Grilled Cuttlefish, Eggplant with Salsa Piccante

In Australia, cuttlefish have mostly been used as bait or for aquaculture feed. Sure, you’ll see them occasionally on restaurant menus and at the fish market, but this cephalopod is seen mostly as a poor cousin to it’s famous relative, the squid or calamari.
Cuttlefish flesh is thicker than calamari, and coarser grained so it can take a little more cooking and is ideal braised, in a soup or a curry. It seems to work well with robust flavours so there’s no need to worry about overpowering it.

But, think of this all you calamari lovers, they put chemicals with the calamari to soften the flesh, and what are you eating!

Cuttlefish contain an ink sac and the ink contained within was used in early photography to attain the distinctive sepia tone. This ink is also a delicacy used to colour and flavour all manner of dishes from risotto to pasta.

In Venice, cuttlefish are cleaned and sliced and fried gently in a pot with chopped onion and parsley, chopped ripe tomato is then added as well as a teaspoon of cuttlefish ink. It is then simmered slowly for an hour or so, seasoned with salt and pepper and served with polenta.

Cuttlefish goes with

Extra virgin olive oil, butter, garlic, onions, chilli, soy and XO sauce, balsamic vinegar, fish sauce, ginger, shallots, spring onions, lime, lemon, tomato, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, asparagus, beans, fennel, olives, capers, parsley, basil, coriander, most lettuces and leaves, especially roquette, watercress and radicchio, mayonnaise.

Ingredients

500gr ripe tomatoes

juice of half a lemon

1 chilli chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

good handful chopped basil leaves

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 medium sized eggplant

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for frying

salt

250 gr cuttlefish, cleaned

 

Method

Peel and seed tomatoes and chop them roughly into 1cm pieces. Place in a bow, and add the lemon juice, chopped chilli, minced garlic clove and chopped basil leaves. Season, add extra virgin olive oil, stir well and allow to sit for 1 hour.

Meanwhile cut up the medium sized eggplant into 2cm cubes. Heat 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on a grill or pan and fry eggplant until they have browned and softened. Season with salt and allow to cool.

Cut cleaned cuttlefish into 4cm square tiles, heat 2tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on a skillet and fry the cuttlefish tiles on high heat until they become golden. Serve on the salsa with the eggplant scattered over.

 

Serves four.

RENT MY BRAIN…THE SOLUTION

FRESH NEW SPIN ON EVENT CATERING

Ramsay’s on the Run started a new business Ramsay without the f this year, and is now the caterer of choice for the greater area of the Whitsunday’s, we cater from Mackay through to Townsville. I never expected to start this business, it just kind of happened, through a need for something different for the wonderful area that I live in.

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We are not the normal catering company, recipes are inspired by conversations with our producers and our field work, which includes interviews with clients with interesting memories of foods and childhood.

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We pride ourselvesĀ on cultivating long term relationships with our farmers, hunters, fishermen and foragers, giving us access to rare ingredients we feel honoured to work with. All our purveyors keep sustainability high on the agenda, and we in turn constantly keep this complex topic at the fore of our development strategy.

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We put the ingredients at the centre of our cuisine, aiming to show them in their most natural and delicious form. We keep messing around to a minimum, preserving fresh, delicious and traditional flavour. If you are looking for a wedding, event catering company with a difference, then we may be able to help you. We also do private cooking classes, from yourself to 16 clients. Children’s cooking classes are a must in this ever busy world, I am always amazed to hear that young adults can not cook, after being with us they walk out proud!

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Coeliacs often cringe at the mere mention of the words “catered event”.

It usually means platters of sandwiches and sausage rolls, and tiers of cakes and slices chock full of gluten, dairy and sugar. And that means going hungry. Or at least sitting in the corner nibbling on a blackened emergency banana or squashed gluten free bar.

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All that is going to change for the greater area of the Whitsundays, with one of the area’s hottest new caterers, offering gluten free, sugar free, vegetarian and even vegan sweet and savoury dishes.

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So the next time you have an event coming up, sit down with us and we will work with you and not against you. It’s been a really enjoyable ride so far, and its become something I never knew was possible.

 

 

RENT MY BRAIN…THE SOLUTION