Fettuccine With Shrimp, Cream and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and a Give-Away

January 4th, 2013

 


I received a new cookbook for Christmas.  To me, that is the best gift under the tree.  I look forward to it every year.  Every year I research the new crop of books available and find the one that appeals to me most.  This year I chose a cookbook that is both visually inspiring and full of recipes that are new to me.

The book is What Katie Ate by Katie Quinn Davies.  Katie is a food and lifestyle photographer and blogger whose blog of the same name has become an internet phenomenon.  She is Irish and lives in Australia.  I have been following her blog for a couple of months and am amazed by her photography.  She has a huge collection of vintage cooking utensils and her photo shoots are all about rustic presentations; not the prettily posed perfect shots.  There are crumbs and sauces dripping everywhere.  The photos in her cookbook are just as stunning and almost life size.  It is worth owning for its artistic merit alone.  But add to that the delicious recipes and you can’t go wrong.

The first recipe I tried was Fettuccine with Shrimp, Cream and Sun-Dried Tomatoes.  The ingredients were simple and in combination made a great weeknight meal.   Because January 2013 marks the 5th Anniversary of my blog, I want to share this lovely cookbook with you.  Please leave a comment and I will select one lucky winner by random generator to receive a copy of What Katie Ate.  Comments are open until Tuesday January 8th.  Thank you for all of your support over the years.

 

FETTUCCINE WITH SHRIMP, CREAM AND SUN-DRIED TOMATOES

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 1/2 pounds uncooked jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2-3 scallions, trimmed and finely sliced
2 tablespoons shredded basil, plus extra to garnish
1/2 cup drained sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
pinch of ground white pepper
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup dry vermouth
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
11 ounces fettuccine
Freshly ground black pepper
Crusty bread, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat and saute the garlic until softened but not colored.  Add the shrimp and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are opaque.  Remove the shrimp from the skillet and leave to cool, then chop into thirds.

Add the scallion, basil, sun-dried tomato, pepper, chicken broth, vermouth and cream to the skillet, and cook over medium-high heat for 20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by about half.  Stir in the parmesan and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until melted and combined.

Return the shrimp to the sauce to heat through, and keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 10-12 minutes or until al dente.  Drain well.

To serve, add the pasta to the sauce and toss together with two forks.  Garnish with extra parmesan, basil and a grinding of black pepper, and serve with crusty bread.

Printable recipe

 

Salmon with Swiss Chard and Couscous

August 10th, 2012

In my last post I mentioned a salmon dish that I had at Fig, a French Bistro in Asheville.  I have been experimenting with it to see if I could duplicate it.  My finished dish is above. Below is the dish at Fig.

There are several steps that need to be done to get this dish on the plate and I had a few obstacles to overcome.  While I was preparing my salmon dish, violent thunderstorms were raging outside the house.  I expected that we would lose power at any second.  When you live in the mountains surrounded by trees, power outages are a regular occurrence, so my focus was a little scattered.

What makes the salmon, greens and couscous come together is the lemon, chive beurre blanc sauce.  I was not happy with the results the first time I made it, but the recipe I used this time was a winner.

You start by reducing wine, lemon juice and shallots.

When the sauce is reduced to a few tablespoons, add cold butter cubes a few at a time.  The sauce thickens to a silky consistency.  Then you add the snipped chives.

You can keep the sauce warm while you precede to the next steps.  For this dish I used red Swiss chard but you could use any of a number of greens; Rainbow chard, kale or micro-greens as was used in the dish when we had it in early Spring.   I like the stems of the red chard so I first sauteed them with some onions.

Add the washed greens and cook until  they are wilted.

I made the couscous next, but did not snap a picture of it.  When all of these components are ready you can begin your salmon.  The technique is very simple but produces great results.  Sprinkle the top of center cut salmon fillets with kosher or course sea salt.  Saute them in an iron skillet salted side down over high heat until they are golden brown.

After they are browned on one side, flip them over and place in the oven to finish cooking for a few minutes.

After that it is just a matter of assembly.  Place the couscous in a bowl, top with the sauteed greens, place the salmon on top and drizzle the beurre blanc around the edges of the bowl.

