Today I chose to combine True Cod and Clams in a dish that is so incredibly savory and colorful, yet so easy to prepare. Both items were found on sale this past week and I couldn't resist picking up some of each. Oh, I threw in a bit of Chorizo for a bit of a kick and it worked out great. Here's what we need:
2 lbs of Fresh Clams
1 lb of Fresh True Cod
1/2 lb of Chorizo
4 strips of bacon
1 medium onion (yellow or white)
2 cups of chicken stock
3 Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup of chopped celery
3 cloves of chopped garlic
1 teaspoon of Anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon of Saffron threads
2 tablespoons of Pernod (anise lacquer)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Start by preparing your ingredients for cooking. Wash and scrub the clams, cut the True Cod in 2 inch chunks, slice the Chorizo in 1 inch slices, cut up the bacon strips, chop the onion, and slice the tomatoes in 1/2 inch slices.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions, bacon, and Chorizo and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next add the celery and garlic. Stir and continue to saute for another couple of minutes. Finally, add the tomatoes.
Add the Pernod and chicken stock, along with the Anchovy paste, increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Add the Saffron threads, evenly spread the Clams in the pan, and add the True Cod in the same manner. Taste the broth and salt if needed. Add the black pepper, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 6 more minutes until clams have opened up.
Serve this wonderful dish, along with the broth over steamed rice or boiled yellow potatoes (Yukon Gold) and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley if desired. In addition to the fork, you better have a spoon as well. The broth is absolutely to die for! Enjoy :)
Figs are considered an exotic fruit in my book and therefore calls for creativity in coming up with new recipes. Previous recipes on this blog included using them in a wine reduction sauce with either lamb or beef. This time however, it is time to get my inspiration from the classification of the fruit itself and therefore have come up with a dessert. Surprisingly, combining custard and Figs has created a very pleasant and delightful dish, light and refreshing, and not loaded with heavy sweetness, a dessert that will have you and your guests coming back for more. As you will see, this dessert is a bit of a take on Trifle but on a smaller and less complicated combination of flavors. As always, you will see that some of the ingredients accent my taste in particular flavors. Here's what you'll need:
1 dozen large Figs, ripened
1 packet of custard mix (if you're energetic, you can make yours from scratch)
1/2 cup of coconut cream
1/2 cup of whole milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of fine granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
2 oz. of Grand Marnier
8 small croissants, toasted (the 3 inch size)
Start by setting 3 of the Figs aside for later use. With the remainder, cut stems off and cut in halves. Add them to a small pot along with the sugar and 1 oz of the Grand Marnier. Heat over medium heat and bring to a light boil, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to low and continue to cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cut each of the croissants in half lengthwise and toast until crisp. Set them aside. If you can find the small variety of croissants (found in most any supermarket), use 3 regular size croissants and slice them width wise about 1/2 inch thick for each slice. Toast them as you would with the small ones. Set aside to cool and harden.
To a pot, add the custard packet, the vanilla extract, the coconut cream, and the milk.Stir until powder is dissolved. Add the egg yolk and blend into custard mixture thoroughly. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly. Once brought to a boil, reduce heat to low and continue to stir for an addition 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk for about 7 minutes so custard cools a bit without creating a "skin" on the surface.
The final step is to take the Figs you set aside and cut them in halves and place them cut side down on the top as the picture illustrates. Transfer to the fridge and allow to cool for at least 2 hours, longer is preferred, so that the custard will set nicely. Serve chilled with a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes if you desire. Enjoy this along with 4 of your friends, as this will serve 5 easily.
A dip of the toes in the waters of the Pacific and it was clear to them they weren't in Cannes anymore. How did they put it, "oooh c'est si froid!" For those that have experienced the North Pacific, you don't need to speak French to know that means it's too damned cold. I had warned them of the chilly waters and suggested before heading to the coast that they should practice by soaking their feet in a bucket filled with water and ice, which got a chuckle out of them.