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Bart Beek | VOLUME 30, ISSUE 6

Fresh seafood and a cool beer … a match made in heaven.

Crisp oysters, pickled white radish and cucumber, wasabi mayonnaise

Select oysters that look wet, are plump and have a fresh sea smell. Freshly shucked oysters are best. This Japanese-inspired recipe combines crispy fried oysters with delicious pickled vegetables and a nice kick of wasabi.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

1 small daikon (white radish), peeled

1 Lebanese cucumber, washed, halved, seeds removed

75ml white wine vinegar

75ml white wine

75ml water

75g caster sugar

12 oysters

½ cup plain flour

1 egg, beaten

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Oil, for deep frying

4 tblsps Kewpie wasabi mayonnaise

½ cup baby beetroot leaves

Slice the daikon and the cucumber thinly (use a vegetable peeler or a mandolin slicer) and cut into thin long strips. Place into a heatproof bowl. Combine vinegar, wine, water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour over the vegetables and allow to cool.

Remove the oysters from their shells and drain on absorbent paper. Wash and dry the shells. Lightly dust the oysters in flour and dip into beaten egg. Toss them one at a time in Panko breadcrumbs, coating well.

Heat a deep fryer to 185°C. Fry the crumbed oysters for one minute, drain on absorbent paper.

Drain some pickled vegetables and place a small amount in the oyster shells. Top with an oyster and serve with a little Kewpie wasabi mayonnaise and a beetroot leaf on each.

Pair this with an Irish dry stout, typically made with roasted malt or barley, hops, water and yeast. The surprising lightness and mouth-watering acidity is a perfect match with oysters.

Seared scallops, cauliflower duo, pomegranate and orange

Scallops are one of my favourite seafoods. They’re so easy to cook and are available with or without the coral (roe). Buy them fresh or frozen. Scallops pair beautifully with cauliflower – this dish includes cauliflower two ways.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

Roasted cauliflower

1 tennis ball-sized cauliflower portion, cut into florets

30ml extra virgin olive oil

Salt flakes and freshly milled black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Slice the cauliflower into 5mm pieces. Brush both sides with olive oil and season well. Place onto a baking paper-lined oven tray and roast for 45 minutes or until charred and tender.

Cauliflower purée

2 cups cauliflower, stalks trimmed away, cut into small pieces

2 cups milk

Salt and ground white pepper

In a saucepan, cover the cauliflower with milk. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until tender. Remove the cauliflower from the milk and puree in a blender until smooth, adding a little hot milk to form a smooth purée. Season well.

12 scallops

20ml white wine vinegar

40ml grapeseed oil

20ml extra virgin olive oil

½ orange, segmented

¼ cup pomegranate seeds

Salt flakes and freshly milled black pepper

¼ cup baby basil leaves

Make a dressing by combining the vinegar, grapeseed oil and a little seasoning.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy frypan on high heat. Season the scallops with salt and grill for 90 seconds on each side. Drain on absorbent paper. To serve, top several spoons of cauliflower purée with three scallops, add a few roasted cauliflower slices and scatter over some pomegranate seeds and orange segments. Finish with a spoonful of dressing and some baby basil.

Scallops are quite sweet, so I like to match them with a non-sweet Belgian-style pale ale, with yeast characters and good carbonation.

Grilled ocean trout, moghrabieh, bacon, roast onions and olives

Ocean trout is similar in appearance and texture to Atlantic salmon, but with a more delicate flavour, and is my preferred fish out of the two to grill. Moghrabieh is Lebanese couscous that’s made from semolina flour. It’s larger than pearl couscous and has more of a pasta texture when cooked.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

2 small red onions

80ml extra virgin olive oil (in three quantities – see recipe)

1 clove garlic, crushed

½ brown onion, finely diced

1 tblsp Spanish smoked paprika

½ cup moghrabieh

2 cups vegetable stock, heated

150g smoked bacon

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp lemon thyme leaves

3 tblsps extra virgin olive oil

1 tblsp lemon juice

4 x 150g portions ocean trout, skin on and pin boned

12 Kalamata olives, pitted

¼ cup micro parsley sprigs

8 nasturtium leaves

Salt flakes and freshly milled black pepper

Peel and halve the onions, and season. Add 30ml olive oil to a frypan and fry the onions, cut-side down, on high heat until the cut side is golden. Turn down the heat and continue to fry until just cooked.

Heat 20ml olive oil in a moderately hot saucepan. Sauté the crushed garlic for 20 seconds. Add the finely diced onion and cook until soft but not coloured. Add the paprika, cook for 30 seconds. Add the moghrabieh, sauté for one minute. Cover with the hot stock, stir until it comes to a boil. Simmer until tender.

Cut the smoked bacon into 1cm x 2cm batons. Fry in a hot frypan with 1 tsp olive oil until almost crisp. Add the lemon thyme, fry for two minutes. Drain on absorbent paper.

Make a dressing by whisking together 3 tblsps olive oil, the lemon juice and seasoning.

Heat 30ml olive oil in a heavy, non-stick frypan. Using a sharp knife, make several 5mm-deep cuts into the trout skin. Season well and fry skin-side down, holding down with a spatula for one minute to crisp up the skin. Fry for several minutes, then turn and fry for one minute.

Serve the trout with a scattering of moghrabieh, some bacon, roasted onion segments, olives and the dressing. Finish with a little micro parsley and nasturtium leaves.

Ocean trout has a rich flavour and pairs beautifully with a golden, clean Kölsch ale or a German pale lager that will easily cut through the fish’s richness.

Smoked salmon, fennel, potato discs, avocado and crème fraîche

Smoked salmon is fresh salmon that has been cured with salt, and then cold smoked. Select smoked salmon that has a moist surface, a delicate smoky aroma and a rich dark colour. This beautiful entrée combines tangy avocado, crunchy fennel and radish, and creamy potatoes.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

1 baby fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, finely sliced

1 medium red radish, thinly sliced

1 tblsp small capers

½ lemon, juice only

60ml extra virgin olive oil

1 small avocado

½ lime, zest and juice

1 medium waxy potato, Nadine, bintje or desiree

150g crème fraîche, whisked until just stiff

8 slices smoked salmon

¼ cup micro celery

1 tblsp marigold petals

Salt flakes and freshly milled black pepper

In a bowl, combine the fennel, radish and capers. Make a dressing by combining the lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning. Fold through the salad.

In a small blender, process the avocado flesh, lime jest and juice, and seasoning until smooth. Scoop into a small piping bag.

Steam the potato for 45 minutes or until tender. When cool, slice thinly and cut out 20mm disks.

Place two slices of smoked salmon onto a cutting board, making an even flat area. Cover with a small plate and cut away the edges hanging out. Carefully transfer the salmon circle to a chilled plate.

On the salmon, pipe small portions of avocado and spoon a little of the crème fraîche around the avocado. Add three potato discs and scatter the fennel salad over the top. Finish with the micro celery and marigold petals.

The hop aromas and flavours of Pilsner are well matched to the smokiness of the salmon. Pilsner has a light, clear colour and is similar to Indian pale ales.