Tag Cloud for Vanilla-Butter-Braised Lobster: Exquisite. Delicate. Aromatic. Heavenly.
How often do you serve lobster for dinner? My answer is not very. Geographically a born-and-bred Iowa girl, lobster was not a food choice in my youth. When I was a working girl, wife and mother, lobster was not a food choice in my budget. As I became more worldly and sophisticated (using the sarcasm font), lobster was a restaurant choice but always the priciest option. Since my Mother taught me to never order the most expensive item on the menu, lobster was not an option. Period.
I approached this week’s FFWD’s recipe choice, Vanilla-Butter-Braised Lobster, with trepidation. How the heck was I going to pull this off? That’s when Susan and John Lester, longtime French Fridays colleagues, threw a lifeline, inviting me to spend Valentine’s Day Weekend with them in southern California. Last Saturday evening, we enjoyed an elegant, delicious dinner: Vanilla-Butter-Braised Lobster served on a bed of Risotto alla Milanese (Risotto with Parmesan & Saffron), and lemon-steamed spinach. The wine, Chevalier de Bayard Blanc, a perfect choice. For dessert, See’s chocolate, a heart gift from John.
If you wish, freeze these in a plastic bag until you have enough seafood shells to make a flavorful broth.
Basically lobster tails are precooked for 3 to 4 minutes in well-salted, boiling water before being separated, meat from shell. Now, clarify 6 sticks of butter. Holy Cow, that’s not happening in my kitchen. (Cut that amount in half.) We short-circuited the clarifying technique by slowly melting the butter, straining it through dampened cheesecloth before returning to the sauce pan. Scrape the pulp and seeds from two vanilla pods Add that, including the pods, to the butter. Warm the mixture to infuse the flavors before adding the lobsters. Cook for about 4 minutes before serving.
Spice Envy: Susan and John’s Inventory.
Please link to Susan and John’s blog, Create Amazing Meals, for a more detailed version of this recipe.
It was only last year I discovered California’s Galapagos. Never mind that in 1976 this unique environment became part of the UNESCO International Biosphere Preserve Program. Never mind that in 1980 Congress established the very precious Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary. Never mind that I maintain a continual pout because I haven’t yet visited Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. Lesson learned, look in your own backyard.
I shared this news flash with Melissa, my Cali daughter. “Oh, yeah,” she said, “there’s great scuba diving in the Channel Islands. Stephen and I are going there next year for our 25th wedding anniversary.”
Then the Lester’s who live in Oxnard told me the boats to the Islands left from the Ventura harbor, a 10-minute drive from their home. “When you visit us, we’ll go,” they promised.
Keeping a promise made to me a year ago, Susan and I are ready to go aboard the Island Packers. John Lester Photo
Californians must be keeping the Channel Islands as their own well-kept secret because many of my friends were as clueless about these Islands as I. Right here and now, let’s put an end to that.
We watched hundreds of dolphins swimming in the Santa Barbara Channel. Susan Lester Photo
Because pictures speak volumes, let me be brief. Last Saturday morning, following a 30-minute boat ride across Santa Barbara Channel during which we watched countless pods of Common Dolphins frolic while California Brown Pelicans, Western Gulls and Double-Crested Cormorants basked in the sun, we landed at Santa Cruz Island.
Seeing this little guy, the Island Fox, was the highlight of my trip. Endangered, by 1999 their numbers had declined by 95%. They are slowly recovering. Each of the 5 islands has its own subspecies of the Island Fox. They are found nowhere else on earth.
Santa Cruz, about three times the size of Manhattan, is the largest of the five protected islands. On this particular island there are 600 plant species, 140 land birds, 11 mammal species, large colonies of nesting sea birds, breeding seals and sea lions, three amphibian and five reptile species. Due to millions of years of isolation some of these animals and plants are found only on this island as is true with each of the five landforms. Its cultural history is rich, having been home to the Chumash Indians for 10,000 years and European explorers for 150.
Wild mustard was in full bloom and gorgeously displayed on the island’s interior hills Susan Lester Photo.
These primitive and pristine islands seem wrapped in a cocoon of reverence. There’s an aura about these wild places. My fellow visitors, I sensed, were southern Californians. Young families. Kids, carrying enormous back packs, on weekend camping trips. The excursion is not for the faint of heart. After the boat landed, we had to scramble up a forbidding-looking iron ladder to reach the pier. There are no services on the islands which must explain the dearth of older tourists. However, the day was not long enough. I was sad to leave.
