Tags: chicken, comfort food, cooking, didi davis food, fall, herb, herbs, ideas, pepper, poultry, recipes, roast, roast chicken, roast chicken, salt, salt traders, sea salt, soup, spice
I hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am. It's been beautiful here, a mix of cool days as well as your occasional scorchers. While work and life continue in their busy fashion, there is still this sense of unwinding and relaxation that comes with the warm weather. Leisurely dinners outdoors that stretch on into dusk, picnics on the weekends, and time spent in the garden picking fresh vegetables and herbs.
The past few weekends have been filled with family visits, which has been such a pleasure. We love entertaining, and sharing the joys and tastes of summer with those we love most has been fabulous. Last weekend we made one of our all time favorites, introduced to me by a dear college friend - Fish Tacos. I've never met anyone who does not like a fish taco. They are simply delicious. Yet the key is to fry them, not grill (this is not the time to try and be healthy - save that for another day.) Unfortunately, if you've ever fried indoors, you know the smell of oil that seems to cling to every article of clothing, making you feel as though you've just left McDonalds, not your own kitchen. Add summer heat and humidity on top of that, and cooking indoors is the last thing you want to do.
But this is where brilliance struck - we had the great idea to try frying on the grill, and it worked out perfectly. All you need is a cast iron skillet. The result is flaky fish with a crispy, golden batter. Served with a spicy, smoky Chipotle Sauce (we like to refer to it as "THE SAUCE"), they are sure to be an instant summer favorite.
The recipe is effortless to prepare, and can easily be doubled for a large crowd (recipe is a variation from one found on allrecipes.com):
1 lb fresh white fish (cod, tilapia, haddock etc)
1-2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup beer
Pour vegetable oil into cast iron skillet and place on grill, closing the top. Preheat grill until oil is hot.
To make the batter, combine all dry ingredients. Add egg and beer, and whisk until smooth.
Cut fish into pieces and coat well with beer batter. Add fish pieces to hot oil, being careful not to burn yourself. Fry fish in batches until golden, turning each piece after a few minutes. Place fish on a paper towel after cooked to absorb any extra oil.
Serve immediately with warm tortillas topped with shredded cheddar cheese, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and plenty of Chipotle Sauce (recipe below).
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayo
1-2 canned Goya Chipotle Peppers
1 or 2 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
Fresh chopped parsley or cilantro, to taste (optional)
Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
The tacos paired perfectly with our most recent homebrew batch - a Rye IPA. Cheers to summer!
I have found the most wonderful soup for spring! I came across this recipe for Vietnamese Fisherman's Soup in a Martha Stewart cookbook. The photo of it caught my eye - a beautiful mélange of color, texture and flavors - I could almost taste it just looking at the picture!
The soup boasts a perfect balance between sweet and spicy - sweet from the fresh, juicy slices of pineapple, and spicy from the Chili Garlic Sauce that warms you from the inside out. The texture is exciting - from salmon that delicately flakes apart to the subtle crunch in the bean sprouts and crispy fried shallots. Fresh herbs provide a brightness that is perfect for sunny spring days, finished off by a subtle tartness of freshly squeezed limes.
So wait for a cool, yet sunny evening, and make this comforting yet refreshing soup. Pairs perfectly with crisp, dry white wine and a crusty French loaf.
Vietnamese Fisherman's Soup
Adapted from Martha Stewarts The Original Classics Cookbook
8 ounces boneless, skinless salmon
8 ounces boneless, skinless cod (or any other white fish)
1 T. canola oil
1 T. Chili Garlic Sauce (found in the international section of most grocery stores)
5 cups chicken stock
2 medium fresh tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 cups fresh diced pineapple
1/2 medium onion, sliced lengthwise, 1/4 inch thick
2 T. Asian fish sauce or clam sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 t. sea salt (I like our new Portuguese Sea Salt)
1/8 t. freshly ground Comet's Tail Pepper
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
2 T. fresh Thai or regular basil leaves, sliced
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
2 T. Fried Shallots (see recipe below, optional)
Blanch the fish in boiling water for 10 to 20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain in a colander.
