Friday, April 23, 2010

Rosie Is Cooking Rockfish, Crabmeat, A Red Pepper Cream Sauce, And Beer Batter Fried Veggies.

This afternoon, Mr. Hawthorne and I stopped by
Billy's Seafood to get dinner. The rock fish looked pretty good, plus they had the first crab meat of the season, so we headed home with a nice rock fish ($7.95/lb.) and a pound of crab meat ($9.95/lb.).
I'm trying to think how to prepare dinner and I'm going with baked rock fish, a crab meat mixture topping, a roasted red pepper cream sauce accent, and some beer-batter fried veggies.
First, I'm starting on my roasted red pepper cream sauce. And I'm making up the recipe as I go along, so please, bear with me.
I had one quite large red pepper and I sliced about 3/4 to use in the sauce.
Skewer the peppers.
And start roasting over an open flame. Mr. Hawthorne thought I was roasting the inside of the pepper here. I was NOT. I was roasting the inward curls at the bottom.
Keep moving the peppers around to char the entire outside.
I like the blue jets of flame over the red pepper.
When your peppers look like this...
... plunge into an ice water bath. I know most instructions for roasted peppers call for tossing the peppers inside a paper bag, sealing, and letting the steam work the skin off, but I've found this method more efficient and a lot quicker.
Just rub off the charred skin with your fingers.
And you end up with this lovely red pepper flesh. I'm thinking of the flavors I want in my red pepper sauce and I'm leaning towards the first one - caramelized onions.Small onion. Coarsely slice the onion.
Action shot of onion going in. Saute in LOLUB and ELBOO. That's Land O' Lakes Unsalted Butter and Extra Light Bertolli Olive Oil. I have AA. That's Annoying Acronyms. Can I have my own Food Network show now?
Add in maybe 2-3 teaspoons of sugar. And some salt and pepper.
Cook slowly over medium low, stirring.
When the onions start changing color, add a little white wine. Scrape up the goodie bits while the wine is cooking off.
You may want to add in more wine.
This is looking mighty fine right now. Remove from heat. Step back. You're at a stopping point. Take a break. Have a glass of wine. Relax. Take ten. Fifteen. Whatever. (I meant minutes. Not glasses of wine.) Then walk into your herb, driftwood, and shell garden and partake of the bounty. Can you name all my herbs?
I came back with cilantro, parsley, and three types of thyme - a common thyme, a variegated thyme, and a lemon thyme.
My parsley grows year round all over the place. It self seeds and even survives underneath our occasional snow. My wonderful cilantro, which I've finally gotten to behave like my parsley. I have cilantro coming up everywhere and lasting year round. The thing I love about my cilantro is the raw cilantro seeds - coriander. They are a delight. A citrusey/cilantroey burst of juicy freshness and fresh juiciness. The seed delivers. And I seriously doubt that many of you have experienced that. And that's unfortunate.
I got all the thyme in the world.
Let's get back to my Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce. red pepper pulp caramelized onions chopped parsley, cilantro, and thymes
Coarse chop, since this is going into my Blue Ninja.
In my Blue Ninja: roasted red pepper caramelized onion thymes parsley cilantro
The only negative about my Blue Ninja is that it doesn't have a feed hole, so I could pour oil into it while it's running.
Little bit of olive oil in - maybe 2 or 3 TB.
And ... pulse. I told you before. I'm making this recipe up on the fly.
I was thinking about adding in two garlic cloves.
Ended up adding only one.
Add in some white wine. 3-4 TB
What the hell. Add in some Asian Chili Garlic Sauce. Maybe a tablespoon.
And process.
Oh my. Why not some cayenne? Grown in my garden.
I turned to my right and saw my beautiful mint in a glass and Mama Hawthorne's lovely decanter which she never used but I'm putting to great use.
Two mint leaves.
Juice of one lemon.
And why not some lemon zesssst? And another few pulses.
I heated my roasted red pepper sauce, then added in some heavy cream. About 1/4 cup.
Gently heat and stir. Salt and pepper to taste. The red pepper sauce is done. Set aside. Keep warm. You are at stopping point #2. Sit. Chill. Have a second glass of wine. Relax.
ON TO THE ROCK FISH!We got half a fish. Skin on. Bones in.
Butter and onion.
Add salt and pepper. Cover in foil. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until it flakes nicely. Once again, you can take a break. Sit down. Put your feet up. Have another glass of wine. Whenever you're ready to start on the crab meat topping for the rock fish, call me. Remember - this is all on the fly.
For my crab meat: Melt a few tablespoons of butter and add in a few tablespoons of cream cheese.
Juice of one lemon.
I added in about 1/2 cup of crab meat.
Work gently with the crab meat. For the $9.95 price, I got claw meat. You don't want to mess with it. Leave in chunks. Add in a tablespoon or two of sherry or white wine.
Let's recap what I've done. On the right, I have a Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce. On the left, I have a delicious crab meat melange. At this point, I left the room. To relax. To drink a glass of wine. To get away. To unwind. To ... DO I NEED A DAMN EXCUSE???!??!??!???? When I came back ...
I found out that Mr. Hawthorne had dumped in the whole container of crab meat.
So I needed to add in more lemon.
Also I added in more butter, cream cheese, and wine.
Finally, some more heavy cream. Cover. Set aside. Have another glass of wine. Relax. Get ready for the fried veggies:
I'm using McCormick's Beer Batter and my bottle of Corona which has been sitting on my counter for weeks, waiting to be used up in my batters.
Green onions, green beans, and sugar snap peas.
Coat veggies in beer batter.
Your oil is hot enough when bubbles vigorously bubble out of the end of a wooden utensil.
Only fry a few veggies at a time. Overcrowding the pot lowers the temperature and you get greasy fried not crispy fried.
Drain on paper towels and sprinkle some salt, pepper, and cayenne over top.
Second batch went in.
Drain, salt, pepper, cayenne, and why not some lemon zest?
These were delicious. I think my favorite was the green onion. The crispy coating was excellent.
I could make a meal just off of these.
I added a little jalapeno tartar sauce for dipping. Mayo minced dill pickles sweet relish minced canned jalapenos
Fish is ready.
Dinner is served. Baked rock fish with crab meat and a roasted red pepper cream sauce and beer batter fried veggies with a jalapeno tartar sauce. Bon appetit!


Marilyn said...

Take ten.
(I meant minutes.
Not glasses of wine.)

My vote for the best lines ever.

Kathy said...

The light on your mint leaves is lovely.