Some Quick Sweet-Potato Crusted Flounder

This is one of those meals that really embraces the concept of a quick dish- yet something so full of flavor and it beats eating out fast food if you are the type always in a rush. As with most “white-bodied” and mild fish, Flounder falls into the category where you can flavor it so many ways and its rather quick cooking time makes it a nice option for situation where you do not have a whole lot of time or if you do not want to spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen.

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I initially coated the filets with some flour and then did an eggwash. With my microplane (you can utilize any type of a shredder) I took a peeled sweet potato and grated it. I tossed this in a bowl with some panko bread crumbs and some fresh chopped oregano. I then coated both sides of the flounder filets with the mixture._DSC0082

In a saucepan, I threw in a mixture of sesame (for flavor) and grapeseed oil (my normal frying type oil) and heated. I then tossed in the filets and let fry for a few minutes, then flipped the filets and did the same on the other side until the coating started to get a nice browness to it. I then added the optional soy sauce topping as well.

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I kept the side dish simple with some seasoned fries, but for a healthier take can just steam some vegetables (perhaps something along the line of brocolli would pair nicely with this dish.

Enjoy.

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Fried Rice- JG Inspired.

On my own for the evening so I decided to go with some Asian cuisine. Over the years I have had all different sorts and was not sure exactly what I was planning. After some article/book consulting I went with a little bit of Jean-Georges styled cuisine with a little bit of my own flavor twist. In the end it turned out to be a nice Ginger-Garlic Fried Rice with Leeks, Scallops, and Chanterelles.

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I started off by boiling some rice and upon completion drained it of the water, spread out on a sheet tray, patted dry with paper towels, and let sit to air dry. I proceeded to make the crisp Garlic-Ginger topping by dicing up garlic and fresh ginger and sauteing in peanut oil. Upon completion, I drained the oil into a larger sauce pan and put the garlic-ginger on the side.

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After slicing up the leeks into thin strips I placed them in the saucepan and started to cook. After around 10-15 minutes they became nice and tender at which point I added in the rice (as well as some chili powder) and proceeded to cook until “fried.”

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Separately, I sauteed scallops (seasoned with salt and pepper) and Chanterelles in some sesame oil. I also fried an egg “over easy” and placed on top after everything else was constructed. I then sprinkled on the garlic-ginger mix I had previously made along with some sesame oil and soy sauce.

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Enjoy

Pancetta Topped Shrimp

I wanted to do something with shrimp but couldn’t go overly spicy, so I did a slightly different take on a scampi.

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I started off with a teaspoon of olive oil, some orange/lemon peel and sauteed the pancetta until crisp. I put that one the side leaving the oil in saucepan and added in some white wine, chopped garlic, rosemary, and oregano leaves. After a minute or two of sauteeing the garlic I then added in the shrimp which I had pre-seasoned with salt and peppercorn.

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Upon completion of the shrimp being cooked I then warmed up the pancetta and placed over the shrimp. The sauce from the shrimp was then added to the pasta along with some fresh melted butter.

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Enjoy.

Surf and Turf

Always a good combination, you can never go wrong with surf and turf. Its the best of both worlds- a nice steak and some really great seafood. There are so many ways of doing this as there are many types of steaks and everyone has there own preferences when it comes to seafood so this is what I came up with for the occasion- in this case Valentine’s Day as it is the one day of the year I would rather eat in then go out to an overly crowded restaurant. I prefer peace and quiet when I dine.

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Start off with a nice lobster tail. Easy to cook/prep as all you need is some good old boiling water. Don’t forget in a separate bowl to melt some butter to dip it in as well 🙂

Now on to the steak. I like my filet steaks a tad thicker as they cook nicely and the juices stay in- less likely to dry out. Plus I just love cutting into a nice steak. I made a special addition to the turf side as I made a creamy-sherry sauce with sauteed bay scallops to top the steak. Overall a nice dinner presentation. Don’t forget the champagne.

