Tasmania's Food Trail - heading

Food Trail mapshotPaul Mercurio continues to cut a culinary trail around Tasmania.

In Episode Four, Paul travels as far south as Glaziers Bay overlooking the glassy Huon River, and north along the east coast to Triabunna.  At Barilla Bay he spends the day with chef Simon Townsend where they compete to come up with some great seafood dishes for you to make.

Glaziers Bay, about 30 minutes south of Hobart, is the home to TasSaff where Nicky and Terry Noonan show Paul how to use saffron.  Back in Hobart, his focus is on the spirit of things with Larks Distillery’s young distiller Kristy Lark.  At Houston Farms, Paul finds out what makes Tasmania the best place for lettuce and then he’s out on the water with David Forrest, who owns Barilla Bay, for an early morning oyster.

For his potato pizza he digs up the best at Daly Farm, then learns to dive for abalone in the waters near Maria Island and gather mussels and scallops at Triabunna.  

Food Trail Tasmania image array

You can create your own food lovers tour of Tasmania using our Cellar Door and Farm Gate guide. So don’t just sit there - start planning your next Tasmanian holiday.

Recipes from episode 1, episode 2 and episode 3 .

Recipes

Saffron Poached Pear Cheesecake (Nathan Barwick, The Conservatory restaurant, Cygnet for Tas Saff).
Saffron Pears (Nathan Barwick)
Saffron Rice (Terry Noonan Tas-Saff)
Saffron Scones (Terry Noonan – based on Margaret Fulton’s plain scone recipe)
Macadamia Nut Crusted Barilla Bay Oysters with Green Goddess Sauce (Simon Townsend)
Tempura Barilla Bay Oysters with fresh herb Salad, golden egg net and a peanut Nam Jim (Simon Townsend)
Stout and Oyster Mornay (Paul Mercurio)
Cannelloni of Barilla Bay Oysters (Simon Townsend)
Soy and Sake Oysters (Paul Mercurio)
Bloody Mary Oyster Shooter (Emma Choraziak, Barrilla Bay restaurant)
Barilla Bay Black Shooter
Crispy Fried Rannoch Farm Quail (Simon Townsend)
Raw Scallop Salad
Spring Bay Scallops with spiced spinach, chardonnay cream and buttered croutons (Simon Townsend)
Paella with Rannoch Quail, wallaby sausage and seafood (Paul Mercurio)
Potato Pizza (Paul Mercurio)
Alex Thompson’s Beach Abalone

Saffron CheesecakeSAFFRON POACHED PEAR CHEESECAKE
created by Nathan Barwick, The Conservatory, Cygnet for Tas-Saff

(MAKES A 28CM CAKE BASE)

250 g biscuits (Nice)
125 g melted butter
Process biscuits to crumb, add butter and process a little longer. Press into base of a lined tin.

PEARS

Peel, halve and core 5 pears. Poach in the following syrup.

SYRUP

1 litre water
750 g castor sugar
½ vanilla bean
10 cardamon pods (crushed)
200 milligrams Tas-Saff saffron
1 small stick cinnamon
Combine and poach until tender, leave to exchange flavours overnight. Remove pears then reduce syrup to a sticky glaze.

ALMONDS

20 Almonds (blanched). Roast and roughly chop, then press into base, or, toast some flaked almonds and press into base. Place pear halves over base (cut side down).

FILLING

800 g Ricotta cheese
4 eggs
1 cup sugar

Beat until smooth. Pour over pears. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool in tin before turning out (using silicon paper on top to prevent sticking). Spoon glaze over cake.

Saffron PearsSAFFRON PEARS
created by Nathan Barwick, The Conservatory, Cygnet for Tas-Saff

PEARS

Peel and core 5 pears. Poach in the following syrup.

SYRUP

1 litre water
750 grams of castor sugar
½ vanilla bean
10 cardamon pods (crushed)
200 milligrams Tas-Saff saffron
1 small stick of cinnamon
Combine and poach until tender, then leave to exchange flavours overnight. Remove pears, then reduce syrup by about half and cover pears with it. Serve.

