Paprika kingfish with saffron aioli & capsicum, olive & tomato salad

by Celia Harvey | Cuisine issue #156
Serves: 6Celia Harvey uses rubs and marinades to elevate summer barbecue fare.

2 tablespoons sweet smoked Spanish paprika
2 small cloves garlic, crushed to a paste with a pinch of sea salt
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3⁄4 cup olive oil
6 x 150g 2cm-thick kingfish steaks
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped curly parsley

Combine the paprika, garlic paste, lemon zest and juice and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Brush the kingfish steaks with the mixture then cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours – no more or the fish will begin to pickle.

Preheat the barbecue to medium. Sear the kingfish for 4 minutes each side then remove from the grill and rest on a platter.

Whisk the remaining olive oil together with the salt, cumin, oregano, vinegar, capers and parsley then pour this mixture over the warm fish steaks. Serve with saffron aioli and the capsicum salad.

Saffron aioli
pinch of saffron threads, warmed gently in a dry frying pan then crushed
2 egg yolks
2 small cloves garlic, crushed to a paste with a pinch of sea salt
20ml lemon juice or cider vinegar
100ml olive oil
100ml light sunflower oil (you could also use grapeseed or rice bran oil)

Put the saffron, egg yolks, garlic and lemon juice in a small food processor and process until pale and frothy. Combine the oils then, with the motor running, slowly add the oils, drop by drop, until the mixture starts to become creamy and emulsified. Continue to add the oils in a thin, steady stream until the aioli is thick and creamy. Taste and season then cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Capsicum, tomato & olive salad
4 red capsicums, quartered, deseeded
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 vine-ripened plum or roma tomatoes
1 red onion, thinly sliced, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leafed parsley leaves
1 cup Spanish pimento-stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar

Preheat the barbecue to medium. Brush the capsicum quarters with a little oil and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place them on the outer edges of the barbecue to blister and char. Remove and set aside to cool.

Cut the tomatoes into quarters and deseed them, reserving the pulp and seeds.

Combine the drained onion, parsley, olives and cooled capsicum pieces in a bowl.

Push the tomato seeds and pulp through a sieve then whisk the resulting liquid together with the vinegar and remaining oil.

Add the tomato quarters to the capsicum mix and toss to combine. Dress the salad with the tomato juice mixture then set aside at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving with the kingfish.

Wine - A lean and taut modern-style chardonnay.

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