Try new things at the beginning of Lent

Try new things at the beginning of Lent
Passionate about fish all year round: Johann Parzer with stangl fish
Image: private

40 days of renunciation begin with a feast. At least that’s how it’s become customary to start Lent with an opulent herring feast after Shrove Tuesday. In earlier times, this decision was a logical one – herring was once considered “poor man’s food”. The sour fish was cheap and detoxified the body after excessive alcohol consumption. Nowadays people don’t just want herring on the table, they want to see the whole variety of fish and crustaceans as part of the buffet.

“People want exclusivity,” says Johann Parzer. The chef at “Fisch & Pasta” in Gmunden has gastro experience like few others, having been managing director of Freisitz Roith and operator of the Orther Stub’n for years. Today he not only cooks for his guests in his small restaurant in the Tuscany car park, he also sells fish. “There was no fish to buy all around,” he explains his motivation. And that when you have a full lake practically on your doorstep. So he created a point of sale and now organizes local fish from Lake Traunsee, Lake Hallstatt and other nearby waters as well as sea fish or even shrimp from Austria.

thumb sample and gills

The custom of the herring feast is widespread throughout Austria, only the preparation varies. If you have not reserved a seat in a restaurant, you can also stand at the stove yourself. “For the past three or four years, people have been getting more involved with cooking, trying out more,” says Parzer. In his experience, however, many amateur cooks avoid preparing a whole fish – “I prefer fillets, people are more confident,” says the 65-year-old.

Good fish starts with the right purchase. Parzer recommends a finger test. “Put your thumb in, if the fish snaps back to its original shape quickly, it’s fresh.” It is also worth looking the future food in the eye – they should be glassy, ​​not cloudy. Red gills are also a sign of freshness – if they are white, gray or not present, it is better to keep your hands off them.

Once you’ve bought the fish, don’t leave it in the water under any circumstances, “that’s the deadliest thing,” says Parzer. This happens especially when the ice in the bag melts in the fridge.

Parzer also has a tip for frying a fillet in a pan: “First add olive oil to the pan, then add the skin side of the fish, which has been dipped in white breadcrumbs, then add a bit of butter.”

If you dare to fish a whole fish, you can tell when it’s done: “When the dorsal fin can be pulled out easily.”

At the “Felix” festival presented by the OÖN on April 1, Johann Parzer cooks “shellfish and crustaceans from far and near”. www.wirtshausfestival.at

Reinanke roulade with freshwater crayfish

(recipe for 6 people)

Ingredients: 6 reinanques, approx. 160 g each, 70 g leaf spinach, ¼ l cream, 2 egg whites, ground pepper, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 50 g carrots, ½ l fish stock (from the jar), 2 tbsp crème fraîche, 1/8 l QimiQ, 3 tbsp wild garlic pesto, 100 g char fillet, 12 crayfish, dill stalks, salt, lemon, 1 tbsp whole caraway

Preparation: Fillet the reink and pluck the backbones with tweezers. Only use about 10 cm of the fillets, set the rest aside. Blanch the spinach leaves in boiling salted water for about 1 minute, rinse under cold water and set aside. For the fish farce, remove the bones and skins from the char fillet, puree with half the cream and the egg white and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Strain the farce through a hair sieve. Cut the carrots into fine strips with the vegetable peeler.
Lightly salt and pepper three reinanke fillets and place next to each other on a piece of buttered aluminum foil. Spread the fillets with fish farce and top with spinach leaves. Roll up the foil and shape into a roulade. Heat the fish stock to just below the boiling point and cook the roulade in it at 80 degrees Celsius for about 10 minutes.
For the wild garlic sauce, boil the remaining cream with the crème fraîche, the chopped wild garlic, salt and pepper and mix with a hand blender. Boil crabs in salted water with dill, cumin and lemon for about two minutes. Release the crabs and serve with the reinanke roulade, some wild garlic sauce and vegetable pearls.

Risotto or truffled mashed potatoes go well as a side dish.

Source: Nachrichten

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