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Roadtesting the SSS@Home Kit-The grilling secrets of the “master of woodfire cooking”, Lennox Hastie of Firedoor. 

Written by Aksel Ritenis

“Roadtesting the Sydney Seafood School @Home kit Experience”

The grilling secrets from the master of woodfire cooking, Lennox Hastie of Firedoor 

SO What is SSS@Home?

SSS@Home is a virtual cooking class” organized and administered by Sydney Seafood School,..It’s a fun hands-on cooking experience in your own kitchen at your own pace, resulting in a delicious meal for two!

Recipe kits include all the fresh seafood, vegetables, herbs, and premium pantry items required, plus detailed printed recipes and a step-by-step video. There’s a new recipe each Monday for Friday dispatch, as a single kit or part of a flexible 4-week pack that includes a gourmet pantry staples gift valued at over $30.

Just $52.50 for a generous meal for two and a fun cooking experience.

“We Roadtest the Deal”

So I received an e-mail advising me that SSS@Home kit just might be the SSS’s most exciting so far!

This was a chance to learn some grilling secrets from the master of woodfire cooking, Lennox Hastie of Firedoor

So We received quite elaborate and detailed instructions that the kit will be ready for collection from Waterside Fruit Connection (Parisi) Friday between 10.30 am and 4 pm (at the back of the main hall of the Sydney Fish Market)  and we were encouraged to check the “Parissi store” out for highquality fruit and veg and a good range of pantry staples when you collect your kit!

 

 

As it happens,..I actually raced into the market just in the “nick of time” at around 4.30 pm,..having been held up in Friday traffic and I was greeted by two friendly Ladies who were expecting me,..and I discovered I was pretty well the last person to collect their kit-Lucky me!

I then raced back across the Sydney Harbour bridge to my friend’s place at Greenwich,..where my friends  Kim and Karl had been full appraised of the “Octopus grilling exercise” and had “primed up their BBQ”..in order to host this Cooking Class by remote control,.. so to speak,..needless to say, we had some good wines to accompany the dish.

 

So We received these instructions and a detailed Recipe book

Lennox’s simple Spanish-inspired dish of octopus with heirloom potatoes and grilled cavolo nero can be prepared on a gas or electric barbecue or even in a hot pan on the stovetop. However, if you do have a kettle or other wood-burning BBQ (or are looking for an excuse to buy one), now’s the time to dust it off and get a bag of hardwood (Firedoor sells 5kg bags of ironbark that are perfect).

  • Apart from a wood-fired grill, Lennox has 2 pieces of equipment that he insists make for better results:
    • a spray bottle with a specially-designed oil nozzle (we’ve packed one in your kit)
    • a wire cake rack to grill on – you might like to think about buying one or sacrificing an existing one (you’ll understand when you watch the video).

 

Here’s the YouTube link to Lennox’s video: https://youtu.be/HrRL1QyZ-ZQ

 

Our Experience

Preparation & Cooking

So now I am going to regale you with a  description of our experience,...I would have to say that we simply followed the instructions which seemed “excruciatingly complicated”,…Upon reflection,..,..I must confess I was somewhat dumbfounded by the complexity and detail of the instructions (but I must confess,…I am easily intimidated by simple written instructions and have a lot of trouble following IKEA furniture assembly instructions,.. or more recently Tent Folding instructions! I might add,.. I really don’t cook a great deal (as I am personally visiting Restaurants and Bars to compile the Sydney Times Food Guide) and almost never follow a recipe as such,…that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it!

So we received the exquisitely packaged Ingredients :

1 x octopus (wrapped in brown Chux)

cavolo nero

flat-leaf parsley

1 lemon

2 garlic cloves

white soy sauce

aged apple cider vinegar

sweet Spanish paprika (pimenton)

Andean Sunrise potatoes

Canyon spray bottle

The two aspiring Chefs at work,..Axel and Karl challenged by a Recipe!

The Instruction Manual was quite technical and elaborate in style,..a bit intimidating,…It provides clear instruction about dissecting the critter,..I mean the Octopus,.preparing the Marinade., How to prepare the potatoes, the Cavalo Nero lettuce, and the dressings, etc.,   So we did all that,…or rather Karl actually did most of it,… (as I was more interested in “Googling” the wine we were drinking an ALDI “AC Byrne Margaret River SSB”),…and anyway I had to prepare the BBQ for the grilling part.

