Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chef Susan: Watery Wednesday and Thirsty Thursday

(First, refresh your memory here and here.)

Last night and tonight, Susan continued to consult Food Network Magazine for recipes to suit our family's nightly supper themes . . . with continued success!  (Just ask her dad, Roger, who was our guest for supper tonight.)  (Or just take my word for it.)

Watery Wednesday calls for fish, so Susan made tilapia with hash browns and garlic-sesame spinach.
  • Susan tossed hash browns with garlic and salt and, in olive oil, fried them on both sides until golden brown.  Then she topped them with a mix of green olives, garden tomatoes, roasted red peppers, scallions, and fresh parsley.  She cut up several tilapia fillets; tossed them in dried rosemary, salt, and pepper; placed them atop the olive mixture on the hash browns; and baked the whole shebang in the oven until the fish was done.
  • In a skillet with some vegetable oil, Susan cooked whole garlic cloves with some red pepper flakes.  Then she tossed baby spinach in the garlic-y oil until wilted.  She salted it, topped it with toasted sesame seeds, and drizzled sesame oil over the spinach.
Assessment: We were in a rush to get from one after-school activity to our house for a quick supper to church for Wednesday evening activities, so we pretty much bolted supper and were off again.  However, even though we didn't have time to savor the flavors, I do recall some of the gustatory highlights: the intense flavor of the tomatoes, which came from Roger's girlfriend JoAnn's garden; the warm, comforting, garlic-y saltiness of the hash browns; the robust flavors of the olive mixture working with the mild fish; and the fun crunch of the sesame seeds with every biteful of spinach.

Thirsty Thursday calls for a new beverage to go along with the meal, but it offers no guidelines whatsoever for the meal itself, so we can select any kind of food on Thursday nights.  My mind has blanked on whether we even had a special beverage tonight, but I can't forget the tasty supper: pork with plum sauce, bacon-cheddar mashed potatoes, and garden beets with chive cream.
  • Susan breaded boneless pork loin chops in a mixture of flour, salt, red wine, grated fresh ginger, and ice water.  She fried them in peanut oil and topped them with a plum sauce that she made by reducing to a syrup these ingredients: orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, honey, red wine, mint leaves, plums, and butter.
  • She boiled potatoes, peeled them, and mashed them with milk, butter, and shredded cheddar cheese.  She topped them with crumbled bacon and sliced scallions.
  • She boiled beets (that we bought at the local farmer's market last weekend) in salted water, drained them, and rubbed off the skins.  She quartered them and tossed them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  She served them with a mixture of Greek yogurt, chopped chives, and salt as a topping.
Assessment: Everything was absolutely delicious!  The mashed potatoes were the ultimate comfort food: the familiarity of mashed potatoes with the salty goodness of cheese and bacon.  The beets were super-flavorful, due to their out-of-the-ground-and-into-our-kitchen freshness, and the sour-and-savory cream topping was a nice touch.  The pork had a fun crunchy coating, but the star of the show was the plum sauce: sweet from the fruit but almost perfume-y from the wine and the mint leaves.  Roger was impressed, as were we all.

1 comment:

  1. You're so brave to try so many new recipes all the time. Sounds yummy!