Things accomplished since 2007:
- Bought our plane tickets to Rome (May 16th-June 6th) - Hurray!
- Wrapped all of my "Christmas" gifts that I still need to send...even though it's past New Years. Okay, I admit it, I still have a few more to wrap
- Wrote "www.RACHAELandGREG.com" on the back of our Save The Date / Invitation cards for what feels like the 1000th time (it's not), because we hadn't the foresight to get the website before the invitations
- Realized that we're inviting about 100 people and so I ordered 100 invitations and 100 envelopes and 25 insert cards for the 20 people coming to Italy. Even though... they're all couples... and we only need 50, 50 and 10. Duh. Let me repeat that. Duh.
- Watched a truly startling and provocative movie that I would encourage you to go see: Crash
- Made some uber-fantastic Red Snapper (see below)
Remember the drained whole tomatoes from last time I said I'd use in something else? Well I made a dinner out of it that was so delicious I actually surprised myself. And the darn thing is, I didn't take a single photograph of what I made. The risotto, while certainly good, was fairly traditional with white wine, crimini mushrooms, dried porcinis, asparagus and quite a bit of patience. Nothing too new there. But the red snapper was the best fish I've made in a long time, and the desert was... oh so perfect. I think what I loved so much about the whole thing was that, sans risotto, this romantic dinner was incredibly simple. I wouldn't say the individual components go together so well (creamy risotto with tomato-ey fish? Tomato-ey fish with chocolate desert? Eh, not the best combos), but on their own I really enjoyed these dishes.
Being vegetarian, I have a general obsession with All Things Slow Cooked, since it introduces a depth of flavor I don't get elsewhere. When I get a craving for beef or chicken, the only way to fill it is with something like 40 minute caramelized onions in broth. Yet this week, all I wanted was something fresh. Something broth-y and flavorful, salty, fishy, and tasting of the sea. The solution? Capers, olives, garlic, and onions and fish poached in liquid rather than in a pan. Oh, I can still taste it, and it was good.
I'll reconstruct the recipes for these last two items without any photos:
Red snapper in a garlic, caper and olive tomato broth
2 fillet red snapper
32 oz whole tomatoes, drained
2 cups fish stock
2 cups white wine (something lemmoney and dry... I used chardonay, which was a little too sweet)
1 sm onion, chopped
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup whole black olives cut in half
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
Salt and black pepper
1. Crush the tomatoes (I used a pastry cutter to do this) until they are in ~1/2" pieces
2. Add tomatoes, stock, white wine, onion, capers, black olives and garlic to a wide chef's pan
3. Bring to a a rapid boil and add fish on top
4. Cover, lower to a slow simmer and poach fish until flakey and tender (I used frozen snapper, so it took about 30 minutes)
5. Add red pepper flakes and season to taste
The only thing I missed in this was a handful of chopped fresh parsley, or maybe a little lemon.
Bailey's and Chocolate Coffee Cream (for 2)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp instant coffee
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp heavy cream
2 shots original Bailey's liquor
1 cup 2% milk
Add heavy cream, instant coffee, cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla to a small food processor. Process until the cream it whipped. Shake Bailey's, milk and ice until chilled and frothy. Remove ice. Pour into appropriate glasses and top with the chocolate coffee cream, garnishing with a little extra cocoa powder or some chocolate curls.