Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Kitchen Stadium heads to Sydney

Fans of fine food and popular culture take note: Iron Chef is in town! Galileo Restaurant in the Observatory Hotel has become Kitchen Stadium for the next three nights, with head chef Harunobo Inukai taking on Iron Chef French Sakai.

Fans willing to fork out $450 will be treated to a nine course meal cooked by the duelling chefs. Joanna Saville is hosting.

The rest of us will have to wait until Saturday night for our next Iron Chef fix courtesy of SBS!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Kuwaiti Fish Stew


With Ramadan now upon us I was reminded of a recipe I have been wanting to try for months - Kuwaiti Fish Stew (apologies for my terrible food photography!). I have no experience cooking Middle Eastern food other than the old favourites hummous, felafel and fattoush, so was really intrigued about this stew which uses black limes and a Persian spice mix. It is definitely more of a hearty winter dish but with the gusty winds in Sydney on the weekend, it worked perfectly.

The black limes are dark brown in colour, dried and slightly smaller in size than a regular lime. They taste of citrus but are also rich like a chutney. I sourced mine from a deli in Parramatta. For the Persian spice mix I cheated and used one made by Herbies but if you’d rather make your own, the recipe is below.

I used the following recipe from Spicery (Hardie Grant) but Herbies also has one:

6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions
3 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 large green chilli, seeded and chopped
1 bunch each of fresh dill and
fresh coriander, leaves chopped roughly
3 tomatoes, chopped roughly
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 whole black limes, pierced in a few places
2 tablespoons Persian spice blend
1 teaspoon salt
500 –750 ml water
4 firm fish fillets e.g. Ling
2 tablespoons plain flour

Heat three tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onions until cooked but not browned. Mix in the garlic, chilli, fresh herbs, tomatoes, tomato paste, limes, salt and 2 teaspoons of the Persian spice blend.

Add 500ml hot water, stir, cover and keep warm over a low heat while preparing the fish.

Sprinkle the remaining spice blend over both sides of the fish and dust with the flour. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons in a large frying pan and cook fish lightly on both sides. Transfer the fish to the saucepan. Add more hot water if needed to cover the fish. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Serve with rice.

Persian spice blend (makes about 2 tablespoons):
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, ground lightly
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ground green cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon amchur powder (dried green mango slices)
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and if
not using immediately, store in an airtight container away from direct light.