Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Whole baked fish.

It's hard to eat indoors when it's still light outside at 7.30 in the evening. Had the evening been a few degrees warmer, the following dish would have gone onto the barbecue for our first outdoor meal of the season. But it was cool, so I baked it in the oven and we ate inside.

My local fish supplier used to be Lido Seafoods but has changed hands and is now known simply as Sydney Road Fresh Fish. It stocks a far wider range of quality fish than most fish shops and prices are no more than at the over-hyped, overcrowded Victoria Market.

I chose a whole rainbow trout - already cleaned and oven-ready - from a tempting array of choices which included baby sardines that need only a dusting with flour and fast frying in oil. Next time.

Rainbow trout roasted with leeks, red onion and lemon.

1. Chop a leek radially into thin rings. Rinse grit if necessary. Chop a large red onion into rings. Sweat the leek and onion in oil in a covered pan until they just start to soften.

2. In a bowl, combine three tablespoonsful of olive oil with the juice of two lemons, a handful of chopped parsley and half that amount of chopped dill. Season.

3. Place the trout into a baking dish and stuff it with the warm leek and onion mixture. Some will spill out. Pour the herbed oil and lemon mixture over the trout. Cover the dish with foil. Bake twenty minutes depending on size of fish. This fish cooks quickly, retains its moisture and is delicious.

4. Serve with seasonal asparagus drizzled with lemon butter: remove asparagus from pan when just cooked, drain away most of the cooking water, add the juice of two lemons and a pat of butter, reduce, pour over asparagus and add cracked black pepper.

There was enough fish and leek/onion mixture left over to make a fish pie, combined with mashed potato and topped with cheese sauce.


We're using lemons in everything at the moment. We came home with bags of them from Gippsland, where my mother-in-law has an ancient tree loaded with the yellow citrus bombs. It's a shame to see them rotting on the ground. Might need to make lemonade, Lebanese-style, a drink I enjoyed on ice for years at the sadly-departed Lebanese House in Russell Street.


paula said...

lebanese style lemonade, more information please!

kitchen hand said...

Paula, essentially, the juice of lemons to which is added sugar, water and variously, orange blossom water or mint; all in varying ratios according to the recipe. Some recipes use entire lemons pulped for a denser drink.