Saturday, June 27, 2009

June Daring Bakers: Raspberry Bakewell Tart

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.

This month's challenge was a fun one - I brought it to a father's day celebration at my sister's house and everyone loved it. It even put up a good showing against mom's homemade blueberry pie and my brother-in-law's homemade ice cream!

I decided on raspberry for my filling since the market had big red juicy raspberries that were irresistible. I also love raspberry and almond together. To make the jam I simply combined three pints of the berries in a saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar and let it cook until it was thickened. It was a bit tart but combined perfectly with the frangipane.

Bakewell Tart…er…pudding
Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin
One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds (optional)

Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it's overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.
The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

Sweet shortcrust pastry
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film
225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Restaurant review: Pithari Taverna

For fabulous Greek food, you could hop a flight to Santorini or Crete, but why not grab your GPS and head to Highland Park, New Jersey? Pithari Taverna is the real thing. The owner, Tassos Stefanopoulos, will welcome you into the casual restaurant, which is decorated in traditional Greek blue and white. Take a peek into the open kitchen where the chef really is Greek!

When you're seated, you'll be served a selection of olives in garlicky extra virgin olive oil and a basket of fresh warm pita cut into triangles. Don't miss dipping the pita into the oil! The menu at Pithari is extensive, offering all of the traditional Greek dishes you'd expect.

For starters, we've tried a number of options, but there are two we never miss. The grilled octopus is other-worldly - there's a reason the menu boasts, "We are famous for it!" Served in a shallow copper pot, three tantalizing tentacles in a simple mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar and dried oregano will leave you begging for more. If you've never tried octopus or think you won't like it, forget your fears of this eight-armed creature and order this appetizer! Tender, juicy, and extremely mild, it's not to be missed.

Our other favorite is saganaki. Kefalograviera, a dense Greek cheese, is lightly batted and then fried. Served on a sizzling platter, drizzle it with a bit of lemon and eat pieces of it on the pita. A little salty, a little chewy, and a lot cheesy, it's a great start to a meal and a crowd-pleaser.

You'll notice that the list of entrees is quite lengthy. Broken into a few categories, there's something for everyone. The first group are traditional Greek specialties, things like Moussaka, Pastitsio, Spanikopita, several lamb preparations and more. Under that is a section of Souvlaki and Gyro offerings. I don't typically order chicken in restaurants, but the chicken souvlaki is tender, juicy and packed with flavor. Served with tzatziki and your choice of starch (get the lemon potatoes), it's a simple, yet hearty meal perfectly prepared.

On the next page you'll find grilled offerings and seafood entrees. Fresh fish is a specialty at Pithari and they always have some Mediterranean fish available. You might find red mullet, porgy, orato and more, all imported fresh!

On our most recent visit, I tried a new dish while my husband went for an old favorite he hadn't tried in awhile. His dish, Arni Fricase, is a hearty stew of lamb, Greek artichoke hearts and dill in a lemon egg sauce. For a stew, the sauce is lighter than you might think. Definitely rich, the lemon lightens the taste and dill adds a unique flare!

I opted for Arni Kokkinisto Makaronada. This one had chunks of lamb as well, but the sauce was tomato based and it was served over a bed of homemade pasta, similar to a bucatini. Between lamb and pasta, I found bits of feta and they also gave me some grated Greek cheese to sprinkle on top. The lamb simply melted in your mouth and the pasta was cooked perfectly. The portion was huge so we took half home (especially after saganaki and octopus).

Sadly, I had no room left for my favorite dessert. Galaktomboureko is made from layers of fillo topped with a silky custard and more fillo. The whole thing is drizzled with Greek honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Few desserts are this good. Period. (I've been known to get one to-go if I'm too full!) Authentic Greek coffee is a great companion to this lush dessert.

Pithari Taverna is a restaurant we visit again and again. We've brought family and friends there and all return for more. Authentic Greek food in a casual setting with a gracious host - who could ask for more!?

