Nov 272009
 

Over the past few weeks we have been eating a lot of fish that we purchased from the Dubkin Brothers, a fish farm on Moshav Tekuma in southern Israel. They sell fish to restaurants all over the country, and also to individuals at an arranged pickup point every two weeks. The owners are very friendly and they prepare the fish any way you want. The fish is very, very fresh, most of it coming from their own fish farms and they have the best source for salmon I have found. Your order is packed in ice in a Styrofoam cooler  and they always include a bag of fresh lemons. They had a special sale on redfish (Rotbarsch in Hebrew and German) which is a nice semi-firm fish that can be broiled, baked, and pan-fried.

I found an interesting recipe from Emeril Lagasse that called for 220g (2 sticks) of butter. I couldn’t subject our bodies to that much butter, so I changed the recipe.The recipe also called for baking the fish on a bed of spinach, but I didn’t have any fresh spinach on hand so I served the fish on a bed of one of my favorite comfort foods from my mother, creamed spinach. I don’t really have a recipe, but I tried my best to create one for you. Let me know if you have any problems making it. I will make it again and try to come up with a better recipe.

I am sure Emeril’s recipe is divine, but I think my “healthier” version is delicious and really goes well with the redfish.

Baked Redfish with Cashew-Garlic Crust

Serving Size: 2

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 redfish fillets (or other 8 ounce white-fleshed fish fillets such as snapper)

Cashew-Garlic Paste

1 cup salted roasted cashews

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or a few drops of Tabasco

Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).

Season the redfish fillets with salt and pepper on both sides.

To serve, transfer the packages to warmed dinner plates. Open at the table, using scissors.

In a food processor, pulse the cashews until coarsely chopped, being careful not to over blend into a paste. Add the lemon juice, garlic, salt, and hot pepper sauce, and pulse until the cashews are finely chopped. Add just enough olive oil (start with 2 tablespoons) to bind the mixture together.

Using a flat metal spatula or your hands, smear both sides of each fillet liberally with the cashew paste. Don't worry if it doesn't spread easily, just make sure that you have cashew-garlic paste on both sides. Lay 2 fillets on top of a large square of foil or parchment paper, fold up to enclose the fillets, and tightly crimp the edges to seal the pouches. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 15 -20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

Serve on a bed of creamed spinach.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2009/11/27/baked-redfish-with-cashew-garlic-crust/

 

Mom's Creamed Spinach

Serving Size: 4

1 small onion, minced

50g butter

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup milk or light cream

500g (1lb) frozen chopped spinach

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion. Saute the onion until lightly browned and add the flour. Cook until the flour is incorporated with the butter and onion, and is a light brown roux. Add the milk or cream and stir until thickened. Add the spinach and cook on medium low heat, stirring until the spinach is defrosted. Add the nutmeg and mix thoroughly in the spinach. Cook until hot.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2009/11/27/baked-redfish-with-cashew-garlic-crust/

Nov 142009
 

Quince season is just about over here and I wanted to make one last quince dish before they left the market. I found an interesting spice cake recipe from a lovely blog called Hungry Cravings. I adapted her recipe slightly. I like more spice flavour so I added more ground ginger and added cardamom. I also substituted yogurt for sour cream and used dark brown sugar instead of light. This is a delicious and moist cake, and would also be nice with pears or plums.

Quince Spice Cake

Serving Size: 8 to 10

Adapted recipe from Hungry Cravings

For the quince:

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla paste

1 cinnamon stick

10 whole cloves

2 quinces

For the cake:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

113g unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup plain yogurt, at room temperature

Combine the water, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, vanilla paste and 1 cup of the sugar in a small pot. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Peel, quarter, and core the quinces. Add the quinces to the pot and drape them with a piece of parchment paper. Bring to a boil and simmer for about half an hour, or until tender. Remove the quinces to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the poaching syrup for another use, and let cool.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease a loaf pan. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, cardamom, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a mixer beat together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar on high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly combined and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then ½ of the yogurt, then 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the remaining ½ of the yogurt, and then the remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing on low for only a few seconds after each addition until just combined, and stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Do not overmix.

Place the batter in the loaf pan. Slice three of the quince halves thinly, but not all the way through, fan out the slices atop the batter, spacing them evenly apart. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the edges of the cake start to shrink away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and finish cooling completely.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2009/11/14/the-cake-and-tart-with-the-heart-of-gold/

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