Salt Crusted Fish in Coals

Salt Crusted Fish in Coals

'Goodbye Summer, Hello Entertaining'

Ben O'Donoghue and Penfolds celebrate Australia's love of barbequing all year round

As we say goodbye to the summer season, renowned chef, BBQ expert and Penfolds culinary ambassador, Ben O'Donoghue, urges Australians not to pack away the apron and tongs. Ben believes Australia's love of barbequing and outdoor entertaining is alive and well all year round, particularly at a time when 'staying home is the new going out'.

"The end of summer shouldn't spell the end of the BBQ season," Ben said. "Now morethan ever, Aussies continue to celebrate a love of backyard entertaining with the ritual ofthe BBQ. You just can't beat good food and great wine amongst friends. These days, aBBQ can consist of so much more than just 'snags on the barbie'. It's an art form thatcan be performed just about anywhere, anytime and on any budget," he said.

What better way to impress your friends and family than with a BBQ spread with a difference and some newfound wine knowledge to further enhance the entertaining experience?

"Fish on the grill can make a nice change from conventional red meats," Ben said. "I always encouragepeople to try something different on the barbeque - to test their techniques and to make an impact whenentertaining."

Ben O'Donoghue arms Australians with a brand new sensational fish recipe, simple BBQ tips and winematching suggestions - everything you need to look like a neighbourhood professional on the grill.Seasonal recipe suggestion from the creative mind of Ben O'Donoghue: Salt-crusted fish in coals(Recommended fish: Trout, Salmon or Barramundi)

"The hard part about cooking a fish whole is controlling the heat so the skin doesn't burn or stick to the grill,Ben said. "Cooking fish in a salt crust solves these problems, and keeps it deliciously moist. I like to serve thiswith Grilled Verdure Misté and a nice Basil Mayonnaise. This salt-crusted fish dish is fantastic on a gas BBQor a hot charcoal fire." (See page 2 for full recipe).

Wine matching (with a little help from the Penfolds experts)

"My wine of choice to accompany Salt-crusted fish in coals is Penfolds Koonunga Hill SemillonSauvignon Blanc, a special wine that gives a sense of reliability," Ben said. "It's immediatelysatisfying - you know when you buy a bottle it's going to have the balance and generosity you'dexpect of Penfolds. Koonunga Hill wines have a reputation for over-delivering on quality and evenhave remarkable cellaring potential, which is pretty special for a wine that costs around $15," hesaid.

Penfolds Winemaker, Tom Riley, agrees. "You can't go past the zesty freshness and fruit drivenvibrancy of Penfolds Koonunga Hill Semillon Sauvignon Blanc," Tom said. "It's a great white winewith refreshing, mouth-watering acidity, mineral purity and grassy freshness. It's a perfect matchwith barbecue delights such as Ben's impressive fish in coals, particularly when cooking with parsleyand lemon. The green and citrus flavours really compliment the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc varietal,"he said.

Ben is a culinary ambassador for Penfolds and Barbeques Galore. This recipe, and more, can be found in'Outdoor: Grill Your Way 'Round the World' by Ben O'Donoghue and is published by Hardie Grant Books.RRP $49.95.

About Penfolds Koonunga Hill

From the makers of Penfolds Grange and the Bin collection, Penfolds KoonungaHill is an affordable, everyday drinking style of wine, perfect for any occasion. APenfolds classic, with a reputation for consistently over-delivering on quality,Koonunga Hill is a multi-district blend made from fruit sourced from SouthAustralia. More of winemaker Tom Riley's Penfolds Koonunga Hill favouritesinclude;

o Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet - Plump and spicy, full flavoured fruit driven style
o Penfolds Koonunga Hill Cabernet Sauvignon - Classic blackcurrant and cedar characters

o Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay - Everyday elegance, freshness and complexity

For cellar door inquiries, please phone (08) 8301 5569 or

About Penfolds
Penfolds has been producing an impressive array of wines since 1844 and indisputably led the developmentof Australian fine wine into the modern era. The introduction of Penfolds Grange in 1951 forever changedthe landscape of Australian fine wine. Since then a series of standout wines, both white and red, have beenreleased under the Penfolds masthead.

Salt Crusted Fish in Coals

2 Lemons, roughly chopped into 3cm pieces
5kg Rock salt
2 Egg whites, lightly whisked
2 tbsp Fennel seeds
1 x 2kg
Whole fish (trout, salmon or barramundi), freshly gutted and gills removed
1 bunch Flat-leaf parsley

1. Pre-heat your gas barbecue to 180-200oC with the hood down or prepare a hot charcoal fire
2. To prepare the salt crust, place the chopped lemons in a large bowl and add the salt, egg whites andfennel seeds. Mix well
3. On a baking tray large enough to hold the fish, use half the salt mixture to make a bed 2-3cm thick in theshape of the fish and place the fish on top
4. Stuff the parsley into the cavity of the fish to prevent the salt from getting in and making the flesh overlysalty
5. Cover the fish with the remaining salt, similar in thickness to the bottom layer of salt. If need be, usescrunched up foil to make a retaining wall to hold the salt in place
6. Place the fish on the barbecue and bake for 40-50 minutes with the lid down
7. If using coals, make a thin base of charcoal by moving the majority of the coals to the side of the fire
8. Place the tray onto this base, then pile the coals around the edge and on top of the fish
9. Check that the fish is cooked by inserting a small knife, or roasting fork, into the thickest part of the fish;carefully touch it to your lips and if it's warm, the fish is done
10. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes before removing the crust
11. Use a serrated knife to saw around the salt base, being careful not to cut into the flesh. Lift the top off; itmay come away in 1 piece or break into several pieces. Brush any excess salt off the fish with a wet pastrybrush
12. To serve, peel back the skin and cut down the centre of the fish, removing the flesh in portions