Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lunch At The Hawthornes.

Welcome to lunch at the Hawthornes. I'm taking a break from making soft pretzels to prepare our lunch. The dough is resting and rising. I must thank Justin and Johanna Lachine, of Cafe Lachine, who conducted our last cooking class at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, for the inspiration for this meal. We placed seared cod on a bed of orzo mixed with caramelized grape tomatoes and pesto, and covered the whole with a terrific Parmesan cream sauce, spiked with just the right amount of sherry.
Pesto Orzo with Tomatoes 1/2 pound orzo pasta 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced 3/4 cup pesto I made that pesto the day before Hurricane Irene came aknockin' at my door. I went out to the garden and cut every last bit of my basil and made a gallon or more of pesto. I freeze it in ice cube trays, then pop my pesto cubes out into freezer bags. I can pull out a pesto cube in the midst of winter and have summer on my plate. Start on the orzo first. Cook orzo according to directions. Keep warm.
Heat pan over medium heat, add 2 TB each butter and oil, and throw in the sliced grape tomatoes.
Toss the tomatoes and keep them moving.
I like to add in a pinch of sugar to help in the caramelization.
Salt and pepper
Add orzo and pesto to the tomatoes. Stir to coat thoroughly. Hold warm. Next, the Parmesan Cream sauce.
Parmesan Cream Sauce 1 cup heavy cream 1 TB butter 1 TB flour 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated freshly ground salt and pepper splash of sherry Heat butter over medium low heat. Whisk in flour. Cook for about 3 minutes to get rid of the raw. Heat cream separately. Add heated cream to butter/flour mixture. Heat until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Add splash of sherry. Taste test. Remove from heat and whisk in grated Parmesan.
Melt butter and whisk in flour.
Whisk away for about 3 minutes.
Slowly whisk in heated cream.
Heat until thickened.
Splash of sherry.
Remove from heat and add in grated Parmesan. S & P to taste.
I'm loving this sauce and thinking of all sorts of different ways I can use this. Keep sauce warm, while you prepare the fish.
We're using cod filets.
I had to cut the cod into different sized strips since the filet was not of even thickness. Lightly S & P.
We started out with the thicker pieces first. Cast iron skillet. Medium high heat. 2 TB oil.
Next the thinner filets went in. About 3 minutes per side on the thicker filets. About 2 minutes each side on the thinner ones.
You can put pesto on anything and I'll like it, so the orzo was quite a hit.
The cream sauce was divine.
Someone pass me a straw. Please.
Excellent lunch. You should try this.

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