Traditionally when we think of comfort food, we immediately picture hearty meat stews or roast dinners. But there are plenty of ways to enjoy hearty seafood during the cooler months.
Quick Fish Curry
300g wild rice
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped 1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced 400g butternut pumpkin, cut into 2cm pieces
2 tbsp yellow curry paste 400ml can coconut milk 400g dhufish, cut into 3cm pieces
1 tbsp fried shallots
1 medium chilli, deseeded and chopped for garnish
Cook the wild rice as per the directions on the packet. It takes a little bit of extra time to cook wild rice but it’s worth the effort.
Heat the oil in a large wok over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, zucchini and pumpkin and stir-fry for 5 mins or until onion softens.
Add the curry paste. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant and vegetables are coated in paste. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
Add the fish and stir gently. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and serve on a bed of wild rice. Sprinkle with fresh chilli and shallots.
Roast Salmon & Roast Vegetables
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
6 shallots, peeled
3 baby squash, halved
1 zucchini cut into chunks
1 whole piece of garlic, cut in half
3 sprig rosemary
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 lemons, juice
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp seeded mustard
4 pieces of salmon
Arrange the vegetables in a baking dish and add the rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil.
Season well, sprinkle with cinnamon and half the sugar, making sure all pieces are coated. Bake in a 180C oven for 20 minutes.
Combine the lemon juice, honey, mustard and sugar and whisk. Remove the hot vegetables from the oven and place the salmon pieces on top, skin side up. Gently baste with the honey mustard mix.
Return to the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove and baste with more of the sauce. Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes or until the salmon is opaque and cooked through.
Creamy Fish & Scallop Risotto
40g unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
300g white baby pink snapper, cut into chunks
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1½ cups white wine
1.25L fish stock
Melt 30g butter with 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy-based frypan over medium heat. Add fish and cook for 2-3 minutes, turning, until cooked through. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Increase heat to high. Add scallops. Cook, turning, for 1-2 minutes until just opaque and almost cooked through. Set aside with fish.
Reduce heat to medium and melt remaining 10g butter with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Cook the onion, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add garlic and rice and stir for 1-2 minutes to coat the grains. Combine the wine with the stock and then add them to the rice (1/4 cup at a time).
Continue adding, stirring and making sure each is absorbed before adding the next, until rice is al dente. This will take about 20 minutes. Stir in the seafood, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute until heated through. Serve immediately. Note: risotto should be like lava – you should not be able to make it stand proud into mounds, so keep adding stock until it gets to this consistency.
Super-Fast Spaghetti Marinara
1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil, plus extra to toss
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 anchovy fillets
2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
200ml dry white wine
800g good-quality marinara mix
basil leaves, to serve
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frypan over medium heat and add garlic and anchovies. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until anchovies have melted. Add tomatoes and wine and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes until slightly reduced. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions.
Drain pasta, then return to the pan and toss in a little olive oil. Add the marinara mix to the pan of sauce, cover and cook for 2 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the drained pasta, toss to combine, then divide among bowls and serve garnished with basil leaves.