Hoping to return.
FRENCH FRIDAYS LUNCH
For the past four years I’ve virtually cooked-the-book with other French Fridays with Dorie colleagues. During those years, we’ve made an effort to also know each other personally. Thus, the Lester/Hirsch friendship. Susan invited the southern Cali “Doristas” for Sunday lunch. John made delicious pork carnitas tacos and served them with his very drinkable sangria. It was a 90-minute drive and effort for both Katie, a UCSB professor and Diane, a dietician/nutritionist, but a great time was had by all.
Susan, Katie, Diane and Mary , French Fridays with Dorie colleagues. John Lester Photo
French Fridays with Dorie is a international group cooking their way through Around My French Table, more than 300 recipes from my home to yours, written by Dorie Greenspan. Find our Link here.
It’s our third fishy French Fridays in January, but we’re not talking mussels this week. Spice-crusted Tuna is today’s headliner. The caveat to this delicious recipe, however, is that it’s more about bold and brazen spices than tuna. Poor Charlie, shoved to the back of the boat again.
Spice-crusted Tuna with lemon wedges and Roasted Vegetables
I bought this week’s tuna at my local seafood store but when I was lucky enough to be in Sanary-sur-Mer, it became an off-the-dock purchase. A tiny fishing village founded in the 16th century, Sanary is a dream destination in southeastern France.
Le Thon, fresh off the boat, is for sale in the harbor’s daily market. Sanary-sur-Mer
Spice-crusted Tuna can be midweek fare. It takes only 15 minutes to plate this entrée. First, put cardamon seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds, fresh ginger slices and salt into your mortar and pestle. I also added Dukkah, a nut and spice blend containing almonds, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, (more) coriander seeds and anise seeds. Pound the spices until coarsely broken but not pulverized to a powder.
Fisherman and Fishmonger, rolled into one. Sanary-sur-Mer
Rub the tuna with olive oil and then sprinkle the spice mixture on both sides of your tuna and press slightly to stick. Pour olive oil into your skillet and, when hot, add the tuna. Two minutes on each side. Done. Think pink. I served it rather plainly, a drizzle of olive oil and some lemon wedges. Fruit chutney or salsa would be a tasty addition also.This is tuna with personality, a guaranteed palate pleaser.
With my leftovers, today I am slicing it thinly and making Salade Niçoise, a composed salad of tomatoes, tuna, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives, capers and anchovies, dressed with a vinaigrette and served on a bed of lettuce.
I’ve continued to march onward in my Winter of Wanna Do’s quest. (Need an explanation? Click here.) Most food bloggers admit the easiest part of blogging is making the recipe. What’s most difficult is writing, photographing and posting about it. It’s astounding to me that so many bloggers do this well.
The spices and ginger slices are thrown into the mortar and coarsely crushed with my trusty pestle.
As for me, I love the writing. The posting with its high tech mumbo jumbo drives me bonkers. There are times I curse Steve Jobs (May he rest in peace.) and despise Bill Gates. However, it’s the photography that I wanna do better. This winter I have a plethora of pictorial opportunities so here’s the plan.
Since arriving in California, I’ve taken a photograph each day, representing something, anything or, even, nothing about this area. At the end of the winter, each of the 90 photos will be a fond memory. What I’ve already discovered is becoming more aware of and curious about my surroundings. During the past 12 days I’ve not only captured food and landscape images but also zebras, elephant seals and a turkey vulture eating carrion. (not food blog-appropriate)
Here’s the tuna just after I poured the spice mixture on both sides. After taking this picture, I lightly pressed the spices into the tuna. The olive oil provides the glue.
For example, here’s Day #11 Photo.
Factoid: The eerily beautiful plant hanging from this dead sycamore tree is not, as commonly thought, California Spanish moss or fishnet moss. It’s really Lace Lichen, Ramalina menzieslii, a combination of fungus and algae and not a moss.
