Monday, May 31, 2010

Fusilli with Shrimp and Arugula

Pasta with Shrimp and Arugula

Surprise, I am not showcasing a Donna Hay recipe today!  I know.  It’s almost like the world stopped turning or something.  Instead I turned to another one of my favorite female chef’s, Giada.  What’s up with all the females, you might be asking.   I need to give the male chefs some loving, don’t I?  I will.  Maybe some Rick Bayless, some Mark Bittman, or about a little Michael Chiarello.   Wouldn’t we all like a little Michael Chiarello, or is that just me?  Sorry..getting all distracted here.

Back to Giada.  I had some arugula in the fridge, some pasta in the pantry and some shrimp in the freezer, so hello…Fusilli with Shrimp and Arugula.  While this wasn’t crazy good, it was good.  I like that it shows with some simple cooking techniques and nicely stocked pantry, you can get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.  The technique to take away from this is the sautéing of the aromatics and then the deglazing and reducing of the white wine.  Seriously good.  The shallots were like little morsels of sweet wine candy.

I found the recipe in Giada's Family Dinners, but you can also find it online Fusilli with Shrimp and Arugula

Fusilli with Shrimp and Arugula

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 12 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 3 cups (packed) fresh arugula, torn in 1/2

Directions

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and and saute  until they are translucent, or about 2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and white wine  to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the wine reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook just until they are pink, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the fusilli in a large pot of boiling, salted water, per package directions.

Drain the fusilli, and add it and the arugula to the skillet.  Toss to combine. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and serve.

Serves 4

 

This will be my entry for this week’s Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast.

Happy Memorial Day to everyone in the US!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Weekend Wine Reviews #23

Jean-Marc Brocard, Domaine Saint Claire, Saint-Bri, Sauvignon, 2007, $14.99.  I know you’re shocked, we actually spent more than ten dollars on a bottle of wine.  Well, it was in honor of birthdays and mother’s day and probably some other day too. But you know what we learned, we maybe like cheap wine better.  We say:  citrus up front, grassy, light body, kind of watery, finishes very light.  Buy again: no.   And really, from a monetary standpoint, finding out that maybe you prefer cheap wines is not such a bad thing!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Weekend Cat Blogging #260

Scrappycat

I know it’s not the best picture, but 20-year old Scrappycat doesn’t venture out from underneath the bed too often.  So, when I see her out and about, I’m quick to snap a pic.  

So, what does a 20-year old cat do all day, you might be wondering:

6:30 am – when human lifts up bedskirt, come out from the under the bed to eat and drink the milky water that has been placed there by humans before they head off to work.  Go back to bed.

6:30am – 2:15 pm – come out sometime to finish drinking milky water. Go back to bed.

2:30pm  – when human lifts up bedskirt come out from the under the bed.  Allow a combing and a brushing.  Eat (maybe), and drink milky water which contains thyroid and heart medicine dissolved in it.  Go back to bed.

8:15pm – slowly make way downstairs to find human sitting on couch watching tv.  Wait to be picked up and placed on couch for evening snack.  Don’t all kitty cats eat and evening snack on the couch?!  Eat and nap, while humans watch TV.

10:00pm – be carried upstairs by humans and placed next to bed with fresh milky water for late night drinking.  Go to bed.

 

 

This will be my entry for Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Nikita Cat.

Friday, May 28, 2010

It’s May. It’s strawberry time. School is out!

Strawberries

I can think of no better way to begin my summer vacation, then to stare at this gorgeous photo of  luscious ripe strawberries!  When my CSA offered flats of these at great prices (especially for organic), I jumped on it.  I rinsed them, cut off the tops and spread out on a baking sheet, froze them, and then popped the frozen strawberries into a Ziploc baggie.  To be pulled out when needed for smoothies, sorbets, baking, whatever!  A couple of bags of these in the freezer, the summer ahead of me, life is good!

 

 

This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Roasted Haloumi, Bacon, and Tomato Salad

Salad!

We all know the value of brown.  The extra flavor we get when we brown foods.  Meat – gray – yuck, meat – brown – good.  Really it applies to practically everything:  meat, chicken, pineapple, potatoes…all better when they have a crispy brown crust.  But do you want to know my favorite???  Do you? 

Cheese.

Seriously, brown some cheese, and I am swooning.  Brown some salty, dry haloumi, and I will do whatever you want me to do.  I will mop your floors, babysit your kids, give a pill to your cat. 

