The island of Tasmania, located off the southern coast of Australia is a place known for its appreciation of local foods and a culture dedicated to sustainability. The population is diverse and the mix translates into a unique perspective when it comes to cooking. My visit to Tasmania and the Restaurant Australia conference held in the city of Hobart allowed me to sample the flavors from the island and connect with chefs from the region while reconnecting with lots of old friends who were visiting from the United States. We were able to share our experiences and ponder how to bring some of what we learned in Tasmania back to the States. I was inspired to create a dish using rich Tasmanian Sea Trout with smoky trout roe and the pulp of little finger limes. Their citrusy pop provides a unique acidity and is a fun ingredient to present to those who have never tried them.
Note: Tasmanian Sea Trout is a beautiful, orange-fleshed fish that is becoming more available but if you have a hard time finding it, you can substitute wild salmon. The smoked trout roe and finger limes are available on-line and in specialty markets.
Finely grind the peppercorns and coriander seed together using a spice grinder. Season the trout with salt on both sides and with the spice blend on the presentation side only. Set aside and make the sauce vierge.
Heat the crème fraiche in a small pot set over low heat. Add about ¼ teaspoon of salt and bring to a simmer. Add the white wine, Meyer lemon, finger lime and trout roe. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to 2 cold pans and place 2 pieces of trout in each pan presentation side down. Start the fish in a cold pan but raise the heat to medium heat for 2 minutes, or until a nice crust is formed. Flip the fish and cook for 10 seconds, just to heat the other side. Remove the fish from the pans and set on a cutting board.
In a mixing bowl, combine the extra virgin olive oil, lime juice and a little and pepper salt together then toss in the salad greens coating them with the oil mixture. Warm the crème over low heat. Slice the fish into thin slices and fan on the outer part of the plate in a circle. Place about ½ cup of the salad greens in the center of the plate. Spoon the crème sauce over the fish, making sure to get the finger lime, Meyer lemon, and trout roe from the bottom of the pot. Serve immediately.
2 tablespoons mixed peppercorns
2 tablespoons coriander seed
4, 5-ounce Tasmanian sea trout filets
1 cup crème fraiche
2 tablespoons minced shallots
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons white wine
1 Meyer lemon, supremed and diced
6-8 finger limes, pulp only
3 tablespoons smoked trout roe
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups watercress, mache, or mixed micro greens
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lime, juiced
Fine sea salt