In Our Kitchen: The Outdoors Comes Inside

By Katherine

Our yard is in full bloom. We’ve pulled garlic and scallions, and our blueberries are so close. (They’re just outside the kitchen door, so that counts.)

What else is going on this month in our kitchen? Local sodas…

so much mint we’re using it to decorate. (Yes, we’re cooking with it too!)

Let’s see what else…. Oh, check out our fancy new water jugs…

and there’s this vintage find…

and our new clock, which only looks old…

some artichokes for a late lunch…

new pottery on an old buffet…

Happy Independence Day to all you state siders out there!

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Fava Bean and Fennel Slaw

Minty and creamy

This is a fantastic salad that goes well with many grilled meats, fish especially.

When choosing fava beans pick the youngest possible. If the beans are not bright green inside remove the white second shell as well.

Fava and Fennel Slaw

  • 1 bulb fennel shaved very thinly with a mandolin
  • 1 cup shelled fresh fava beans
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 12-14 large mint leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 shallot chopped roughly
  • Olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

In a blender add mustard, shallot mint leaves and lemon juice. Blend adding enough olive oil to form a thick paste. Thin with vinegar until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Toss dressing over shaved fennel. Add beans and stir well. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

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Fish Chowder

There have to be clams somewhere for it to be a true chowda

Recently I bought a halibut. Here is a good way to use the bones and bits.

Fish Chowder

for broth

  • 24 clams washed
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 8-10 lb halibut carcass chopped into small pieces
  • Fronds from 1 bulb fennel
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 bottle dry white wine
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp black pepper corns
  • 4 tbsp salt

In a 4 quart stock pot place 1/2 the onion, 1/2 the fennel fronds, 1 bay leaf, juice from lemon and lemon halves, wine, 750 ml water 1 tbsp black peppercorns and 2 tbsp salt. Bring to a boil then simmer covered for 10 minutes. Add clams, cover and cook for 5 more minutes. remove from heat and let stand 10 more minutes. Meanwhile in a large 12-14 quart stock pot place fish carcass and remaining ingredients. Strain clam broth into stock pot and add enough water to fill pot to 3/4 full.. Remove cooked clams from shells roughly chop and set aside discarding any that did not open. Toss shells into second broth pan. Bring to a boil and skim foam. Cook over medium simmer until reduced by 1/3 about 2 hours. Strain through cheese cloth. Clean all meat off carcass and set aside with clams.

for chowder

  • 1 lb small scallops
  • 3-4 whole anchovies packed in salt roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 large onion chopped fine
  • 5-6 scallion scapes diced fine
  • 3-4 large fennel stalks chopped fine
  • 5 cups red potatoes medium dice skin still on
  • 2 cups cream
  • 2 tbsp fennel fronds chopped fine

In a large stock pot melt butter and fry anchovies until they dissolve over medium heat. Add onion and saute until golden. Add fennel and saute until softened. Add flour and mix well. Cook until flour begins to slightly color then add potatoes and mix well. Add 1/2 cup wine, deglaze pan, turn heat to low and cover. Sweat vegetables for 10 minutes stirring once at 5 minutes. Uncover, add strained broth and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer and cook until potatoes are soft. Add cream and bring back to a simmer. Add cooked fish, clams and scallion scapes. Cook until thickened and almost done. Taste for seasoning. Add scallops and fennel fronds and cook for 2-3 minutes to finish scallops. Serve.

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Grilled Halibut with Fava Bean and Oyster Mushrooms

Everyone should eat more fish

Recently bought a halibut.

Make sure the fava beans are really fresh, small and tender. They can also be called broad beans. If you do not have scallion scapes then garlic scapes will do. You could serve this on top of risotto instead. Serves 2.

Halibut Steaks with Fava Beans and Oyster Mushrooms

  • 1 lb Halibut steak
  • 4-6 scallion scapes chopped fine
  • 1 cup small fresh fava beans
  • 2 cups oyster mushrooms broken into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp basil chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 ear corn
  • 2-3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp zest
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Polenta

Mix olive oil, bitters and lemon juice in a shallow baking dish and marinade fish 30 minutes per side. Prepare a fire in grill. Grill corn until done then chop from cob and set aside. Cut polenta into thick slices and grill until crisp on both sides. In a large saute pan melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and fry until browned on both sides, then add scapes and basil and continue to saute until softened. Add corn and fava beans and mix well. Bring to a sizzle then add lemon zest and stock and reduce by half. Grill halibut over direct heat. Serve fish on top of grilled halibut, topped with fava sauce.

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Grilled Opah Salad

This is so healthy you can have 2-3 bottles of wine to make up for it

This is a great grilled salad. Opah is a mild firm flesh fish similar to swordfish. Splurge on good potatoes for this. This serves 3-4.

Grilled Opah Salad with Asparagus and Poatatoes

  • 1 lb fresh opah fillets 1″ thick cut into serving sizes
  • 1 tbsp garlic scapes chopped fine
  • 1/8 cup lime juice
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill chopped fine
  • 12-14 small purple/red or new potatoes sliced in half
  • 10-12 stalks asparagus
  • 1/2 head kale
  • 1/2 bunch spinach
  • Feta

wash fish in cold water, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Mix scapes, lime juice, oil and dill and add fish. Marinate 4 hours flipping once. Boil potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes then remove and run under cold water to stop cooking. Mix greens together in a bowl. Prepare a dressing of 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, and fresh dill to taste. Pour half of dressing over greens and toss well. Prepare barbecue and grill fish, potatoes and asparagus until done. Mix asparagus and potatoes into greens add remaining dressing and toss. Serve salad on plates, top with fish and crumbled feta.

Posted in Dinner, Food, Garden, Grilling/Smoking, Recipes, Seafood | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

In Our Kitchen – All Things B

Basil and arugula for pesto

The baker’s new blender

A bouquet from outside

Proofing bread

A local brew

A bushed dog

To get a peek inside other bloggers’ kitchens hop on over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her monthly roundup.

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Seared Porcini Mushrooms

Fresh porcini are better than truffles

This requires at least 1 lb fresh porcini. Pick caps over stems.

Florentine Porcini Mushrooms

  • 1 lb porcini mushrooms
  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 8-12 leaves basil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp dijon
  • Salt/pepper
  • Butter

Peel paper from garlic. place in foil, drizzle with olive oil and wrap up. Roast garlic in oven until golden and soft. Remove from oven and dump into a blender. Add basil, mustard, and olive oil and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Remove stems from porcini, peel skin and cut stems into long strips. Melt 3 tbsp butter in frying pan over medium heat. Saute whole porcini caps and stems until browned on outside. Slice caps into long slivers and serve drizzled with garlic sauce.


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