Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Like prime rib? try a beef tenderloin

My whole family are bloody cow eaters. When my sister-in-law Krista entered the family she was a "well done" kind of gal. Now a nice welcoming family would just throw the meat back on the grill and turn it into a hockey puck for kindness sake. Not us, its medium rare and you are going to eat it, and you are going to like it. About 10 years later, Krista can say she likes her meat medium rare.
We like prime rib, we often cook it on holidays. I have recently concluded that instead of buying a "rib eye roast" which is what most consider a prime rib (now a rib eye roast is a rib eye steak uncut into steaks) I decided it is much better to get a tenderloin roast (the fillet mignon) .  The reason for this is because the rib eye is half fat that you don't even eat. The tenderloin is much leaner and very tasty.  It is also a lot easier to cook right because it isn't so thick. In order to cook it perfect you must, must have the KITCHEN TOOL OF THE WEEK:

A digital thermometer with a digital probe that has a long cord so you can put it in the roast and read it without opening the oven.
I buy my tenderloin roasts at, wait for it. . . Costco. Put it on any pan that is rimmed and salt  and pepper it very liberally. I tucked my ends underneath so it was the same thickness all the way across. If you don't tuck it under, you will have more well done ends which might please if you have some hockey puck eaters come to dinner.

Heat your oven to 500 degrees. Put the roast in for 30 minutes. Open the oven and put your digital probe right into the middle of the thickest part of the meat. Now shut the oven and turn off the oven and don't open it again until your digital thermometer reads 125 degrees (if my picture is looking a little bloody, let it go to 130 degrees, but no more, you will regret it!) Once it reads 125 degrees, take it out and let it rest for 10 minutes until you carve it.
I do have to tell you that when I asked Certified Executive Chef Kent Anderson from Chef's Table about using this method to cook a prime rib, he laughed at me like I was an idiot. Despite Mr. fancy pants chefs mockery, I still maintain. Here is why, the high temperature browns it nicely, then while it sits in the hot oven it slowly and evenly comes to temperature. So it is the same pinkness from the edge to the middle. Kent Anderson says you just cook it at 350 until it reaches 125, but I say that make the middle pink but the edges brown. So I am right, and he is wrong. Sorry Kent, your certification means nothing to me. 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our newest addition

Last summer, we adopted a kitten into our family. A cute little kitten. It was a slow adoption. We let her stay, then we got her cat food, when winter came she seemed to so small, we got her a litter box and let her stay inside. All the while I kept saying to myself, "If she's going to stay, I better get her spayed." Then I thought, "I've got time, she is still a kitten." Turns out she's just another slutty teenager.
The bizarre thing was, I looked at her one day and thought she looked kind of pregnant, (it made me feel sorry for her, I think that is how you know you are done having kids, when you see a pregnant cat and you have pity on her) then two days later, I looked at her again and decided she didn't really look pregnant anymore.  Then we noticed she was adamant about going into the boys room. Well the boys are the bane of her existence, why would she want to go in their room so much? It was because she had a little kitten to take care of in there.
It was a little miracle. The miracle was, she only had one kitten! How lucky is that! So now my kids feel like proud grandparents with their kitten, stepping in when the ill prepared, immature mother wants to go out and "party" instead of taking responsibility for her offspring. Teenagers.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Its lamb chops play along!

