Category Archives: Seafood

Valentine’s Lobster – An annual tradition


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Once again Heather and I decided to stick to tradition and grill up a few lobsters for Valentine’s Day. I love going out for dinner but not on that night. Why pay stupid prices on that night especially when you can create something even more special at home.

We try to do this every year and well, this year was no exception. The lobsters (4×450 g) were sourced from Kranji, which if you live in Singapore, you’ll know that seems like another planet. The benefit is, you’re getting wholesale prices for the freshest seafood. In fact, this place is so good that we ended up meeting our favourite hawker stall proprietor Terrence. He buys his seafood at the same place… now we know it’s good.

A side note, if you’re ever in Singapore, you MUST visit our pal Terrence. He runs a place call New Gillman’s Seafood.  It’s practically the best local cuisine you’ll get on the island and a fraction of the cost. Tell him Roman & Heather sent you!

Anyway, back to the lobster. Here’s how simple this is:

  • Buy ’em
  • Put them in a freezer for about an hour or two to help lull them into a sense of safety and comfort.
  • Dispatch them but using a super sharp knife. Get between the eyes and bring it straight down. It’s the quickest and kindest way to help them meet their maker.
  • Cut down the belly side from tip to tail. Wash out the end-trails and then put a metal skewer from the tip of the tail upwards towards the head. The keeps the lobster from curling up into a ball once you’ve got them on the grill.
  • Make up a simple sauce of heavy cream and melted butter and then season the inside of the lobster with a good helping of Kosher salt and black pepper.

Preheat your grill to 450-500 F (232-260C). Lay down your lobsters on their backs and cook them for about 10-15 minutes. The meat should be flaky and not translucent. Baste the lobsters with the cream and butter throughout the grilling.

When ready, pair up your lobster with anything you fancy but make sure you have a bottle of Champagne to celebrate the one you love.

Overall Heather Rating: 10/10

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BBQ Garlic Prawn, Scallops & Mango Salsa


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Two posts in 24 hours calls for a celebration. Last night Heather and I had some amazeballs ribs and tonight we kept the theme going with BBQ prawn, Japanese scallops and a spicy mango salsa that was absolutely to die for.

For the prawn make sure you keep the head and the shell on. Take a pair of sharp scissors and gently cut from the back of the head down towards the tail to de-vein the prawn. Nothing ickier than a gritty bit of poo to go along with dinner. Rinse the prawn in water and then simply put them in a heavy duty zip top bag, add about 7 cloves of minced garlic and about 5-7 tbsp of your favourite BBQ sauce. I used the ultimate rib sauce I made last night. Put the bag in a metal bowl and back into the fridge for a few hours.

When you’re ready to cook, get your grill nice and hot at about 400F (204C) – you’re going to grill with the lid up and on direct heat. I use “GrillGrates” which are by far the best thing to use when grilling prawn or anything delicate. I highly recommend anyone who grills to get a set. They can be used on a gas grill as well as a charcoal grill…simply amazing. Check them out here: http://www.grillgrate.com/

Place your prawn on the grates evenly spaced apart, not touching each other. Grill on one side for 3 minutes then flip and grill for another 3 minutes. Remove the prawn and transfer to a dish and cover it with aluminium foil. Finish up the prawn and place it on the dinner table.

Heather took care of the scallops, drying them first for a number of hours, then simply seasoning with S&P and into a hot pan with some butter. The mango salsa consisted of honey mango, cucumber, mint, a fresh chili pepper from our garden, green onion, lime juice, olive oil, Kosher salt,  avocado (to cut the heat a bit) and cherry tomato.Simply amazing!

The prawn were juicy, garlicky and just enough sauce on the shell to make for an amazing and wonderful Sunday meal!

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Overall Heather Rating: 9/10

New Year – More Food


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Hi everyone, it has been a while since I’ve sat down to “pen” a quick note. I wanted to reflect over the past year and thank everyone who’s stopped in, made a comment or was inspired to try one of our recipes.

