Paua with Tarragon & Lemon Butter and a Nod to Al Brown
Again we are enjoying the bounty of our local beach. With low tides and virtually no wave swell the boys had been out snorkeling around the rocks just off our Bay and diving for Paua. They didn’t get huge amounts, but one is enough for two people and you want to leave some to the sea so we have it in the future too. I had never cooked Paua, but I had been told it needed to be tenderized and cooked very briefly otherwise it would be like eating elastic bands. Google is every chef’s friend and I found Al Brown’s recipe, his posh version of shellfish & chips. For those who don’t know Al Brown he is one of New Zealands favourite chef’s and I am a frequent dinner at his restaurant The Depot.
The recipe below is for two people using one Paua. I have added shaved fennel and rocket to make it more of a warm salad with the pan fried potatoes but I didn’t use garlic of parsley.
Below are a few more photos from our West Coast beach which turned on it’s spectacular waves this weekend.
1 large Paua, removed from shell
2 cups of small potatoes, pre boiled but still firm
Olive oil for frying
Handful of fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 handfuls of rocket salad leaves
Salt & cracked pepper
Arrange the fennel and rocket leaves on two plates
To tenderize the Paua, beat it with a tenderizer tool or a rolling pin as I did. I also cut away the muscle that attaches it to the shell and the tough frilly edges edges.
Slice the Paua ‘wafer thin’, as thin as you can possible slice it.
Mix the chopped tarragon into the butter and put it aside.
Cut the pre cooked potatoes to the size in the picture.
Put a few 3 tablespoons of olive oil into cast iron frying pan over a high heat. Season with salt. Once it is hot add potatoes and fry on at least two sides till golden brown.
Remove the potatoes from the pan and put aside.
Place the frying pan back on the high heat and allow the pan to get really hot before you cook the Paua.
Because I only had one Paua I cooked it all in one batch but if you have more Paua meat then do the next stage in batches and do not over crowd the pan.
Add a teaspoon of olive oil to coat the frying pan base then add the Paua slices. You want to only sear the Paua on eat side for 30 seconds. Remove from the pan onto a plate.
Turn the heat off and add the potatoes back to the pan, add the butter and everything will sizzle. Cook for barely a minute to heat butter through. Add the Paua to the pan too.
Spoon out the potatoes & Paua slices and arrange over the top of the rocket & fennel on each plate.
Spoon or pour the remainder of tarragon butter over the salads, season with cracked pepper.