Aug. 14th, 2009

flit: (lunch)
Quail Eggs Poached Quail Eggs on Gluten-Free English Muffins I wanted to do something fairly special with the little quail eggs I got to try out, so I decided to poach them and put them on a gluten-free English muffin. (The one I used was from Kinnikinnick.)

My poaching technique isn't very well-developed, and likely I shouldn't practice it on quail eggs. I lost a fair amount of their delicate little whites to the poaching water. What was left was nice with soft whites and just-runny yolks, but clearly I'm going to have to try poaching more using chicken eggs.

I used a good butter on the English muffins and seasoned with fresh chives, fresh ground black pepper, and sea salt. This was delicious, but as poaching the eggs was quite fussy, I don't think I'd try it again unless I improve my poaching technique first. The only thing going for it was that it was less fussy than soft-boiling them and then peeling them.
flit: (lunch)
Sablefish with Strawberries I've wanted to make this recipe for some time now but didn't quite get there. I did this on a night where taking the extra steps to make a separate sauce and the butter searing paste, both of which look delicious, just didn't seem doable.

Sablefish, AKA black cod, is one of the reasonably sustainable options available locally; the fishery isn't as good as the one in the Pacific Northwest yet, but they're improving. However I later found out that it is a *very* fatty fish; it's also called butterfish for a reason! For that reason it won't be showing up much on my menus until I'm no longer trying to lose weight. In flavor it's not as oily as you'd think, not even as oily as mackerel or salmon. It has a flavor that manages to be both light and rich. In texture it's more delicate than many fish, which may be why it's not as popular; it tends to flake into small flakes very easily, which can look messy on a plate. I think the flavor makes up for the messiness. You can see the flake pattern if you look closely; I was careful not to cook it to the point of collapse.

I didn't keep strict notes on my method, but I probably just seasoned the filet and then browned it in a mixture of butter and olive oil until done. Removed the fish and made a pan sauce with balsamic vinegar, strawberries, red onions, and ... ahem... whatever that greenery is. Basil? Green onions? Either would work. Garnish with a few more fresh strawberries, and devour. The acid sweetness of the strawberries and vinegar is a nice contrast with this fish; I think it would be too much on a drier white fish like on tilapia.

I still want to try the base recipe some day! I think the extra steps would make it extra delicious.
flit: (lunch)
Salmon with Blood Orange Sauce and Mesclun Salad At least I am pretty sure this was salmon and not a big trout.... This was a case of "fish that looked good in the store" combined with "what I have on hand that goes with it." It's another dead-simple preparation with browning the seasoned filet and then making a pan sauce to pour over the fish.

In this case I used the juice from a blood orange, thyme, and undoubtedly some kind of wine: vermouth, sherry, or white wine, whatever I had on hand. I likely used garlic as well.

The nice thing about pan reductions is they're infinitely variable and incredibly easy. You can have a composed meal ready in 10-15 minutes, a bit longer if you have anything fussy to chop first. They use the caramelized bits of whatever you were cooking in the pan, so you get layered flavors.
flit: (lunch)
Sablefish and Chard and Basil More in the fish series....

This one used a different cooking method, steaming, as outlined in this lovely little minimalist recipe by Mark Bittman: Steamed Fish on Kale. This is beautiful because you get a side dish and a main dish all out of one pan.

I used a variant of chard (Italian chard?) that was almost as tender as spinach, so adjusted cooking times accordingly. I also added some basil to the mix. The delicate flesh of the sablefish lends itself really well to steaming; it's less prone to come apart while cooking if this method is used. This was very sumptuous even though I greatly reduced the oil/butter, given the high fat content of the sablefish.

Upcoming: the fresh sardine recipe.

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