Monthly Archives: March 2010

15-Minute-Meals: Alaskan Cod with Citrus Wine Sauce, Roasted Asparagus, and Quinoa

Alaskan Cod with Citrus Wine Sauce, Roasted Asparagus, and Quinoa

Alaskan Cod with Citrus Wine Sauce, Roasted Asparagus, and Quinoa

I’ve recently decided I’m going to run the Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon. Why? I’m honestly not sure. Perhaps it’s because I’m a glutton for punishment, or rather it’s the peer pressure of a number of my friends and family doing it. Or it could be the ever unattainable goal to be perfectly in-shape, toned, and fit like the women I see on the covers of the magazine while buying my triple-whipped brie or multiple bottles of Malbec. Whatever the reason…I’m doing it. Which means I’ve got 13 weeks to get in shape to run 13 miles. Seems reasonable.

As such, I’m going to be on the hunt for delicious and healthy meals that can be made in 15 minutes or less. This one fits that bill perfectly. Each item literally takes 10 – 15 minutes and since the asparagus and quinoa are self-sufficient it’s an easy dinner to pull together after a run. If you’re able, buy the fish and asparagus that day from your local farmers market or fish monger. This is the perfect time of year for thin, crisp, earthy asparagus so splurge and buy the best looking organic ones you can find.

Alaskan Cod with Citrus Wine Sauce, Roasted Asparagus, and Quinoa

Pair with a light Pinot Grigio.

Serves 4

Roasted Asparagus: Pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees. Place trimmed asparagus in a 9×12 glass baking dish and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Toss until all the asparagus are lightly covered and glistening. Roast for 10 minutes, giving the pan a shake at the five-minute mark to ensure nothing burns.

Quinoa: Place two cups chicken stock and one cup quinoa in a small pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 10-15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and lightly fluff with a fork.

Alaskan Cod with Citrus Wine Sauce: I used cod, but pick whatever looks best and is preferably on sale. Rinse the fish, dry, and then lightly salt and pepper. In a large non-stick skillet pour 1-cup white wine and 1-cup orange juice. Add the fish and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and gently poach for about 5 minutes per side (pending on the thickness of the fish) until cooked through and just beginning to flake. Remove from pan and tent with foil to keep warm. Bring the pan to a boil and reduce the cooking liquid by about 1/2. The citrus wine sauce will be a bright yellow and should be the consistency of warmed honey. Serve the sauce over the fish.

1 Comment

Filed under 15-Minute-Meals, Health Conscious, Seafood

“Lord have mercy…you lost??” : Seafood Stew

Seafood Stew

Seafood Stew

My mother was recently out to visit and decided she would walk back from the local library to our house. If you’ve read, Good, Cheap, and Fast, you know that our neighborhood has its wonderful parts and its decidedly not so wonderful parts. Tall, beautiful, unfailingly elegant, and refined, to put it simply, my mother is not the kind of person you typically see walking around the ‘hood.

As she was hoofing it back from the library (she is known to walk everywhere quickly and with purpose), she ran into two older  women decked out in their Sunday finest making their very slow trek up the sidewalk. My mother smiled at them, charged on by, and then heard one of them shout out in a Southern accent, “Lord have mercy…you lost?!?”. My mother burst out laughing, thanked them for their concern, assured them she was just fine, and completed her march home.

Having popped open a bottle of wine and subsided in our chuckling about my wayward mother we decided to make Seafood Stew (a meal representing a part of the country she’s definitely not lost in; the East Coast).

Making your own seafood stock makes this a particularly labor intensive project so I’d skip that. The fennel and saffron however must not be passed over. Feel free to substitute the shellfish/fish for whatever you fancy. You want about 4 lbs of seafood total.

Seafood Stew

This makes quite a large batch, serving 8-10. Serve with a dry white wine, crusty bread or popovers, and chilled butter.

3 TB Olive Oil

2 small yellow onions diced

2 cups large-diced white potatoes

2 cups chopped fennel (about 1 large bulb…save the leaves for garnish)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 cups good white wine

28 ounces canned plum tomatoes, chopped

1 quart Seafood Stock

3 cloves garlic minced

1 tsp saffron threads

1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined (it’s often easier to do this after you lightly steam them)

2 lbs hearty white fish (such as halibut or bass) de-boned and cut into large chunks

24 mussels, cleaned

1. Heat the oil in a stock pot, add the onions, potatoes, fennel, salt, and pepper, and saute over medium-low heat for 15 minutes until the onions begin to brown.

