Friday, February 17, 2012

salmon and chorizo without pasta - french fridays w/ dorie

Mussels are in the recipe from the cookbook but when they didn't have them at the fish truck I go to, I tried to come up with a bon ideal and, since my daughter's favorite fish is salmon, though, salmon should work. The recipe isn't anything too crazy. It's a tomato based fish dish with added chorizo for the main flavoring, other than the seafood. I've actually made similar before with swordfish, olives and orange for flavors. I had ground chorizo in the freezer that I love to add to sauces like this, so threw in some of that and only used 1/2 the red pepper called for in the recipe. I also had some fennel stems & fronds in the freezer and something told me to use that too, so I did. I've been very aware of listening and following my gut instincts when cooking and making other decisions in life. It's really paid off.

This was our Valentines Day Dinner. What I hadn't counted on was that my daughter would be so sick with a cold that she wouldn't be at all interested in the meal and leave to go and find something else to eat. I also didn't count on not even tasting the chorizo or the red pepper. However, the salmon tasted wonderful. It was still a little soft, not at all over-cooked. I served this with the no-knead bread that I've fallen in love with, but cut off the "dark brown (burnt)" crust. I had also bought a very white Italian type bread for said daughter. Good thing too, because that's the only part of the meal she really liked! Poor kid - I don't think she understands that food tastes bad when you have a cold and it's not so much the food as not being able to smell it. Though she adamantly said she can smell everything! A glass of wine was also consumed. Not sure it enhanced the flavor of the meal, but it did help me enjoy my evening a little more.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


My funny valentine is finding it hard to smile the past couple of days, but this breakfast did cause her to smirk. Shara lost her right eye tooth yesterday at lunch on the slightly stale rice crispy treat. This morning while eating an ice pop for her sore throat, she lost the one on the left!

Yes, Shara started with a cold, riding on the heels of the ear infection. Better this week than next though. And she feels good enough to go to school today. I suspect the valentine celebration may be a good motivator.

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.4

Friday, February 10, 2012

French Fridays w/Dorie - nutella tartine

Nutella - yum! I love it but it's such a decadent treat I buy it very infrequently. I also noticed that it's not an all natural product, which does put me off. However, I did buy a small jar and assumed, teach me, that I'd be able to find challah. I knew Brioche would be difficult, and I wasn't up for making it homemade, so I was going to settle for challah, not that we don't love challah, mind you.

Last night I stopped by the market near where I had a meeting scheduled. They had a nice bakery, but the only breads were more of the Italian type. Looking in the bread aisle wasn't much more of a variety. I even looked in the frozen section, hoping for inspiration - a frozen challah? Natural white bread? Anything? Nothing! So I ended up getting some multi-grain English muffins and rethought the whole thing and came up with a delicious breakfast. Toasted English muffin w/ apricot fruit spread, swirled with Nutella. Gobbled up happily by my daughter and not quite the nutritionally absent dish of the original.

I had already bought the Nutella but in my bread hunt, I found a different hazelnut spread, Guianduia, that I'd really like to check out. If anyone has any experience with this one, let me know what you thought. It is all natural, but now I'm wondering if it had chocolate or not. David Lebovitz has a nice post about hazelnut spreads..

Local, sustainable, organic meats

So I'm highly unqualified for a promotion from Foodie Blogroll (need to have a measly 5000 monthly impressions), however, I was still sent the info and checked it out.

"Our friends at Applecheek are looking to engage the Foodie Blogroll community to spread the word about Applecheek farm's Boston Buyers Club - sustainable organically raised meats available to people in the Boston area with monthly deliveries direct from the farm."

