Baked Rockling – With Dill Butter, Braised Celery and Yarra Valley Chardonnay

This simple winter share-plate of fish utilises fresh, seasonal ingredients to complement the dry white wine in its sauce. The mid-range Yarra Valley Chardonnay used here encompasses traditional flavours of lemon and oak with a dry long finish and creamy body.
The region is well known for producing crisp yet mellow Chardonnay and any could be used to enhance and alter this recipe.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Cleaned fillet of rockling (or white fish of choice)
1 cup Yarra Valley Chardonnay
100 grams butter
3 stalks celery (cut in 7cm length quarters)
Celery heads (chopped finely)
3 sprigs spring onion (sliced)
1 bunch dill (chopped finely with stalks removed)
1 bunch parsley (stalks set aside and sliced)
1 clove garlic (sliced)
1 lemon (sliced)
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

Chardonnay syrup
Half cup chardonnay
100 grams caster sugar
1 nashi pear (sliced)


Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Place celery in pot with shallow oil on medium-high heat and cook until soft. Add garlic, spring onions, parsley, heads of celery and stir.
On a board, combine butter, dill, salt and pepper and shape into log. Slice dill butter and add piece by piece to the pot of celery with capers.
Once boiling, stir cup of chardonnay through. Leave to simmer, allowing alcohol to cook off at a medium-high heat.
With foil and baking tray underneath, lay lemon and half of the Chardonnay-infused nashi pears on rockling fillets. Pour celery and white wine butter sauce on top of fish and enclose foil.
Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes or until fish is falling apart.
Assemble celery, cooked and fresh nashi pears, rockling and freshly chopped parsley on a large share-plate, pouring any excess sauce on top to taste.

Chardonnay syrup
Put small pot with half cup of chardonnay on the stove at medium-high heat. Add sugar to chardonnay and stir until boiling. Remove from stove and add nashi pears once cooled. Set aside.

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