Grilled seafood with garlicky butter sauce while the kids are away

2 Comments


A simple, three-step recipe for a damn fine night with your one and only while the children are absent on school camp.

1. Ship the children off to school camp. It is important to remember that this involves more than just sending your offspring to their place of learning (yes, that’s questionable but we’ll get back to that gripping social commentary at a later date) and leaving them with a packed bag and no intention of returning to pick them up. In fact, you can get into a lot of trouble for that type of behavior. You will need the school that your children are attending to host a student camp and take those little cherubs off of your hands, and you need them to be gone for a few nights at the very least.

2. Once the children have stepped out of the car and the doors have been closed behind them it is time to head straight down to your local purveyors of home entertainment goods, quality seafood and booze and, in that order, get yourself a new home entertainment system – something big… and in colour… and with wireless remote control. Yeah, we’re going all out on this one (or maybe you already have one of these and this step can be omitted), get a pile of fresh seafood – we chose prawns (shrimp), scallops, ocean trout and oysters, and defo get some quality booze of some kind – some ingredients for a mojito plus a decent bubbly for later was a pretty good call methinks.

3. Drink some booze and cook that seafood and serve it with garlicky butter as per following recipe. Pretty simple huh…

Outstanding prep to flavour ratio right there

Get it going on

Seafood, butter sauce and booze. That is a good time


GARLICKY BUTTER DIPPY SAUCE FOR SEAFOOD

(serves 2-4, depending on how buttery you like it)

250g unsalted butter
6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, we used Lanes Q-Nami to absolutely outstanding effect
1 handful parsley, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
A little extra salt and pepper if needed
A decent pile of fresh seafood, straight off the coals
Bread to mop up any extra buttery goodness

Sauté the garlic with one tablespoon of butter to get the show on the road. Once garlic has softened, add remaining butter and seafood seasoning and cook out over medium heat until butter start to foam.
Pour lemon juice into butter and remove from heat.
Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Get it onto the table with a pile of seafood.
Use bread to mop up any extra puddles of that liquid gold and, if the mood encourages it, maybe even save a little butter sauce for garlic butter boobies later on.
Hey, I don’t know what you freaking pervs get up to when the kids are away…

Wooli Seafood Spread

11 Comments

Fishy, fishy, fishy

Fishy, fishy, fishy


I don’t got much for you today.

All I have is a couple of points that have come from my ponderings and the tail end symptoms of a nasty little rash. Not exactly “strap yourself in and get ready for the ride” reading but like I said, it’s all I’ve got.

1. It is almost Christmas. That came around really effing quickly. Before you know it you will be waking up on boxing day wearing a santa hat, all areas of visible skin blanket-filled with an interesting choice of colour that could only be called sun burn red*, hungover like something that has been drinking in the hot sun for the entirety of the previous day and, if you are one of the truly lucky peeps amongst us who have chosen to work in the hospitality industry, you may even be late for the breakfast shift!
2. I have decided that the lead up to Christmas may or may not be the best time to launch a catering company. And the day job too… what was I thinking?
3. I don’t care what you’re doing right now because we are getting a bit of serious NDAFT (not doing an effing thing) time in. We have transported our asses to Wooli on the north coast of New South Wales via motorized chariot on the actual highway (as opposed to the interweb super-highway). Yes, back to Wooli. I am drawn to this place like the weight sensitive person is drawn to an extra slice of chocolate cake… We are enjoying the idiosyncrasies of staying in a cabin on the river, sampling the local seafood (those who remember my last Wooli post would probably remember that I mentioned the local oyster supplier and fish shop… a lot), swimming and kayaking in said river, fishing and just doing nice shit in general. Really feeling the love, you know?
4. I feel there is a good chance that posts may become dodgily intermittent because of my work load with catering and my day job… this is something you most probably wouldn’t offer a single shit for, which I would agree is a wise decision.
5. Once, sometime in my past, something happened to my head and made me heaps skilled at talking random rubbish all the time.

