Showing posts with label Fish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fish. Show all posts

23 July 2013

Random Recipes - Zuppe di Pesce with Brandy and Cream

The soup bowls have been empty for the past few weeks, as SB and I have enjoyed traditional summertime fare! Our grill has been going far more often than the stove top! That all changed, though, when Dom handed off this month's Random Recipe challenge and I counted out the cookbooks and then counted out the pages.

16 July 2013

Pan-Seared Lemon Pepper Swordfish With Orecchiette and Peas

The dog days of summer are here and it seems they're here to stay for a good while.  All the cool smoothies, iced tea, cold salads, popsicles, chilled pies, and cold cocktails certainly help keep us comfortable, but one still needs a hot meal now and then. Standing over a hot stove, though, holds little appeal!  I have fallen to the strategy of doing some prep work on dinner early in the morning while the house is cool and then lounging through the heat of the day. Once the sun goes down and the house cools off a bit, I am ready to tackle dinners. They still need to be fast and easy, though.

Yesterday, we shucked peas and marinated swordfish early in the day. Then, in the time it took to boil pasta water and cook orecchiette, we seared the fish, sauteed onions and mushrooms, steamed green beans for a side and put together a nice platter of warm sustenance ... all the while sipping on chilled Sauvignon blanc. My kitchen timer allows me to put things in the pan, crank up the heat and walk away from the hot stove ...when the little dinger dings,  I dash in and away after tossing things, flipping fish, and only stand in the steam for the final plating ... one gets cagey when it's this hot!

05 June 2013

Virtual Supper Club Cooks Fresh and Local ...

This month's Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club theme is 'Fresh and Local' and aren't we all loving that? Our gardens are just starting to come on with greens and we picked the first strawberry of the season yesterday morning! It's all about the greens though ... new lettuce greens and the first kale, rows of spinach for salads - all brand new and minutes from the garden when it hits the salad bowl!

My favorite green is spinach and I pester my husband to plant it very early in the Spring so that we can have fresh baby leaves in salads. We never get enough to cook in the mounds that we like to gobble, so I do buy fresh from the farmers market and the super.  Today's recipe is a wilted spinach with a garlic vinaigrette sauce that when plated serves as a wonderful side dish or in this evening's case a bed for salmon fillets.

15 May 2013

Provencal Fish ... Good Basic Fare

This is no delicate seafood dish. No, this is a plate of food for a night when you're craving a hearty glass of wine, a substantial meat and vegetable plate with juices worthy of a thick crust of bread. This French recipe requires a thick meaty fillet of fish - no sole or perch, but a fat slab of cod or hake or pollock. I used cod and pollock.

The rest of the dish consists of good chunky oven roasted tomatoes (canned or fresh during the summertime!), some onions, garlic, black olives, white wine, and herbs. Start the tomatoes as a sauce and dredge the fish fillets in flour and salt and black pepper. Fry the fish briefly in very hot oil, then pat the fillets with paper towels to soak up some of the oil. Lay the fish in a shallow roasting dish, drizzle the hot tomato sauce over top and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to finish the fish. Scatter on some pretty green thyme sprigs and capers.  Have a good crusty artisan bread and a cold green salad waiting and pour the wine. This is good basic food that reminds me of seaside inn fare on Cape Ann; Provence may be in the title of the recipe, but this dish screams the coast of New England to me.

24 April 2012

Provençal Bourride and Making Aïoli ...

There are certain foods into which patience is mixed and mixed and mixed ... the results are spectacular when you get it right or crushing when you don't. Perhaps that's because of the specificity of traditional technique, the thought put into the making of the dish, the multiple steps that are best timed carefully, the little trick techniques that ensure success, the nuance of textures that must be achieved, and ultimately ... the gut feelings that a sure cook understands they must listen to and act on. I had plenty of time to come up with this idea last evening. I thought of mastering soufflés, rolling and cutting pasta, constructing a finely decorated cake, perfecting a classic paella, making an exquisite buttercream, tempering chocolate, designing beautiful petit-fours, hand-dipping bon-bons, rolling the perfect pie crust, and in my case, making a perfect aïoli. All require patience and attention to little details.