Today’s fantastic brown cheese excursion comes from Donna Hay Issue #46.  This was so good, I can’t even begin to describe it.  It was like a BLT only in a salad form, and then made hugely better with the browned cheese.  Seriously good.

Roasted Haloumi, Bacon and Tomato Salad

  • 9 oz haloumi, sliced
  • 4 strips of bacon, diced
  • 7 ounces sourdough bread, cubed
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 9 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 3 oz baby spinach leaves
  • dressing
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

Preheat the oven to 425.  Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl or jar and whisk or shake to combine.  Set aside.

Place the haloumi, bacon, bread, and olive oil on a baking sheet.  Toss to combine and roast for 5-6 minutes.  Turn the haloumi and add the tomatoes.  Roast for about 6-8 minutes until the bread is golden and the tomatoes are cooked through.  Place in a bowl with the spinach and dressing and toss to combine.

*Notes – Next time I will roast the bacon by itself for about 5 minutes – it didn’t get as crisp as I would like it, then add the bread and cheese.  Also, I didn’t use all of the dressing because I don’t like my bread to get soggy, so I very lightly dressed my salad.

Serves 4 (unless you’re serving me, in which case it’s 2 or 3)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What Was it Wednesday?

Beans?

You’re looking at November 16, 2008.  Beans, obviously.  Beans and greens, probably kale or chard, don’t you think?  What surprises me is there doesn’t appear to be any ham, unless it’s hiding under something!

*What Was it Wednesday – my attempt to work my way through my backlog of cooking photos.  Photos so old, I don’t remember what they were.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Garden Tuesday – More from the flower bed

Sidewalk bed

I’ve shown you this bed before, once to hightlight the candytuft and then the catmint.  Now, the candytuft is all but a memory, with dried flower heads waiting for me to trim.  The catmint is still going strong and the Missouri Primrose comes into bloom with a wash of pale pink.   As an added bonus, you get to see Mr. Sidewalkshoes planting my latest acquisition in the bed! 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fettuccine with Mushrooms, Lemon and Prosciutto

Pasta with Prosciutto

I know I’ve been making a lot of salads lately.  And while I feel all virtuous and healthy, I felt the need for a backslide today.  A step back to creamy.  To rich.  To warm and comforting.  Does your body do that…occasionally crave the opposite of how you’ve been eating?  Mine does.

So, to find creamy, warm and comforting, I pulled out Donna Hay Issue #14, from autumn 2004.  Because nothing says warm and comforting quite like autumn.  Especially if it includes pasta and cream.  Uh-huh, pasta and cream do it for me every time.

Pasta with Prosciutto

This recipe was everything I wanted and then some.  I adapted it a bit to brown the prosciutto in the skillet instead of under the broiler, like she recommended, and I used my favorite preserved lemons instead of the 2 T of lemon juice and 2 T of lemon zest that she called for, and I subbed fresh oregano for parsley, because I have more oregano than I know what to do with.  This was soo good.  It was rich and creamy, but the tartness of the lemon, cut the richness a bit, so it didn’t feel so heavy.  Lovely.

Fettuccine with Mushrooms, Lemon and Proscuitto

  • 14oz dried fettuccine
  • 12 sliced prosciutto (I used 6 and that seemed like enough)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 oz of butter
  • 1 lb mixed, fresh mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 preserved lemon rind, diced (replace 2 T. lemon juice and 2 T. lemon zest)
  • 1 cup cream
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley (I didn’t have any, so I used oregano)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta per directions and keep warm.

Heat a frying pan over medium high heat.  Add the oil and cook the prosciutto until it is crispy, and remove and set aside.  Add the butter and when it is melted add the mushrooms.  Cook for about 3 minutes, or until golden.  Add the garlic and lemon and cook for about 2 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Add the cream to the pan, stirring up any brown bits, season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Add the pasta, the prosciutto,  the oregano, the mushrooms, and the parmesan and toss to coat. 

Serves 4

 

This will be my entry for this week’s Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Rachel, The Crispy Cook.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekend Wine Reviews #22

Petals

Petals, 2008, Gewurztraminer, Germany, $8.99.  They totally had me with this label.  It’s a shameless ploy to hook in women like me.  Seriously, who could resist.  They say: aromas and flavors of pineapple, lychee, and ripe pears create a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.  We say:  big time pear and sweet, soft fruit.  Also, we need to find out what lychee taste like.  Very good, very light.  Buy again:  Yes!! 

