February 11, 2008
Food Days Continue

This weekend has turned into a festival of food. Though I hoped to get out and about and to catch up on some creative projects, I really cannot fuss much about spending my time in the kitchen. Especially when the process is fun and the results are so delicious.

Around dinnertime, Tod offered to do the shopping while I worked on starters but the trip destroyed his bicycle. A Morsbag full of ingredients dangling from this handlebars got caught in his front wheel. Fortunately, Tod was spared injury and the bottle of wine that did the damage was opened with the help of tin snips and pliers. The bike will be replaced later today.

Dinner was a feast and we were happy to have Rob over to share it with us. We made crackers from Heidi Swanson’s recipe and they were fabulously light and flavorful. I whipped up an avocado spread with dried tomatoes, and we served mohamara and oat crackers, too. And that was just the opening.

Our main was aqua pazza with clams, red snapper and Chilean sea bass served with green rice, which seems to be short grain brown rice and cooks up beautifully nutty and robust. Tod made an amazing salad of strawberries and rocket. I don’t think we had dessert; we certainly didn’t need it.

Oat Crackers
makes about a dozen

1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/4 cup warm water

Mix the oats, salt, and water with your hands until a dough forms. Press the dough into a disc, sprinkle with oats and roll out thinly between sheets of waxed paper. Cut into cracker shapes and bake at 170C for about 15 minutes, or until the crackers are thoroughly dry and crispy. Store in an airtight container.

serves 1-6

2 or 3 large sweet red peppers
1 Tbsp water
2/3 c. walnuts, lightly toasted
2/3 c breadcrumbs
1/4 c olive oil
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

Roast the peppers until charred all over. Peel, stem and seed them, then chop coarsely. Place everything in the food processor and process until smooth. Taste for salt. Rest at least a few hours, ideally overnight, and at most 7 days. Serve at room temperature.

Aqua Pazza
serves 4

Normally in aqua pazza the vegetables are removed from the liquid and discarded before the fish is poached, but I like to serve the vegetables so I leave them in.

1 carrot
1 stalk celery
5 small tomatoes
1/2 yellow bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, halved
1 bunch mitsuba (or parsley)
2 Tbsn black olives
3-4 firm fleshed fish fillets, skin on
2 dozen small clams
cheap white wine and/or water
salt & pepper to taste

Chop the vegetables into serving size pieces. Put all the vegetables and seasonings into a heavy pan with a lid. Pour in wine to a depth of 3 cm - or a little more if you like. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes to soften the vegetables. Add the fish and clams, cover and simmer another 5 or 6 minutes until the fish is cooked and the clams are open. Serve with rice or bread to sop up the broth.

Strawberry Salad
serves 4

This was inspired by Tod”s love of strawberries and black pepper and Mark Bittman’s strawberry salad recipe which incorporates both, plus balsamic vinegar and arugula.

1 pint strawberries
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
fresh black pepper
1 blood orange
1 Tbsp goat cheese
5 stems fresh spearmint
2 cups rucola/rocket/arugula
olive oil

Quarter the strawberries, mix with balsamic & lots of black pepper and marinate ten minutes. Peel, section, remove the inner skin, and chop the blood orange. Mix with the strawberries, crumble goat cheese over, and toss with rocket and spearmint leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with your best olive oil.

Posted by kuri at February 11, 2008 11:54 AM


Oh yum. Just so yum. I have to go eat now….

Posted by: j-ster on February 11, 2008 06:09 PM

I made the crackers, and added chives. Yum!

Posted by: Jenn on February 13, 2008 03:45 AM

pomegranate molasses - never heard of this one. Sounds great though and also sounds very tough to find in my local co-op.

Posted by: T on February 13, 2008 02:02 PM

Ok, it snowed here so I made four kinds of crackers. Chives,red pepper, garlic/basil, and cinnamon (for my sweet tooth!). Then I made the Muhammara, without the pomegranate molasses - and it’s good. I remember this from when you visited. Thanks! Fannie Farmer has this same oat cracker recipe, too.

Posted by: Jenn on February 13, 2008 09:47 PM
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