Pithari on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Last supper #17: Lidia Bastianich

The name alone tells you this one has to be Italian - but that could mean anything. It could be a complicated meal involving numerous courses. Or it could be a simple, classic dish. Fortunately for this cook, it was the latter. For her last supper, Lidia Bastianich wanted linguine with white clam sauce. Easy, enough, right? There was one hitch for me - my husband is horribly allergic to clams so I had to make this when he wasn't around or prepare two dinners.

The perfect occasion presented itself when my Dad recently came back from a trip to Martha's Vineyard. As he often does, he went quahogging on the island and delivered me a fresh dozen littleneck clams. So, while one pan sauteed chicken for Jeff, I whipped up some white clam sauce for myself.

The clams really make the meal. You just can't find any fresher, sweeter clams! When I was little, we vacationed on Martha's Vineyard every summer and one year, we met three islanders who clammed for a living. As we got to know them, they'd give us fresh clams regularly. Most of their catch went to local seafood markets. Over the years they became close friends of my parents. In fact, the woman, Frances just celebrated her 90th birthday! Some years ago, they taught my dad their trade so we now get clams whenever he heads to the island!

Here's my recipe. I improvised a bit so quantities aren't exact. Like more garlic? Add it. Prefer less parsley? Go for it. The only thing you have to get perfect is the clams. Everything else comes together... This serves 1-2, so multiply accordingly. Figure about a dozen small clams per person.

Pasta with white clam sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pat of butter
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup white wine
1-2 dozen fresh clams, scrubbed
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Pasta, preferably linguine or angel hair

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter and oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for about a minute. Don't brown the garlic. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer. Add the clams and parsley and cover the pan. Let the clams steam until they've all just opened. Discard any that don't open.

Season with salt and pepper and pour the whole thing over the cooked pasta.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Index of Recipes

Now that Ladyberd's Kitchen is over a year old, it's about time I added an index of recipes. I've grouped it by course, so have a look thru. And as always if I post about something but don't leave a recipe, feel free to leave a comment and I'll send you the recipe. For easy reference, I'll put a link to the index on the right. Check back often to see what's new!

Appetizers & First Courses
Main courses

Fish and Seafood
Side Dishes
Sauces and cooking basics

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Restaurant review: Bel Paese Cranford

"I am a pasta fanatic." Those were the words of Bel Paese's owner, Enzo, as he took our order and told us about his specialties. A native Italian, you can tell Enzo loves what he does and has a real passion for food. And he was right. His was some of the best pasta around.

But I'm getting ahead of myself...

We often passed this little restaurant on our way to other spots in Cranford. One day a co-worker of mine mentioned it and siad the food was terrific. Since then, it's been on my must-try list. So Friday night, we decided to give it a shot.

We made a reservation and grabbed a bottle of our favorite Italian wine. Upon entering, we were seated at small table toward the back. By day, Bel Paese is a deli, so don't expect elegant decor. It's clean and the service friendly, but it's casual - you could bring kids here without worrying. One thing I noticed immediately was the giant silver barrel of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the counter and the huge espresso machine behind it. I had a good feeling about this place...

We were served some bread and butter as we looked over the menu. Next time, I'll skip the bread. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. Once we ordered, we were brought two servings of bruschetta. The tomato topping was delicious, but the bread was again a bit lacking.

The menu is extensive. You'll find all the traditional dishes most people look for in an Italian restaurant: Chicken and Veal Parmigiana, Penne with vodka sauce, fried calamari. You'll also find some more unusual preparations of veal, chicken, fish and shrimp, as well as numerous pastas. Most appetizers are about $10 and most of the entrees are $15-$20. There are also a number of specials.

To start, we chose two appetizers off the main menu. One was a Stuffed artichoke and the other was Bocconcino al Forno. The Artichoke was huge and packed with breadcrumbs, garlic, more garlic, some pine nuts and some provolone cheese. It was delicious - did I mention the garlic? The Bocconcino were simply divine. There were four sizeable rounds of fresh, homemade mozzarella, each topped with a piece of prosciutto and a sprinkle of garlicky breadcrumbs. Around them on the plate was a bit of homemade tomato sauce. The whole thing was baked until the breadcrumbs were toasted and the cheese warmed through but not melted. The flavor was spectacular. Both appetizers were large portions - one would have sufficed for the two of us.

