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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Wasabi Pea Crusted Tuna

I had a sample of this at Central Market last weekend and it was so incredibly yummy! Then this morning, poking around my recipes for something to make for dinner, I noticed that I had marked a recipe in Andrea Immer's Everyday Dining with Wine for wasabi pea crusted salmon. How funny. To me, anyway.

The citrus-ness (??) of the salad was perfect with the asian-ness(????) of the fish and very refreshing. Another perfect wine-pairing by Andrea Immer. Life is good.
  • Wasabi Pea Crusted Tuna with Pickled Ginger Aioli (Central Market)
  • Frisee Salad with Oranges & Pistachios (Fine Cooking #62, p. 86c)
  • Gruet Rose' Brut (methode champenoise)
Wasabi Pea Crusted Tuna
Central Market Spicy Asian Marinade
1 cup wasabi peas
1/2 cup panko
1 cup mayonnaise
2 T. pickled ginger, drained
1 t. garlic
handful of cilantro

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Marinate tuna for 30 minutes. Pulse wasabi peas in food processor/blender. Stir in panko. In clean food processor, blend mayo, pickled ginger, garlic and cilantro for aioli.

Remove tuna from excess marinade and coat with wasabi pea/panko. Place breaded tuna in a preheated skillet with grapeseed oil and sear 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to preheated oven for another 3-4 minutes, or until desired doneness.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Lemon-Ginger Muffins

I tore this page out of Bon Appetit, and I don't remember which issue. Usually, Bon Appetit's and Gourmet's recipes are on epicurious.com, but they don't always include the ones from the R.S.V.P. column where readers write in about restaurants they've been to and the magazine gets the recipe. This recipe came from the Baldpate Inn, in Estes Park, Colorado.

I bought ginger and lemons a while back, and they've been in the fridge. I kept forgetting to make the muffins. Today, I did a quick look to make sure I still had everything I needed and then started measuring. I was short on flour. I still had a tiny bit of whole wheat left from when I made pancakes, so I threw that in. Still short. Damn. I considered bread flour, knowing that I was risking some seriously tough muffins at this point. I decided to go for it, but be extra-super careful to barely mix the batter once I added the wet ingredients.

They turned out great! They have the most excellent "lids". I know you can buy pans that just make muffin lids and I think that's hysterical.
  • Lemon-Ginger Muffins (Bon Appetit, Baldpate Inn)

Lemon-Ginger Muffins
1 lemon
2/3 cup 1/2-inch cubes peeled fresh ginger
1 cup sugar, divided

2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners. Using vegetable peeler, remove peel (yellow part only, no white) from lemon. Coarsely chop peel. Place peel, ginger and 1/4 cup sugar in processor. Process until moist paste forms.

Whisk remaining 3/4 cup sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, oil, melted butter and ginger mixture in medium bowl to blend well. Stir into flour mixture to just blend.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Parmesan Chicken

This is one of my favorites and one of Eric's favorites.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchiladas

I roasted 1.25 pounds of Anaheim chiles and after I peeled, seeded and chopped them, I put them in a measuring cup to get an idea how much it yielded (about 1.5 cups). Because I've already decided that in September, when Central Market and Chuys fire-roast hatch chiles and sell them by the bagful, I'm going to buy a few bags and make this sauce to freeze.

The recipe calls for the chiles to be coarsely chopped, but after cooking it, I decided I'd prefer it slightly less chunky, so I gave it a few pulses in the food processor. I don't know why I didn't think about my immersion blender, which would have been a lot easier. When I first tasted the green chile sauce, it was really hot! But by the time it had chicken, cheese and tortilla, it was just nicely spicy. I'd like to try this with roasted or smoked chicken.

I don't remember my previous neighbor (who is the only person I think I've seen make enchiladas) dipping her tortillas in hot oil; I think she dipped them in sauce. And I think next time I'll use sturdy supermarket corn tortillas, instead of these very nice Central Market corn tortillas, which are thin and soft.

Oh and I don't have a pan large enough for 4 stacks. I considered overlapping them, but in the end, I made 2 pans with 2 stacks each. I would have liked to have had individual gratins. That would have been sweet.

And my last comment is that 6 ounces of Monterrey Jack just wasn't getting it. Fortunately I had leftover Oaxaca from Sunday, so I used that as well. I'm guessing these had twice the cheese that the recipe called for. Yikes.
  • Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchiladas (Fine Cooking #73, p. 63)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Grilled Chicken Tacos Alambres

Raul & Jill came over for dinner tonight. Eric & I had been talking about making these tacos, so this seemed like a good opportunity. I loved them! I think everyone else did too. My only complaint is that I think Fine Cooking uses too much oil sometimes. I don't think the recipe should call for oil with the bacon, unless it's good turkey bacon like Sheri buys.

