Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Broiled Cod with Tomato Caper Sauce

We're going to incorporate more fish into our diet.  I've heard something about fish and omega 3's and DHA's and brains and neurological function and who knows what else, but instead of questioning things, I follow like a lemming.

I actually made the decision to incorporate more fish into our diet about a month ago.  Since that time, I've made a whopping total of 1 fish recipe.  Okay, two, if you count when I made tuna pasta last week.

I pulled this recipe from  SkinnyTaste, a website that I heard of through This Casita.  What I love about this recipe is that you broil the fish, instead of sauteing on the stovetop.  In my quest for more fish recipes, I'm looking for just broiled or baked fish--we don't have a window or a great ventilation system in our kitchen and I have learned from experience that the smell from frying or sauteing a fish will not only linger but become quite funky for days. DAYS, I tell you. My brain health is most definitely not worth days of fish stink.  Anybody could tell you that.

Since it's just the two of us, I knew we wouldn't make it through a full recipe (which calls for 4 fillets) in one night.  And since I'm not a fan of reheated fish (they're so delicate, I think properly cooking them the first time and then reheating them will probably render them super rubbery), I made the sauce for the fish, kept it in a separate container, and each night I would broil only 2 fish fillets.  While the fish was broiling, I would reheat the sauce in the microwave, and spoon over the fish when ready.

Any firm white fish will do for this recipe.  I used cod because they had that at the farmers market.

Adapted from SkinnyTaste


2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
4 medium fish fillets (about 6 oz each) or 6 small fish fillets (about 4 oz each) (a 4 oz portion suited us--we used cod, but tilapia or whatever other firm white fish exist would work as well)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 shallots, minced
2 large tomatoes chopped (since tomatoes are not yet in season, I used one 15-oz can of diced tomatoes, drained--this makes the recipe more on the tomato side, but I love tomatoes)
1 TBS capers
1/4 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Serves 4 to 6 (depending on how much fish you apportion to each person)

In a medium saute pan, heat 1 TBS oil oil over medium low heat.  Add garlic and shallots and saute for about 4-5 minutes, until translucent.  You're not trying to brown them.

Hm, must have taken this picture when things were still looking a wee bit opaque.  Cook a little more than this.

Add wine and cook until wine reduces, about 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for about 10 minutes.   


Add capers and continue to cook until the sauce gets a little thick.


Meanwhile, heat up your broiler (also, I covered my broiler pan in aluminum foil for easier clean-up).  Dry your fish fillets well with a paper towel.  Drizzle remaining 1 TBS oil over both sides of each fillet (or, if you're cooking them on separate days like I did, drizzle about 1/2 tsp oil on each), and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Broil for about 7 minutes or until just done in the center (this will vary depending on the thickness of the fish).  Spoon tomato sauce over the fish and serve.

I served this with sauteed swiss chard and couscous.  I feel so virtuous just writing this post.  I suppose that feeling would be justified if I actually follow through on my plan to eat more fish.  Do you have any favorite fish recipes?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Oh Lordy, I've been tagged by the lovely Lauren to answer a few questions!  I "met" Lauren through Weddingbee--she blogged as Mrs. Elephant about all her wedding crafts and the beautiful day. You should check it out! 

I debated for several minutes whether that last sentence should have been "You should check her out!" but that just sounded weird.  What I meant was that you should read her posts and her blog. No feeling her up with your eyes, got it?  Lauren, is this making you uncomfortable?

I'm going to answer the questions she tagged me with, however because there is no way that I know enough bloggers to tag, the buck will stop with me. I realize this is, in a sense, very narcissistic of me to blabber on about myself yet not tag anyone else, but hey, I blog, so that I am narcissistic shouldn't be a surprise to anybody.  I'm also going to very much enjoy answering these questions, because...see previous sentence.

1. When did you start blogging?
I started blogging in 2009 while planning my wedding.  Before that, I would write in a diary and nail the pages to trees and poles in the neighborhood.

One of those sentences is an untruth!

2. What was the destination of your favorite vacation?
Brain is grinding to halt because any "vacation" I have taken cannot be separated from the word "favorite" for me, even though I know that is a violation of the definition of "favorite".  Bali was great for a lot of reasons, but I did have some reservations that I previously blogged about.  We recently went to Cancun, which was great for a long weekend trip that is not too far. We hardly left the resort, though, so it was a real bubble kind of experience. Oh I know--London. Absolutely loved London.  And I would love to go back to Paris.  

Okay I didn't really answer the question that well. Is it possible for someone to be bad at being tagged? Because I seem to be fitting the bill.

3. If you won the lottery, what would be one big splurge that you would make?
Pug Numero Tres! And then a generous bribe to Kevin to let me keep Pug Numero Tres.  But since we're talking about travel, I'd love to splurge on a vacation to Northern Italy.  Kevin and I have talked about going to Italy for quite some time but have not managed to do it.

4. What is your favorite movie?
For a long time, my favorite movie was Dangerous Liaisons. It's kind of sad, though.  Okay, actually pretty sad, which is so unlike me because I usually go for happy things. It's also quite old--I should pick a new favorite.  I do like Coraline a lot--slightly offbeat and macabre (but only slightly), like one of my favorite Etsy shops, Paper Moon Gallery.

