Tag Archives: Queen Vic Market

CHATHAM ISLANDS BLUE COD, cooked in cartoccio (in a bag in English or en papillote in French)

Blue cod on sticks

I bought this fish at the Queen Victoria Market. What motivated me to buy it was the sustainable label. My fish vendor does not usually label his fish as sustainable and I was quite impressed. In fact I shook his hand.

I chose to ignore the fact that it comes from New Zealand – flown in daily the vendor said.  Unfortunately it is not exactly local. It was $32.00 per kilo. It weighed one kilo.

He always asks me if I want whole fish filleted. I always say no.

‘Best steamed’ he said. So I chose to bake it in baking paper – in cartoccio – it keeps in the moisture.

I wanted to taste the fish not drown it in flavours so I chose simple flavours: caper berries, slivers of garlic and some parsley and fresh rosemary and bay leaves to stuff the cavity of the fish.

Uncooked-blue-cod-1

You will notice that the fish is greenish-blue to blue-black in colouring. It is a white fish with medium texture and the flesh remained very moist.The Blue Cod are caught sustainably because potting is used – The pots are baited and once the fish is inside they are trapped. Each pot is set at a size that allows younger undersized fish to escape and any by-catch is released unharmed.

If I want sustainable fish I have to be prepared to pay for it and you can see why the price is high.

Either use 2 sheets of baking paper or use one sheet of baking paper on top of some metal foil. The two layers will help prevent the paper from breaking when you put it in a serving dish.

 

INGREDIENTS
1 fish, 1k – I used Chatman Islands Blue Cod
fresh rosemary and bay leaves to insert in the stuffing
3 large garlic cloves, cut into slivers
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
caper berries, about 10
½ cup of chopped parsley

PROCESSES
Preheat oven to 220C
Make sure the cavity of the fish is very well cleaned and stuff it with the rosemary and bay.
Place 2 large sheets of baking paper on a baking tray, sprinkle it with salt, pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle a little parsley some garlic slivers and some capers on the paper and place the fish on top.
Repeat what you did on the bottom of the fish on top of the fish.
Wrap the fish completely in the paper and place it in a baking pan, then bake in the oven for 25- 30 minutes. (I prefer my fish not to be overcooked). Remove the pan from oven and leave the fish wrapped up in the paper for an extra 10 minutes.

cooked blue cod

Take it out of the paper and keep the juices as the sauce. Drizzle a little extra olive oil on top and some more freshly ground black pepper – I cannot help being Italian!

PASTA CON CARCIOFI (Pasta with artichoke sauce)

Shoppers seem to be more familiar and discerning when selecting what used to be referred to as a ‘challenging vegetable’, and this could be contributing to the good quality of artichokes on sale.

As we are heading into spring (in Australia), artichokes are becoming more plentiful. Lately I have seen and purchased some very good artichokes at the Queen Victoria Market. I do like whole, stuffed, braised artichokes, however sliced artichokes can be sautéed and used to make a frittata, risotto or a pasta sauce.

 

The following is a standard pasta sauce made in most parts of Italy. Most regions use a few tomatoes (tinned at this time of year). I actually prefer the sauce without them and use extra wine for the extra moisture which may be required to soften the artichokes. Butter is added at the end to sweeten and bring together the flavours, but is generally not used in some regions of Italy (mainly in the south).

INGREDIENTS

fettuccine all’uovo, 500 g (egg pasta)
tomatoes, 300g peeled and sliced (canned are OK at this time of year)
butter, 3 tablespoons
extra virgin olive oil, ½- ¾ cup
artichokes, 3-4, young and fresh
garlic, to taste
salt and coarsely-ground black pepper, to taste
white wine, 1 cup
fresh parsley, ½ cup
grated parmesan cheese, to taste

PROCESSES

Prepare artichokes: strip off outer leaves until you have leaves that are lighter in colour and less fibrous.
Cut the artichokes into quarters and then into slices. Trim the stalk of their fibrous outer cover and slice. Keep the artichokes in acidulated water (lemon juice) to prevent from discolouring.
Heat the olive oil in a large shallow pan, add the well drained artichokes and sauté for approximately 3-4 minutes.
Add white wine and evaporate for a few minutes.
Add tomatoes, garlic, seasoning and parsley; taste the artichokes and decide if they need more cooking, cover and simmer till cooked (if the artichokes are tender it may only be 5-10 minutes). Add extra wine or stock if necessary.
Dress the pasta with the sauce. Add butter at this stage.
Place parmesan cheese on the table (or use pecorino if you wish it to be a southern Italian) .
For other artichokes recipes and how to clean them, hit this link.

