27 March 2016

Plate Up. Cooking With Qatar Airways

I'm a huge fan of Masterchef. Particularly the Aussie version. It's a total guilty pleasure of mine to wile away a few hours watching regular people battle it out in the kitchen to create delicious dishes, with the addition of plenty of drama of course.

Being the foodie that I am, I was especially chuffed when Qatar Airways invited me to a cooking event with celebrity chef Theo Randall. I was ready. I donned my apron feeling just like a Masterchef contestant myself.

In honour of Qatar's authentic cuisine, we were to prepare a national dish with a modern twist. Qashid sea bream and rice. Theo led the way, then it was our turn to recreate it, filleting a fish and everything! (I'll admit I needed a little help with this bit. Ok a lot.)

It's a delightfully fragrant dish, packed full of flavour that is sure to have your taste buds tingling!

What you'll need - (serves 1, increase as required)
1 fillet sea bream
1 cup basmatic rice
1 onion, sliced
1 green chilli, chopped
1 red chilli, choppped
8 datterini tomatoes (like cherry tomatoes but extra tasty!)
1 lemon
Pinch of saffron
1/2 teaspoon ginger root, diced
1 clove garlic, sliced
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 bunch swiss chard

What to do
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

In a small saucepan set your rice to boil with just enough water to cover it and pop in the pinch of saffron. Season well and leave to cook.

In a fry pan, heat half your oil and stir fry the onions until soft. Add the green chilli, half your red chilli, the ginger and half your garlic.

Meanwhile use a mortar and pestle to crush your cumin and fennel.

Next, add in your tomatoes, parsley, coriander, cumin, fennel, cinnamon and the juice of half your lemon. It should be smelling incredible. Leave to cook down on medium heat.

Take your fish fillet and score the skin side. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt then take another fry pan, heat a tablespoon of oil til it's nice and hot, then add the fish skin side down. It should make a lovely crackling sound.

When the fish is cooked on one side, flip it over and place your onion mixture on top of the fish then place the pan in the oven for 5 minutes until cooked through.

While that's in the oven, take a large saucepan and bring some water to the boil. Add in your swiss chard and cook until tender. Drain and in the same saucepan return it to the heat with your remaining olive oil, the rest of your lemon juice, the other half of the chilli and the other half of the garlic. Toss around until fragrant.

Time to serve. Place your rice on a plate and balance your fish on the top. Serve your greens on the side. Tada!

Thanks to Perowne Charles Communications for hosting such a great event. If you're looking to visit the Middle East or hopping over to the other side of the globe then be sure to check out Qatar Airways.

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 Photos by Krissie.