Heat the oil in a small stockpot over medium heat. Add the Chili Garlic Sauce and heat for about 10 seconds. Add the chicken stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; stir in the seafood, tomatoes, pineapple, onion, fish sauce, sugar, salt, pepper and lime juice. Cook just until the seafood is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the scallions, bean sprouts, basil, and cilantro. Serve soup immediately and garnish with fried shallots, if using.
3 to 4 medium shallots, thinly sliced
3/4 cup canola oil
Spread the shallots on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet, and let dry for 15-20 minutes at room temperature. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat until it's so hot that a shallot slice dropped in the oil bubbles and floats to the surface. Stir in all shallots; fry until golden, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove the fried shallots with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
Tags: cod, comfort, didi davis food, dinner, easy, entree, entrees, fish, food, martha stewart, meal, recipe, salmon, salt traders, savory, seafood, simple, soup, spicy, spring, stew, sweet, vietnamese
Whether it feels like it or not, Spring is here! It is my favorite season - watching as the earth thaws out and the life that has been suspended by Winter's chill resumes with a fresh start. We feel the newness of creation around us, as buds bloom, birds chirp, and eggs hatch.
With Easter just around the corner, eggs are available in plenty. I photographed some beautiful eggs from Heritage breeds locally. If you are unfamiliar with Heritage breeds, think of them as the "heirloom tomatoes" of chickens! These breeds are protected for their unique qualities, and are not altered to meet the demands of agricultural mass production. As you can see, the eggs are striking in their natural variety of colors - a spectrum of blues, greens, and coppers.
Whether you purchase rare blue eggs like these, or choose eggs from your local grocery store, we hope the following recipes provide inspiration for new ways to use eggs this season. Each dish is effortless to prepare and simply delicious.
For garlic lovers, this simple and comforting spaghetti dish is a variation of a Mark Bittman (of The New York Times) favorite. The sauce is our addition for a light, fresh touch. The spaghetti recipe may easily be cut in half. The tomato sauce may be made ahead and reheated when serving the dish. Save any extra sauce for another use.
For the tomato sauce:
1 28 oz. can whole plum tomatoes, with juice
1/4 cup best quality extra virgin olive oil
2 large or 4 small garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, optional
Chopped fresh parsley and/or basil, optional
For the pasta:
1 lb. spaghetti
1/4 cup best quality extra virgin olive oil
8 large eggs
2 large or 4 small garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley, optional
Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
To make tomato sauce, place canned tomatoes in a saucepan, crushing with your hands, potato masher, or large spoon while adding to pan. Place over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic, and bring to a gentle boil, stirring often. Lower heat and simmer sauce 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often and continuing to break up tomatoes as they simmer. At this point, you may puree through a food mill or leave as is (our preference is to leave as is, as it is more rustic). Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed and pepper and herbs if using.
To make pasta dish, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add sea salt and pasta and cook, stirring often, until al dente.
While pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a large skillet (10- to 12-inch) over medium heat. Add eggs and scatter the garlic over top of eggs. Fry eggs, basting occasionally with the olive oil, until whites are almost set and yolks still soft and runny. You may cook eggs longer if you prefer a firmer yolk, but bear in mind that eggs continue cooking in the heat of the pasta and yolks act as a sauce for the pasta.
Drain pasta and return to pot. Add eggs and olive oil and toss together, breaking up eggs. Season pasta with salt and pepper to taste, add parsley if using, and toss again. Serve with a spoonful of warm tomato sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
Baked Eggs with Tomato and Capers
Also known as shirred eggs, baked eggs are elegant, easy, and wide open to variation. Use ramekins, custard cups, individual gratin dishes, or other oven-proof cup. If using a gratin or wider dish, the cooking time will be less as the egg layer is thinner. Simply take the formula below and increase for as many people as you like.
1 slice tomato
Freshly ground black pepper
1 TB capers, rinsed if in brine, as is if in olive oil
1 or 2 eggs, as preferred
Heavy cream, optional
Preheat oven to 375°. Butter bottom and sides of ramekin and place tomato slice in bottom. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter capers over the tomato slice. Break one or two eggs into ramekin and drizzle with a touch of cream, if you like. Place ramekin on a baking sheet and bake 12 to 14 minutes for 1 egg, 15 to 17 minutes for 2, or until egg white has set and yolk still soft. The egg will continue to cook because the ramekin will retain heat, so it is best to undercook the eggs a bit. Season egg with salt and pepper and serve with toast, garlic bread, or rice.