 

THOSE OTHER BRASSICAS (Cabbages and Brussel Sprouts and how to cook them)

I love all brassicas (brassicaceae or mustard family), not just the Italian cime di rape,  the coloured (green, purple, pink) and cream cauliflowers, broccoli, cavolo nero, kale, kohlrabi,  cabbages Brussels sprouts and all of those Asian mustard greens .

Purple cauli pile_0076 crop
If we are talking about favourite Sicilian brassicas, there are the cime di rape, coloured cauliflowers, the green and purple coloured kohlrabi and broccoli.

kohlrabi purple pattern_0104

Italians seem to buy local produce and you are unlikely not find brussel sprouts, savoy cabbages, cavolo nero or red cabbage  in Sicily – these are grown in north of Italy. In the north of Italy you are less likely to find cime di rape or kohlrabi or the purple cauliflowers.

 

In Sicily the white cabbage (cavolo cappuccio), available in winter, is often used uncooked as a salad green and simply dressed with a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, wine vinegar, salt and pepper. The salad tastes quite sweet.

Brussels sprouts in Italy are called cavolini or cavoletti di Bruxelles (or Brussels).

The Brussels sprouts in my mother’s kitchen were always brasati (braised in a little broth – stock or stock cube with a little water). My mother’s brussel sprouts were always overcooked and unfortunately for me this seems to be the preferred way that  Italians prefer to eat vegetables.

DSC_0023

INGREDIENTS
Brussels sprouts, 1k
onions, 2 sliced finely
butter and extra virgin olive oil, ½-¾ cup
stock/broth, veal or chicken, ½- 1 cup
pepper and salt to taste

PROCESSES
Remove the external leaves to the cavolini, and cut a little cross at the base
(to help them cook evenly).
Precook them for about 5 mins by boiling them in salted, boiling water (I do not pre cook them) and drain well.
Saute` the onions in a mixture of oil and butter, add the cavolini and toss them around till coated.
Add the broth, salt and pepper, partly cover them with a lid and braise slowly.

brussells_0084blog

Red cabbage (cavolo cappuccio rosso) is not a Sicilian vegetable, but is appreciated in Trieste and goes very well with pork. The following recipe has Austrian origins, which is nor surprising when one looks at Trieste’s location.

INGREDIENTS

bacon or speck cut into very small cubes, ½ – 1 cup

red cabbage, ½ sliced very thinly
extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
red wine vinegar, ½ cup
cumin seeds,
salt and pepper to taste

PROCESSES
Lightly brown the bacon or speck in a little oil.
Boil the vinegar, add the cumin seeds and a little salt and pour the hot mixture over the cabbage.
Add the bacon, toss and let it marinade for at least 2 hours.
Add a drizzle of oil when ready to serve.

Cooked cabbage is not very common in Sicily, but it is in Trieste and I have always loved the way my mother cooks Savoy cabbage (cappuccio verza).

When we first arrived in Australia, there was plenty of cabbage and not much else in the way of green vegetables, so cabbage was frequently eaten. As silly as this may seem to you, I used to love this cabbage dish as a filling in a sandwich or panino (bread roll). Although it was my favourite filling I used to cringe on those occasions that my mother had packed this for my school lunch. It used to smell so strongly and on those particular days, I used to pretend I had forgotten my lunch and ate it on the way home. My school bag always needed to be aired overnight.

INGREDIENTS
Savoy cabbage, ½ sliced thinly
garlic, 3 cloves, chopped
white wine, ½ glass or water
bay leaves, 2, fresh
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil, ½-¾ cup

PROCESSES
Add the garlic and the cabbage to the hot oil.
Stir the cabbage in the oil until it begins to soften, add the wine, bay leaves and the salt and pepper.
Cover the pan and cook on very gentle heat for at least 20 minutes (my mother cooked it twice as long). Stir from time to time to ensure that it is not sticking and add more wine or water if necessary.

See Recipes:

CIME DI RAPE

CAVOLO NERO

CAVOLOFIORE  AFFOGATO (cauliflower)

KOHRABI with pasta