Layer Cake Malbec

Layer Cake, Malbec, 2008, Mendoza.  Okay.  This is going to be a weird review so bear with me.  I don’t know how much this cost, because it was brought to a celebration dinner (hubby’s birthday, mother’s day, daughter leaving country), by middle daughter’s oh-so-fabulous boyfriend.  We opened the wine at the restaurant and I didn’t have any since I was drinking the white wine below.  It sat open through our whole dinner right between two seafood pasta dinners.   We corked it up, brought it home, and had it on Sunday evening to do a review.  When we opened it up, it tasted like anchovies.  Seriously, it was fishy pasta in a bottle.  Though after letting it breathe for about 30 minutes, while we discussed wines absorbing odors, it was better.  Way better.  Hubby said it was great at the restaurant, and I’m sure it was, I just don’t have anything intelligent to say about it right now (though that rarely stops me).  We’ll try it again.

Crios Torrontes

Crios de Susanna Balboa, Torrontes, 2009, Argentina.  The white wine brought by middle daughters fabulous boyfriend!  Seriously a boyfriend that brings a bottle of white and a bottle of red.  He is a keeper.  And so is this wine.  They say:  intensely floral, citrusy aroma similar to a Viognier with the dry crisp taste of a Sauvignon Blanc.  We say:  yummy!  We agree with everything they said.  Especially love the long finish.  Buy again:  Definitely!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Weekend Cat Blogging #259

Patchouli

Patchouli is trying to encourage all the little birdies to come join her on the pathway.  It is so comfortable really.  All warm and cozy, perfect for them to rest their weary little birdie wings. 

And she wants to encourage all the kitty cats to join us here at Weekend Cat Blogging!

 

This will be my entry for Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by ME.  So please sign in to Mr. Linky.  I might try to do a photo recap if I can.  I promise to do photo recaps in the summer, but it’s kind of hard while school is still in session.  But I encourage you all to check out all the posts in Mr. Linky.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Strawberry Muffins

Strawberry Muffins

I would like to take this time to thank Mother Nature.  Oh, I know she has been particularly cruel this spring with flooding and tornadoes, and I do wish she would stop all that.  Now.  Please.  But whatever she is doing right here in my exact little location on the map has been just right for strawberries.  That’s right.  We are in the midst of a strawberry lovefest right now.  And really, is there any other lovefest that you would rather be in?!

So, besides freezing for later, strawberry jam, sorbets, ice creams and roasted strawberry salads, I decided I needed a muffin recipe.  I’ve never made strawberry muffins, so I hopped on the surfboard and explored the net, leaving my 100+ cookbooks to wonder, “why are we here?”  I was looking for easy and maybe sort of healthy and I must have all the ingredients in my pantry. 

I found Strawberry Muffins from TLC cooking.  What I liked about it was that it included oats.  So, that makes is healthy and totally negates any negatives you might feel from the stick of butter.  These were yummy.  The oats made them slightly chewy, which would be perfect for breakfast.  I’m not going to post the recipe just follow the link above, easy peasy.   Since, I didn’t even know TLC had a cooking section!  I encourage you to check it out!

 

 

This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Roasted Fish, Potato, Asparagus with Dill Butter

Roased Fish, Potato, Asparagus with Dill Butter

You know not every recipe can be out of the park fantastic.  Sometimes you don’t want out of the park fantastic.  Sometimes you want just a nice simple dinner, with lovely flavors, that was ridiculously easy to do, so that after spending 8 hours that day  realizing that your students have quite possibly learned nothing this year, you can still put this in the oven.

You know who I turned to, right?  Yep, Donna Hay, issue Number 47.  What I found was this delightfully simple fish dish.  What I love about this is the technique, roasting the potatoes for awhile and then topping with the asparagus and fish, it’s a simple one dish meal, healthy and pretty!

Roasted Fish, Potato, and Asparagus with Dill Butter

  • 400g (14 ounces) baby potatoes sliced
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 x 200g (7 ounce)  firm white fish fillets
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, halved lengthwise (if they’re thick)
  • 40g (2 3/4 Tablespoons)  butter, melted
  • 1 T. dill leaves

Preheat the oven to 425 (she said 390, but I liked the higher heat).  Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of the oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat.  Roast for 25 minutes.  Add the fish, asparagus and capers to the tray and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.  Roast for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. 

Combine the butter and the dill leaves and drizzle over the fish to serve.

Serves 2

 

 

This will be my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Astrid from Paulchen's Foodblog.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What Was it Wednesday

Edamame

You’re looking at October 16, 2008.  Oh, I know what it was.  Edamame.  Edamame, which I decided to shell instead of steaming them and eating them as a snack like I normally do.

