Grilled garfish- when a recipe isn’t really a recipe
This probably doesn’t even count as a recipe, but its delicious, so here goes…
On the last day of my holidays. I headed out Jewfishing. The day before, we had been to a spot and tailor of between 30-40 cm were being chased by something on the turn of the tide. Jewfish were the obvious conclusion, but I had absolutely nothing appropriate on me to target them with. So we headed back the day afterwards, same time, same tide (the turn) and had a shot. Unlike the day before, it was absolutely dead. The schools of bream and trevally that had been cruising the edge of the hole were nowhere to be seen, the tailor weren’t sighted and three hours of throwing around deep divers and big plastics resulted in nothing bar one 35cm tailor. I had been sent out with the express instructions to bring back dinner. So after failing to tempt a jewfish and my cousin failing to tempt a bream or trevally or anything for that matter, catching dinner became the imperative. I tied on my favourite little garfish fly (size 14), started a bread trail and quickly landed 8 or so garfish and a nice little mullet, which combined with the big bream my cousin had got the day before would be enough to feed the family. As often happens when I go fishing, I’d got caught up in the moment and time had snuck away from us. Mum had given me the express instructions to be back by 8 to cook, but it was already past 8 when we thought about leaving and it was 915 before we walked in the door, hungry hoards impatiently waiting. So, it was time to think quick. Grilled garfish and steamed bream was the answer. The garfish was so simple it really doesn’t even deserve to be called a recipe, but delicious enough that maybe, just maybe it counts as one…
So here is the recipe for grilled garfish. Ingredients: salt, garfish, lemon to serve.
Turn your grill onto high- as high as it will go. Liberally sprinkle some good wanky salt all over one side of your little garfish (which have been scaled and gutted) and throw them under your scorching grill. You want it HOT! The fish will cook fast and the real trick of this recipe is to get the skin of your little garfish blistering and a little charred. After a minute or two, turn your fish, liberally sprinkle with salt again and throw them back under the grill to blister and char the other side. Serve with a slice of lemon. Deceptively simple but absolutely delicious. The mullet was done the same way, but butterflied (this worked really well by the way) and only cooked on the skin side. Combined with a steamed bream, served with shallots, ginger and a soy and mirrin dressing, my tardiness was soon forgiven. So if you are prone to getting yourself into a little trouble by staying out fishing a little long, remember, a few garfish, some salt and some lemon can go a long way to earning your forgiveness.
Happy New Year to everyone and some proper posts will be coming soon.
PS: Lee has an interview for River Cottage Australia today- good luck!