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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Interstate Bar-B-Que (And Foot Massage?)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Terrible's Hotel Casino

Friday, May 13, 2011

The View Out The Airplane Window

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Chef de Plunge: Asian Oat Risotto

Re-posted from my food blog, The Chef de Plunge    

Yes, it is risotto made out of oats. We have taken our risotto obsession to a new level of strangeness. First there was Thai risotto, then orzo risotto, we also tried risottos with different kinds of rice and pasta and now... oats! Originally, Tucker was inspired by this recipe in our Food and Wine cookbook, then I saw Cheap Healthy Good's discussion of Mark Bittman's post on savory oatmeal. We decided to combine the two and give it a try. And MAN, was it delicious! Yes, it looks and sounds really strange, but just trust me and try it out, it tastes nothing like oatmeal, and really not quite like risotto either.

Asian Oat Risotto
Adapted from Food and Wine and Mark Bittman

1 cup steel cut rolled oats
3-5 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon scallions for stirring, 1 teaspoon for garnish
A couple shakes of sea salt

In a large saucepan, oil. Add onion and ginger cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oats and cook for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the stock and all of soy sauce and simmer over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until nearly absorbed. Continue cooking the oats, adding 1 cup of stock at a time and cooking until the liquid is nearly absorbed between additions. The risotto is done when the oats are chewy-tender and suspended in a thick sauce, about 25 minutes total. Season with salt and white pepper. Stir scallion. Transfer the risotto to bowls, sprinkle with the remaining scallions and serve


Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Chef de Plunge: Whole Salt-Roasted Snapper with Artichokes and Lemon Allioli

Re-posted from my food blog, The Chef de Plunge   

When Tucker's Uncle Scott came to town, we prepared a small Spanish feast of whole salt-roasted snapper with a lemon alioli, artichokes, and roasted potatoes and cauliflower. This technique of roasting the whole fish in the salt made the fish stay really moist and not get dried out. The salt doesn't actually get into the meat of the fish, so it doesn't get too salty.

**A note on my spelling of allioli: Allioli (or all-i-oli) is a traditional catalan mayonnaise that I fell in love with when I lived in Spain. Most people spell allioli as aïoli, but in Catalan it is spelled allioli, meaning garlic and oil. Don't believe me? Read up on Wikipedia.

Whole Salt-Roasted Snapper with Artichokes and Lemon Allioli
adapted from Epicurious

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large egg yolks
fresh lemon juice

12 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 pounds coarse salt
1 cup water
a 2-pound whole red snapper, cleaned, leaving head and tail intact
1 lemon
fine-quality extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
1 shallot peeled and chopped

3 artichokes

FOR ALLIOLI: In blender, purée garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, and 2 teaspoons oil until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add yolks and lemon juice and blend until smooth. With motor running, very slowly add remaining 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons oil in thin, steady stream, blending until allioli is thick, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a bowl stir together salt and water until combined well. On a large baking sheet spread half of salt mixture in a rectangle just larger than the red snapper and set fish on top. Halve lemon crosswise and cut 3 slices from 1 half, reserving remaining half. Insert slices into cavity of fish with whole garlic cloves and shallots. Pat remaining salt mixture over fish to cover completely and bake in middle of oven 30 minutes.

Rap all around edge of salt crust with the back of a large spoon to loosen and lift top off. Squeeze juice from reserved lemon half over fish and drizzle with oil.

FOR ARTICHOKES: Steam the artichokes until they are done. Serve whole with the allioli dipping sauce.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Chef de Plunge: Swordfish with Cucumber Lime Salsa

Re-posted from my food blog, The Chef de Plunge  

This recipe may seem out of place for the time of year... it is really a summer or tropical recipe, so what are we doing making it in the middle of winter?! Well, Tucker and I took a long weekend in Florida and that is when we made this dish. That is not to say you shouldn't make it in the dead of winter, it was so simple and super yummy, especially the salsa which had chunks of lime in it!
Swordfish with Cucumber Lime Salsa
adapted from Epicurious 

For swordfish
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon olive oil plus additional for brushing pan
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 (1-inch-thick) swordfish steak (6 ounces)

For salsa
1 lime
1 (1/4-pound) Kirby cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped scallion greens
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh serrano chile (including seeds)
1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Marinate swordfish: Stir together lime juice, oil, and cilantro in a shallow dish. Add swordfish, turning to coat, and marinate at room temperature, turning over once, 15 minutes. (Do not marinate longer.)
  2. Make salsa while swordfish marinates: Remove peel, including all white pith, from lime with a sharp paring knife. Cut segments free from membranes and finely chop segments, then combine with remaining salsa ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Cook swordfish: Preheat oven to 450. Heat oven-proof pan with oil on the stove at moderately high heat until just beginning to smoke. Remove swordfish from marinade and season both sides with salt and pepper. Cook fish for 3 to 4 minutes, then flip the fish over and place pan in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until fish is cooked through.
  4. Serve topped with salsa. 


Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Chef de Plunge: Butternut Squash, Swiss Chard, and Cheddar Bread Pudding

Re-posted from my food blog, The Chef de Plunge 

Warm, cheesy, comforting, what else could you ask for on a freezing cold night in MA?

Butternut Squash, Swiss Chard, and Cheddar Bread Pudding
Adapted from Epicurious

1 pounds peeled seeded butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt plus additional for sprinkling
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 day-old whole wheat bread (ours was homemade, from the Tasajara Bread Book, once again), torn into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
1/2 cup chopped shallots (about 2 large)
1 bunch Swiss chard (about 1/2 pound), ribs removed,  coarsely chopped
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

Steam the butternut squash until tender. If you don't have a steamer (we have a rice cooker that can also steam, as recommended by Cooks Illustrated) preheat oven to 400°F and toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt; bake until squash is tender, turning with spatula occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes.

Whisk eggs in large bowl. Add half and half, wine, mustard, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt; whisk to blend. Add bread; fold gently into egg mixture. Let soak 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add Swiss chard; cover and cook 2 minutes. Uncover and stir until chard is wilted but still bright green, about 5 minutes (chard will be a bit crunchy).

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Generously butter 8x8x2-inch baking dish. Using slotted spoon, transfer half of bread from egg mixture to prepared baking dish, arranging to cover most of dish. Spoon half of chard over bread. Spoon half of squash over bread and chard; sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat with remaining bread, chard, squash, and cheese. Pour remaining egg mixture over bread pudding.

Cover bread pudding with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until custard is set and bread feels springy to touch, about 20 minutes longer.

Preheat broiler; broil pudding until cheese browns slightly, about 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve.
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