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Friday, February 22nd, 2013
I haven’t made Indian food in ages. When my son begs for mac-n-cheese…yes, my child who gobbles up raw oysters, serrano ham and ramen still begs for the one “kid” food he likes…I make him that and make something for my husband and I that I know my kid won’t like. Usually Indian food.
I had just-caught petrale sole from my Seafood CSA. It was 6pm and I had no plan for dinner. I got out the fish and stared at it for a while. I wandered to the pantry and stared into it too. Potatoes…I have potatoes. I could make french fries for…what…fish and chips? No. CURRY!
I have this Penzey’s ready-made curry powder that I rarely ever use. It’s not really old, it doesn’t taste like dust or anything yet, it’s just not what I reach for first. But it’s really quite good!
I cut up the potatoes and tossed them with olive oil, added some sliced shallots then added curry powder, cayenne and coriander seeds. Those went in the oven at 400° for about 45 minutes. Why do potatoes take soooo long?!?!?
For the fish, I drenched the fillets in egg yolk then dredged them in curry cashews. I don’t know if your store’s bulk section carries these but they are like crack. Curry cashews. Best snack ever. Simple. Awesome. I put a cup or 2 of them in the food processor and made curry cashew crumbs. After crusting the fish with the cashews I put it in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per side or so. Long enough to cook the fish through but not burn the cashews. If the cashews start cooking too fast, lower the heat!
While those were cooking I took a cup or 2 of plain yogurt and added a tablespoon of coriander powder and 2 tablespoons of cumin plus some salt and some cayenne. And I diced a cucumber because I always want cucumber for the cooling of the spice with Indian food!
When everything was cooked I served it up with a spoonful of mango pickles (I prefer lime or lemon pickles but we’re all out!).
I just about licked my plate clean, this turned out exactly like I envisioned it.
Sunday, February 3rd, 2013
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed.
3 large shallots (equivalent to the amount a medium onion would give you)
2 cloves garlic
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup pancetta
4 slices bacon
Lemon juice (one lemon)
Finely mince or food-processor the shallots and garlic. Saute in butter with the pancetta until starting to brown on the edges. Deglaze with a few tablespoons of white wine. Add potatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are soft.
Puree. Thin with chicken stock if needed. Whisk in lemon juice.
Top with creme fraiche and/or bacon.
Even though, aside from the bacon on top, there’s no cream or much fat in this dish, it’s really really rich. I think as a whole big bowl, it may be a bit much but would be good as an appetizer in a shot glass for a nice dinner.
Friday, December 14th, 2012
1 lb Sablefish fillets
1 egg + water (make an eggwash)
1 cup crushed pecans (I zapped them in the food processor)
sprinkle of cayenne
1 lb kohlrabi with greens
3 cloves garlic, sliced
juice of one lemon
This dish has three elements: Kohlrabi puree (think mashed potatoes), kohlrabi greens and the nut-crusted fish. Multi-tasking is important on this one!
Peel and dice kohlrabi and boil in salted water until softened. Puree with 2T butter and salt to taste.
Roughly chop greens and saute with 3 cloves garlic. When cooked to perfection, add lemon juice off the heat.
Sprinkle fish with cayenne and salt.
Dip one side, the cayenne-salt side, of the fish in egg wash. Press that side of the fish into the pecan pieces until they cover the fillet. Place in hot pan with olive oil on medium-high heat until pecans form a nice crust. Flip it over before the nuts burn, reduce heat to medium and cook the fish the rest of the way through.
To serve, put a blob of kohlrabi puree, a pile of kohlrabi greens and the fillets of fish on top. Sprinkle with an interesting finishing salt.
Friday, May 25th, 2012
This is an easy and pretty healthy dish. It’s perfect for summer days. Next time I make it I’ll take a picture!
1 lb petrale sole (or any white fish)
1 cup cornmeal
Salt and pepper the fish fillets, dredge in cornmeal and pan fry in olive oil.
3 grapefruit: 2 sectioned, 1 juiced
1/2 small red onion, diced (I used a 1/4 of a huge one!)