Sprinkled throughout this Central California coast area are thousands of these nondescript white boxes which are visible from the highway. They contain honey bees. While not image inspiring, they are a reality so I stopped at several sites for photographs. Through research I found their story to be incredibly inspiring. The bee hive boxes are trucked here to spend a warm winter before almond pollination begins. In total, 1,800,000 hives are estimated to be in California (54 billion bees). Unfortunately, the United States lost over 30% of its honey bee colonies last year. Since our top 100 human food crops, 70 of those crops supplying 90 percent of the world’s nutrition, need bees for pollination, let’s keep these little honeys alive.
French Fridays with Dorie is an international online cooking group making it’s way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. To see what my colleagues photographed this week, go here.
This week’s French Friday’s post brings you not only a recipe to curry favor but also is back-loaded with tips, prompts, and fun stuff. This is the Winter of My Wanna Do’s. Admit it, I know you also have your own unwritten want-to-do list. Exercise 3X a week – be healthier. Shoot for the stars – learn constellations. Take more time for friends, a partner or kids. De-clutter – tackle that basement. Read…more. Plan a trip, party or adventure…and do it. You’re shaking your head in agreement, right? Later.
Curried mussels, french fries with a crusty baguette makes for a delicious dinner.
First, let’s talk about Curried Mussels, today’s French Fridays recipe. Yum. Catering to the American palate, this is a lighter knock off of Brittany’s classic Mouclade, mussels in a thick curried egg yolk and cream sauce. I’ve now tasted both, there’s little difference in flavor and goodness. Thanks for cutting the calories, Dorie.
As you’ll notice in the recipe below, curry powder, red pepper flakes and heavy cream define this dish. Onions and shallots, glistening and softened in butter, add the oomph in the mixture. White wine, S/P and fresh herbs help provide a saucy home for the mussels. French fries and a crusty baguette, it’s supper. Your only challenge is to eat, dunk and enjoy this meal without utensils. It’s messy but that’s the rule. (Use one-half of a mussel shell for your spoon.) Let imagination reign. Sandy beach. Côte d’Azur.
Curried Mussels, our French Fridays with Dorie recipe of the week.
One of my Wanna/Gonna Do’s this winter is to deal better with leftover food. I’ve been pulling a low C grade in that department. Not only is food costly but wasting it seems sinful. At least 800 million people in the world go hungry every day. In America, 14.5%, that’s 1 in 6 or 7 Americans, are “food insecure.” As someone whose always had a full belly, I don’t know what “food insecure” feels like. Do you?
Just doesn’t seem right to call this a leftover – Curried Mussels Linguine with red peppers.
Although I’ve learned to halve and even one-third my recipes, I still have leavings (love that word). When I do, I will show you how I incorporated those into future meals. With the leftover Curried Mussels, I made pasta, a no-brainer. While boiling the linguine, sauté red pepper slices and chopped celery in butter until softened. To that add the mussels and remaining curry sauce. Heat gently. (Do not bring the mussels to a boil unless you prefer them rubbery.) Drain the linguine. Mix together and serve.
From Simplest Breton Fish Stew emerged a frittata.
Last week I blogged about Simplest Breton Fish Soup. With its leftovers, I made a frittata for breakfast and for lunch and for snacks! After removing the mussels use a slotted spoon to put the remaining mixture sans its broth into a saucepan to warm. Adding it to eggs seasoned with salt and pepper creates a delicious frittata or omelet. For breakfast, I added salsa. For lunch, I poured the remaining vinaigrette over it.
There’s something about openly declaring intentions that insists on follow through. So, keep me honest, Readers, with this leftovers Wanna-Do pledge. As for others, I’m already good in the exercise department, have wheedled down my belongings to nil, read constantly and get high marks for communicating with friends, colleagues and family. But here are the Wanna-Dos that I’m turning into Am-Doing this month.
I worry. A lot. Which causes stress. A lot. Many of my worries never materialize or happen. So when a worry crops up in my over-imaginative mind, I now park it, write it down and forget it……until Wednesday at 3pm. Then every Wednesday I revisit my worries at 3pm. What I’ve discovered is some were already solved easily, didn’t and won’t happen or are just plain silly. The two or three remaining on my list, I try to solve. Call me crazy, Readers, but it’s working.
These zebras live and lounge on the Hearst Ranch in San Simeon. I’m thinking they have no worries.