I was happy with the results.  The salmon was crusty on the top and flaky inside.  The beurre blanc was decadently delicious and we didn’t lose power until the meal was completed and the dishes were in the dishwasher.  All and all, it couldn’t have been better.

SALMON WITH SWISS CHARD AND COUSCOUS

For theLemon Chive Beurre Blanc:
1 to 2 shallots, chopped fine
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
Salt and white pepper to taste
Snipped chives

Add shallots, wine and lemon juice to a saucepan and cook over high heat until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup.  Add the cream and heat until it bubbles.  Reduce the heat to low.  Add the butter a few cubes at a time and whisk on and off the heat until incorporated.  Continue with a few cubes at a time until all of the butter is added and the mixture is fully emulsified and has a creamy consistency.  Season with salt, white pepper and chives.  This will stay warm if you are using it within a 30 minute period.  Just whisk it occasionally.

For the Swiss Chard:

1 bunch of Red or Rainbow Chard
olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Wash the chard thoroughly in a sink full of cold water.  Remove the stems and chop the greens.  Using some of the stems, chop them along with the onion.  Saute stems and onion in a skillet until onion and stems are softened.  Add the drained greens and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover the skillet and cook the greens just until they are wilted.

For the Couscous:

Follow the instructions on the box or cook couscous in a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes or until it is cooked through.  Drain and season with salt and pepper.

For the Salmon:

2 6 to 8 ounce center cut salmon fillets, skinned
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt or course sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Sprinkle salt on top side of salmon fillets.  Heat oil and butter in a skillet over high heat.  Add salmon fillets salted side down and cook over high heat until browned and crisp.  Turn fillets over.  Place pan in oven and roast until they are just flaky, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Assembly:  This dish is best plated in large individual bowls.  Add couscous to each bowl.  Top with greens. Place salmon fillets on top of each.  Drizzle beurre blanc around the edges of the dish.  Garnish with additional chives if desired.

Printable recipe

Thai-Style Halibut with Coconut-Curry Sauce

November 11th, 2011
Amongst all of the baggage I brought South with us from Lake Lure was the remainder of the frozen halibut David caught in Alaska.  It survived the trip to Florida still in it’s frozen state, so my freezer here will provide several more meals for us. 
Halibut is by far one of my favorite fish.  It is a firm- fleshed fish with a mild taste and a low fat content.  Because it is so mild, it lends itself to preparations with lots of flavor.  This recipe from Ellie Krieger on the Food Network has been in my “to try” file for quite a while.  I love Thai restaurants and Thai flavors.  The red curry paste and the coconut milk in this dish compliment the halibut well.  The fish is poached in the sauce and couldn’t be easier to prepare.  Served over wilted spinach and brown and wild rice it was a meal that was both good for us and elegantly simple at the same time.
THAI-STYLE HALIBUT WITH COCONUT CURRY SAUCE
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 shallots, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste, or 2 teaspoons curry powder
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon more for seasoning
4 (6-ounce) pieces halibut fillet, skin removed
1/2-cup coursely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced
2 tabblespoons fresh lime juice
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over moderate heat.  Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer until reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes.
Season the halibut with 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Arrange the fish in the pan and gently shake the pan so the fish is coated with the sauce.  Cover and cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 7 minutes.
Arrange cooked brown and wild rice in center of plate.  Top with steamed baby spinach.  Place halibut over both.  Add the cilantro, scallions, and lime juice to the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Ladle the sauce over the fish. 

Up On Crippen Creek

July 8th, 2011

Situated in a remote area of southwestern Washington, down a winding country road, lies The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm.  The first sight that greets you as you enter the pebbled drive is the goat pen with fresh-faced goats curious about your passing.  Then you see the pig enclosure and are further greeted by scampering chickens as the beautiful yellow farmhouse comes into view.  After a long bike ride from Port Angeles, Washington,  it was like arriving home.  And that is just what Don and Kitty Speranza have created here; a home away from home for weary travelers.