Fresh chopped herbs and/or garlic to the bottom of ramekin.
Cooked vegetables, such as peas, spinach, artichokes, asparagus, or corn. Drizzle with a touch of cream before adding the egg.
Sautéed potatoes and onions.
Cooked, crumbled bacon.
Cooked asparagus and ham with cream.
Salsa or ratatouille. Use olive oil in place of butter.
Garlic Soup with Eggs
This classic soup is found in Portugal and Spain along with many variations throughout the Mediterranean. It is extremely easy to prepare and is ready in 20 minutes, using ingredients you most likely have on hand in your cupboard and refrigerator. Perfect for those times you are in a hurry or have no idea what to make for dinner. Use the freshest eggs to help minimize egg white shreds. This is a time to use your best quality olive oil.
4 TB best quality extra virgin olive oil
20 cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
4 slices country bread, French or Italian
4 1/2 cups chicken or beef broth
Freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs
Sea salt, if needed
Warm olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan and add garlic halves. Sauté the garlic briefly, stirring, until just beginning to color. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.
Lightly brown bread slices in olive oil on each side and transfer slices to 4 bowls.
Return the garlic to the pot and add broth and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer soup 10-15 minutes, or until garlic is soft and tender. Mash garlic with a fork against side of pan. (Alternatively, you may remove garlic to a plate with a slotted spoon, mash, and return to pan.)
One at a time, break eggs into a teacup and gently slide each into soup. Cook eggs 3-4 minutes until egg whites are set and yolks still runny. You can check doneness by lifting an egg with slotted spoon and gently pressing egg with your finger.
Transfer eggs with slotted spoon to each bowl on top of bread slices. Taste broth for seasoning, add salt if needed, ladle soup over eggs, and serve.
Garnish with chives, parsley, basil, cilantro, or paprika.
Season with cumin or cayenne.
Tags: baked, cooking, didi davis food, easter, eggs, fried eggs, pepper, peppercorn, recipes, red sauce, salt traders, salty dog's blog, salty dogs blog, sauce, sea salt, shirred, soup, spaghetti, spring
I made a wonderful dinner last night. My husband, upon savoring his first bite, announced, "This is the best chicken pot pie I've had in my entire life." If that sort of response doesn't make a cook happy, I don't know what would.
Ladies and gents, it was so simple - I don't know why I haven't done this before. I substituted plain sea salt in the crust for 1 teaspoon of Didi Davis Food Sagemary Salt. And wow - it was SO delicious! You all must try this. It was the perfect Farewell Winter sort of meal (I even poked a bird design in the crust to welcome spring).
A few other factors contributed to this moment of gastronomic bliss: I had roasted my vegetables first, so they were rich and flavorful instead of boiled into a mass of soft nothing. Also, I used Julia Child's recipe for delicious and buttery pastry (it never fails).
Other than that, the chicken pot pie was nothing out of the ordinary (a classic combination carrots, red potatoes, peas, onion and celery). I even cheated and used boneless chicken breast, and it was still the best chicken pot pie I've ever had.
So yes, try making a savory pie or quiche using Sagemary Salt in your crust - that little trick will not disappoint!
Just over a month ago I prepared for my husband a very special birthday dinner. I wanted to pull out all the stops and prepare for him something unique, elegant, and above all wildly delicious. His birthday only comes once a year, after all!
I don't know about all of you, but in our home we rarely have a full menu - each course thoughtfully prepared as to how it will interact with the course preceding and following it. As you know, I am no chef, but I do have a love for delicious food, and I've acquired a reasonable knack for preparing it well.
Seared Sea Scallops with a Lemon Butter Sauce
Blood Orange Salad with Arugula, Figs, Parmesan & Almonds
Beef Wellington with Steamed Asparagus
We don't eat a lot of red meat these days - for one, it is the cost. Good quality meat can be quite expensive, and the cheap stuff is often not worth eating. Secondly, my husband and I have talked extensively about how our culture (compared with others) often consumes too much meat, which is unsustainable and promotes unhealthy farming techniques to keep up with the demand. The challenge to eat more vegetables has been surprisingly fun, and we've found that we honestly don't miss meat in most meals as long as they are filled with hearty ingredients (lentils are our best friend). All of that being said, this birthday dinner was a night to spare no expense and buy some of the finest, most beautiful meat I could find!
