This dish was developed by Troy Rhoades-Brown especially for the Hunter Culinary Association’s Annual Food Fight.
His Muse Restaurant at Hungerford Hill Winery was awarded with Two Chef's Hats earlier this year; and Muse Kitchen at Keith Tulloch Winery. maintained its one hat rating for the third consecutive year. Troy was also named Restaurateur of the Year in 2014.
“This dish is so versatile. If you can’t find red mullet use your favourite fish. I recommend ocean trout, Spanish mackerel, John Dory or whiting. If you can’t find blood oranges some good ruby navel oranges will be just as good,” says Troy.
“Depending on your guests I also like to sneak a little bit of chopped anchovy into the butter as well.”
Troy recommends serving with a potato salad and a bowl of mixed leaves.
1kg red mullet fillets (ask for it to be scaled and filleted for you)
4 bulbs of baby fennel
4 blood orange
1 bunch curly parsley
5g sea salt flakes
25g baby capers
6 turns of the pepper mill
1 bunch watercress
50g toasted almond
80g salted butter
1. Lightly score the skin of the red mullet with a sharp knife taking care not to cut through the flesh, set aside at room temperature.
2. Place the fennel bulbs upright on your chopping board and slice fine leaving the core intact when possible. Chop the parsley fine then add the zest of two blood oranges.
3. Remove the skin from all the blood oranges and roughly slice into pieces.
4. Take a large non-stick fry pan and place on a medium-high heat.
5. Salt and pepper the skin of the red mullet.
6. Add a small amount of vegetable oil to the pan and place the red mullet skin side down for approximately 4 minutes. Once you have achieved a lovely crispy skin, flip the fish and cook for a further 1 minute. Remove the fish from the pan and rest on some paper towel.
7. Add your sliced fennel to the same hot pan and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add your butter, capers, parsley, zest and blood orange.
8. Place the fish on the plate, spoon over your blood orange and fennel butter. Garnish with toasted almonds and watercress.
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