It was clear that the 3 separate ingredients needed to be prepared separately and then brought together in the Bowl so we used a bit of intuition,..because after all,.. cooking what is essentially a Spanish Fishermans dish,.. is not meant to be as complicated as rocket science.

Whilst initially challenged by the instructions, We had an instinctive feel about the cleaning and cutting of the Octopus and Karl did pretty well with the cooking and preparation of the other ingredients like the Andean Sunrise potatoes. 

Having kept the sliced Octopus in the marinade for the required time,…I fired up the BBQ and we grilled it,..let it cool down and then brought it together,…mixed it together with the other ingredients,…Karl was very good at this as he does things in a steady methodical fashion and he did a good job of compiling the now grilled Octopus with the other ingredients,… again I was able to guzzle more wine and think about my next wine review,…and chat,…I do get easily distracted!

Funny enough we didn’t actually follow the instructions by mixing in the Cavallo Nero into the main dish,.. but rather kept it separate and served it onto our respective plates,but,.. I am sure we had the same gastoronimc experience as we intended by the recipe but kept it separate but we had the same flavor experience I am sure.

Suffice to say the dish was actually very Tasty and we thoroughly enjoyed it,.…and if you wish to avail yourself of a similar Cooking Experience the details for ordering are below.

 

 

Conclusion:

So I must say it was a typical SSS Cooking experience even though it was by remote control…(using the instructions provided and the video of the popular Chef and Fire expert Lennox Hastie,.We had fun preparing the ingredients and then cooking the same.,…I think it’s a great experience to be forced to follow a recipe! I think it’s great you can pick up the SSS@Home kit and cook a delicious meal and it gives you the  confidence, tips, and tricks to cook seafood that otherwise you wouldn’t have attempted.” 

So collectively we were in agreement that this is a fabulous group experience and I not surprised to hear how popular it continues to be. 

Generally, a fabulous concept and it works really well! So if your up for a small challenge this is for you!

 

Coming Up at SSS@Home Cooking School

 Calendar of Dishes 

  • 30 October: Wrapping fish in banana leaves is a great way to keep it moist as it steams in its own juices inside the wrapping – and it makes for a great presentation! This week you’ll also master a wonderfully versatile salsa verde to add some bright fresh flavour and a simply delicious char-grilled vegetable salad, both of which you’ll be making all summer long!
  • 6 November: Salade Niçoise is a classic French salad that originated in the port of Nice in Provence. It was originally a vegetable salad (apart from the anchovies, perhaps) … canned tuna being a later addition. Freshly cooked tuna steaks (and Ortiz anchovies) take it to the next level and make it the perfect summer dish for relaxed family meals or casual entertaining.
  • 13 November: Another Seafood School team favourite, this Thai salad combines grilled squid with a wealth of fresh vegetables and leaves to produce a dish that’s both beautiful and delicious … and leftovers are just as tasty the next day! There’s a refreshing little tom yum (hot and sour soup) to serve alongside and some steamed rice … perfect for a relaxed lunch or dinner with family or friends.
  • 20 November: Warm salads are perfect for this time of year. And this one combines a few of our favourite things including luscious hot-smoked rainbow trout, slippery little rice-shaped pasta and tangy preserved lemon. There’s also a super simple horseradish sauce on the side that’s a great accompaniment to any seafood.

 

HOW TO ORDER:

To find out about each weekly kit, subscribe to the Sydney Seafood School newsletter. A two-person kit is priced at $45 and are limited so get in quick to avoid missing out. 

 

Home delivery is available to customers in select suburbs (most suburbs within 15km driving distance of Sydney Fish Market). Alternatively, kits can be collected from Sydney Fish Market and the following Harris Farm stores: Drummoyne, Wetherill Park, Bondi Beach, Potts Point, Lindfield, St Ives, Newcastle, Orange, and Bowral. 

 

For more information, including pricing and availability visit https://www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au/Sydney-Seafood-School/SSSHome 

 

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

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