The tomatillo salsa was especially popular. That made me happy because I've never made it before and I didn't know if anyone would like it. I taught Jill Hugh Carpenter's guacamole saving tip.

I've made this rice several times. I keep meaning to make the other recipes in the same article, Arroz Rojo de Chile Ancho (Ancho Chile Red Rice) and Arroz Huerfano (Orphan's Rice). I need to just make up my mind and try one. But I love the green rice so much!

Gary makes wonderful margaritas. I asked him to make them just like he did for the mole' party. They were excellent.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

A couple of weeks ago, while Eric was getting his hair cut, I scanned the pile of magazines and picked up "Experience Life", which is by the Life Time Fitness company that sponsors a series of triathlons. I think they sent me a couple of sample issues when the magazine first started up and didn't find it compelling enough to buy a subscription.

At any rate, I was mindlessly flipping through it, when I saw a pretty picture of pancakes. I glanced over the article and it was about Alton Brown! So I surreptitiously tore it out and brought it home. I wasn't sure if the pancakes would be too "whole-wheaty-earthy-crunchy", but I wanted to trust AB.

They're delicious! Buttermilk, baking soda, and baking powder make them very light and fluffy, which is really surprising given that they are 100% whole wheat. And there's a lot of butter, which make them tasty. I know my friend Kelly recently had success gradually reducing the butter in a pancake recipe, so I might be brave and try that. Or not.

The article and recipe are here: Whole Wheat Pancakes

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Bourbon Chocolate Cake

Eric wanted to look through my Fine Cooking magazine. I think that is a sign of good things to come! I told him he could pick out some things and we would make them. The first thing he chose was this Bourbon Chocolate Cake. It reminds me of the cake part of "the" Valentine/wedding cake. It's excellent and it would be even more delicious with some fresh raspberries.

I had already chosen dinner, but wasn't sure if Eric would like the bread salad. He ate seconds. Or was it thirds?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Pork Medallions & Potatoes Fondantes

I've made this before. Sometimes I like to try new things; sometimes I like to cook something that I know is good. I thought Eric would like this and he did. Especially the potatoes. I used my lovely gelatinous homemade chicken broth and it makes all the difference in the world. It's almost time to make more.
  • Pork Medallions in Mushroom Marsala Sauce (Fine Cooking #64, p. 86c)
  • Potatoes Fondantes (Fine Cooking #64, p. 59)
  • Steamed broccoli
  • 2003 Alary Daniel et Denis Cotes du Rhone

Monday, July 04, 2005

Rustic Fruit Tart

My newest Fine Cooking magazine just came, and I had to go through it immediately. There is an article titled "How to Make a Rustic Fruit Tart" with various filling suggestions. Blueberries have been so nice at the supermarket that I decided it would be perfect for the 4th of July.

I don't have much experience with dough or pie making or anything like that, but I didn't seem to have any trouble with this. Until I got to the part where you transfer it to a rack to cool and then transfer to a serving plate or cutting board. I was super careful, but since there wasn't anything stabilizing the bottom, it cracked just a tad, letting gorgeous blueberry juice leak through. Which wouldn't have been a problem, except that by the time I was ready to serve it, the bottom was soaked and it didn't serve easily or prettily.

It tastes great though! Especially the folded over part of the crust with the turbinado sugar all crunchy good, and the juiciness of the blueberries.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Hen House Eggs

There's just nothing like a homegrown tomato. And fresh herbs don't even seem related to their cousins in jars. I've always heard the same sorts of claims about eggs.

Yesterday I bought absolutely fresh organic hen house eggs from Boggy Creek Farm. There's a limit to how many each person may buy, and you need to be there right when they open if you want some. I happened to get 4 browns, one white and a lovely green one. The photo doesn't do it justice.

Gary ate two poached. He thought they tasted like regular storebought eggs, which was really disappointing to me. Later, I cracked two to scramble for myself. I noticed right away that the yolks were a beautiful color and texture! Even though I usually like my eggs disguised (cheese, mushroooms, onions, peppers, the more the better), I knew that I should leave them as naked as possible. So I limited myself to fresh chives and freshly ground black pepper.

They just tasted like eggs.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Peach Crisp

It's a hundred degrees outside and I've got the oven on. What kind of nutcase am I? Don't answer that.

This reminds me of summertime and Dad, who loves peaches and peach desserts. Ashley should make this for him.
  • Peach Crisp (Fine Cooking #51, p. 50)