07 May

Mustard Sole with Lentils

I’ve made lots of recipes from the Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook since my friend bought it for me last summer like Ginger Biscuits and Classic Custard Creams and Saxe-Cobourg Soup.

Everything has been awesome, truly. I find that quite impressive from a cookbook loosely based off a television show which I figured would be more of a novelty than a kitchen staple.

It’s likely because the recipes all have liberal amounts of fat in them, particularly in the form of cream and butter. You can’t go wrong with butter.

This recipe follows that same theme. The “mustard sauce” would be more aptly named “mustard butter” and the original recipe called for the fish filets to be fried in 1/4 cup of butter.

I’ve been incorporating more fat into my diet to support hormone function, muscle growth, and ease sugar cravings, so I certainly don’t fear the butter. Plus it adds cholesterol to this dish which helps to increase testosterone production (so I can get jacked, natch).

When I originally saw the recipe in the book (titled Daisy’s Mustard Salmon with Lentils since the original recipe used salmon instead of the sole that I used here) I didn’t think it sounded too appetizing but I like lentils, I like fish, and I like mustard so I thought I’d give it a shot.

I was pleasantly surprised. The whole thing manages to taste both decadent and light (it makes sense when you eat it, trust me). I modified by baking the fish instead of frying (it saves time and butter) and the dish still managed to be fantastic.

I’ve made it a few times since and it’s probably one of my favourite dishes right now, so I had to share it with you. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Mustard Sole with Lentils from Downton Abbey Cookbook  - SamanthaMenzies.com

Mustard Sole with Lentils

Mustard Sauce

1/4 c unsalted butter, softened
2 T chopped chives
1 T Dijon mustard
2 t fresh lemon juice
1 t sugar
2 t kosher salt
1 t ground black pepper

Lentils

1 c green lentils
2 large carrots
2 c water
2 c vegetable broth
2 t fresh lemon juice

Sole

6 filets of sole
1 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400*F. Place the sole in a casserole dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside while the oven preheats and you prepare your lentils and mustard sauce.

To make the lentils: In a heavy saucepan over high heat, bring lentils, carrots, water, and broth to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 25-30minutes or until the lentils are tender. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 5-7 minutes. Drain the lentils and reserve 1 cup of liquid.

While the lentils are cooking and the oven is preheating, make the mustard sauce. In a small bowl thoroughly mix together the mustard sauce ingredients and set aside. (A mini food processor also works well here to get the butter a little more whipped)

Dot each seasoned sole filet with a bit of the mustard sauce and place in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting the tines of a fork into the thickest part of the fish then remove and place the tines on your bottom lip. If it feels just barely warm to the touch, the fish is done.

Mix the remaining mustard mixture into the lentils along with the reserved cooking liquid until the butter is thoroughly melted in.

To serve: place the lentils in a shallow bowl and top with a filet of sole.

Mustard Sole with Lentils from Downton Abbey Cookbook - SamanthaMenzies.com

04 Mar

Fish Congee

So last February when my dad was in the hospital in London there was a ridiculous snowmaggedon storm that forced my cousin-in-law to house Matt, Vicki, and I in his one bedroom London apartment overnight.

Matt recommended that the three of us go for dinner at the New Kung Fu House for its authentic Szechwan cuisine and after a white knuckled drive in the snow we arrived. I scanned the menu and they had a lot of menu items that I recognized and a few that I didn’t.

Matt: What are you getting?

Me: Fish congee.

Vicki: What’s fish congee?

Me: No idea. We’ll find out.

Waiter/Owner Guy: What can I get you?

Me: Umm…Fish congee?

Waiter/Owner Guy: Do you know what that is?

Me: Absolutely.

Sometimes I lie so I don’t look like an idiot.

Luckily I also told the waiter that we were sharing, because the bowl of fish congee was big enough for about 8 people.

