Category Archives: one-pan recipes

Mussels & Clams Pastis

mussels pastis

BiRite Market opened up a location a short bike ride from my house, and I’ve made it an excuse to shop in smaller quantities and incorporate the exercise of going to the store as an excuse to make even fresher meals. These beautiful PEI mussels were filled to the edge of their shells with meat, the freshest I’ve seen in a long while and exceptionally tender.

When shopping for shellfish, always make sure your shells are not broken (throw the mussel out if it is!), that they close when you agitate them, are free of debris on the outside (scrub them with cold water), and that you toss any that don’t open after cooking (though a small crack open is perfectly fine!).

In case you have not cleaned or bought bivalves before, here’s what I do to clean them up and inspect them:

How to Clean Mussels and Clams

1) Bring them home immediately, and if you aren’t using them in the next hour, open up their bag and put them in the refrigerator so they can breathe, or set them on ice and leave them out, as they do in the store. Always buy them the same day you intend to cook them.

2) 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking, place them in very cold fresh water and leave them unagitated for at least 10 minutes. They will relax, open up, and use the fresh water, thus rinsing out any sediment, sand, etc from the inside of their shells.

3) Before removing them from the water, inspect each mussel or clam for any missing chunks, major cracks, etc. If it has an imperfection, throw it out. If it does not close when you handle it, throw it out. Even when buying from a quality fishmonger, you’ll likely have 1-2 that get thrown out before cooking.

4) Next, if especially dirty, replace the cleaning water and recover in very cold water. Remove any “beards” or seaweed looking bits that are hanging out the side of the mussels shells. Do this with a quick jerking action down towards the thickest side of the mussel. It will take a little effort, especially if they are very fresh. Strain them and cook them within 20 minutes or so!

Mussels & Clams Pastis Recipe

Serves 2

1.5-2lb of mussels and clams
2 T olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C white wine
1 C Pernod or other anise liquor
2 T fresh parsley, roughly chopped
salt & pepper

In a large pan that will fit all of the mussels and clams, add the olive oil and heat to medium. Add the garlic and shallot, cooking until nearly translucent or beginning to be translucent, but not caramelized or browned. Add some salt, the white wine and pernod, and reduce slightly, raising heat immediately to high or medium high.

Add the mussels and/or clams and cover, cooking about 2 minutes before checking. Cover again if they are not all or mostly opened. When all are opened, remove lid and stir well, adding fresh cracked pepper. Remove the mussels and clams and set aside in a warm spot or in a heated bowl (or place into heated individual serving bowls). Change heat to high and reduce liquid by 1/2, then add the parsley and serve over the mussels and clams.

Serve with french fries or bread with butter.

A Whole Roasted Trout Recipe

 

Whole Roasted Trout from McFarland Farms

A few weeks ago, Peter served up a delicious, and, to my shock, farmed whole trout. He stuffed it with prosciutto and vegetables, preceded it with a baby beet salad with seasoned ricotta, and a great meal was had by all. This afternoon I braved the Thanksgiving crowds and visited Bi-Rite to get myself a trout and try it out myself.

McFarland Farms Whole Roasted Trout Meat

Whole Roasted Trout Stuffed with Prosciutto & Fennel Recipe

Serves 3-4

1 whole trout, 1.5-2 lbs (this is a rainbow trout)
4 pieces freshly sliced prosciutto di parma
1/2 head fennel, sliced thinly and sauteed until nearly caramelized in butter
zest of 1/2 lemon
salt

Ensure the trout is gutted fully and clean; season with salt inside and line the cavity with the prosciutto slices. Toss the cooked fennel with the lemon zest; between the sides of flesh, stuff the fennel into the fish. If you have twine or something edible to tie the fish together, do so now. Roast at 400 degrees for 15-25 minutes depending on the weight of your fish, on a foil lined pan, without cover.

When serving, gently remove the skin from the top half of the fish and push the meat off the bones. When the spine is exposed, lift it up or turn the fish over to remove the rest of the meat. Remove the prosciutto sack and cut it into slices to serve along the fish.