Saffron RiceSAFFRON RICE
Terry Noonan

50-100 mg of Tas-Saff saffron
One and half cups of Australian long grain rice
20 grams of butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cups of boiling chicken stock, using one stock cube
Remove lid from Tas-Saff saffron vial, and fill with boiling water. Leave to infuse for 24 hours.

Use a heavy saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Prepare saffron as per instructions above. Heat butter and oil in a deep saucepan and cook onion until soft without colouring. Add rice and cook for a further minute, stirring all the time to ensure the rice is well coated with butter and oil. Stir in approx. ¾ of a cup of stock then add your saffron infusion, stir and mix in well. Add the remainder of stock ensuring that all the saffron is rinsed out of the cup. Stir well, then cover tightly and cook gently for 20 minutes. Remove lid and stand for a few minutes to let steam escape. 
Turn rice with a fork to fluff up and serve. Serves 4–6.

Saffron SconesSAFFRON SCONES
Terry Noonan (based on Margaret Fulton plain scone recipe,
Encyclopaedia of Food and Cookery 1984)

3 cups of self-raising flour
1 teaspoon of salt
60 grams (2 oz) of butter
1 cup of milk
25 milligrams of infused Tas-Saff saffron

Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in butter. Add the milk and saffron infusion all at once and mix in quickly with a knife.

Turn onto a floured board and knead by turning and pressing with heel of hand 3 to 4 times. Pat out to a round 2 cm (3/4 inch) thick and cut into 4 cm (1 ½ inch) rounds with a floured cutter.

Place scones together on a lightly greased baking tray. Brush tops with a little milk.

Bake in the top of a preheated very hot oven (230 degrees C/450 degrees F) for 10-15 minutes or until risen and golden. For soft scones, wrap in a tea-towel as soon as they come from oven. For crusty scones, do not wrap, cool on a wire rack. 

Serve warm with butter or with jam and cream.

Macadamia Crusted OystersMACADAMIA NUT CRUSTED BARILLA BAY OYSTERS WITH GREEN GODDESS SAUCE
Simon Townsend

INGREDIENTS

1 cup of good quality mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of Salsa Verde 
4 drops of Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese 
1 day old bread roll 
5 roasted and crushed macadamia nuts 
Pinch of Tasmanian bush dust 
6 Barilla Bay oysters shucked 
1 egg beaten 
½ cup of flour seasoned

METHOD

Mix all ingredients together and set aside. Process bread and nuts being careful not to chop nuts too fine. Add Bush dust and place into bowl.

Flour oysters, place into egg wash and then into crumbs.

Deep fry oysters until lightly golden and drain on absorbent paper. Place into serving spoons, top each oyster with some of the green goddess sauce and serve.

Tempura Egg NetTEMPURA BARILLA BAY OYSTERS WITH FRESH HERB SALAD, GOLDEN EGG NET AND A PEANUT NAM JIM
Simon Townsend

INGREDIENTS

6 Barilla Bay oysters, shucked
1 egg beaten and rested for 1 hour 
1 cup of Tempura batter
½ bunch of coriander picked 
½ bunch of Vietnamese mint picked 
¼ bunch of mint picked 
½ small red onion sliced finely 
4 coriander roots scraped and cleaned 
1 garlic clove chopped 
½ scraped bullet chilli 
1 tablespoon of roasted peanuts crushed 
Juice of 3 limes 
2 tablespoons of shaved palm sugar 
Fish sauce to taste

METHOD

Firstly pound the coriander roots garlic and chilli to a fine paste in a mortar and pestle. Add peanuts and pound into paste, add sugar, lime juice and season with fish sauce to get a balance of hot, sweet, salty and sour. Set aside.

In a hot pan, drizzle egg back and forth in a zig-zag motion to form a net in the bottom of the pan. Turn it over and brown slightly. Repeat this twice. Mix herbs together with onion in a bowl and set aside.

