Holy moly and all things that are holy. I am so pleased this restaurant came to my secrets party. It’s the first restaurant I went in, over 8 years ago, when I landed in paradise and i’m so bloody pleased it’s still going (21 years, thats older than me! 😉
I had no question it wouldn’t but I’m glad it has. (I’m glad, can you tell)

Anyways the gorgeous Darren and Mark have been so kind in giving me a lovely winter recipe for you to try. And then get your bums down to the restaurant to try it for real. I love how Darren writes, I can hear him talking. I can see him making it. Infact I can see him in my kitchen making me the dish say, like, wednesday next week. About 6,30pm. No? Ok then.

7 Beach Street
03 442 6768

A fish dish for a cold winter’s night. Any type of fish fillet works well with this hearty meal. The best place to buy fresh fish in Queenstown is New World in Frankton or Fine Foods, off Gorge Road, opposite Repco. The lazy cook can omit the butter sauce.

With Colcannon Mash Potato, Buttered Leeks, Lemon Butter, Mustard Seeds

For the Colcannon mash
500g Agria potatoes
½ Savoy cabbage, shredded
2 big handfuls kale, stems removed, chopped
Seasoning to taste.

Firstly make some mash potato from the Agria potatoes, by cooking the peeled and chopped spuds in a large pot of salted boiling water. Meanwhile shred a couple of handfuls of kale and one or two handfuls of cabbage and blanch in a tall pot of salted boiling water until soft, about five minutes. The kale may take longer to soften. Make the mash potato with plenty of cream. Once the potato is nicely mashed, take to it with a wooden spoon, beating it like your were creaming butter and sugar to make the potato light and fluffy. Season with some salt and a little white pepper if you like. Now add the kale and cabbage mix that has been chopped finely, to the potato mixture. Beat some more. Boom. Colcannon.

For the buttered leeks
2 leeks
Butter, lots

Leeks are a little woeful to deal with – how do they get so dirty? Wash the leeks really well the cut the white party into discs 2 cm high. Neatly place these in a roasting tray, top with a ½ a block of unsalted butter, cover with some parchment paper and pop into an oven warmed to around 150c for a good hour or more. The leeks should be meltingly tender. The butter will be in pretty good nick and could be used elsewhere in the kitchen, like adding to the mash potato.

Lemon Butter
I am not usually a fan of butter sauces with fish, but this is a winter dish – that’s when leeks are at their most plentiful, along with cabbage and kale so a little comfort from a buttery mustard spiked sauce doesn’t go astray.

240ml white wine
90ml white wine vinegar
2 chopped shallots and 5 peppercorns
a splash of cream
60ml lemon juice
500 grams of butter, chilled and cubed.
Zest from one lemon
1 tbsp grain mustard

It is very important to use a stainless pot, otherwise your sauce will turn green! Combine the shallots, peppercorns, wine, lemon juice and vinegar in the saucepan and over a medium heat reduce until you have about a tablespoon of liquid left. Now add a small splash of cream, about a tablespoon, reduce for a minute or two longer. Now here comes the fun part. For the next few minutes, don’t let anything distract you! Add the butter a few pieces at a time, beating constantly with your favourite balloon whisk to blend the butter into the white wine reduction. Keep the heat low, too much heat and the sauce will split. Feel free to take the pot off the heat every now and then. As the butter blends in, add more until all the butter has been incorporated. Taste for seasoning, strain through a tea strainer, add the mustard seeds and give it a little stir, then add the zest. Butter sauces are really hard to hold, too cold and they set, too hot and they split, but we find that a coffee thermos, warmed first with hot water, will hold the sauce for hours.

To finish
4 x 180g fillets of your favourite fish

Preheat the oven to 200c. Lightly season your fish. In a pan big enough to hold all the fish comfortable, heat some vegetable oil until it begins to shimmer. Now gently add the fish to the pan, laying the fish into the pan away from you so if the oil does splash it wont be on your hands. Flip the fish over and pop into the oven for three to four minutes or until the fish is done. Try not too over cook the fish. To assemble, spoon some of the colcannon mash onto the plate, place a couple of buttered leeks alongside the mash, top with the fish and pour over some lemon butter sauce.

BOOM! In this case, boom is the only word that fits. Now go cook.Or there’ll be trouble.