I simply want to wish all of you a healthy, safe and fantastic 2015. May it bring new recipes, less bloating and lots of laughter mixed in with a little adventure. So, here are a few photos from our annual New Years Eve party. We hosted over 40 people with the legendary and traditional pulled pork (a 16.3 pound/7.4 kg beast that took 33.4 hours!) A special thanks to Heather, the kids and Yaya for the inspiration and the clean up!  Cheers!

Enjoy!

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The most expensive free meal 大闸蟹


_MG_4705A once in a lifetime opportunity came our way last Sunday. Our neighbours Jenny and Alex peeked over the fence and asked if we’d ever had Shanghai Hairy Crab? Thinking this was some kind of joke referencing unhygienic pubic activity I said no and thought nothing of it. Jenny then asked if I knew how to cook crab. At that, I said yes, absolutely. From there, we received a very impromptu invitation for dinner, the only catch, I had to cook it.

Now I have a wonderful recipe I use for crab but then I sat down and did some research. Hairy crab, as it turns out, is one of the biggest seasonal delicacies in the Chinese culture. Individual crabs can sell for upward os $65 in a restaurant. Jenny and Alex had 8 air freight flown directly from China. I wasn’t about to disrespect the traditional way of preparing this delicacy by using the Big Green Egg (as much as I’d have loved to…)

I found a wonderful website that not only describes how to prepare the crab but also gives you the background to why this is such a treat in the Chinese culture. Click here to view the site and the preparation instructions.

Well, if the crab wasn’t enough, Jenny then peeked over the fence again with three gorgeous Wagyu beef steaks from Margaret River, WA (That’s Western Australia), some pork collar and pork cheek for good measure.

From there I fired up the Egg with anticipation. While it was coming up to 225F I seasoned the beef with nothing more than kosher salt and a bit of black pepper. With the pork, I seasoned it with some left over rub and then set the meat back into the fridge.

Once ready, I reverse seared the steaks, taking my time knowing that this might very well be the best steaks we’ve ever had on the BGE. (I was right!) At a perfect 135F internal temperature, the beef was done followed by the pork collar and cheeks. The pork cooked super fast once I had the grill at full tilt.

The result? The MOST expensive free meal we’ve ever had! Quote of the night from Alex the neighbour was “We’ve been pan frying this steak for 6 years and this, this is how it’s supposed to taste!!!!”

The crab, the beef, the pork, the wine and the company made for a wonderful impromptu meal on a quiet Sunday night!

Overall Heather Rating: 10/10

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16 Minute “CP” Salmon


_MG_3658Dinner for one last night. All the kids were either asleep or away and Heather was out for a work dinner, leaving little old me to “cope!” Ha… bring on “Minnie” and a nice piece of salmon, coupled with a Chinese style fried rice. This has to be the easiest recipe for anyone to recreate, and especially handy for a mini egg on those nights when you’re only cooking for one.

Set up your mini for direct heat and fire it up to a balmy 400F. Take one of your full size cedar planks and cut about a quarter off. You’ll grill your salmon right on top of that piece and it fits perfectly in the mini egg. To prepare your salmon, drizzle your plank with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Do the same for the salmon but then add a good fist full of brown sugar on top. Let that sit until your grill is ready to go.

Place your planked salmon on the grid, close the dome and set the timer for 16 minutes. Once it pings, remove the plank (carefully) and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Get your sides ready then serve.

The salmon was delicious and all I can say is that the family missed a yummy meal last night…burp.

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Overall me rating: 10/10

Hong Kong Snapper



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Yum is all I can say about this dish. If you like your snapper done on the Big Green Egg or on any grill for that matter, you’ve just got to try this recipe out for yourself.

This is what you’ll need to prep the fish:

  • 1 large golden snapper
  • 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 12 thin slices of fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped green onions
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper

For the sauce simply add the following ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Set aside and pour the warm sauce over the fish when ready to serve:

  • 1 teaspoon rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Set up your grill for indirect heat and stabilise the internal temperature at 400F (205C). Get your fish ready by rinsing it under cold water. Pat dry with kitchen roll, score one side of the fish and then coat with olive oil (both sides.) Add your garlic and ginger along with the green onions inside and outside the fish and place it on a rack. Open the grill, place the rack on the grid and close the dome for about 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the snapper reaches 135F (57C.) This was a pretty thick piece of fish so it took a while longer than usual.

