Wednesday, April 29, 2009
In order to try out a camera one must cook. Hitting the Trader Joe, I came across some brats. Now being from WI, I'm pretty picky about my brats (think Usinger's, maybe Johnsonville...), but they were pink (and sitting there) so I decided to give them a try. I boiled them in beer and we grilled them up. Note to self, do not get Trader Joe brats again, they were not so good.
Tuesday night we decided to have warm weather food. I managed to pull a few radishes from my garden, (need to work on garden) and made grilled kofte meatballs, tequila lime shrimp, tomato cucumber salad and some hors d'oeuvers. Paired with a Efes, a Turkish beer, it was a lovely meal.
For dessert I made coffee ice cream with chocolate espresso beans chopped up in it and paired it with a chocolate sauce. Last time I made ice cream I managed to do it wrong, this time I decided not to make a custard and managed to put the plastic thing in the maker correctly. Here's the recipe I made up.
Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean Coffee Ice Cream
3 c heavy whipping cream
1 c whole milk
3 tbsp instant espresso
1/2 vanilla bean sliced in 2 lengthwise scraped and the scrapings and bean put into small saucepan
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c chopped chocolate covered espresso beans
Take 1 cup heavy cream and put into saucepan with vanilla bean and sugar. Slowly bring to a simmer and turn off. Whisk in instant espresso and let sit 5 minutes. Take out vanilla bean and
combine with 2 cups whipping cram and 1 cup milk. Let chill and put in ice cream maker following manufacturer's directions. Add espresso beans 5 minutes before the end.
1 cup half & half
8 oz 72% dark chocolate (or bittersweet)
Heat 1/2 and 1/2 in the pan you heated the last milk in. When hot, turn off and add chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute and whisk until smooth.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Whole wheat lemon couscous with chickpeas & fresh basil.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous (I use Trader Joe's, you can use regular couscous too)
1 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
2tbsp chopped sweet onion (on the trail I use a shallot as one is the perfect size)
juice and zest of 1/4 lemon
1/2 can of chickpeas
pinch of dried thyme
pinch of dried rosemary
salt & pepper
julienned fresh basil
1/4 cup crumbled chevre or feta (on the trail I travel with a hunk of parmesan and put that in instead)
Fry the onion for 2-3 minutes in the olive oil, add the chickpeas and saute 1 minute, while you zest the lemon peel into the pot. Add dried herbs and salt. Add water, bring to a boil and add couscous. I always bring the couscous back to a simmer, turn off and let stand for 3-5 minutes. Fluff with fork and add basil and chevre and pepper to taste. You can also squeeze the 1/4 lemon into the couscous at this point. Pack up and cart off to work. This is good warm or cold.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Marinate a large pinch of saffron in ¾ cup white wine while stock is cooking
For the Stock
Bones of 5lbs firm white fish (I used tilapia) (reserve meat for stew)
1 medium onion rough chopped
2 stalks celery rough chopped
2 carrots peeled and rough chopped
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
2 tbsp parsley
Peppercorns & Kosher salt
Place everything in stockpot, add 10-12 cups of cold water and simmer for 3 hours. Strain through cheesecloth, discarding boiled food, return to stockpot and simmer for ½ hour to an hour to reduce to 7-8 cups and flavor of broth is well developed.
For the Aioli
10-12 garlic cloves
Pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Mash garlic cloves to a paste, combine with egg yolks and salt. Gradually add olive oil, whisking continuously until all two cups are incorporated. Add lemon juice at the end.
For the Stew
½ fennel bulb
Saffron wine infusion
1 ½ lbs small red potatoes
2 tbsp chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
clean leeks by chopping in ½ and rinsing under cold water, making sure to remove the grit. Chop into ½ moons. Cut fennel bulb in ½ lengthwise, core and chop in ½ moons and then cut to size of leeks.
Saute leeks and fennel on medium low heat in 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan for 20 minutes or so until almost soft. Turn up heat and add saffron infused wine, cook until liquid is almost evaporated. Add 5 cups of the stock and let the leeks and fennel cook for 20 minutes more. Chop fish into 2 inch square chunks, add carefully to broth ½ at a time, removing when almost cooked. Put aside in a covered dish until ready to serve.
Put 1 ½ cups of aioli in a large bowl, gradually add 1 cup of hot stock, whisking to combine. Add this slowly to the leek fennel broth. Add potatoes and bring to a simmer. Thin with more broth if a thinner stew is desired. Place fish in bottom of individual serving bowls, ladle soup over fish. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.