rings is to make sure that the membrane and skin is completely off before you coat your rings. This helps stop them being like the texture of rubber bands while eating them. Be sure not to over cook the squid. Served with sweet chilli sauce these are great. Make your own squid rings and taste the difference between yours and the processed varieties that are sold. When eating fish, don't throw trimmings or carcasses away - make a stock with it and if you don't want to do that, mince them up and use in berley. One of the best sweet chilli sauces I have found is a Thai sweet chilli sauce for chicken branded Pantainorasingh. It is available in Launceston from Asian Products, and should be available from leading Asian food outlets.
To go with these let me suggest two wines. These are both Tasmanian, but there are other similar wines that would be fine. Firstly, from the Tamar area is a Holm Oak Pinot/Chardonnay. Secondly, and perhaps this would be better to offset the chilli is a Traminer. One of the best is the Pipers Brook Traminer.