If you had missed my post from the start of the weekend pertaining to Wolffish stuffed with crab and a nice crab-horseradish sauce, you can find it here. With the crab meat which was leftover, I decided to make some crab cakes, but tailor them to a more fall like flavor.
I wanted to go with more earthy, hearty type flavors so I went with some crushed pistachios to start and added in some acorn squash (I had sauteed first with some oil, onion, and green pepper minced up).
Other seasonings I had used included sea salt, cracked peppercorn, fresh rosemary and basil, and some ground mustard. To hold the shape I mixed egg directly into the batter and formed balls in my hand. Unlike some traditional forms which use breadcrumbs throughout, I formed the cakes first and then coated only the outside with plain breadcrumbs. I then proceeded to saute in a pan with a combination of olive/grapeseed oil.
The rolls (which were purchased from my local Wegman’s bakery) were a nice hearty pretzel roll. For a sauce, I combined fresh horseradish root, some mayo, some cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper, and blended together to make a nice aoli style topping. I also accented the sandwich with some radicchio lettuce.
For tonight’s dinner I decided to go with flounder with a little bit of a twist to the plain-old fried batter. The batter I made up consisted of almonds I ground up in the mortel and pestle as well as dicing and grinding in some red Fresno Chili pepper for a little added heat. The flounder got a thin layer of flour followed by an egg wash and then battered and fried in some grape-seed oil.
For the sauce, I went fruity. I used a combination of red plum, a nice hearty Spanish Tempranillo wine, some rice vinegar and some coriander seeds and brought to a simmer in a saucepan and let cook until it thickened almost like a glaze.
The first side dish I used some spinach, some oyster mushrooms, butter, and garlic and sauteed in a pan. Simple yet full of flavor.
For the orzo, once it had finished boiling i drained out the water. I then added a little truffle-infused oil, some fresh basil (from my plant), some rosemary, and some sweet paprika and put on low heat for an extra minute or two.
With the Summer season nearing a close, I figured it would be a nice time to try something a little tropical. In this particular case I went ahead and made some homemade coconut shrimp.
Hours before even doing anything on the side of cooking, I made a marinade mixture of lemon juice, lime juice, ancho chile pepper, salt, and cracked pepper. I let the shrimp marinade for about 6 hours. Initially to the shrimp, I put them in a bowl, added flour and mixed good until a nice coating and the outside of the shrimp were on the dry side. I then took a few egg yolks, some shredded coconut, some bread crumbs and combined with the shrimp until a nice thick coating was on the shrimp. In a large pan, I poured in some grape-seed oil and brought to high heat. I then tossed in the shrimp and cooked on both sides until browned.
Though it is hard to see because of the bowl, as a side dish I made some Kaniwa, which is a South American grain close to quinoa. I put them in simmering water, added some butter, some diced up mango, salt and pepper and cooked until the water had fully soaked in. I placed a layer of the kaniwa in the bottom of the bowl. I then placed a thin layer of savoy cabbage and finally topped with the shrimp.
As a sauce, I took some mango I had diced up, added some sugar, some lemon juice, some balsamic vinegar, some white wine and brought to a simmer. I then covered and let simmer for about 10 minutes. At this point, the mango was soft enough I could mash it with a spoon to make a thick mango puree.
Today I kept it simple on the side of prep work but still be able to combine various flavors.
I started off with some boneless chicken thighs which I stuffed with some pea-shoots and some cheddar. I folded the thighs over and made a rub of sweet paprika, ground mustard, salt, pepper, and wasabi powder. I put the thighs in an oven dish which I poured in a mixture of water-soy sauce and let cook in the oven.
While this was cooking, I made a “pancake” of millet, pea-shoots, egg, salt and pepper. I did this in my 8 inch pan with some grape-seed oil and cooked until slightly browned on each side. I then drizzled honey on the pancake (placed some on the side as well) and placed the chicken on top. With the earthy and spicy flavors found in both the pancake and on the chicken, the honey provided a refreshing contrast.
On top of the many outrageous things I like to make, sometime it is just as nice to keep it quick and simple- still have a nice wholesome meal.
In this case, I took a few flounder filets and put them in a skillet that was heated with grapeseed oil and lime juice. I then sprinkled on some chili and some sweet paprika and sauteed until cooked (only a few minutes. I then places them over a bed of mixed greens which was dressed with a juniper-berry balsamic vinegar. I then had a glass of Gewurztraminer to compliment the light flavored fish. In all, took about 10 minutes or so to prepare and cook.