Congee is a porridge made when rice is cooked with way too much water for way too long. This particular dish had whitefish in it and flavours of ginger and sesame. You can put pretty much anything into congee though, like beans, tofu, meat, or eggs.

Luckily, I love porridge. It’s warming and comforting. With the chill in my bones from both the snowstorm and my dad’s critical condition, the congee was food therapy. At that moment it was the most amazing thing I had ever eaten in my life.

I love how food can do that.

(source)

I bookmarked this recipe the very next day, but haven’t gotten around to making it until last month (exactly a year later).

It was just as good as I remembered and very easy to make since it was done in the slow cooker instead of on the stove.

Fish Congee

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

Congee:
200g jasmine rice
8c water
1″ piece ginger, grated
salt and pepper to taste
2 green onions, sliced

Fish:
450g (1lb) haddock filets, cut into large cubes
1 T fish sauce
1 T soya sauce
1 T seasame oil
1/2 t white pepper

Directions:

Marinate the fish in a bowl with the fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and pepper. Put in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Slow Cooker:

Put the rice, water, ginger, and salt in a slow cooker set on high for 5-6 hours (or low for 8-12 hours). The thickness will be like pancake batter.

Once it is cooked add the marinated fish and let it cook for about 15 minutes.

Stovetop:

In a large pot, put the rice and water over high heat. Bring it to a boil and stir in the salt and ginger. Cover and turn the heat to low. Cook for about 2 hours stirring occasionally. The thickness will be like pancake batter, add more water if it looks too thick.

Once it is cooked and the desired consistency achieved, add the fish. Put the lid back on to let the fish cook for about 15 minutes.

Serve the congee in bowls garnished with spring onions.

17 Jan

New 4 Day Workout Split

It’s been a little over a week since my marathon and my ass is killing me. Not from the run though, that pain subsided a couple days after, but from weightlifting.

I had been doing a couple of full body weightlifting sessions while I was training, but now I’m trying to get back into it more seriously now that I don’t have to spend 6 hours a week running.

I’m doing a 4 day upper/lower body split workout (my favourite kind) with lots of really good compound exercises like Turkish get-ups and dumbbell snatches. I also included tibia raises in there which I don’t normally do, to try to improve my range of motion for my squats.

Click the image below for a pdf version of the workout.

image

So I’ll be working on this new training plan for the next 4 weeks or so.

I wore my new lululemon pants that I bought from an outlet store in Orlando when I finished the marathon.

lululemon pantslululemon pants<- saggy crotch

The closest I have ever come to anything lulu is making fun of the pretentious yogis that wear it, but I caved this time because the pants were super cheap, a good material, and looked pretty decent. I realized today that the crotch is a bit saggy in a way that could only be rectified by having a set of testicles.

Betty White

Luckily I have a vagina, but that just means I’ll have to live with my saggy-crotched pretentious yoga pants.

Tonight for dinner I made some delicious cilantro lime fish tacos from this recipe on Closet Cooking that I pinned on Monday.

Cilantro and Lime Fish Tacos

I’ve never had fish tacos before and I thought they tasted really good (I especially liked the cilantro lime sour cream it’s topped with) but to be honest I prefer beef tacos.

I would definitely make them again though and would recommend this recipe. Instead of grilling I pan fried the fish, but I would love to try it with the fish on the barbecue.

DSCF8555DSCF8556

08 Aug

Hobo Fish Recipe

Cyprus Lake

Real camping means sitting around the campfire making s’mores and hot dogs and drinking way to much. It means waking up late, hungover and sitting around at the camp site eating chips and doing nothing all day long until the night rolls around and you start the whole cycle again.

On our recent camping trip to Tobermory the husband had to remind me again and again on our that I don’t camp like normal people. My camping is not ‘real camping’, or so I’m told.

Camping Tobermory

When I would get up at the crack of dawn ready to make breakfast and get the day going. I’d look around at the quiet campsites and ask Matt where everyone was. “They’re real camping, not Sam camping.”

