Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Monkfish and Cauliflower Gratin - Date Night

Finished product
Originally uploaded by chuborupert
Another date night. This time I found some monkfish at the supermarket. I also bought some large freshwater shrimp. (hard shelled) I cut the fish into 2 inch pieces, And salted and peppered them.

monkfish and shrimp

I picked up a small cauliflower, (my son saw it on the counter and stopped suddenly... "Is that a brain?")

is that a brain

I blanched the cauliflower in salted boiling water (around 4 minutes) and shocked it in cold water, the sectioned it and put it in individual serving dishes.


I then added sauted onion and garlic, grated gruyere cheese, heavy cream (actually crema mexicana), nutmeg, a small bit of parmesan and bread crumbs. and broiled it.

The monkfish I seared on a pan with the shrimp, and some onions. I had hoped to have them all cook pretty equally time wise but the monkfish was still too thick so I removed the shrimp while the monkfish finished. I added more garlic,


a bit of chopped rosemary deglazed the pan with some water and then added some butter.

cooking the monkfish

A quick word on butter... I bought some fancy butter, never have before, it is outstanding as a stand alone product, not that I endorse eating butter right off the stick, but you have to taste it to understand. creamy almost cheese like. I think I'm ruined.

good butter

Ok back to the dish I plated the fish and shrimp

Fish and Shrimp

And served the cauliflower alongside

Finished product

The final product was very tasty. The fish turned out great, the portions where very reasonable (something I typically have trouble with). I probably would bake the cauliflower rather than blanch it next time as it cooled quickly, with only the broiler to brown it. Try it out.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Crab Cakes

browning Crab Cakes
Originally uploaded by chuborupert
Date night was partially sabotaged on monday with the sudden cancellation of swim practice. Luckily an On Demand movie (Annie) saved the evening.
Crab cake recipe
8oz of crab meat (really doesn't matter what size)
4-6 oz of Panko bread crumbs (probably even less)
one small onion diced fine
2 cloves of garlic crushed
salt and pepper
Bay seasoning
2 eggs separated
2 tablespoons of olive oil
lime juice
dijon mustard

I start by beating the egg yolks with the mustard, lime juice, garlic, till pale yellow and thickened. I then add all the other ingredients except the egg whites and panko. Fold to combine. Add just enought bread crumbs to make the mixture somewhat mealy, then add just enough egg white to make it all come back together. The goal is to have a mixture that doesn't particularly like to be in a shape.

Crab Cakes mix

I pan fried these,

just in Crab Cakes

and finished them in the oven, but have made them in the oven all the way before. (Which works great for smaller cakes like for a party). Easily feeds 4.

Panfull of Crab Cakes

All done Crab Cakes

I served our dinner with some mixed vegetables and we drank a spanish Cava (which I originally had bought for Valentines day to eat with the souffle, but we forgot it!)



Date Night -  Crab Cakes

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine souffle

Valentine soufle
Originally uploaded by chuborupert
I made a chocolate souffle for valentine's day. I used Bittman's basic recipe. Egg yolks with sugar, egg whites beaten then baked together. Turned out great.

chocolate syrup

The syrup is chocolate milk, milk chocolate, corn starch, and sugar.

4 Valentine soufle

The batter is 6 eggs separated. The yolks where beaten with 1 cup of sugar till pale yellow and thick
the whites beaten with 1/4 cup of sugar, pinch of salt and a pinch of cream of tartar.

looking good

The ingredients (not the syrup) where then folded together and placed in buttered and sugared ramikins.

They take longer than you would think to rise... I was getting worried at 15 minutes, thinking I had screwed it up, but at 20 minutes...

Valentine soufle up close

The center is nice and creamy, and the edges crisp

Creamy soufle

You can add the syrup and enjoy... happy valentine's day.

Valentine soufle

Sunday, February 1, 2009