Roasted yellow-eyed mullet with warm kumara, orange & couscous salad
Recipe by Rau McVinnie
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons paprika (use sweet smoked Spanish paprika if you have it)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted in a dry pan until fragrant then coarsely ground
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon hot chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
6 yellow-eyed mullet (around 150g each), scaled, gutted and slashed to the bone on each side 3 times
3 medium purple-skinned kumara, peeled and diced 3cm
250g large couscous (I use Israeli or Mograbieh Lebanese couscous; if not available, use small instant couscous and prepare following the instructions on the box)
zest of 1 orange
3 oranges, peeled with a sharp knife and flesh sliced from between the membranes
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped coriander, plus extra sprigs for garnish
4 tablespoons lemon juice or more if you like a sharper taste
75ml extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put the olive oil, paprika, cumin, garlic, chilli and salt in a small bowl and mix well.
2. Place the fish in a roasting dish and rub the oil and spice paste all over them. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove and keep warm.
3. Meanwhile, steam the kumara over high heat for 15 minutes or until tender. Remove and reserve.
4. Boil the couscous in plenty of well-salted boiling water for 15 minutes or until al dente. Drain and place in awide bowl. Add the kumara, zest, orange segments, onion and coriander.
5. Mix the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and add to the salad. Season well with salt and pepper, and taste to make sure the seasoning is right.
6. Place the salad on a warm serving platter, place the fish on top and garnish with coriander sprigs.
Stuffed Yellow Eyed Mullet
2 tbsp pine nuts
1/3 cup currants
1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped parsley
8 fillets yellow-eye mullet, pin-boned and skin on
Toast the pine nuts in a 150C oven until golden brown, about five minutes.
Put the currants in a cup and add 1/4 cup of hot water. Soak until needed.
For the stuffing, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft but not coloured. Add the breadcrumbs and fry on a medium heat until golden. Add the pine nuts and currants with any excess currant liquid. The mix should come together to a stuffing consistency.
Add the lemon zest and chopped parsley and season to taste. Allow to cool.
To stuff the fish, lay three pieces of brown string on a chopping board and place a mullet fillet across them, skin side down. Press several tablespoons of stuffing onto the fillet, covering it completely.
Place a second mullet fillet on top, skin side up. Press down firmly and replace any stuffing that falls out. Gather the string and tie three evenly spaced loops to firmly secure the "sandwich".
Repeat with remaining fillets and filling. These can be done up to a day ahead, and will hold together better when cooking if they are pre-prepared and allowed to set in the fridge.
To serve, fry the fish on a medium heat until the skin is crispy and the filling warm, about four minutes a side. Remove the string, sprinkle with sea salt and serve with a leafy salad.