You Gonna Eat All That?

A fork in one hand, a pen in the other.

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fish Stew

A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, a bowl of fish stew, and thou

(By Jim)
I'm helping out Barbara again. Right now she's busy with a lot of work at the library, plus we may be renovating our kitchen due to a water leak from our dishwasher.

Yesterday I was in the mood for fish stew. I rummaged through recipes on Epicurious, and found one that involved tomatoes, parsley, onion, and white wine (See here for more details). However, since our dishwasher is out of commission, I wanted something that would be more like a one-pot meal, with a starch in it so I didn't have to clean as many pots.

I decided to merge in some more recipes with potatoes and garlic. We had leftover lemongrass, so I threw some of that in. And some crushed red pepper, because any recipe is improved with a little spice. Granted, it made more of a mess than a one-pot dinner should, but it was tasty and easy to clean up after. And we had enough to have leftovers tonight. I'll add pictures when I get the leftovers plated up with Barbara gets home.

Fish Stew

Olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of the Dutch oven)
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 peeled, seeded, and chopped Roma tomatoes
1.5 cup white wine
1.5 cup water
2 pounds fish or seafood (I used 1.5 lb monkfish tail chopped into 1 in steaks and 0.5 lb shrimp)
6 medium white or Yukon gold potatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 stalk lemongrass,
2 pinches dried thyme
2 pinches salt
1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Dredge the monkfish steaks in corn starch. When olive oil is just starting to smoke gently lay the steaks in until they brown on both sides. Remove the fish to a plate. Dump in onions and sweat until translucent. Peel lower part of lemongrass, chop off the tops from the lowest 6 inches, then split the lower part lengthwise. Discard top of lemongrass. Add garlic, tomatoes, lemongrass, crushed red pepper, salt, and thyme, and potatoes. Add fish. Pour in wine, and add enough water to cover (about 1.5 cups). Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for 30 minutes. When potatoes are tender, bring back to a boil and add shrimp. Boil for 3-4 minutes, or until done. Turn off heat and stir in parsley. Serve with a baguette or other crusty bread for dipping.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Beef Rendang, London Broil Tacos and Shrimp

Yes, odd combination but it's a little sampling of what we've been cooking while I was away from blogging.

London Broil TacosHaving picked up some really beautiful London Broils from the market in addition to having soft tortillas, jalapeno's, and avocado, we made tacos. They were so delicious and simple to make! Lightly season the steak with some salt and pepper then pan sear until medium rare. While the meat is cooking, slice and seed out 1 -2 jalapeno's then slice into thin strips. Slice an avocado and cover with a squeeze of lime juice. Once the meat is done cooking and has had time to rest, slice it thinly, place on a warmed tortilla and add toppings. Wrap it up and enjoy.

Beef Rendang
After tweaking several recipes, I think I finally have a beef rendang recipe that's as close to what we had in Malaysia.
2-2½ lbs rump or stewing steak, cut into large chunks
27 oz. coconut milk
3 stalks lemongrass
6 lime leaves
4 slices galangal (blue ginger)
1 tsp salt

Spice paste
5 tbsp freshly grated coconut
8 dried chilies, seeds removed
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp minced ginger

To prepare the spice paste, fry coconut in a dry wok over medium-low
heat, stirring constantly, until light brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Grind with
remaining spice paste ingredients until fine.

In a large pot, add 2 tbsp. oil over med-high heat. Add all of the beef stirring to coat with oil. Turn occasionally until excess water is released. Remove beef from the pot and drain the liquid. Return beef to the pot and add the spice paste with all the other ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender and gravy is very thick and fairly dry. It will also be shiny with oil. Serve hot.

Serves 4

A simple shrimp boil with baked cauliflower and oven browned potatoes.
What can I say, it was simple, easy, healthy and very good. We boiled the shrimp with some seasoning and beer. The cauliflower and potatoes were cut into chunks. Each was lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin. Toss the potatoes in a bag with a little bit of oil then spread on a baking sheet. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes. While they are cooking, toss the cauliflower in the same bag and add to the baking sheet. Continue to cook another 15 minutes.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

I'm still here

Sorry for the long unexplained absence. Work's been crazy! Our library is scheduled to be renovated this fall. We have tons of prep work that needs to be done and suddenly the date for the renovation was moved up by a month. EEEK!

I am really going to try to catch up this weekend. We've been making some really good recipes that I can't wait to post.

And for the Sophie fans out there, she's doing great! We go back to the vet in a few weeks to set up a surgery date to remove what is left of the tumor (which is much smaller thanks to the radiation).

Now it's time for me to get in the kitchen and make some cinnamon chip banana bread for a meeting at the library this afternoon.