Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pasta e carciofi.

I pick my artichokes young, when their outer layers can be simply slipped off, their slender bases easily peeled. I cut them in half, ignoring the unformed choke and  drop them in boiling water acidulated with wine vinegar for a total of five minutes. Then, I drain and save the artichokes to serve immediately or place in a mason jar, fill with oil and save in the refrigerator.

Fresh artichoke hearts can be added to salads, pizzas, torta, pasta.

Today, I want them  with spaghetti.

I  saute green onions and garlic in a big pan with good olive oil and some pepper flakes,  add the drained artichokes, cut bite-size, and season with salt and pepper. Voila', a simple sauce for pasta and artichoke hearts.
If you have fresh peas or fresh fava, they will go great in this sauce,

You can take a shortcut and use a jar of artichoke hearts for a similar taste.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fillet of fish "arraganato"

Most of the fish we buy are cut so we can easily saute' or grill. But what if you have an opportunity to pick up inexpensive "throw" fish, fish that gets caught in the trolling and is usually discarded.  Our local CSF Community supported Fishery brings us a variety of smaller fish we have never seen before, and recommends ways to cook it too.

Breaded and baked in a hot oven, any small fry or uneven chunks can turn out into marvelous meals.

This is how I prepare such fish, may it be a fillet of cod, or a couple of sardines. I fillet the fish, removing the bone, and cover it with a breading mix, I prepare ahead, and bake the fish in a hot oven for 20-25 minutes.

Breading Mix:

2 slices of whole-grain bread
1 clove of garlic
1 diced onion and celery sauteed for five minutes
1/2 bunch of diced parsley or dill

Pulse in a food processor, or chop up and mix and spread on the fish. Add a good drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon.