Friday, July 16, 2010

Cornmeal Encrusted Talapia with Meyer Lemon Confit and Green Mango Salad

Wine pairing for this meal: A nice citrusy Itailian Pinot Grigio or a young Viognier

Well, we are finally having some sunshine after fog for what feels like an eternity. The first thing that comes to mind is to cook something light like fish. I know a lot of people think fish is boring or it smells up the house or a million other reasons not to cook it. But, what I can tell you is that this recipe is none of the above.

I first made Meyer Lemon Confit last year after we had an abundance of lemons on our tree. What an easy and wonderful condiment that basically keeps forever in your refrigerator. You can use this on all sorts of dishes: Crostini, a cold pasta salad, on top of homemade ricotta as well as any fish dish...The list goes on and on. I hope you enjoy it, I call it " a lil somethin somethin." to bring any dish alive. I like to serve this with a spicy Green Mango Salad.

Cornmeal Encrusted Talapia Recipe:

1 Lb Talapia Filet
1 C Cornmeal
1 Egg White
2 T Olive Oil

Coat Talapia with the egg white. Dredge in the cornmeal. Heat Oil in nonstick pan on med high heat. Cook filets 4 minutes or until browned flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Serve with Lemon Confit and homemade tater sauce.

Lemon Confit Recipe:

Sterilized Ball Canning Jar

4 Meyer Lemons
Kosher Salt to cover

Cut the Lemons into quarters place in jar until full. Cover with Kosher Salt and seal jar. Allow to sit in refrigerator for a week before using . Rinse well before dicing or slicing.

Green Mango Salad Recipe:

Now I have to tell you I am deathly afraid of my Mandolin because after one glass of wine, I inevitably cut myself. In fact I threw out my expensive one because it was just toooo much to deal with and I now have one that I paid 9.99 for which works like a charm. You cant use the food processor for this recipe because the ingredients get too wet. So be brave and use the Mandolin. I also am deathly afraid of Fish sauce but Ill tell you it just adds depth not fishiness to this sauce.

For The Dressing:
2 bird's eye chili's or Serrano, stemmed and chopped
1 clove garlic
4 1/2 tsp. sugar
4 1/2 fish sauce
Juice from a lime

For The Salad:
3 small shallots
1/2 c vegetable oil 2 green (unripe) mango's peeled and julienned
1 large carrot peeled and julienned
1/2 English cucumber seeded and julienned
1 1/2 c cellophane noodles soaked and cooled
3/4 c cilantro chopped
1/4 cup Asian basil chifinade
1 c salted peanuts diced

1. For the dressing: Crush chili's,garlic and sugar with a mortar and pestle to a coarse paste. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in fish sauce,lime juice,and 1 1/2 tbsp water.and set dressing aside.

2. For the Salad: Thinly slice shallots spread them out on a paper towel to air dry 30 min. Combine sliced shallots and oil in a small heavy sauce pan and bring oil to a rolling boil over med high heat. Reduce to low and cook shallots until light brown about 10 min.. Transfer to paper towel to drain and cool. Set aside.

3. Combine salad ingredients , dress with the dressing, toss. Top with 1 cup diced salted peanuts and the browned shallots.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Field Trip

One of the ways I find out about great suppliers is to look in the back of restaurateurs cookbooks for their sources. I happened to be reading A16 which is Nate Appleman's cookbook published by and many of his sources where located in the ferry building.
So, we spent the day up at the ferry building in San Fransisco. Lots of good food and fun things to see and buy. First off we had an amazing breakfast at Boulettes Larder.

That's a yummy assortment of fresh fruit and buratta

Then on to Which has a sustainable 40,000 acre cattle operation in Mt. Shasta California and supplies many of the bay area restaurants. They have a great meat counter full of dry-aged beef. Dry-aging not only concentrates the flavor but also makes the meat more tender. Next it was on to Sue Conely and Peggy Smiths Organic artisan cheese operation out of Point Reyes Station up the coast. YUMMY!!!!