Proof that I fish

Proof that I fish

That’s it. Ponder that load of complete and utter bollocks (or don’t). As for me, I am going to enjoy these few days we have away from the centrifuge (That’s right. Big fast spinning thing) that is our lives at the moment and give it up a little for a bit of eat, drink, fish, swim, quality family time etc… you get the picture.

Proof that my children have not yet worked out which side of the kayak they should be in

Proof that my children have not yet worked out which side of the kayak they should be in

So in closing I would like to say this; enjoy your Christmas if I forget to tell you on the day, if you need someone to cater your Christmas party I am not the man (sure, mostly I am “the man”, but in this case I am most certainly not the man), I love getting the heck outta dodge and I have not forgotten about you if I don’t write for a while… just in case.

Kick-ass prawns

Kick-ass prawns

Kick-ass oysters with kick-ass bacon

Kick-ass oysters with kick-ass bacon

All round kick-ass-ness

All round kick-ass-ness

RIVERSIDE SEAFOOD SPREAD (for 4)

1 fish that you caught earlier that day, seasoned with a little salt and pepper and cooked on the barbecue. Give it a good squeeze of lemon as you are about to serve it up
500g cooked king prawns
2 dozen fresh oysters shucked before your very eyes, shown the love with the addition of a few bits of crisp bacon
3 rashers of bacon, chopped and fried until crisp to go on those oysters
Cabin marie rose sauce, aka cocktail sauce (recipe below)
Kimchi
Salads that you and yours enjoy eating – We had a Greek-ish salad with quinoa and my nana’s potato salad

CABIN MARIE ROSE SAUCE

½ cup mayo
1 tablespoon or so tomato sauce (ketchup)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Extra seasoning if you need it

• Combine all ingredients and whisk together… unless your cabin does not have a whisk included in it’s bucket of kitchen utensils, in which case, if your name is MacGyver I would suggest you fashion a whisk from an old bicycle pump and the skeletal remains of the fish you caught today. But, as you are most likely not MacGyver, a fork will do the trick just fine. If your cabin does not have a fork I would suggest that you may have paid good money to stay in a cave or possibly a hole in the ground and it is people like you who make me question how the human race has got this far…
• Normally this sauce would also contain Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and possibly a splash of brandy, but we’ll making use of what we’ve got because I will garnish my prawns with the juices from the bottom of the wheelie bin before I use that Masterfoods stuff from the store

BTW, THE FOODISTHEBESTSHITEVER CHRISTMAS ADDRESS IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. YOU’VE GOTTA BE PUMPED FOR THAT!

*Possibly only applicable to peeps living in the Southern Hemisphere

Wooli part 6… the Wooli Oyster Po’ Bo’

16 Comments

SAMSUNG CSC

Today I set about redeeming myself before the Oyster Gods for my lack of successful consumption of the exotic bivalve mollusc they had so generously laid before me yesterday… and this time I have come with a plan and a secret weapon.

We have decided we will be having oyster po’ bo’s… or as the boys like to call them; oysters burgers. That’s fine with me, as long as a receptacle of glutinous origins shall be transporting some fried oysters to my face, possibly aiding in the cause will be some coleslaw. But it is the oysters I am concerned about for now.

Enter the smoked chilli powder.

I shall be liberally dusting this smoked chilli powder, which I have made quite simply by chucking some long red chillis into the smoker for about 20 minutes and then grinding them into a powder, over my fried oysters as soon as they emerge from their exfoliating and rejuvenating 180C burning hot oil bath. Cunning, yes. Cunninglingus, no. Sometimes, as a parent, you need to pull a few little tricks out to ensure to get your share… or a share… or just some table scraps like a jester in the kings court. I’m just scared of the day they pass Chilli Appreciation 101…

Crumby photo. Bahaha

Crumby photo. Bahaha

The exfoliating and rejuvenating oil bath

The exfoliating and rejuvenating oil bath

Soooo good

Soooo good

I would do this again

I would do this again

WOOLI OYSTER PO’ BO’

