Tuesday, April 24, 2012
My grandfather was a fisherman. I grew up eating lots of fish. I remember huge fish on the front lawn of my grandparents house. I remember fish in their kitchen sink. I remember eating fish fish fish. I still love it. My grandfather shared a boat named the Joyce Ann. That is my sisters name. All the guys that owned the boat put their grandkids names in a hat and my sisters name got picked. The boat sank. Ha ha. If it was named the Janis Diane it would still be afloat. Well, no it wouldn't but I am still bitter.
I made a really good recipe last night. It was halibut steaks with spiced eggplant relish. I really liked it.
I don't know what else to say about it. I could make stuff up but...
OH WAIT. I do have something else to say. It called for a chili jam and I just so happened to have some Sunchowder Jam that Wendy sent me. I used her Raspberry Pepper Jam and this jam is amazing. All her jams are amazing (waving to Wendy who doesn't read my blog either).
Not one of my better photos. Shut up, I know none of them are too good.
Ok, so here is the scoop.
My birthday is coming up and we are going to New York to celebrate. We will be living it up. I will not be taking pictures nor blogging about it. I know I know... You are crushed.
Halibut Steaks with Spiced Eggplant Relish
Adapted from My Grill by Pete Evans
4 x 6 ounce halibut or salmon steaks
4 Tbl olive oil
4 lime wedges, to serve
spiced eggplant relish
4 Tbl olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 shallots, chopped
4 anchovy fillets
4 Tbl fresh Italian parsley
2 Tbl capers, rinsed (I didn't use capers because I don't like them)
2 Tbl chili jam (available from gourmet food stores)
2 Tbl red wine vinegar
To make spiced seggplant relish, preheat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Toss the eggplant in half the olive oil and cook in skillet, stirring,, until golden. Drain on paper towels.
Add remaining olive oil to the skillet and fry the garlic and shallots over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until golden. Add the anchovies, parsley, capers, chile jam, vinegar and eggplant and mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes over low heat until all floavors have mingled well, then season with salt and pepper.
Set up outdoor grill for direct-heat (we used a grill pan inside on stove). Rub the fish with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on one side then turn and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the other side until just cooked through.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I have to say that I have been cooking up a storm. Really! I cook dinner every night and most weekend nights. Cooking is my zen moment. It is where my brain turns off and the music plays and a glass of wine is drank...drunk...drinked? I just have not felt like writing about it all. This isn't a job and I do it for fun so when I am not in the mood I am not in the mood. Then again I do feel weird when I don't post. I mean it really doesn't matter but then my high school brain kicks in and it is like I am not doing my homework or somethin. What is with that? Ok, lets see what I have been making.
So yeah... there is a coop worth of chicken being cooked around here. I don't even remember what this one was. Oy.
If you don't like cabbage or sauerkraut this dish isn't for you. It is one of Dr. Foods favs. I love it too (hey, I just sounded like the Irish Spring commercial from when I was a kid! Uh oh, I am old.)
Really easy dish but there is ONE problem. I forgot to take a picture of the finished dish. Oh well, lets move on.
Um, ew. This looks really disgusting but it was really good too. It is chicken breast dredged in Oatmeal and spices. Lets move on.
oooooh BACON! I bet you are jumping up and down now! I don't get the whole bacon thing. I wish it would fade away. Anyhow, this is Ventreche and not really bacon. Take THAT!
You know there is always an onion involved.
This time there was Mr. Margarita as well as me listening to music and peeling and dicing onions. Dr. Food gave me my birthday present early and it is a radio that plays Pandora, Regular radio, and internet radio as well as my ipod. So, sippin a margarita and chopping onions and listening to music is my happy place.
(Look away faint of heart) these are Goat shanks.
I am on a cabbage kick. I can't get enough of the stuff. So, when Dr. Food saw this recipe in Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough's book Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese we had to make it. I love these guys a lot. This recipe is genius. Shanks with Cabbage, Port, and Vanilla. Sooooo good.
Time is involved but these are not hard to make.
