Monday, January 14, 2008

Summer Tastes

There are always certain foods that signify the seasons for me, at the moment in the height of summer it is corn on the cob, avocados, cherry tomatoes and basil. Being that NZ is so isolated imported food can be pretty expensive so even though the seasons don't always make a difference to what is available, when it is grown locally and abundantly it is generally a great deal cheaper. Of course that abundance depends on the season and I have certainly taken to the idea of cooking more seasonally with local produce to take advantage of it being cheap and better in flavour.

Avocados and corn are cheap and plentiful at the moment, my mothers cherry tomatoes are just starting to ripen in good numbers and the basil she kindly popped into a pot is now huge! I love sinking my teeth into a cob of just cooked sweetcorn, it is so yummy I havent even been adding butter! Of course, guacamole becomes a staple (especially when you buy a huge bag of about 20 avocados for $5!) and to be able to have oodles of basil to make pesto is so lovely.

I found tonights dinner recipe in the latest issue of Taste magazine, it screamed summer at me and I was compelled to make it. I am so glad I did as it was beyond delicious, so many gorgeous flavours all working so wonderfully together. It was a bit of a pain getting all the ingredients together but ultimately worth the effort. As soon as I saw snapper on special in the supermarket I knew I was going to make this recipe. I also had a big bag of my mums lovely waxy new potatoes to use so all the ingredients were there!

Summer Fish
700g Desiree potatoes, peeled and diced, or small reshly dug waxy potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
3 ears sweet corn, husks and silks removed
Olive oil
300g middle bacon, trimmed and cubed
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 perfectly ripe avocados
Juice ½ lemon
20 cherry tomatoes
700g white fish fillets
½ cup basil leaves, shredded, plus tiny basil leaves for garnish
Lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil

Cook potato in gently boiling lightly salted water for 12 minutes, or until just tender. Drain. Cook sweet corn in gently boiling unsalted water for 5 minutes. Drain.Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan and add bacon and potatoes. Cook over a medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until bacon is crisp. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes more, or until golden. Season with salt and pepper.Halve avocados, remove stones, then peel. Slice thickly, sprinkle with lemon juice and season with a little salt and pepper. Halve tomatoes and season. Barbecue sweet corn on an oiled hotplate (or in a lightly oiled non-stick frying pan) until lightly golden. As soon as cool enough to handle, slice kernels off cobs. Rinse fish fillets, pat dry, then cut each fillet into 2-3 pieces. Barbecue fish fillets on an oiled hotplate (or fry them in an oiled pan) until golden on the first side, then flip fillets over and cook second side for a minute only, just to seal. Transfer to a plate and let fillets rest for a few minutes. To serve, spoon bacon, potatoes and onion onto 6 plates, then layer with avocado slices, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn kernels and shredded basil. Top with warm fish fillets, season with a little salt and pepper, drizzle lightly with lemon-infused olive oil and scatter with tiny basil leaves.From Taste magazine, January 2008
To finish we had some more sweet summer goodness, chilled watermelon!


Anonymous said...

Summer seems a very long way off but that meal looks stunning. Something to look forward to when the sun appears here.

George x

Thinking About Food said...

It is stunning George, I am always surprised how simple it can be to have great food by just combining fresh flavoursome ingredients!

hungryandfrozen said...

Gosh your photos are gorgeous, Linda! That Summer Fish recipe looks like a bit of work but sounds absolutely delicious :)

Anonymous said...

Linda that looks absolutely lovely. Can't wait for summer to come to try that one. Beautifully presented too.

Brenda/Granny xxx

Thinking About Food said...

Thanks Laura, I had some fun doing the photos for this blog, shot them outside in the late evening sun and they came out so cool, really makes me feel even more summery looking at them!

pistachio said...

Not a quick to put together meal but it looks fabulous. I too love using whatever is grown locally and in season, it makes all the difference.

pi xxx

Anonymous said...

i want.

that's all i can say. beautiful.