Cod with Garlicky Tomatoes and Potatoes

by Hilary Gauntt on May 20, 2017

Jessica Seinfeld (wife of Jerry!) has her fourth cookbook out, cleverly titled “Food Swings”; including half the recipes divided into the “Virtue” or “Vice” categories. Everyone makes choices between eating healthy or more indulgently on a daily basis, meal to meal, depending on how you feel, who you’re with or what you’re doing. Nice to narrow down your choices when you know what mood you’re in!

I am often suspicious of celebrity cook books and wonder how much more than their name and a recipe or two did they really contribute. This one intrigued me, as I gathered from her comments throughout that these really are the things she serves her family and guests on a regular basis. And there were so many recipes that called to me I broke down and bought the book. ( Now I have to honor my pledge to myself and get rid of one I never use, which is painful).

This is a delicious weeknight meal with all the food groups cooking together in one large saucepan. There was no cod at my fish market, so I substituted fresh halibut which worked great. (Halibut kind of terrifies me as the difference between nicely cooked and dry and chewy is a matter of minutes.) I checked it early at the 10 minute mark and it was perfect, so I suggest you do the same. I will make this again and again!

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 pound baby potatoes (about 8), sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

1/2 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

1/2 tsp.smoked or regular paprika

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/2 pounds skinless cod filet

1 lemon, quartered

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and potatoes and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, for about 3 minutes, or until the garlic is golden brown. Add the white wine, tomatoes, paprika, 1/2 tsp. of the salt, 1/8 tsp. of the black pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Cover partially with a lid, reduce the heat to medium low, and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 or 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Season the fish with the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. black pepper. Place the fish on top of the potatoes and tomatoes, cover tightly, and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily and is opaque throughout.

Squeeze the lemon over the fish and sprinkle with the parsley before serving. Serves 4.

cod

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Mother’s Day

by Hilary Gauntt on May 13, 2017

“Nothing is really lost until your Mom can’t find it!” Unknown

“Any Mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease.” Lisa Alther

“Great sisters get promoted to Aunt.” Unknown

“Grandmothers are the people who take delight in hearing babies breathing into the telephone.” Unknown

“I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then, I want to move in with them.” Phyllis Diller

“When I was a child, my mother said to me ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll be the Pope.’ Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.” Pablo Picasso, Aritst

“Of all the haunting moments of motherhood, few rank with hearing your own words come out of your daughter’s mouth.” Victoria Secunda, psychologist

“Imagine a novel in which a woman took in a stranger who was unable to walk or talk or even eat by himself. She fell completely in love with him at first sight, fed and clothed and washed him, and gradually helped him to become more competent and independent,spent more than half her income on him, nursed him through sickness, and thought about him more than anything else. And after about 20 years of this she helped him find a young wife and move far away. Caring for children is an awfully fast and efficient way to experience at least a little saintliness.” Alison Gopnik

Blessings to all the women of the world who hold us all together. I credit my beautiful Mother Virginia, and daughter Brittany as world class.

Mom at wedding

Britt and boys

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Crack Broccoli

by Hilary Gauntt on May 10, 2017

The “Crack” comes from the addicting aspect of this recipe; make this once and it will find it’s way into your regular rotation. I kept nibbling on it while the rest of my dinner was coming together, and realized I’d eaten half the broccoli right out of the pan! Olive oil, garlic, lemon, cheese and toasted almonds with caramelized roasted broccoli steaks – weeknight easy and special enough for company. Many thanks for this go to abeautifulplate.com

1 and 1/2 pounds broccoli crowns (roughly 2 heads)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, pressed

large pinch of dried red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

3 Tbs. raw sliced almonds (with or without skin)

2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2-3 Tbs. freshly grated aged pecorino cheese (I used Parmesan)

Zest of half a lemon

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Trim any dry, tough ends of the broccoli crowns, leaving roughly 2-inches of stalk attached. Slice the broccoli into 1/2-inch thick steaks, starting in the center of each broccoli crown and working out to the edges, reserving any small or medium florets that fall off for roasting. Slice any large remaining florets in half lengthwise.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, pressed garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add the broccoli steaks and toss gently until evenly coated. Arrange the broccoli, cut side down, on the lined sheet pan, setting them apart slightly. Sprinkle with salt.