Carefully remove the fish once it’s hit it’s internal temperature and place it into a serving dish. Pour the warm Hong Kong style sauce all over the fish and serve immediately. This recipe is normally done with steamed fish but grilling it gives the snapper a hint of smoke that goes incredibly well with this sauce. Huge success!

We served up the fish with a simple couscous, pomegranate salad – absolutely stunning Saturday night dish!

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Overall Heather Rating: 8/10 (the ginger was too thick!)

Miso-Mustard Grilled Sea Bass


_MG_4615Hi all, a rare Monday edition of the BGAE blog with this little fish ditty. Tonight I grilled up an entire Sea Bass and prepared it in a pseudo-Japanese style, with a lovely Miso-Mustard sauce and sesame seed/grilled spring onion topping.

The recipe is really simple and the result is fantastic. Sea Bass doesn’t give off any fishy smell or taste. It’s velvety smooth and creamy and if not overcooked, absolutely delicious.

To prep your sauce have the following ingredients ready:

  • 2 teaspoons of tap water
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup miso paste (fermented soybean paste)
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 4 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce

In a small sauce pan, whisk up the mustard and the water and when smooth add the rest of the ingredients above. Turn up the burner to medium heat and stir it until its a smooth creamy sauce. You  can prep the sauce a day in advance but in truth, it’s so quick and easy you don’t need any time at all to whip this up.

I set up the Big Green Egg for indirect heat (plate setter in) and stabilised at 425F. Just before putting the fish fillets on, I dropped in a few Apple wood chips for a hint of smoke. I then placed the fish on an oiled rack that sat on top of the grid. As the egg does a wonderful job of cooking from all sides, by elevating the fillets, you don’t need to flip them at all. Saves you from breaking up the fillets mid way through the cook! I set the timer for 17 minutes and when all was said and done…the fish was perfect! Moist, flakey and really tasty!

I rested the fish for about 5 minutes, not that it needed it but because I still needed to grill up the green onions. Have a bunch chopped up and then put them on the flat top griddle with a drop or two of olive oil. They’re done in about 2 minutes. Set your fish onto a platter, spoon some sauce over the top and add your grilled green onions and a few toasted black and white sesame seeds for good measure.

We served up a lentil/feta salad with the Sea Bass and we scored another great result!

Enjoy this recipe and let us know how you get along!

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Overall Heather Rating: 9/10 (the salad wasn’t perfect!)

Cedar-Planked Threadfin


_MG_4317Tonight I revived an old classic and nailed it for a 10/10 this evening! Cedar planked threadfin in a sake based reduction accompanied by a lentil and sweet pea sprout/feta salad. I think the big difference this time was the quality of the fillets. The last time I posted this recipe back in July 2011, I had sub-standard fillets that didn’t cook evenly. This time, they were fresh, flat and perfectly suited for grilling on a plank. So, to save me the time and effort of re-writing the post, here’s the original with a few modifications:

Ingredients:

  • 5 small fillets of threadfin
  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced scallions

Sake Sauce: (which works incredibly well on beef – just ask my buddy Brett in Vancouver!!!)

  • 3 cups shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced – tonight, I used Portobello mushrooms which gave a really nice earthy taste to the sauce!
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
Other tools:
  • Cedar plank for smoking and cooking on
Soak your cedar plank for at least an hour.  As you prep everything else, combine your sesame seeds and sesame oil into a small metal bowl and place it aside.  Keeping it soaking for a while will produce and extraordinary taste as you spoon a bit on top of your fish.
The sake sauce is quite straight forward actually. Combine your mushrooms, stock, sake, soy sauce, ginger and garlic into a saucepan and simmer on low for about 15 minutes.  The initial taste will be super salty but wait, the magic has yet to happen!  Once your timer “bings”, add the rice wine vinegar and the honey stirring in well.  Again, return the sauce to a simmer and let it sit for another 15 minutes. Give it a stir once in a while too!
Combine your cornstarch and water and mix it until its all dissolved and becomes a white milky liquid. Using a whisk, stir in your mixture and don’t stop the stirring’! You’ll soon have a slightly thickened sauce and you’re almost ready for the final bit.
Now, the fish! Place them on a well oiled (olive oil) cedar plank and season  with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Fire up the grill ahead of time and get it to about 450 degrees F.  Place the plank along with the fish on it straight onto the grid for direct heat grilling.  You’ll leave the fish there for 15 minutes or until the fish starts to turn a bit brown on the outside and super crazy tender on the inside.
Spoon  a good heap of mushrooms and sauce over the fish fillets and then add the sesame mixture.  Finally, sprinkle your scallions on top of it all and serve away! Heather’s lentil salad was an amazing compliment to the fish.
All in all, a perfect 10 and a highly advisable dish for any backyard griller!