Then came the main course. My husband order a special that had veal scallopine with portobello mushrooms, peas, shrimp, melted cheese and tomato sauce. It came with a generous side of penne with the same sauce. At first glance, I noted that there was a good amount of mushrooms on it, but it looked like there weren't many shrimp - Jeff corrected me and said there were about 10 shrimp on the dish! I tasted it (twice) and it was excellent. The veal was tender, the mushrooms cooked perfectly. Definitely something we'd get again.
I ordered a pasta special - after all, Enzo is a pasta fanatic. It was called Boscaiola - homemade fettucine with crumbled sausage, bacon, parsley, mushrooms, egg, and cheese. One bite and I was back in Rome on my honeymoon. This pasta was delicious. There's no comparison to the stuff that comes out of a box - this was homemade - and fresh! And the flavors in the dish combined perfectly. The portion was huge too. About halfway thru his veal, we decided that the veal would travel better so Jeff pushed his plate aside and happily helped me thru my pasta. We were both stuffed and took half of his veal and about a quarter of my pasta home.

We had no room for dessert, but they do offer an extensive list of Italian desserts. We each had an espresso - reasonably priced at only $2.

If you find yourself in Cranford, let Enzo take care of you. It's obvious that he has a passion for what he does. Don't let the casual atmosphere alter your expectations. Try the pasta. I will certainly go back any time I miss Italy!

Enzo - if you're reading this, we will be back and we will bring friends and family. We felt welcome in your restaurant and your pasta is simply delicious. Thanks for a great meal!

Bel Paese on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 15, 2009

Daring Cooks Challenge: Potstickers!

The second Daring Cooks' challenge is hosted by Jen of use real butter and it is Chinese dumplings which can be steamed, boiled or fried (called potstickers).

These were terrific fun to make! They took awhile to roll out the wrappers and pleat the folds, but the turned out delicious. I made pork potstickers and then with the leftover dough, I made a dozen Thai Green Curry shrimp potstickers. Both were full of flavor and definitely something I'd make again!

Chinese Dumplings/Potstickers

pork filling:

  • 1 lb (450g) ground pork
  • 4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced
  • 3 stalks green onions, minced
  • 7 shitake mushrooms, minced (if dried - rehydrated and rinsed carefully)
  • 1/2 cup (75g) bamboo shoots, minced
  • 1/4 (55g) cup ginger root, minced
  • 3 tbsp (40g) soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp (28g) sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp (16g) corn starch

dipping sauce:

  • 2 parts soy sauce
  • 1 part vinegar (red wine or black)
  • a few drops of sesame oil
  • chili garlic paste (optional)
  • minced ginger (optional)
  • minced garlic (optional)
  • minced green onion (optional)
  • sugar (optional)

Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).

Make the dough: In a large bowl mix flour with 1/4 cup of water and stir until water is absorbed. Continue adding water one teaspoon at a time and mixing thoroughly until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. We want a firm dough that is barely sticky to the touch.

Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking - about 1/16th inch. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side (see images in post for how to fold pleats). Keep all unused dough under damp cloth.

To boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float.

To steam: Place dumplings on a single layer of napa cabbage leaves or on a well-greased surface in a steamer basket with lid. Steam covered for about 6 minutes.

To pan fry (potstickers): Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.

Can't wait to see what the Daring Cooks have in store next month!

Pork Potstickers on Foodista

My cookbook review in the Daring Kitchen!

I must say I feel a bit famous. Yesterday, a cookbook review I wrote went live on the Daring Kitchen website. Those of you who follow my blog will not be surprised to learn that I reviewed one of my favorite cookbooks: Bistro Laurent Tourondel: New American Bistro Cooking.

