Saturday, 29 March 2014


Zucchini flower stuffed with Smoked Cod mornay served in Chilled sun-ripened Tomato water with White Truffle oil , Sun-dried Tomato dust and olive oil leaf herb.

                          As with many of the dishes I post up here the inspiration starts from whats in harvest in the backyard gardens and at the moment the gardens in transition from the remains of late summer plant outs to the early autumn produce. Here in Brisbane we have the options of planting later summer crops or plant quick growing spring vegetables for a quick harvest, like the quick zucchini crop I put in to receive these wonderfully delicate tasting flowers. The soil temperatures are still quite warm and lend a hand to successful propagation of almost anything. I used the male flower for this dish for two reasons, the first being I want to reap the rewards of a harvest of zucchini and the second being that it simply suits the application better. The last flushes of Roma tomatoes are ripening on their vines and with the recent rain are starting to split and show age cracks on their crowns as they're ready to burst. So with that I decided to do a chilled tomato water to accompany the stuffed zucchini flower. Chilled tomato water resembles the look of a tomato consume but is made purely of filtered seasoned tomato juice rather than the other ingredients that accompany a consume, usually made with white wine or orange and lemon juice flavoured with fresh herbs and seasoned.                                                                        
                         To make this dish I began with the tomato water, chopping the vine-ripened tomatoes in quarters before placing in a blender to form a puree. I then seasoned the puree with sea salt and cracked black pepper before filtering several times through cheese cloth to extract the water and discard the solids and pigment. This was then placed in to a glass and chilled in the fridge until required for plating. Next in a medium sauce pan over a gentle simmer I poached a fillet of beautifully smoked cod from south africa in a little milk and sweated sliced onions until the flesh flaked away from the skin. This was then removed from the heat and allowed to cool before straining the poaching milk and setting aside. I then flaked the flesh, removing any skin and bones, in a small saucepan I made a roux to which I gradually added back the milk, over a medium heat whisking to remove lumps and form a thick white sauce. To the sauce I added a little curry powder and some grated tasty cheese mixing to melt the cheese and bring the mornay sauce together. The the saucepan was then removed from the heat and the poached smoked cod was folded into the mornay and placed covered in the fridge to cool before stuffing the zucchini flower. Once the mixture had chilled, I spooned the mornay into the zucchini flower, brushing the outside of the flower with a little white truffle oil. I then steamed the stuffed flower for a minute and a half before removing from the steamer and chilling before being served. The last application was the tomato dust of which I simply ground sun-dried tomatoes in a coffee grinder to form a powder.                                                                                                                                                  
                          Presenting this dish I placed the smoked cod mornay stuffed zucchini flower upside down, standing upright in a shallow soup bowl, pouring the filtered sun-ripened tomato water in the bowl to cover the bottom of the bowl to 5mm deep. To this I added droplets of summer white truffle oil and sprinkled a little of the sun-dried tomato dust, before garnishing with a sprig of fragrant olive oil leaf herb to finish. This is a delicate, but robust flavoured dish served chilled or warm as an entremet.


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