Being relatively new to the area, I hunted around and found a small local market and butchery called the Main Street Market. The butcher was absolutely wonderful - taking great care to prepare the fillet mignon cuts I had ordered. Everyone at the market knew about my order and seemed as excited as I was! I received some great cooking tips from one of the other meat vendors, and all they wished me great success with my birthday feast.
My brother and his wife had given us a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne, which we had been saving for a worthy occasion. This birthday certainly qualified, and the champagne, being Veuve Cliquot, did not disapoint. Instead of saving it for dessert, I decided it was far better paired with dinner. It complemented perfectly the pan seared scallops, and Blood Orange Arugula Salad.
I must tell you a bit about this salad. It is adapted from a recipe in Sunday Suppers at Lucques, by Suzanne Goin. The best meal that my husband and I have ever had was at Lucques - a small, romantic restaurant in Los Angeles. Suzanne Goin is a master of her craft, having worked for the highly esteemed Alice Waters at Chez Panisse. Her cookbook is a work of art. Suzanne Goin writes at the beginning of this recipe, "Once you've gathered your perfect components, the only difficult part is arranging them on the plate. Thoughtfully weave the ingredients together, layering them into "hills and valleys," rather than piling them into a "mountain." Think of this as a tapestry, rather than a tossed salad." You can imagine the care that goes into each of her recipes and dishes.
I used a beautiful olive oil from Spain called Merula. It was rich and buttery and absolutely made the salad. If you do not have a good olive oil - please, pick one up for dishes such as this! The difference is worth it. I recomend our Nunez or Marques de Valdueza.
The Beef Wellington was delicious - the pastry was flaky, and the meat, tender. Between the meat and pastry is duxelle - a puree of mushrooms, butter and herbs. I wish I had taken the Beef Wellington out of the oven a few minutes earlier, as it would have been better if it was more rare. Despite that, the entree was thoroughly satisfying - comforting, rich and buttery.
The evening was finished off by homemade Tiramisu. Instead of using rum, I decided to try with bourbon, and it was spectacular. The flavors were perfectly balanced, and it was a wonderful finish to the meal. It was delightful to eat dinner in courses, taking the time to truly savor the nuances of each plate and the labor and love that went into preparing them. I think my husband had a wonderful time, and a fabulous birthday!
Tags: alice waters, birthday, blog, champagne, chez panisse, cooking, didi davis food, dinner, fillet mignon, gourmet, lucques, olive oil, recipes, salt traders, salty dogs blog, spanish, special occasion, suzanne goin, tiramisu, veuve cliquot
The best part about autumn is the triumphant return of Soup. I've recently become so attached to making Soup, and I don't see that changing anytime in the foreseeable future. They are easy to prepare, effortless to freeze and save for a lazy day, generally quite inexpensive, and make the coziest and most comforting of meals. Served with artisan bread and a simple salad - dinner is ready and lacking nothing.
The really fun part is that Soup begs to be experimented with. I recommend starting with some base recipe if you are new to them, but in no time you will find yourself adding a pinch of this or that or some oddball leftover vegetables. Before you know it you have created a most delicious custom recipe.
I know at Salt Traders we've talked a bit lately about our new Maine Cherry Wood Smoked Sea Salt. While I realize it's been available for quite sometime now, the novelty of it has still not worn off for me. In my soup making adventures, I've found this salt to be the perfect companion. It adds with a simple sprinkle what I want every soup I make to embody - warm, cozy, soft, rich flavors. The subtle smoke adds depth and richness.
I was flipping through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (I know, I know, I sound like I'm in the movie - blogging AND cooking from that book) and came across her Leek and Potato Soup recipe. I had everything I needed in my kitchen and it was honestly effortless to prepare. All you need are leeks, potatoes, whipping cream and chives or parsley for garnish, if desired. You can see why it does not take long at all.
The soup is simple, yet delicious. (I like eating potato soup, I think it makes me feel more Irish).
However, it wasn't until I added the Maine Cherry Wood Smoked Sea Salt that it really jumped out of its one dimensional state into something dynamic and satisfying. The following day the flavors deepened even more and it was utterly wonderful.