Per sandwich
1 bun
6 oysters
Bread crumbs*, egg and flour for crumbing
1-2 slices prosciutto or speck
Fennel coleslaw (coleslaw just how you normally make it but with some slice fennel in there too)
Smoked chilli powder
Oil to shallow fry
Chips to serve
Flairy holiday shack plates to serve on

• Crumb oysters by first dredging in flour, then through beaten egg mix and then through the bread crumbs
• Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Once oil is hot, fry oysters for 1 minute or so each side, until golden. Remove from pan and drain on kitchen paper or your mum’s best shirt
• While oysters are draining discard most of the oil from the pan and then fry prosciutto until crisp
• Put some coleslaw in your bun, followed by oysters, prosciutto and smoked chilli powder or hot sauce
• Serve with oven chips

OVEN CHIPS (sides for 4 or a full white trash meal for 1)

6 medium potatoes skin on, washed if they need a bath, cut into 1cm chips
Seasoning
Oil
• Blanch potatoes in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. This makes them better, trust me. Strain and allow to cool
• Put on an oven tray, splash with however much oil your fancy diet will allow and season generously
• Bake at 200C for 25 minutes, tossing regularly
• Serve with your po’ bo’

*if you want to make your own bread crumbs, which I generally do, and you don’t have a food processer handy, which I did not bring to the holiday shack, use a stale loaf (or frozen works well) and grate it to fulfill your dreams

Wooli part 5… Mongrel Oysters Kilpatrick

15 Comments

SAMSUNG CSC

Mongrel Oysters Kilpatrick

Wooli may not be home to hipster cafes or trendy restaurants. In fact it’s sole café is only open, and I quote the guy out the front with the sea farers moustache, “Thursdy through Sundy” (I’m pretty sure that guy does the opening hours for the café and restaurant and oyster farm because no one seems to stick to a time table around here), and it’s only restaurant is at the lawn bowls club, operates out of a 2×4 rabbit hutch of a designated service window in a darkened corner of said club, and is named, like all good Aussie-Chinese restaurants should be, Harry’s Chinese Restaurant. There may not be a reputable purveyor of fresh fruit and vegetables to be seen unless what you are seeking is an apple or possibly a carrot. And if you need to re-stock your alcohol supplies while here you will need to have a shit load of pocket change (60 bucks for a carton of domestic beer should see you right), but if you don’t have that sort of change there is an old fisherman named Jacob who frequents the bar. He will happily buy you a beer. You will just need to meet him in the car park for a few minutes first and no, he’s not running an illegal boxing ring. You will be required to pay with pleasures of the flesh. Your fleshy chequebook, if I may.

Wooli Oyster Farm

Wooli Oyster Farm

But Wooli is home to two things that I love very much;
1. Serenity – if only to walk around quoting “The Castle” saying “how’s the serenity”
2. Scenery – I like looking at pretty things (that’s why I married Jennee. She owns heaps of pretty things. No, she IS a pretty thing. Girl. Woman. Whatever)
3. It’s own oyster farm. That’s right, fresh oysters not more than 400 meters down the street from where I’m staying

I don’t count so good.

Ready to hit the grill kids

Ready to hit the grill kids

So we picked up some oysters today on our daily excursion to the local skatepark. I cooked some of them in the style of a mongrel Kilpatrick and the rest would just have to find their way into our bellies with the aid of a little lemon juice.

Quick, get some before Seba eats them all

Quick, get some before Seba eats them all

I loved them, but I knew I would. A fresh oyster is truly close to my heart. The only problem is my sons are developing quite an inclination for the humble oyster too. When Seba sees oysters he turns into some kind of Jurassic Oysterosausras who seemingly will not live another minute if he does not consume at least half of the oysters on the table. Needless to say, I got a few, not heaps but a few before the kids had gone and I was left checking shells for a stow away. Alas my search was fruitless. I think there may be another trip to the oyster shop tomorrow.

Fruitless searching revealed no extras for me

Fruitless searching revealed no extras for me

MONGREL OYSTERS KILPATRICK

All I had on hand was some pork belly prosciutto from the fine folks at Salumi Australia (gimme a break, I’m trying to get some paid advertising here) and some home made HP-ish sauce from my mate Phil (you can learn more about Phil here). It was not oysters Kilpatrick but it was something that was damn tasty… and who eats oysters Kilpatrick these days anyway?