When we hiked the gorgeous Bruce Trail (and a less gorgeous trail near Sauble Falls) I couldn’t believe there weren’t more people taking in the same vistas we were. “They’re real camping,” Matt said.

My kind of camping means an early start with a hearty breakfast to get ready for a day full of hiking, or swimming, or canoeing. It means watching the sun set and then gazing at the stars. It means packing a good lunch and eating a healthy dinner loaded with fibre and nutritious ingredients.

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Drinking too much and eating too many empty calories makes me feel lethargic and constipated. I subscribe to the belief that nobody is happy when they’re constipated. Although, as Matt pointed out, fibre isn’t something some people are eager to eat when camping because they subscribe to the alternate believe that nobody is happy when they’re using an outdoor latrine (I guess that explains all the chips and hotdogs!).

So I thoroughly planned out all of our meals beforehand to make sure that we got enough green vegetables, protein, fruit, and fibre. Our meals were practically gourmet (or as gourmet as you can get at a campsite) even the dish called ‘Hobo Fish’ which ended up being our favourite.

Hobo Fish

Matt and I could not get a fire going for the life of us and I had big plans of cooking this fish on charcoal. Since that wasn’t going to happen, we cooked it on the barbecue instead. Five minutes in I opened the barbecue lid and WHOOSH the packets of fish burst into flames! I quickly shut the propane off, closed the barbecue lid to extinguish the fire, and blew out any residual flames. I left the fish to sit in the warm bbq for another 5 minutes while Matt practically had the car keys ready to go to the nearest restaurant for dinner. No faith! The fish turned out perfectly cooked and he claimed it to be the ‘best fish he’s ever had’. Not too shabby.

Best Barbecued Whitefish (aka Hobo Fish)

Hobo Fish

Makes 1 Serving

Ingredients

1/2 lb piece of fresh Georgian Bay whitefish
1/2 T olive oil
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 pitted kalamata olives, halved
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig each of fresh rosemary and oregano
3 sheets of newspaper

Directions

Layer 3 sheets of newspaper and place the fish in the centre of the newspaper, skin side down.

Drizzle each with 1/2 T olive oil and season with salt and cracked pepper. Top the fish with the tomatoes, olives, and fresh herbs.

Hobo Fish

To make the packet, fold the paper over the fish then start to roll up the edges in toward fish making a half moon shape out of the packet.

Hobo Fish

Place the packet on the coals of a wood fire, or if you can’t seem to get a fire started then use a barbecue at high heat. Cook the fish for about 10 minutes with the barbecue lid closed.* To check if it is done, pierce a fork through the paper into the flesh of the fish then place the fork to your lips. If the fork is just warm, then the fish is ready.

*If you’re me and you open the barbecue, be prepared for the paper to burst into flames. No worries, just close the bbq to extinguish the fire, shut off the bbq, and let the fish cook for the remaining time with just the residual heat from the barbecue.

Hobo FishHobo Fish

This recipe was inspired by Justin Bonello’s Cooked in Africa:

Hobo Fish from Cooked in Africa on Vimeo.

22 Jun

Packing in the Protein

All this protein is killing me. I’m stuffed. I know it’s said that it is best to get about 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight but I find it to be almost too much. Yesterday I managed to eat 124g of protein between oat bran for breakfast, beef kabobs for lunch, protein powder after a workout, and chicken for dinner. I was so full and I ate less than 1800 calories whereas I normally eat around 2000.

I’ve been able to eat a lot of meat and fish these last few days because of all the leftovers from my dad’s birthday party on the weekend. There’s not much left so I don’t know how I’ll be able to keep up with the protein intake after that… I hardly cook meat at home. I know there are lots of vegetarian sources of protein but they don’t have nearly as much as animal sources.

I had a protein shake after my workout today and then I could barely eat dinner tonight. That was disappointing because it was so delicious. I made a twist on the British classic: fish and chips with mushy peas.