Onions, potatoes, fennel

Onions, potatoes, fennel

2. Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add the tomatoes with their juices, stock, garlic, and saffron to the pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

3. Add the shrimp, fish, and mussels, bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pot to sit covered for another 5 minutes. The fish and shrimp should be cooked and the mussels opened. Discard any mussels that don’t open.

Shrimp (not yet shelled or deveined)

Shrimp (not yet shelled or deveined)

4. Serve in high-sided bowls with the fennel garnish.

Seafood Stew

The finished product

Adapted from Barefoot in Paris

1 Comment

Filed under Seafood, Soups

Screw patience: Roasted medley of spring vegetables served over angel hair pasta with chicken sausage, tossed with a cilantro pesto

 

Roasted spring vegetables

Roasted spring vegetables

 

I have spent my entire life wishing I was a more patient person. But try as I might, I am inherently impatient and intolerant of things that move slowly.

I’m impatient with people who are slow walkers. I loath slow talkers. I despise inefficiency and elevator doors that take seconds to close feel like eons to me. Despite constant admonitions from family, friends, bosses, and co-workers to just “slow down, Erina” it’s something I really struggle with.

So, it will come as no surprise that when it seems time for Winter to be over and Spring to arrive I am as impatient as ever. I long for the days of short skirts, endless nights, swimming in the Lake after work, and reading in the back yard while soaking up the sun and drinking a gin and tonic.

Sadly, as it is March in Seattle, we are not there yet.

When my impatience for the season changing reaches its height I often find myself cooking foods that represent the season ahead.

This pasta dish was inspired by a refrigerator full of vegetables from Spud and no plan for what I was going to do with them. It’s not the quickest recipe (ironic, I know), but it’s very yummy, very healthy, totally affordable and shouts ‘Spring is here’ better than I ever could.

Roasted medley of spring vegetables served over angel hair pasta with chicken sausage, tossed with a cilantro pesto

A very hearty, pretty dinner, good for a crowd. If you prefer a vegetarian option just skip the chicken sausage. Serve with a dry Riesling.

 

Roasted medley of spring vegetables served over angel hair pasta with chicken sausage, tossed with a cilantro pesto

Roasted medley of spring vegetables served over angel hair pasta with chicken sausage, tossed with a cilantro pesto

 

1. Vegetables: Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl (which you can later use for serving) toss a medley of spring vegetables that suit your fancy. They should be bite-size, but still substantial. If you are doing a mix of vegetables that will vary in how long they take to get tender, vary your size a bit so everything is done at the same time. For this recipe I did butternut squash (cut into small cubes), carrots, mushrooms, onions, and asparagus. Toss with just enough olive oil until glistening. Season with coarsely ground salt and pepper.  Transfer to a 9×12 glass baking dish. Pop in the oven and cook for about 1 hour (flipping each 20 minutes) until vegetables are firm-tender. If you feel like the vegetables are drying out you can add a bit of water to the bottom of the baking dish about half way through the roasting.

2. Cilantro Pesto: In a food processor or blender (you know which one I used…), blend until smooth 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 cup firmly packed cilantro, 2 TB lime juice, and 2 cloves garlic. Set aside.

3. Pasta: Cook angel hair according to recipe. Before you drain reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

4. Chicken sausage: In a large skillet head 2 TB olive oil until glistening. Add chicken sausage that has been cut into 1″ pieces and cook until slightly carmelized and browning. Set aside pan, reserving the oil and fat generated from cooking the sausage.

5. Assembly: In the large bowl you used to toss the vegetables originally return the now cooked vegetables. While still hot from the oven toss with half the pesto to thoroughly coat the vegetables. Add the pasta and reserved cooking liquid, remaining pesto, sausage, and reserved oil and toss until well coated. Serve with generous portions of coarsely grated Parmesan.

1 Comment

Filed under Pasta, Seasonal Cooking, Uncategorized, Vegetarian