Tasmanian ocean trout has a distinctive rosy pink-orange flesh which makes it an ideal poaching fish. The cucumber pickle is one I used to make when we had MoVida bakery. It was very popular and went with almost everything, from aged cheddar cheese to poached salmon.
1 brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped thinly
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 lemon, sliced
60ml white vinegar
60ml white wine
2 sprigs tarragon
6 black peppercorns
1 star anise
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp salt
4 x 150g ocean trout fillets, pin boned with skin on
600g young Lebanese cucumbers, unpeeled
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
1½ tbsp salt
¼ cup hot water
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp dill, chopped
¼ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp chilli flakes
For the poached fish, place all the ingredients except the fish in a medium-sized saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the fish and simmer for about 10 minutes. Lift the fish out gently and squeeze it to see if it is still soft in the middle - it should feel firm when it is done.
When ready, lift fish out, place on a plate and remove the skin. Spoon some pickled cucumbers (see recipe below) onto a serving plate, then break the fillet into a few pieces and place on top of the pickle. Serve with a wedge of lemon.
Slice cucumbers thinly then mix with sliced onion in a large stainless bowl. Dissolve salt in hot water, then pour over cucumber mixture. Mix through and leave for 3 hours. To make pickling liquid, mix remaining ingredients in a saucepan big enough to hold all the mixture including the cucumber. Bring to the simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Pour the cucumber mix into a colander and press out any liquid gently.
Tip the cucumber into the pickling liquid and simmer for 2-4 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from heat and put 3 cups aside for this recipe, then spoon the rest into sterilised jars for future use, ensuring the cucumber is covered by liquid. Makes 5 x 300g jars.