Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dinner Snapshot - Panko Trout with Rainbow Chard

While the photo isn't very attractive, the food itself was fantastic. My father, the wandering fly fisherman, brought back a brown trout that would have made salmon cry. It was very long, very large, and very pink inside. The fillet in the photo is just one half of one side! Both of us agreed that it put most wild salmon to shame.
While I could have just cooked it up in a pan with a little bit of lemon, I was dying to use panko breadcrumbs on it. David's declared rainbow chard to be his new favorite vegetable...I'm pretty sure that he just likes it for the colors. Anyway, be prepared for more dishes that include rainbow chard.

Panko Crusted Trout

trout fillets - as much as two people can eat
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary, ground
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 grated parmesan
1 tbs butter, melted
juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a small bowl, combine the panko crumbs, oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.
3. Place fish in a baking pan and top with crumb mixture.
4. Sprinkle butter and lemon juice over the top.
5. Bake for 15 minutes or until flaky.

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

1 bunch rainbow chard
5 heads garlic, thinly sliced
shaved rind of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbs olive oil

1. In a large pan, heat olive oil over a medium flame.
2. Remove thick bottoms from chard. Cut leaves and remaining ribs into 2 inch pieces.
3. Saute garlic for one minute.
4. Add chard to pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Top with lemon rind and serve.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Circus Animals Found Dead

This is so sad:
There are only two cookies that I really, really love from the junk food store: Mother's Circus Animals and Mother's oatmeal cookies sans frosting. Boo on rising butter costs. Boo on using food for fuel instead of feed!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baking Snapshot - Bread Plait

I came about this recipe by wanting hot bread. I pulled out a cookbook, looked at the basic ingredients to bread and then decided to wing it. I made two batches. While one was baking, I dropped the finished one off at my parent's house. These are so good, I've decided to make several to serve at Thanksgiving.
I use my Cuisinart food processor to make dough. If you do not have something similar, be sure to check out the alternative "by hand" directions underneath the main recipe.
Bread Plait
4 tbs butter, melted
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 tbs honey
1 cup milk
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
1 tbs milk
1 tsp honey
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Melt butter at a low heat so that it doesn't get too hot.
3. Pour butter in small bowl. Add milk, 1/2 tsp honey, and yeast packet. Whisk briefly.
3. Let yeast mixture stand 15 minutes.
4. Combine flour and salt in bowl of food processor.
5. With machine running, add yeast mixture through feed tube. Only pour as quickly as the machine can incorporate the liquid into the flour.
6. Process until a ball of dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
7. Process an additional 60 seconds to knead the dough.
8. Form dough into a ball and set aside to rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
9. On a greased baking sheet, punch down dough.
10. Divide the dough into three equal parts.
11. Form long ropes with each dough part. Push the tops together and secure by sticking to the underside of the cookie sheet.
12. Braid the bread ropes.
13. Press the ends together gently and tuck each end under the loaf.
14. Cover loaf lightly with plastic wrap and let rise for another 30 minutes.
15. Whisk glaze ingredients together. Brush glaze over dough.
16. Bake 30-40 minutes or until deep golden brown.
By Hand:
1. Prepare dough as directed through steps 4 but put flour/salt into a bowl instead.
2. Form a well in the center of the flour.
3. Pour yeast mixture into flour well.
4. With a wooden spoon, stir from the inside out, gently incorporating more flour into the yeast mixture until all flour is mixed in.
5. Turn bread out onto floured surface and knead for 2 minutes or until smooth.
6. Place dough aside to rise and complete bread as directed in steps 8-16.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dinner Snapshot - Brussel Sprouts - From Beginning to End

A season of attending to several brussel sprout plants came to a conclusion when the last snow hit. Six plants had become one, most fell prey to raccoons. We were left with a giant stalk, toppling over from the weight of its sprouts. David had to use a saw to cut the stalk, measuring three inches in diameter. We had 1.9 pounds of sprouts total; the plant's largest sprout weighed in at over one ounce while the smallest could barely be registered by the palm of your hand.
David compared their taste to that of homegrown tomatoes...a tenderness and sweetness that you just can't get from grocery store equivalents.

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
1-2 lbs brussel sprouts, cut in half lengthwise
2 tbs olive oil
6 ounces bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces
2 tbs thyme, fresh or dried
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon. Cook four minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add brussel sprouts and thyme. Stir well to coat sprouts.
4. Cook six to eight minutes.
5. Transfer sprouts to warmed casserole dish. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Serve.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lunch Snapshot - Miso Soup with Shrimp

This meal came from standing in front of the cupboards one day, trying to create lunch out of cupboards that weren't cooperating. I saw some wilted spinach, instant miso, and a pack of soba noodles. 15 minutes later, I had lunch.

Miso Soup with Shrimp

9 peeled shrimp, defrosted (can be done quickly by running under cold water)
1 handful spinach
1 tbs soy sauce
2 cups water
handful of soba or udon noddles
pinch of grated ginger (it's always good to have grated ginger on hand)
pinch of sugar
package of instant miso (I use the kind that has the actual miso paste packet)

1. Boil noodles as directed.
2. While noodles are boiling, put spinach in soup bowl. Set aside.
3. In a saucepan combine water, soy sauce, sugar, and ginger. Bring to a gentle boil.
4. Stir in the miso paste.
5. Add the shrimp to the miso mixture. Boil until cooked, about 2 minutes.
6. Toss in miso dry seasoning packet (to avoid the sodium, toss in some crumbled up dry seaweed and some green onion slices instead) and cook 1 additional minute.
7. Pour soup over spinach and serve.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dinner Snapshot - Green Lipped Mussel Pasta

This recipe is for two and takes about 20 minutes with prep time included.

Green-Lipped Mussel Pasta

Handful of whole wheat spaghetti

16 green-lipped mussels, scrubbed

small yellow onion, diced

five cloves garlic, diced

4 tbs unsalted butter

3/4 cup white wine

Fresh or dried Thai basil (regular basil will work just fine...we just prefer the freshness of Thai)

1. Bring water to a boil and drop pasta in. Cook until done.

2. While pasta is cooking, bring a large skillet to medium high heat. Add the butter and melt.

3. Add the onions and garlic to the butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent.

4. Add the wine to the onion mixture. Bring to a soft boil.

5. Add the mussels to the onion mixture. Cover. Cook five minutes or until done.

6. Drain pasta and place on plates.

7. Stir basil into the mussels. Spoon mussels and sauce over pasta and serve.