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 japanese or english cucumber, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
~1t sriracha (more or less to your heat tolerance)
Take the juice from the grapefruit and put it in a sauce pan with the diced onion. Cook on medium/low until the onion is soft. Stir in the sriracha.
Mix all those things together. By cooking the onion with the grapefruit it mellows out the onion and adding the juice and onion to everything while it’s warm brings the flavors together immediately rather than having the salsa have to sit overnight to integrate.
Spoon the salsa over the fish and serve.
Thursday, March 22nd, 2012
I made this soup a couple of month ago for a Soup Night gathering at my house. I had vegetarian friends coming so I simmered veggies in water all morning to make really flavorful stock for the soup. I had some dried cranberry beans from the farmers market in the pantry just screaming to be used. I had also seen a cranberry bean soup recipe in Eric Ripert’s A Return to Cooking that ultimately inspired this one.
Today I’m taking soup to friends who just had a baby last week and they’re vegan. I thought this would be good to take them since it’s packed with protein and it’s freezable. But when I came onto the site to find my recipe, I hadn’t ever posted it! Hopefully I got all the ingredients right and this will be just as tasty as last time.
Soak 3 cups dried cranberry beans for at least 4 hours.
Sweat until soft:
1 onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
2 medium leeks, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Cook on medium-low with the lid on for about 15 minutes (don’t let it brown, just soften)
Add 3 cups cranberry beans and 6 cups stock. I have used homemade veggie stock both times I’ve made this since it’s been for vegetarian or vegan friends but chicken stock would work just as well.
Bring it to a simmer and let it simmer for at least 2 hours or until the beans are soft.
Puree it all up into a lovely, creamy (without cream) soup.
Finish with a dollop of parsley-lemon puree and a drizzle of lemon oil and some crusty french bread.
Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
After writing this up, I discovered I already put this recipe up but I’d used fish! Well, I changed it very slightly but I guess that means I really like this one!
4 rehydrated ancho chiles (save the liquid)
1 small yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
2 T white wine vinegar
Blend everything in the list together in the blender along with some of the rehydrating liquid to thin it out and make it into a saucy marinade.
Cut chicken breasts up into 1-2″ pieces and put them into the ancho paste. Leave it in there as long as you have. I had about an hour.
In the meantime, make some rice, heat up some black beans, make some guacamole (avocado, grated onion, lots of lemon juice, a dash of cayenne and salt).
Cook the chicken in a pan over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through.
To serve, warm some tortillas, and put the chicken, guacamole, some salsa and a bit of cilantro in them. Beans and rice on the side.
Don’t forget the margaritas!!
Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
Japan met Italy in my kitchen tonight. I got black cod from my CSS (Community Supported Seafood), my weekly seafood CSA. I was in the mood for something japanese-y.
I found this recipe for miso-glazed cod. I used the marinade (1/4 c mirin, 1/4 c sake, 3t sugar, 4T miso) and let my cod marinate in that for about an hour.
In the meantime I dug around my kitchen to see what I should serve with the fish. I decided to make some sushi rice and make arancini out of that. Once the rice was cooked, I added seasoned rice vinegar, a little soy sauce, some minced green onion and some parsley…mostly because I have a cubic yard of parsley from my dad’s garden right now. I shaped the rice into balls and fried them in 300° grapeseed oil until they were brown.
I also have a 1/2 cubic yard of arugula from my dad so I wilted that in a pan with some garlic and olive oil.
I grilled the cod on the barbecue for about 5 minutes on one side then about 2 minutes on the other.
To serve I put the arugula, then three of the rice balls, balanced the cod on top and put some grated daikon on top of the fish.
For a complete experiment, I’d say this was a huge win.
Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
When we were at the Cayman Cookout we had a really yummy Green Curry Ceviche made by Laurent Gras. It was light and refreshing, a little spicy, tangy and just perfect.
Today I got Ono (aka Wahoo) from my Seafood CSA and immediately wanted to make something that would take me back to the Caymans. This dish was the first to my mind. I didn’t really remember what went into it though so, as usual, I improvised and it really worked!
