While cruising Indonesia we were lucky enough to visit a tiny fishing village on the island of Panebangan. The people were exceptionally friendly and welcomed us with huge smiles and a large bunch of bananas! It was at this village, the following morning, that we were invited onto a fishing boat for breakfast. Dwayne watched how the fisherman made chilli fish and it has since become Dwayne’s signature dish! This is great for when I don’t feel like cooking…. i.e. “I’d really love your chilli fish for dinner tonight Dwayne!”
Dwayne has made this a couple of times for dinner. Once he used fish and squid and the other time he used crayfish.
It’s simple and tasty. This is how he does it…
fresh chillies, chopped
fresh garlic, chopped
asian shallots, chopped
Blend all the above ingredients with the mortar and pestle.
Add oil to a pan and heat.
Add the spice mix, fry until fragrant.
Add the seafood (fish or what ever you want) and fry it for a while.
Then add some water and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasional.
Season with salt as needed.
I made this risotto while we were anchored in Darwin Harbour awaiting our visa and paperwork to set sail for Indonesia. The crayfish was caught on our way to Darwin as we cruised the Great Barrier Reef.
I have never made a risotto before, so I googled to get some ideas. In the end I combined some of my favourite flavours to make the risotto I had envisioned. Yay!
This is what I did… I melted butter in a large pan and sautéed finely chopped onion and garlic, diced chorizo and sliced chilli until the onion had softened.
Next I added the rice and cooked it for approximately four minutes “toasting it”. This step apparently determines the final texture of the risotto. It heats the outside of the rice quickly thus preventing it from breaking and seals in the starch.
I then added a cup of white wine. On medium heat I cooked it until all the liqud was nearly absorbed. I then began the task of adding 1/4 of a cup of hot fish stock at a time, waiting for each to be absorbed before adding more, all the while stirring. When the rice was nearly done (a taste test will tell you) I added sliced mushroom, heaps of tarragon and the lobster.
While anchored in Darwin Harbour, with supermarkets nearby, I decided to do a romantic dinner for Dwayne. For entree I made crayfish salad using a crayfish we caught in the Great Barrier Reef. It is very simple but looks great!
This is what I did…
I made a salad dressing by mixing
3 Tbs of coconut cream
2 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs soy sauce
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
I refrigerated until I was ready to use it.
I prepared a small packet of vermicelli noodles by soaking them in boiling water. I drained them well and mixed some of the salad dressing through them. I refrigerated the noodles until I was ready to make my salad stacks.
I shredded carrot, lettuce and snow peas, then chopped some coriander and sliced some tomato.
I stacked the vegetables firmly into a mould, beginning with the noodles and topping it off with the tomato and coriander.
I removed the stack mould.
I then topped the salad with crayfish and salad dressing. Voila! Simple, colourful and delicious.
One of our longest legs sailing so far was the 58 hour sail from Seisai, QLD to Gove, NT. We had some really nice weather and good sailing for most of it. Since it was another milestone (i.e. entering another state, Northern Territory) we decided to celebrate with a delicious meal. Crayfish Mornay.
This is what we did…
Dwayne cut the crayfish in half, from head to tail. I removed the meat, washed the shells, and roughly chopped the lobster flesh.
To make the mornay I heated some milk, a thick slice of onion, a bay leaf and some peppercorns in a pot. I simmered it for a couple of minutes. I then removed the pot from the heat, covered it and let it sit for 15minutes so the flavour would infuse.
I heated a little oil (I didn’t have butter) in a saucepan and added a some plain flour. I cooked this for a minute or two, stirring constantly, then removed it from heat.
I added the white wine and mixed until I had a smooth consistency, then added the milk gradually while mixing. I cooked it over low heat for a few minutes until the sauce thickened. Stirred in a little salt and pepper, cream and some cheese. I stirred this until the cheese melted, then added the crayfish meat.
I then spooned the lobster mixture into the shells, sprinkled with cheese and baked it in the oven for 15minute .
It was nice served with basmati rice and steamed broccoli.
It was while sailing the Howard Group of Islands in the Great Barrier Reef that we caught our first crayfish. We arrived there after lunch, shortly after catamaran ‘Miss Polly’, and jumped straight into the beautifully inviting water for a snorkel. Dwayne bagged an approximately three kilo crayfish. Yay!
Gerry and Polly from ‘Miss Polly’ joined us on the beach, for a cook up, where we all enjoyed crayfish until we were full and still had some left over!
To cook it, Dwayne simply cut the tail down the centre and washed it in the sea.
He then spread it with garlic and butter…
…and cooked it on the BBQ over a small fire.
We enjoyed a few drinks and a bonfire while we waited for it to cook.