12 fresh oysters
3 thin slices prosciutto, each cut into 4 pieces
HP sauce
• Top oysters with a piece of prosciutto and then a couple of drops of HP(ish) sauce
• Cook under hot grill for 1 minute, no more
• Eat
• Get some more tomorrow because you didn’t get to many that go

Jennee’s Birthday Feast(s)

14 Comments

HAPPY BIRFDAY JENNEE

A dodgy photo of a dodgy fam...
A dodgy photo of a dodgy fam…

Yesterday was the date of birth of my lovely betrothed, Jennee. A magical day indeed. The day started as if we were in a fairytale. We awoke in a mansion over looking Byron Bay and the lighthouse, surrounding by beautiful lush green fields and a tempting glassy blue ocean. Who would’ve believed it… and then reality started to creep into to the scene. We were no longer Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. This was not our fairytale at all. No, we had stayed here at the invitation of our friends who, the night previous, had thrown a cracker of an engagement party, and by Jeeves I think I was still drunk.

I had to get to work.

Jennee hit the beach nice and early and by 8:30 she was seated in the restaurant I work at (yeah I know, pretty rough that I worked on her birthday but the thing is, when I bought birthday presents for Jen the stall owners insisted that I pay them with cold hard cash, thus I worked. Jennee likes presents, cold hard cash it was) and ready for the birthday breakfast*. Jennee had spent a good part of her working week unproductive and continuously in thought as to what this birthday breakfast may be, and then it was finally decided. There was fanfare and trumpets and a town crier, just like a royal wedding or the finals of “Pop Asia”, this was an event not to be missed. “What will it be?” the voices murmured around the crowd until, like a giant game of Chinese whispers, the murmur reached the beginning again, where It had become “red cat three”… Now, what the hell was I talking about? Ah, Jen’s birthday breakfast. Gluten free toast with, avocado, tomato, feta and chorizo salsa, rocket, poached eggs and chilli jam. It looked good. I wanted to eat it. Well that’s a lie. I didn’t want to eat anything but I knew I would’ve wanted to eat it if I had not now sobered up enough for a cracking hangover to kick in. She said it was really good.

Gimme some white mans magic pills. Make stabbing pain in head go away….

My work day ended just in time. Well, it actually ended the same time it always does but I don’t think I could’ve gone any further, plus I needed to make dinner for Jen. Now… what did she want?? And this is where I got really lucky, for Jen desired a seafood feast, and this to me is easy entertaining. I can do this on autopilot no dramas at all.

Prawns and oysters have a special place in my heart... and my belly

Prawns and oysters have a special place in my heart… and my belly

Puttanesca baby octopus at the front, some other stuff behind that

Puttanesca baby octopus at the front, some other stuff behind that

Salmon carpaccio

Salmon carpaccio

Herby squid rings

Herby squid rings

Mmmmm

Mmmmm

We had cooked prawns, fresh oysters with soy mirin and ginger, wakame, salmon capparccio with lemon, soy, coriander and olive oil, herby squid rings, braised baby octopus with puttanesca flavours (yes you will get a full recipe for that one shortly), oven chips (recipe here), salads, beer, cider and by the end of it all we had damn full bellies. A minimal effort (don’t tell Jen that though), using fresh produce for a great result. The only things I had to cook were the octopus, squid and chips. Which leaves so much more time for drinking away this hangover…

Truly a great way to entertain, unless of course you are allergic to seafood, in which case this feast may be very similar to suicide or eating actual shit. Too far? Bye bye.

*I guess being married to a chef may have it’s downfalls (although nothing immediately springs to mind) but having someone to personally cook whatever birthday meal the furthest reaches of your brain’s culinary expanse may desire, is certainly not one of those downfalls

Talking more about oysters…

Leave a comment

These little babies didn't stand a chance. It was like throwing christians to the lions!

