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Fish stew (because you’re sick of turkey!)

From FineCooking:

Halibut and Mussel Stew with Fennel, Peppers, and Saffron

by Ivy Manning

This seafood stew, brimming with some of Spain’s most celebrated flavors, is easily adaptable to serve meat-lovers and vegetarians alike: see the variation below to serve one vegetarian, or check out the completely meatless version of the stew.

Serves four.

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, more for the bread
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (2 cups)
1 medium fennel bulb, stalks and fronds removed, quartered lengthwise, cored, and thinly sliced crosswise (4 cups)
1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise (3/4 cup)
1 small red bell pepper, stem, ribs, and seeds removed and discarded; flesh thinly sliced lengthwise (1-1/2 cups)
3 Tbs. tomato paste
2 medium cloves garlic (1 minced, 1 whole)
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Albariño
One 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/8  tsp. pimentón (smoked paprika)
2 pinches saffron
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 baguette slices, 3/4 inch thick
11 oz. skinless halibut fillets or other firm white fish, cut into 1-inch chunks
13 mussels, scrubbed and debearded

Heat the oil in a 5-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, carrot, and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add 3-1/2 cups of water, the chickpeas, thyme, pimentón, saffron, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender and the stew has thickened slightly, about 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Put the bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet and brush both sides with oil. Broil, flipping once, until both sides are golden-brown, about 4 minutes total. Remove from the oven and rub each slice with the whole clove of garlic.

Gently stir the halibut and mussels into the stew, cover, and simmer until all the mussels have opened and the fish is cooked through, 4 to 8 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open. Ladle into wide, shallow bowls and serve with the garlic toasts.

Variations

To serve 1 vegetarian and 3 meat lovers: Reduce the halibut to 8 oz. and the mussels to 10. Just before stirring the halibut and mussels into the stew, transfer 2 cups of the stew to a wide, shallow bowl, cover and keep warm while you cook the fish and mussels in the remaining stew. Sprinkle the vegetarian stew with 2 Tbs. grated Manchego and serve with one of the garlic toasts.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 470; Fat (g): 14; Fat Calories (kcal): 130; Saturated Fat (g): 2; Protein (g): 34; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 48; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): 770; Cholesterol (mg): 40; Fiber (g): 13;

Eggs for Dinner? Yup!

Herbed-Baked Eggs
(Source: Ina Garten “Barefood in Paris” and the show Barefoot Contessa)

1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
6 extra-large eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toasted French bread or brioche, for serving

Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat.

Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and Parmesan and set aside. Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 2 small bowls or teacups (you won’t be baking them in these) without breaking the yolks. (It’s very important to have all the eggs ready to go before you start cooking.)

Place 2 individual gratin dishes on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon of cream and 1/2 tablespoon of butter in each dish and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Quickly, but carefully, pour 3 eggs into each gratin dish and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are almost cooked. (Rotate the baking sheet once if they aren’t cooking evenly.) The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven. Allow to set for 60 seconds and serve hot with toasted bread.

End of Summer Pasta

End of Summer Pasta

Photo and Recipe courtesy: My Recipe.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds boned, skinned chicken breast halves, rinsed
  • 1 pound zucchini
  • 2 red bell peppers (12 oz. total)
  • 2 portabella mushroom caps (7 oz. total)
  • 1 red onion (12 oz.)
  • 1 package (1 lb.) dried penne pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and fresh-ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup slivered fresh basil leaves

Preparation

  • 1. In a bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Reserve 1/2 cup marinade for basting vegetables; pour remaining into a 1-gallon zip-lock plastic bag. Cut chicken lengthwise into 1-inch-wide strips and add to bag. Seal bag and turn to coat. Chill about 45 minutes.
  • 2. Meanwhile, rinse zucchini, bell peppers, and mushroom caps. Slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Stem and seed bell peppers; quarter lengthwise. Peel onion and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Brush vegetables with reserved marinade.
  • 3. Cooking in batches if necessary, lay vegetables and chicken (discard marinade) on a barbecue grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning once, until vegetables are slightly charred and chicken is no longer pink in center of thickest part (cut to test), 6 to 10 minutes total. Let cool a few minutes. Chop vegetables and chicken into 1-inch pieces.
  • 4. Meanwhile, in a 6- to 8-quart pan over high heat, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add pasta, stir, and cook, uncovered, until barely tender to bite, 9 to 13 minutes. Drain.
  • 5. In a large bowl, mix pasta with remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, parmesan cheese, half the chopped vegetables and chicken, and salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining vegetables and chicken. Garnish with sliced basil.

Lea Black, North Tustin, CA, Sunset
SEPTEMBER 2005