Friday, June 20, 2014

FFWD Skate with Capers, Cornichons, and Brown Butter Sauce

Skate wasn't in the cards for me this week.  I struggled with what to get instead--the internet seemed to agree that there really was no good substitute for skate--and ended up picking catfish.  Not because I thought it was a particularly good substitute, but because I was at a really expensive store and it was by far the cheapest.  I hadn't had catfish since I was a kid (and didn't remember liking it), but we actually really enjoyed it.  I used to feed Charlotte leftovers for her dinner, and then make our dinner after she went to bed.  She's now refusing to eat leftovers (I have no clue how she knows when things aren't freshly made, but she always seems to), so I've been trying to have something fresh made in time for her (early) dinner.  I loved how quick and easy this was, the sauce was absolutely delicious, and Charlotte loved it too.  She claps now when she's happy, and she clapped after eating bites of this fish.  (On the first night.  I tried giving it to her again for lunch the next day and she refused to touch it!)  This is definitely a recipe I'll make again.  I'm looking forward to seeing what kinds of fish everyone else ended up using.  I'm betting this sauce would work with a wide variety.

I served the fish with salad (Paul is growing lettuce and we've had salad at every meal for weeks now), crudite, and tarator dip.  I'll be writing about the dip for CCC.  It's made primarily of walnuts and white bread.  Very interesting!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

TWD Phylloccine Ice Cream Sandwiches

I like to think that I'm pretty good at sharing (at least that's what I'm going to tell Charlotte when I start trying to teach her about it), but I hate sharing desserts.  Appetizers, salads, and side dishes (even entrees) can be good for sharing, but I love having my own dessert!  I had 7 oz of phyllo in the freezer that I wanted to use up, and it was just Paul and I for dinner, so I decided to cut the recipe in half.  Once the phyllo nests were baked, I decided that I really only needed to eat one a day.  (I think I mentioned that I'm, half-heartedly, trying to lose the rest of the baby weight.)  I thought about making one pretty ice cream sandwich so that I could take a photo and then splitting it with Paul, but then I remembered the above.  So, I just made each of us a half of a sandwich.  I put ice cream on the plate, followed by raspberry salad, and some whipped cream.  I topped it with a phyllo nest and the skewered fruit.  It wasn't quite as pretty, but it still tasted great, and this way we'll have dessert ready for a few extra nights.  I made my own vanilla ice cream for this recipe, replacing the sugar with maple syrup.  I was feeling lazy and used a recipe that didn't call for a custard.  I just mixed the heavy cream, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla, and chilled it before churning.  The ice cream is pretty good (I love the maple flavor), but next time I'll take the extra time to make the custard.  In my experience custard based ice cream is much creamier, and less icy, although if anyone has a different experience (and a recipe to share) I'd love to hear about it.

Friday, June 13, 2014

FFWD Crab-Avocado "Ravioli"

Well, this didn't work for me at all.  I started slicing the avocado with my mandoline.  I got a few pretty slices, but it wasn't sharp enough to cut through the pit.  I tried switching to my sharpest knife, but I couldn't get it to slice through the pit either.  To be perfectly honest, I also didn't try that hard.  Charlotte's 1st birthday was last Friday, so I hosted a family dinner that night and then a birthday party with friends on Saturday.  By Sunday night when I was making this I was sick of being in the kitchen.  So, I took out the pit, sliced the rest of the avocado the best I could, and just made layers.  The next day for lunch I made an even easier version.  I served avocado halves (still in their skin) stuffed with the crab salad.  I thought this recipe was only okay.  I think it may have been the canned crab meat (my grocery store was out of fresh), but i just didn't love eating it.

In the interest of full disclosure, here's a picture of our dinner table.  After making the crab salad, I just put out left over party food (still in the plastic bags) to eat.  What can I say?  We all deserve to be lazy sometimes.  I'm looking forward to trying the skate next week - if I can somehow manage to find skate.

Friday, June 6, 2014

FFWD Salmon Rillettes

I wasn't a fan of the sardine rillettes, was pretty lukewarm on the tuna rillettes, but these I really liked.  In my book it's really hard to go wrong when the main ingredients are fresh salmon, smoked salmon, and butter.  I think next time I'll try the David Lebovitz salmon rillettes recipe that Trevor raves about, but this is definitely a concept that I'll use again.  I'm trying to eat less carbs in the evening (am I still allowed to call it "baby weight" now that Charlotte's one? and did I really type that after a sentence about my love for butter?) and so I ate this on cucumber slices, but I also served some baguette slices for Paul.  Alongside we had some sauteed spinach, and a Lettuce, Spring Onion and Cheese Tart that I'm going to write about for the Cottage Cooking Club.  As I've said many times, when it's just Paul and I we almost never bother with an appetizer course, but this definitely would be a great appetizer if you were entertaining.