Mmmm…Lemon Syllabub

It’s kind of a fun word, right? Anne emailed me this recipe last Friday, and I read it on the train and immediately made it when I walked in the door. As it turned out, I had everything with which to whip it up. She was out of cream, and I did the test run.

What exactly IS syllabub, right? Here’s what Wikipedia says:

Syllabub, noun. (also sillabub, sillibub) is a traditional English dessert, popular from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. It is usually made from rich milk or cream seasoned with sugar and lightly curdled with wine.

Now, I have no idea why the original image is so yellow, as cream and lemon juice (and even the zest of one lemon) yielded a very pale result for me. Anne and I speculate that food coloring may have been involved. But I digress. So, with that…if you’re looking for something super easy to make, that tastes impressive? Make this.

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 Reisling wine
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • mint leaves for garnish
  • lemon slices for garnish

Using a mixer, whip cream and sugar until fluffy. It should hold peaks and look like whipped cream. Add in wine, lemon juice and zest. Continue to beat on a high speed for about a minute. Place into glasses and leave to chill in the refrigerator for about an hour or more. Garnish with lemon slices and mint.

Lucky Fish Tacos

If you live anywhere except under a rock, you know that the Bruins won the Stanley Cup last night. We also happened to have fish tacos for dinner. Husband has of course dubbed these “lucky fish tacos”.

A few notes on the fish: I’ve mentioned before about our fish share, which is Cape Ann Fresh Catch, out of Gloucester. CAFC delivers sustainably caught seafood, and they don’t overfish. I feel really good about that.

I will admit I was never a fan of fish as a child. I’ve come to seafood later in life, introduced to it by Michael. He’s a life-long seafood fan, and assured me that I’ve probably not had it prepared the best ways, and that would account for my aversion to it.

He was so right.

We tried out the fish share, and I loved it. I didn’t know that I would, so it was a shock to me. Over the winter I made all kinds of stews and right now, I’m interested in exploring summer fare. I’d never made fish tacos until recently, and they’re looking like a total win at our house.

Onto the details! I served these with a side of beans (no rice), which is a recipe from the Grajales family. Old friends. More credit where credit is due – I got this idea from Jen at Peanut Butter Runner and Bakin’ and Eggs (yep, she’s at both!). I adore so many of her recipes.

For the tacos:

  • 1 8oz fillet of white fish of your choice (I used Hake)
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • red leaf lettuce, cut into ribbons
  • taco shells (I like Little Bear Organics Yellow Corn shells)
  • sour cream
  • lemon juice
  • cilantro
  • cajun creole seasoning (I prefer something salt-free)
  • pat of butter, drizzle of olive oil

For the beans:

  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup of red pepper, diced
  • 1 can of red beans, rinsed well
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • black and red pepper
  • dried oregano
  • dried parsley
  • salt
  • cilantro
  • cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp or less of butter

I would make the beans first since the fish cooks very quickly.

Melt a little butter over low heat. Add scallions and red pepper. Cook about 10 minutes, until very soft. I didn’t put any amounts for the seasonings, because I generally go by how it looks/smells. Add a good pinch of dried oregano and the same for parsley. Add salt and pepper. I then added about a teaspoon of cumin. Add the beans and tomato paste. Once the beans begin to soften, I use a potato masher to flatten down some of them. Top with fresh cilantro. Cover and let sit while you make the tacos.

I start by prepping all my toppings. Cut the tomatoes and lettuce and place into bowls. Then, make the baja cream. Combine 1/2 cup sour cream with juice of half a lemon. Chop cilantro and fold into sour cream. Set aside.

In a sautee pan, place a pat of butter and a drizzle of olive oil. You just want to coat the pan, and not really fry the fish. It should be a quick sautee. I have found adding a spot of butter helps with sticking, but you can use a nonstick pan or another method if you prefer that.

Coat each side of the fish with cajun creole seasonings and a little salt. I use a brush to really rub the spice in. When the pan is really hot, add your fish. It will cook pretty quickly. When the edges start to curl, you should check to see if it’s ready to be flipped. When it is easily flipped, it’s ready. (Read: you won’t have to scrape it off the bottom of the pan.)

Cook through on the other side, remove and place on a plate. Rest for a minute or so before cutting into pieces that will fit into the tacos.

Assemble as desired. That’s all folks!

A Little Surprise Inside

I made these for no other reason than 1) I like corn muffins and 2) I thought these were really cute. I only made 6 of them because honestly, I bake a lot, and we are only two people.

