Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bluefish with a Mustard Crust

OK, so no picture of a bluefish plate, but this guy seems proud to have caught one...

4 x bluefish - (8 oz ea)
(or mackerel or salmon fillets)
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup Atkins Bread Crumbs
1 tsp dried marjoram
4 tbl melted butter

Method :
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with butter; set aside. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper to taste. Spread mustard over both sides of fish fillets.
Combine bread crumbs and marjoram in a shallow plate. Press fish into seasoned bread crumbs. Arrange fish in a single layer in prepared dish. Drizzle with melted butter; bake 10 to 15 minutes (ours took at least 20, but its worth checking early), until fish is cooked through and bread crumbs are crispy and browned.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Pasta with Prosciutto and English Peas

From Fresh Approach Cooking
This is classic DRI. Easy, flexible, and so good you HAVE to make it.

1 pound wide spaghetti (we used bow-ties)
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 cup shelled fresh peas, blanched
4 ounces thinly sliced Prosciutto, chopped (we used cooked bacon)
Zest of one lemon, plus juice of half the lemon
¼ cup ricotta salata cheese, grated (we used parmesan)
we added 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped small

Grated Parmesan for topping

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain; reserve 3/4 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Simmer cream, butter and lemon peel (not the juice, the juice will make it curdle) in heavy large skillet over medium heat until slightly reduced, about 1 minute.

Stir in Prosciutto (and sun-dried tomatoes) and let heat through, about 1 minute. Add pasta and cheese and toss to coat, adding enough pasta cooking liquid to moisten if needed.

Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Garnish with peas.

Serves two

Saturday, June 9, 2007

New England Fish Chowder

From Epicureus: To me, this is the most authentic and most important recipe in this book. It is the gold standard for chowder: a hearty main course with deep flavors, luxurious texture, and generous chunks of fish, onion, and potato. New England Fish Chowder is easy to make, uses simple ingredients, and doesn’t require you to be fussy or exact. After making this chowder a few times, you will begin to understand the Zen of chowder.

4 ounces meaty salt pork, rind removed and cut into 1/3-inch dice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions (14 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch dice
6 to 8 sprigs fresh summer savory or thyme, leaves removed and chopped (1 tablespoon)
2 dried bay leaves
2 pounds Yukon Gold, Maine, PEI, or other all-purpose potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/3-inch thick
5 cups Strong Fish Stock, Traditional Fish Stock, Chicken Stock, or water (as a last resort)
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds skinless haddock or cod fillets, preferably over 1 inch thick, pinbones removed
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (or up to 2 cups if desired)
For garnish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1. Heat a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over low heat and add the diced salt pork. Once it has rendered a few tablespoons of fat, increase the heat to medium and cook until the pork is a crisp golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cracklings to a small ovenproof dish, leaving the fat in the pot, and reserve until later.
2. Add the butter, onions, savory or thyme, and bay leaves to the pot and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for about 8 minutes, until the onions and softened but not browned.
3. Add the potatoes and stock. If the stock doesn’#over the potatoes, add just enough water to cover them. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, cover, and cook the potatoes vigorously for about 10 minutes, until they are soft on the outside but still firm in the center. If the stock hasn’4hickened lightly, smash a few of the potato slices against the side of the pot and cook for a minute or two longer to release their starch. Reduce the heat to low and season assertively with salt and pepper (you want to almost overseason the chowder at this point to avoid having to stir it much once the fish is added). Add the fish fillets and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat and allow the chowder to sit for 10 minutes (the fish will finish cooking during this time).
4. Gently stir in the cream and taste for salt and pepper. If you are not serving the chowder within the hour, let it cool a bit, then refrigerate; cover the chowder after it has chilled completely. Otherwise, let it sit for up to an hour at room temperature, allowing the flavors to meld.
5. When ready to serve, reheat the chowder over low heat; don’,et it boil. Warm the cracklings in a low oven (200 °F) for a few minutes.
6. Use a slotted spoon to mound the chunks of fish, the onions, and potatoes in the center of large soup plates or shallow bowls, and ladle the creamy broth around. Scatter the cracklings over the individual servings and finish each with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and minced chives.
Cook's Notes
Cod and haddock are very similar, but large haddock is just a little firmer and doesn’t break up quite as much as cod, making it easier to produce a chowder with large chunks of fish. But even more important than the type of fish is the way you prepare it. Both cod and haddock, and their cousins pollack and hake, all flake apart naturally. Therefore, it isn’t necessary to cut them into pieces. Simply add the whole fillets to the chowder, cook it a few minutes longer, and remove it from the heat, without stirring it again. When you reheat the chowder, the fillets will break into lovely big chunks of tender white fish. Most fish can be used for New England Fish Chowder, but if the fish you choose is not native to New England, then your chowder should be called "New England style." Depending on their tendency to break up naturally, some fish need to be cut into pieces.
Strong Fish Stock made with the heads and bones from the cod or haddock you buy for chowder is by far the best choice for this recipe. I urge you to make it, but if you can’t there are alternatives listed in the recipe.
For equipment, you will need a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot with a lid, a slotted spoon, a wooden spoon, and a ladle.

Sesame Noodles

1/2 lb Chinese noodles; or
1/2 lb Linguine
2 ts Sesame oil
1/2 c Sesame paste
1/2 c Chicken broth
2 tb Sugar
1/2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Freshly ground pepper
1 ts Freshly grated ginger
1/2 ts Freshly minced garlic
2 ts Rich wine vinegar
1/2 c Fresh bean sprouts
1/4 c Finely minced cucumber
1 tb Chopped chives

Cook noodles until al dente. Rinse in cold water, drain well, and toss with sesame oil. In another bowl, mix sesame paste, chicken broth, sugar, salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, and vinegar using a wire whisk. Add noodles (once cool) and bean sprouts to above mixture and blend well. Taste. Adjust seasoning if desired.
Place noodles in glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for two hours. Remove from refrigerator, divide onto small plates, top with cucumber and chives. Makes four small servings.