02 April 2012

Roasted Swordfish with Ina's Caesar Dressing Sauce

I have been really enjoying Ina Garten's cookbook, how easy is that?, since I checked it out of our little public library here in the backwater. Last evening, I made her recipe for Caesar Roasted Swordfish. Other than going a little heavy on the sauce, this dish was a real hit! The dressing is delicious and would be worthy drizzled on traditional Caesar salad makings. In fact, that would be my recommendation. Make the full amount of sauce, cut the amounts for marinating the swordfish and drizzling over the finished fillets in half, and save it for a 'next day salad' lunch. The recipe calls for frizzled capers as a tangy garnish, but we passed, as we're not fans of capers, but they sure would pack an extra flavour punch!

23 March 2012

Basque Cod ... and Elena Arzak

Basques had been crossing the ocean since the Middle Ages, voyaging to the rich cod fisheries of the Grand Banks and pursuing whales into the treacherous sub-Arctic waters off Greenland. Indeed, John Cabot's celebrated discovery of Newfoundland in 1497 was greeted by the Basques with something approaching wry bemusement, for it was hardly a new-found-land, two of their own captains having dropped their anchors off the very same coast over a hundred years before.  - Mark Mills in Amagansett
This week, I have had my nose in a couple books. In one particularly good mystery novel, I came across this quote. It reminded me of reading Mark Kurlansky's book, Cod - A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World. Kurlansky writes extensively about the importance of the Basque fishermen's discovery of the Grand Banks. The codfish became such an important sea harvest that it played a dominant role in the development of the European rush to colonize the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Salted cod became a staple of naval stores and fed many a sailor, as countries like Spain, France, and Great Britain made their marks on the world beyond their countries' immediate political borders. To this day, salted cod is an important ingredient in Basque and Catalonian cuisine.

26 February 2012

Tapas - Sunday Lunch

A Sunday luncheon party with friends makes for fun nibbling. Making a few tapas platters is the perfect way to let those who are hungry knosh and those who are dieting nibble. Enough said. There's a bit of the decadent and a bit of the conservative here - roasted potatoes with shallots, garlic, rosemary and alioli for dipping, salmon in a roasted red pepper sauce, a cool chicken salad with raisins and pignoli, a platter of black olives and Manchego served with a flatbread bedecked with artichokes, onions, pimientos, and bits of black olive, Spanish Rioja and beers ... and that Coconut Lane Cake for dessert with tea or coffee.

04 October 2011

My Seven Links ...

... from a small idea, much has come 

Being recognized by a fellow blogger is a big thing, but whoever thought to start this 'Seven Links' thing was really pushing the envelope. I am honored that my friend Devaki  from over at Weave a Thousand Flavors thinks enough of me that she would like to see what I think of my work.  I am, however, intimidated by the task! It's difficult being impartial. It's difficult to judge your own work, to sift through the portfolio of all you've done and evaluate ... and sometimes, it's embarrassing.

I've found myself re-reading back posts and sometimes thinking, Who wrote that drivel? Who photographed that? What was that blogger thinking rambling on about that ? Oh, gosh .... never mind! I guess the exercise here is to NOT be so hard on oneself, but instead, look at the project as a chance to slow down and really celebrate the work ... so my links ... after much kerfluffle... and some added storyline because the concept of food memory is one of the things that first inspired me to start this blog in the first place

Most Beautiful -

... a simple and elegant cake with the softest of frostings and the freshest embellishment

Making cakes with floral and herbal decorations has been 'my thing' for a long time. I have a picture of my daughter, Sara holding her birthday cake up for the camera. It's a large heart shaped single layer cake with icing this exact shade. It has a wreath of beautiful fresh gladiola flowers placed around it - flowers in shades of deep pinks and whites. Sometimes, I think, the food memory dictates the creative response to a new project. So this is my 'most beautiful' inspired by that other 'most beautiful grinning child' ...

Blackberry and Sour Apple Cake With Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

22 July 2011

Mangoes, Salmon, and Madhur ...

