Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tarragon-Garlic Compound Butter

I have a project coming up in the next week or so involving a lot of baking treats for people. Since there's going to be baguette involved, I thought I'd make a couple compound butters to go with it. This is one of them. It's perfect for spreading on bread, for baking into bread (for garlic bread), or apparently just for tasting with a spoon. Hope you enjoy!

2 tablespoons tarragon (I used Mexican)
2 tablespoons roasted garlic
4 tablespoons (half a stick) butter
pinch salt

Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor (I prefer the processor for this since it's easier to clean and also easier to get the butter out) until the herbs are well chopped but not homogenously blended with the butter. Makes about 5-6 tablespoons.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Halibut en Papillot

I had a couple halibut steaks I wanted to make for us, but I was also feeling lazy and not like paying attention to my fish. So I ended up deciding to do it this way, since you can just plunk it in the oven and come back later. Plus, it's already portioned out and you get to open up a fun, steamy package. Hope you enjoy!

2 6-ounce halibut filets
2 tablespoons each: thinly sliced green onions, thinly sliced celery, butter, lemon juice, radish greens (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, sliced thinly lengthwise
2 small sprigs each: mint, Thai basil
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 425F. Get out two pieces of parchment paper and brush them with olive oil on one side, leaving a 2" border around the edges free of oil. Put a piece of fish on each piece of parchment, then season with salt and pepper. Add half of the onions, celery, butter, lemon juice, radish greens, garlic, mint and basil to the top of each filet (I put the butter on the very top). Fold the top of the paper over so the fish sits along the seam and fold it down and around the edges tightly*. Bake 15-18 minutes. Serves 2.

* Here's a video showing you how. You'll want to start this video about 40 seconds from the end.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Italian Sausage Ragout

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with ragout. In my mind, it's not that good but it is easy to make when I feel pressed for energy to devote to cooking. In reality, I love eating ragout because it's good. Really good. This one I particularly enjoyed. I will try to remember I like things like this so I can make them more often. Hope you enjoy!

1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed (or even better, without them at all)
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 8-ounce can mushrooms
1 15-ounce can each: crushed tomatoes, stewed tomatoes (cut up a bit)
2 cups veggie stock
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon chile flakes
1 small sprig rosemary, left whole
3 sprigs basil (I used Thai since it's growing profusely and the Genevese isn't yet), torn into pieces

Over medium heat, fry sausage in a large saucepan. Add remainder of first group of ingredients when the sausage is nearly cooked, and fry for 5-10 minutes. Add second group of ingredients and simmer until thicker, about an hour (though I cooked it longer for the flavors). Serve over pasta. Serves 4-6.