Friday, July 29, 2005

chinese steamed fish

Stirling went fishing with his supervisor on Wednesday and caught a substantial rockfish (along with a dogfish - anyone got any ideas on what to do with it? and some crabs). So tonight we will have traditional steamed chinese-style fish.

The recipe below has few actual amounts because fishies tend to vary in size.

1 fish
julienned ginger & green onion
heat-resistant oil (like grapeseed), plus small amt of sesame oil (about 1/2 cup total)
vegetables for steaming
1/2 cup dark soy sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tsp sugar

Clean veg as necessary. Score the sides of the fish. Combine salt and sugar (equal parts of each) and rub mixture all over fish, including into the scores and the cavity. Be careful of any spiny bits.

Stuff the scores and the cavity with the ginger and green onion, reserving a little.

Place the fish in a steamer (this is where you start to wish that maybe your husband hadn't caught such a damn big fish). Steam until done (5-7 min for little fish, 10-15 for larger). Add the veg about halfway through (or at the beginning if it's a little fish.

Meanwhile, place the oil in a small saucepan and add the reserved ginger & green onion. Turn the heat on to medium, but watch carefully - you want the oil quite hot and the ginger etc. brown, but not burnt.

Combine soy sauce, water and sugar.

When the fish is done, place it on a platter and surround it with the vegetables. Pour the hot oil over the fish. It will make entertaining sizzling sounds. Then pour the soy mixture over the fish. This will not make sizzling sounds.

Serve. This is kind of a "dig in, everybody!" meal. If you are smart, you will head right for the cheeks - lift the gill flap, and you will see a wonderful little nugget of bitesized fishy goodness. This is the best part.

Friday, July 15, 2005

hey look, a new recipe!!!

Circumstances forced me to actually make up a recipe yesterday. On Wednesday our neighbour and landlord Steve, who is currently missing his wife (I don't know, he left her at the mall by accident?) happened upon a large chunk of fresh-caught spring salmon, and asked if I would be so kind as to cook it up for him, with the payment being that we would get to eat it too. I said sure, Blobby needs her omega-3's, and prepared to do the standard "chunk of salmon wrapped in foil with dill and lemon". Well, the salmon turned out to be HUGE and even though we got only maybe 1/4 of it, that's still a lot if the salmon was over 20 lbs to start with. But I couldn't think of anything else to do with it and I didn't want to freeze it so in the oven it went. We managed to put a good dent in it, but there was still probably well over a pound of it left after all of us had seconds and thirds. (It was a damn good salmon.)

Thus, last night I was inspired to invent "cheesy dijon salmon casserole". Because it is intended for use with leftovers, I am not including much in the way of measurements. Here goes:

Leftover salmon
equal amount whole wheat macaroni, cooked just shy of al dente
lots of chopped fresh dill
lots of grated white cheddar
lots of grated smoked gruyere or other smoked, soft cheese
dijon mustard
equal parts butter & flour
bay leaves

Preheat oven to 375F. Make a b├ęchamel sauce (ie, melt butter, add flour, cook a bit, add milk, whisk to get out lumps, add bay leaves, cook till thick) and add cheese and mustard, stir til smooth. Put salmon, macaroni and dill in a large casserole dish. Pour sauce all over, stir til it looks more or less uniform. Taste (don't worry, it's all cooked stuff). If it needs more salt, add more salt. Oh and pepper might be an idea at this stage too. Stir some more, pop in oven. Breadcrumbs on top would be fun too but I didn't have any. Cook for about 1/2 an hour, until it's nice and brown on top and good and bubbly.

This was actually pretty fortuitous because I made a honking HUGE casserole. Most of it is now in the freezer, so I have officially started my casserole build-up in anticipation of not cooking for a week or so after Blobby is born. I feel so organized!!!!