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Tahini baked samka hara fish, sayidiya rice, cauliflower and potato mash with fried cauliflower recipe

Tahini baked samka hara fish, sayidiya rice, cauliflower and potato mash with fried cauliflower

The perfect main meal for a memorable wedding day, direct from the winning kitchen of the Shahrouk sisters for the Family Food Fight Wedding Challenge.

Cooking Method: baked
Cooking Time: more than 1 hour
Serves: serves 6
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Lebanese, Middle Eastern
Difficulty: easy

Ingredients

Sayidiya Rice

30ml olive oil
2 teaspoons ghee
30g butter
2 medium brown onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1½ cups basmati rice
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
½ cup pinenuts, toasted

Fried cauliflower

vegetable oil, for frying
300g or ½ small cauliflower
salt, to taste

Cauliflower potato mash

300g or ½ small cauliflower
1 large washed potato, peeled
⅓ cup hot milk
40g butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
60g grated mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper, to season

Samka hara (spiced tahini baked fish)

½ cup tahini paste
1 cup lemon juice
5 large cloves garlic, crushed
50g butter
2 birds eye chillies, chopped finely
¼ bunch coriander, leaves picked, finely chopped
6 x 200g kingfish portions
2 tablespoons olive oil
20g chopped toasted walnuts
finely chopped parsley, to garnish
sea salt flakes, to season

Method

1. For the sayidiya rice, place olive oil, ghee and butter into a large saucepan and place onto a low heat. Once hot, add the diced onion and fry, stirring regularly, until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

2. Add 1.25 litres of water to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for an hour to ensure a full onion flavoured stock is achieved. Remove from heat.

3. Place basmati rice into a large fine sieve. Wash rice twice under cold running water and set aside to drain well. Season onion stock with salt and pepper and return to a boil. Add rice and cover saucepan with a lid. Reduce heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes until rice is cooked. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

4. Preheat vegetable oil in deep fryer to 170°C.

5. For the fried cauliflower, cut cauliflower into 18 small florets. Wash and set aside to drain in a colander. Transfer to several layers of paper towel to dry. Season with salt then deep fry, in batches, for 6 minutes, until golden and crisp. Remove from oil and set aside on kitchen paper to drain away excess oil. Season with salt and set aside in a warm place.

6. For the cauliflower and potato mash, cut the cauliflower into florets, leaving stems on. Steam cauliflower in microwave or over a saucepan of simmering water until very soft. Transfer cauliflower to medium, deep bowl. Using a stick blender, mash cauliflower until smooth. Cover and set aside.

7. Meanwhile, place potatoes into a small saucepan of lightly salted water and bring to the boil. Cook potato for 15-20 minutes until soft. Drain then add potato to the pureed cauliflower.

8. Add milk, butter, chives, salt and pepper. Using a potato masher, mash potato into cauliflower until smooth and well combined. Add mozzarella and stir until melted. Taste and season with salt, to taste. Cover and set aside in a warm place.

9. Preheat oven to 200°C.

10. For the tahini sauce, place tahini, lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic and 1 cup water into a jug and mix to until well combined. Set aside.

11. Place butter in medium saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add remaining 3 cloves of garlic and stir for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add chilli, coriander and tahini and lemon mixture. Season with salt and bring to the boil.

12. Place kingfish fillets onto a large lined baking tray. Generously season fish with salt drizzle with olive oil. Place into oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove tray from the oven and pour the hot tahini sauce over fish. Return to oven and cook for a further 8 minutes until fish is just cooked through.  Remove from oven.

13. To serve, place a large 10cm round chef mould the side of serving plate and fill with a portion of Sayidiya Rice. Carefully remove ring and repeat on remaining plates. Top rice with slivered almonds and pinenuts. Spread a portion of cauliflower and potato mash onto each plate and top with fried cauliflower. Add portion of kingfish to each plate and garnish with toasted chopped walnuts and freshly chopped continental parsley. Transfer tahini sauce from baking dish into a jug to serve on the side.

Tips: When serving for larger occasions it is always better to use fillets not whole fish although it is traditionally made with whole fish bones and all (snapper is the preferable fish to use). Tahini is a staple base of Middle Eastern food. You can use any rice you like but preferably jasmine rice is a winner but it depends on personal taste. The authentic Lebanese way is using medium grain rice and another tip is to follow instructions of the rice you use before adding stock as some rice needs less or more liquid.

Image and recipe courtesy of the Shahrouk sisters for Family Food Fight,
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