I highly recommend making some Potato and Leek soup soon - but I insist that if you are going to make it, you use it with the Cherry Wood Smoked Salt. You'll be happy you did, I promise!
Tags: autumn, blog, fall, julia child, leek, leeks, maine cherry wood smoked sea salt, mastering the art of french cooking, potato, potato leek soup, recipe, sea salt, seasonal recipes, smoked salt, soup
It is that wonderful time of year when produce is in abundance! Corn is ripe, zucchini are the size of baseball bats, and tomatoes are turning a vibrant red. If you have your own garden, or even a good friend who does, you are likely on the verge of running out of ideas for using your garden goodies! Let us here at Salt Traders and didi davis artisan food give you some fresh ideas to help you make the most of these summer gems.
Each of these seven recipes gives you a simple and delicious way to use an everyday ingredient from your garden.
from Chef Didi Davis
Makes 12 muffins
2 cups flour
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
¾ cup milk or half and half
1-2 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter, melted
2 cups blueberries
didi davis food Lemon Sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together in a bowl, making a well in the center. In a second bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla. Add melted butter to this mixture, stirring quickly. Pour into the well of dry ingredients and stir together with a spoon, adding the blueberries.
Pour batter into greased muffin pan. Sprinkle muffin tops liberally with didi davis food Lemon Sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
From Side Dishes: Creative and Simple by Chef Didi Davis
Serves 6 to 8
Ratatouille is a light Provencal medley of eggplant, onions, sweet peppers, zucchini and tomatoes. Enjoy with scrambled eggs or omelettes for breakfast or brunch, or for dinner with grilled or roasted meats, poultry or seafood.
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound onions (about 3 medium), sliced 1/4-1/2 inch thick
1/2 pound sweet peppers, red, orange or yellow, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 pound tomatoes (about 3 medium), cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
1-2 tablespoons didi davis food Fennel Thyme Salt
Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large nonreactive skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the eggplant, season with pepper and cook for 7 minutes, or until softened, tossing often. Remove to a bowl.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 1/4 cup oil to the skillet. Add the onions, sprinkle with pepper, stir, cover and saute for about 20 minutes, uncovering to stir often, until the onions are soft with very little color. Uncover and add the peppers and garlic.
Sprinkle with pepper, stir, cover and cook for 10 minutes more, uncovering occasionally to stir. Add the zucchini, season with pepper, stir, cover and cook another 5 minutes, stirring often. Uncover the skillet and add the tomatoes, bay leaf and Fennel Thyme Salt to taste and reserved eggplant. Stew for 1 hour, with the cover askew, stirring often.
When done, remove bayleaf, and transfer the ratatouille to a bowl. May be served hot, at room temperature or chilled.
Some of you are likely familiar with the term "salty dog" -- a nickname for an experienced sailor.
Being the current holder of the title "The Salty Dog" for this most prestigious blog, I thought it was high time I test my skills as a sailor to see if I could live up to my name. (And by being a "sailor," I decided that meant going fishing for the very first time at Crane Beach here in Ipswich, MA.) My good friend Andrew was kind enough to bring his fishing gear and show me what it takes to be a casual fisherman.
We got up early, purchased herring and mackerel from a local bait shop, and worked on learning how to cast the line. I waited with "baited" breath hoping a massive sea bass would follow my tasty trap... but alas, no fish ever came. Fortunately, here in the States one doesn't have to be able to catch fish to eat it -- so I cooked salmon that evening and imagined it was my catch of the day.
So whether you catch your fish or just buy it, in this entry I've included a few suggestions for easy, healthy, and delicious ways to cook a variety of fish. They are perfect entrees for hot summer evenings! As always, I love feedback - so let me know how you like them and your own variations.
I also welcome fishing tips and suggestions.
Poached Salmon with Fennel Thyme Salt
from Chef Didi Davis
This is a great technique to keep fish moist, tender, and full-flavored. It couldn't be simpler! You have plenty of time to make a nice side dish, as the fish requires very little tending.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a large piece of foil on a baking sheet, and place salmon on top of foil, skin side down. Wrap the fish completely in the foil, sealing tightly. Cook salmon until done, about 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. When done, cut into serving portions, leaving the skin; it will attach to the foil.
Variation: this method of poaching also works lovely with any kind of white fish served with Fennel Thyme Salt.
