Adobo and escabeche are the two most common types of acidic marinades used in Spanish cooking, and their use in preserving seafood dates back to antiquity. In Andalusia, adobo shows up most famously in this dish: cazón, or dogfish, is cubed and marinated in a mixture of olive oil, sherry vinegar, garlic, and spices. It’s then dredged in flour, quickly fried, and served hot with a squeeze of lemon and a (mandatory, in my book) glass of fino or manzanilla to balance out the tangy, decadent fish. • • •
1. pounds swordfish or monkfish fillet, skin removed Olive oil 1⁄3 cup sherry vinegar 1 tablespoon water 3 cloves garlic, chopped . teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika . teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon oregano 2 bay leaves . teaspoon ground black pepper 1⁄3 teaspoon salt Flour
Cut the swordfish into 1-inch cubes and place in a nonreactive bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons of the oil and the vinegar, water, garlic, paprika, cumin, oregano, bay, pepper, and salt. Pour this mixture over the fish, turning to coat each piece. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to cook, drain the fish well and blot the pieces to remove excess marinade. Put the flour in a shallow bowl and set aside.
In a 12-inch pan over medium-high heat, heat . inch of oil until shimmering but not quite smoking.
Dredge the fish pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess, and fry in batches, turning to brown each side, until crisp and golden, about 1 minute per side. As the pieces finish cooking, remove them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Transfer to a bowl or small platter, dust with a little paprika and sprinkle with parsley, and serve hot with lemon wedges on the side.
Just when you need it, here's a 30 minute cake recipe by Cal Peternell, a chef of Chez Panisse in Twelve Recipes (William Morrow, October 2014)...
...For that special occasion you just remembered as you walked through the door.
Maybe you forgot his or her birthday, or maybe you didn’t forget, maybe you never even knew, but jeez, it’s today, really? This cake won’t work for a kid’s birthday—that calls for more . . . of everything—but if you just got home, dinner isn’t even made, and it turns out it is someone special’s day, you just have to bust out a cake, and this one is all from the pantry and requires minimal gear and cleanup. Send him out for a pint of ice cream or suggest she use the shower first—this cake can be in the oven before your celebrant gets back. Thirty minutes later and it’s out and cooling on the counter. Fair warning: this cake is like that guy who never moves out of his parents’ house—born there, no matter how ready it seems, it falls to pieces when you try to get it out. Cut into wedges and lever them out individually, then cover your tracks with vanilla ice cream or plain or chocolate whipped cream (page 267).
1½ cups all-purpose flour 1 cup sugar 1⁄8 cup unsweetened cocoa ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon finely ground coffee beans (optional) 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar 1⁄3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Put the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and ground coffee beans (if using) in an ungreased 8-or 9-inch round cake pan and stir with a whisk. Make a crater, pour in the remaining ingredients and 1 cup water, and whisk until all the corners are gotten and the batter is smooth. Put in the oven and start checking for doneness in 20 minutes (see page 252); the cake should be done at around 30 minutes.
Vanilla ice cream really helps pan cake, and so does chocolate whipped cream frosting. Start with 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate, chopped or chips, and 1 pint whipping cream. Put all the chocolate and about 1/2 cup of the cream in a medium mixing bowl and heat over simmering water until the chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the rest of the cream and 1 or 2 teaspoons sugar. Refrigerate until well chilled and then whip until thick and smooth. Be sure the cake is completely cooled before spreading on. If it’s a warm day and you’re not eating the cake right away, refrigerate it or the chocolate cream will melt right off.
(* Recipe excerpted from Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell -William Morrow, October 2014)
Prep Time: 15 Minutes // Total Time: 15 Minutes, plus time to make toasts // Makes 24
While most American or Italian flat-packed anchovies are simply cooked and packed in oil, boquerones, Spanish white anchovies, are usually vinegar-pickled before their olive oil bath. They have a mild, tangy flavor and a fluffier texture than regular anchovies. Laid out on a bed of butter and topped with freshly grated horseradish and a pile of ikura, or salmon roe, they make an excel- lent appetizer that requires very little actual preparation. These are the creation of Eli Dahlin, the original chef at The Walrus and the Carpenter, and appear often on the menu there.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
2 dozen Baguette Toasts (see below)
24 deboned, filleted oil-packed boquerones (from a 7-ounce package), drained
1/3 cup freshly grated horseradish, from a 4-inch piece
3 tablespoons ikura (salmon roe)
Just before serving, use a cheese grater or vegetable peeler (or a sharp knife) to shave the butter into 1⁄8-inch-thick slices. Cover each piece of toast with butter shavings (they will look like cheese slices), then top each with 1 fish (2 joined fillets), a big pinch (about ½ teaspoon) of the horseradish, and a tiny pile (a heaping ¼ teaspoon) of ikura. Serve immediately.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes // Total Time: 30 Minutes // Makes about 3 dozen
Sliced and drizzled with olive oil, then baked, simple baguette toasts are a staple in my kitchens.
1 baguette (about 3⁄4 pound)
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon or Jacobsen. for finishing
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a large serrated knife, cut the bread diagonally into ½-inch slices. Arrange the slices on 2 large baking sheets, brush with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt to taste, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the toasts are blonde and crisp, rotating the pans once or twice during baking. (Toward the end of baking, if the toasts aren’t cooking at the same rate, remove the browned ones so you can let the others continue baking.)