Check out the review in the Daring Kitchen. And while you're there have a look around!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Last supper #16: Jonathan Waxman

I know, I know. I've been really bad about my Last Supper posts. But this is a good one. For his last supper, Chef Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in New York City, listed a number of our favorites: Grilled spring lamb, gnocchi with truffles, and grilled porcini salad, among other things.
I prepared the lamb our favorite way. I marinate the rack for several hours in a mixture of salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic, more garlic and lots of fresh rosemary. Then my grill-master husband takes over and grills it until it's charred but still pink and juicy! delish!
I also made the gnocchi from scratch. This was my second attempt at homemade gnocchi and these turned out better than the first. It does help when the potatoes are sufficiently cooked :)

I boiled them and then tossed them into a saute pan with a little butter, olive oil and garlic. (I always cut butter with olive oil to reduce the fat. You still get the nice buttery flavor, but less saturated fat). I added some sea salt and just before serving I sprinkeld with chopped truffled and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. I finished it with a touch of white truffle oil.
The Porcini salad was really a portabello salad. Try though I might I couldn't find porcinis. So I drizzled a little olive oil, salt and pepper on a few portabello caps and then we grilled them. Here's my recipe:

Grilled Portabello Salad with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 Portabello mushroom caps
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Small bunch of fresh baby arugula
  • 2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano
Gently clean the mushroom caps then rub each with a little Extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat until just cooked thru, a couple minutes a side. Remove from grill.

Prepare the dressing. Whisk together 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and the lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, pour just enough dressing on the arugula to gently coat it. Pile the arugula on two plates. Slice the mushrooms and arrange over the arugula. Top each with a good amount of fresh shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Grilled Portabello Salad With Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano on Foodista

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tapas for two: a taste of Spain at home

I'm a Food Network junkie. I admit it. I love those shows - some of them at least. My new favorite is Chef Anne Burrell's Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. I first became familiar with Burrell in her role a sous chef to Mario Batali on Iron Chef America. On Secrets, she makes a wide range of restaurant dishes at home. Her energy is great and the flavors are phenomenal - and things anyone can try at home. I caught an episode on tapas a few weeks ago and as I watched, I knew I had to make this meal.

My husband and I went to Spain last year and more recently to Mario Batali's Casa Mono (twice). So we have tapas-fever. As I watched Chef Burrell make Eggs Flamenco, Catalan Toasts and Shrimp in Garlic Sauce, I was whisked away to Barcelona. The ingredients and recipes are easy and the flavors big and bold. I've put the recipe for the eggs below as well as the method for the bread, and you can find the recipe for the shrimp on the FN website. (note, I added some smoked hot paprika to mine for added flavor and color).

Last Saturday, I decided to turn our home into Spain. As Jeff worked in the yard, I turned the kitchen into tapas-central. To make this meal, start the sauce for the eggs first. As it simmers, prep the shrimp and set the table. Then, while the eggs are in the oven, grill the bread and cook the shrimp. Perfect-o!

And who heard of Tapas without Spanish wine??? We had some 2006 Quiteria Loma Gorda - this is a Spanish Granache Syrah that we got a the Wine Library and I've bought it repeatedly. (At $11.98 a bottle, why not??) Or try your favorite Rioja or a glass of cool sangria!

Eggs Flamenco
Recipes from Chef Anne Burrell, on

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
  • 1 cup (1/2-inch) diced Spanish chorizo
  • 1 teaspoon pimenton
  • 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped with their juice or passed through a food mill
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely grated aged manchego
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

Special Equipment: 4 (6-inch wide) flat ovenproof dishes such as terra cotta cazuelas

Coat a saucepan with olive oil, add the onions and bring to a medium heat. Season the onions with salt and sweat for 7 to 8 minutes or until the onions are soft and very aromatic. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the chorizo and pimenton and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season with salt. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust, if needed.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Oil the cazuelas. Fill each dish about halfway with the tomato sauce. Break 2 eggs into each dish and sprinkle with grated cheese. Place the cazuelas into the preheated oven and bake until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 8 minutes.
When the eggs are done, sprinkle with chives and serve.

Catalan Toasts

  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 6 thick, bias cut, slices baguette
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 slices serrano ham (you can sub prosciutto if you can't get Serrano).

