I’m Back!

April 18th, 2013

Hello! Is anyone still out there? I know it has been a long long time… Well, the cliff notes of the last year or so: I became an official attorney! I have been working hard to develop a practice and have had a great time doing it…

But I think it is time to get back into cooking and, more importantly, posting…

Tonight I made this lovely linguine with mushrooms and scallops… I really wanted scallops today… this is what I created…

Ginny’s Throw it Together Scallops and Mushrooms with Linguine

1 container of bella mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
a splash of lemon juice (about 1 teaspoon)
a heavier splash of white wine (about 1 tablespoon)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
4 large scallops
linguine, cooked until al dente

1. Heat the olive oil in the frying pan over low heat. Add shallots and garlic to the frying pan. Cook until translucent.
2. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until cooked through.
3. Throw in the lemon juice and white wine. Cook until liquid as evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Mix the mushrooms and linguine in a bowl. In the same pan, heat butter over medium high heat until smoking. Season the scallops with salt and pepper.
5. When the pan is ready, add the scallops to the pan. Cook each side for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
6. Serve the scallops with the linguine and sprinkle with some grated romano cheese. Enjoy!

PFB #2: Out of my comfort zone with Iranian cuisine…

September 26th, 2010

I like recipes with a story… this one has a story…

During the summer when I was about thirteen or fourteen, my family had dinner with good friends. An Iranian woman joined us. Now, I was definitely a teenager– self-conscious, unsure of myself and moody. She wanted me to teach her how to dance like an American. I took dance for over twelve years. I love dancing. But that day, I was embarrassed. I had no desire to dance in front of family and friends in a living room. What if I looked like an idiot?

Eventually, I warmed up…perhaps it was the delicious salmon and tahdig… or once I learned that she had been thrown in jail for talking to a male friend on the street… or the fact that she was down right awesome… We ended up dancing the night away in the living room… Sharing a bit of our culture with one another. It was truly one of my best experiences.

When I saw this challenge, I immediately thought of this recipe. After some emails and a wonderful friend who quickly responded with the details, I made the dill salmon with tahdig for our dinner. Tahdig is the crunchy buttery rice from the bottom of the pan. This is a traditional Iranian dish served on the first day of spring. I served it with traditional Sabzi Khordan and Alounak’s Persian Flatbread that I found in Crazy Water Pickled Lemons.

The dinner was amazing! The rice did come out a little mushy, as I always struggle to cook it properly. But I did learn to make homemade pita! and I juiced an onion!  Did you know you can juice an onion?  More importantly, I shared this meal with people important to me. A meal that represents a time when I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and learned so much.

Iranian Salmon with Dill and Lemons

Juice of 1 Medium onion (using a food processor, chop up the onions and then press them through cheesecloth or strainer)
one medium garlic crushed
Lemon juice (about 1/4 cup)
Olive oil (about 1/4 cup)
Dill (about two tablespoons chopped)
2-3 pounds of Salmon

1. Wash the fish first and dry it.
2. Mix all ingredients together and pour over the fish.
3. Leave it in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.
4. Heat oven 200 or 250 Centigrade
5. Put small pieces of butter over the fish
6. Bake the fish for 15-20 minutes

Rice with Dill

1. Rinse 3 cups rice several times and cover with warm water and salt, let it soak for a at least half a day.
2. Dump out the salt water and rinse with fresh water.
3. Start cooking the rice on the stove on high temp, mix occasionally.
4. Collect and discard the foam from the rice as it is cooking.
5. Add the dill, (I use 2 1/2 small bottles of dill for 2 cups of rice. It should look rather green)
6. Take one or two grain and taste it to see if the centre of the grain is cooked, it should not be too soft, just not hard. (I cooked it for too long. Check it after ten minutes).
7. Pass the rice through a sieve and rinse with warm water.
8. Pour half cup of oil (not olive- I used vegetable) and tablespoon butter in the pan and add half cup of water on medium heat till the butter melts.
9. Pour most of the liquid in a cup and leave small amount on the bottom for tahdig.
10. You can put slices of raw potato or pita bread on the bottom of the pan, then add the rice.
11. Make several holes into the rice with the handle of a long spoon for the steam to be able to come out.
12. Cover the pan and let it be on medium heat till steam builds up on the inside cover of the pan. At this time pour the rest of the liquid all over the rice and turn the heat to very low.
13. Wrapp the cover of the pan in a thick cloth and cover the rice with it. It should cook slowly for at least an hour. This rice should look very flaky and soft to bite on.

Project Pastry Queen: Lemon-Champagne Bars

September 19th, 2010

Ah, Lemons… Strawberries… Champagne… can you really go wrong with this combination?

It was my week to pick the challenge for Project Pastry Queen. I knew exactly what I wanted to make- Lemon-Champagne Bars with Strawberry Brulee Topping.

They have been flirting with me ever since I got the cookbook and they were delicious.  My only issue was trying to brulee by broiling ended up charring the top of the strawberries.  Next time, I would probably just forgo the brulee and pile on fresh berries.

Check out the recipe here and to see how everyone else fared check out the other members of Project Pastry Queen!