Place oysters in the batter then fry in hot oil until crisp. Drain, then add to herb salad with a splash of the nam jim. Divide between the two nets and then roll up like a sausage roll. Place in the centre of the plate, drizzle a little more nam jim around the plate and serve.

STOUT AND OYSTER MORNAY
Paul Mercurio

1tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of flour
A little splash of milk
A bigger splash of stout
Grated cheddar
Grated parmesan

Make a rue by heating the butter in a saucepan and then add the flour to combine – cook but don’t brown the flour. Add a little splash of milk to wet the flour and make it a paste and then add some stout to further loosen and liquefy the mixture. Add about a ¼ cup of both cheeses and continue to cook the mixture until the cheese is melted and combined. The consistency should be of thick custard.

Spoon mixture over oysters making sure to completely cover each oyster, sealing it in the mixture so that it steams itself inside the mornay mix. Place under a grill and cook until the top is nicely browned.

Oysters CallenoniCANNELLONI OF BARILLA BAY OYSTERS
Simon Townsend (With chorizo sausage, tomato and sauce nero.)

2 sheets of handmade pasta, 10cm x 10cm
6 pacific oysters, shucked 
50 grams sliced chorizo, in strips 
1 red eschallot finely sliced 
¼ teaspoon of chopped garlic 
½ tomato, deseeded and finely sliced 
30 ml of tomato sugo
4-6 fresh basil leaves, fried in oil until crisp 

In a hot pan add 20mls of olive oil and sauté eschallots, garlic and chorizo. When chorizo has started to caramelise add oysters and warm them through. Add tomato, sugo and reduce briefly. Season and set aside.

Lay sheets down on a board. Divide mixture between both sheets and roll. Place on tray and warm through in a moderate oven for 5 mins. Remove from tray and place them on serving plate. Dress with 60 mls of sauce nero and garnish with crisp basil.

Sauce Nero

1 teaspoon of chopped garlic
½ brown onion finely dice 
1 anchovy fillet chopped 
100mls tomato sugo 
2 tsp squid ink 
200mls pinot gris 
200mls fish stock 
50 mls cream 

In a medium sized saucepan heat 30mls olive oil and sauté onion, garlic and anchovy fillet. When softened and squid ink, cook for 1-2 mins then add pinot gris. Reduce to a syrup consistency then add fish stock add reduce by ½. Add sugo, reduce again to a thick sauce consistency then remove from heat. Allow to cool then add cream and season. Pass through fine sieve ready for use.

SOY AND SAKE OYSTERS
Paul Mercurio

1 part soy to 2 parts sake
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of good sake
Zest from one lemon
Roughly crushed wasabi peas

Mix soy and sake together and spoon over oysters. Place a generous pinch of lemon zest on each oyster and then a pinch of the crushed wasabi peas. Eat and enjoy.
Note: put the peas on just before eating or else they will soak up the soy and sake dressing and become soft. The wasabi peas offer a textural crunch that complements the softness of the oyster and also a little bit of that Japanese heat that complements the soy. Oyster Shooters!

BLOODY MARY OYSTER SHOOTER
Emma Choraziak, Barilla Bay Restaurant

Ingredients:

1 Barilla Bay oyster
15 ml Lark’s Distillery Pepperberry Vodka
5 ml Barilla Bay Worcestershire
Dash of Tabasco
30 ml tomato juice
Cracked pepper

Method:

Pour 15 ml of Vodka into tall shooter glass. Place small Barilla Bay oyster in glass. Add 5 ml of Worcestershire and a dash of Tabasco. Top up with tomato juice. Crack pepper to taste on shooter. Serve and enjoy.

BARILLA BAY BLACK SHOOTER
Emma Choraziak, Barilla Bay Restaurant

Ingredients:

1 Barilla Bay oyster
Barilla Bay oyster Stout
15 ml of Lark Distillery Single Malt Whisky

Method:

Place 15 ml of single malt whisky into tall shot glass. Place Barilla Bay oyster into glass. Top up with Barilla Bay Oyster Stout. Serve.