As promised after the oyster fiesta while on holiday in Iluka, here are the recipes for the garnishes we had with them, plus (there is always a plus here with foodisthebestshitever folks… always a plus. Stick with us and you’ll be fine. Except in the case of an apocalypse, in which case ain’t nothing going to save you!) you get the prerequisite amusing anecdote, and only here on foodisthebestshitever is it the norm for that amusing anecdote to have approximately zero relevance to the actual story.

On with the show…

Recently I was flicking through the channels on the picture box* and I hit a show with a crazy English bird waffling on about oysters and the dislike she thought she had for them, and how tewibbly ugaly they are. Bloody hell, I thought to myself. But then she goes on to discover they are actually very tasty and delicious and have as much a place in your mouth as any old sea farers co… c… whoa up there Nelly. Point being; I want oysters and I want them now.

I want oysters all of the time. Freshly shucked, still in the shell please. I want to know they’re fresh and I’m pretty keen for different flavours. The only problem here is that my oyster fetish seems to have been inherited by my son, Seba, so you’ve got to try and get a few in before he notices they’ve hit the table. Life could be worse that’s for damn sure. Anyhoo, today I figure I’ll make a couple of dressings just so I have to get a pile of oysters to try them out!

Does this story need more dragons?

In honour of oyster lovers and dragons everywhere today we shall be trying the legendary Oysters Rockafeller, and we’ll also have them natural and with a chilli, soy and shallot dressing.

SAMSUNG CSC

SOY, CHILLI & SHALLOT DRESSING (for 2 dozen oysters)

1 shallot, finely sliced

1 long red chilli, deseeded and diced as small as you can go

1 teaspoon grated ginger

7 or 8 coriander leaves, finely sliced

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

A squeeze of lemon juice

A splash of olive oil to bring it together

  • Mix to combine
  • That’s it
  • Get to them before Seba does
Popeye would be proud. Muscles would be popping up all over the place...

Popeye would be proud. Muscles would be popping up all over the place…

Not bad at all

Not bad at all

OYSTERS ROCKAFELLER (for 2 dozen oysters)

Adapted (with what I could get hold of in a small sea side town) from Janni Kyritsis’ recipe in the “Sydney Seafood School Cookbook”. Well worth a read PS. The story is mine though…

A while back I was speaking to my friend Amanda, who was living the dream in America, and she was telling me that she was in love with, and slightly addicted to (they kinda go together I guess), Oysters Rockerfeller. Them and cowboy boots, but we’ll concentrate on the oysters for now. Her obsession made me really curious about the Rockafeller and I feel now is the time to let that curiosity flourish.

200g butter

1 stick celery from close to the center, diced

5 spring onions, sliced

1 handful parsley, chopped

2 large handfuls baby spinach, chopped

A splash of pernod

A splash of tabasco sauce to taste

1 or so cups fresh bread crumbs

Rock salt for cooking

Seasoning

  • Heat the butter over a low heat, add the celery and shallots and cook out until softened but not coloured
  • Add the parsley and spinach and cook out for another 5-10 minutes, until the greens have wilted and the water has mostly evaporated
  • Remove from heat and mix through all other ingredients. Transfer to a food processer and puree until smooth (the mixture should be thick and not have excess moisture). Check seasoning and tabasco hit. Refrigerate until cold
  • Preheat oven to 250C
  • Position oysters on mounds of rock salt and top with a generous spoonful of spinach mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until needed
  • Bake oysters for 3-5 minutes until just warm but not cooked through
  • Eat them before Seba gets them all

Some other things that go great with oysters;

  • Fiery granita. The first I heard of a savoury granita was when Pauly (if you don’t know who Pauly is by now then you really haven’t been paying attention now, have you?) made one to go with a prawn ceviche. Needless to say I was amazed… And I truly fell in love. I’m pretty sure that’s all I need to say about that.
  • Red curry sauce. Once, when I was head chef at a Thai restaurant, I was given a shit load of oysters to try (one of the perks of being a head chef is you get given samples of products on a regular basis. Probably half the reason I love it so much) and ate the shit out of said oysters with as many different garnishes as I could find. The red curry dressing with crisp eshallots was defo my fave at the time. Chilled oyster, warm curry sauce and crisp eshallots add up to good times for all.
  • Lemon or lime
  • My face
  • A hot date and some champagne, or whatever it is you kids are drinking these days.

