Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Where to get your fresh local seafood for Christmas

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Where to get your fresh local seafood for Christmas

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Where to get your fresh local seafood for Christmas, and some tasty recipes

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It’s hard to say when seafood became synonymous with Australia, but we could take a punt and say the Australian Tourism Commission ads of the 1980s featuring Paul Hogan enticing Americans to Australia with the promise of another shrimp on the barbie may have been a turning point.

Somewhere along the line, Australians with northern hemisphere ancestry realised our climate isn’t particularly suited to a hot roast with all the trimmings for Christmas Day and seafood has surpassed the old tradition in many families.

Here on the Sunshine Coast, we are definitely spoilt for choice, with plenty of fresh seafood available each day, so stock up on plenty of seafood for Christmas and follow our tips and recipes from local suppliers.

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Compiled by Leigh Robshaw.


PERFECT PRAWN SALAD

What is a Queensland Christmas without fresh prawns? It has become an Aussie tradition to eat prawns at Christmas time and how lucky are we to have the best in the world available – fresh Mooloolaba king prawns.

METHOD

  1. Use a wide concave bowl or stand.
  2. Place a few layers of ice into the bowl; using a bowl prevents the ice from spilling as it melts.
  3. Make a simple homemade seafood sauce. This recipe dates back to the 1970s but it’s as good today as it was then. Combine half a cup of cream with a quarter of a cup of tomato sauce with two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and zest. Season with cracked pepper. Cover. Place in the fridge for one hour to develop the flavours.
  4. Pile the prawns high onto the ice.
  5. Nestle with the yummy homemade seafood sauce into the prawns and serve scattered with fresh lemon wedges.
  6. Don’t forget your water bowls to clean fingers afterwards. You can float a piece of lemon in them as well – presentation is key!

This delicious prawn salad recipe and photo was supplied courtesy of 4 Ingredients.

MORETON BAY BUGS WITH LIME BUTTER SAUCE

This simple but stunning recipe from Point Cartwright Seafoods is sure to impress your guests over Christmas.


Large Moreton Bay bugs (either raw or cooked) are cut half lengthwise. Wash and clean, then put a teaspoon of lime butter in the head cavity and smear some over the flesh. Grill or barbecue until cooked or warmed through if using pre-cooked bugs. Add a dob of lime butter on top of warm flesh before serving with a fresh garden salad. We suggest serving one bug per person.

Lime Butter Sauce

1 large chopped clove of garlic

¼ fresh lime juice

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ cup of melted unsalted butter


Combine chopped garlic with lime juice, salt and pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth then with the blender running add melted butter and mix until emulsified (about 30 seconds). Chilled lime butter will keep as long as normal butter.

DON’T SPOIL YOUR SEAFOOD

Michael Thomas of Point Cartwright Seafoods buys his seafood fresh from local fishermen and says if it’s not good enough for his family, it is passed over.

“Quality is our highest priority,” he says. “Don’t purchase from businesses that promise to have your seafood packed and ready to go at Christmas – you don’t know when it was packed, how old it was when it was packed or what you are getting. It’s best to choose your own.

“The eyes on fish should be clear, not sunken, while the scales should be shiny and not dry. Oysters should look moist and plump and not dry and sunken in the shells. Prawns should have a glossy appearance and plump eyes.”

According to Mr Thomas, people often overload their fridges at Christmas and the fridge door is opened more frequently. Not ideal conditions for storing seafood.


“At best, domestic fridges run at four degrees Celsius, but at this time of the year they usually operate at a warmer temperature which is not good for storing seafood,” Mr Thomas says. “Fresh seafood should be stored between zero and four degrees Celsius. Done correctly good quality fresh seafood will last two to three days, ensuring you will have an amazing Christmas.”

Mr Thomas says the best way to hold large quantities of seafood is by keeping your seafood in an esky, sandwiched between two layers of ice. Place a layer of ice about 100 millimetres thick on the bottom of an esky. Sprinkle a handful of salt over the top as it will harden the ice.

Next, in a sealed plastic bag place your seafood, which has been evenly distributed on top of the ice, remembering to separate your raw seafood from cooked. If you have a mixture of raw and cooked always place the cooked seafood bag on top of the raw seafood. Then fill the esky to the top with ice, ensuring you have at least 150 millimetres of ice.

Filling the esky to the top removes any air gaps, which can heat up increasing the ice melting process. Sprinkle some salt on top, seal, place in a cool spot, (often the laundry is good) and don’t open until you need it. If you have a lot of seafood you can create a number of layers ice, seafood, ice, seafood, ice etc . Smaller quantities can be stored by spreading out in a sealed container and storing in the coldest part of your fridge.

Top tips

According to Agnes Pennay of Fresh Meats, it’s important to select the right fish for the right cooking method and vice versa. “Fish like salmon or barramundi may suit various methods,” he says. “A general rule is to allow 150 grams of seafood (no shell or bone) per person. A big prawn lover may have up to 500 grams (shell included).

 In the oven:
squire snapper, hapuku, barramundi, salmon


On the BBQ:
sticky marinade on swordfish, salmon, barramundi

In a curry:
stargazer, mackerel cutlets, tuna

Steamed:
skinless white fish like snapper, barramundi, mahi mahi