Preheat the grill to medium.
Cut the tomato in half and grate it on the coarse side of a box grater. Reserve the tomato pulp.
Grill the bread slices on both sides until they are slightly charred. When the bread comes off the grill rub each slice with a garlic clove and drizzle generously with olive oil. Top each toast with tomato pulp and a tiny sprinkle of salt. Cover tomato with a slice of ham and serve.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Moroccan Fish Tagine: A New Favorite!

I'm not sure how my husband managed to eat this meal since he seemed to spend the whole time singing its praises... but there wasn't a scrap left in his dish at the end. About 6 months ago, my sister gave me an authentic Moroccan tagine - a terracotta pot with a cone-shaped lid. The lid has a single little hole in one side near the top to let just a little steam out. Most of the moisture stays inside, creating moist tender dishes. So far, I've only used it for chicken. But she also gave me a copy of Ghillie Basan's cookbook called Tagine: Spicy Stews from Morocco, so I decided to give this one a go.

The ingredients are pretty basic, so don't let the fact that it is Moroccan deter you. No tagine? Just use a heavy pot with a lid. (It won't look as cool on the stove, but it'll taste great.)

Tagine of Monkfish, Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes and Black Olives
adapted from Tagine: Spicy Stews from Morocco by Ghillie Basan

  • About 1 lb. monkfish, cut into chunks
  • 4 new potatoes
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 pat of butter
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 12-16 cherry or grape tomatoes
  • about 12 fleshy black olives - I used Kalamata
  • 1 green bell pepper, broiled until black, peeled and then cut into strips
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon wedges, to serve
For the Chermoula

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 heaping tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 red or green chile, seeded and chopped
  • freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • a small bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

First, make the chermoula. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic with the salt to a smooth paste. Add the cumin and chile and mash a bit. Add the lemon juice and olive oil. Finally, stir in the cilantro. Put the fish in a shallow dish and rub it with about three quarters of the chermoula. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Reserve the remaining chermoula.

Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil and drop in the potatoes. Boil vigorously until almost cooked, but still a bit hard - the original recipe says 8 minutes for small potatoes. I did mine about 11 but probably could have let them go a minute or two longer. Remove them from the water and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil with the pat of butter in the bottom of a tagine or heavy bottomed pan. Add the garlic and stir. When the garlic starts to brown, add the tomatoes to soften them a bit. Add the peppers and the reserved chermoula. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Tip this mixture onto a plate.

Arrange the potatoes over the bottom of the tagine and spread half of the tomato mixture over them. Place the chunks of marinated fish over the center then spoon the rest of the tomato mixture over the top. Tuck the olives in around the fish and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Pour in about 1/2 cup of water. Cover and let steam for 15-20 minutes, until the fish and potatoes are cooked through. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Tagine Of Monkfish, Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes and Black Olives on Foodista

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Southwest Pork Kabobs: a new summertime favorite

Recently, I was perusing my copy of Weber's Real Grilling and came across a recipe for Southwest Pork Kabobs with GrapeTomatoes. A quick read of the ingredients put this on my must-try list. So, last night, we tried! And they were delish! Garnished with fresh chopped cilantro and a lime wedge, they also make a pretty presentation. Make the marinade in the morning and then dinner's almost ready when you get home!

Find my adaptation of the recipe below the picture! You can leave out the Pimenton. The original doesn't call for it but I love the smoky flavor and the heat!

Southwest Pork Kabobs with Grape Tomatoes


  • Juice of one orange (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. Ancho Chile powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Hot Pimenton (smoked paprika) - optional or use sweet smoked paprika if you don't like spicy!
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 lbs. Pork loin, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • Lime wedges
  • Chopped cilantro

Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a non-reactive dish or resealable bag. Add the pork and toss to coat thoroughly. Stick it in the fridge for at least an hour (I made it in the morning and let it marinate while at work).

Just before cooking, preheat grill on high. Thread pork and tomatoes onto skewers, alternating them. Discard excess marinade.

Grill on high direct heat for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently. On our BBQ, these took 8 minutes. They char beautifully but don't get dry. Serve with lime wedges and sprinkle with cilantro.

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