5. What is your favorite meal to cook?
I love my pasta with preserved tuna for a relatively quick weeknight meal.

6. Are you more of a winter weather or summer weather type of person?
Winter.  I liquify during summer.

7. What was one of your most memorable dates?
Going to a small play in Soho featuring the college friend of my date, where someone playing Ben Franklin loved cocaine (there was a scene where everyone was *eating* it and dousing each other with it), a silent person crouched in a plastic cube for almost the entire duration of the play, and, here's the whopper, my date's friend had a scene where he was naked from the bottom down with his back to us, and bent over. That was a winner.

8. Can your favorite color be found more than 5 times in your house? (Clothes, dishes, decor, paint color?)
Sage green is my favorite household color.  And yes, it can be found at least 5 times--a lamp, tooth brush container, a painting, one sheet set and one towel set.

9. Do you have a pet?  If so how did you come about naming him or her?
Oh do I have a pet. My baby girls are two pugs named Bunni and Rikki. We did not name them.  We got them when they were over 1 year old and the breeder had already named them, and we didn't feel like we should change their names at that point.  Bunni is short for Texas Bluebonnet Queen, and Rikki is short for Rikki Tikki Tavvi.

10. What was your favorite board game to play as a child?
I vaguely remember Clue as being kind of fun.

11. Do you have any hobbies or collections?
I have a small collection of porcelain and ceramic tea cups from Korea, China and Japan (or at least in those styles or similar), like this one.  I don't know if I really "collect" them, though.  So if you're reading this please don't go buying me a teacup.

And that's it! Thanks for tagging me, Lauren, I do so very much enjoy talking about ME!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lamb Curry

I want to forewarn you that I don't have a picture of the final product, but this dish is really good.  It's probably one of my favorite things that I've cooked in the past couple of months.  I don't think Kevin is as enthusiastic about it as I am, but everyone has flaws.

I noticed there was a lamb vendor at our farmers' market that I had previously overlooked.  So I went searching for a lamb dish I could make, and found the perfect one in good ol' Joy of Cooking.

Adapted from Joy of Cooking


28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 to 2 lbs boneless lamb stew meat (like shoulder or leg) cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 tsp salt

Serves 4 to 6 as a main course

Let's deal with the tomatoes first.

Drain and reserve the juice, and roughly chop the tomatoes.  We'll get back to these.

Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat.  Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.  The recipe said 5 to 7 minutes but mine took about 15 minutes.

This was at the midway point--let them get more brown than this.

Add the spices (the cumin through cayenne) to the onions and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.

Add 1/2 cup of the chopped tomatoes and 1/4 of the of the tomato juice along with the lamb.

Simmer until liquid is thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Stir in remaining tomatoes and juice.  Add in salt.  Cover, reduce to simmer, and cook until lamb is tender, about 45 to 60 minutes.  Serve with basmati rice.

Even though I don't have a final picture this really was tasty enough that I just had to tell you about it.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Lemon Coleslaw

The unseasonably mild winter that we had (as well as others) led to some unseasonably hot days back in March.  While things have returned to more normal spring temperatures, I made the most of the brief heat wave and made some summery lemon coleslaw from my Gourmet cookbook, and think it's a great one to keep on file and make in the future.

I know I just posted about a different type of slaw (broccoli slaw--very yummy, go check it out!) recently--guess we're a slaw-venly household. Ha ha ha I should have written a dictionary.

I doubled most of the ingredients in the recipe because the original called for 1 lb of cabbage--most cabbages I know of are much heavier than that and I didn't want a half-head of cabbage to rot in the refrigerator (at this point I know I am not always very good at using "halves" or something leftover from a recipe--it's a pet peeve of mind when a recipe calls for "half" of something, like half an onion. Oooh I could just shake my half-fists in anger!).  In the same vein, I replaced the sour cream with plain Greek yogurt because I have also learned from experience that partly used tubs of sour cream eventually grow green in my refrigerator and get tossed.

Adapted from Gourmet

4 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt (or any plain yogurt, strained through a cheesecloth and sieve--set it over a bowl in the fridge overnight)
4 teaspoons low-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
Fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 small head of green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 1.5 to 2 lbs--yields 6 to 8 cups)
4 medium carrots, cut into julienne strips or coarsely grated
3 to 4 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally (1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Serves at least 8 as a side dish

First, make the dressing. Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper in a bowl.  The dressing will be somewhat watery--that's okay.

Put aside the dressing--the flavors will meld and develop.

In the meantime, halve, core and slice your cabbage. We got our cabbage from the farmers market and whether it was because of its origins or the time of year or whatever, it was amazing. I didn't think I could call a cabbage "amazing", but it was so sweet.

Place your sliced cabbage into a large bowl, along with the shredded/grated carrots, scallions and parsley.  Pour the dressing over and toss well to combine.

Let sit for about 1 hour, tossing occasionally, so that the flavors become...cohesive? Anyway.  We ate ours with some pierogi.

I highly recommend this slaw if you would like something lighter than traditional heavy-on-the-mayo slaws--this was very zingy and fresh-tasting.  Ta-da!