7.27.2008

Oil Poaching


Just about every cook agrees that poaching fish (especially in court-bouillon) is a great way to gently apply heat without stripping away moisture from the food while at the same time allowing for delicate flavors to be incorporated as well. Lately, I have been craving all kinds of seafood but a standard poach didn't seem to ignite my tastebuds. This time I thought I would try something new. Something I have never done. 

This time, I poached entirely with olive oil.




I wouldn't recommend using your finest green-gold for this as heat, as gentle as it may be, will deafen the fruity notes that your hard earned cash gave its life for. But I would still use an inexpensive extra virgin olive oil. To add some flavor, I heat a smashed clove of garlic in the oil. The oil should come to a temperature of around 140F. Allowing the garlic to infuse with the oil for five to ten minutes with bring out the most flavor. Herbs can also be added at this time, but I wanted to keep it simple. And it can be good to keep this simple as I plan on saving this oil for future poachings and I'd like to keep future options open.





About eight minutes later, out came a very tender piece of cod. We're talking falling apart tender. The fish absorbed some of that great garlic and olive oil flavor and stayed incredibly moist throughout. A little salt and pepper, and the fish was ready to meet its new nieghbors. In this case: a fava bean/ricotta mash and some roasted beets. 



7.02.2008

Curried Watermelon Sorbet



Although ice and fruit juice have been dessert buddies for centuries, I didn't get into making sorbet until very recently. Easier to make than regular ice cream, sorbet might be voted the official refreshing dessert of summer. And who could complain?

This sorbet matches the ultra-summery watermelon with a hint of spice through the addition of curry powder. An unusual combination indeed, but it might have you look beyond the simple slices of watermelon provided at picnics.


1 lbs of watermelon, purreed
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 1/2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
2 tbsp vodka
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients, except for vodka, in a wide skillet over medium low heat. Gently heat, stirring to combine. Adjust sugar and curry levels as needed. Do not bring to a boil, but simmer until sugar is absorbed. (If very watery, you could always cook a little longer to get rid of excess moisture.)

Remove from heat, allowing to cool to room temperature. Tranfser to freezer-safe dish/bowl. Stir in vodka and place in freezer. Check every two hours, scraping with an overturned fork until desired consistency is reached.