How does one of the oldest cooking materials work? Here's the history and science behind ceramic cookware!
The cast and crew of H&F took another crack at stumping me! I knew most of their answers, but was completely lost when our 6 year old guest asked me about Christmas!
As the new year dawns it might be best to consume a few lucky foods (whether or not you believe in that sort of stuff). Collard greens, marzipan pigs, and pickled herring all play a part in international traditions, learn how!
Let’s start the new year on good footing, yes? For centuries we’ve found fortune and favor in the foods we eat, interpreting shapes, and colors to portend success and harmony. Many countries, and indeed, cities, have their own traditions and today I will investigate three of my favorite
Iceland is a country full of wonder and delight. Situated on top of volcanic activity, the residents of Iceland have been able to harness the amazing geothermal activity in the area for both heating homes and baking bread. Check out this great rye bread baked underground by steam heat!
Gefilte fish produces such strong reactions that I decided to use the far more demure French word for this sea-born dish. Quenelles are easy to make and you can use whatever fish you prefer. For this round I used salmon and a heavy dose of fresh peas. Blend in the aromatics that look fresh when you arrive at the market, no need to adhere strictly to this recipe. When serving, add a dollop of something tangy (yogurt sauce, horseradish, sour cream, tamarind paste), it will offset the luxurious fish and send fireworks through your palate.
- 1 Yellow Onion, shredded and squeezed to remove excess liquid (reserve the liquid)
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 cup Fresh or Frozen Green Peas
- Handful Parsley Leaves
- 4 Salmon Fillets
- 1 Egg
- 1 tablespoon Whole Grain Mustard
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- Salt to taste
- Prepare your veggies, take care of all shredding and squeezing before working with the fish.
- Remove the skin from salmon fillets and cut the flesh into large pieces.
- Add skin and reserved onion juice to sauce pot with 4-6 cups water.
- Bring liquid to boil, then drop to simmer.
- In a food processor add all vegetables and salmon pieces. Process until smooth.
- Add egg, mustard, salt, and pepper and continue to process until smooth and shiny.
- Scoop out quenelles of the fish dough and drop them (a few at a time) into the simmering water for 5-7 minutes, until they hold together in one piece and are cooked in the center.
- Drain quenelles on rack.
- If not serving immediately, add quenelles to jars or containers and pour poaching liquid over them to cover and keep moist.
A briny whip to start the evening, this mousse is wonderful with a glass of something cold and crisp (be that white wine, or beer). It's deceptively hearty and creamy with the addition of walnuts, great for spreading on toasts or crackers. Make a double batch and keep half in the freezer, you'll be all set for your next party with no planning necessary.
- 4 cans Sardines packed in Olive Oil
- Juice of 2 Lemons
- 3 cups Toasted Walnuts
- 1 cup Torn Parsley Leaves
- Salt and Pepper to taste (beware, the sardines are already salted)
- Add all ingredients to a food processor (including the olive oil remaining in the sardine tins).
- Buzz and whir the mixture until it is your desired consistency. The mousse can be smooth or chunky, it's delicious either way.
If my family is going out for dinner, the odds are high that we're having Chinese food. With Linda at the table we're never stuck ordering American standbys (General Tsao's is just fried chicken, you know that, right?) and my favorite dish is the whole braised fish. To celebrate the new year I decided to serve a few of my friends whole striped bass. Best part? No one fought me for the cheeks.
- 3 tablespoons Sesame Oil
- 2 inches Ginger, sliced thinly
- 3 Garlic Cloves, sliced thinly
- 3 Scallions, minced
- 1/2 cup Preserved Black Beans
- 1/2 cup Shaoxing Rice Wine
- 2 cups Chicken or Veggie Stock
- 1 tsp Corn Starch
- 1 Striped Bass, ~2 pounds
- 2 inches Ginger, sliced thinly
- 3 Scallions, roughly chopped
- Stems and Roots of one bunch Cilantro
- Begin with the sauce. In the base of a wok heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add ginger, garlic, and scallion. Stir fry for 5-7 minutes, until browned and fragrant.
- Rinse black beans under hot water until the runoff is relatively clear. Add washed beans to hot wok. Stir fry for another 5 minutes.
- Add rice wine to wok, stir to deglaze pan.
- Add stock to wok and drop heat to simmer. Whisk in corn starch and cook for ~10 minutes, until slightly thickened.
- Prepare the fish. Have your butcher remove the scales, gills, and guts, but leave the head, tail and spine intact. Stuff the raw fish with sliced ginger, and scallions. Using the back of your knife, bruise the cilantro stems until they are fragrant, stuff into fish.
- Slide fish into hot wok with sauce. Increase heat to medium. Cover wok with lid or large bowl. Cook fish for 8 minutes, remove lid and flip the fish. Replace lid and cook for another 8 minutes, until the flesh is white and tender. Serve with pan sauce.
Toast the new year with a charming dinner for two. Elegant and ever so luscious, you'll be happy to stay at home with a friend and a glass of champagne.