The Inn at Crippen Creek is outside the small town of Skamokawa, Washington and close to Astoria, Oregon, the Columbia River and Puget Island.  The area is popular with kayakers, fishermen and nature lovers alike.  Because it is so isolated, with prior arrangements, Kitty and Don will provide their guests with dinner as well as the expected breakfast.  I knew this before we arrived.  But what I didn’t know was that both Don and Kitty are passionate about cooking.  They are part of the Slow Food Movement and former caterers in Portland, Oregon.  They grow much of their own food and offer cooking classes in their gourmet kitchen.

We were not the only guests at dinner that evening.  A writer and a photographer from Sunset magazine and their guests were also at the table.  It made for lively conversations.  Also, I had fun taking pictures of the food with my point and shoot camera while next to the photographer, Joshua, with his professional equipment.

Over wine and hors d’oeuvres on the porch, Don mentioned that the dinner to come was inspired by Thomas Keller’s wonderful cookbook, ad hoc at home.  Thomas Kelller’s other two cookbooks, The French Laundry Cookbook and Bouchon are complex and sometimes intimidating to the home cook.  But ad hoc was written specifically for the home cook.  It is full of recipes that are part of the family (meaning staff) meals prepared at the restaurants.  Thomas Keller has opened his Ad Hoc Restaurant down the street from his famous French Laundry Restaurant in Yountville, CA to showcase such dishes as fried chicken, pork ribs and other comfort foods.  Our meal may have been comfort food, but it was anything but simple.  It was, in a word, sublime.

The menu included Salmon Cakes made with fresh caught sockeye salmon, Potato Pave’ (resembling paving stones), and  Sauteed Rainbow Chard with Pine Nuts, Golden Raisins and Serrano Ham.  Don had prepared most of the meal ahead of time and only had to saute the salmon cakes, give the potatoes their final browning and warm the chard dish before we sat down for dinner.

The most complicated dish on the menu was the potato pave’.  This glorified scalloped potato dish requires time and involves several steps but the crunchy, buttery results are worth every minute and hour spent on it.    Reading the recipe, the procedure of stacking wafer thin potato slices was not immediately clear to me, but the video of Thomas Keller preparing the dish on the Martha Stewart Show makes it abundantly clear.  Click on this link to find the video.

Even dessert was a labor of love.  Kitty made a cherry pie from fresh cherries and Don made homemade buttermilk ice cream.  They are a collaborating force to be thankful for.  Our bedrooms with lush linens were just as welcoming after a long day and full stomachs.

Our breakfast the next morning included farm fresh scrambled eggs, bacon from the pigs raised on the farm, home fries, cheddar buttermilk biscuits, and fresh blackberries with panna cotta sauce.  It was difficult to leave such wonderful hosts ( I should say friends) with whom we had so much in common.  If you are ever in the area, this is an experience not to be missed.  Here are a few more pictures of the farm.

The free range chickens.

The wily pigs.

 
The garden.

Here are the recipes from our Thomas Keller inspired dinner.  Also visit The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm website for more of Don and Kitty’s recipes and information about the Bed and Breakfast.  

SALMON CAKES

1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely diced onion
2 tablespoons finely dicd red bell pepper
1 garlic clove
1 1/4 pounds cooked wild sockeye salmon, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup mayonnaise
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, or to taste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 cups panko crumbs
1 large egg
Canola oil

Position two oven racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat the oven 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onion and pepper.  Grate the garlic with a Microplane grater directly into the pan (or mince it and add it).  Cook, stirring often, until the onion and pepper are tender, about 5 minutesw.  Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the Worcestershire, mustard, parsley, Old Bay, salt, and lemon juice to combine well.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the panko crumbs and the onion mixture.  Gently fold in the cooked salmon.

Put the remaining 2 cups panko crumbs in a shallow bowl.  Divide the salmon mixture into 12 equal portions.  One portion at a time, gently shape the mixture into a ball (the mixture is very delicate because there is only a small amount of panko in it), roll gently in the panko to coat, and shape into a slightly flattened ball about 2 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.  Add a bit more panko as needed to coat, and set on a plate.

