Monday, May 9, 2011

When its just the two of us.......

Okay. I've found it. The dish that the two of us will eat, over and over again, once they have all left the house. This is the meal I can create without needing to consider their "special" dietary requirements. This recipe has greens! It has tomatoes! And, it has fish!
A doesn't eat fish, E doesn't eat tomatos and K just doesn't eat at home.

Recently, we had a lovely dinner meal of Cod with Swiss Chard and Potatoes. A one-pot recipe which can also be made with seafood such as scallops or chunks of lobster.

Recipe starts off simply enough.....

1 lb skinless cod fillets
1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 can (28 Oz) diced tomatoes, drained
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly slices and set aside in a bowl of water
2 cups chicken broth
4 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup chopped fresh basil

Rinse the cod, pat dry. Squeeze the lemon over the fillets and set aside.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the sliced onion, season with salt and pepper cooking until soft...about 5 minutes. Mix in the tomatoes and simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes.
Remove the potato slices from the water, dry them on paper towels and arrange them on top of the tomato mixture. Season with more salt and pepper, add the chicken broth, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 - 15 minutes.
Lay the cod fillets on top of the potatoes and put the Swiss chard on top of the fish.
Cover again and cook until the chard is wilted and the fish is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and layer on a plate, first the chard, then the fish and arrange potatoes around the fish. Put the pan back on the heat, add the butter to the sauce and stir to mix. Reduce for about 5 minutes, then adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add basil to the sauce, stir to mix and spoon over the fish. Serve immediately with a chilled glass of white wine.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Up for a Challenge

Every now and then it is good to challenge yourself. I was in the mood to make something complicated but nothing too wild that no one would eat it. While browsing through a recent edition of Cook's Illustrated I found my challenge. What could be more intimidating than Boston Cream Pie? I had all the ingredients and most of the equipment. But did I have the stamina, skill and time to do it?

I gathered my ingredients, cleared my space and embarked on my adventure....
The recipe was broken down into three manageable parts. As with most complicated recipes it is not any one specific task which does you in...but rather when you have to pull them all together. I studied the recipe and first made the pastry cream.

Recipe advised refrigerating at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Wow...did I have that much time? I opted for the 2 hours...mistake. Pastry cream needed much more time.
Next came the cake. A very straight forward recipe. Easy to make. Excellent result.

Things were going along well until it came time to assemble the cake. I definitely advise reviewing the video to be sure you know what consistency the cream filling should be. My filling was too runny. But, since I had started to assemble I needed to move along and start the Glaze, after first chopping up the chocolate.
By this time it is getting late in the day. My husband and son roamed in and out of the kitchen (it smelled wonderful) wanting to know when it would be ready to eat. I explained that the pie would still need another 3 hours to refrigerate, to which my husband mumbled something about just buy one at the store...obviously missing the whole point!

So, over 10 hours later we had a Boston Cream Pie which may not have looked as pretty as it could but most certainly tasted better than any store bought one!!! A very satisfying challenge.