Sunday, 14 April 2013

Mussels a la Condor and Sparrow

            I have to give props on this one to the oft mentioned Toby Stubbs for the inspiration for this post. We have had many discussions about the glory of shellfish, specifically mussels. Now, the bummer of my friend Toby’s life is that he has found a wonderful and beautiful and simply amazing woman to spend the rest of his life with who is allergic to shellfish. I am regaled with stories about how Tiffany had a girls’ night out and Toby, with manic glee, wolfed down like 5 pounds of mussels while he could and then lapsed into a food coma. We have all been there, well I have been there. So here is a little bit of shellfish cookery in honor of Toby’s love of mussels.

            I also have to mention that my little sparrow friend was in on this one too as it was the appetizer to the halibut plate we put together in the last post. Jilly loved the broth so much that once we had eaten all of the mussels and shrimp she was digging in with a spoon. So I am going to say that it turned out pretty well. So here it is mussels and shrimp in a Thai inspired broth. It is super easy and crazy good. Enjoy.

Thai Inspired Mussels and Shrimp to the tune of Then Go On by The Old Canes

2lbs fresh mussels cleaned and beards removed
8-10 good sized tiger shrimp
1 can coconut milk
3 Thai green chili peppers chopped
The juice of one 1 lime
A splash of dark beer

-Over medium heat add the coconut milk, peppers, lime juice, and beer into a sauce pan and heat up for 5-8 minutes, allowing all of the ingredients to come together.

-Strain out the chunks of peppers and return to the heat.

-Add in your mussels first and then your shrimp cover and cook until the mussels open, this should take no more than a minute or two.

-Dump the whole mess into a bowl and serve with some nice bread and you are done son. Enjoy.
What you are left with... a bunch of shells and satisfaction

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Halibut with and for My People

            As I have said more than once before I love it when I get a call from my friend Jill. Jill has a huge passion for food and is always game to give something new a try. So Jill and I hit the market with no real plan in regards to what we were going to cook in an attempt to let the ingredients speak to us a little bit. We were not disappointed because the bounty of spring was upon us. We decided on a bit of a seafood feast because Halibut was starting to come in, fresh off the boat and looked fantastic. So Johnny and Jilly put together this little dish and it turned out fantastic. A little bit classic, a little bit, well, us. So here is what we came up with.

Halibut with Roasted Bell Pepper and Asparagus Salad to the tune of Closer by Joshua Radin

Fish Part
Halibut, 4 4-6oz portions
¼ cup butter
Some finely chopped dill
The juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Salad part
1 bunch of asparagus, bottoms trimmed off
2 red bell peppers
2 parts olive oil
1 part rice wine vinegar
The juice of ½ a lemon

We will take care of the salad first.

-Heat your oven to 400. Rub your peppers down with a little bit of oil and salt and pepper and toss them onto a sheet pan and into the oven for about 20 minutes turn every once and a while until the skin starts to char and peel away.

-While this is working cut your asparagus into bite sized pieces. Heat up a little bit of oil in a sauté pan and add your asparagus with a little salt and pepper. Let it work until al dente, remove from the heat and allow it to cool.

-Mix oil, vinegar, and lemon juice until it is emulsified.

-Yank out your peppers and allow them to cool in a covered bowl, this allows the skin to come off a little easier. Once cooled remove the skin and cores and chop into bite sized pieces. Toss with the asparagus. Dress right before serving.

Now for the fish.

-Heat up a sauté pan over medium high heat and add you butter and let it melt and heat up but not brown. Add in your lemon juice.

-Pop your fish in, skin side down and let it work for a couple of minutes, watch it closely. Once there is a nice sear flip it and add your dill. Give the fish a poke. It should be a little firm but not stiff. That is the only way I know how to describe it. Remove the fish and let it rest for a couple of minutes.

-Now plate up. We used Israeli couscous as a starch but you could use rice, a mashed potato or even pasta if that is all you had. This was a simple fish dish but it was so tasty. The rhythm section of our little band wolfed it down like we were going to try and take it away from him. That’s proof positive that it was pretty darn tasty. Give it a go.