Heat some canola oil in each of two large ovenproof frying pans over medium heat until it shimmers.  (If you don’t have two pans, cook the cakes in batches and transfer to a rack set over a baking sheet, then finish in the oven.)  Add the cakes, pat down gently, still maintaining the rounded shape, and cook until golden brown on the first side, about 5 minutes.  With a spatula, gently turn each salmon cake over and cook on the second side for another 5 minutes, or until golden brown.  Transfer the pans to the oven and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, to ensure that the salmon cakes are hot throughout.

Line a small baking sheet with paper towels.  Transfer the salmon cakes to the towels to briefly drain.  Arrange the salmon cakes on a serving platter and serve with remoulade or your favorite sauce.

POTATO PAVE’

1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshley ground black pepper
3 pounds russet potatoes (three 1-pound potatoes if possible)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon softened and 4 tablespoons cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Canola oil
2 thyme sprigs
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed, skin left on
Minced chives

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pour the cream into a large bowl and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Peel the potatoes.  Cut a thin lengthwise slice off one side of a potato so it will rest flat on the mandoline.  Lay a Japanese mandoline or other vegetable slicer over the bowl of cream and slice the potato lengthwise into very thin (about 1/16 inch) slices, letting them drop into the cream.  (If you can’t lay your mandoline across the bowl, slice the potatoes, adding the slices to the cream as you go.)  Stop from time to time to toss the slices in the cream to keep them coated and prevent them from oxidizing.  Repeat with the remaining potatoes.

Brush a 10-by-6 1/2-by-3-inch high pan with half the softened butter.  (Don’t use a shallower pan – you need the depth this size pan gives the pave’.)  Line with parchment paper, leaving a 5- inch overhang on the two long sides.  These extensions will be used to cover the potatoes as they cook and later serve as handles when unmolding.  Brush the parchment with the remaining softened butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Trim the potato slices to form a solid even layer in the bottom of the pan and lay them in the direction that works best to fill the pan.  Repeat to form a second layer.  Dot with a few cubes of butter and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Continue layering the potatoes, adding butter and seasonings after each two layers.  Fold over the sides of the parchment to cover the potatoes.  Cover tightly with a piece of aluminum foil (to allow the potatoes to steam as they bake).

Bake the potatoes for 1 hour and 50 minutes, or until completely tender when pierced with the tip of a knife or a wire cake tester.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.  Put a weight on top of the potatoes (see Note), cool to room temperature, wrap well, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or up to 2 days.

To serve, run a palette knife around the two longer sides of the pave’ to release it from the pan, and use the parchment handles to lift the potatoes from the pan, or invert onto a cutting surface.  Trim all sides of the pave’.  Cut the pave’ into 12 equal pieces and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Heat some canola oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add the potatoes cut-side-down, add the thyme and garlic, and cook, basting with the liquid in the pan, until browned on the first side, then turn carefully and brown the opposite side.

Arrange the potatoes on a serving platter, browned side up.  Put a small piece of butter on each piece to melt, and sprinkle with chives.

Note:  The easiest way to weight the pave’ is to cut a piece of cardboard just smaller than the top of the pan, so that it will cover the top of the pave’ without resting on the sides of the pan.  Wrap the cardboard in aluminum foil, set it on top of the pave’, and place a few cans or other weights on the cardboard for even weight distribution.

RAINBOW CHARD

2 tablespoons pine nuts
Kosher salt
4 to 5 pounds rainbow chard
About 1/4 cup cup canola oil
2 tablsespoons finely chopped garlic
1 ounce thinly sliced serrano ham, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
2 tablespoons Wine-Steeped Golden Raisins (See Note)
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Spread the nuts on one of the oined pans and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, until evenly browned.  Remove from the oven, transfer to a plate, sprinkle with salt, and let cool.

Cut out the thick stems from the leaves of chard and set aside.  Stack the greens in batches and cut crosswise into thirds; set aside.  Trim the stems and cut them on the diagonal into 1-inch slices.  You need 2 cups stems for this recipe (reserve any remaining chard for another use).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the chard stems and blanch until tender but still slightly resistant to the tooth, 3 to 4 minutes.  Drain and spread on the second parchment-lined baking sheet.

Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil into each of two large saute pans and heat over medium heat (if you have only one large pan, cook the greens in 2 batches).  Add 1 tablespoon of the garlic to each pan, reduce the heat, and cook over medium-low heat until softened but not colored, about 1 minute.  Add one-quarter of the chard greens to each pan, season with salt (salt lightly if your ham is very salty), and cook for 3 to 5 minutes over medium to medium-low heat, until the chard wilts to about half its original volume.  Add the remaining chard and cook until wilted and tender, 15 to 20 minutes total.  Spread the greens, with their liquid, on the third lined sheet.

To serve, heat some oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add the ham and saute for about 45 seconds to crisp.  Add the pine nuts and raisins and toss.  Add the chard stems and greens, toss to combine, and heat through.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a serving bowl.

Note:  Wine Steeped Golden Raisins
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 star anise
1 whole clove
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

Combine the raisins, star anise, and clove in a jar.

Bring the wine to a boil in a small saucepan.  Pour over the raisins and let cool to room temperature.  Let stand for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 month.  Remove the star anise and clove before serving.

Printable Recipe Salmon Cakes

Printable Recipe Potato Pave’

Printable Recipe Rainbow Chard

Halibut Cheeks in Alaska

June 18th, 2011

A delicacy indigenous to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, halibut cheeks are a treat.  The cheeks are cut from the area behind the halibut’s eyes and jaw and have a flavor and texture compared to sea scallops or lobster.  They vary in size from tiny morsels taken from small halibuts to pieces larger than your entire hand from fish such as the one below which weighed in at 160 pounds.

The guys went fishing while we were in Homer, Alaska.  They were allowed to catch two fish each and the fish they caught were this size; more in the 30 pound range.

Our fish was flash frozen and will be shipped home to us when we return to Lake Lure.  The bowl of fish cheek soup pictured above was what we had for dinner at a restaurant in Seward, Alaska.  It was flavored with garlic and lemon juice.  I am anxious to receive my halibut fillets and my four small cheeks.  It won’t be enough to make a soup or chowder, but we will savor them and use the rest of the halibut in many ways.

David and I celebrated our wedding anniversary while in Alaska.  I have to say that life has hardly ever been boring for us. Forgive my disheveled appearance.  Riding motorcycles is not good for the complexion or the hairdo.

Here are a few more pictures from our trip.

This is Cafe Cups in Homer, Alaska.  It is a funky little place with great food and wine.

One of the most awesome sights we saw was the Mendenhall Glacier in Junuea, Alaska.  It is a tongue of ice stretching over 12 miles from the Juneau Icefield to Mendenhall Lake.  It is around one-half mile wide and about 100 feet tall.

Tulin and me at the Mendenhall Glacier viewing area.

Notice the ice field behind us.  The temperature was about 60 degrees.

Of course I couldn’t resist buying a cookbook while I was here.  This recipe for halibut cheeks comes from Cooking Alaska’s Wild Halibut by Kathy Doogan.  You can substitute scallops or lobster.

HALIBUT CHEEKS WITH BACON AND SHALLOT RELISH

2 strips bacon, cut crosswise into slivers about 1/4 inch wide
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1 tablespoon  rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound to 1 pound halibut cheeks
Salt and pepper

Heat a small non stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the bacon slivers and cook, stirring often, until bacon is browned and crisp.  Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon pieces to paper towels to drain; if necessary, pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.  Reduce heat to medium and add butter to bacon fat in skillet.  When butter has melted, add shallots and cook, stirring often, until they turn light brown and begin to caramelize, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add bacon pieces back to pan; stir and continue cooking another 1 to 2 minutes.  Stir in vinegar, sugar and parsley them remove relish from heat and keep warm.

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Season halibut cheeks with salt and pepper then add to pan.  Cook 2 to 3 minutes then turn and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until cheeks are almost firm to the touch.  Do not overcook.  Place halibut cheeks on plates, spoon relish over fish and serve immediately.  Serves 2.

Printable recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.