Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fettuccine with Swiss Chard, Currants, Walnuts and Brown Butter

1/2 stick of butter
1 T dried currants
2 T golden raisins
1 bunch red or green chard
1 T olive oil
1/2 med sized red onion, sliced thin
1/2 t salt (plus more for pasta water)
freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 c walnut pieces, toasted
fresh grated parm cheese

Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. As it simmers, the butterfat and solids will separate. When the butter turns a nice golden color (about 8 min), remove pan from heat. Pour through a fine sieve lined with paper towel.

Cook fettuccine in salted water

Meanwhile, plump currants and raisins by placing them in a small bowl and covering them with 1/4 c. hot water.

Trim stems of chard and slice leaves across into 2 inch wide ribbons.

Heat olive oil in large saute pan, cook onion, 1/4 t salt and some pepper for about 5 min. Add garlic, chard, and another 1/4 t of salt. Saute for 4-5 min, then reduce heat to low.
When the pasta is tender, drain and add to the saute pan along with the plumped fruit, walnuts and brown butter. Toss together with salt and pepper to taste and finish off with parm.

So freaking yummy. From Field of Greens Cookbook by Annie Sommerville.

Orzo with Shrimp and Tomatoes

Having tried a few new recipes that were less than stellar (sorry, Rick Bayless, your tortilla soup did not make the cut), I made an old forgotten favorite from the Sofi cookbook last night that reminded me of why I do these posts....great food fairly quickly, and generally not too bad for your waistline.  You can even use the peeled raw frozen shrimp in a bag to make less work for yourself.

3 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped*
1 T fresh basil or 1/2 t dried if it is winter
2 T dry white wine
salt and pepper
bag o' shrimp, raw and peeled (tails on are ok)
3 oz quality you can get (bit under a cup)
1 lb orzo (yes, they have it at the market...Barilla makes a decent one)

Put a big pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil.  Dump in the orzo and set the timer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saute pan over med  heat and, when hot, add the garlic.  Stir quickly and try not to let it brown.  Add tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes.  Raise heat to med high and add basil, wine, salt and pepper to taste and shrimp.  Simmer for approximately 5 minutes until the shrimp turn pink.  Add the feta.

Drain the pasta and put back in the pot.  Add the shrimp and tomato mixture and stir over med heat for a couple of minutes and then serve.

*to peel tomatoes, cut an "x" in the bottom of the tomato and put in a small pot of boiling water...cook for a minute and then put tomato in ice water to stop it from cooking.  Peel the skin right off of it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Black Cod with Miso

So this dish is based on the famous Nobu Matsuhisa dish.  The original recipe called for marinating the fish for 2-3 days, but this recipe allows for merely an overnight stay.  And you can make the marinade up to a week in advance.  The marinade is a bit stinky and it takes a leap of faith to believe that it will come out fantastic, but it will. Serve with rice and something green.

  • 3 T mirin (available in the asian section of the grocery)
  • 3 T sake 
  • 1/2 c white miso paste (available in the refrigerated healthy section of the grocery)
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • four 6-7 oz skinless black cod fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick (fyi, black cod is not actually a cod at all, but a sable fish.) I have made this recipe with just two pieces of fish and the proportions are fine.
  • canola oil (for grilling)

In a small sauce pan, bring the mirin and sake to a boil.  Whisk in the miso until it has dissolved.  Add the sugar and cook over moderate heat, whisking, until dissolved.  Let cool and then pour into a big ziplock baggie and add fish.  Cover and fridge overnight, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat a grill pan and oil it.  Scrape off excess marinade from fish (yes, it is very stinky at this point) and cook over high heat until browned, about 2 minutes.  Flip the fish onto a heavy rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, until flaky.

Serve and be amazed.