Lastly, if you’ve got an hour to spare for fun, start watching episodes of Borgen, a BBC three-seasons series that explores the world of high-stakes Danish politics. Better than West Wing and available on Netflix, at your library or by streaming.
French Fridays with Dorie is an international online group cooking it’s way through Around My French Table. To see what my colleagues, who probably worry too, made this week, go here.
CURRIED MUSSELS by Dorie Greenspan
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
a pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and ground pepper
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 thyme spring
1 parsley sprig
1 bay leaf
4 pounds mussels,scrubbed (more than ample, Readers)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven at low heat. Toss in the onions and shallots, stirring them to coat with butter until glistening, about 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle curry powder, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper over the mixture. Cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and add wine, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Simmer for 3 more minutes.
2. Add the mussels to the pot, and stir around in the liquid, coating the mussels. Increase the heat to high, bringing the liquid to a boil. Cover with lid. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring once. Take a peek and see if the mussels have opened. If there are still some to open, remove the pot from heat (keeping lid on), let sit for 1-2 more minutes.
3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the mussels from the broth and place in a bowl. Cover the bowl to keep mussels warm. Bring the sauce back to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream, add a little more salt and pepper, if needed. Cook on high heat for another 3 minutes. Return the mussels to the pot, stirring around to coat them in the wonderful creamy sauce. Serve immediately.
Cotriade, a Breton fish stew, is my French Fridays with Dorie choice this week.
Ciopinno. Bouillabaisse. Cotriade.
Odds are that you recognize two out of three of these fish stews. Cotriade, maybe not. Ciopinno was created by Italian fishermen who had migrated to San Francisco in the mid-1800’s. It’s a tomato broth stew loaded with fish sourced from the Pacific Ocean. When you visit the City by the Bay, it’s a must-try.
But if you’re in Marseille, walk over to the old port where their world-famous Bouillabaisse, a Provençal fish stew, is the speciality. What sets traditional Bouillabaisse apart from others is the Provençal herbs and spices used in its broth with an assortment of bony Mediterranean fish. Cotriade, my French Fridays recipe choice this week, is a traditional, coastal fish soup originating from the French province of Brittany. It’s the staple that Breton fishermen made aboard their boats while at sea for days or, maybe, weeks. The secret (and, filling) ingredient here is potatoes. In Dorie’s Around My French Table cookbook, she entitles this recipe, Simplest Breton Fish Soup.
The mussels are put into the fish mixture at the last 2-4 minutes. Discard any closed mussels before serving.
After a 1,053-mile road trip to California this past week, I arrived safely in Cambria, picked up keys to my rental house and literally dropped my bags in the garage. Then I dashed eastward to Templeton where I found all the necessary Cotriade ingredients at Trader Joe’s and Pier 46 Seafood. (Not mentioning that it was an additional 50-mile roundtrip – food blogger-journalist-deadline – a crazy combo.)
Although their are only two main ingredients added to the broth, fish and potatoes, the onions, shallots, garlic cloves, celery and leeks add flavor and depth. A Bouquet Garni, salt and pepper, are all the spices you need but I also added saffron. Love that aroma and taste. What Dorie suggests also is a red or white wine-based vinaigrette to drizzle over the fish before it’s served. Unique, delicious with the drizzle and a wonderful first-night dinner.
It is traditional with this dish, which Dorie calls Simplest Breton Fish Soup, to bring the kettle to the table and ladle the soup into bowls which have a toasted baguette slice already at the bottom.
Although I’ve been vacationing in Cambria with my family for the past eight years, this is only my second winter here. Cambria is a drowsy, quaint seaside village of 6,000 people, primarily retirees, located on the spectacular central coast and sitting among a native stand of Monterey pines. If you want excitement, stimulation and élan, if you will, Cambria’s probably not for you.
It’s a good choice for me, perhaps, and here’s why. Cambria is everything that Aspen is not. Two years ago when I had the responsibility of recreating my Life, the realization was I better get it right. Me being me, and, that’s not always good, I gave myself a year to do it. That deadline thing, you know. Two years later, I’m still tweaking, the plusses, minuses, the want-to-do’s, forget-that’s and what-was-I-thinking’s?
