Barramundi…Tom bit the bullet…

We stumbled upon the Preston Fresh Seafood Wholesaler on our drive to Yorkeys Knob which is a quick five-minute drive from our home in Trinity Beach.  With many more items I like to try, we’ll surely be returning soon.

While making dinner last night I was apprehensive for two reasons; one, Tom doesn’t like fish and two, it was the first time I was making Barramundi, a locally caught fish, popular in Australian restaurants which we mentioned on the day we visited the pier in Palm Cove.

Their colorful signs in the somewhat remote location made it easier to spot from the highway.

With my forgiving taste buds, I had no fear that I’d like the fish. Tom, on the other hand, is picky and normally won’t eat fish let alone a wide array of other foods and vegetables making cooking for him challenging at times. 

As a result, it’s not unusual for me to make two separate meals to allow myself variety and to try new foods befitting my way of eating. Yesterday, I’d offered to make Tom a steak and give him a small piece of fish to try, but he insisted he’d give the fish a try.

When we arrived at the wholesale fish market, we were intrigued by what could possibly be “cooked bugs.” Could this possibly be some type of sea “insect?”  Check out the photo below of “cooked bugs.”

Usually, for myself, I’ll grill fish instead of sautéing it with garlic, spices, butter, and olive oil. I knew Tom wouldn’t like it grilled. Last night I prepared a bowl of beaten egg with cream and a plate of seasoned almond flour, dipping the fish into the creamy egg mixture and then into the almond flour. 

I preheated the only skillet in this house with an equal mix of coconut oil and olive oil in a medium-sized non-stick type which I wouldn’t normally use if stainless steel was available, keeping it from getting too hot due to the pan’s coating.

Gee, we’ve never seen scallops in the shell. We can imagine a plate of six of these covered in almond flour and Parmesan-crusted buttery topping. Tom likes scallops so this will be a no-brainer.

The fish was so thick, it took a good 12 minutes, turning it once to ensure it was cooked thoroughly but not overcooked. Without a lid for the pan, it had to cook longer than usual while I kept a watchful eye.

Finally, I plated our meals and we sat down to dinner at the dining room table. I tried not to watch Tom’s face as he took the first bite, instead focusing on my own delicious plate of food. The fish was mild, cooked perfectly without a single bone to be found.

These are “large cooked bugs” which are similar to crab but according to the salesperson, they taste similar to prawns. Next time we visit, we’ll try a few of these.

After his plate was clean, he turned to me and said, “It was OK.” Oh. What an enthusiastic response. Then again, that’s a typical response for Tom or, shall I say for many men who a less inclined to “jump for joy” than us more enthusiastic women. Sorry, women, for the stereotyping but men are different than us in some ways, aren’t they?

Will I make this for him again while we’re in Australia?  Most likely not. I was grateful he tried it once. And, if I make it for me, most likely I’d grill it to avoid making such a mess on the stovetop especially when the oil spattered when I turned the fish with a less than ideal spatula and hot grease hit the stovetop and a few spots on my hand. No big deal.

We selected a filet from this batch.  Keep in mind, for those of you reading from countries not using the metric system, AUD $32.50 per kilo translates to 2.2 pounds which would be USD $14.77 per pound, not too bad for fresh (never frozen) wild-caught fish. We purchased about one pound of which Tom had 9 ounces and I had approximately 7 ounces.

As for the smoked fish shown in the photo, this morning we had scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon, and smoked fish on the side. What a perfect way to start the day! 

Recently, Tom has been having two meals a day, with me having one meal plus and an occasional light breakfast or afternoon snack. Due to my strict way of eating, a ketogenic diet, I have little appetite until dinnertime.

At AUD $64, USD $49.26, all of these items includes a huge Barramundi filet, two pieces of made-without-sugar smoked fish, and two containers of crab meat which we’ll use to make low carb crab cakes this weekend (lasting for two meals) will result in four meals for the two of us. As a result, the cost per entre results in a cost per day of AUD $16, USD $12.31, not bad for such delicious fish and seafood. We struggle to be motivated to go out to dine when we do so well at home and have just as good a time.

Yesterday, we headed out for our weekly trip to the grocery store which now entails a trip to Woolworth, the meat market, and the indoor vegetable stand (they call it “veg” here in Australia). Tom waited in the car while I shopped, reading a book on the Kindle app on his phone. I wasn’t gone more than 40 minutes, now that I’ve become familiar with the market.

There were a few types of fish that had been frozen but it was clearly marked.  We don’t purchase defrosted fish preferring to buy only fresh when available.

Luckily, the other shops are outside the door of Woolworth in the mall making accessing the other stops easy and convenient as I wheeled around the “trolley” that had an annoying wheel with a mind of its own. Making my way to the car was challenging when I had a hard time with the crazy cart while attempting to maneuver the speed bumps (sleeping policemen).

Last night’s dinner of lightly battered with egg and almond flour, sautéed in coconut and olive oil Barramundi, fresh organic green beans, homemade LC muffin, and salad on the side was a perfect meal we both enjoyed.

Today, we’re off to a local travel agency, again in the Smithfield Mall, to arrange a few upcoming flights.  Normally, we don’t use travel agencies but with the high cost of data using the SIM card why not let someone else do the looking when it won’t cost us any more using a travel agent?

Many more fabulous scenery photos are stacking up which we look forward to sharing each day. 

Have a lovely day!

                                               Photo from one year ago today, June 30, 2014:

With the summer season in Madeira, roses were blooming in almost every yard in the neighborhood. For details from that date, please click here.

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