OUTBACK GOURMET: FOOLPROOF FISH PARCELS
With fire bans in place all over the country and temperatures just too hot to be bothered cooking over an open fire, summertime sees us having to dig out our tried and tested stovetop meals. This recipe I am going to share with you features frequently when I am catering for a mob of hungry clients in the Outback. It takes little time to prepare and less than 20 minutes to cook; and I can cook 20 parcels at a time on a gas hotplate, or in large baking dishes over a few gas burners. Most fish can be used for this method. Even whole fish can be done this way. I try to use one largish (approx 150g) portion of whatever fish I’ve got per parcel. I have had great success with Basa. I know it’s farmed and imported but it is cheap… and cooks up perfectly every time. Everyone I have served it to has loved it. Whiting fillets are my next choice, and I use two fillets per parcel (as they are usually quite small). Salmon is hugely expensive but without doubt tastes a million dollars when cooked this way.
To cook these parcels you will need a hotplate over a gas burner; a shallow fry pan; or even the Weber set at a moderate temperature.
Place one sheet of foil or paper on your work surface and smear a teaspoon of butter in the middle.
Place the fish fillet over the butter, sprinkle with your favourite fish sprinkle and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
Draw the top and bottom edges of the foil or paper together, and fold over a couple of times to encase the fish; fold over the ends to completely seal the parcel. Paper ends may need to be twisted, as paper tends to unfold (unlike foil, that stays put).
Place the parcels onto the hotplate, fry pan or Weber and cook for approximately 12-15 minutes or until you can press the thickest part of the fish with your finger and it is hot to the touch.
Serve with cold salads for a cool summer meal, or stir-fried vegies and udon noodles for a hot meal on a cool night. Either way, enjoy.
Tip. I like to use baking paper as it can be burnt in the fire after use, whereas foil can’t.
Tip. Australian Lemon Myrtle and Pepper Berries are a lovely local seasoning.
- 1 portion of fish per parcel per person
- 1 teaspoon of butter per serve
- Your favourite fish herbs or seasoning
- A squeeze of lemon or lime per serve
- 1 30-40cm piece of foil or baking paper per serve
By Jo Clews