- 1 × 2 kg (4 lb 6 oz) coral trout
- 150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) All Purpose Flour
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 150 g (5½ oz/2½ cups) white panko breadcrumbs
- grapeseed oil, for brushing
- sea salt flakes
- 70 g (2½ oz) Ghee
- 130 g (4½ oz) quality thick mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh horseradish
- A few drops of Tabasco sauce
- 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) new potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 10 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf 120 g (4½ oz)
- 1 teaspoon ground toasted Fennel Seeds
To prepare the coral trout, first cut the collars off the fish and carve out the jowl. Debone the collars. Place the rest of the fish in the middle of a cutting board with the tail facing you and the belly cavity exposed and open. Using a sharp knife, cut down one side of the central spine as though you were going through the top side of the fish to remove the fillet, but once you reach the point where the fillet is about to be cut off but is still attached to the head, turn the fish so the head is now facing you. Using the top third of the knife, split the head in half. This will result in a fillet that still has the tail and the head intact. Remove the pin bones using fish pliers or tweezers, then repeat on the other side, laying the fish flat to the bench and again ensuring the head and tail remain intact on the fillet.
Place the flour in one bowl, beat the eggs in another and tip the breadcrumbs into a third bowl.
Dip the jowls and collars into the flour, then the egg wash and, lastly, into the breadcrumbs to coat completely, then place on a tray and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.
Prepare a charcoal grill, making sure the grill is hot and the charcoal has cooked down to hot embers. To create the gentle heat required for this particular method, take care not to overload your grill with too much charcoal and make sure the coals are spread evenly across the floor of the grill.
Meanwhile, to make the marie rose sauce, mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside in the fridge until needed.
For the Syracuse potatoes, place the potatoes and fresh herbs in a large saucepan and pour over enough water to just cover. Stir in the salt until completely dissolved. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender and the water has evaporated, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, brush the skin of the coral trout halves with a little oil and season with salt flakes. Place on the grill, skin side down, and top with a fish weight or a saucepan for even heat transfer and colouration on the skin. Cook over a gentle heat for 10–12 minutes until the skin is evenly coloured and the flesh is translucent and registers 44-45°C (111-113°F) on a probe thermometer. (It is important to move the weight around every few minutes to conduct enough indirect heat to ensure the flesh is cooked gently.)
Use an offset spatula to carefully transfer the coral trout halves to a large serving platter, then turn them over. Brush the skin with a little more grapeseed oil, season with another sprinkling of salt and leave to rest.
While the fish is resting, heat the ghee in a frying pan over a medium–high heat to a light haze. Add the crumbed collars and cook for 2 minutes each side, then remove and drain on paper towel. Cook the jowls for 1½ minutes each side and set aside with the collars.
To finish the potatoes, remove the pan from the heat and rest for 5–10 minutes to allow the salt crust to develop. Briefly return to the heat for another minute to toast the exterior of the potatoes and reinforce the salt crust.
Pile the potatoes into a large bowl and dust with the ground fennel, if using.
Position the grilled coral trout in the centre of a large serving plate and spoon a generous amount of marie rose sauce into the spaces where the collars and jowls used to be. Return the crumbed parts of the fish to their original places, season with salt flake.