AUSTRALIAN ROAD TRIP DINNERS
Andrew Sunley Smith with Hamilton Darroch
• Fresh Beach Fish
with garlic, chilli, basil, parsley, macadamia nuts, & lemon
• Engine Oven
Fish baked in bag with pumpkin, roasted macadamias and served with kalamata potato salad
• Roadside breakfast
Fresh mango, Italian coffee, honey, soy milk, cornflakes
• Trailer Garden
Providing Greek basil , coriander, tomatoes, chilli, garlic, chives, coarse parsley, nasturtium, salad rocket, rosemary, thyme, peppermint as well as medicinal plants & natural insecticides
Road trip essentials
• 1 Gas bottle 4kg
• 1 Camping stove 2 ring
• 1 Sharp knife
• 1 Chopping board
• 1 Water container (20 lit ‘Jerry can’)
• 1 Coffee percolator
• 2 Chairs
• 1 Table
• Cups, plates, bowls & cutlery
• 1 large Pot & 1 fry pans
• 2 Tea towels
• Box Matches/lighter
• 1 Large bowl (for cleaning & salad mixing)
• Aluminium foil.
• Sunburn cream
• Good hat
• Spare wheel
• Small pliers & adjustable spanner (from basic tool kit)
• Car jack and standard essentials
• Shovel in case of car bogging
• Tyre pressure gauge (if softening tyres for bush tracks etc)
• Check vehicle oil, lubricants and water levels, lights, indicators before leaving. If towing trailer or caravan make sure that load is secure and that all lights are working.
• 1 Box cornflakes
• 2 fresh mangos
• Tea (flavour of choice)
• Dairy milk & soy milk
• Italian coffee (fresh ground)
If leaving early to catch a morning tide, breakfast and especially coffee and tea are somewhat essential. Splice the mango and turn the skin inside out and cut the pieces into the cornflakes and add milk. For coffee and tea I recommend using honey instead of processed sugar as it provides a much fuller taste and aroma especially in coffee.
This breakfast is not too heavy, simple and great for early mornings.
Fresh beach fishing essentials
*Check local newspapers for high tide times sunrise/sunset.
(You will need to be up at sunrise to get two good windows of opportunity for landing a fish)
• 1 beach fishing rod (‘Jarvis Walker’)
• 1 reel with 6kg line (‘Alvey surf champion’ -‘tri lever drag control’)
• 2 Bag ‘Gang hooks’
• 2 bags No 2/0 Suicide hooks
• 2 bag No 3 ball sinkers
• 2 bag No10 Barrel swivels
• Assorted fresh bait, Mullet, Garfish, Pilchards (get these from local fish monger)
It is a good idea to study a little about the fish you intend to catch, such as preferred bait and where they are likely to be feeding such as sand banks, gullies, breakers or rocky headlands etc. You can get hold of any local fishing publication or tide guide from a well-stocked newsagent.
When loading hooks do not leave your bait exposed. Gulls will readily attempt to steal from your bait bag while you are focused elsewhere.
Fast fishing rigs: Line - swivel - line/ball sinker - swivel – hook (follow images provided)
• Keep a lookout for large waves when fishing from rocks.
• Cast in line from chosen spot and be patient3
Beach Fish Preparation and cooking(Flathead)
1. If one is skilful and lucky enough to catch a fish, quickly remove your hook from its mouth with a pair of small pliers. The fish must be killed quickly and cleanly with a sharp knife through the top of the skull (this is the quickest and least brutal method). Be prepared for a little blood.
2. Place the fish into a bag or cool box. Do not leave on beach, as seagulls are quick to arrive on the scene.
Cleaning and gutting
3. Clean and gut the fish with care (some fish such as Flathead often have poisonous barbs and spikes. It is always a good idea to check most fish thoroughly if you are uncertain)
4. Remove all scales by scraping a sharp knife towards the head of the fish. Rinse in water and keep going until all scales are removed.
5. Turn the fish onto its back and centre your knife between the fish’s gills and draw the blade slowly toward the tail. The incision needs to be long enough to get your hand inside the body and pull guts etc toward the head of the fish. Once you have hold of everything, simply slice away all organs and intestines. (You can give these to any attentive sea gulls)
6. Once the guts are cleanly removed, rinse the fish in water to make a clean cavity for your filling
Filling & wrapping
7. Place some chopped garlic, chilli, capsicum/red pepper, virgin olive oil, salt & pepper, parsley fresh basil and coarsely chopped macadamia nuts and freshly squeezed lemon into the belly of the fish. Sprinkle virgin olive oil lightly inside and around the fish.
8. Take two layers of kitchen foil and wrap the fish into a tight parcel, making sure that there are no holes, leaks or tears in the foil.
9. When preparing vegetables such as potatoes and pumpkin always chop them into small uniform pieces and keep them tightly packed together. Smaller pieces mean quicker cooking times and packing them tightly means that you maximise the heat throughout the food parcel
Engine oven fish baked in a bag
• One freshly caught fish (Flathead, Australian Salmon, Bream, John Dory, Tailor, Sand Whiting, Tarwhine).
• 4 cloves fresh garlic
• 1 fresh chilli
• 1 Spanish onion
• 1/4 whole pumpkin
• 1 kg potatoes
• Kalamata olives
• Salad rocket
• 1 lemon
• Pepper & salt (fresh ground)
• Parmesan cheese
• Macadamia nuts
• Virgin olive oil
*Times provided are for Ford F100 Cleveland V8 LPG engine
One average size fish takes approximately 60mins @ 80kms hr 30 mins per side to poach. Ideally you will need good stretches of road to keep the engine buzzing. You can start to smell the fish when it’s nearly ready.
Pumpkins and potatoes take a fraction longer approx 90 mins, so begin cooking these before your fish.
• Be sure Engine is clear of oil and grime
• Be sure not to loosen any leads when placing fish on engine block
• Ensure wrapped fish is firm and will not vibrate loose when travelling
• Always start your cooking with a warmed engine (its more preferable for fish and better for the longevity of your car)
Place the fish parcel, wrapped & oiled pumpkin, potatoes, and macadamia nuts on the top of your engine block as close to the middle as you can get. (The more metal surrounding your meal the quicker you will be able to eat it). In a Cleveland V8 the food nestles quite nicely beside the distributor and the carburettor.
*The engine oven cooker works primarily as a poaching device and slow baking tool.
Road Trip Dinner
• Fresh Beach Fish with garlic, chilli, basil, parsley, macadamia nuts, & lemon
• Engine Oven fish baked in bag with pumpkin, roasted macadamias and served with kalamata potato salad
Select a great roadside spot, preferably with good views and some shelter
Once everything is ready take the potatoes, mix with pitted kalamata olives, chives, lemon juice, salad rocket, chopped tomatoes, parsley, mayonnaise, salt and pepper.
Serve fish with engine baked filling. Serve pumpkin on the side with dash of olive oil and fresh ground pepper. Serve baked Macadamia nuts on the side with a little fresh basil.
Serve whole meal with crisp white wine or beverage of choice
This project was assisted by the skills of Hamilton Darroch. Thanks also to Emil Goh
Andrew Sunley Smith