I breaded basa filets in flour, then milk, then bread crumbs and pan fried them in a bit of oil for about 10 minutes.

I parboiled sweet potato and then baked them with rosemary, thyme, and a bit of oil as the chips.

The peas were just 2 cans of peas with a tablespoon of butter, a splash of cider vinegar, and some salt and pepper.

It all sounds really simple, but it was delicious.

I had a really small portion of everything but I was, and am, so stuffed.

I’m so stuffed. Did I mention that? Like, Christmas dinner stuffed. + The maple keys in my gutters have yet to be cleaned out and the daily thunderstorms are making them give off an awful stench that is unbearable. + Now I’m watching Walking Dead with the husband and it is so gory. I’m this close to vomiting.

Breakfast

– homemade granola with homemade marmalade and coconut cream

DSCF6120

Lunch

– leftover beef kebabs and grilled calamari
– a ruby red grapefruit

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Post Workout

– protein powder with a banana, peanut butter, and water

DSCF5950

Dinner

– fried basa filet with mushy peas and baked sweet potato ‘chips’

DSCF6123

Total: 1482 cals 33% fat/45% carbs/22% protein

Workout

Yesterday was Chest and Triceps day in my superset routine. I skipped out on cardio because I left my hair tie at home.

Today I did Shoulders and Abs. I followed it up with a 20 minute interval workout on the treadmill. In and out of the gym in an hour. Per-fect

HIIT Treadmill Workout

The workout involves a 2 minute warm-up a 2 minute cool-down and 4 minute “waves” of increasing speed every minute.

Minutes Speed (mph)
1 – 2 5.5
3 6.0
4 7.0
5 8.0
6 9.0
7 5.5
8 7.0
9 8.0
10 9.0
11 5.5
12 6.5
13 7.5
14 8.5
15 5.5
16 7.0
17 8.0
18 9.0
19 4.0
20 6.0
22 Apr

Productive Holiday

It isn’t very often that Matt is away from home and even though I miss him while he’s gone I’m so much more productive when he’s away.

Today I managed to do a total kitchen overhaul.

First, I cleaned the inside of the fridge from top to bottom and tossed out all the empty condiment bottles.

Then, I emptied all my cabinets and pantries and cleaned the insides.

Then I reorganized everything in a way that makes more sense for my cooking.

Then, washed all the dirt and doggie paw prints off the cabinet doors.

Then, I reorganized by plate rack-cum-cookbook shelf

And then, I cleaned the floors.

And 6 hours later the kitchen was completely cleaned and reorganized.

DSCF5285DSCF5289

Bikini Eating:

I ended my vegan Lent a tad early and went a bit crazy today.

My dad brought home a school of fish and I helped my Nonna fry it up for our Good Friday fish fry.

Yum smelt!

Smelt

I can’t tell you how many of these little fishies I ate while frying them. I generously sprinkled them in sea salt and crunched away at the hot ones right out of the pot as I started frying up a new batch.

SmeltNonna&SmeltNonna&Smelt

Last year we made baccalà together and this year, smelt.The only other fish she’s willing to eat is fish and chips. Maybe next year?

Oh, and I also at a lot of chocolate chip cookies today as I cleaned the kitchen. Okay, so I didn’t bake ALL of them for Matt.

Bikini Fitness:

Last night I did my hill training at the gym and then decided to head downtown Windsor to take a hot yoga class at the Downtown Yoga Studio in the Capitol Theatre.

downtown yogaCapitol Theatre

The only hot yoga classes that I’ve ever taken before were Bikram (in a room where the yogis were packed like sardines and the body heat was more intense than the furnace) and Moksha. So the fact that this class was only heated with space heaters was a bit disappointing and not much different from practicing with my friend Sarah in front of her gas fireplace. The class was pretty intense though, don’t get me wrong, and I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t expecting it to be excruciatingly hot, but I was kinda hoping it would be.

I bought a one week pass to the studio so hopefully I’ll get out to a few more classes this week.