I love Colorado and the whole crazy, invigorating and challenging Life I lead there. Aspen is home and friends and organizational commitments and social activities. I visualize Cambria, amusing as it may seem to you, as a sabbatical, retreat, time-out and rest. A period to be selfish with my own time and be quiet. Do you get that? It’s almost anti-American to want to be alone, isn’t it? Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading my blog as I take you along on my winter adventure. Solitude does not translate to boring, I promise.
French Fridays with Dorie is an international group cooking it’s way through Around My French Table. To see what my colleagues made this week, go here. If you want a copy of this week’s recipe, Simplest Breton Fish Soup, go here.
Do you sometimes have an experience, create a memory you just want to wrap your arms around and hold on to forever? Without seeming really sappy – drip, drip, drip – may I share with you a recent evening of friendship, nourishment and reminiscence.
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Wilderness Act of 1964, last week three local environmental groups threw a party, the Maroon Bells Birthday Bash. The Act established the National Wilderness Preservation System, designating the original 54 wilderness areas. That’s when our beloved Maroon Bells-Snowmass area, visited by over 100,000 visitors each year, was saved in perpetuity.
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act with the magnificent Maroon Bells as a background.
Partying on, Sunday afternoon, at the Aspen Musical Festival’s weekly concert, the orchestra got into the act of honoring the Act by playing Richard Strauss’s magnificent Alpine Symphony. Strauss created his musical homage to a trek in the Alps. For the purposes of the weekend, his Alps was to become our Rockies. That’s when I decided to call my friend, Judy Schramm, and plan a bash of our own.
Judy and I have been friends, it seems like, forever, but we never have time for each other. Sounds crazy, huh, but don’t you get that? We were among the 16 original volunteers who our mentor, Joanne Lyon, corralled into becoming forest rangers. But it was Judy and Joanne who, in 2001, founded the Forest Conservancy and nurtured it to the 120 boots on the ground we have today. We lost Joanne last year.
The best of the supper menu: Roasted Shrimp Salad, Roasted Artichoke Hearts and Colorado tomatoes.
I called Judy and suggested we attend the concert together and then have dinner at my condo. We would have an opportunity to celebrate, savor and recollect some priceless mountain memories only we share. Game on. She’d bring the vino. I’d make the food. We’d both bring the laughter and remembrances.
For an after-concert supper, I needed something simple and made ahead. Turning to Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? cookbook, I found the perfect menu. The following two recipes were especially delicious. Although these are Garten’s recipes, I changed them some to save calories. Kept the flavor. Lost some fat.
Call a friend you don’t see often. Plan something special. It’s magic.
Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there. Anonymous
Roasted Shrimp Salad, adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa
2 pounds (16 to 25 count, jumbo) cooked, tails on, peeled shrimp
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon good white wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons diced shallots
2 tablespoons diced canned Jalapeño peppers
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
1. Defrost shrimp according to package directions. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels.
2. Place shrimp on a sheet pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle on 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper before toss together. Spread the shrimp in one layer and roast for 4 minutes, turning once. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
3. Make the sauce. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
4. When the shrimp are cool, add them to the sauce and toss. Add the dill, capers, red onion, and jalepeno and toss again well. Because I substituted yogurt for some mayo, my dressing is thinner than Ida’s. Place the salad in a colander to drain off the extra sauce to serve at the table in a pitcher. The flavors will improve when you allow the salad to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Otherwise, chill but serve at room temperature.
Roasted Artichoke Hearts, adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa
(The only change made to this recipe is the addition of preserved lemons. Use your leftovers in a pizza or as part of an antipasto platter.)
2 boxes/bags (9 ounces each) frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted
3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup diced preserved lemons
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoons capers, drained
1 jarred roasted red pepper, small-diced
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
1/4 cup minced red onion
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1.Place the artichoke hearts on a sheet pan in a single layer. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and roast for 20 minutes, turning once.
2. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Place the shallot, diced preserved lemons, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a blender or in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Blend for 5 seconds. Add the basil and blend to make a purée. With the blender running at low speed, slowly pour in 1/2 cup olive oil until all is incorporated and the vinaigrette is an emulsion.
3.When the artichokes are done, place them in a bowl and toss with enough dressing to moisten. Add the capers, red pepper, red onion, parsley, and vinegar and toss gently. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. If you do refrigerate this, bring to room temperature before serving.
Quick Preserved Lemons, Mark Bittman, The New York Times
To prepare the preserved lemons, first slice.
