Chef Ryan Squires of Esquire restaurant in Brisbane uses different flavours, textures and temperatures to create this masterpiece using locally caught mullet. "Such a complex, delicate and downright intriguing set of flavours deserves the deftest of touches on the drinks side. You’d be okay with a really light, crisp white, like a young Hunter Semillon or a King Valley pinot grigio. They wouldn’t intrude on the main event too much and their citrus components would provide nice accents. I think your best bet, though, would be to go for a light-and-fresh sparkling wine. This prosecco from King Valley masters, Dal Zotto, is soft, approachable and not overly complex or powerful. It’s light airy, playful and citrus-infused – perfect for this flavour combination." - Dan Coward

Serves
4

Preparation

2hr

Cooking

8hr

Skill level

Mid
By
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Ingredients

  • 25 g salt
  • 500 ml water
  • 2 sacks fresh mullet roe
  • 2 lb fresh mullet milt
  • hickory wood chips
  • 500 g fresh sorrel
  • ice
  • 20 ml sugar syrup
  • fresh lemon juice
  • 50 ml apple juice
  • 900 ml milk
  • 6 tbsp cream
  • 2 pinches salt
  • ½ pinch sugar
  • 12 tsp water
  • ½ tsp rennet

Cook's notes

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.

Instructions

Drink Dal Zotto Pucino Prosecco NV, King Valley, Vic

Mix the salt with the water. Place the roe and milt in separate baths of brine. Leave the roe in the brine for 1½ hours. Leave the milt in the brine for 30 minutes.

Upon removing the roe and milt from the brine, pat dry well and leave in the fridge until ready for smoking.

In a cold smoker, smoke the roe with the hickory for at least 5–8 hours.

Blend the sorrel with a little ice and the sugar syrup. Add the lemon juice, apple juice and salt to taste. Once blended, strain in a shallow dish and freeze. Once frozen, scrape with a fork to make a granita texture. Leave in the freezer until needed.

Mix the milk, cream, salt and sugar. Reserve 2 tablespoons, and then bring the rest of the mix up to 90°C. Bring back down to 45°C. Mix the 12 teaspoons of water with the rennet and add to the milk and cream mix. Set aside and leave to set over the next 1 hour.

Cut the cheese into large 2 cm cubes so the whey is released. Place in cheesecloth and let the whey drain overnight, hanging in the cloth. Keep the whey for another use.

Season the ricotta with the remaining cream and season if needed. Use within 4 days.

Once the roe is cured and smoked, and the milt is firm to touch, assemble as desired.

Fresh berries are also nice added to this dish.