Serve immediately, or let cool on a cooling rack and serve within a few hours.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus, Menus and Stories -Sasquatch Books, September 2014- by Renee Erickson with Jess Thompson- Photographs by Jim Henkens)
Trifle is a common dessert in the Caribbean during the holiday season, and is admittedly very British in origin. Because of our colonial past, many of our food influences came from the socalled mother land, and the tradition of Christmas trifle is one of them. This easy version, which uses a store-bought rum cake as its base, was inspired by an incredible trifle we ate one night at the Guilt Trip Restaurant in Kingston, and the supreme talent of its chef/owner and fellow foodie, Colin Hylton. Colin’s innovative use of local fruits and ingredients in his dessert creations are nothing short of extraordinary. His culinary creations, both sweet and savory, define modern Caribbean cuisine at its most glorious.
2 teaspoons Bird’s custard powder 1 cup coconut milk 1 cup heavy cream 3 tablespoons sugar 1 envelope powdered ginger tea 2 teaspoons peeled and grated ginger 1 small store-bought rum cake (or 1 pound cake, drizzled with rum), split horizontally into 3 layers 1⁄4 cup ortanique or orange juice 1⁄4 cup sliced almonds, toasted 2 ortaniques or Valencia oranges, in segments 1 (14-ounce) can lychees, sliced (liquid reserved)
For the Drunken Whipped Cream
1⁄2 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon rum
1 Place the custard powder in a small bowl. Warm the coconut milk, heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar melts. Pour the hot cream mixture over the custard powder and whisk until the custard begins to thicken. Add the powdered ginger tea and grated ginger and whisk to combine. Set aside to cool.
2 To make the drunken whipped cream, in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the cream, sugar and rum until stiff peaks form.
3 To assemble the trifle, place a layer of rum cake at the bottom of a glass bowl, top generously with one-third of the ginger custard, drizzle with ortanique juice and sprinkle with almonds. Add one-third of the ortanique segments and lychees, top with another layer of rum cake, pour over another third of the ginger custard and 1⁄4 cup lychee juice and top with almonds, lychees and oranges. Add the final layer of cake, followed by the remaining third of the custard and juice and topped with the rest of the fruit. Top with the drunken whipped cream and a sprinkle of almonds.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Powdered ginger tea, which is already sweetened, can be purchased at a Caribbean grocer or online
(* Recipe excerpted from Caribbean Potluck by Suzanne Rousseau and Michelle Rousseau -Kyle Books, May 2014- Photography by Ellen Silverman- all rights reserved)
That Crazy French Woman and evangelist of natural wines, Isabelle Legeron, is crossing the Atlantic from her London base to promote the release of her book Natural Wine (Cico Books, July 2014) in the U.S.
On November 13, she will be in New York, first for a book signing at Chambers Street Wines, followed by Gossamer dinner at Contra restaurant.
Some details courtesy of Chambers Street Wines:
"We are delighted to welcome Isabelle on Thursday, November 13th, from 5:00 to 6:30pm for an in-store tasting and book signing of Natural Wine, which already graces our shelves. As always, these preliminary celebrations are open to all and free of charge. Thefestivities will continue at acclaimed downtown restaurant Contra, where a custom six-course tasting menu will be paired with some of the most influential producers of natural wines featured in Isabelle's book. We’ve had a couple of other dinners at Contra and they were a huge hit - expect delicious, satisfying food from Chefs Jeramiah Stone & Fabian Von Hauske and the warm, expert hospitality of Wine Director Jorge Riera.
Gossamer-winged dinner tickets are $180, which includes meal, wine, taxes, and gratuity. Dinner begins at 7:00pm. Contra is located at 138 Orchard Street (between Rivington and Delancey Streets); New York, NY 10002. "
Call Chambers Street Wines at 212 227 1434 for Tickets...
(* Photo of Isabelle and the Georgia amphoras from That Crazy French Woman site)
One 10-ounce bag prewashed arugula 3 dried figs, finely chopped 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) shaved Kefalograviera cheese or Pecorino Romano cheese 1 to 2 tablespoons (or 1 ounce) chopped almonds
Fig-Balsamic Dressing (recipe follows) or another dressing of your choice
1. In a large serving bowl, combine the arugula, figs, shaved cheese, and almonds. Toss with a small amount of dressing until coated. Serve immediately.
Cook’s note: If you opt for a different salad dressing, make sure it has either a Greek yogurt or olive oil base.
For the Fig-Balsamic Dressing:
¼ cup fig-infused balsamic vinegar or regular balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon stoneground or Dijon mustard 2 dried figs, minced ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. In a food processor or blender, combine the balsamic vinegar, mustard, figs, and 1/4 cup water. Blend for about 30 seconds or until the ingredients are well incorporated.
2. With the food processor or blender running, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream. Blend until the dressing is emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Transfer to an airtight container, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Cook’s note: If you prefer a sweeter dressing, add a little more minced fig. If you like a spicier dressing, stir in a little additional mustard and freshly ground black pepper.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from The Greek Diet by Maria Loi with Sarah Tolland -published by William Morrow, October 2014)