Main Course Ideas

Wrapped in a parcel with hidden delights

This version will offer mystery and surprise. From your grocery supplier obtain sufficient banana leaf, if they do not have it in stock they will have supplies in a couple of days. You will need a piece 25 cm square for each of your guests. In boiling water blanch the leaf for four minutes, to soften. Place the Salmon fillet in the centre of the leaf. Now you need to add the flavouring ingredients to give the visual and flavour sensation when opening the parcel. Try an Oriental touch with thin strips of ginger, lemon grass and spring onion with a touch of soy and Thai fish sauce. Fold up the parcel and close with a wooden kebab stick, or wrap together with long strips of spring onion. Steam until cooked, the core temperature needs to reach 62 degrees Celsius. Plate the closed parcel and allow your guests to open them. The choice of items to include in the parcel gives you a licence to thrill.

Cold cured with fennel herb and liquor

Curing originated as a way of preserving fish prior to introduction of fridges. It would start with a period of covering in salt or a salt solution, to start reducing the water content, following by drying and possibly smoking or further curing with sugar and salt. Nowadays we do not need to preserve fish, since we have daily sources of supply and the means of safe storage. Curing provides a method of adding extra flavour to the fish. Additionally the salt level in the dish will be low. You will need a container to store the fillets of fish tightly packed together in two layers. Place in the first layer flesh side up and cover with a small handful of chopped fresh fennel herb per fillet. Pour over 25 ml of a fennel or aniseed based liqueur per fillet. Add the second layer flesh side down. Cover with kitchen foil, top small weights to press down, such as clean pebbles or potatoes. Remove the covering and turn over and baste the fillets twice a day for five days. Prior to serving lay the fillets on a flat tray, cover with cling film and place in the freezer compartment for around an hour, until they begin to freeze. This process will enable you to cut the fillets in very thin slices and place on a cold plate, drizzled with the basting liquid and served with a chunk of lemon. This option can also be served as a starter with a smaller using a smaller fillet.

Grilled with Tandoori spices

Skin the fillet of fish, make cuts around 0.5 cm thick on both sides, lightly coat in vegetable oil and liberally coat with Tandoori spices, pressing the spicing into cuts. Allow to stand in the fridge for a minimum of two hours. Place on a tray under a very hot grill, turning the fillets once, until cooked to a temperature of 62 degrees Celsius. Serve on a bed of chopped cucumber in yoghurt flavoured with lemon juice.

The above three options are merely a drop in the ocean, pardon the pun, with what you can do with just one cut of fish. You can also try poaching and serve it cold with a salad, used as part of a fish pie with some white fish and Prawns, in a pate, in batter, as part of a fish curry, with asparagus and basil sauce, stir-fried, baked with a herb crust, fish cakes and many more. You can then consider other types of fish. With fish main courses there need never be any menu boredom.