Tonight I cooked lamb chops for the first time ( yes Fairb is out of town, he would NEVER eat lamb, but don't tell my children that, the first thing they asked when I placed the lamb chop before them, "does dad eat lamb?"  "He LOVES lamb, of course!"). Lamb tastes quite good in fact but I have always been a little apprehensive about lamb. Why?  We all remember "Lamb Chops Play Along" on PBS and the freaky lady with her hand up Lamb Chop's bum. When I hear lamb chop, I think of Lamp Chop, I think of the song that never ends, it goes on and on my friend  . . .  some people started singing it not knowing what it was, and they will keep on singing it forever just because, it is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend . . . .
And its not just Lamb Chop, but the thought of a cute fluffy lamb out in a green pasture surrounded by a white picked fence. Or its the one you see Jesus holding in the one painting you see in Deseret Book.
Since Fairb was out of town, I decided to erase all cute lamby images and try lamb for goodness sake. I have to say my friends, it was really good. Screw Lamb Chop, he was annoying anyway.
So I pan seared some lamb chops and served it with couscous. 
I bought the lamb chops from Costco and they were surprisingly inexpensive. I cooked it exactly like I would a steak. I let the lamb chops get room temperature. I got the skillet hot (I use my cast iron skillet) gave it a swirl of olive oil.  I liberally seasoned both sides of the chops with salt and pepper and placed them in the hot skillet. Now I can't tell you time because I cook by temperature.  Lamb, like steak should be medium rare. So using my digital instant read thermometer I cooked them till they read 125 degrees. I of course flipped them half way through.
To accompany the lamb, I cooked the couscous according to the instructions in one pan. Meanwhile, I gave a skillet a couple swirls of olive oil and I sauteed. . .
 half an fine diced onion
half a fine diced red pepper
2 garlic cloves minced
lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.
Then I added the couscous to the skillet and combined them. It was a perfect side dish to the lamb.
Try some lamb today!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

can it get any prettier?

Instead of having a regular old Idaho baked potato tonight (no offense Idaho) bake up a yam instead. I always call a yam a sweet potato, but sweet potatoes are the light ones. If you dress a baked yam just like a baked potato, it is sooooo good! Even with sour cream! Scrub them, pop them in the oven at 400 degrees for an hour and you have an extremely healthy (like super food healthy) side dish to go with any meal.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So close but yet so far


So here is the tape that I sent to the Rachael Ray show to audition for their competition "Hey Can you Cook?" I got two calls from their producers, and they even asked me if I was available for on camera interviews, but ultimately they didn't choose me for the competition. What a bummer.
This isn't the whole tape because it was too big to fit onto you tube, I also demonstrated the lasagna. I will post that another day. You are missing out Rachael Ray!

Monday, March 23, 2009

What is ganache? ganache is good.

So I was dosing on nitrous oxide at the dentist (good thing my religion prevents me from using drugs and alcohol because I would be an addict, I love me some dentist chair)  All the while watching some random cooking demonstration on PBS.  The woman was making all kinds of wonderful things with chocolate. She made a chocolate cake using the exact modified cake recipe that I always use. Right there I knew we were kindred spirits (its amazing what kind of emotions the laughing gas will evoke).  Instead of frosting the cake with a regular chocolate butter cream frosting, she used ganache. Only a week earlier I was questioning what ganache was when I was watching celebrity apprentice (I how embarrassing to admit, could Donald Trump love himself anymore?)  and I saw some cupcakes filled with ganache and didn't know what it was. So this beautiful woman on PBS was basically  summoning  me to make ganache. I accepted the call.
Unfortunately, my ganache wasn't as pretty as hers was, but boy did it taste good. It blew regular frosting out of the water.
Ganache is basically heavy whipping cream and melted chocolate. I used 2 cups of whipping cream and 3 big symphony chocolate bars that I ran through the food processor till it was chopped up.
So you bring your whipping cream to a fairly violent boil, turn it off and add the chopped up chocolate and stir until smooth. Once it cools you could use it as is to GLAZE a cake. Its pretty runny. Now the beautiful PBS lady whipped hers and it was light and fluffy. I tried to whip mine and it would take much air, it got lighter in color and a little more fluffy, but not as good as I liked, so I still need to work on it. I frosted my three layers with the ganache and served it after sunday dinner. Everyone oohed and aahhed.
One day I hope to meet my kindred spirit, whom ever she may be . . . . 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

curry in a hurry

Last night at about 7 pm I began to crave Japanese curry.  Curry in Japan is very common, its kind like the kraft mac and cheese of America. It is quick and it is cheap.  They call it kuri raisu. If you read that right, it would sound like curry rice but with a Japanese accent.
When I was in Japan (need I post the pictures again) the family ate a lot of curry rice for dinner. One night after a whole week of the same pot of curry, I saw my Japanese mom get out a package of spaghetti noodles. What joy! We were going to have good old America spaghetti! To my disappointment when were putting the curry over the noodles instead of the usual rice. I went put to my room and secretly cried in my pillow.
That experience however, did not ruin curry rice for me. I still love it.  It truly is curry in a hurry and it is also a great vegetarian option (you can however make it with meat, I like it without). So the first thing you have to do is go to the store and buy this box:

