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Cooking Cuisine Food Recipe

Saturday Brunch: Scrambled Eggs Curry

Eggs and curry.  Two of my favorite things combined in one dish for a Saturday at home brunch treat.  This came out a bit soupier than regular scrambled eggs, with the eggs forming an über-rich curry-scented “sauce.”  Perfect for dipping bread into.  This recipe could easily feed two people, but I was hungry and had nobody to share with, so I ate the whole thing.

I was thinking of trying this again some other time and adding a couple handfuls of lump crab meat in at the very end to create a luxurious crab and egg curry that would absolutely be begging for some champagne to wash it all down.  This would go great with some anchovies or smoked mackerel thrown in too.  Well, enough speculation, here is the basic recipe.  If you get around to trying it with crab before me, let me know.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 really small onion or a shallot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon each of chopped red bell pepper and mild fresh chili pepper
  • Half teaspoon of curry powder (I make my own from whole spices that I mix, roast and grind, but store-bought should work just fine)
  • 1 handful of baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 handful of plum/cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 eggs, beaten with juice of half a lemon
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro, torn up for garnish

Instructions:

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat.  Sauté the ginger, garlic, onion, peppers and curry powder until the onions are translucent.  Season with some salt.

Add the bok choy, tomatoes and green onions and sauté until softened.  Turn the heat down to low.  Add in the eggs and stir until partially set.  Just remember, this is more of an eggy curry sauce than firm curds of scrambled eggs.

And for dessert, a fruit plate:

This was my first time trying a donut peach, which is like a normal peach, but smaller and looks like a donut.  I noticed a slightly more intense peachiness in the flavor too.

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Cooking Cuisine Food Photography Pictures Recipe Wine

Bluefish Curry

Bluefish Curry

This dinner is a improvisation that I put together last night (Saturday, 9 August 2008). I would characterize this meal as Mediterranean-meets-Malay-in-a-Manhattan-love-affair. Full of flavor, yet light enough for a balmy late-summer weekend evening.

The locally-caught wild bluefish and the veggies are from FreshDirect, while the seasonings come from my eclectic pantry of global flavors and some extras from my last WholeFoods excursion. You will need a mortar and pestle for this project. I got mine I guess you could also use a food processor, but I prefer the meditative tactile quality of the mortar and pestle. Besides, a mortar and pestle is much easier to clean than a food processor and is a good form of stress relief and DIY aromatherapy.

Ingredients and Prep

Sauce

  1. Six cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
  2. A two-inch segment of ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped
  3. One-third cup of unsweetened dried coconut
  4. Five to six anchovy fillets in oil, along with about one tablespoon of the oil
  5. Two teaspoons of Sriracha hot sauce, or to taste (or substitute with fresh chili peppers if you have them, but in that case, add more sugar)
  6. Half teaspoon of brown sugar
  7. One teaspoon of tamarind concentrate (AKA tamarind paste
  8. One and a half teaspoons of turmeric powder
  9. Two-thirds cup of boiling water
  10. Juice of one lime
  11. Salt & pepper to taste

Vegetables and Herbs

  1. One medium zucchini (courgette), cut into bite-sized half moons
  2. Two handfuls of grape (or cherry) tomatoes, halved
  3. Four green onions (scallions), cut diagonally into 1.5 inch (4 cm) segments
  4. One handful of fresh basil
  5. Four to six kaffir lime leaves, cut into a chiffonade

Two wild bluefish fillets (10-12 ounces/280-340 grams each, substitute any firm, oily fish), scaled, deboned and rinsed in cold water and dried with paper towels

Cilantro (fresh coriander) to garnish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 Fahrenheit (220 Celsius).

Bash up the garlic and ginger in a mortar and pestle. Add the coconut and bash up some more. Add sauce ingredients 4 to 8 one by one and mix thoroughly. You might need a spoon or a spatula to help you out at this point. Add the boiling water and half of the lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Go easy on the salt since the anchovies are already salty. Mix to incorporate.

Just barely coat the bottom of a 10 x 10 inch casserole or baking dish with some of the sauce mixture.  Put the bluefish fillets into the baking dish skin-side down.  In a large bowl, mix together the remaining sauce mixture and the vegetables and herbs.  Spread this mixture on top of the bluefish fillets.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Serve with rice and some simply sauteéd greens. In the picture above, I have mixed-grain rice and bok choy and carrots sauteéd with garlic, ginger, and a little dried chili pepper.