Then we had a fab lunch at The Slanted Door which has inspired me to make one of the signature dishes from there. Shaking Beef. This restaurant first opened in 1995 in the Mission District of San Fransisco and has since moved to the Ferry building. Nice view, good service. We happened to sit at the bar. We could glimpse the kitchen. I always feel well taken care of at the counter anywhere Ive been. We started with the spring rolls then had the green papaya salad and ended with a outstanding pot de creme which was made with milk chocolate that I have to say made it taste much richer than it's counterpart made with dark chocolate. I'll have to remember that when I go to make one.
Shaking Beef
Charles Phan, The Slanted Door
The Meat:
2 T chopped garlic
1 t sugar
1 2/2 t salt
3/4 t black pepper
2 T neutral cooking oil
1 1/2 lbs filet mignon, cut into 1" cubes

The Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 T sugar
1/4 cup rice wine
4 T light soy
1 T dark soy
1 T fish sauce

The Dipping sauce:
juice of 1 lime
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
The Stir-fry
4 T neutral cooking oil
3 stalks green onions
1/2 small red onion
2 T butter
2 bunches watercress, for garnish

1. Prepare marinade by combining garlic, sugar, salt, pepper and oil in a large nonmetal bowl. Add filet mignon, combine and marinate refrigerate for two hours.
2. Prepare vinaigrette by combining rice vinegar, sugar ,rice wine,light soy,dark soy and fish sauce. set aside.
3. Heat wok over high heat. Divide beef,green onions and red onions in half as you will cook in batches
4. Add 2 T oil to wok. When oil starts to smoke, add first potion of the beef in an even layer. Let it sit until it forms a brown crust, about t 2 min. With a spatula, flip the beef over and brown on the other side, about one minute.
5. Add first portion of the green onions and the red onion and cook for 1 more minute. Pour 1/2 of the vinaigrette down the side of the wok. Add 1 t butter and continue to shake pan until butter melts. Remove the meat and onions from the wok and keep warm.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the second portion of the meat , green onions and red onions. Place the watercress in the middle of the serving plate and spoon the beef and onions on the top.
7. Prepare dipping sauce by putting salt and pepper in a small ramekin and squeeze lime juice over it. Serve alongside the beef.

This says it all.. At the end of the day we were all "Happy Campers"

Friday, July 9, 2010

Crispy Mister

Did you see the movie "It's complicated" Well, when I saw it all I could think about was Meryl Streeps' great and I mean GREAT house in Santa Barbara and her amazing bakery.

I guess I should also mention her garden to die for. Oh the life!!!

Croque Monsieur also known as "crispy Mister" happened to be in that movie so of course I wanted to try and make it. No major feet. It is quite easy. In fact it is the original fast food of France.

We had it as a casual week night dinner with a salad. I have to say it was very rich so nothing I would make on a regular basis. But boy was it yummy.

If you want to turn up your grilled sandwich experience this ones for you. Enjoy

Here is how to make it:
First make the bechamel sauce. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan on low until it bubbles. Add the flour and cook, stirring until smooth. Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously, cooking until thick. Remove from heat. Add the salt pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the Parmesan and 1/4 cup Gruyere. Set aside.

Lay out the bread slices on a baking sheet spread with some butter and toast the in the oven, a few minutes each side, until lightly browned.

Lightly brush half the toasted slices with mustard. Add the ham slices and about 1 cup of the remaining Gruyere cheese. Top with the other toasted bread slices

Spoon on the bechamel sauce to the tops of the sandwiches. Sprinkle with the remaining gruyere cheese. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3-5 minutes until the cheese topping is bubbly and lightly browned.


2tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
A pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper, nutmeg
6 ounces Gruyere cheese grated
8 slices French bread
12 ounces ham, sliced
Dijon mustard

Monday, July 5, 2010

As the Nike slogan states JUST DO IT

Well today is my very first day of this adventure. I guess I can look back in a few years for prosperity. How hard can it be to set up a Blog? I guess for a regular gal like me hard. All I want to know is how to make the pictures smaller!!!!
Soooo we begin. No content today just want to see if this actually publishes to the site.
For now bye to myself because thank god no one will be on the site but lil ol me