This morning, as part of my super productive day, I woke up extra early to weight lift. Well, 7:30 am. I would call that extra early for a holiday.

WeightliftingWk2

(Training Schedule)

Bikini Confidence:

I’m loving my hair today. I walked into the locker room at the gym after my workout and two women were talking. One stopped in the middle of talking, looked at me and said, “You have great hair!” It made me feel awesome.

I need to start complimenting people more often.

22 Mar

Norway Travel: The Food

Related Norway Posts:

Norway in March
Exploring Norway by Train, Boat, and Bus
Active Pursuits in Norway
Homecooked Meals

I’m a vegan for Lent. Or, I was until I boarded the plane for Norway.

I figured that eating vegan in Norway was going to be tough but I really had no idea how tough. After asking for a vegetarian meal on Scandinavian airlines and being given a fish dish instead I was quick to throw my hands up in the air and give myself a week long hiatus from Lent.

Given the proximity to sea and the farming practices of the country, which are primarily livestock and feed grains, you can bet there was lots of dairy, meat, and fish to be eaten.

One thing to note about dining out in Norway: it’s not cheap. Not at all.

The Meat:

I was not so secretly hoping to be able to eat one of these on my trip:

DSCF4647

Reindeer.

Don’t worry, this guy is just taxidermy. I’m no hunter. The meal looked more like this:

DSCF4683

It tasted pretty good. Not my favourite meat (that award still goes to lamb). It was a bit on the tough side with a mild taste (not as game-y as I was expecting) similar to venison.

This reindeer stew came from the cafeteria restaurant Kaffistova in Oslo that serves lots of traditional Norwegian dishes from smørbrød (open faced sandwiches) to hot stews like this one to fish dishes.

Dinner for two at this cafeteria with no drinks 320NOK ~ $56 CAD.

The Fish:

Fish is BIG in Norway. Huge, really. I’m a big fan of fish and I’m pretty familiar with Norwegian fish dishes like gravlax and stockfish (salt cod) that I’ve cooked before so I was excited to eat it! Matt and I got a recommendation to go to the fish restaurant Lofoten in the Aker Brygge harbour neighbourhood of Oslo.

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DSCF4994

We started with a raw marinated scallop with scallop mousseline and lemon creme, and mussels steamed in white wine.

DSCF4984DSCF4985

The scallop was tasty but I much preferred the mussel dish. The mussels were huge, meaty, and perfectly steamed.

For a  main dish I went with panfried cod with onion tart and Matt had the baked arctic char with cauliflower cream. I`m not a big fan of these fancy schmancy deconstructed type dishes. While the fish was perfectly cooked, it was under seasoned. Everything else on the plate was over seasoned. It`s like you had to mush all the components of the dish together to get the whole thing to taste right! I don`t know about you, but I prefer my dish constructed.

DSCF4988DSCF4986

At least the dessert made-up for the main… it was delicious. Black currant souffle with black currant sourbet. There were warm melty chunks of chocolate in the not too sweet souffle that mixed perfectly with the tartness of the sorbet. I was in heaven. It was almost worth the $20.

DSCF4991

Dinner for two with 2 courses each, 1 dessert, and 1 glass of wine: 1180NOK ~ $205 CAD

The Dairy:

Probably my favourite part of Norwegian cuisine was the dairy. Seriously, it was amazing. And given the amount that I ate the fact that I only came home with 2 tiny pimples made it all the more worthwhile.

First the skyr: super thick and not too sweet this Nordic yoghurt had the consistency thicker than sour cream and could hold a spoon upright. And the vanilla flavour actually had vanilla beans in it. Awesome.

DSCF4967

Then there was the butter. Best. Butter. Ever.

I know I talked about Irish butter before and how delicious everyone says it is. If it’s anything like Norwegian butter then I believe every word. Because Norwegian butter is amazing. It tastes like you used to imagine butter would tasted back when you were 5 years old and you pretended you were Amish and had an imaginary butter churner. For real.