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10

Golden Snapper



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Heather and I decided that we need to get a bit healthier and the first step is eating better. The past few days we’ve started new routines that will hopefully help us maintain a better and longer life! So tonight’s meal was intended to start a bit of a new tradition…the Saturday fish night. As much as we would have loved some beer battered “fush n’ chups”, we went with a really simple, grilled whole golden snapper.

The preparation for this meal is extraordinarily easy. Buy a fresh snapper and have the fish monger clean it out for you and de-scale it. Take a really sharp knife and score about 6 grooves on each side of the fish and stuff the grooves with a half a lemon wedge, thinly sliced garlic and a pinch of rosemary. Do this on both sides then season the fish with some coarse sea salt. Plonk your fish into your brand new greased up fish griller (Heather, ye of little faith) and put it over direct heat set at 400F. Set your timer for 10 minutes then turn the fish and let it grill for another 10 minutes. Total time is 20-25 minutes.

We served the fish with a great salad consisting of rocket, tomatoes, feta, baby pea sprouts, cucumber with a great dressing of olive oil, white wine vinegar, tobasco, and salt and pepper.

Simple, tasty and wait for it…..good for you! Enjoy!

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Overall Heather Rating: 9/10 

日本のグリル:そばとわさびサーモン (Wasabi Salmon with Sesame Soba Noodles)



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OK, so part two of my foray into Japanese grilling included the main course consisting of Wasabi/Soy Salmon on a bed of chilled organic sesame soba noodles. This was a very simple main course to prepare and it came with a few learning points. Mainly, make sure your temperature doesn’t skyrocket. I usually make salmon absolutely perfectly. This time? Well, it was just a smidge overdone. Anyway, the recipe for the fish goes a lot like this:

  • 7 salmon steaks (skin on)
  • 3 tsp wasabi paste
  • 6 tsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp sake
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 9 tbsp shoyu

Combine the above in a non reactive bowl and whisk it until smooth. Set aside about 6 tbsp for drizzling after you’ve grilled your fish. Set up your grill for direct heat and stabilise at about 350-400F. I was impatient and grilled for 20 minutes at a slightly higher temperature and slightly overdid it. Anyway, with steaks like these, 15 minutes would be the max I’d advise on direct heat. Also, the hotter the grill, the harder it is to ensure the salmon skin doesn’t stick. I may try a thin rack next time over the main grid.

Now, the soba noodles can be prepared well ahead of time and chilled in the fridge. The recipe for the soba noodles goes like this:

  • 4 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (toast them up in a dry pan and make sure you watch out for burning. Just a few minutes will do and ensure you shake them around. Once they start to change colour and go a lovely brown shade, take them off the heat and set them aside.
  • 500 g of soba noodles (I could only find the organic kind….oooooohhhhh, fancy!)
  • 6 tbsp shoyu
  • 2 tbsp dark sesame oil.

Cook the noodles in a large pot with slightly salted boiling water and a touch of vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Cook for about 5 minutes, drain and rinse immediately with cold water. Then, drain it again and add the noodles back in a big bowl, adding the toasted seeds, shoyu and sesame oil. Mix it really gently but really well so that the noodles get coated in all that lovely stuff. Cover the bowl with some cling film and pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

OK, set up your pates with a nice helping of soba noodles then lay your salmon steaks on top. Don’t forget to drizzle them with the leftover wasabi sauce. We served the salmon with grilled miso eggplant and that recipe will come tomorrow night….

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Overall Heather Rating: 7/10 (marks off for overdoing the salmon!)….at least I’m honest!