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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Split Pea Purée

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you’re off to a lovely start. Personally, I think this year will be  just wonderful! Especially since I lived to tell my survival story (i.e. Dec. 21, 2012). I’ve started the year with only a couple of resolutions, the fewer I have, the fewer I break! One of my resolutions is to consume more vegetables and fruits, especially in a liquified or blended form. If you follow my blog, you know this is an easy one for me, considering I’m fascinated by puréed food.

Here’s  a delicious purée I whipped up last year around the holidays. I can’t really call it a soup, because it’s so thick. I made this with Moroccan Country Bread. Delish! Feel free to abandon your spoon and shovel large amounts into your mouth with your bread.

One thing to note, this recipe takes about 1.5 hrs. It primarily involves waiting  reading a book, drooling over other bloggers recipes, learning the Gangnam style dance, etc., while the beans cook.

What you need.

Recipe adapted from M. Bittmann’s How to Cook Everything.

2 c green split peas

6 c of stock or water ( I used my special trash stock)

*2 potatoes (works as a thickening agent)

2 onions

salt, a little pepper and curry (to taste)

extra virgin olive oil

How you make it.

  1. 1. Sauté onion in oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until translucent in color.
  2. Pour in stock and peas, bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover partly, stirring occasionally.
  3. Peel and quarter your potatoes, add them to the pot about 30 minutes after the peas have cooked.
  4. Once peas and potatoes are soft (about 60 minutes total), purée with a blender, season.
  5. Serve with a warm bread or croûtons and enjoy!

If you don’t want a thick purée, consider using 1 or no potatoes.

Trash Vegetable Stock

I haven’t blogged in almost 3 months and I return with a post like this!! Apologies, I know the name of this post is a bit gross. I hope you aren’t conjuring up images of me picking through my trash.

Well actually, I am using “trash” to make a delicious soup, however, it’s “saved” trash. When I cook, I keep all of my carrot peelings, potato skins, onion skins, leek leaves, etc., in a container/freezer bag in my fridge. Generally, after about 2 weeks, I have enough scraps to make a soup stock.  This soup stock is cheaper than what you’ll find at your grocery store, healthier, it’s eco-friendly, as it offers an alternative for those who can’t compost, and best of all it’s delicious! Moral of the story, your trash could really be your treasure!

This won’t be a formal recipe, but a foundation recipe for your next soup stock. The measurements don’t need to be perfect, so just throw in what you have and work your magic.

What you need.

  • Veggie scraps – I used about 1 liter of carrot, onion, leek and scallion scraps
  • 2 – 3 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 large onions cut in half (keep the peel on)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 cup of fresh mushrooms or 1/4 cup of dried mushroom soaked in 1 c. warm water
  • 4 TBSP of olive oil
  • 8 – 10 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • 8 cups of water
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to make it.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F (app. 205 C)
  2. Place all carrots, onions, potatoes, garlic and fresh mushrooms (if using dry, keep them on the side) in a roasted pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Put the pan in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes or until veggies are nice and brown. You may have to turn the veggies a couple of times to make sure it roasts evenly.
  3. Scoop the ingredients into a stockpot. Add your scraps and remaining ingredients (excluding the salt and pepper). Bring the contents to a boil, then partly cover and reduce heat.
  4. Cook until veggies are soft (abt. 45 minutes)
  5. Strain the mixture, pressing the vegetables to extract the juice.
  6. You can season your stock now or when you’re ready to use your stock later, this is really up to you.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This made about 3 quarts (little less than 3.5 liters). Add this stock as a base to your soups and enjoy. Now you’ve really turned your trash into a treasure.

Have you tried your hand at making soup stock?