Posted Jan 18, 2012
We hope those of you back at the coalface managed to grab at least a few rays of summer sun between the deluges. We escaped to Russell for what turned out to be four extremely gorgeous days just after New Year.
Realistic enough to know our seaward limitations, but keen to have our annual family fishing day, we commissioned a guy we had not met before - Hamish from Legend Charters - to help us wrest the anticipated beasts from the sea – and of course bait our hooks and fillet them afterwards. Yep, this is fishing at its most civilized!
Nothing like a local to take you to a good spot and once out as soon as we dropped our lines the fish started biting. The family joke is that I always catch the most or the biggest – I maintain this is because I am both a mother and a Piscean (though I had always privately thought that the retired Terry, who has previously been our expert, somehow rigged this). But apparently not – to the chagrin of my totally non zen family – as everytime I dropped my line a fish grabbed it. Very gratifying really -and of course, none of us are competitive!
Luckily the others were not entirely ignored, so no mutiny necessary, and we headed back having had a lot of fun with a generous amount of fish to both eat and give away.
We love fresh fish dusted with a bit of 00 flour and fried in good olive oil, but with this amount to sustain us and a few days to go, I made an updated variation of the ‘Poisson Cru’ recipe my late older brother taught me after a school exchange in Tahiti in the late ‘60s.
Try it when you can – it’s simple and lasts a few days – and if anything improves on ageing. You need lemons or limes, finely chopped spring onions, a tin of coconut cream, a few sliced El Navarrico piquillo pimientos – and if you have it - a splash of Forum Chardonnay vinegar – plus a bit of salt and pepper...
Cube the fish and marinate in the juice of a few lemons or limes – preferably for a few hours or overnight – though we have done it in an hour when needs must. In an ideal world tip the juice off (or keep it if you are short on citrus, which sometimes happens on holiday), add a fresh lot of juice, the chopped spring onions (depending on how much 'bite' you like), some coconut cream, a few sliced piquillos, a grind of salt and pepper – and a splash of the Chardonnay vinegar. Better left for a little while to allow the flavours to take hold, but can also be eaten immediately – preferably with your feet up accompanied by a green salad and a chilled glass of wine.