Variation: the fish may also be grilled instead of poached. Simply rub first in olive oil, or wrap in foil before putting on the grill.
Cherry Tomato Salsa on Swordfish
from A Fresh Look at Saucing Foods by Didi Davis
Makes about 2 cups
3/4 pound cherry tomatoes or 2 regular-sized tomatoes
2 jalapeño chiles, cored, seeded, and minced
1 scallion, trimmed and sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 or 2 limes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Fine Himalayan Dark Pink Salt
Serves 4 to 6
2 pounds swordfish, 1-inch thick
Freshly ground Sarawak Black Pepper
If using regular tomatoes, core and seed them; if using cherry tomatoes, there is no need to core and seed them. Chop the tomatoes finely and place them in a bowl. Add the chiles, scallion, garlic, juice of 1 lime, cilantro, and salt to taste. Depending on the sweetness of the tomatoes or, if you like lots of lime, use the second lime. Set the salsa aside until the fish is ready.
Preheat the grill or broiler and brush the fish lightly with oil. Grill or broil it for about 5 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in the middle. Season with salt and pepper and serve with salsa.
Variation: replace the tomatoes in this basic salsa with other ingredients such as mango, papaya, pineapple, or cucumber.
Variation: salsa maybe be also served alongside cold roasted beef, pork, lamb or poultry.
Buy the reddest rhubarb you can find. The color enhances the dish.
Makes 1 1/2 to 2 Cups
1 1/2 pounds halibut, swordfish, tuna, bluefish, or salmon
Olive oil for grilling
To make the sauce, combine the rhubarb and sugar in a pan. Toss them, and let the mixture sit for 15 minutes to draw out the juices. Then place the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until the rhubarb is softened and tender. Remove from heat and add the mustard, mixing until the sauce is smooth. Add the clam juice, pepper, and salt, mix to blend all the ingredients, and set aside.
Preheat the grill or broiler and brush the fish lightly with oil. If the fish is to be grilled, cook it, searing it well on both sides, until it is just cooked through and is still moist. The cooking time depends on the type and thickness of the fish. If the fish is to be broiled, place it on a rack in a pan close to the source of heat (about 4 inches) and broil it for between 3 and 7 minutes per side, depending on the thickness and the type of fish you are using. If the sauce has cooled, reheat it over low heat until it is just warm. Transfer the fish to plates, season with salt and pepper, and serve with warm sauce spooned over the top.
Variation: when rhubarb is out of season, the sauce may be made with apples, pears, apricots, grapes, figs, or plums.
Variation: rhubarb-mustard sauce may also be served with poultry, duck, quail, squab, rabbit, baked ham or roast pork.
Rhubarb is an interesting vegetable. Many people don't know what to do with it, except make Strawberry-Rhubarb pie - which is certainly a most honorable use. However, many may not realize that rhubarb can be used for a variety of dishes - savory as well as sweet.
These recipes will hopefully provide some new and creative uses to help you use rhubarb, and maybe even spark a new appreciation for this plant's wonderfully tangy flavor and beautiful red color!
This chutney, a complex union of snappy rhubarb, oranges and raisins, follows the basic formula of cooking all the ingredients together for an hour, but it has the unusual twist of substituting caramel syrup for white sugar.
This chutney improves enormously with an overnight stay in the refrigerator. Serve with broiled swordfish steaks or salmon, shellfish, chicken, lamb, spicy dishes such as curry or Chinese food, and on crackers with Cheddar cheese.
1¼ cups sugar
¼ cup water
Few drops fresh lemon juice
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 medium oranges, peeled
2 pounds rhubarb, washed, trimmed and cut into ½-inch slices
1 large onion, chopped
¼ cup (packed) golden raisins
½ teaspoon Fine Sicilian Sea Salt, or any other high quality sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
Pinch of cayenne pepper, or more as desired
Place 1 cup of the sugar in a small nonreactive saucepan with the water and lemon juice. Heat over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Do not stir or the syrup may crystallize. Boil until the syrup has turned an auburn color, 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the vinegar; be careful–the caramel will splatter. Cook over medium heat, whisking to dissolve the caramel, then transfer to a medium nonreactive pan and set aside.
