Tag Archives: stock

Fish Stock

Wow! Time sure does fly when your busy doing other things. This is a shortish post showing you all how to make one of the best fish stocks from scratch. I’ve followed the delectable Maggie Beers recipe and couldn’t quite relate to how short the time is that it takes to cook. 😍. My chicken and beef stocks take up to five hours to make to leach the most flavour out of those bones but fish stock is very quick to make. I use this in my Thai Green Curry risotto, fish stews, anything else that requires a fish stock base 😊.  Ingredients. 1kg snapper heads 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 leek, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 1/2 stick celery, finely chopped 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup dry white wine (125ml) 1.5-2 litres cold water 10 stalks flat leaf parsley 1 sprig of thyme 1 bay leaf    Clean all blood and innards out of the snapper head and discard the gills also. Rinse the head and wings thoroughly. As you can see, I’ve used one massive snapper head and the set of wings that came with it. I love my local Fishermans boatshed market on a Sunday 😍    Put all the chopped vegetables into your big stock pot with the butter and sweat them over a low heat for 2 minutes, do not allow them to brown.     Add the fish head/s and wings ,if using, and sweat them for a minute more. (As my fish head and wings were so huge, I cut the joined wings in half to fit them in)    Increase the heat to high, pour in the wine and boil vigorously for a few minutes. Pour in the cold water, then add the herbs and simmer gently over low heat for 20 minutes, without allowing the stock to boil at any stage. It will become cloudy if allowed to boil.     I cooked my stock for 30 minutes but only because I wanted to make sure I got everything out of the huge fish head and wings.  Strain the stock through a fine sieve or muslin to give a good clear stock. I used both. Allow the strained stock to cool, then freeze or refrigerate if you are not going to be using it that very day.     I bagged my stock up into 500ml bags with a little left over in a 400ml bag and froze it flat for ease of defrosting when I need it 😀. As I bagged it the day after I made it, it had become all jelly like. Yummy!    You can freeze this stock for up to three months. Enjoy making those lovely soups, stews, risottos and Asian dishes .

Thai Green Curry Prawn Risotto

Well hello everybody! Apologies for the long break in blogging. Sometimes it’s good to have a break to recharge the batteries and that’s what I’ve been doing 😄 I also turned 50 on Monday the 20th! 

I’m going through a happy phase of making different curry pastes for freezing for future meals and this green curry paste caught my eye. It’s not too hot at all (but you can add as much green chilli as you like) and is full of lovely flavours. I teamed it up with a prawn risotto and the most delicious meal transpired. I hope you all enjoy it as much as Jason and I did. 

Green curry paste.

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

6 white peppercorns

1 teaspoon roasted shrimp paste (belechan)

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric 

4 coriander roots and stems, roughly chopped

2 lemongrass stems, pale part only, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger or galangal ( I used ginger)

2 large green chillies , seeds removed and roughly chopped (you could use the smaller hotter ones and double for more heat)

4 kafir lime leaves, spine removed, roughly chopped

2 red eschalots, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Toast coriander and cumin seeds with the peppercorns in a small frypan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Cool slightly then grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle. 

If you can’t find pre-roasted shrimp paste, wrap the teaspoon of shrimp paste in foil and toast in a frypan over medium heat for 1 minute each side to toast slightly. Cool. I then added all the other ingredients to my little stick blender and processor attachment along with the toasted and dried spices and shrimp paste and a tablespoon of water and whizzed the heck out of it 😄. You can bash it up first if you like in the mortar and pestle but I just went  down the easy path and it turned out just fine.

Now for the making of the risotto.

Thai green curry prawn risotto.

12 big green prawn, shells and tails removed

750 ml fish, chicken or vegetable stock ( I used my homemade chicken stock) , simmering on stove

1 tablespoon of neutral flavoured oil, (I use rice bran)

1 onion, finely diced

2 -3 tablespoons of your lovely green curry paste

2 kafir lime leaves, finely sliced

1 teaspoon finely grated ginger

1 garlic clove, crushed

200 gm arborio risotto rice

150ml coconut cream or milk

1 tablespoon grated lime rind

Good pinch of salt
Put your green prawn flesh in a bowl and add a couple of teaspoons of your green curry paste and stir through. Set aside to marinate whilst the risotto is cooking.

Heat the oil in your pan (I used a wide soup pot😊), over low heat and gently fry the onion for 2-3 minutes until softened. Stir in your green curry paste, cook for a few seconds, then add the kafir lime leaves, the ginger, garlic and rice, and cook for a further minute, stirring.

Start adding your hot stock, one ladleful at a time, waiting for the stock to be absorbed each time. Continue until all the stock has been used, stirring occasionally to stop sticking. When the rice is cooked to your liking, add the pinch of salt to taste,  pour in the coconut cream or milk and add the raw prawns. Cook till coconut cream is absorbed and the prawns are cooked. Add the lime rind and turn the heat off.

This was such a delightful dish to make and eat. Very light and delicately flavoured, not too spicy. I have at least another two risotto meals or curries I can make out of the rest of the paste that was made now stored in my freezer! 

Bon appetit!

Lamb and Potato Casserole.

I know it’s technically summer over here in Australia but the days and nights have certainly not been hot. I wanted to cook something a bit more substantial for our tea on Saturday night and came upon this delightful casserole. It’s not made with many ingredients either. Forgive the lack of pictures as yet again, I forgot to take photos till half way through making it.

Serves 6
50gm butter, plus extra to grease
2 leeks, white part only,thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1kg lamb leg or shoulder, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and pepper
800gm waxy potatoes,peeled and thinly sliced
300ml lamb,chicken or beef stock
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
100ml cream
3 tablespoon flat leaf parsley,chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 170C and grease an ovenproof casserole dish. Place the butter in a large frypan over heat and add the leak and onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened, then transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add oil to the pan and increase heat to high. When hot, add the lamb in batches and brown. Add the garlic whilst browning the lamb also.
Place half the potato slices overlapping on the base of the greased casserole dish. Layer the meat over the top and season well with salt and pepper. Next place the leek and onion mixture over the top and press down well with the back of a spoon to flatten. Top with the other half of the potatoes, overlapping them.

Pour over the stock and sprinkle on the thyme.

Cover with a lid or foil and bake for two hours in the pre heated oven. Take out of oven, remove the lid or foil and brush the potatoes with the cream. Pop back in oven for another 30 minutes or until potatoes are golden. Serve direct from dish sprinkled with parsley.

This lovely casserole reheats well and tastes even better the next day.
Enjoy 😄.