Here’s what I did, based on this inspiration:

  • 6 broccoli florets (you’ll want them to be shorter than the muffin tin and have a study base so it doesn’t fall over, even without batter in there)
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp kefir

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine dry ingredients until well mixed. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients , and then blend into the dry mixture. You don’t need to overmix, but just enough to get rid of the dry cornmeal globs.

Pour batter 1/2 way up each muffin tin. (Note: I lined with silicone muffins liners first, which I simply LOVE. They make my life so much easier.) Put a broccoli piece in each one, tree side up. Fill with more batter until broccoli is completely covered.

Cook 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and finish by cooling on a rack. Enjoy!

It Happened. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, That Is.

The last time we had rhubarb, Michael asked, “Are you gonna make a pie?” I thought I might, at the time but then it was so hot, and I was baking other things, and then ….I turned it into a smoothie. Which for the record was very, very good.

Another CSA trip and we ended up with 1 pint of strawberries and 1 pound of rhubarb. And pie, it was.

Several times last night, Michael declared this “the best pie you ever made”. I think it’s as good as the french silk pie I made over the winter, which was so dangerous to have around (even I, the queen of self-control was about to eat all of it myself) that I sent Michael off to work with it the next day. It’s good to share calories with other people. Espescially boys with fast metabolism.

This one I’m keeping for us. Dangerous pie be damned.

I was looking on Foodgawker for a recipe I wanted to use, and I came across this, and adapted slightly.

First, make the pie crust. (And set the oven on 400 while you’re at it).

1 stick of butter, cut into small pieces.

1 cup flour

2 tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp ice water

Place all ingredients into processor or stand mixer. (I went with stand mixer here because I couldn’t handle any more equipment on my counter!) Blend until the butter looks like tiny pea-sized sand bits. Smoosh dough together until it forms a ball (the butter will suddenly help it stick) and transfer to a bowl and put it in the fridge while you work on the rest.

Next, make the filling:

1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut in half

1 pound rhubard (6 stalks, cut into 1″ pieces)

2/3 cup sugar

3 tbsp flour

Mix filling together and let it rest while you make the topping.

Finally, make the crumb topping.

1 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 stick of butter, cut into small pieces

Combine everything and use a pastry cutter or place in a food processor or stand mixer. You want the butter to once again be cut into small pieces, with the mixture resembling wet sand.

Assembly:

Take the dough out of the fridge and roll on a floured surface. You want to do this quickly as the butter starts to melt in a hot kitchen. Transfer dough to pie dish. Fill with filling and top with crumb topping. Bake for about 50 minutes with a large baking sheet under the pie dish to catch any juice that might run over.

I served this with fresh whipped cream (whipping cream, confectioner’s sugar).

A little love note on this pie: one of the fastest I’ve ever make and best tasting too.

Accidentally Vegan, Intentionally Delicious.

Sometimes I make organic meat or fish with dinner. Sometimes, I don’t. After an 18 year stint being vegetarian, I still lean that way, as you know. So sometimes, I don’t really remember that I forgot to “make meat”. And that’s ok with us! We try to live by the idea that you shouldn’t take more than you need (this applies to both meat consumption and taking too many papertowels). Does that sound preachy? Not really meant to, but with overfishing, and the practices of most farms…it can be downright scary. Know your sources, I say. And who needs 3 servings of meat a day? Well, it’s not us, we know that much.

Somedays we can’t get enough fish! Other days, we don’t notice we didn’t have any. But sometimes, I make a delicious dinner and realize – hey! I didn’t even add cheese. That kind of feels like a win to me, espescially when it’s so filling and SO GOOD. I love being all flexitarian (I went there!) for reasons like this dinner, right here.

Orange Herbed Salad:

spinach

orange segments

avocado

Herbs: cilantro, basil and mint

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil (or any oil you prefer)

Mix salad ingredients together (in portion sizes needed), and lightly dress if desired. I can tell you I’ve made this salad three times in the last week. I took it for lunch twice with a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese on the side, and it was seriously delicious. I don’t kid about food being good.

My inspiration for this next dish came from Cate, of Cate’s World Kitchen. I know it’s not really the same, but credit where credit is due. And this was my jumping point.

Pesto Quinoa:

3/4 cup of cooked quinoa (you can use any color you prefer)

1/2 head of lacinato kale, cut into thin ribbons

2 cups of mushrooms

For the pesto:

~1.5 cups of basil, loosely packed

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup walnuts

salt and pepper

While the quinoa is cooking, sautee the kale and mushrooms until the kale is pliable and the stems are easily chewed (about 10 minutes). In a blender/food processor, combine the pesto ingredients and puree until smooth. Combine quinoa, kale and mushrooms and pesto. That’s about it!