                                                                                                                         Photo credit: Clara Molden

Madhur Jaffrey has made a name for herself as a distinguished actress and as an enthusiastic advocate for Indian cuisine. Her favorite dishes use simple ingredients, but have interesting spice combinations that add tang, heat, zest, and color! Her interview on NPR back in 2006 was such a delight that I'm including a link here. Just listen to this delightful lady tell of her early life in colonial India and her wonderful memories of growing up and into the spiciness of her beloved Indian cuisine! Her memoir, Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India is on my bedside table and is enthralling. In her 80's, Ms. Jaffrey has lived the change from colonial India to independent India and has negotiated the paths between traditional Indian culture and Western culture. She has become an established film actress and has lived in New York for many years, but her love of her Indian roots is evident in her discussion of her favorite recipes. She is number seven on our list of 50 Women Game-Changers and well deserves the spot ... join the other bloggers that are paying her tribute this week by linking to Mary's post at One Perfect Bite ... then choose a recipe and make your own Indian feast! I chose to work with fresh salmon that is given a lovely spice rub and is then finished in a hot spicy smooth tomato curry.

12 April 2011

Back in Boston, It's Called Chowdah!

Home again! And Red Sox baseball season has started off with a whimper and then a bang ... we're watching the games on the tube and making all the traditional foods to celebrate them ... and that means we start off with fish chowder! For me, a fish chowder has one fish only ... the mighty cod. Okay, I'll let you sneak by with a big honkin' filet of monkfish, but that's it! Every time I make fish chowder, I think of that old chestnut about Boston ... heard it?

Raise your soup spoon and toast ...

"And here's to good old Boston, the land of the bean and the cod, where the Lowells talk only to Cabots, and the Cabots talk only to God."

26 February 2011

Maple Teriyaki Salmon and Saffron Risotto

Bright colors are important at this time of year ... for the stomach and the soul.

Say what you will about the politics of Patrick Leahy, Vermont's controversial Senator, he certainly coughed up a sweet little way of dealing with salmon fillets, by sharing his wife's way of preparing salmon steaks in the above cookbook. Sweet Maple is a cookbook of all things maple syrup-flavored. It gives the reader an excellent overview of the botany, history, and anecdotes of the maple sugaring industry. It's a book that comes off my bookshelf at this time of year and gets heavy use through March and into April. When the maple sugar is being made, the recipes for everything from soups to desserts are pulled out for a yearly run through.

22 February 2011

Summertime ... and the Livin' is Easy!

After all the soups and stews and roasts and casseroles of wintertime, I was feelin' kinda rebellious today.  I have some blogging friends from the southern hemisphere and they have been all about the grilled fish and salsas and fresh fruit salads and coconut cakes and all that summertime stuff ... darn it!

03 June 2010

Pan-Seared Red Snapper and Tropical Fruit Salsa ...

It all started with a really nice pineapple, beautiful mangoes, and unblemished jalapeno peppers ... then, I moved to the seafood counter and discovered gorgeous, shiny-fleshed red snapper. To boot, it was on sale ... music to a Yankee heart! I remembered a Christmas gift that I'd received from my gal, Sara. The rest is history.

11 April 2010

Sesame Crusted Halibut with Stir-fried Vegetables

Can you believe it? Tonight is the first time in my life that I have eaten halibut? How is this possible? I think I have always been intimidated  by the circular bone that is so prominent in the halibut steaks. Then, the long cuts of halibut have the added bone that radiates to either end of the 'fletch' ... and what the heck is that name all about? Not to mention, fishy skin that looks kinda like sharkskin... call me a wimp when it comes to fish.

I know this strange quirkiness comes from my childhood. Blame it on my mom who always warned us about choking on fishbones. She must have gotten a fishbone stuck crossways at some point in time, because she was totally paranoid when we had fish for dinner (which wasn't often!). The thing is, I love seafood! Over the years, I've worked my way up from fish sticks, to clams and crab, to cod fillets, to swordfish, to tuna, to scallops (no bones there!), to sea bass, to monkfish, to lobster, to salmon, to flounder, to hake,  to trout. How is it that I missed halibut?

29 January 2010

Fisherman's Stew For A Friday Night

Good grief, it's cold today! That thaw we had last week has been such a tease! We are back in the deep freeze with a howling wind and a bitter windchill. It's just the time of winter when a hot fisherman's stew would be welcome. Too boot, I don't feel like cooking, but know that Silent Bob needs something warm to stick to his ribs after hauling wood and puttering around outside in this cold.

Seriously, folks. This is a hot and filling stew with just the basics of ingredients and minimal preparation. The toughest part of this dish is waiting while the potatoes cook and the smell teases you ... it's an old Yankee stew that went in the dutch oven and sat on the stove or in the coals at the fireside.

Easy, easy, easy!