Fish Chowdah

On Monday, I  checked out my friends’ Facebook photos the Boston Marathon. I couldn’t help but feel a bit envious. I recall Marathon Monday being such a lively and fun day. People from all over lining the streets and strolling throughout the city, infected with contagious excitement and energy. My friends posted pictures Monday of blue skies and their sideline views of runners.

I went to bed early that night reminiscing on my city and feeling a little homesick. Words can’t express how surreal it was to wake up on Tuesday morning to learn there were explosions at the Boston Marathon. My heart really goes out to anyone and everyone, affected by the horrible events that took place at the marathon. In fact, my heart goes out to anyone out there in the world that is witness or a victim to such nauseating incidents. Seeing this kind of thing happen in a city as beautiful as my own, at a marathon, well it just all seems so pointless and sad.

Yesterday, after speaking with family and friends and confirming that they were all safe. I really wanted to eat something from home. I decided to make fish chowder. This recipe is very simple, rich and delicious. It took me back to memories of strolling outside in Quincy Market and grabbing a quick cup of chowdah with friends. It made me think about all the positive things about Boston. It’s a city with so much culture and distinctiveness. An incident like yesterday won’t and shouldn’t define it.

Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything

What you need.

  • 2 c stock
  • 2 TBSP flour (optional)
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 c minced onion
  • 2 cups peeled, cubed potatoes
  • 1 c cream + 1 c milk (or you can opt to only use milk)
  • 2 cups diced white fish
  • 1 TBSP butter (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How you make it.

  1. In a pot or large sauce pan over a medium heat, sauté onions in about 2 TBSP olive oil . Cook for about 10 minutes or until tender, do not brown.
  2. Sprinkle flour on top and mix, add in thyme.
  3. Pour in stock and add potatoes, cook over a medium-high heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 – 15 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, pour in cream, milk and fish and cook on low heat until fish is done cooking, about 5 – 8 minutes. Add a TBSP of butter and mix once dissolved. Taste and adjust, if needed.

All that was missing were the oyster crackers. =)

Serves 4, Enjoy!

 

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Sourdough Pizza

I think I’ve died and gone to pizza dough heaven. Recently, I tried my hand at making sourdough pizza. The rise time is longer than a recipe using commercial yeast, but I think the process is actually easier. The dough browned beautifully and had an incredible crunch and slightly acidic taste.

You can start this dough in the morning and by the time you return home in the evening, most of the work will already be done.

The below recipe makes enough for two thin crust pizzas

What you need.

  • 3 c flour
  • 4 TBSP starter
  • 3/4 c luke warm water
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP olive oil

How you make it.

  1. In a cup or bowl, mix water and starter, until the starter dissolves. Add honey and mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl mix flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the starter mixture and oil. Mix well, use a wooden spoon (and your hands) to incorporate all the ingredients until you have what resembles a messy dough ball.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, place it in a warm area of the house and let it rise 10 – 12 hours, it should double in size.
  4. After the dough has risen, knead it for about 5 – 10 minutes, cover with the plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to the highest setting.
  6. Split the dough in half you can freeze one, if you don’t plan on making both. Roll out the dough and top with your ingredients of choice. I used mozzarella, salmon, chives, and tomato sauce and mushrooms.
  7. Bake the pizza for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy!

Colombian Arepas

A dear friend visited me over the holidays. She came bearing all kinds of lovely goodies, including a Colombian cookbook. I’m looking forward to trying out some of the recipes.

After a day of sight-seeing, she kindly demonstrated how to make arepas, Columbian style. An arepa is a baked, grilled or fried corn patty, typically served with meat, cheese, eggs or vegetables. I absolutely LOVE arepas, they’re so nutritious and practical. I usually make them Venezuelan style. This type is thicker and eaten in a similar fashion to a hamburger — you slice the corn patty open and fill it with your ingredients of choice. My friend told me the Colombian version is much thinner and you typically put the ingredients on top of the arepa.

Tonight she prepared some arepas for me and my husband. I took a night off, observed her in action, set the table and prepared a little mixture of rucola, garlic, lemon and olive oil to go with the arepas. The below recipe makes 7 – 8 medium-sized arepas.

What you need.

  • 2 c. of pre-cooked corn flour (typically you can find this in an ethnic grocery store or grocery store aisle, some brands include P.A.N., Doña Arepa)
  • 2 c. warm water (a little more if the dough is too dry)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • canola or sunflower oil

How you make it.

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200F/105 C. Place an ovenproof dish in the oven.
  2. Pour corn flour in a bowl.Add in 1 tsp of salt.
  3. Gradually add water 1/2 c water at a time, mixing with your hands each time to incorporate the dough. Once you add all the water, the mixture should form a ball. The dough shouldn’t be too dry nor too wet/sticky.
  4. Place just enough oil in a pan to coat the bottom and heat the pan on medium-high heat.
  5. Take a handful of the dough and flatten it with your hands to form a flat circle. Use your fingers to smooth out the edges.
  6. Place the patty in the oil and fry until golden brown, carefully flip it and do the same for theuncooked side. Place the arepa in the oven-proof dish and cover to keep warm.
  7. Continue until you finish cooking all arepas.

Cover the arepa with your ingredients of choice. I added cheddar cheese, tomatoes and rucola tossed with garlic, lemon and olive oil.

Enjoy!