Another recipe in the book was Corn Pudding with Goat Cheese. I was all over THAT.
I loved this recipe. We didn't have goat milk so I used regular milk and it was still heavenly.
So that was our "There is no place to eat around here so we will have our own stuff at home" dinner.
But WAIT there is more.
The weather was really nice so we wanted to grill. We decided to grill some fish and to make fish tacos. We found a really good recipe for grilled fish from "Rick Bayless" called Fish Zarandeado and we made that.
I made some mexican inspired slaw to go in fish tacos. That picture is a little out of focus there. Sorry about that.
Some queso!... and once again I chowed down without that last shot. Oh well. This recipe is so so good. So I will be back soon. Just email me if you miss me. I will write all my fans back, I swear.
3 tbl oil
3 C cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 lb sauerkraut, drained
1/2 C uncooked rice
3/4 C water
1 can (32 ounce) tomatoes
2 tbl brown sugar
2 tsp caraway
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 3lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. In a large skillet, saute onion in 8 minutes
3. In roasting pan arrange cabbage, sauerkraut, rice, water, and onion.
4. Add tomatoes, brown sugar, carway, seeds, salt, and pepper.
5. Season chicken with salt and pepper and arrange on vegetables.
6. Bake covered for 1 hour. Uncover and cook 30 minutes more. Sprinkle with paprika before serving.
Corn Pudding with Goat Cheese
Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough - Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese
6 husked corn ears, silks removed
6 tablespoons goat butter (or substitute regular butter), plus more for greasing the dish
6 medium shallots, minced
2 jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
5 large eggs, at room temperature, whisked in a medium bowl until smooth
2 cups regular or low-fat goat milk (sold at specialty supermarkets)
1/2 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
8 ounces fresh chèvre or soft goat cheese
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
2 ounces grated hard goat cheese, such as goat Gouda or goat Gruyère (sold at specialty supermarkets)
Prepare a grill for high-heat cooking, or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Set the corn ears on the grill grate directly over the heat source — or in the grill pan. Grill until charred a bit on all sides, turning with tongs once in a while, perhaps 2 to 3 minutes.
Set the corn on a cutting board.
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter the inside of a 9-inch square baking dish or a 2-quart soufflé dish or gratin pan.
Cut one end off the corncobs so they’ll stand up straight on the cutting board, and then run a paring knife down the ears, slicing off the kernels. Put the kernels in a large bowl.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and jalapeños; cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots soften and begin to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin seeds; cook for 15 seconds or so. Scrape the contents of the pan into the bowl with the corn kernels.
Stir in the eggs, milk, cornmeal, fresh chèvre and basil until fairly smooth. Pour this mixture into the prepared baking dish; sprinkle the grated hard cheese over the top.
Bake the pudding until set and browning evenly a little across the top, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.
4 ancho chiles or 8 guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into flat pieces
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire
1 3-pound fish (round fish like snapper, grouper or striped bass work really well)—ask to have it filleted, but keep the bones
Oil for brushing or spraying the basket and fish
12 warm corn tortillas
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced, for serving
2 limes, cut into wedges, for serving
Chinese toasted chiles in oil (or your favorite salsa or hot sauce), for serving (optional)
1. Make the marinade. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the chile pieces a few at a time, pressing them firmly against the hot surface with a metal spatula until they are aromatic, about 10 seconds per side. In a bowl, rehydrate the chiles for 20 minutes in hot tap water to cover; place a plate on top to keep them submerged.
Use a pair of tongs to transfer the rehydrated chiles to a food processor or blender. Add 1⁄2 cup of the soaking liquid, along with the tomato sauce, garlic, soy and Worcestershire. Blend to a smooth puree. Press through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl. Taste and season highly with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons.
2. Prepare the fish. Cut 1⁄2-inch-deep diagonal slashes along the flesh side of the fish (to promote even cooking and aide in marinade penetration). Sprinkle with both sides with salt. Spread or brush about 3 tablespoons of the marinade over both sides of the fish—spread some on the bones as well. You’ll probably have marinade leftover for another round of fish. (It’ll keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.)