Warning: this shooter may increase the amount of hairs on one’s chest.

Crumbed QuailCRISPY FRIED RANNOCH FARM QUAIL
Simon Townsend (With mild satay sauce, golden free range eggs and Thai carrot and mint salad)

INGREDIENTS

2 quail boned and butterflied
1 cup of Japanese bread crumbs 
1 egg beaten 
1 cup of seasoned flour 
½ cup of mild peanut satay sauce 
2 soft boiled eggs 
1 medium carrot finely shredded 
¼ bunch of Vietnamese mint picked 
¼ bunch of coriander picked
1 finely sliced red eschallot

METHOD

Crumb the quail in the breadcrumbs, skin side only and fry until golden.

Place in oven for a further two minutes. While quail is cooking, place soft boiled eggs in hot oil and fry until crispy. Mix salad ingredients together and dress with a little lime juice.

Place about 2 tablespoons of satay sauce in the centre of the plates. Cut fried eggs in half and place in sauce. Top quail with salad, then sprinkle with some crispy shallots and serve. 

Raw Scallop SaladRAW SCALLOP SALAD

250 grams of extra fresh scallops
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
Good squeeze of Wasabi paste
1 teaspoon of finely diced pickled ginger
Mixed soft lettuce leaf
Chilli oil
Salmon roe

Roughly chop the scallops into a fine dice. Mix wasabi and pickled ginger into the mayonnaise. This is a ‘to your taste’ thing – you don’t want the wasabi and ginger to over power the scallops which are very mild and slightly sweet. Add enough of the mayo mix to coat but not swamp the scallops. Arrange the mixed soft leaf lettuce in the middle of a plate and place a tablespoon of the scallop mix on top. Dress with some salmon roe and drizzle some chilli oil around the plate.

Saffron SconesSPRING BAY SCALLOPS WITH SPICED SPINACH, CHARDONNAY CREAM AND BUTTERED CROUTONS
Simon Townsend

Serves 3 as an entrée.

INGREDIENTS

240 grams of cleaned scallops with roe on
¼ teaspoon of finely chopped garlic 
1 red eschallot finely sliced 
50 mls Tasmanian chardonnay 
5 mls lemon juice 
60 mls pure cream 40%
20 mls olive oil 
¼ teaspoon of fennel seeds 
200 grams of diced brown onion 
3 medium tomatoes cored and roughly diced
½ tablespoon of chopped garlic 
1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger 
3 cups of tightly packed baby spinach leaves 
1 thick slice of day old bread, diced 
20 grams of butter melted 
Pinch of salt 

METHOD

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a non stick pan and then sauté onion and garlic until lightly brown. Add scallops and cook on high heat for one minute each side then deglaze with chardonnay. Reduce by 2/3 then add cream and cook until scallops are medium rare. Season with salt and pepper, lemon juice and set aside.

In a hot pan add olive oil and then fennel seeds. Cook for a few seconds then add onion. Saute onion until brown, add tomato and cook out until tomato and onion turns into a thick jam consistency. Fold through spinach and cook for 1-2 mins. Blend until smooth and season with salt. Mix butter with bread and toast until golden in a moderate oven.

Place a mound of spinach in the centre of each plate, top with a third of the scallop mix for each plate, garnish with some buttered croutons and serve.

