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Table for Two
It is so rare that I get to spend a quiet dinner at home with just me and……my 10 yr. old son. This being a rare occasion, I asked him what he would like to have for dinner (sushi is out because he gave up raw fish for lent). He asked for fish, cooked. So we stopped at the fish market and I let him choose. “How about the Flounder, or the Cod?”, I suggested. He told me, “Mom, it’s important to mix it up a bit, how about the large red snapper?!”. Like I need a lecture on exposing kids to different foods, who’s teaching who here?
Red Snapper (about 1 pound even)
- Pat fish with paper towels to dry it and salt lightly. Grab a baking dish and lie fish skin side up.
- Mix 2 TBS of EVOO, juice from 2 lemons, 2 TBS of white wine, ½ TSP of Fine Herbs into a bowl (add 2 TBS of fresh parsley and 1 chopped clove of garlic if you have it).
- Pour it over the fish.
- Slice ½ cup of grape tomatoes and lay them on top.
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes (depending on thickness)
- Wash and trim stems. Heat 2 cloves of garlic in 1 TBS of EVOO for a minute or so.
- Stir fry brocollini with a dash of ginger powder and 1-2 TBS of soy sauce and a small dash of crushed red pepper.
- Cover and reduce heat for 1-2 minutes until cooked through.
Israeli Cous Cous
- Cook ½ onion and some mushrooms in a drop of EVOO and cook until soft. Add 1 cup of cous cous and stir.
- Add salt, pepper, 2 TBS of parsley and 2 cups of chicken broth and/or water. The broth makes it a bit more starchy.
- You could even add some chicken and spinach to this recipe and make it a quick main course.
Bi-Polar or Sicilian?
If you are not italian and you go from complete euphoria to screaming mad in the blink of an eye, they call you “bi-polar” but in my family, we just call you “Sicilian”. Not sure what I mean? Let me explain; any of the women in my family (thanks to our Sicilian genes) can be incredibly sweet, kind, giving and quite thoughtful. However, quicker than the speed of light we can change on you, for what seems like no reason at all. It usually happens when somebody else does something stupid or we have witnessed some sort of injustice or maybe we are just tired and cranky. You wouldn’t think it if you saw us, but it’s true (at least from my dad’s side). Take my Great Aunt Ida (pronounced “ee-da”), she once went into Termini’s Italian Bakery in South Philly to complain about a cake that was stale. After a debate with the owner she was basically told, “oh well”. If you have ever been to Termini’s you know that cakes, cookies and pies are lined up and down the aisle of the store. Aunt Ida proceeded to leave the store yelling in Italian and knocking EVERY SINGLE BAKED GOOD off the tables on her way out – Bada Bing Bada Boom! So be kind to those you meet, you never know – they could just be Sicilian.
Grilled Pork Chops: I use a similar marinade (based on Ina Garten) whether I’m roasting pork tenderloin or grilling chops. I use all the same ingredients for almost all my recipes. None of the flavors are too overpowering which is important when cooking “the family meal”.
Put all the ingredients in a large Ziploc bag and marinate the pork chops in for 10 minutes or 10 hours!
- Mix into Ziploc: 1/2 cup of olive oil with 2 cloves of garlic (or garlic paste or powder), 2 TSP of mustard
- Sprinkle some rosemary and thyme (fresh or dried) into the bag with salt/pepper, and lemon juice (zest and/or fresh juice from one lemon OR 1/4 cup of bottled)
- Add Pork Chops and marinate (if longer than 15 mins. put back into fridge).
Grill Tips: Get the grill super hot to start (the meat won’t stick that way). Put your meat on the grill at HIGH for a minute or two. Turn the middle burner off or just turn all burners to MEDIUM. Flip only ONE TIME. Lower heat to Low/Medium until cooked through. Remember if you can put pork chops on a plate and cover with tin foil, they will continue to cook.
Risotto w/Edamame: This takes about 1/2 hour to make and you have to stay with the pot. It’s worth the time but make sure you have it for this recipe. Instead of edamame try peas or asparagus (whatever you have)! I found this recipe a few years ago in Real Simple Magazine.
- Cook 1/2 chopped onion in a little olive oil for 5 minutes until soft. Add 2 cups of Arborio rice and stir.
- Add 1 cup of white wine (I like to use Sauvignon Blanc) and stir/cook until liquid is absorbed.
- Add 4 1/2 cups of chicken broth (adding less than 1 cup at a time – waiting until broth is absorbed before adding next cup).
- Add a little lemon (zest or juice) and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Add edamame (buy it shelled for ease) and salt/pepper.
- Sprinkle with cheese to serve.
Broccolini: Broccolini is similar to broccoli rabe but not nearly as bitter.
- Wash and cut ends off broccolini. Boil about 2 cups of water w/ a dash of salt.
- Cook broccolini for about 5 mins. until tender but still firm. Drain.
- Return to pot and add some fresh garlic, a drop of EV olive oil, salt/pepper (and a few red pepper flakes) and sauté for a few minutes.
What can the Kids Do?
- Mix the marinade for the pork chops and shake the Ziploc bag (make sure it’s sealed properly)
- Squeeze the edamame out of the shells (if you didn’t buy them shelled)
- Add the broth to the risotto and stir. Mia told me when the broth when was absorbed and it was time to add more.
- Dinner Game: Ask all but one to close their eyes. One person takes a dish away or eats something off their plate and everyone has to guess “What’s Missing?”.
- Picture of Edamame Plant: http://archive.energyfarms.net/files/EdamamePlant.jpg
Salad: Mix in whatever you have!
- Mix tomato, red onion, celery, cucumber and yellow pepper. I had some leftover mozzarella cheese too!
- Toss with fresh basil, salt/pepper, olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Did You Know?
- The Arabs brought rice to Sicily and Spain.
- Arborio rice is used because is has the ability to absorb liquids without over-cooking.
- Broccolini is often called baby broccoli but it is actually a mixture of regular broccoli and chinese kale.
- Broccoli Rabe is different from Broccolini. Broccoli Rabe can be bitter but broccolini is very sweet.
Posted in Pork
Tagged broccolini, herb, Pork