Golden curry is sold at most all groceries stores in the oriental section. If my piddly grocery store in Springville has it, most grocery stores will have it.  You could follow the instructions on the back . . . if you can read JAPANESE!
Ingredient list:
1 small onion diced
1 big potato scrubbed and diced
big handful of baby carrots

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 pkg golden curry

Heat a sauce pan with a little oil and give the onions a quick saute. Add the potatoes and carrots and add stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes and carrots are very tender. Add curry bricks and stir until the curry creates a gravy. Serve over rice. If you want to be truly Japanese, don't eat it with chops sticks, eat it with a big spoon!

Friday, March 20, 2009

buttermilk syrup

If you are making buttermilk syrup, you are behind the times my friend.  Of course you might be better off NOT making it, because it is NOT good for you. However, it sure tastes good! I had read lots of variations of how to make buttermilk syrup, but I just do it the simplest way possible. Once you start doing this, it is going to be hard to go back to Mrs. Butterworths.

Buttermilk Syrup
1 stick butter
1/2 c butter milk
1 c sugar

1 t vanilla
2 t baking soda

Combine the first three ingredients in a sauce pan (use a fairly big one because it will boil high when you add the baking soda) and bring to a boil while stirring. Let boil for about 1 minute (you let it boil longer if you want a more amber, carmel taste, but I like it light). Turn off the heat then add the vanilla and baking soda. Stir and serve. And for heaven sakes, don't butter your french toast first, you have plenty of butter in your syrup!
You can play with it by using different flavors, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond extract, orange, lemon, rum . . . .the list is infinite!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

KITCHEN TOOL OF THE WEEK: Whipped Cream Canister

In my never to be humble opinion, a dessert is not truly worthy if it doesn't entail whipped cream. As you may already know about me, I consider cool whip to be a swear word.  I don't even know what cool whip is? It's non dairy! What the crap is it then? Then there is the canisters of cream, those are doable, because they are made with cream, but they also have other things in them like preservatives and artificial flavors. So before my new whipped cream canister, I would just whip cream with a hand mixer. I didn't know these canisters existed until recently when I went to a party and saw one in use. I knew I had to have one immediately.
So all you do is pour in a pint of heavy whipping cream, a couple teaspoons of vanilla and about a 1/4 c sugar. Put the lid on and shake it.  Now what whips the cream nitrous oxide cartridges that you attach to the canister. The cream comes out much denser than the canisters that you buy in the dairy section of the store.
What is great is that you always have fresh whipped cream on hand for hot chocolate, oatmeal, berries, waffles . . . . I bought this one at Williams and Sonoma along with the cartridges, you can also buy a similar model with the cartridges at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Late night snack

Smores around the camp fire are not good. You are fooling yourself when you say they are. The marshmallows are usually burned, the chocolate never melts, and they always some how gets a little dirt or ash in it.
Smores in the oven however are sooooo good! It is the perfect "I need a little something" snack. I make them for myself all the time.  What is great about them is that they are fairly small calorically, a small square of chocolate, one marshmallow and 1 graham cracker broken in half. Although it is small, it is very satisfying (satisfying as a dessert should satisfy, not a meal). 
So next time you are at the store, stock up on big marshmallows, symphony chocolate, and graham crackers. I put the graham cracker on a baking sheet, one square of chocolate with a marshmallow on top, and pop it in the oven. I turn it on to 350, and by the time the oven is heated up, it is ready. Top it with the other half of the graham cracker and you are good to go.
Make a whole tray for dessert, and everyone will love you.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Perfect Asian Sticky Rice