Bad idea.

That little bowl was about 3 hours of work.  At that point, I decided farm living was not for me.  I had already figured out that if I lived on a farm, I would probably have to stop eating pigs and cows and lambs and chickens, because I would have named them all and had deep conversations with them.  But the bowl of edamame made me realize that I’d have trouble being a vegetarian too, because I have no intention of ever shelling edamame again.  Ever.

***What Was it Wednesday – where I post photos from my backlog of cooking pictures.  Pictures so old, I usually have no idea what they are!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Garden Tuesday – Columbine

Columbine

Got shade?  Then you need columbine.  It is such a pretty and delicate plant.  The leaves almost look like a big clover plant and then these long delicate stalks of flowers shoot up in mid spring.

Seed pods

See these, these are the seed pods.  It is so easy to collect columbine seeds.  As soon as these pods dry and turn brown, but before they split open, I will snip them off.  Then I will place them in a baggie and dutifully label them and store them someplace for the winter, where I will never, ever find them again.  I expect that when I clean out the garage this summer, I will find 327 pounds of columbine seeds.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Grilled Veggies

Waiting for their turn on the grill!

It is the third week of my CSA and I am already drowning in veggies.  So, being brilliant, I have come up with a solution.  I get a new pickup of veggies every Monday.  My husband stops and picks them up after work.  So, to have room in the fridge for the new veggies, I need to use up quite a bit of what’s in there.

Enter brilliant idea.  A veggie plate.  But not a boring old veggie plate, a grilled veggie plate.  I took my assortment of veggies:  kale, broccoli rabe, asparagus, and some spring onions, tossed them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and grilled them individually in a grilling basket.  I didn’t time it, just sort of pulled them off when they looked done.  Served them with a marinated bean salad and a big old slice of bread and some chili pepper infused vinegar.  It was perfect.  The smoky flavor of the veggies really made it special.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bite Me: A Love Story by Christopher Moore

The beauty of being a reader is that sometimes the just right book comes at the just right time.  This is the book and the time was right.  After finishing a book late one night on my Kindle, I decided to immediately go out and find another one.  I don’t usually do it from my Kindle, I do it from the Amazon site, so I didn’t know how to access my wish list.  So, I just perused the New York Times Bestseller list and found Bite Me: A Love Story by Christopher Moore.  I had read a couple of his books in the past and liked them, and I needed a bit of a cheering up – take your mind off your troubles – kind of book.

This book was all that and more.  The main character is Abigail Von Normal – Abby Normal.  Seriously!  How’s that for a coincidence?!   When I saw that I thought, wow, spooky and then I settled in for a good read.

Now, let me begin by saying this book is not for everyone.  Really.  Here is the opening paragraph:

The City of San Francisco is being stalked by a huge, shaved vampyre cat name Chet, and only I, Abby Normal, emergency backup mistress of the Greater Bay Area night, and my manga-haired love monkey, Foo Dog, stand between the ravenous monster and a bloody massacre of the general public.  Which isn’t, like, as bad as it sounds, because the general public kind of sucks ass.

See, not for everyone.  Here’s more:

Anyway, I make it to the loft and I come in all, “hey Countess, here’s your drill!” All Carebear-on-crack-perky, although that might have been a mistake, because it’s a proven fact that it’s easier to murder the perky.  And I’m sort of, WTF vampyress?  Because she’s not her normal self, which is like hemophiliac hawt, but she’s like printer-paper pale.  And I totally ignore the fact that she’s wearing one of  my long skirts and black bustier without even asking, and it’s bustiering her way more than it does me, which is kind of rude.  And I’m all, “Countess, are you okay?  you look kind of pale.”

Now, if reading all that gave you a headache, I understand, but if you think it sounds like a fun ride, give it a shot.  I loved it.  It was just what I needed at the moment, pure silliness and a roller coaster ride of vampyres vs goth chic.  I liked it so much, that I’ve gone and ordered the first two books in the series:  Bloodsucking Fiends:  A Love Story and You Suck:  A Love Story.  (Yeah apparently it’s the third book in the series – way to be on top of things, Pam).

4/5 stars.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weekend Cat Blogging #258

Smudge

May is a very busy month in the Sidewalkshoes household.  Last Saturday was Mr. Sidewalkshoes birthday (he’s older than me yay!).  Then Sunday was Mother’s Day, and today it’s my birthday (Yep, I have one short week where my  hubby is actually 5 years older than me).