Roast the broccoli for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the broccoli, and sprinkle the almond slices evenly across the sheet pan. Roast for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is caramelized and tender, and the almond slices are toasted and golden.

Transfer the broccoli to a platter, toss gently with the lemon juice and top with the grated cheese. Garnish with fresh lemon zest. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 3-4.

crack broccoli

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Fresh Strawberry Pie from Gramercy Tavern

by Hilary Gauntt on May 3, 2017

We are just back from a memorable trip to the east coast; visiting Casey’s childhood friends that he hasn’t seen since High School. Lots of laughs and tears, great meals and perhaps a few cocktails more than necessary. We left Connecticut to spend a few nights in NYC and see Hamilton (Worth it! Do It!) and the deeply moving World Trade Center Museum.

Before the trip, our Book Club had just finished reading “Setting the Table” by Danny Meyer, the famously successful New York restaurateur, so I made a reservation at his longtime landmark Union Square Cafe. As if I wasn’t already having enough fun, as we sat at the bar waiting for our table up walks the man himself to seat his friends next to us and we had a great conversation with him. Icing on the cake! (Food analogy required here.)

This recipe is from The Gramercy Tavern cookbook, Danny’s second restaurant. (We’re on a first name basis now – Ha!) It’s one of the few recipes in the book that aren’t intimidating on some level, and since strawberries are at their sweetest right now the perfect choice to get back on the job here at Heronearth.. I love a graham cracker crust, but I did find this one had too much butter and not enough crackers for my taste. (Who am I to question a pastry chef in New York?) I ended up adding another two crackers (11 instead of 9). Using the most flavorful strawberries makes all this difference in this no-bake dessert. Makes one 9-inch pie or six 4 1/2 inch individual pies.

3/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/8 tsp. salt

3 cups hulled and quartered strawberries, plus 4 1/2 cups (cut very large berries into eighths and leave very small ones whole; about 3 pounds whole berries total)

1 1/8 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 9 crackers)

8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup heavy cream, lightly whipped (optional I think)

In a medium saucepan, whisk together 3/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, and the salt, then whisk in 1/3 cup cold water. Add 3 cups of the strawberries and roughly mash the fruit with the end of the whisk. (Depending on the firmness of the fruit, it may be easier to use an old-fashioned potato masher or a large fork.) Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly and further mashing the strawberries until they are broken down (some lumps of berries are okay.) Boil for a full minute, whisking constantly. Transfer the strawberry mixture to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, make the crust. In a large bowl, stir together the graham crumbs, the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, and the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Very lightly press the crumbs into your mold(s), starting with the sides and then covering the bottom.

When the strawberry mixture is at room temperature, gently stir in the remaining 4 1/2 cups strawberries, then spoon the filling into the graham cracker crust(s). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. Serve with the whipped cream.
Note: The recipe states you can make it a couple of days ahead. I made it one day ahead, and when I took it out of the refrigerator it definitely looked less appealing; kind of gooey actually! So I would suggest serving it the day you make it, even though it would taste fine if you didn’t.

strawberry pie

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Honey Vanilla Pound Cake

April 9, 2017

This melt in your mouth pound cake is the recipe to remember when you wish you had something freshly baked but no time to get to the store for ingredients. That’s how I happened upon it…babysitting my grandsons with a plan to try a new cookie recipe which they vetoed when I read them the […]

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Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

April 2, 2017

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Zucchini Milano

March 31, 2017

This recipe has an amusing history! It’s a favorite dish from an old family restaurant in Milan. It was so popular that the recipe was printed and made available for the asking, but only if your I.D. showed that you were NOT from Milan! A great souvenir for visitors to take home from Italy. It’s […]

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Pork Medallions with Currants and Scotch

March 24, 2017

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Virginia Tedrow’s Chicken Breast Pate with Smokehouse Almonds

March 17, 2017

Today is my sweet Mother’s 90th Birthday!!! She has inspired my life-long love affair with food, and is the reason I associate cooking with Love. I can still picture her before dinner in her lovely kitchen, listening to her small radio and chopping and dicing away. This recipe was her special appetizer that was served […]

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Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew

March 11, 2017

Regina Schrambling is a contributor to the New York Times, and brought this recipe to them in the dark days in 2001 following the attack on the World Trade Center. “Long before there were anti-depressants, ” she wrote, “there was stew”. She explains that comfort food is what someone cooks for you. Comfort cooking is […]

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