One of the highlights of my trip to Australia a couple of years ago to celebrate the World’s 50 Best restaurant awards was lunch at one of their best known cookery writers Lyndey Milan’s in Sydney.
We all sat round a big table and ate this marvelous menu to show off Aussie produce. I loved the structure of the meal – a few oysters to start with, the incredibly fresh, zesty marinated fish, the richly spiced barbecued lamb and salad then simple platters of cheese and fruit – so easy to do at home.
I persuaded Lyndey to give us two of the recipes so do give them a try.
Coriander cured seabass with daikon, shiso and a ginger shallot dressing
Lyndey attributes this recipe to Time Browne, executive chef of the Sydney showground but has given it a couple of twists of her own. She used barramundi in the original version but says you could equally well use any firm-textured fish. You can also use whatever micro leaves you can get hold of.
500gm seabass fillet (no skin or bones)
1 bunch coriander
100g rock salt
100g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lime
1 Daikon radish
1 punnet micro shiso leaves
1 punnet micro mizuna lettuce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp fresh ginger
1 tablespoon lime juice
¼ cup soy sauce
½ tsp caster sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp grape seed oil
In a food processor blend the coriander, salt, sugar and lime zest to a smooth paste. Rub the paste all over the barramundi and refrigerate for 3 hours to cure. (Be sure to cover all of the fish to ensure even curing).
Using a moist clean cloth, rub all the paste off the barramundi.
Cut barramundi into thin slices.
For the salad:
Shave the daikon and cucumber into a bowl. Add the sesame seeds and toss lightly.
For the dressing:
Thinly slice the ginger and shallot. Place in a heat proof bowl with lime juice, soy and sugar
Heat the sesame and grape seed oils together in a pan until they reach smoking point. Pour over the ginger and shallot mixture. (Be careful as the oil is hot). This will sear the ginger and shallots and bring all the flavours together. Allow to cool.
Arrange seabass slices and salad on a plate. Spoon the dressing over the barramundi and salad. Scatter with micro leaves and sprinkle with extra toasted sesame seeds.
Macadamia crusted butterflied lamb with ‘okkah’
The okkah (Australian dukkah) for this recipe is inspired by my friend chef Ray Kersh from the legendary Edna’s Table which championed indigenous ingredients for 30 years..
Cooking: 20 min plus resting time
Serves: 4 as a main or 8 as part of a menu
1.5kg butterflied shoulder of lamb
2 tbls (40ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup unsalted macadamias
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
3 teaspoons coriander seeds
3 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons wattle seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt Flakes
coarsely ground black pepper or native pepper berry
1. For macadamia okkah; preheat oven to 180’C (160’C fan) place macadamia, sesame, coriander, cumin, wattle and fennel seeds on a paper-lined oven tray. Toast for 5 – 8 minutes, or until lightly fragrant. Cool then process with salt and pepper. This makes 1 ¼ cups.
2. Pre-heat BBQ to high. If lamb is uneven in thickness, beat with a rolling pin or meat mallet between two double sheets of plastic wrap. It may be easier to cut into two flattish pieces. Rub with oil and then rub all over with around ½ cup okkah.
3. Seal lamb for 5 minutes on each side, or until browned. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook for another 10 minutes on each side, turning as often as needed to prevent burning. Cook more for well done, less for rare.
6. Remove lamb and rest, loosely cover with foil for 10 minutes. Slice thickly and sprinkle with some extra okkah if desired
Lyndey’s Note: This recipe makes 1 ¼ cups okkah but only ½ cup is needed for this recipe. Store the remainder in an airtight container or serve with fresh bread and extra virgin olive oil.
© Lyndey Milan. This recipe first appeared in Selector Magazine Nov/Dec 2016
WARNING: this recipe includes nuts
What to drink:
Lyndey suggests a sauvignon blanc or a sake with the seabass but in fact we drank a McLaren Vale Fiano on the day. A Hunter Valley semillon would also work well. With the lamb we drank a Stargazer pinot noir from Tasmania which was a really good match.