Posts tagged ‘parchment’

Fish, Veg, Veg, Veg

Menu: baked wrapped tilapia again * eggplant relish again * three-tomato salad * tilapia-influenced coleslaw

I don’t usually re-run recipes quite so quickly, but we enjoyed the baked wrapped tilapia from my first post so much that I went ahead and did it again. This time instead of the chile garlic sauce, I used fresh hot peppers from this morning’s farmers market run, but otherwise it was unchanged.

I used a few of the ingredients … the wasabi oil and chopped garlic … to make a dressing for shredded cabbage for slaw… I added some chile garlic sauce, a little bit of Steen’s cane syrup for sweetness, Steen’s cane vinegar, a splash of mirin, and finally a spoonful of Miracle Whip light to finesse the line between creamy slaw and vinegary slaw.

For the eggplant relish, again, I roasted two small heirloom ivory eggplants from the farmers market in the same 400-degree oven with the fish packets and a red bell pepper. I chopped the peeled pepper and eggplant together and stirred in a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. That was it.

Finally, I sliced three kinds of heirloom tomatoes purchased at the market this morning, ground fresh sea salt over, and sprinkled a chiffonade of basil over.

I would definitely do it again.


June 22, 2008 at 12:36 am Leave a comment

Fish, Grain, Salad


Menu (Serves 2):

Baked wrapped tilapia filets . red quinoa with sun-dried tomatoes and roasted yellow peppers . cucumber/cherry tomato salad . banana cake with chocolate-chip/pecan streusel & coffee ice cream


I have no real excuse for not cooking on Saturdays. M and I like to take our yellow dog, Bailey, to the farmers market, and see what demands to be taken home. This week we picked up pickling cucumbers for salads, cherry tomatoes, and little peaches. Then on our grocery store run, we bought tilapia.

I’ve got a good cookbook collection, but I tend to check online first. Epicurious yielded a baked wrapped tilapia recipe from Chef Duncan Pickford in the June 2003 issue of Self billed as “Tori Amos’ favorite recipe” (this had nothing to do with my picking it), and since it suggested a substitution of parchment paper (which I have) for banana leaves (which I don’t), it seemed worth a try.

As usual, the recipe was a starting point:



  • 1-inch cube fresh gingerroot, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 2 green onions (green part only), finely chopped
  • Fresh chile to taste
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed (or safflower) oil
  • Dash of toasted sesame oil
  • Dash of soy sauce
  • Dash of fish sauce
  • 4 tsp dark maple syrup
  • 4 fillets (4 oz each) fresh tilapia (or other firm-fleshed whitefish) 
I planted cilantro earlier this season, but our deer munched quite a bit of it. They did not, however, bother with any of my basil, so I had lemon basil, and the Mexican marigold that had been pruned out in an earlier munch had grown back. I gathered about a cup’s worth of a combination of those herbs and chopped them finely. I added them to the ginger, diced finely because I can’t find my ginger grater. M doesn’t like onions, so I didn’t bother with those. I have eleventy-umpteen condiments of all cuisines in my refrigerator and pantry, but no fish sauce or fresh chilis (or chiles), so I got out the Huy Fong Vietnamese chili garlic sauce. Sesame oil, check; soy sauce, check (wheat-free tamari); wasabi oil substituted for grapeseed oil; Steen’s cane syrup; substituted for maple syrup.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine all topping ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place a fillet on each banana leaf and divide topping evenly among them, spreading it over the top. Fold each banana leaf over to form a packet around each fillet and seal the edge of each packet with a small piece of aluminum foil, crimping it tightly. Place on a baking sheet and bake 25 to 30 minutes.
(Parchment paper substituted for banana leaf.)
1 c red quinoa (I used Ancient Harvest Inca Red)
2 c water
6 dried sun-dried tomatoes, cut into slivers
1 yellow bell pepper, roasted, skinned, and chopped
1 T olive oil or butter
Put quinoa, water, and sun-dried tomatoes together in saucepan; cover, bring to boil, let boil 5 min. Leaving cover in place, let sit 15 minutes or until fish is done. Toss with olive oil/butter and chopped pepper; salt to taste.
Cucumber-cherry tomato salad
2 pickling cucumbers; ends trimmed, sliced lengthwise into quarters, cut into quarter-moons
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
Divide between two plates; grind fresh salt over, dress with salad dressing of choice if desired.
We don’t have dessert every night, but this morning I had to do something with several too-ripe bananas and turned to Epicurious for help. The leftovers of our banana coffee cake were excellent rewarmed and accompanied by a little scoop of Blue Bell coffee ice cream. recipe here, not much modified except to cook in a 9″ round pan because thanks to a childhood with the occasional Sara Lee, I think of coffee cakes as round)
Chef’s sustenance:
1 vodka-tonic with fresh mint and cucumber
rice crackers
Chef’s soundtrack:
Bill Withers, “Lovely Day”
Love Tractor, “We All Love Each Other”
The Notting Hillbillies, “Your Own Sweet Way”
Shuggie Otis, “Cold Shot”
Journey, “Any Way You Want It”
The Dukes of Dixieland, “Original Dixieland One Step”
Randy Newman, “Last Night I Had a Dream”
Alejandro Escovedo, “Wedding Day”
Violent Femmes, “Blister in the Sun”
PJ Harvey, “We Float”

How did it turn out?

Surprisingly wonderful. I was, frankly, cranky about having to cook the tilapia. A wonderful balance of heat and sweet. I had the leftovers for lunch and it held up. I don’t know that the sun-dried tomatoes added anything to the quinoa, but the peppers certainly did.

Would I make it again?
Yes. Soon, probably.

June 8, 2008 at 2:17 am Leave a comment

Some of my cookbooks

In no order except for how they appear in my LibraryThing cookbook catalog: True Women Cookbook: Original Antique Recipes, Photographs, & Family Folklore, Janice Woods Windle (1997) * Made in Texas; H-E-B's 100th Anniversary Cookbook (2005) * The Texas Cowboy Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos, Robb Walsh (2007) * The Silver Palate Cookbook, Julee Rosso, Sheila Lukins (1982) * In the Land of Cocktails: Recipes and Adventures from the Cocktail Chicks, Ti Adelaide Martin & Lally Brennan (2007) * Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine, Daniel Boulud (2006) * Moosewood Cookbook : Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Mollie Katzen (1977) * Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes from Susan Spicer's New Orleans, Susan Spicer (2007) * Saveur Cooks Authentic American: By the Editors of Saveur Magazine, ed. Colman Andrews (1998)

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