Iconic Queen Victoria Market!
There’s something there for every foodie! If you’re a newbie, you will find a good selection of seasonal produce available from most of the stalls there. But…if you can manage the time to get to know the vendors, and ask them about ‘what they do best’..then you are certain to discover some delightful gastronomic treasures. Over the years, I have discovered some of the tastiest tomatoes..the crunchiest apples and the silkiest smoked salmon. An then, of course..who can go past the fresh fish? Needless to say, one of the biggest draw cards to the Queen Vic is the seafood! WOW! As you walk past the fish mongers, there are no strong fishy smells, only the smell the sea.
On our most recent visit to the Queen Victoria Market, all sense of self control was made redundant once we hit the seafood section. I soon lost count of how much we purchased, there where so much beautiful fresh fish! I had to invite a few friends to join us for dinner that night…so we could all enjoy the freshness of all we had purchased.
A recipe we have been wanting to try for a while is cured trout. We came across some lovely fresh trout, plump and silvery with glossy eyes. The fish monger was happy to cut a fillet for us.We purchased one piece, approximately 250-350 grams, enough to serve 4 people as an entree.
Cured fish has made a regular appearance on our dinner menu for several years now. As children, we would visit the Preston Market, where my mother would purchase a large salmon fillet. She would cure it simply with salt and cognac, then serve it finely sliced, with capers and red onion. Our recipe uses the same concept, but with the addition of various herbs.
When curing fish this way, you need a strong alcohol combined with salt to essentially cook the fish. The salt and alcohol add flavour to the fish, as well as contribute to the preservation. You can use gin or cognac (just to name a couple) to cure fish. For this recipe we have used a good quality vodka. You cannot taste the alcohol, provided you do not drown the fish in it (then again..I’m not sure whether you can drown fish). Citrus should also be used. Feel free to experiment with your own combination, lime and blood red orange are on my shopping list for my next Market day shop.
What you will need:
250 – 350 grams trout
60 mls vodka
30 mls lemon juice
1-2 tbs rock salt
handful of finely chopped dill
handful of finely chopped parsley
1 tbs baby capers in vinegar, to serve
Rinse the fish and pat dry with a paper towel. Remove any bones using kitchen tweezers. Place the fish into a flat ceramic or glass dish, skin facing down.
Sprinkle the rock salt all over the fish then pour the lemon juice and vodka over the top.
Add the herbs and press them onto the flesh of the fish. Ensure there is enough liquid to immerse the fish.
Tightly wrap the plate with cling wrap and place into the fridge for approximately 8 hours. Flip the fish over and refrigerate for a further 8 hours. Flip the fish again and allow to cure for at least another 8 hours. Ensure the fish has cured for a minimum 24 hours, but no longer than 30 hours as it will begin to dry out. Remove from the liquid. Keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.
To serve, place the fish on a chopping board and slice thinly with a sharp knife. Do not cut through the skin. Avoid the temptation to remove the skin before slicing as it helps to hold the fish together while you are slicing it finely.
Tip: serve your cured fish on toasted bread, with cream cheese and capers.