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Cod Steaks with some Homemade Sweet Potato Fries

With the storm in full force (think we are at the part of lots of sleet/rain falling) and everything shutdown (including work) it allows me some time to share a nice dinner.

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The cod on it’s own was  a simple enough task as it just needed some oil in a pan and was cooked on both sides for a few minutes. The part that took time was making the flavor pairings for the fish.

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The spinach foam is a combination of sauteed spinach along with some cream which gets thickened and then gets filtered through a fine strainer. I then utilize my culinary whipper with a gas cartridge to charge which creates a “foam.”

The other accompanying sauce is a blood orange gastrique which is a combination of fresh squeezed blood orange, sugar, sherry wine vinegar, and stock. This then gets reduced to a thickened state.

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For the fries, I cut strips out of the sweet potatoes (about an inch thick) and a few inches long. You can do it with or without but I left the skin on the fries. I then tossed them in olive oil which I added some seasoning too and baked them in the oven.

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Enjoy.

Fall-Seasonal Seared Scallops

Always a favorite of mine as such an amazing dish comes from such a simple process- caramelization of the scallop in a clarified butter. From that point, there are also so many variations for flavor pairings to encompass a whole dish. In this particular instance, I went a little outside of the norm and tailored it to have autumn-like elements as that was the season it was created.

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The initial searing of the scallops is the easy part. Some heated clarified butter toss in the scallops and sear both sides until slight caramelization occurs.

First was coming up with a complimentary side dish. When sweet potatoes come to mind, typically think of hearty and savory- possibly highly seasoned or on the sweetened side. In this instance, I figured most of the stronger flavors would be from the scallops/topping so I used the sweet potato with more of its natural earthy flavor. Using a mandoline slicer, I cut thin slices and then used a circular cutter to make circles (slightly larger than the scallops. I then baked them in the oven on a baking sheet.

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With the savory and earthy aspects covered by the scallops and sweet potato, then next was spicing it up a little and adding a slightly sweet side but not too much as to take away from the scallops. I went with a pear compote (pears have some sweetness but aren’t overbearing) and with a little cayenne pepper and whiskey (add a little spice and smokiness).

Overall, I felt the flavors meshed rather well. The dish had the richness of the scallops balanced nicely with the earthy tone of the potato and a little smoky-sweetness from the pear compote.

Enjoy

Some Japanese Noodles, some Shrimp, and a creamy sauce- Converging Cuisines

Sometimes you have to break away from the ordinary or the normal traditional way of making a dish to get what you are looking for. In this particular instance, I used Japanese Soba noodles but made a dish with a European flare.

Sometimes I like to make rich hearty sauces, however I don’t always want to bog it down with some form of heavy pasta. In this particular case while rummaging through the cabinets, I came across a package of these Japanese Soba noodles. These turned out to be a good choice for numerous reasons- they were nice, light, and thin, and also they only had to be in boiling water for about 6 minutes and they were done.

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For meal prep, I started by peeling the shrimp and asparagus and then tossed the shrimp in first with some clarified butter, salt, pepper, lemon juice, coriander seeds, and chopped basil leaves. Partway through I then added the asparagus and cooked until tender. This combination I then put on the side until further use.

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The sauce was rather quick, rather simple. A base of heavy cream, I then thinly cut up some Asiago and after making it into small cubes I tossed it in the heavy cream. I also added some lemon juice, cracked peppercorn, capers, and smoked ham (cut into very small pieces)- used the ham almost in the sense as some recipes call for anchovies where its just to add that salty flavoring but here also a little smokiness.

Proceeded to cook on medium heat until it started to thicken up a little bit all while stirring. At this point, I then added into the mix the shrimp and asparagus combination and cooked for a few more minutes until everything was hot. Then Put some noodles on the plate, scooped some of the combination on top and used a spoon to add some extra sauce.

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Enjoy.