3. Grill and serve. Turn on a gas grill to medium or light a charcoal fire and let it burn to until the coals are covered with white ash. Lay a grill basket over the fire. When quite hot, brush or spray the basket generously with oil. Spray or lightly brush the fish with oil, then lay the oiled-side down on the basket; spray or brush the other side. Close the basket and cook lay over the fire. Cook, turning every 3 or 4 minutes, until the fish is cooked through but still juicy—a 3-pound snapper typically takes 10 to 15 minutes.
Gently and carefully open the basket and remove the fish to a platter. Serve with warm tortillas, red onion, lime and toasted chiles for making very tasty soft tacos.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Gather round youngin and I will tell you a story that might shock you. It isn't for the weak of heart. It all started at "The Inn". Henceforth referred to as "Next time stay hotel" (NTSH).
Looks nice enough driving up. Sorta. Kinda. The conversation in my head.
Me: Uh oh
Head: You are always such a snot about these things. Give it a chance.
Me: Give it a chance?
Head: Yes, give it a chance.
Me: Ok, but can I kick your ass if it is what I think it is?
Head: How you gonna do that?
Me: I will figure something out asswipe.
I didn't get a photo of the "Lobby" because I was trying to be a polite guest.
But after getting up one flight of stairs I got this shot to share with my audience. Hello? You guys are there aren't you?
We were on the "3rd floor" with the view. Trying to get up those stairs was a bit of a challenge with an armload of stuff that we had brought.
So, ok. The bed looked decent but the room smelled like paint and the wallpaper was giving me a headache the size of Texas.
This is the door to the bathroom. No, we didn't have to share but ewwwwwwwwwwwwww.
Only the finest for me.
But wait! there is more. Complimentary soap.
Ok, so fast forward to breakfast the next day. We come down for our breakfast and we are seated. All of a sudden I spy the dreaded tchotkes (translation: Tacky decorations)
Wait, that is the grumpiest I have ever seen Dr. Food look. I know I chopped off his head in the picture but he is looking how *I* felt. Hey Dr. Food, you lied to me when you said everything was not that bad. You KNEW it was that bad but you didn't want to see me go off onto a "Janis Rant". Maybe it was for the best that you kept a good front. You know me so well. I love you Dr. Food.
I know you didn't break the head on that chicken Dr. Food. I know that it was already like that.
We had a guide that was provided to us at the Inn. What? 2008? Oh, I am sure all the stores that it lists are still around. No problem.
So we got out of there and hit the road for adventure. First stop was a yarn shop that was really nice and that I wanted to drop a few bucks but the people running it didn't seem to think that I was worthy of letting me have any yarn. What idiots. So, we hightailed it out of there and hit the road for the Hard Cider place. I didn't get pictures but we did get hard cider.
Next off to a farm that had self serve. We picked up some cheese and whole milk yogurt and handmade butter and other stuff that I can't really remember.
We went antique looking. We stopped at a crazy guys shop. He had a sign not to take pictures. Me?? Follow rules? I laugh in the face of rules. I had to do my journalistic duty and bring back a shot of old doors for my "readers".
Ok, so this is the part that I have no pictures. We went to dinner at our friends Mark and Bruce. It was an amazing meal. AMAZING. We drank good stuff, and we ate amazing stuff. We drank some more. We met really wonderful people and made new friends. It made the stinky, gross Inn worth it.
Next day we went to get our goat that had come back from the butcher. We went to Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center to pick it up. What an incredibly friendly and pretty place.
We got a tour and I even got to hold and feed a week old baby goat.
I know that it seems weird that I would be so in love with the goats on the farm and yet I was there buying one to eat. I know that some of my Vegan friends (do I have vegan friends? Oh, wait I do!) will be repulsed by the idea. But it is a very fine line this meat thing. It is personal. It is respecting and being thankful for where the food comes from. The goat we bought is Kosher for gods sake. Heh...
I had a fun time with Dr. Food but was glad to get home to my own little animal.