Roasted Crispy Chickpeas with Bangkok Spice

One of my all time favorite upscale bar snacks, these crispy, fluffy, roasted chickpeas are versitile and delicious. You can serve them by themselves as a snack or on a salad to add a substantial note to it, such as the Arugula Pistachio Salad. These are also known as garbanzo beans–so, roasted crispy garbanzo beans with bangkok spice.

Roasted Crispy Chickpeas Recipe
Feel free to make a double or triple batch. This is a great snack for 2-4.

1 can or 15 oz cooked chickpeas
1 T olive oil
Salt
Bangkok spice or Cajun seasoning (or similar)

Preheat oven to 400. Drain and rinse the chickpeas well. Dry them between paper towels, lightly smashing each one to break it open. If you have a cast iron pan, add the olive oil and mix the chickpeas into it. If you don’t, use a heavy bottomed baking pan or pie pan. Add the salt and spices, mixing well. Bake for 35-45 minutes, agitating/stirring every 10 minutes for maximum crispiness.

 

Coconut Cabbage and Eggs

Coconut cabbage and eggs with spring peas, almonds, and herbs

Coconut cabbage and eggs with spring peas, almonds, and herbs

I was craving some vegetables this morning and remembered I had a beautiful Wakefield cabbage in the fridge–I unpacked it from my CSA box from Eatwell Farms last Thursday and noticed how soft and supple its leaves were, and its unusual pear shape. I don’t think I’ve had this variety before–it’s a pale, bearess lime type of green with a pointed top. The green garlic and eggs in this recipe are also from Eatwell.

The bowl in the photos above is my favorite at the moment, for everything from a meal of strawberries & cashew cream to soup to salad and beyond. It’s from Art & Manufacture on Etsy, and she shipped super quickly!

Coconut Cabbage and Eggs Recipe with Green Garlic
Serves 1-2

3-4 large cabbage leaves (tender Wakefield if you can find it), sliced very thinly
1 stalk green garlic or 2 scallions or 1 spring onion, sliced thinly
1/4 C fresh English peas, shelled (I bought 5 lbs from Mariquita Farms recently!)
1/3 C coconut milk or Spicy Lemon Coconut Sauce
2 eggs, whisked
10 almonds
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
Optional: 1/2 Jalapeno or other hot, small pepper chopped finely

Heat a pan to low heat and add 1-2 tsp olive oil. Add the green garlic (or scallion/spring onion) and cook until beginning to lose shape, a few minutes. Turn the heat to medium high and add the cabbage, stir, and add a generous pinch of sea salt. Cook 2-3 minutes until cabbage begins to wilt.

Add the coconut milk, peas,  and the pepper if using, and cook until cabbage is totally wilted, about 4 minutes. It will still have texture. Reduce heat to medium and add the scrambled eggs.

Chop the almonds (mine were soaked and sprouted) while the eggs cook, stirring the egg and cabbage mixture occasionally. When eggs are cooked, it is finished. Top with parsley and lightly mix, and finally the almonds.

 

Asparagus with Spring Onions, Orange Zest, and Parmesan

Asparagus with Spring Onions, Orange Zest, and Parmesan

Asparagus with Spring Onions, Orange Zest, and Parmesan

A wonderful, quick appetizer served communally–the kind of thing you whip together in 5 minutes flat to hold you over for dinner a few hours later, as you wrap up the workday or settle in for the evening. Also great at brunch!

Asparagus with Spring Onions, Orange Zest, and Parmesan Recipe

1 lb asparagus
1 large red spring onion or two smaller ones*, sliced fairly thin in rings
zest of 1 orange
parmesan, shaved
olive oil
salt & pepper

Peel the bottom 2/3rds of your asparagus lightly with a vegetable peeler. This can be done a day in advance if the asparagus is then kept in plastic.

In a skillet at medium high heat, warm about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the asparagus, tossing to coat. Put a lid loosely on top and reduce heat to medium, allowing to cook until color has brightened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove lid and add onions, tossing. Raise heat slightly and cook 2 more minutes, until onions are softened. Add orange zest, tossing quickly. Place on a platter and within 1 minute, add parmesan shavings. Serve warm.

*When unavailable, you can substitute shallots, but do add to the pan a bit earlier or pre-soak the sliced shallots in water for 20-30 minutes to remove some of the abrasiveness.