Simple Mixed Grilled Seafood with Lime, Olive Oil & Oregano Marinade

We are in the middle of what could be one of the most maginificent Easters to date. Sydney is certainly shining its most beautiful, and our “staycation” plans and activities have certainly paid off. This year, we decided to celebrate Easter (and our 10 year anniversary) in Sydney – with friends, family, and our beloved city.

Easter is not the same without seafood. This year, we invited some friends over for a picnic in the park, overlooking the fabulous Sydney Harbour while grilling some fresh, fabulous seafood.

Having only recently moved to Pyrmont, we were filled with much excitement at the thought of having the Sydney Fish Markets right at our doorstep. No driving, queueing incredible amounts of time looking for parking, and battling the shoppers/seagulls/tourists for the best seafood picks.

Grilled baby octopus

Oh no. This year, Mr J and I decided to take advantage of this incredibly gorgeous weather by waking up at the crack of dawn, jogging around our new neighbourhood (but really, it’s all in the name of research! Researching for the closest cafe in our area with the best coffee) and beating the crowds at the fish markets at 7am on Good Friday. Our yield?

Well!

1 kilo of barramundi

1 kilo of baby octopus

1 kilo of calamari

1 1/2 kilos of prawns

They were so fresh, I didn’t want to spoil them by over-seasoning or over-cooking. So I went to my cooking gods that are Nigella, Jamie, Rick Stein, Karen Martini and Bill Granger by way of Google, and found this easy, peasy marinade. Plus a little side trip here on how to prep your baby octopus – it made a world of difference to the baby octopus! Neither rubbery nor raw – just perfect!

Hope you had an incredibly beautiful and blessed Easter, one and all!

Grilled calamari rings.

Simple Mixed Grilled Seafood with Lime, Olive Oil & Oregano Marinade

Serves approximately 10 people

1 kilo of barramundi
1 kilo of baby octopus
1 kilo of calamari
1 1/2 kilos of prawns

Marinade

1 kilo limes (or lemons)
250ml olive oil
1 tbsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
(Optional) 1 tsp dried chilli flakes

How to prepare the calamari:

1. Remove the calamari head by careful lifting from the body.
2. Remove the “plastic spine” from the body. I find the easiest way to do this is to “pinch” the plastic spine from the opening of the body and careful pulling it away from the body.
3. Peel the “wings” from the body, this will also peel away the purple skin coating from the body. Peel any excess purple skin.
4. Clean the insides of the body under running water.
5. Slice the body into thin rings.

How to prepare the baby octopus:

Baby octopus after blanching.

1. Clean the baby octopus. You need to slice the head open and remove all the innards. Your fishmonger can usually do this for you.
2. In a pot of boiling water, dunk the octopus for about 1 minute.
3. Remove the octopus from the pot and immediately submerge in ice water. This will stop the cooking process.

Method

1. Juice all the limes in a large bowl.
2. Add the olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper and chilli.
3. Clean all the seafood thoroughly under running water. Place all seafood in a shallow dish or pan.
4. Pour marinade over all the seafood. Refrigerate for 2 hours or so.5. In a hot grill, hot plate or bbq, place all seafood (place the barramundi skin side down first).
6. The baby octopus and calamari should be cooked in about 4 minutes (2 minutes on each side).
7. The prawns should be cooked in about 6 minutes (3 minutes on each side).
8. Depending on the thickness of the fillets, the barramundi should be cooked in about 10 minutes (5 minutes on each side).
9. Drizzle any spare (clean) marinade and fresh lime over the cooked seafood. Enjoy!

Barilla Papardelle Bolognesi with sun dried tomatoes & Barilla Olive Sauce

Confession: I have always been a big fan of ready made sauces in jars. Mr J would rather make his own, which is perfectly fine with me. There’s nothing like freshly made pasta, mixed with freshly made sauce. But for someone who averages 12 hours a day at work and goes to the gym afterwards, time is a luxury and ready made sauces are lifesavers.

Thanks to Barilla and Isabel from Digivizer, I got a little bit creative with these pastas and sauces. I was able to mix both the ready made sauces and pastas with some fresh ingredients from my pantry. Plus, I needed to use up whatever I have in my pantry and fridge. The Barilla olive sauce was the perfect tasty base for my “pantry-and-fridge-raid” sauce.

Go ahead, get creative!

Barilla Papardelle Bolognesi with sun dried tomatoes & Barilla Olive Sauce

Makes approximately 4 servings

250g pack of Barilla Papardelle Bolognesi1 jar of Barilla Olive sauce
4 “halves” of sun dried tomatoes, chopped roughly
Parmesan cheese
About 30g green peas
1 onion, chopped
Handful of parsley

1. Cook the pasta as per instructions. Set aside.
2. In a pan, saute the onions and freen peas. Add the sun dried tomatoes.
3. Add the olive sauce. Simmer for 1 – 2 minutes.
4. Add the parsley, toss the pasta and parmesan cheese. Cover for about 1 minute.
5. Plate up the pasta and sprinkle with fresh parsley and cheese.
6. Serve with taosted “garlic” sourdough bread. Enjoy!

Barilla pasta and sauce were courtesy of Barilla and Isabel from Digivizer.