Recipe Category: Bar Bites
Apart from the squid, all the ingredients for this fun little snack can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. If puffed fish skin isn’t your thing, slices of grilled focaccia make a simple, tasty alternative.
Fresh New Zealand arrow squid is one of the unheralded delights of the NZ seafood scene. If your fishmonger is unable to source fresh squid for you, frozen squid will also work very well; just make sure to drain it well before cooking.
Puffed fish skin adds a great texture and flavour to a dish. In a kitchen such as Bistronomy, where we are focussed on as little waste as possible, it is also a way to take a product that is often thrown away and add value. In this recipe I have used salmon skin but most varieties of fish work well. You can prepare the skins in bulk ahead of time as, once dried, they will keep for up to two weeks, in fact their ‘puffability’ will improve a few days after drying as they re-hydrate slightly.
Serve with Hawke's Martini
This is a lovely fresh bite that is super-easy to make. If you are in a hurry you can skip the fennel water cracker and use any good-quality shop-bought cracker or bread.
Both Andrea and I are avid foragers and fennel is perhaps one of the most identifiable leaves out there. As always, when foraging be aware of where you are picking to ensure there are no possible contaminants like spray or doggie doo. For those slightly less adventurous you can easily substitute the foraged fennel component of these dishes with dill from your local vege store.
I developed this recipe to use up any fish trimmings or excess fish, though it’s so good that you could just buy good-quality smoked fish specifically to make it.
We lightly cure our excess fish then smoke it before freezing it with the other ingredients in a Pacojet container. For those that do not have $10k to spend on a fancy ice-cream machine, this recipe works just as well with a good food processor and a sieve!
FENNEL WATER CRACKERS
This recipe makes enough to fill five oven trays. You can either cut the recipe down, or bake all the crackers and keep in an airtight container, or make the dough and keep it in the fridge to bake when required.
Serve with Fennelicious
Served with: MARGARITA PASSIONFRUIT
Ceviche is an amazingly refreshing seafood dish that originates from the coastal regions of Latin America. It simply consists of fresh, raw fish that has been marinated in citrus juices along with some added extras, in this case passionfruit.
Paired with CEVICHE DE LA PASION
Served with: CARAJILLO PATRON XO
This crispy, beer-braised pork belly is served with the famous Mexican salsa borracha (‘drunken salsa’).
Paired with CAULIFLOWER CHEESE
Served with: GREEN THUMB COCKTAIL
The calamari is based on a salad my parents served in their first restaurant, an upmarket hotel just outside of Melbourne, called Athelstane.
We adapted our Green Thumb cocktail from Meehan's Bartender Manual, adjusting the ratios for the Kiwi palate and freshening it up a bit with a few local ingredients. Green tea on matcha, ginger on apple, wasabi on fennel – this dish/drink pair works because they’re analogous rather than contrasting.