Friday, June 19, 2009
We ended up pairing the puree with a garlic-lemony baked tilapia and baby red potatoes fresh from the farmers market. Here are the details:
Lemon-Garlic Tilapia with Pea Puree and Baby Potatoes
3/4 lb fresh tilapia (2 small fillets)
1/4 cup fresh chives, minced
2 Tbsp garlic scapes, minced
cayenne pepper, to taste
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400. Place tilapia in 9x9 baking dish. Halve lemons, squeeze juice over fish and include rinds in baking dish for additional flavor. Sprinkle chives, garlic scapes and cayenne pepper over top of fish. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil for 5-7 additional minutes, checking frequently so fish doesn't burn.
Pea Puree -
~ 1 lb fresh shell peas, shelled (comes to about 1 1/4 cup of peas)
1.5 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup fresh chives, minced
1/4 - 1/3 cup garlic scapes, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp sea salt, or more to taste
1-2 Tbsp cooking water from the peas
Boil peas in a medium saucepan. Saute chives and garlic scapes in butter 2-3 minutes on medium heat. In a food processor, combine peas, chive-scape-butter mixture, lemon juice, salt and cooking water. Puree until well blended. Taste test and add additional salt.
8-10 small-medium baby red potatoes
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup chives, minced
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
In a large sauce pan, boil potatoes until soft, about 15-20 minutes. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat and add potatoes, chives, salt and pepper. Saute 3-5 minutes.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
1) 5 Meals with 10 Kitchen Staples
Checkout Mark Bittman's spot on this morning's Today Show and watch him whip up a summer pasta with breadcrumbs, spinach and a touch of bacon along with 4 other meals in under 15 minutes. I've mentioned Mark (and his kitchen staples) before and you all know I'm all about a teeny bit of easy prep to keep a healthy kitchen well-stocked.
2) The Latest & Not-So-Greatest Diet "Quick Fix"...It's all about Smell
Here's an article in today's Times unmasking Sensa, tiny granules you sprinkle on food that act as appetite suppressants by stimulating your olfactory gland (smell from nose to brain) to signal satiety. Basically Sensa and other similar products take the pleasure out of eating and thus, make your favorite dish of mac n'cheese or piece of chocolate cake much less appetizing. Take pleasure and enjoyment away from me? Not so fast, sorry. I'll pass and would prefer to sniff AND eat...in healthful, indulgent moderation of course.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
3 cups chopped rhubarb (about 1" pieces)
4 cups strawberries (halved or quartered, about 1 1/2 pints)
1 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tsp vanilla extract (my secret ingredient)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
2 tsp. cinnamon
In a large mixing bowl, toss the sugar, cornstarch, rhubarb, berries, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix well and transfer to a lightly buttered 13x9 glass baking dish. Mix the remaining ingredients to form coarse crumb and sprinkle over the fruit mixture. Bake at 350º for 30 to 40 minutes or until the crumb topping is lightly browned. Serve warm with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Here's Bittman's quick takeaway tips for when you're next in the mood for fish:
My approach — which I readily admit is a work in progress and is as imperfect as my approach to all foods — goes something like this:
I don’t buy or order the common fish I can easily keep in mind as being super-troubled — most cod, for example, or bluefin tuna, most species of shark and skate. When in doubt, I move on.
With rare exceptions, I don’t buy or order farm-raised fish, except clams and oysters. Farmed mussels and shrimp don’t seem to come with egregious environmental consequences, but neither tastes like much, either.
I don’t eat fish as often as I once did. (I don’t promote eating it as I once did, either.)
And I keep re-evaluating these “rules,” and thinking about them. The “safe” lists are difficult to understand, impossible to remember and change frequently. When the fishing of a species is well managed, it can recover and become sustainable. When it’s not, the stocks of that fish disappear, sometimes quickly.I’m probably not going to stop eating fish. And fortunately I don’t have to, since there are species that have never been depleted — squid and mackerel, for example — and those that have recovered, like haddock and Maine lobster.
And finally, here's an enticing recipe for Lobster with Pasta and Mint that accompanied the article.
1 1 1/2 -pound live lobster
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Crushed red chili flakes to taste
1 pound long pasta, like linguine
1/2 cup chopped mint, or to taste.
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put about an inch of water into another large pot, add a not-too-big pinch of salt, put in lobster and cover pot. Steam lobster until it is red, about 3 minutes; you do not have to cook it through. Remove it and keep water simmering with cover off. As soon as you can, remove lobster’s tail and claws; return body to simmering liquid. Remove meat from claws and tail and return shells to pot; chop meat roughly.
2. Put olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and lobster meat and toss; cook until it sizzles, then add chili flakes and lower heat. Strain lobster-cooking water, discarding body and shells; you will want a couple of cups.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta until it is not even close to tender, but just bending. Drain it, reserving some cooking liquid if you have less than 2 cups of lobster liquid. Add pasta to lobster/garlic mixture, with about a cup of lobster liquid. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, adding more liquid as necessary. Stop cooking when pasta is tender, taking care not to add too much liquid.
4. Taste and add more salt, chili flakes or olive oil if you like. Stir in the mint and serve.Yield: 4 servings.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Get your organic/all natural-popcorn ready to go...
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Summer Herb Salad with Goat Cheese & Avocado
1 small bunch arugula
1 small bunch watercress
1 small head of frisee
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
1 cup chick peas
2-3 scallions, minced
1 avocado, diced
3 oz goat cheese, crumbled
juice of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients together arugula through goat cheese. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and drizzle over salad. *Serve with toasted garlic and herb crostini and a dollop of hummus if desired.