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Saturday, 14 November 2009

Fantastic Fish at Herzog

As with last year's bread-making, there was a strong response to the chance of attending a demonstration at the fantastic Herzog winery and restaurant.

The focus this year was on fish - the Blue Warehou - a species available all year round and caught mainly in the Cook Strait coasts and off Westland.
First of all the four Herzog chefs, each with a small group, demonstrated how to fillet the fish - the initial removal of the fins, then carefully cutting along the bony area to ease away the meat.
The result from the delicate operation was a fabulous, fleshy and juicy fillet. A few pin bones remaining were then removed.
Three recipes were then prepared.

A piece of the fillet was cut off for marinating. The marinade was a combination of seeds and herbs. This was packed on top of the fish fillet for refrigeration for 24 hours minimum.

Secondly, a Blue Warehou roll: wafer thin slivers of fish were sliced from the top of the fillet - unbelievably thinly - although we were assured it wasn't a problem if we didn't get the slices quite that thin! The filling was mixed and placed down the middle of the fillet which was then rolled up in a sausage shape. This was then put in the freezer until it was firm and easier to slice.
The third recipe was marinated Blue Warehou with wasabi cream and orange & basil vinaigrette. Again, thin slices of fish were placed on cling-film. The filling was then put on the centre of the fish, the edges of the cling-film pulled up and twisted to seal. The vinaigrette was served on the side.

Samples of all these were brought to us - while we enjoyed some wonderful Herzog wine - and were tasted with great enjoyment and gusto. They certainly weren't slow to disappear from the platters.

(With thanks to Sally Woolhouse for the article and pictures, and special thanks to Therese and Hans Herzog and the team at Herzog Winery and Restaurant for another special Slow Food Experience)

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