Sunday, April 8, 2007

Matt, the Gourmet Cook


Matt made a wonderful dinner tonight for us and the neighbors, and I just had to pass along the recipes. He did a fantastic job even though he had never before cooked asparagus, artichokes, or monkfish. I'm very proud. :-)

He even presented the meal artfully!


ALMOND ASPARAGUS

2 1/2 lb. fresh asparagus spears
1/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted
2 tbsp. plus 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Remove scales from stalks with a knife or vegetable peeler, if desired. Melt butter in a large skillet, add asparagus and saute 3-4 minutes. Cover skillet and simmer an additional 2 minutes or until asparagus is tender-crisp. Add remaining ingredients; toss gently.

Now, when we make this again we'll use less butter and almonds (maybe olive oil rather than butter, for a healthier option) but it was really simple and delicious.

STUFFED ARTICHOKES ITALIANO


INGREDIENTS:
3      lg Artichokes
5 ounce Parmesan cheese -- grated
1 lg Clove garlic -- minced
1 cup Italian bread crumbs (Progresso®)
1/4 cup Olive oil (this needs to be good extra virgin olive oil)
Lemon juice

Cut the stems and the tops (Just low enough to remove the pointy ends of the
leaves) off of the artichokes.
Mix cheese, garlic,and crumbs. Spread the artichoke leaves so you can fill each
layer, from the outside in, with the crumb mixture.

Place the artichokes in a pot with about 1-2 inches of water. Drizzle olive
oil and lemon juice over the top of each artichoke. Cover and steam 45 minutes
or longer, checking occasionally that the water has not completely evaporated.
The artichokes are done when a leaf can be easily pulled off.

Matt didn't love the artichokes, but I thought they were wonderful and looked beautiful! To improve upon this recipe we'd probably add more garlic and maybe some black or white pepper, maybe a little something else, too.

Monkfish Provincial

Yield:
4 servings

PREP TIME 15 Min
COOK TIME 10 Min
READY IN 25 Min

INGREDIENTS

  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Cajun seasoning to taste
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 pounds monkfish fillets, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a resealable plastic bag, mix the salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and flour. Place the monkfish in the bag, seal, and shake to lightly coat.
  2. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Place the monkfish in the skillet, and cook for about 3 minutes. Mix in the garlic, tomato, and mushrooms, and continue cooking 3 minutes. Mix in the wine and parsley. Continue to cook and stir 2 minutes, or until the monkfish flakes easily with a fork.
Everyone said this was wonderful (of course, I just took their word for it). Matt used about half as much flour and substituted Italian breadcrumbs, and next time he'd do very little flour and more breadcrumbs and add lemon juice. Also, we found out after the fact that monkfish is an environmentally irresponsible choice, so a good substitution would be tilapia or halibut.

4 comments:

Ann said...

Gosh, the food looks so yummy! What a great job Matt did...hats of to the chef!

Carly Fay said...

It amazes me what he can do! He never gets nervous about trying something new and just goes for it! I wish I was more like that.

Ann said...

Me too! I don't know if I will ever be able to take over Thanksgiving...that meal really freaks me out! Too many things cooking at once...Yikes! :)

Carly Fay said...

Oh will never ever take on Thanksgiving! Mostly because I don't like Thanksgiving (long, ranty story). I'm a decent cook but Matt and I aren't "foodies" so most of the time neither of us has the slightest idea what we want to eat. Sometimes dinner is cheese and crackers and an avocado, haha! So that made it all the more exciting when he did choose to make such a nice dinner. Everything was done at the same time too! That takes skill.Exactly why Thanksgiving is meant to be made by Grandmas. :-)