Cut the oranges into ½-inch chunks and add them, with their juice, to the caramel. Add the rhubarb, onion, raisins, Sicilian Sea Salt, cinnamon (if desired), cayenne and remaining ¼ cup sugar. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer briskly for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until thickened, stirring often, so the mixture does not burn.
Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. The chutney will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
- Substitute dried strawberries or cherries for the golden raisins.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger.
- Add 1 teaspoon or more mustard seeds.
Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote
by Chef Didi Davis, from A Fresh Look at Saucing Foods
In this unusual spring dish, red wine complements the poached rhubarb and fresh strawberries. The sauce is made by reducing the poaching liquid to a syrup, which intensifies the flavors of the spices. This sauce keeps for several days in the refrigerator.
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup Didi Davis Food Lemon or Orange Ginger Sugar (or any other natural sugar)
1 cup red wine
2 strips lemon zest, measuring 3 inches long by 1 inch wide
½ teaspoon allspice berries
¼ teaspoon Australian Mountain Peppercorns
1 pound rhubarb
1 pint strawberries
Beat the cream until soft peaks begin to form. Keep the whipped cream refrigerated until you are ready to serve.
Combine the sugar, wine, zest, allspice, and Australian Mountain Peppercorns in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 3 minutes.
While the syrup cooks, trim the rhubarb and cut it on the bias into pieces about ½ inch wide and 2 inches long. Poach the rhubarb in syrup in 2 batches for between 3 to 5 minutes each until it is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, but not falling apart. With a slotted spoon, remove the rhubarb to a plate. Return the lemon zest and spices to the pan if they were removed with the rhubarb. When all the rhubarb is cooked, raise the heat to high and reduce the syrup to ½ cup. Strain it and set it aside at room temperature.
Hull the strawberries and cut them in half lengthwise.
Just before serving, heat the syrup gently until it is just warm. Arrange the strawberries around the edges of 4 plates. Place a portion of rhubarb in the middle of the plate and drizzle the strawberries and rhubarb with the warm syrup. Beat the whipped cream briefly to homogenize it and spoon it over the fruit.
- For a low-fat topping, serve the compote with a dollop of yogurt instead of cream.
- The Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote may be served over cakes, steamed puddings, French toast, pancakes or waffles. Leftover syrup may be mixed with sparkling water.
from family friends, the Piersons
This delightfully refreshing beverage reminds me of summer days when I was young. Rhubarb grew in plenty from our garden, and my mother would make this punch on special occasions. With its perfect combination of tart and sweet, this punch is a lovely treat for any spring or summer day.
Combine rhubarb, water, and 2/3 cups honey in a saucepan; cook until fruit is soft. Pour through a cheesecloth, collecting strained juice in a bowl.
Again in the saucepan, combine the strained juice with remaining 1/3 cup of honey. Boil together for 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool, and add ½ cup orange juice and 1/3 cup of lemon juice. Chill in the refrigerator.
When serving, rim each glass with Didi Davis Food Orange Ginger or Lemon Sugar. Then mix punch with ginger ale to taste. I prefer equal proportions of juice to ginger ale. Enjoy!
Ben's Special Rhubarb Sauce: Rhubarb is so delicious, we hate to waste any part of it! The leftover rhubarb can be mashed and mixed with sugar - a great substitute for traditional apple sauce. It's delightful served either warm or chilled.
Stewed Rhubarb with Tarragon
Serves 4 to 6
by Chef Didi Davis - From Side Dishes: Creative and Simple
Stewed rhubarb is such a favorite in our house that it marks the beginning of the season just as corn and the first fall apples signal theirs. This dish has a savory element; the addition of tarragon is a pleasing departure from more usual versions. Serve with ham, duck, pork, sausages, rich fish such as bluefish or salmon, or Chinese food.
1½ pounds rhubarb, rinsed and trimmed
½ cup Didi Davis Food Lemon Sugar or any other natural sugar
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 2 teaspoons dried
Grated Pink Himalayan Sea Salt Rocks or any other high quality sea salt
Lemon wedges (optional)
Cut the rhubarb into ½-inch slices and place in a medium nonreactive saucepan with the sugar, water, tarragon and a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil, stirring, over medium-high heat. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 to 1- minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and tender.
Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature or chill. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.
- Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon with the tarragon.
- Replace the tarragon with thyme or chives.