And if you think you don’t like oysters I’ll say to you what I said to my mate Micky many years ago; “Don’t be a fanny! Try the effing thing.” Micky now has a-plate-a-day habit and he’s never looked back.

*picture box. TV. Television. Called picture box by crazy old ladies with a house full of cats and one guy that I worked with. In the same category as the wireless radio.

Iluka 2466, day three

4 Comments

Day three.

Wake up at crazy a.m. (an actual time) and straight into a brisk walk through the forest. Whatever made me think that was going to be a great idea also decided I needed a slap up, country town breakfast complete with the same cheap white bread that has nourished white trash kids for the better part of a century, super market sausages, McCain’s frozen hash browns and a few pea sprouts for garnish. This is normally the food that I crave about as much as giving myself a do-it-yourself enema. But it was good. It reminded me of the food that inspired me to seek out bigger and better things, and at the same time I seriously loved it. It was cooked well; the eggs were perfect, the hash browns were crisp and even the coffee warranted a second. Even cheap basics done well deserve a round of applause in my books. It’s all about passion and consistency.

I had the big, let's make that bloody huge, breakfast

I had the big, let’s make that bloody huge, breakfast. There’s 4 pieces of bacon under there

The boys had the breakky burger; bacon, egg, hashbrowns, sausage, mushroom & onion. The look on Sebas face says it all...

The boys had the breakky burger; bacon, egg, hashbrowns, sausage, mushroom & onion. The look on Sebas face says it all…

Obi tackles the breakky burger aka. the bigger then his head burger

Obi tackles the breakky burger aka. the bigger then his head burger

I did not need lunch.

Off for a quick skate with the boys at the local skatepark and then a quick nap… zzzzzzz… this is me sleeping.

Start thinking about dinner and BAM! I have an epiphany. It has come to my attention that I think part of a holiday for me has become cooking in a different kitchen, different location, different underwear and quite possibly a different shire that won’t judge me for wearing a chiffon dress partnered with a bear skin apron as I cook. I have decided I need no holiday from what I do for a wage… to bring home the bacon (hehe)… to feed my family (bahahaha), but maybe just a brief reprieve from the place I work… and whatever bullshit may come with that.

Whatever.

These little babies didn't stand a chance. It was like throwing christians to the lions!

These little babies didn’t stand a chance. It was like throwing christians to the lions!

Crab? OK then...

Crab? OK then…

Oysters rockafeller, natural and with soy, ginger & shallot dressing and crab with asian flavours in my new favourite blue pot

Oysters rockafeller, natural and with soy, ginger & shallot dressing and crab with asian flavours in my new favourite blue pot

Really, nothing stood a chance. We fed like the lion at a zebra carcass!

Really, nothing stood a chance. We fed like the lion at a zebra carcass! Note the garlic crusher – we didn’t have crab pliers so after a quick ransacking of the kitchen we found these. Necessity is the mother of invention… or a random looking child.. or something…

Back to dinner. More seafood (please see diary day 2). Crabs and oysters sound pretty sexy to me. The oysters were bloody fantastic. I do fancy Pacifics over Sydney Rocks, and I am 100% sure that I love them the most in the raw (both the oysters and myself). But we shall talk more about oysters in an upcoming post entitled “talking more about oysters”, and possibly more about myself in the raw in a post entitled “hairy faced, foul mouthed pirate bares all for a crowd of Japanese tourists”

Day four.

Watch the sun rise on the beach, drink some coffee, pack up and head home. Iluka is well worthy of a visit if you like fresh seafood, the ocean and the classic animated children’s film, “Finding Nemo”.

Iluka diary done!

Our next destination is Brisbane for the annual “Stockdale vs Cootes’ Cook-off” and then north to the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Holidaysreallyarethebestshitever

Older Entries