Sunday, December 1, 2013


No matter how dormant I let this blog lie, I always try to do a Thanksgiving post. This year's Thanksgiving was wonderful. I spent the night at my mother's, and I cooked there. The only thing I prepared the day before was my only new recipe. And hoo boy, they were worth it. Behold, the eggy cheesy buttery goodness that is gougères:

I stumbled across the recipe when I went to the Splendid Table website for something completely different - I can't even remember what I was there for, originally. These are simultaneously eggy and cheesy and light and air filled, all at the same time. They are similar to gruyère laden mini popovers. I crisped them right before dinner, and they were fabulous. I also recreated the chorizo stuffed mushrooms of Thanksgiving past, and they were a hit again. They disappeared. 

Every thing else was very traditional. I took my time on Thursday. Here is a butter and Trocomare slow roasted turkey. I put a quartered onion, a bundle of fresh thyme and a tangerine with some of its skin removed inside. It turned out perfectly.
I made the cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries, tangerine juice, tangerine zest, lime juice, sugar, salt, fresh mint and Grand Marnier. It was divine.

 Very simple pan roasted green beans with shallots. 
 Delicious sweet potatoes! I didn't add any sugar or sweetener to the actual sweet potatoes - they didn't need any. I just added butter and mashed them. The marshmallows were left over from a recent camping trip, and I couldn't resist. The nuts are candied pralines. With so much sweetness in the toppings, I really didn't think the sweet potatoes needed to be doctored at all.
As a nod to Hanukkah, I made a boatload of stuffing with challah. I also made cornbread stuffing with sausage and apple. Both were so delicious. I think the cornbread stuffing may have been my favorite thing on the menu. 

Here is the whole table, including mashed gold potatoes, salad, and the cornbread stuffing. I have been doing this for so many years now, it's very comfortable, laid back and fun. I don't really need recipes for most of it. I consult a few recipes for ratios, but that's usually in the middle of the process, just to confirm what's already happening. 
I hope you all had fun cooking and eating with you and yours!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Whole red snapper with coconut curry

I felt inspired today, and ended up experimenting with some really good results. I bought two whole, beautiful red snapper today at the Yellow Green Farmers Market. I always made excuses in the past as to why I couldn't cook whole fish. S said he would be willing to give it a try. I also bought some lovely curry powder. I looked up a few curry recipes, and whole snapper recipes, including the recipe on the back of my can of coconut milk. I ended up finagling together a recipe, and it turned out marvelously.

First, starting with good fish is important. This snapper was frozen, but the purveyor said it cleaned and flash frozen immediately after it was caught. When I defrosted it, the fish was clean smelling, its eyes were red, which means it is most likely real red snapper, and the eyes were clear, not cloudy.

Based on the recipes I had skimmed on making whole snapper, I scored the flesh by cutting three diagonal lines on each side with a sharp knife, the full thickness of the flesh. I salted and dredged the first fish in flour, then put it in a few inches of hot vegetable oil in a large skillet, enough to submerge it about half way. I let it cook for about five minutes or so, then flipped it. The skin was crispy and brown.

 While the fish was cooking, a put a few tablespoons of oil in a small pot and warmed it over medium heat. I added my new curry to the oil and bloomed it. I added some grated fresh ginger, some diced garlic, and some lime zest. Then I added a few splurts of oyster sauce. I poured a can of coconut milk in, and heated it to a boil. I threw in a whole cayenne pepper from my garden. Sorry, that was the only pepper I had. After it simmered for a while and thickened, I squeezed in the juice of a whole large lime, and turned off the heat.

When the first fish was done, I took it out and kept it warm in the toaster oven and fried the second one. When they were done, I served it over rice. I poured the curry sauce over the fish, cut up some fresh mango from the tree around the corner and put it on the side, and garnished it with a healthy pile of chopped cilantro and basil, which was also from my garden. It was knockout good. So good. S and I left heads and bones.