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Emigrated from America to New Zealand and never looked back. Couldn't have asked for a better husband, family & life!

FRESH NEW ZEALAND BUTTERFISH

ENCRUSTED IN MACADAMIA NUTS
AND KUMARA

Prep Time: 10 maybe 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes



First, a bit about the poor 'sole' I served up with red cabbage and brussel sprouts last night (pun intended). What is a New Zealand Butterfish, you may ask...well, it appears to be slightly different than the American variety (a.k.a. Black Cod or Sablefish).


New Zealand Butterfish


Butterfish is a kelp fish found throughout New Zealand, but most commonly in the colder, deeper, southern waters. It grows to about 20 inches in length and is purplish grey to olive green with lighter colouration underneath. The fins are variegated with bright blue and the body is marbled and streaked with brown. These are also referred to "down under" as “greenbone” because the bones and the flesh in contact with them are stained bright bluish-green. The flavour of this fish is lovely and mild and it is keenly sought after on the market. The texture, when cooked, is moist and "buttery" and it will simply fall apart and melt in your mouth. I personally try to get to the big outdoor market in Wellington on Sunday mornings (before 9:30 a.m.) to get a fresh one filleted right on the boat in front of me. The butterfish is not to be confused with another popular and tasty fish here, the butterfly fish (a.k.a. red gurnard, pictured below). ;o)


Now, perhaps I have seen too many Food Network shows, but I wanted to try to do a process variation of a fish dish I saw Emeril or one of his Foodie friends doing to a different species of finny, floating, fishie. (I know, I know, cut back on the caffeine. It's all Mom's fault - she's really the punny one in the family!)












Back to the kitchen... I used butterfish because it is so very tender and mild when cooked correctly. I decided to use macadamias because I had a huge bag in the pantry that needed to be put to good use and, because my daughter loves them. I also chose to use kumara because I thought normal potatoes might be too "juicy" to stick to the floured & eggy fish and, because I thought the sweetness might be nice with this fish and the nuts (macadamias, not family members). Wow, was I right! This did turn out to be a very nice preparation, albeit somewhat messy, so here's how you get started.


INGREDIENTS:

500 Gm (about 1 Lb) Butterfish
1 Cup (approx) Flour
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
2-3 Tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Nuts (I used Macadamias, but Pistachios or Almonds would also be nice)
2 Eggs
2 Raw Grated Kumaras (or Sweet Potato/American Yam)
1/2 Cup Cooking Oil (I used Sunflower & EVOO because Olive Oil will burn with sustained high temp)


DIRECTIONS:

First, have a baking dish big enough to accommodate all of your fish set aside and preheat the oven to 350 F (180-190 C).

Now cut up the fish into manageable sized pieces for dredging. Mine were probably about 3-4 inches square (8-10 cm).

Next, mix up some flour, salt, garlic powder & pepper for the first step of coating the fish and grate up the kumara with a standard cheese grater.

Beat 2 eggs in a shallow bowl and add about a half cup or so of crushed nuts (the finer, the better - food chopper or coffee grinders are great for this). Combine well.

Okay, we are ready! Start the oil heating to a med-high temperature in a good sized pan for frying, then coat each piece of fish in the flour mixture and set aside.

After all of the fish is floured & seasoned, dredge in the egg & nut mixture then quickly roll in grated kumara. It won't all stick yet, so make sure to pile a little extra gratings on and here is where it gets a bit tricky... You can either do them all in advance to cooking and set them aside or...have the oil at temperature and start frying them off immediately out of the batter and kumara. I opted for the latter and it was slightly less messy than setting them aside on another dish to await the frypan.

Only fry off long enough to brown the outside coating, then place into the baking dish. Once all of your fish has been browned in the frypan, put it into the oven for 15 minutes or until firm to the touch. (Just look how moist it is in the photo below.)


I served this last night with lovely fresh brussel sprouts and a bit of red cabbage. I topped the veggies off with a really simple dressing great for any cabbagey veg or slaw. Just get a measuring cup out, add a couple of dollops of real mayonnaise, add a couple of tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar, and some salt, pepper and wholegrain mustard. Give it a good mix and pour it over your veggies.

A touch of lemon really sets this dish off so serve with lemon wedges immediately and enjoy!

1 Thoughts & Remarks:

goooooood girl said...

So good......