March 25, 2009

Grilled fish with a warm potato salad

Unintentionally, it's now 3 weeks later since my last post, and honestly i cannot make promises to change this bad habit, not even to myself. The reason this time.... nothing in particular, i don't know when the time flies. Moreover, Easter Lent started 3 weeks ago, and it's hard for me browsing online and looking at different blogs, especially if there is any photo that makes your mouth water. I am having an easier time not craving the forbidden foods (meat, fish, all dairy, eggs) if i don't see anything. On the other side, it's been hard finding ideas because we are not salad people, and Gabriel loves something more consistent.
Today i am posting a fish dish because on March 25th, each year, we can eat fish, even if it is during Lent. Today christians celebrate the Annunciation - which is the revelation to Mary by the archangel Gabriel that she would conceive a child to be born the Son of God. This is one of the only two days when fish is allowed during Easter Lent, the other being Palm Sunday.
I didn't make this today, and i know i am not going to make it for tonight, even though it is very good and easy to make, but i promised Clara i will make some "pickled" fish (saramura) and maybe some stuffed sole, as i feel quite ambitious right now :)).
Fish is Clara's first choice of "meat", always. Salmon is her favorite, no matter how it is prepared, and then snapper, cod, sole and all other white fish. She would ask for fish everytime and pick it over any beef, pork, or chicken, and i am so happy for that. Fish and crab are the only seafood she likes, the rest - shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters, lobster - did not make it on her list yet. She would rather go to sleep hungry and crying than take a bite of them.
My problem when i cook fish for her is what will it be the side dish. She would always ask for plain rice and a salad, or maybe potatoes (fried, mashed, or baked), and that's about it. So the roasted asparagus you see in the picture it was only on our plates, hers had only potatoes and a cucumber-radish salad.

Now, i don't have a recipe for the fish, i just sprinkle it with salt, pepper and some sweet smoked pepper (i love the sweetness and the smokiness), brushed it with oil and grilled it for about 2 minutes per side.
The warm potato salad is so easy to make, i cannot really call it a recipe either, but i'll try to come with something:
- boil sliced red potatoes in salted water until fork tender, but don't overcook them as they will break and become mushy (use about 2-3 potatoes/person, depending on their size)
- while the potatoes are boiling, prepare the vinaigrette for them:
1/3 cup olive oil,
1/4 cup rice vinegar or white balsamic vinegar,
1-2 seeded and finely chopped tomatoes,
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill,
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon,
2 tablespoons chopped chives or green onions,
salt & pepper to taste.
Whisk everything together well and try to crush the tomatoes into the vinagrette with a fork. Drain the potatoes and while they are still hot, pour the dressing over them and mix slowly so you don't break the slices completely. Adjust the seasoning if needed by ading more salt & pepper, or whatever spices you'd like.
Plate the warm potatoes, top with roasted/grilled/boiled asparagus and then with the grilled fish. On top of the fish, i put one more spoon of the tomato dressing and some chives.

I love the licorice taste of the tarragon, the freshness of the dill and chives, the acidity from the tomatoes and i could have these potatoes any day with anything or just by themselves.


Peste la gratar cu salata calda de cartofi

Fara sa vreau, au trecut iarasi 3 saptamani de cand am postat ultima data, si cinstit vorbind, mi-e greu sa promit sa schimb asta, chiar daca e o promisiune facuta mie. Ce motiv am avut de data asta.... nimic in particular, habar n-am unde si cand a trecut timpul. Intre timp a inceput postul Pastelui, si mi-e tare greu sa ma plimb pe net si sa poftesc la diferite mancaruri de pe blogurile mele preferate. Asa ca e mai usor sa nu poftesc daca nu le vad :)). Si asa mi-e greu sa gasesc idei pentru mancaruri de post consistente, nu suntem genul care mancam numai salate in fiecare zi....
Azi - mancare cu peste pentru ca e Bunavestire si e dezlegare in fiecare an, chiar daca pica in Postul Pastelui. Si cum nu sunt decat doua ocazii (azi si in Duminica Floriilor), de-abia asteptam

Nu am facut pestele asta azi, si nici nu o sa-l fac diseara, pentru ca i-am promis Clarei ca facem saramura si poate daca am tine entuziasmul ce ma incearca de azi dimineatza, si niste peste umplut (rulouri). Pestele e carnea preferata a Clarei, intotdeauna. Somonul este prima alegere, indiferent cum e pregatit, apoi orice fel de peste alb. Cere peste cel putin o data pe saptamana si intotdeauna il prefera carnii de porc, vita sau pui, ceea ce ma bucura tare mult.Pestele si crabul sunt singurele care ii plac, restul - creveti, scoici, midii, stridii si toate celelalte nu sunt inca pe lista ei. Mai degraba s-ar culca nemancata si plansa toata decat sa le guste. Singura problema care o am cand gatesc peste e ce garnitura sa fac. Clara cere invariabil orez simplu si o salata sau poate cartofi, si cam atat. Asa ca sparanghelul din poza era in farfuriile noastre, Clara a avut numai cartofi si o salata de castraveti si ridichi.
Nu am o reteta pentru peste, il presar cu sare, piper si niste condimente de ardei dulce afumat (care imi plac la nebunie), il ung cu ulei si la gratar cam 2 minute pe fiecare parte.
Salata de cartofi e tare simplu de facut, nu pot sa zic ca e o reteta, dar cam astia sunt pasii:
- se fierb feliile de cartofi (din cei rosii, fara sa ii curatati de coaja, cam 2-3 de persoana, depinde cat sunt de mari) in apa sarata pana cand se patrund cu furculita, dar nu mai mult sa nu inceapa sa se sfarame,
- in timp ce fierb cartofii, se prepara vinegreta:
~ 75 ml ulei
~ 50 ml otet de orez sau alb balsamic
1-2 rosii tocate marunt (fara seminte)
1 lingura marar proaspat tocat
2 linguri tarhon proaspat tocat
2 linguri iarba ciorii sau ceapa verde tocata
sare si piper dupa gust
Se amesteca toate ingredientele impreuna zdrobind putin rosiile cu furculita. Se scurg cartofii de apa si cat sunt inca fierbinti se toarna peste ei vinegreta, amestecand usor sa nu se zdrobeasca feliile de cartofi de tot. Se mai adauga sare si piper daca e nevoie, si orice alte condimente va plac.
Se aseaza intai cartofii pe farfurie, apoi niste sparanghel pregatit la cuptor / fiert/ pe gratar si desupra pestele. Am pus o lingura din sosul de rosii pe peste si niste iarba ciorii (chives). Mie imi place gustul de anason al tarhonului, prospetimea mararului si a cepei verzi, si aciditatea rosiilor, asa ca as putea manca salata asta cu orice sau nimic langa ea

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