I clicked on the link to the farm's site and was very impressed with all they had to offer. I know it's organic, but it is a little pricey. If you're in the area, it would be a good opportunity to place an order. You can order online and pickup is for Sunday, Feb. 19th. noon - 1:30 PM at:
City Feed and Supply
672 Centre St, 

Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

I'm certainly tempted, but we won't be in the area that day. It's not clear if this is going to be a recurring event or not. City Feed and Supply looks like a really cool store and good excuse to take a trip to Jamaica Plain. Maybe make a pilgrimage to the original JP Licks too! I actually think I have a free sundae left on my frequent buyer card!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Super Salmon Supper

Pickled ginger, sweet potatoes, scallops, salmon, mesclun, broccoli, in a sesame, ginger juice, chili oil, coconut, and almond dressing. Phew!

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.4

Friday, February 03, 2012

gorgonzola-apple quiche - french fridays w/ Dorie

Part 2 - eaten and am now enlightened
We ate the quiche for dinner tonight and my daughter took one bite and opted for an egg. Alan and I both enjoyed it very much. Honestly, the crust was excellent, but that's not what I'm supposed to be concentrating on. So the filling was very tasty, but we both agreed the apples were lost. Now this wasn't the best batch of apples I've had, so I'm not that surprised. The blue cheese did overpower in some places because apparently I wasn't very good with my distribution. I had no clue the filling was made with soy creamer, but if there had been more of it, I may have. Many quiche I've tasted and made have a very creamy, custard filling. This one had more "guts".

I didn't think everyone i the house would want the quiche, so I made sure to have a side dish I figured would be a winner. I cut up some sweet potato, tossed with Garam Masala, and roasted. I also roasted asparagus w/ brown butter, then sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. This recipe was from A New Way to Cook. Looking back, this is the cookbook that made me rethink how to cook, but limiting fats but keeping the flavor. The asparagus called for 1 tbsp + 1 tsp butter. You melt the butter and cook until it browns. Then brush it on a cookie sheet, lay out the asparagus, brush on more butter, salt & pepper, and roast for about 1/2 hour. Long story short, I had quite a bit more butter left, so I brushed it on the sweet potatoes and then cut up another apple, sprinkled  it with more Garam Masala and browned it in the butter. Yum!

gorgonzola-apple quiche - french fridays w/ Dorie

Part 1 - since I haven't tasted it yet.
Yesterday morning I made the dough and started rolling out the crust this morning. I used white wheat flour and a stick of butter. This was from the Pie & Pastry Bible and she calls for 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar. That's the biggest difference between a basic tart dough. I rolled the dough out to a round, but had to go to the bus stop before I could get it as thin as I would have liked. I had it wrapped in plastic, since that's how I rolled it, and then just popped it into the pie plate, all wrapped, until this evening. If became a dome and I was able to pull off the plastic and press it into the plate.
You can sort of see from the picture that it wasn't big enough and after I baked it, it did shrink up quite a bit. But the smell was wonderful! I didn't put the foil & beans (blind baking) in it before baking, so it did puff up even though it was very cold when it went into the oven.

I'm sure making this as written would be wonderful, but this recipe didn't do much for me so I decided to experiment. I'm not sure if that's the best way to go. If I'm looking forward to a recipe, I want it to taste as delicious as possible so am careful about changing things. I was going to get Gorgonzola, but got cheap and went for the reduced fat bleu cheese. I get it often and really can't taste much of a difference between that and full fat. On the other hand, there's nothing like the wonderful Great Hill Blue Cheese. It's one of my favorites. Now I'm second guessing my decision and wish I'd gotten a good quality Gorgonzola! The other major change I made was to switch the heavy cream for Silk Soy Creamer. Now I have no idea how that's going to turn out. When I mixed it with the beaten eggs, it became sort of gelatinous and it didn't look close to being enough filling. I remember other quiche I've made, using the same size crust, and the recipe called for 4 eggs and 2 cups of cream. I'll be curious to hear what other's experience was with this.

I baked it for 1/2 hour and it looks and smells just fabulous. I took Dorie's suggestion and added a handful of walnuts. I'm not sure how much of this cheese 2 oz. would be. I had a 5 oz. container of crumbles and can't imagine using half of it. 2 oz. of a cheddar is a 2" cube. I think this would be about 1/3 a cup, which seems way too much. Maybe Gorgonzola is a bit more mild.