And then there’s the best cheese in the world. Gudbrandsdalost or Brown Cheese.

(source)

Made from the caramelized whey leftover from the goat cheese making process this cheese is soft and sweet and is amazing on toast with or Wasa crackers with coffee. … I snuck some home in my suitcase to save until after Lent again. Winking smile

Related Norway Posts:

Norway in March
Exploring Norway by Train, Boat, and Bus
Active Pursuits in Norway
Homecooked Meals

22 Mar

Norway Travel: The Food

Related Norway Posts:

Norway in March
Exploring Norway by Train, Boat, and Bus
Active Pursuits in Norway
Homecooked Meals

I’m a vegan for Lent. Or, I was until I boarded the plane for Norway.

I figured that eating vegan in Norway was going to be tough but I really had no idea how tough. After asking for a vegetarian meal on Scandinavian airlines and being given a fish dish instead I was quick to throw my hands up in the air and give myself a week long hiatus from Lent.

Given the proximity to sea and the farming practices of the country, which are primarily livestock and feed grains, you can bet there was lots of dairy, meat, and fish to be eaten.

One thing to note about dining out in Norway: it’s not cheap. Not at all.

The Meat:

I was not so secretly hoping to be able to eat one of these on my trip:

DSCF4647

Reindeer.

Don’t worry, this guy is just taxidermy. I’m no hunter. The meal looked more like this:

DSCF4683

It tasted pretty good. Not my favourite meat (that award still goes to lamb). It was a bit on the tough side with a mild taste (not as game-y as I was expecting) similar to venison.

This reindeer stew came from the cafeteria restaurant Kaffistova in Oslo that serves lots of traditional Norwegian dishes from smørbrød (open faced sandwiches) to hot stews like this one to fish dishes.

Dinner for two at this cafeteria with no drinks 320NOK ~ $56 CAD.

The Fish:

Fish is BIG in Norway. Huge, really. I’m a big fan of fish and I’m pretty familiar with Norwegian fish dishes like gravlax and stockfish (salt cod) that I’ve cooked before so I was excited to eat it! Matt and I got a recommendation to go to the fish restaurant Lofoten in the Aker Brygge harbour neighbourhood of Oslo.

DSCF4983-1

DSCF4994

We started with a raw marinated scallop with scallop mousseline and lemon creme, and mussels steamed in white wine.

DSCF4984DSCF4985

The scallop was tasty but I much preferred the mussel dish. The mussels were huge, meaty, and perfectly steamed.

For a  main dish I went with panfried cod with onion tart and Matt had the baked arctic char with cauliflower cream. I`m not a big fan of these fancy schmancy deconstructed type dishes. While the fish was perfectly cooked, it was under seasoned. Everything else on the plate was over seasoned. It`s like you had to mush all the components of the dish together to get the whole thing to taste right! I don`t know about you, but I prefer my dish constructed.

DSCF4988DSCF4986

At least the dessert made-up for the main… it was delicious. Black currant souffle with black currant sourbet. There were warm melty chunks of chocolate in the not too sweet souffle that mixed perfectly with the tartness of the sorbet. I was in heaven. It was almost worth the $20.

DSCF4991

Dinner for two with 2 courses each, 1 dessert, and 1 glass of wine: 1180NOK ~ $205 CAD

The Dairy:

Probably my favourite part of Norwegian cuisine was the dairy. Seriously, it was amazing. And given the amount that I ate the fact that I only came home with 2 tiny pimples made it all the more worthwhile.

First the skyr: super thick and not too sweet this Nordic yoghurt had the consistency thicker than sour cream and could hold a spoon upright. And the vanilla flavour actually had vanilla beans in it. Awesome.

DSCF4967

Then there was the butter. Best. Butter. Ever.

