Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Herbed Orzo with Pecans

A pretty simple recipe. Cook up some orzo and toss with butter, fresh chopped herbs (we used basil, parsley, rosemary, and thyme.) Mix in a handful of rough broken toasted pecans.

Served with pilsner braised sirloin tips with a shiitake blue cheese sauce. That doesn't look as sparkling as the orzo by itself, but tastes every bit as good.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Swordfish with Herbs

Looking for something lighter for the warm weather, we picked up some swordfish from Harmons, my new favorite grocery store. A quick mixture of basil, cilantro, coriander seeds, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper were ground together in a mortar with a little olive oil and lemon. This was smeared on thick, and quickly cooked using a cast iron ridged griddle. Served with a warm red potato salad and the ever-present spring asparagus.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Fruit Tart

The crust on this tart was particularly tasty, and a new bottle of vanilla used in the custard really made it stand out. I used a lot less custard than you would normally use (only about a half inch) but I like it this way, it emphasizes the fruit, and it is not too gooey sticky sweet. Using fresh, ripe fruit helped; I'm looking at you, Market Street Grill.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Corned Beef Hash and Eggs

Very tasty, and very filling. Even the small amount we typically eat was enough to fill our stomachs to the brim, but what do you expect from eggs and hash? It is pretty simple, all you need is some leftover corned beef and leftover mashed potatoes.

First, slice up an onion in thin lengths, and saute in a little peanut oil and about a quarter cup of water. As the water evaporates, the onions should sweeten and brown nicely. Mix the onions together with the leftover mashed potatoes and cubed cornedbeef, adjusting the ratio on your tastes. Season with a good amount of ground black pepper.

Form patties, and place in hot skillet with a little peanut oil. Fry on one side for 5-8 minutes or until the one side is crispy, then flip. As the second side cooks, make an indent on the top of each patty (fairly deep and wide) and crack one egg on each patty. Cover the skillet and cook until the egg whites are set, and the yolks still runny. Search immediately.

Bonus: We served this with green beans and a tarragon butter sauce. The tarragon sauce was excellent with the eggs and hash itself, but maybe a little obsessive if that's all you eat. Go with the green beans as well.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Halibut Wrapped in Potatoes

A very simple recipe. We felt the need for halibut, but if that is not available or too pricey, try orange roughy or cod instead.

2 fillets of halibut
2-3 Yukon Gold potatoes

See? Simple. First, salt and pepper the fish lightly. Slice the potatoes as thin as possible, using a mandolin if available. The thinner and larger each slice, the better - thin enough to see through.

Arrange 5-6 potatoes in a row on a non-stick surface (like a baking mat), overlapping each potato slightly, so that they form a strip as long as a fish fillet. Arrange a second row of potatoes next to the first, overlapping them with each other and with the first row, to create a mat of potato slices. Salt and pepper the potatoes slightly.

Place the fish in the middle of the potato mat, and carefully wrap the potatoes up around the fish. Press firmly to adhere. This took some effort, but if the potatoes are thin enough, it should work after one or two attempts. If there is lots of overlap in the potatoes, it will help.

At that point, it is only a matter of frying the fish in some olive oil, about 4 minutes per side, until the potatoes are nice and crispy, and the fish is cooked. Serve with some sauteed spinach and slivered garlic.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Gnocchi, from the Italian for a knot in wood-nocchio-as in Pinocchio is a tasty little dumpling of potato and flour. It is somewhat difficult to make, more than handmade pasta as it can easily taste too much of flour, or too thick and doughy. Ideally made, they are light and fluffy, with either the scratching of fork tines or a dimple to catch any sauce. Here is a sweet potato gnocchi, made soft with the inclusion of ricotta cheese. We made a simple browned butter, sage, and prosciutto sauce for a rich but simple meal.

  • 2-3 yams
  • 12 oz ricotta cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 t salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

Turn the yams into mashed yams by piercing, microwaving for 10 minutes or so, peeling, and mashing. Stir in the ricotta and parmesan cheese, sugar, salt, and nutmeg. This will be a fairly wet mess. Stir in flour until a light dough forms. Working in batches, roll the dough into snakes of about 1/2 inch in diameter, and cut into sections about 1 inch long. Roll each piece around a fork to dent.

You can either freeze the gnocchi, or boil them in salted water for 5 minutes or so. They make good leftovers for a snowy afternoon as well.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Turkey - Salted Herbs and Shallot Gravy

Pretty tasty. As other who cooked this turkey have noted, the end result is very similar to a brined turkey, but without the brine effort and unusable carcass. The turkey is salted inside and out with an herb salt, left to sit in the fridge overnight, then rinsed clean and cooked with lemons and onions inside.

Herbed Salt
  • 1/4 cup coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 3 torn bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Mix all ingredients together. Wash the turkey well, but do not dry. Cover in salt, and place covered in the fridge for 12 hours or so (Christmas Eve). When ready to cook, remove and rise all the remaining salt off, and pat dry. Stuff the turkey with loosely cubed:
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 whole lemon with peel
  • dried rosemary
  • dried rubbed sage
  • dried thyme
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
Roast for 17 minutes per pound. We made a gravy out of sauteed shallots, white wine, and the amazing amount of drippings the bird put off. A very brown, juicy turkey, not too salty at all. Very good drumstick meat, will try this on drumsticks alone next time, or maybe a roasted chicken.