Archives for category: Surfer Dude

Meal: Haddock with onions, watercress and mace

Back Story: Tonight, everyone is watching the season three premiere of Downton Abbey, the Masterpiece Classics hit soap opera. We wanted to cook a meal worthy of the “upstairs” crowd that would visit The Crawley’s. This dish was perfect. Easy, but with rich flavors and deeply satisfying.

Method: Use your MF secret weapon mandolin to slice an onion into thin rings. Sauté in butter for 5 minutes. Add a teaspoon of ground mace and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add a bunch of washed watercress or sorrel, if you can find it, and cook until wilted. Meanwhile, place fish on an oiled pan. Add salt and pepper. Top with onion, mace, and watercress mixture. Spot some butter on top, cover with foil and cook for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with lemon and enjoy. It’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted. Scrumptious.

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Meal: “House” Salmon with roasted tomato and wilted spinach

What makes this special: excellent fish and the sauce. For the sauce: In your small cuisinart (we call it a “choppy chop”), blend 2 tsp vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp Dijon, teaspoon dry mustard and blend in a 1/3 cup of vegetable oil. Chill. Top salmon with salt pepper and thyme. Cover with the chilled sauce and top with breadcrumbs. Cook at 375 for 15-18 mins, depending on how rare you like it.

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Meal: Sashimi

Location: Shiro, Great Barrington, MA

Thoughts: Do not be deterred when your car is one of two at this local spot. For that, my friend, is when you get some special attention. We had this plate of amazingly fresh fish the other night. The salmon was buttery with silky texture and the tuna was hearty, mouthing a fair amount of salt water. But, I think the yellowtail was the winner! Always a favorite, this clean cut melted in our mouths that night. The crisp green onions were a nice treat too. This plate for two was $26 and well worth it! Thanks Shiro!

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Meal: Bouillabaisse with crusty French bread

Back Story: This is a special meal for a special day. Dan has a nice closing today, one of his first with Sotheby’s International Real Estate. Bouillabaisse is that kind of meal for us. Because you buy small portions of only the most excellent seafood, its not that expensive, as long as you have saffron, and is kind of fun to shop for. Bouillabaisse is a delicious, late summer meal. A great way to celebrate!

Method: We like to use Tony Bourdain’s recipe. Here’s the simplified version. Chop garlic and thin slice onion and fennel with a mandolin. Prepare orange peel and fresh tomato. Cook garlic, fennel and onion in oil for 4 mins. Add tomato, 4 strands of saffron, 5 oz Sambuca, and cover with fish stock. Cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make aioli: blend garlic and salt, then 1 egg yoke, and a bit of saffron. Drizzle in 2 oz of olive oil until you reach mayo consistency. After the 15 minutes, add the fish, shrimp, clams and mussels. Cook til all the shells are open. Top with parsley and aioli. For the full experience, lay a slice of French bread in the broth, top with fennel, tomato, clam and aioli. Cheers!!

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Side Dish: Crab Latke

Backstory: Dan: “The corn chowder needs something to make it a meal. Not a fritter, not cornbread….. But what?”. Me: “We have crab, what about a crab cake?” Dan: “Nah, boring.” Me: “We also have leftover mashed potato. Crab latke?” Dan: “Hmm… Let’s try it!!!”.

Method: Combine 4 oz. strained lump crab, 3/4 cup leftover mashers, 1/2 tsp old bay, and 1/2 tsp fresh parsley. Add two tbsp panko. Combine and form into patties. Cook over medium high heat for 10 minutes, flipping once. Served with corn chowder. Yummy!

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Meal: Boiled seafood feast.

Back Story: As you know, we cook on game nights. Tonight, we thought that a New England seafood boil was the way to go. Dan’s brother, “Unca” Jon, brought blue crabs and lobster over and we tried this recipe.

Method: In a large pot, add onion, lemon, garlic, water, beer, bay leaf, old bay, salt, sausage, potato, and hot sauce. The details are here for you. You then add corn, and then crab. Let that boil for a while. Strain the potatoes etc. We reboiled the water and cooked off some lobsters that Jon found for cheap. Yummy. Good dinner, too bad the C’s didn’t win. 😦

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Meal: Scrod cooked in foil packet with fresh asparagus and fresh baked fries.

Back Story: Dan got a new toy today: professional mandolin. It may become a new MF secret weapon cause we made this meal in about 15 minutes. Easy like….well, you know the rest.

Method: Heat oven to 425. Julienne zucchini, slice mushroom, onion, and olives.

Go ahead and slice potatoes while you’re at it. We used two palm-sized potatoes for our fritte tonight and tossed them with Old Bay, salt/pepper and EVOO. Layer them on parchment paper so they won’t stick.

On one side of a large piece of foil, layer zucchini, mushrooms, onion, fish, lemon juice, white wine, salt pepper, olives and thyme. Seal the pouch.

Cook the sliced potatoes for 40 minutes turning once. At 20 minutes out, put the fish pouch in the oven. Remove, plate and enjoy. Not a better plate was had in the Berkshires tonight (IMHO).

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