Thursday, February 12, 2009

What's your death row meal?

I have been pondering this question forever (with varying results), but as of now I'd say either:

Roquefort + Crusty Baguette

Photo courtesy of doozle's flickr


Mee Goreng

Photo courtesy of

San Gennaro Cannoli Eating Competition

I cook with wine, sometimes I put it in the food

Nothing says cod to me like Portugal...and nothing says Portugal to me like cured meat. Tonight's dinner wasn't a Portuguese dish, but it did include both of those things.

Lemon-White Wine Cod with Bacon-Potato Fritters and Rapini

Lemon-White Wine Cod

1/2 onion
3/4 cup of white wine
1/2 lemon
Several large pinches of rosemary
Cod fillet
knob of butter
some olive oil

Chop the onion into smallish piece, and cook them for a few minutes on medium-high heat until slightly crisped. Add the white wine and lemon, and reduce (this shouldn't take more than 5 minutes). Add the butter and stir it into the sauce. Pour all the sauce into a bowl, save a few tablespoons, and set aside. Salt and Pepper the cod, then put it in the pan with the leftover sauce. Add Rosemary (and more wine if need be) and cook on relatively high heat, until the liquid completely disappears and the cod is done. Add the rest of the sauce back into the pan, and serve!

Potato-Bacon Fritters: Essentially latkes that violate kosher in more ways than one

1 large potato
1/2 onion
1 egg
A few sprinkles of Parmesan cheese
Enough bacon to pique your fancy
Enough flour to make the mixture malleable
Vegetable oil

Chop the onion finely. Grate the potato. Half cook the bacon to get rid of some of the fat. Cut it up and mix those three ingredients together. Add parmesan. Add egg. At this point you will have a sloppy goopy mess, so add enough flour so that you'll be able to shape the mixture into patties. Heat some oil in a frying pan, and when it's hot put the patties in long enough to crisp up on both sides. Then paper-towel them off and throw them in a super hot (450ish degree) over for 15 minutes (or more if you want them to be super crispy.

Rapini: Broccoli's cool foreign cousin

A bunch of Rapini
Garlic (chopped)
Hot pepper flakes
Olive oil

Steam the rapini very quickly, for about a minute. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic and hot pepper flakes. Throw in the Rapini, and within minutes you'll have a delicious green concoction!

Forbidden Fruit

When the Spaniards landed in Peru, they discovered that the Inca had a powerful weapon: quinoa. Not only was it highly nutritional, but it was also sacred, and therefore, like so many things that got in the way of world domination, it needed to be suppressed. Well, as many of you are aware, this forbidden fruit is making a comeback...and like so many forbidden things, it tastes damn good.

Wait, what's that you say? Quinoa is bland and boring? Not so! You only think that because it has been tarnished with the brush of health food stores, vegetarians and Whole Foods (just kidding, I love you all!). Like so many forbidden things, it is too often abused! It's not the Quinoa that's boring, it's the way that it has been prepared that's boring. So here's a way to make a mean pot of Quinoa, one that is both healthy and, god forbid, delicious.

Quinoa with Roasted Veggies, Pine Nuts and Feta

2 Peppers (preferably a combination of red, yellow or orange)
1 Red Onion
As much garlic as you want (at least 3 cloves, but come on, there's no such thing as too much garlic)
1/2 cup dry quinoa
Kalamata olives (1/3-1/2 cup, depending on your preference)
1/2 cup Feta (or more or less depending once again on preference)
1/4 cup pine nuts
Olive Oil
Balsamic vinegar

Cut the peppers and onions into bit sized chunks. Dice the garlic and throw it in with the peppers and onions. Add a few dashes of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and pop the whole thing into the oven at 450. Cook until roasted (make sure to check on the pan every once in a while and stir the veggies around so that they don't get burnt.)

In the meantime, boil the quinoa in a covered pot with a cup of water for approximately 15 minutes.

Take out the veggies and add the pine nuts. Put the vegetable-pine nut mixture back into the oven for a few minutes so that the pine nuts toast. Take them out, and put them in a bowl with the quinoa, feta and olives. Stir, and enjoy! Feel free to experiment with this recipe. I often throw some basil in with the veggies. Rosemary would be delicious as well!

This is best served warm, but can be eaten cold as well.