4 lemons, organic (or, scrubbed of wax)
(To remove wax, blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds. Then rub off the wax with a towel.)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar.
1.Dice lemons, including peel, removing as many seeds as possible.
2. Put the lemons and their juice in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and sugar; tossing well before transferring to a jar.
3. Let the mixture sit for at least 3 hours at room temperature, shaking the jar periodically. It can be served at that point or refrigerated for up to a week.
Yield: About 2 cups.
Time: At least 3 hours, largely unattended
This week’s FFWD recipe choice, Skate with Capers, Cornichons, and Brown Butter Sauce, was another Are you kidding me? moment in my French Fridays career. First, I was not that familiar with skate. Okay, to be truthful, I probably didn’t even remember it was a fish and member of the stingray family. Skate is another French favorite. In America, not so much.
In the late 90’s, skate wings, the edible part of this fish, flew over the pond, landing on plates in Manhattan’s fancier restaurants. Although still not a popular entrée throughout this country, you will find it on menus in tonier restaurants. If I ever see it on the menu, I will order it.
Sauteed spinach and tomatoes made a perfect pillow for my fish.
But for now, let’s turn to wild Alaskan Pacific cod, the mild-tasting whitefish I substituted in this week’s recipe. Unlike it’s maligned, overfished Atlantic cousin, this cod is an ocean-friendly seafood choice. According to Fishwatch, “Alaska fisheries for Pacific cod account for more than two-thirds of the world’s Pacific cod supply, and are considered among the best managed fisheries in the world.”
The result was cod-licious, thanks to the killer sauce Dorie suggested for this dish. After dredging four 6-ounce cod filets in flour, salt and pepper, drop them in a heavy skillet coated with 2 ounces of melted butter. I cooked the cod four minutes on each side until it was lightly browned and flaked easily. After transferring the fish to a heatproof platter and tenting with foil, I put it in the oven to remain warm while I made the (killer) sauce (recipe below).
Wild Alaskan Pacific cod on a bed of Sauteed Spinach and tomatoes……totally, totally.
Although Dorie suggests serving this entrée on a pillow of mashed potatoes or Celery Root Purée, I detoured down the veggie highway and mixed together Sautéed Spinach with Cherry Tomatoes. Since this (killer) sauce has so much going on – grainy mustard, brown butter, cornichons and capers -, I didn’t want “my pillow” to muscle into the spotlight.
Not only was this a satisfying dinner but also a lovely breakfast and afternoon snack. The following morning I flaked a fillet, added it to the vegetables and made a frittata. Pretty darn delicious.
Cod, Spinach, Cheese & Tomato Frittata (a great use of leftovers)
The 2014 Food & Wine Classic begins in Aspen today, continuing through Sunday, June 22nd. It’s the 32nd year for this festival, bringing together celebrity chefs, corporates (food purveyors, wine professionals and spirit reps) and folks who like to eat and drink and can cough up $1250 for the weekend pass. There will be nearly 100 official events including cooking demonstrations, food, wine and cheese seminars, tastings, conversations and book signings.
Tents like these two have been put up all over Aspen for activities for the 5,000 participants in the 2014 Food & Wine Classic.
Our local community has a long history of volunteering in exchange for a Pass to the Classic. In the past I helped set up tables and chairs and poured wine during seminar tastings. For more years than probably necessary, I sliced baguettes, filling hundreds of bread baskets for the two daily Grand Tastings. Obviously that’s where my talent lies but this year I joined the Green Team. My job, as I understand it, is to help the attendees remember the meaning of recyclable, compostable and trash.
I’m hoping to see Marcus Samuelsson’s demo in the Cooking Tent and Laura Werlin’s seminar, “Mountain Wines, MountainCheeses” and more. Giada DeLaurentiis is here as well as José Andrés, Michael Chiarello and Tyler Florence, to name a few. I promise to share more about the F&W Classic next week. French Fridays with Dorie is an international cooking group working its way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table. To see how my colleagues skated through this week’s recipe choice, go here.
Put 6 tablespoons of butter into a skillet on medium heat. Cook the butter, swirling the pan, until it starts to turn a light brown. Add the vinegar and swirl again. Stir in the mustard, sliced cornichons and capers. Mix together.