Smudge would like to help me keep track of all these events if he only had opposable thumbs!  Eagle eyes may note that on May 26th it says “Last Day of School!!!!!!”

 

 

This will be my entry for Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Breadchick and LB at The Sour Dough.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Brie and Crispy Bread Salad with Cranberry Dressing

Brie and bread salad

I’m trying to think if there is anything I like more than cheese.  Hmmmm.  Let me think…let’s see….  Nope!  Seriously, cheese is all that and then some.  I could have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and any other snack times in between.

So, when Marcus from Ille de France Cheese contacted me and asked if I’d like some free cheese.  I thought it was a trap, a trick question.  I mean who doesn’t want free cheese?  But I nonchalantly replied, “Oh, okay” so that he wouldn’t think I was some sort of cheese pig.  Then I got to pick my cheese.  Oh my, the choices.  My head spun and the little synapses in my brain just darted from cheese to cheese like some sort of weird cheese pinball game.  So, I settled on Brie.  Always pleasing and so accommodating.  

Yummy

Then, with my pleasing and accommodating cheese, I went to Donna Hay.  Did a quick search on Brie and found Brie and Crispy Bread Salad with Cranberry Dressing.   And in that wonderful, karma, all’s right in cooking land sort of way, I had everything I needed to make the recipe.  Not only did I have everything, but I had some just going stale bread that I had to absolutely use up that day!! 

Brie and Crispy Bread Salad with Cranberry Dressing

  • 2 pieces flat bread
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 250g brie, sliced
  • 2 cups wild rocket (arugula) leaves or baby spinach
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped sweetened dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • To make the dressing, combine the cranberries, olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper in a bowl.

    Preheat the oven to 400.  Brush the bread with the oil, bake on a baking sheet for 4-5 minutes until it’s golden and crispy.  Allow the bread to cool, and then break into bite sized pieces.  Divide the brie, spinach (or arugula) and bread between the plates and drizzle with the dressing.

    Serves 4


      

    This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    Roasted Chicken and Potato Salad

    Wow, Pam, that photo is um, um, really not attractive.  I know.  It’s hard to make a creamy salad look good.  Or at least it is for me.  It ends up looking like a pile of mushy stuff on a plate.

    But let me tell you, this pile of mushy stuff was great!  I am totally stuck on Donna Hay, but I think you'll all agree, it is a perfectly lovely choice to be stuck on.  This recipe comes out of Issue #41.  In it, she had an article on chicken salads.  These salads all gave directions for cooking the chicken, but I thought that they would be the perfect solution to leftover rotisserie chicken!  And they are.  And this was.  It is the perfect way to turn a potato salad into a main dish salad.  The dill is an especially nice touch.  As usual, I didn’t have arugula, so I shredded some baby spinach leaves. 

    Roasted Chicken and Potato Salad

    • 1 pound waxy potatoes, halved
    • 1 pound baby potatoes, halved
    • 1 head garlic, halved
    • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing
    • 3-4 cups leftover shredded cooked chicken
    • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepepr
    • 1/4 cup salted capers, rinsed and drained (I just used regular jarred)
    • 1/2 cup mayo
    • 2 T. lemon juice
    • 1 bunch arugula, shredded (I used spinach)
    • 1/4 cup dill leaves

    Preheat the oven to 425.  Toss the potatoes and garlic with the oil on a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast for 30-35 minutes, stir and continue roasting for another 10-12 minutes.

    Remove the garlic cloves from their skin and add to a bowl with the mayo and lemon juice, mix to combine.

    Place the chicken in a bowl with the capers, potatoes, arugula, dill, and garlic mayo and toss to combine.

    Serves 4

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    What Was it Wednesday?

    You’re looking at October 6, 2008.  Roasted delicata squash.  Obviously.  I kind of vaguely remember this.

    I can’t tell though what was on it.  Pecans and something else?  Does this sound familiar to anyone?   Looks like I served it with some overly roasted green beans and a lovely thyme roasted fish.

    **What Was it Wednesday, where I post from by backlog of cooking photos.  Photos so old I don’t remember what they were.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Garden Tuesday – Catmint Walker’s Low

    I know I’ve mentioned before that candytuft is one of my favorite edging plants, well following a close second is Catmint Walker’s Low.   This is not catnip, but a completely different plant.  It produces lovely delicate purple flowers on minty scented leaves in well-maintained mounds.  (Let’s pause for a minute and admire how much I just sounded like a garden catalogue – Burpees, call me if you are hiring).

