Saturday, December 16, 2006

Happy Hanaukkah!

We hit the Farmer's Market early this morning (but not as early as we'd wanted!) for vegetables to pickle for presents. We bought some carrots, brussel sprouts, and beets. They didn't have some of the other vegetables we wanted, so we had to resort to the grocery store for the rest. We're pickling tomorrow....I can feel the energy. Although I have to admit, I'm a little worried about working my pickle magic in the kitchen with D., who is very particular about his cooking style and recipes....he's a scientist; me, I'm more of an artist.

Last night was uncertain because I had conflicting plans, but it turned out that I ended my day near Union Square after having a drink with a friend at a cafe I'd never been to: 71 Irving. I stopped off at Whole Foods before jumping on the train to Brooklyn to get some fish and vegetables. I had an idea from the Bon Apetit magazine that I had just gotten in the mail. There was an article about how eating farm-raised fish is better for the environment than wild ones, and after just seeing Happy Feet, I was all for contributing to the well-being of penguins (and everybody else). The article said that tilapia, in particular, is a good farm-raised fish because the water it's raised in is rich in nutrients that are good for us, too.

I didn't remember the recipe exactly, so I just picked up a few things that I thought I would need and headed home. I cut up some carrots and elephant garlic and started roasting them in the oven. Then I flash-fried two pieces of tilapia with salt and pepper and set them aside. I sauted a bunch of broccoli rabe and set that aside as well. I simmered about 3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar with some chopped up garlic and set that aside. I also decided to fry some shallots to put on top of the fish. I called D. and told him the only thing I was missing was butter, so he brought some over. I put the broccoli rabe in the casserole dish in the oven with the roasted carrots and garlic, and put the fish on top. I popped it in the oven at 350 F and stirred 1/2 c of butter into the balsamic vinegar mixture, which I reheated.

I served the fish on top of the vegetables, drizzled the balsamic-butter vinegar on top, and then sprinkled some fried shallots on top. What a great meal! And it paired nicelyl with a wine called Echelon (2005 Pinot Noir, Central Coast, Sacramento, CA, hints of cherry and clove.

D. and I wondered whether ginger might have been a good spice to add. Next time.

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