October 3, 2009

Slow-cooked ocean trout with Israeli couscous, zucchini, chilli and bottarga

Restaurant: Forty One (NSW)
Recipe from Chef Dietmar Sawyer (appeared on Gourmet Traveller Website)
2010 Rating: Number 92, 1 Star

I was recently sent a sample* of Blu Gourmet Pearl Couscous also known as Israeli Couscous. I've wanted to try pearl couscous for a while, but never really had the chance. I saw this particular recipe ages ago and I wanted to try it. I have a real soft spot for anything with couscous, and the temptation of trying a whole NEW type of couscous was too much!

blu Gorumet Pearl CousCous

In the information pack that came with the couscous there were a whole heap of nifty facts about Blu Gourmet Pearl Couscous, one being that restaurants such as Nobu in New York, Maha in Melbourne and Canvas in Melbourne all use this type of couscous, sounds pretty good to me. The absolute clincher was Gabriel Gaté's face on the packet. I'm a real sucker for french accents and I vow to speak in a French accent the entire time while cooking this dish. So onto the recipe, and remember to stay tuned for the fabulous results...accent and all!

Slow-cooked ocean trout with Israeli couscous, zucchini, chilli and bottarga

Serves 4


4 90gm ocean trout fillets, skin on
2 tbsp olive oil
2 golden shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
100 gm Israeli couscous (see note)
500 ml boiling chicken stock
2 small zucchini, thinly sliced widthways
5 gm bottarga, finely grated (optional, see note)
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
30 gm finely chopped Fontina


1. Drizzle trout with 1 tbsp olive oil and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in a zip-lock bag, expelling air. Heat a saucepan of water to 48C, add fish and poach for 14 minutes or until heated through.

2 . Heat remaining olive oil in a frying pan and sauté shallot and garlic over medium heat for 2 minutes or until soft, but not coloured. Add couscous and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, then gradually add chicken stock, ½ cup at a time, adding more as liquid is absorbed. Cook for 15 minutes or until couscous is al dente. Add zucchini, bottarga and chilli. Remove from heat, gently stir through Fontina and season to taste. Serve immediately with fish.

Note Israeli couscous is a toasted pasta similar to Italian orzo, about the size of tapioca. This Israeli staple is available from Middle Eastern and specialty food stores. Bottarga is sun-dried mullet roe used widely in Sicilian and Sardinian cuisine. It is available from David Jones Foodhalls, specialty food stores and select fishmongers.

*Sample sent kindly from Liz at Haysac.


Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

Ooh I was just eyeing off some Israeli couscous recipes today, ready to make something next week. Very keen to see your results!! (Mais oui!). Be careful not to hit 49 degrees or it will all be ruined! Ruined I say! ;)

Kat Spat said...

i just had this couscous the other day from the borek shop in queen vic market and have been wondering what it was. she said it was couscous but that didnt make sense to me because it looked nothing like the couscous i was used to! now youve answered my burning question. thanks!

Trissa said...

I recently bought a vacuum seal so that I could slow cook fish - I have never used it though so I am keen to see your results! Do share soon!

susan said...

Maria-We enjoy couscous from time to time. I was really interested in the bottarga. I had never heard of it. I read that it is called "Mediterranean caviar" Let us know how it turns out. Thanks for visiting and you take care of yourself :)

Belle@Ooh, Look said...

I really liked the pearl couscous as it has such a great texture. I also like your recipe, serving it with bottarga, nice!

Anita said...

The pearl couscous does look very pretty indeed. Can't wait to see the pics!