Monday, June 01, 2009

Sunday, May 31st - Lemon Braised Artichokes on Linguini w Cucumber Mint Salad

Breakfast was eggs over easy on market loaf with roasted peppers and a capuccino. I roasted a handful of banana peppers (slightly spicy) on the BBQ yesterday when we were making the tuna. I charred them, peeled them and drizzled some olive oil and set them aside. D went sailing because I had work to do. D was so cute, he left me a note in the egg carton. But it was a piece of note paper with a chicken on it so at first I thought it was him then I thought it was the lady who sold us the Organic Eggs at the market the other day. I sliced the market loaf thin and gently placed the eggs on. I was very surprised that the yolks were so delicate. I broke both but rescued one. (Darn it. I could have sworn I took a photo of the eggs.)

Lunch for me was a couple of slices of fresh bread and the Baba Ganoush we made yesterday before running out the door to get some sun after working all morning on a flipping Sunday!

Salt Cod Rundown (for Monday)

1.5 lbs salt cod

You need to start this the day before. Place the piece of saltcod in a non reactive dish, glass or otherwise, submerged in cold water. Change the water three times right at the beginning. Run the water gently so as not to disturb the fish. Cover the dish and place in refridgerator. Change the water, every four hours or so. I changed the water 5 times in total over a day. If you don't have that kind of time, I'm told you can boil it in water or milk for 20 minutes before using the rest of the recipe. I wouldn't recommend this because it will still be too salty. Drain the cod and cut into small pieces.

1 Can Coconut milk
1 Can water
3 stalks escallion, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic (optional, cuz I forgot it)
1 Scotch Bonnet pepper (use a very spicy habanero if you don't have a scotch bonnet)
3 sprigs thyme

Boil the coconut milk and water in a heavy saucepan uncovered until it looks like curdled custard and oil. It will take a while. It will separate. If you run out of patience, as I did, boil for like 15 minutes at least. Place in the cod and the thyme cover and simmer for 15 min on medium heat. Stir in the escallion, tomatoes, pepper. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes.

My old flatmate would make boiled dumplings to go with this. We'll have this tomorrow night with our leftover artichokes and some crusty bread. I made it tonight because I knew I'd have to work late on Monday.... I had a bite though. It is sooooo goood. I didn't have the full amount of cod so it wasn't as thick and fishy as I remember or like. But it was still lovely.
Cucumber and Mint Salad
Perfect for the summer. Light or as rich as you like to make it depending on what you use in the dressing.
1 english cucumber seeded
1 minced shallot
1/2 c sour cream or plain yogurt
3 springs fresh mint chopped
Day before, cut the the cucumber down the middle. With a spoon scrape out the seeds. Slice about 1/2 cm place in a colander and and salt liberally. Place over a dish in the fridge over night or several hours ahead.
When preparing, rinse the cucumber slices of the salt and pat dry with paper towel.
Whisk the rest of the ingredients together and toss with the cucumber. Serve very cold.

Lemon Braised Artichokes
(based on a recipe from Michael Chiarello)

6 artichokes, trimmed to the heart, thistle removed and halved
3 lemons
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c broth (chicken or veggie)
3 sprigs fresh oregano and thyme
4 cloves garlic sliced (the original puts this in the pasta dish later with more oil but since we're making it all together, we've simplified)
salt and fresh pepper

Preheat the oven to 375F. In an oven proof large pan, whisk the marinated. As you trim each artichoke, place each heart the pan and cover with the marinade. When they're ready bring to a boil. Place in the oven covered for 45 min until fork tender.

Spinach Fettucine with Lemon Braised Artichokes

Lemon Braised Articokes as above
2 portions of fettucine (1/2 lb for 2 people)
2-4 c washed fresh spinach (how you like it)
fresh parsley

If you're doing this right after making the dish this is how you do it. It is different if you've made the artichokes well ahead. You'd have to fry extra garlic and wilt the spinach.

Boil the fettucini as per instructions. Lift out of the water into a big bowl with a pasta fork. Toss hot with the spinach to wilt. Add a 1/2 c of the braising liquid and toss. Spoon on 3 hearts a piece on top and fold in gently. Top with a healthy amount of cracked black pepper and grated parmesan.

Seriously, if you can get artichokes, you need to try this. It is sooooo gooood. The lemon add a nice tartness that cuts the olive oil. And the artichokes still stand out.

Serve with a buttery, honey velvety chardonnay. Since you already have lemons, you don't want anything to acidic. I'd recommend the Poplar Grove or Meyers.

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