I know I talked about Irish butter before and how delicious everyone says it is. If it’s anything like Norwegian butter then I believe every word. Because Norwegian butter is amazing. It tastes like you used to imagine butter would tasted back when you were 5 years old and you pretended you were Amish and had an imaginary butter churner. For real.

And then there’s the best cheese in the world. Gudbrandsdalost or Brown Cheese.

(source)

Made from the caramelized whey leftover from the goat cheese making process this cheese is soft and sweet and is amazing on toast with or Wasa crackers with coffee. … I snuck some home in my suitcase to save until after Lent again. Winking smile

Related Norway Posts:

Norway in March
Exploring Norway by Train, Boat, and Bus
Active Pursuits in Norway
Homecooked Meals

23 Mar

day 56: in search of stockfish

This morning I woke up extra early to head to the gym. Normally I’m up not up until 7:00 but this morning I was up at 5:45 to be at the gym for 6:00. I wasn’t as tired as I expected to be, but I was extra hungry this morning after my workout. Does anyone know a good post workout breakfast that I can pack and bring to work?

The most exciting part of my workout this morning: I got complimented on the amount of weight I was squatting! I love getting compliments at the gym :D

I got to thinking that I should compliment a new person every day at the gym. Maybe it will make them happy and make them want to come back! What do you think? Good idea or annoying?

I spent the morning at the gym because this afternoon I had to pick up my nonna and take her back and forth across the city until we could find this:

(Image Source)

That’s stockfish or dried cod. I have every intention of learning from her how to make baccalà this weekend. Baccalà is actually salt cod, but being  Northern Italian we tend to do things a bit differently. We use dried cod instead.

There are 2 things that you need to know about stockfish (we’ll call it baccalà for the sake of argument): 1) it is as solid as a board — you could probably sleep with one under your bed in lieu of a baseball bat to fend off attackers. But you probably wouldn’t want to do that because 2) it smells terrible. Imagine the smelliest fish you could think of and then multiply that aroma by 10.

So once nonna and I got the fish home we took it into the garage and pulled out a wood saw and a hammer from the toolbox to saw it up into pieces small enough to fit into a pot. The baccalà then has to soak in warm water for 3 days (in the garage since you don’t want that smell in your house, blech!) and the water must be changed 3 times a day!

No wonder nonna wasn’t too keen on making it. On the plus side, once I know the recipe then she’ll never have to worry about making it again.

04 Mar

day 37: samak bi tahini

Thanks everyone for all the great encouraging compliments today!! It made me so happy!

On the down side, I just got home from having dinner at my dad’s house which I followed with far too many raisins… now my stomach is not happy with me :(
Opening the bag of raisins. That was a terrible idea.

After every Olympics are over (especially the Winter games) I suffer from withdrawals. Right now I really don’t know what to do with myself in the evenings since there’s nothing good on TV. I was reading about the Olympics a bit today and came across this really cool interactive feature in the NY Times called Olympic Musical. It plays a music note representing the time between each athlete crossing the finish line. How cool! Check out the women’s 1000m speed skating– you can’t even hear the difference in the first two notes!

On to the eats:

Last night I had frozen haddock thawing in the fridge with the intention of cooking fish for dinner, although I had no idea how I was going to prepare it. I was craving some hummus so I thought I’d incorporate some of those flavours into my fish dish. Verdict: It turned out pretty tasty. I’ll make it again.

Samak bi Tahini

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fish fillets (haddock, cod, sole, etc)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 c. white wine
  • 1/4 c. tahini
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Season the fish with salt and pepper while heating the olive oil in a skillet. Sear the fish in the olive oil to lightly brown the outside but not to cook through.

Place the fish in a baking dish.

Add the onions to the pan and extra oil if need. Sautee the onions until they begin to sweat then add the wine to deglaze the pan. Continue cooking until the onions are very soft.

Pile the onions on top of the fish in the baking pan.

In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients to create a thin tahini sauce. Pour the sauce over the fish and onions.

Bake for 10-12min (depending on the thickness of the fillets) uncovered.