For quite some time now, for my meals I have typically been staying away from anything on the side of being processed and have been really just cooking and preparing all of my meals with meat, vegetables, rice, pasta, etc. and even when it comes to sauces, seasonings, and marinades I even do many of those myself as well. In this instance, I was in the mood for ravioli (have not had them for quite some time and had some free time to make a few…well actually quite a lot.
When I first started making them earlier today, it got me thinking how when you buy the plain old cheese raviolis in the store and the amount of ingredients in them and then how I am making different flavors with meat and vegetable as well and I think I maxed out between dough and filling on around 12 ingredients it is quite amazing. You can find many variations of making simple dough for ravioli (can tailor them to your liking as well as amount needed) but put simply you have flour, eggs, and olive oil.
For the first type, I had roasted chicken in a skillet. To the chicken I added fresh parsley, garlic, ancho chili powder, lemon juice, and thyme. After this was cooked through I then pulsated it with my immersion blender attachment and then added it to a mixture of ricotta and mozzarella cheese. In total, 11 ingredients between filling and dough. For the other type, I had cut up a butternut squash. I then roasted this with some onion, cinnamon, allspice, heavy cream, clove, and sharp cheddar. As something like these which I do by hand and they take a fair amount of time to do, I do large batches so in each case, I got approximately 6 dozen which are then frozen as individual meals consisting of mixtures of each type. At some point they will then be boiled and I’ll make an olive oil based sauces to pour over them.
One thing I love about chicken is the versatility. Besides the numerous types of sauces or marinades it can be done in (i.e. everything from tomato sauce to grilling marinades and barbeque sauces) is also the numerous ways chicken can be prepared (i.e. on the grill, in a pan, oven-roasted, etc). In this particular instance I roasted chicken thighs in the oven and prepared a honey-soy multi-step sauce for the chicken.
First I took the potatoes, cubed them up and placed them in oven pan. I then chopped up some garlic and onion and placed over the potatoes. I then added some water and spread around some pieces of butter.
Over the potatoes i placed the chicken thighs, and using a fork poked small holes into the top of the thighs. I then poured on some soy sauce which soaked into the thighs. Over the top of that, I drizzled on honey and then placed on some garlic and onion.
This was then placed in the oven at 450 and cooked for about 30-35 minutes. In the meantime I prepared some couscous which I added some black trumpet mushrooms to.
Sorry it has been too long since I have posted. Had some different events going on and was also out of the area for a few days, so it’s nice to be back and in the kitchen. This is a non-traditional chicken marsala type dish.
From growing up, I remember chicken marsala always being the chicken and the mushrooms and then over a bed of rice. In my case, I had made mushroom infused pasta a while back.
For the chicken I kept it fairly simple. Cut it up into small thin pieces put in the pan, seasoned with some curry spices, and added in sliced mushrooms and some oil. I sauteed this combination and then I added some white wine and covered. I lowered the heat and let simmer.
After simmering, I removed the lid and added some corn starch to thicken it into more of a sauce. Separately I had a pot of boiling water and threw in some of the pasta which took about 10 minutes to cook. I then put the pasta on the dish, threw on the chicken and mushroom mixture and served with a glass of traminer-riesling.
Sorry for the delay the past few days, was procrastinating with food since I was taking an online course in manual flash photography by Scott Robert Lim (check him out- AMAZING). That went from 12-7 so was busy during the dinner rush. I did come up with a quick chicken dish tonight though.
It is quite nice when in the morning I go in the freezer, take out a package, and by the evening I have a nice chicken breast defrosted (in this case it was stuffed with broccoli and cheddar). So how to cook it. I went on a slight limb for this after I did a typical flour and egg yolk coating. I was looking around and went “hey let’s try some millet” so that is what I coated it with. I put it in the oven at about 350 (put some oil and some juniper berry balsamic in the bottom of the dish and in it went.
On to the side dish. Looked to see what vegetables I had and thought since I already had my greens cooking inside the chicken what is something different for the side? Hmm, how about potatoes and leek and make a nice little fried patty- so I did. All it was was potato, the white part of the leek, one egg, salt/pepper to taste and in the processor it went. I then fried it up in some grape-seed oil. A nice quick dish- kind of country style, tasty-juicy, simple. What more can you ask for.