    Remember my bed that I showed you here, with the candy tuft blooming.  Well you can see the candytuft is fading out, just in time for the catmint to rise to the occasion.   And yes, that small white furry blob in the lower right corner is Smudge.  And the only reason it is small is because it’s about 1/322 of his body.  

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    Cilantro, Mint and Lem0n Fish Couscous Salad

    Fish Salad

    Now that the weather has warmed up, my very favorite thing to do is to sit on my back porch and thumb through my old Donna Hay magazines.  The pictures are beautiful, the magazine is elegant and when accompanied by a glass of wine, it truly is a treat.  And in case you are wondering, I promise I don’t get any kind of endorsement from her, she is is Australia and doesn’t even know I exist.   Though if she did know who I was, I am sure we would be BFF’s.

    So, while thumbing through Issue #49, I saw a recipe for Coriander, Mint and Lemon Fish.  All of my favorite flavors!  She gives you the main recipe for the fish (with instructions on how to freeze it) and then 3 recipes to use it in.  Since I had some Israeli couscous in my pantry, I settled on the couscous salad, though the Fish and Pea Curry and Crispy Fish with Asparagus and Corn also sounded delightful.

    Fish Salad

    This was wonderful.  Really flavorful.  I was kind of doubtful because there is no dressing on the salad, but it really does get all the flavor it needs from the fish.  I had leftovers for lunch the next day and it was even better!

    Cilantro, Mint, and Lemon Fish Couscous Salad

    • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 cup chopped mint leaves
    • 1 cup chopped cilantro
    • 2 T. lemon zest
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
    • 4 firm white fish fillets (I used tilapia)
    • 2 cups cooked couscous
    • couple handfuls of baby spinach leaves
    • pint of halved cherry tomatoes
    • sliced red onion (I omitted)

    Place all the ingredients up to the fish in a food processor and process until smooth.   Place fish fillets on a baking sheet and spread marinade over both sides of fish.  Let sit while you preheat your oven to 400.  Roast fish for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through,  chop into bite sized pieces.

    Place cooked couscous, spinach, and tomatoes  and fish in a bowl, toss to combine.  Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil before serving.

    Serves 4

     

    This will be my entry for this week’s Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Chaya from Comfy Cook.

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    Weekend Wine Reviews #21

    Tuscan Moon

    Tuscan Moon  Sangiovese (Trader Joe’s),  2008, California, $6.99.  They say:  enticing aromas of black cherries and ;plums with flavor of juicy blackberries, ripe blueberries, with a hint of spice.  We say:  black cherry aroma, taste doesn’t quite live up to the promise of the nose.  Pleasant, finishes light.  Buy again:  uh oh.  Disagreement.  I say no.  Hubby (with less refined tastes than me) says yes. 

    Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and all the other mom’s out there! 

    Saturday, May 8, 2010

    Weekend Cat Blogging #257

    Smudge. 

    Working the angles.

    (He watches America’s Next Top Model)

     

     

    This will be my entry for Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Jules and Vincent at Judi’s Mind Over Matter.

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    Foodie Friday – Mixed Berry Frozen Yogurt

    Mixed Berry Frozen Yogurt

    So, yeah.  Last week I posted about the gorgeous Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker that I won from the lovely Michael Lee West at Designs by Gollum.  I follow it up this week, with another tasty frozen concoction.

    This ice cream maker totally rocks!  I had the smaller version of this before and I have a Kitchen Aide attachment, but I must say that this one makes the best ice cream.  I think it’s because the bowl is more encased than on the smaller version, and the Kitchen Aide bowl is not encased at all.  I think the encasement (is that a word) keeps it all colder.  This yogurt was easily ready to serve immediately, no need to freeze before serving.

    So, what I did was take a recipe from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments, and modify it to use a bag of frozen mixed berries.  Completely easy and completely fabulous!

    Mixed Berry Frozen Yogurt

    • 1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
    • 3/4 sugar
    • 15 ounces  frozen mixed berries
    • 1 t. Kirsch
    • 2 t. freshly squeezed lemon juice

    In a blender, puree the yogurt, sugar and mixed berries.  Press the mixture through a sieve to remove seeds (I didn’t bother).  Stir in the Kirsch and the lemon juice.  Chill thoroughly – mine was pretty well chilled since the berries were frozen.

    Process in your ice cream maker per it’s instructions.

    Makes about 1 quart.

     

     

    This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!