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 small shallot
- 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 jalapeno or similar chile
- 2 t cumin
- 1 t coriander
- handful of cilantro
- 1 lb wahoo/ono
- 1 avocado
- 1 japanese cucumber
- Blend everything (except fish, avocado and cucumber) in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
- Dice fish. Dice avocado. Dice cucumber.
- Put the diced everything in a bowl and pour the coconut green curry liquid over the fish mixture. Finish with a good salt. Since I was being nostalgic, I used the Cayman Island salt we brought home!
Preparation time: 10 minutes
I served this with some thinly sliced, toasted pugliese and sake. It wasn’t Laurent Gras’ but I will sure make this again!
Sunday, February 5th, 2012
If she weighed the same as a duck… she’s made of wood. And therefore… A witch!
My first duck attempt was, well, it was edible. I overcooked it a bit. I tried whole roasted duck. I just went for it. It could have been witch…nearly wood…ok, not that bad. But not what I was going for. My son liked it, my husband and I ate it. I was ready to try that again.
For some reason, I followed an online recipe for my first attempt rather than going with my inspiration for this whole project, Eric Ripert. I know, I seem to be obsessed at this point, but he really cooks how I want to cook and the recipes work!
So, I didn’t make the sauce or any of the accompaniments. I just wanted the duck preparation from him. It was like making a steak: pan sear then finish in the oven. So simple. So perfectly cooked.
I cut the wings and legs off the duck and put them in the freezer for another time. I cut the breast off, leaving the bones attached. I seared the breasts skin-side down in a hot pan, on high heat, for about 6 minutes. I drained off the fat, turned the breasts over and put it in a 400° oven for 9 minutes. Took it out, let it rest for 8 minutes. Carved it off the bone, sliced it and served it over israeli couscous with pine nuts and parsley.
Now, full disclosure here…I have a cold. I can’t taste a damn thing. This is killing me. However, texture is everything right now. The texture of the duck was *PERFECT*. I will do this again when my sense of taste and smell returns (god, I hope that’s soon!). I do need to figure out how to render out the fat though, there was too much between the perfectly crispy skin and the meat. This duck challenge is fun.
Thursday, January 19th, 2012
Fresh off the heels of the Cayman Cookout, I went to the Farmer’s Market completely inspired. I picked up various ingredients: lemongrass, cilantro, shallots, salmon. I had no plan though until I got home and started flipping through Eric Ripert’s A Return to Cooking. I didn’t follow any of the recipes but saw one that was for shrimp with cilantro and another that was a chicken pot a feu with ginger-cilantro vermicelli. That got my brain movin’.
I simmered lemongrass, ginger, shallots, garlic, lime rind and chicken (I didn’t have any chicken stock made but I had a couple of drumsticks in the freezer so I tossed those in). I let that simmer for about an hour. It would have been better if I had much longer but I didn’t and it was quite flavorful even after such a short time.
Next I skinned the salmon and put it in a dish with garlic, cilantro, a little oil and a splash of white wine. I turned it a few times while I was working on everything else.
I didn’t have any vermicelli but I did have spaghetti so I broke a handful of that into thirds and boiled it up. When it was done I tossed it with cilantro, shallots, lime juice and a little olive oil.
I removed the salmon from the marinade and dried it off. I wanted the flavor but since I was going to be searing it on high heat, I need to get the garlic off as much as I could so it wouldn’t burn. I heated canola oil until it was almost smoking and added the fish. I let it cook on the first side for 3-4 minutes, until it had a nice brown crust starting to happen. Then I flipped it an only kept it about another minute on that side.
To serve I put a small pile of sugar snap peas, cut into 1/2 inch pieces. I placed the pasta on top of that. Scattered some sunflower sprouts from our wonderful microgreen and mushroom folks at the farmer’s market around the pasta. Topped that with the salmon.
I strained the simmering broth and ladeled that over the pasta. To add some crunch I added a few more sprouts to the top, not in the broth. Then a generous squeeze of lime juice over the whole thing.