Archive for January 6th, 2011

January 6, 2011

Sage Butter Trout w/ Pumpkin Risotto

i’ve had a container of kobacha squash in my freezer since october. taking advantage of the recent cold weather to use it. it’ll be warm again before you know it! and by that i mean uh, February.

or next week. hard to tell sometimes in this city.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2, w extra risotto to spare)

trout:

  • ~1/2 lb steelhead trout
  • 1 tbs butter
  • fresh sage
  • truffle salt

risotto:

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • handful of crimini mushrooms
  • 1-2 handfuls of spinach, stems removed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin, cooked and pureed (other squash varieties work as well)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 glass white wine
  • cheese, grated. i used a hard gouda
  • nutmeg

INSTRUCTIONS:

risotto:

  1. heat pan on high. add tbs olive oil. fry garlic until fragrant. add and saute mushrooms until soft. remove from heat.
  2. in a small saucepan (i used the same saucepan to saute the mushrooms), heat chicken stock. reduce heat and keep on simmer.
  3. toast rice in dutch oven over medium heat
  4. spoon in a ladle of chicken stock. stir.
  5. once liquid is mostly absorbed, ladle in more stock. repeat. stirring constantly.
  6. taste rice. once it is a little harder than al dente, add mushrooms, pumpkin puree, and spinach. stir and add more chicken stock if needed to thin it out. sprinkle in a pinch or two of nutmeg. salt to taste.
  7. add white wine. stir and let rice absorb excess liquid. cover and set aside while preparing trout

trout:

  1. in a large frying pan, heat olive oil on high.
  2. salt and pepper trout on both sides.
  3. reduce heat to medium high. place trout in pan, skin side down. ~5 min until fish is cooked about half way up from the bottom.
  4. flip and continue frying ~3 min.
  5. add butter to pan, along with sage leaves. coat fish in sage butter. remove from heat.
  6. throw away sage leaves and plate trout over risotto, skin side up. sprinkle on a pinch of truffle salt. top with fresh sage leaves for garnish.

my sage leaves were also dug out from the back of my freezer. hopefully that helps explain why they are a lovely shade of ashy grey. (:

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January 6, 2011

Papaya!

i normally hate papaya.

always have. even as a kid when i spent my sweltering hot summers in tropical taiwan, surrounded by more exotic fruits than you can imagine. each time i succumbed to the enticingly cool, juicy flesh, the aftertaste of rotting vomit was such an affront to my taste buds that i’d steer clear of a five foot radius of the stuff for years. until i forgot just how awful it was, taste it again, then start the cycle over and over again.

needless to say it’s been awhile since my last tasting. at least five years now.

so my mother handed me a couple last weekend. and today i am really low on snacks in the house. believe it or not when it’s 11:30pm and i’m hungry with an empty pantry, warm vomit sounds almost palatable.

and whaddya know! it IS palatable. QUITE palatable. darn GOOD i might add. two explanations exists:

  1. this is a different species. i believe my mother said she got it from the local mexican supermarket. shrug. it’s a bit smaller, less orangy-red and more yellowy-orange than what i remember. also my mother suggested squeezing some lemon juice over it before digging in. all i had was a lime. it was divine. (haha.)
  2. i am getting old and my tastes are simply evolving. this is one of many on a list of crap i use to hate.

i like reason 1 better. only because it does not involve my age.

oh and PS: yes that is a YELLOW le creuset in the background. my xmas present. 5 qt. i also have a green 7 qt now. i love my mommy (:

January 6, 2011

Shrimp and Peanut Red Curry

first day in clinic today. huzzah.  exhausted. and still jet lagged. so after a long day and a crappy, rainy, traffic-y drive home,  i sought solace in the only way i knew how. after a three week long hiatus from the kitchen, i re-entered my sanctuary, apron donned and butcher knife in hand, and made dinner.

probably not the most creative concoction i’ve made. but my fall back im-hungry-and-want-to-eat-now-but-refuse-to-eat-out-of-a-box meal seems to be curry.

I considered garnishing with cilantro. if only for that pop of color. but this was simply a quick weeknight meal at home. and i do not like cilantro. so aesthetics be damned.

two essential ingredients:

  1. peanut butter – compliments the coconut milk and adds a touch of sweetness to contrast the spiciness
  2. lime  – acidity cuts the heaviness of the rest of the dish

here goes!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 lb shrimp, shells on
  • 1 medium small potato, cubed
  • 1 medium small onion, large dice
  • 2 heaping tbs red curry paste
  • 1 tbs peanut butter
  • 1 14oz can coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 lime

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. make rice. (wash and soak rice for at least 30 min before cooking.)
  2. dice potatoes into medium sized cubes and dice onions to a similar size.
  3. heat coconut milk in dutch oven on medium low heat. bring to a simmer.
  4. add curry paste and peanut butter and stir slowly until evenly homogenized.
  5. dissolve corn starch in a small bowl with some water or chicken broth, incorporate into curry.
  6. turn heat up to a low boil, add potatoes. cover and cook potatoes until no longer crunchy but still firm (your fork should be met with some resistance).  at no point should a rolling boil develop. ~15 min, depending on level of simmer. just fork test it!
  7. add diced onions. cover and simmer ~10 min until just softened.
  8. bring heat up to medium low boil. add shrimp. cover and cook 5-10 min until no longer translucent.
  9. adjust taste. some salt will probably be necessary. if too spicy and or salty, add more peanut butter. if too thick, dilute with water.
  10. optional:  remove shells from shrimp before serving. if you have a cheese cloth, i’d remove shells at the beginning, wrap them in cloth and toss the bundle into the pot before you add potatoes, then remove just before serving.
  11. squeeze in juice of one lime.
  12. remove from heat and serve with rice and extra lime wedges

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