Archive for May 30th, 2011

May 30, 2011

Portuguese Baked Cod (Bacalhau) in Stewed Tomatoes


This is actually the first meal I had in Lisbon, Portugal back in December of 2008. Never forgot that meal. The traditional version is made from dried, salted cod simmered in a rich tomato stew. Seeing as I have no salted cod on hand, and considering the fact that I am way too lazy and last minute to salt and brine fish 24 hours ahead of time, I went ahead and made it from fresh cod. Er, and by fresh I mean thawed flash frozen cod fillets. And canned tomatoes. And poblanos that I roast in bulk and always keep in my freezer.  Yea yea.. I was a little short on time to get dinner on the table today.

PORTUGUESE BAKED COD:

  • 2-3 fillets of cod (brined or fresh)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 roasted poblano, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 tbs parsley
  • salt pepper
  • pat of butter

Pat fillets dry and salt/pepper both sides. Set aside. In a 2-3 qt pot, melt a generous pat of butter. Saute onions 2-3 min, then add poblanos and garlic. Add a generous sprinkle of salt, the bay leaf, and parsley. Continue to saute until soft ~5 min. Add tomatoes and its juices (and a dash of fish stock or chicken stock if still too dry), bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a low simmer. Salt to taste if needed, then cover and simmer for 15-20 min. Preheat oven to 325F. Pour tomato mixture into a deep baking pan (I used a 9” pyrex pie pan). Nest the fillets in the pan, baste and top with tomato/onion mixture. Bake for ~30 min, flipping once, or until fish flakes and is no longer transparent.

May 30, 2011

Spiced Chickpeas and Apricot Salad

My new favorite salad! Very summery with deep earthy spices, a citrus-y dressing and sweet ripe apricots. It just might become your new favorite, too!

Adapted from Cooking Light magazine:

INGREDIENTS:

  • spinach
  • 1 large apricot, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onions
  • 1 15oz can of chickpeas
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbs olive oil

ORANGE VINAIGRETTE

  • 1/2 tsp grated orange rind
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Drain, rinse and pat dry 1 can of chickpeas. In a small tupperware container or a ziplock bag, pour in chickpeas, 1 tbs olive oil, a few pinches of salt, cumin and coriander, then shake and bake: Spread on a foil lined baking pan and toast on 450F for 20 min or until crunchy, stirring once or twice.  Remove and set aside to cool. In a large salad bowl, add several handfuls of spinach, top with onions, apricots, feta and toasted chickpeas. Pour over dressing and serve immediately.

May 30, 2011

Spiced Apple Bread

Let’s start out by saying… I can not bake. I rarely pull out my measuring utensils, I have trouble following instructions (and not just in the kitchen), and the last time I tried to make a dessert, I ended up presenting chocolate chip biscuits to my friend at her birthday party (I mean come on. How many different types of flour can there BE?)

Much to my surprise, last night’s little endeavor turned out to be quite a success. Ok, so I accidentally mis-measured my baking soda and had to double the recipe, but fortunately that first loaf quickly disappeared between snatching hands and a chorus of “yummy” sounds. And nothing makes me happier than people making yummy sounds at my food.

(That’s the thing about baking at 12am…terrible lighting…)

This Spiced Apple Bread was adapted from about.com. Imagine that. Useful site, I’ve found. The final product is more cake-like than bread-like, with juicy morsels of apple and plump raisins dispersed throughout a moist, dense, cinnamon-y  cake. I might add a bit more pecans next time. I liked the extra crunch and wanted more of it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tbs apple pie spice
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped apples
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • optional topping: 2 teaspoons sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325F. Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a small bowl. In a separate, larger mixing bowl, mix sugar, eggs, vanilla. Then fold in raisins and pecans and apples. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients. Butter/grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans and pour in batter. Bake for 20 min. Remove and top with optional cinnamon sugar mixture. Return to oven for 40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside and cool for ~10-15 minutes before you slice and serve!