PaellaPAELLA WITH RANNOCH QUAIL, WALLABY SAUSAGE AND SEAFOOD
Paul Mercurio

Olive oil
Garlic finely chopped
Red Capsicum finely sliced
Paprika powder
Red chilli finely sliced – as much or as little as you want
1 100 mg jar of Tas-saff saffron – filled up with water the night before
2 cups short grain Rice – I use Arborio or buy Spanish rice - Arroz Calasparra
10 cups of chicken stock
1 can of chopped tomatoes
4 Rannoch quail – boned and cut in quarters
2 chorizo sausages sliced 5 ml thick on the diagonal
8 – 10 Chipolata sausages
250 grams of scallops
10 mussels in the shell
Peas
Green beans

Heat olive oil in paella pan. Sprinkle in some paprika and garlic, then add the quail and sausages. Coat well with oil and paprika frying until just cooked and coloured. Add the chorizo 5 minutes after the quail and cook also. Remove all meat from the pan and keep warm. Add a little more oil to the pan if needed and then add some garlic, chilli and the capsicum – cook till softened. Add in the canned tomatoes, bring to boil and then add the rice. Coat rice well allowing it to absorb any moisture from the tomatoes before adding the saffron and some chicken stock.

Traditionally you are not supposed to stir a paella, just adding in all the stock and letting it cook but I tend to do mine a little more like a risotto – add some stock give it a stir and let the rice absorb the stock, then add another ladle, give it a stir etc. Just like cooking any rice dish you don’t want it to cook too fast or too slow, so keep an eye on it.

When you have used about ¾ of your stock you should put in your seafood, peas, beans and more stock. Give it a stir and let the rice absorb the liquid. Finally check for seasoning and then arrange the warm quail and sausages in the rice. Add the rest of the stock, cover and cook – no more stirring – until the rice is to the texture and consistency you like .. that is, not too dry and not too moist. At this stage a golden caramelised crust – called a socarrat will form on the bottom of the pan. In Spain this is considered the best part.

If you are cooking in a paella pan on a Weber or other BBQ, then you can add soaked wood chips to the coals and cover the Weber (or put the BBQ lid down) so the smoke is absorbed by the rice adding another taste layer to the paella. In fact the paella pan was designed to encourage the smoke to come up the sides of the pan and into the dish itself!

Traditionally you should eat directly out of the pan with friends gathered around. Paella goes great with Sangria, Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris or a cracking good Pils.

Pizza!POTATO PIZZA
Paul Mercurio

600 grams of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
350 mls of warm water
2 teaspoon of dried yeast powder
Pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Peeled potatoes sliced very thinly
Sea salt
Crushed garlic
Rosemary sprigs
Olive oil

Method 

Add a pinch of sugar to the 350 mls of warm water along with the olive oil and 2 teaspoons of dried yeast. Give it a stir and let sit for a few minutes. Add the salt to the flour and mix through, then either in a bowl or on a work bench make a well in the centre of the flour. Gradually add the yeasty water to the flour and incorporate until you have a ball of dough. You may not need all the water or you may need to add a little more. Once you have a ball of dough give it a good knead on a floured work surface for about 5 minutes or so. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and loosely cover with Cling wrap and leave in a warm area until the dough doubles in size. Turn out of the bowl again onto a floured work surface and roll into a long sausage. Cut this into six equal portions, roll into balls and there you have the bases for 6 pizzas!

Roll out your dough and place on an oiled pizza tray. Cover the pizza dough base with a layer of over lapping thin potato slices, sprinkle with salt, crushed garlic, fresh rosemary sprigs and drizzle a little of the olive oil over it. Put in a hot oven until it is cooked.

AbaloneBEACH ABALONE
Alex Thompson

In oil

Olive Oil
Abalone

After scrubbing the freshly caught abalone clean, tenderise it by striking firmly a couple of times with a mallet or something similar. (We used a rock on the beach.) Slice the abalone thinly. Sear in hot pan or wok with oil. You will only need to cook it for 30 seconds to a minute. Serve.

This is the best way to savour the subtle flavour of the abalone.

In curry powder

Flour
Curry powder
Olive Oil
Abalone

Prepare as above. Slice abalone thinly and dust with mixture of flour and curry powder blended to your taste. You don’t want the curry to overpower the abalone. (Shaking the flour/curry mixture and abalone in a plastic bag is an easy way to dust it.) Cook in hot pan or wok with oil. Again, you will only need to cook it for 30 seconds to a minute. Serve.

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