Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pan Fried Fish

For whatever reason, I have noticed that dudes love Alton Brown. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a lot of his recipes too, but I can think of several guys who don't cook much and don't watch cooking shows, but love that guy. It's got to be his flame-painted mixer. It speaks to their testosterone.

Anyway, Bernardo originally picked this recipe and it has become a favorite. We usually use rainbow trout, but you can really use your fish of choice. We usually serve with broccoli and rice pilaf or cous cous.

1 large or two small skin-on fish fillets, about 8 ounces (rainbow trout, small salmon, brown trout)
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
Flour for dredging
2 tablespoon Canola oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons capers, drained
1 lemon, juiced

Heat a heavy pan over medium high heat.

Season fish on meat side with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge fish in flour and shake off excess. When pan is good and hot, add Canola oil followed immediately by 1 tablespoon butter. As soon as foaming subsides, place fish in pan with the skin side down. Jiggle pan for the first 10 seconds to keep the fish from sticking. Cook until golden crust forms on meat. Carefully turn fish away from you and again jiggle pan for the first few seconds. Cook until skin turns golden brown. Remove to a warm plate.

Pour out the cooking fat, add remaining butter and quickly fry the capers. Remove pan from the heat, add lemon juice to pan and swirl. Pour sauce over the fish and serve.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pasta Puttanesca

Saw this recipe on Ellie Krieger's "Healthy Appetite" on the food network about a week ago. Made it, loved it. I don't know how closely it resembles the traditional Italian version, but it was great. It could be made vegetarian if you omit the anchovie paste. Just maybe add a little extra salt (not too much because the olives and capers are salty).

8 ounces whole-wheat thin spaghetti, vermicelli or angel hair
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup pitted chopped Spanish or Greek olives
2 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, preferably "no salt added"
3/4 cup chopped fresh arugula
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.


While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium flame. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the parsley, olives, capers, anchovy paste, oregano and crushed red pepper to the skillet, and saute for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in the arugula and simmer for 1 minute more, until the greens wilt slightly.

When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the skillet, tossing it with the sauce to combine. Top with grated cheese.

Nutrition Information
Nutritional analysis per serving Calories: 283
Total fat: 6 grams Saturated fat: 2 grams
Protein: 12 grams Carbohydrates: 47 grams

Monday, February 4, 2008

Pear, leek and gruyere turnovers

This recipe is from Bon Appetit via the Savory notebook. It is really really yummy. I used the spiral method as described in the savory notebook to utilize all of the puff pastry and because it seemed like less work. One recipe was not quite enough for a crowd, so I would recommend doubling the filling if you're cooking for more than four people.

2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups chopped leeks
1 6-7-ounce firm but ripe pear, peeled, cored and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup (about 3 ounces) grated Gruyere cheese, packed
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; stir 1 minute. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until leeks begin to brown, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Stir in pear and sugar. Increase heat to medium; sauté uncovered until any liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl; cool. Stir in cheese and chives.

Place puff pastry sheets on work surface. Using a 4 1/2-inch-diameter tartlet pan or bowl as aid, cut out 4 rounds from each pastry sheet. Roll out each pastry round to 5-inch circle. Place leek mixture on half of each pastry round, dividing equally. Brush pastry edges with egg glaze. Fold pastry over filling, pressing to adhere. Press edges with fork to seal. Brush turnovers with egg glaze. Pierce pastry in several places with toothpick. Place on baking sheet. Chill 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400º. Bake turnovers until puffed and golden, about 18 minutes. Serve warm.