Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Favorite Recipes

I thought I’d share a couple of new recipes that I’ve discovered and adore. Coincidentally, pictures of the final products have been featured in a couple of recent posts...

Sauteed Cod with Herbs and Scallions
From How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

We ate it with couscous and sauteed spinach.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been trying to eat more fish, and this has proved a very simple and delicious way of cooking fish, along with some tasty green onions and herbs, which boil down into a delicious greasy (but happy-greasy) sauce. I modified the recipe only slightly, and used only tarragon, the second time I made it adding a very small amount of thyme. I loved the flavor of tarragon with the scallions and lemon, I think it is a great combination. But here is the original recipe:

Time: 20 minutes

About 1/2 cup flour
About 1/2 cup cornmeal
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cayenne, or to taste (optional, but tasty!)
4 Tbsp olive oil
4 small cod steaks or fillets, 4-6 oz. each, 3/4 to 1 inch thick
3 tablespoons minced dill (I used dried tarragon)
3 tablespoons minced scallions (I minced the green scallion tops, and left the bottom 4-5 inches of 4 scallions whole and put them in the pan that way)
3/4 cup white wine, stock (fish, vegetable, or chicken) or water

Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper and cayenne. Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the olive oil to the pan. When it is hot, dredge each piece of fish in the flour mixture and place them in the skillet. Cook over medium high heat, rotating them so they brown evenly, turning them after about 4 minutes. They will be done, or near, after 7 or 8 minutes of cooking. Check for doneness by peeking between the layers of flesh with a thin knife. There should be little to no translucence left, and the knife should meet little resistance. Remove the fish and keep it warm. Add the herbs and scallions to the pan, and more olive oil if needed. Cook, stirring, over medium heat for about one minute.
Add the wine, stock or water and stir while you let most of it bubble away. It will cook down into a thicker sauce. Pour the sauce over the fish and serve with lemon wedges.

Pineapple Chicken Curry

I tore this recipe out of an Elle Home magazine one night at Matt’s mom’s place, because the picture of it looked so good. It turned out to be the best curry I’ve ever made, and it came out looking exactly like the picture in the magazine! I had never cooked with Madras curry before, and I love it! Madras curry has a sweeter, broader flavor than standard curry powder. It is spicy, but not in a fiery way. It goes really well with the pineapple. This recipe sounds very involved, but it actually moves pretty fast, especially with two people working on it. I used Patak’s Madras curry paste, using the same measurements as are given for the curry powder. I also didn't use the coconut, as I have an aversion to shredded coconut. I'm all about the coconut milk though!

Also, I cut all the amounts in half and it still was a ton of food!

1 1/2 Tbsp Madras curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
4 large chicken legs, skin on, legs and thighs separated
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 cans (13.5 oz each) coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1 cinnamon stick
4 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the spices in a small bowl. In a shallow dish, coat the chicken with 2 tbsp olive oil and half the spices, and salt and pepper to taste. Marinate, covered or in a Ziploc bag, for 2 hours, chilled. Preheat oven to 325 F. Warm the remaining olive oil in a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the legs and thighs to the pan in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches) and brown on both sides, allowing the spices to toast and become fragrant; remove and set aside. Saute the pineapple, garlic, and most of the coconut flakes, stirring, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the pineapple juice, coconut milk, chicken stock, cinnamon stick, remaining spices, and sweet potatoes; stir to combine. Arrange the chicken evenly on top. Bring to a simmer, then transfer to the oven, uncovered.
Braise for 45 minutes, basting the chicken twice. Remove the cinnamon stick and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve on top of curried rice, garnishing with coconut flakes and cilantro.

Curried Rice
1 cup jasmine rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Madras curry powder or paste

Wash rice several times until water runs clear, then drain. Pour water, salt, and curry powder* into a 2 quart saucepan and cook, covered, until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

*If using curry paste, stir it into the water to let it dissolve, then add rice.

Serving suggestion: Add one full-length womens' surfing film.

There has also been some interest in my (i.e. my dad's) recipe for homemade tortillas. I am a huge advocate of homemade tortillas, they taste way better than store-bought ones, have more substance, and no preservatives of course. Also, they only have two ingredients (other than water), which endears them to me even more.

For 10 tortillas:

1 1/2 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
1 1/2 cup masa harina
about 1 1/2 cup water.

Mix the dry stuff, add the water. The dough should not be sticky, but should hold together easily. Form into balls about the size of a large egg, and roll them out between parchment paper, or in a plastic produce bag. Cook on a cast iron skillet if possible, make sure to oil the skillet thinly with olive oil or canola oil. Cook at medium/low heat, pressing on tortilla with the back of a spatula so air pockets form. A tortilla is done cooking when you can see brown heat spots forming.

*Masa harina, or masa, is finely ground corn flour. It is delicious. It is not the same as cornmeal, and cornmeal will not work for tortillas (too much grit). You can also buy maseca, which is advertised as "tortilla flour", and you only need to add water.

Buen provecho!

1 comment:

Amy said...

I tried the Pineapple chicken curry! It was really good! I made a few substitutions, like not using the Madras curry (couldn't find it), using chicken tenderloins, and using plain brown rice (good with the sauce on it!). Mine might have been a little on the sweet side, but I still enjoyed it. Thanks for posting it!