Mise en Plaice

I know I misspelled the word “Plaice”, but I did it on purpose. We had Plaice for dinner last night. I like this delicate fish because you can season it just about anyway you like and is a great entree for a hot summer night.

I served this fish with corn on the cob and sauteed zucchini with thyme and yogurt.

To close, my husband made a lovely fruit salad to which he added minced fresh ginger and topped if off with a small scoop of the remaining cardamom ice cream.

Lemon-Ginger Plaice

Serving Size: 3

6-9 small plaice, depending on the size

2 tablespoons lemon zest

1 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon ginger, julienned

2 large cloves of garlic, julienned

2 spring onions, julienned

2 tablespoons chives, chopped fine

Place a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan.

Lemon Zest_Ginger_Garlic

Add the ginger and garlic and saute on low heat for a couple of minutes.

Plaice

Spring Onion and Chives

Add the fish, spring onion, chives and lemon juice and cook for approximately five - seven minutes or until done. Sprinkle on the lemon zest, cook for another minute and serve immediately. Plate and place a generous amount of the sauce on top.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2007/06/16/mise-en-plaice/

Fish on Friday

No we are not Catholics, but we love fish and usually eat it two or three times a week. Did you know that batter-fried fish, as in “Fish & Chips” was a Portuguese Jewish invention and was introduced to England by Portuguese Jewish immigrants? One trip to London to visit my mother-in-law I had a hankering for fish and chips, so my lovely husband took me to a very nice and well known fish and chips restaurant, called The Nautilus (27-29 Fortune Green Road London NW6 1DU), in West Hampstead. Instead of using the heavy batter that some places use, they used a nice light coating of matzah meal! It was the best fish and chips I have ever had. I had plaice and David had halibut. I tried doing this at home and have never looked back.

Tomorrow night is Lag B’Omer and we decided to have fish for Shabbat dinner tonight and have meat tomorrow evening for the holiday. We didn’t get to have a BBQ for Israel’s Independence Day because I was abroad. So, we are making up for it tomorrow night.


I am marinating the meat above overnight. More about this and Lag B’Omer tomorrow.

This evening I fried red mullet fillets which I first dredged in an egg wash and then matzah meal that I mixed with fresh thyme and fresh chives, herb salt and black pepper. I served it with fresh corn on the cob and green beans.

We had this with a 10-year-old South African chardonnay that amazingly survived well. I thought it was going to taste like vinegar.

For dessert, I thawed out a cheat’s version of mincemeat filling that I had made for hamentaschen and made a mincemeat pie. The dough is a ready-made parve pastry that I bought at the supermarket.

Shabbat Shalom!

Baby It’s Cold Outside…Soup and Socca

It snowed in Jerusalem this morning and we had hail this afternoon in central Israel. Spring has not sprung yet. Jerusalem gets snow about once a year, but yesterday it didn’t stick.

I like visiting Jerusalem. I think it is a romantic city with all of the Jerusalem stone buildings and the skyline of the old city. The best way to get an overview of the old city is to climb on the roofs of the houses there. The view is amazing.

I really like going to outdoor markets. They are full of sights, sounds, smells and are also a great place to people watch. You can find some amazing faces in the market, like the amba man and the juice man. Their faces are timeless….just put another period costume on them and it could be the market 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem.

Mahane Yehuda market is just the market to see all of the things I described above. It has also revamped itself with chic cafes, restaurants and other shops. I was always afraid to go there because of the bombings. I only went there last summer, for the first time since I moved to Israel over six years ago.

The market is always busy, but it is very crowded on Thursday night and Friday morning. Everyone is busy finding things to prepare their Shabbat meals.

I found chickpea flour at the market. My husband and I went to Provence last summer for a glorious vacation and every since we tried the Nicoise specialty, socca, we wanted to try and make it at home. We had our first socca at Lou Pilha Levain Nice.

They prepare theirs on a copper pan. They specialize in serving Nicoise dishes and they do a wonderful job.

They have delicious gargantuan tourte de blette (upper left corner of the above photo), which is a sweet tart filled with swiss chard, raisin and pinenuts and sprinkled with icing sugar. Typical tourte de blette are not as thick as theirs.

Socca is a type of savoury pancake made of chickpea flour and water. It is dead easy to make, but not always easy to reproduce. You need to cook it at a very high temperature for a short period of time. It is typically cooked on a large round copper pan over a very hot wood fire or gas flame.

Of course we don’t have the big round copper pan and open fire they have to make this, but I thought I would give it a try with our cast iron plancha in the oven.

The other night, my husband made a delicious pot of minestrone con ceci (chickpea minestrone). He is refusing to give up the recipe. It is basically the farmers market, sans the fruit, in a bowl. Suffice it to say it was delicious and gave me an idea to try to finally make socca so we could say we had a ceci or hummous festival at our house. I decided to add fresh chives and fresh thyme to mine. It reminded me of Nice, but that is for another posting…..

Chive and Thyme Socca

Serving Size: 4 to 6

300g (1 cup + 5 tbsp) chickpea flour

500ml (2 cups) cold water

1 tsp salt

Pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp chopped fresh chives

1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

Heat a cast iron skillet in a 240C/475F oven.

Mix together all of the ingredients above and whisk until you have a smooth batter. The batter should be thinner than crepe batter.

Socca batter

Brush a generous amount of oil on the pan. The oil should be smoking. Pour the batter on the hot plancha and cook with the oven door slightly ajar for the first couple of minutes and then turn on the grill (broiler) to maximum so that the socca can get crisp on top.

Socca on the Plancha

Keep an eye on it as it bubbles and rises, but make sure that it doesn't burn. It should only be slightly brown.

It should be slightly crisp on the outside, but creamy on the inside even though it should be about 1/8 of an inch or 3mm thick.

Cut it into squares.

I tried making it on the stovetop and it works, but you have to cook it like a crepe and turn it over. I prefer the oven method.

Socca with Chives

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2007/03/16/baby-its-cold-outsidesoup-and-socca/

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