Drink Paring

I had some Varanda do Conde, a Portuguese vinho verde with this meal. I nice tart rosé or a nice cold lager would work too.
Varanda do Conde

Categories
Cooking Cuisine Fun Quebec Recipe

Québecois French Toast

This rich Sunday breakfast dish was inspired by my recent trip to Montréal and the gorgeous strawberries and peaches I picked up at the Union Square Greenmarket. This recipe serves two (or one if you are really hungry).

Québecois French Toast

For the French toast:

  1. Two organic free-range eggs
  2. Two heaping tablespoons of Greek yogurt
  3. 3/4 cup of milk (I didn’t have any milk at home, so I used unsweetened soy milk instead)
  4. A splash of real vanilla extract
  5. A splash of Sortilège, a liqueur made out of maple syrup and Canadian whiskey (you can substitute with regular Canadian whiskey, bourbon, or dark rum)
  6. 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground cinnamon
  7. A dash of salt
  8. One-third of a day old baguette (or substitute any crusty bread), cut diagonally into 3/4-inch (2 cm) slices (I get my baguettes from the Bouley Bakery in Tribeca
  9. Butter

Mix together ingredients 1 through 7. I do this in a blender, but you can whisk everything together in a bowl if you don’t have a blender.

Pour the mixture over the bread and let soak for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the fruit and maple syrup topping.

For the fruit and maple syrup topping:

  1. A handful of small, juicy strawberries, trimmed of their stems and cut in half lengthwise
  2. One small white peach, pitted and chopped
  3. One heaping tablespoon of brown sugar (or raw sugar)
  4. Two tablespoons of maple syrup
  5. A splash of fresh lemon juice
  6. A splash of Sortilège

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.

When the bread has soaked up the batter and become soggy, melt a good amount of butter in a frying pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted and hot, fry the bread until browned on one side. Then flip and cook on the other side until golden brown.

Transfer the French toast to a plate. Pour the fruit and maple syrup topping into the frying pan (no need to wash the frying pan in between). Allow the residual heat of the frying pan to heat up the fruit and maple mixture and stir. Pour the mixture over the French toast and voilà, c’est fini!

Categories
Cooking Cuisine Food Recipe

Arugula, Walnut, Blue Cheese & Fig Preserve Salad

This salad is one of my current obsessions. I just can’t get enough of this stuff. It’s a real orgy of flavors, with tangy, creamy blue cheese gettin’ it on with the nutty walnuts, peppery arugula, sweet fig preserves and crunchy croûtons. (Recipe below)

Arugula, Walnut, Blue Cheese & Fig Preserve Salad

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. Two handfuls of a baguette or other crusty bread cut into 1-inch cubes (This is a great way of using up your day-old leftover bread)
  2. One handful of raw walnut halves
  3. One clove of garlic, finely chopped
  4. Three or four handfuls of arugula, washed and thoroughly dried
  5. One or two green onions, thinly sliced
  6. One handful of blue cheese, crumbled, or cut into little cubes
  7. Extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper to taste
  8. Fig preserves (I used the sun-dried fig jam preserve from Mymouné)

Instructions:

  1. Put the bread cubes, walnuts and garlic in a mixing bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. Mix in some olive oil to lightly coat the bread and walnuts.
  2. Transfer the mixture to an oven-proof baking dish and bake in a 425 degree F oven (220 Celsius) for 10 minutes, or until the garlic is cooked through and the bread is crunchy. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Mix together ingredients 4 to 6 in a bowl. Add the bread and walnut mixture. Season with a bit more salt and pepper, and dress with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss.
  4. Transfer the salad to a plate and top with some dollops of fig preserve. Serve immediately
Categories
Cooking Cuisine Food Recipe

Roasted Whole Red Snapper

I roasted up a a whole red snapper for dinner last night. For me, this dish evokes long leisurely meals in a warm Mediterranean beach town somewhere. Fancy restaurants in New York would charge 50 bucks or more for a dish like this, but you can do it a home for a fraction of the price. Here is how to recreate the experience in your own kitchen:

Before:
Roasted Whole Red Snapper