Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mackerel Hashwah, Rocket, Puy & Shallot Salad, Pistachio Pesto, Barberry

I thought I would miss the fresh Indian Ocean fish, but there is all the benefit of Cornish Mackerel being at home, gorgeous..

After scraping the scales, washing, filleting & pin-boning, dry the fillets well and dust with Taouk seasoning, normally used for a chicken shish, its a nice and light dry seasoning mix made up of cumin, pepper, cayenne, smoked paprika, ground coriander, clove, I like to add a little turmeric and vanilla salt, I find the vanilla justs smoothes the combination together, set aside to pan fry later and top the haswah

A hashwah is where I took my inspiration for this dish, although this doesn't exactly lend itself to a plated dish, I have a sushi press in my kitchen which if you combine the elements of a hashwah and pressed nigiri sushi then you can create something ideal for plating. The mould should be lined with cling film, first.
In Saudi there are two traditional fish dishes. "Hubul" a fried mackerel roe, served with rice or salad, is one, another is "Muhashsha" an elaborate rice and fish dish preferably prepared with fried kan'ad, mackerel. To start, onions are browned and spices are added to make the hashwah where the dish gets its name. The fried fish is laid atop the hashwah in a pot. Rice is prepared and piled on the fish and pressed down, and the pot is turned out onto a serving dish so that the fish and hashwah form the top.

After the rice is ready, dust the mackerel fillet in flour and Taouk seasoning again and pan fry in a little oil, making sure to hold down the fish so it doesn't curl, allow to cool and press for a few hours

I love crispy onions/shallots (especially that fairground smell) of cooking them, crisp onion layered together for garnish

With a hashwah in the middle east, the serve rocket and onion salad, I added puy lentils tossed just to give the salad a little body and some ground pistachios in a light pesto

The dish needs a little acid just to cut through the flavours and a citrus flavour dressing from barberries also add a little sweetness almost sweet n sour

The dishes I have been playing with recently, using middle eastern ingredients has been a great learning curve on using different foods and finding different ways of cooking I want to learn more about the ayurvedic philosophy attached to food, they use alot of the same ingredients and finding a way to use the two together will be great to experiment with.
The Ayurvedic cooking is more a philosophy of cooking based on developing wonderful flavours without the use of onions and garlic or fats to give body and “mouthfeel” using herbs and roots instead.
All of the recent pictures we have been taking are with the use of a lightbox I was given back in June after working with a great bunch of people. This is the first time I had started to use it and as we went through this menu the pictures became better all the time. I think some of them are fantastic, there is not nearly enoguh space to put them all on here, my favourite was the Lamb dish used in the title coming up in the next couple of days.


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Joie de vivre said...

Thanks for friending me on Foodbuzz. That was one beautiful fish. I love your final plating.

phanitha said...

Your presentation is awesome...!!!

foodbin said...

the mackerel is a very versatile fish-you can make springy fish paste out of it too. very good presentation- good post!

FOODalogue said...

Came to you via the foodie blogroll today...enjoyed your beautiful presentations.

grub said...

Thanks for all your great comments