To create this wonderfully fragrant and delicate dish, simply combine delicious fresh seafood, roll the mixture into balls and bake them in paper parcels. Avoid using seafoods that may become tough, such as mussels and large pieces of calamari.
- 120 g (4¼ oz) all-purpose potatoes, cut into small chunks
- 40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) frozen baby peas
- 250 g (9 oz) marinara mix – prawns, fish and scallops
- 250 g (9 oz) firm white fish fillet (such as barramundi, snapper, flathead, whiting)
- 3 tbsp chopped dill, plus extra for baking
- 3 tbsp chopped chives
- zest of ½ lemon
- 20 capers, rinsed and drained
- ¼ fresh red chilli
- 1½ tbsp lemon-infused olive oil
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp butter
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place the potato chunks in lightly salted water in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Cook for around 10 minutes until the potatoes are cooked all the way through. Drain and set aside to cool.
While the potatoes are cooking, drop the peas in a small saucepan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 3–4 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
In a food processor, gently blitz the seafood, cooled potato, dill, chives, lemon zest, capers, chilli, cooled peas and lemon-infused olive oil, taking care not to overwork the mixture.
Preheat the oven to 120°c (235°F) and add a small ovenproof saucer of water to the back of the oven to create humidity.
Using your hands, gently roll the mixture into 50 g (1¾ oz) balls.
Spread four pieces of baking paper out and lay lemon slices and the extra dill down the middle of each piece. Place three or four balls on each piece of paper, covering the lemon and dill. Add some garlic slices and a small dab of butter on top of each ball. Fold over the long edges of the baking paper, twisting the ends together to seal the seafood balls in the paper.
Tie off the ends securely with cooking string. Continue the process with the rest of the mixture until you have about four bags for baking.
Cook in the humid oven for 18 minutes. Serve immediately.
Recipes and Images from Meatballs by Matteo Bruno (Murdoch Books, $35, hbk).
View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.