You've seen the pictures . . . I love me some asian food. In Japan I at rice three meals a day. When I got back home, I was disappointed at the rice. I figured that it was because it wasn't rice from Japan. I also knew that Japanese washed their rice. I thought it was just because that is a total Japanese thing to do. They take their shoes of before they go into their house, and they don't eat raw carrots, they are Japanese. Americans don't do those things, and they don't wash their rice. A friend of mine who lives here in hobble creek is from Japan, and she gave a Japanese cooking lesson (which was awesome, you are the best Yoshi!) she was teaching us sushi rice. She told us to wash the rice. Wait a minute, this is American grown rice, you don't need to wash it, that is like washing pasta first. So this is what I learned, you aren't washing it to make it clean, you are washing it to rinse away the starch. So if you want good sticky rice you have to rinse it first. Also, it must be noted that you should get a good brand of short grain asian rice. The best brand is NISHIKI, which you can buy at Smith's here in Utah. So cover the rice with water and drain 4-5 times. The water will progressively get clearer, but will not be entirely clear.
cloudy water on 2nd rinse
Instead of measuring the water out (because the rice will have water in it now that it has been rinsed) Use the hand technique. Put your hand flat on the rice (as shown in the picture) and fill the water until it barely covers your fingers but not your hand (barely encroaching on your fist knuckles). Now I use a rice cooker KITCHEN TOOL OF THE WEEK! (It was the first kitchen appliance I ever bought) so if you are doing it on the stove, forget about it! That is what google is for. Once I learned these techniques, I felt like I was back in Japan, but without the 35 extra pounds!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Porter taking it to extreme

Snowbird has some of the steepest terrian out out of any resort in the world. Porter can take it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Alta!

Today my little Alta is six years old. She said she hates toys and doesn't like frosting on a birthday cake, so she didn't want a birthday party or presents. Instead she chose to come to Snowbird for a two day family ski vacation for her birthday. That is my kind of girl!
I still remember the day Alta was born. She was born at 12:01 am, barely making it on the 13th. It was my first "au natural" birth, and I was very excited, and a little nervous. It was a 12 hour labor, and I bounced on the exercise ball for most of it. Even though I am not going to have any more babies, I am going to miss giving birth. Who knew pain could be so great! It is the best feeling in the world.
Alta has always amazed me, walked a 9 months, skied the half pipe at Snowbird at 2 and 1/2 while still in diapers, reading chapter books at 5, giving a memorized talk in sacrament, and making her little brother a bowl of cereal every morning. She is above ordinary. She is going to be very successful in her adulthood, because not only is she talented, she is very independent and opinionated. Don't be telling Alta what is up! She will be telling you what is up!

San Marzano tomatoes

I love to read gourmet cooking magazines, when we are at the airport, my husband buys two mags, "Rock and Ice" (a climbing mag) and "The Economist", if my mother were in the airport she would buy something trashy like, "US Weekly" or the trashy mag in sheep's clothing "People". I buy "Bon Appetit" and "Gourmet"  with the occasional, "Taste of Home" Rarely do I rip out a recipe and actually use the recipe. I just like to get ideas and see what these "experts" constitute as good food.  
Often with reading these magazines I feel a bit of culinary guilt, or maybe it is envy.  The reason for this is that these gourmet magazine are always calling for ingredients that I rarely use, things like fresh herbs. It's not that I don't believe in fresh herbs, its just that they are expensive, and they don't keep well and you have prepare them, and chop them. I want to use fresh herbs, I really do, but I'm just not there yet. At least I use fresh garlic, my mother never used fresh garlic ( see, now I am rationalizing my guilt).
One ingredient in these magazines that cause me shame is San Marzano tomatoes. I always just use regular old hunts tomatoes in a can.  When shopping in Wall Mart, I noticed they carried this fancy pants San Marzano tomatoes.  It was time. It was time to face my shame and try these glory tomatoes.  To start with, they cost 4 times more than hunts brand. I bought them anyway.
So I used them in my tomato cream sauce to make some baked ziti. My expectations were high, four times higher in fact. They looked pretty out of the jar indeed.  I made my sauce like I always do. Boiled my pasta al dente. Combined the pasta with the sauce and some italian cheeses and off to the oven it went. 
After eating my baked ziti with my San Marzano tomatoes, I could taste no difference what so ever.  Now I can have peace knowing that I don't need to be spending 4 times as much for tomatoes. I just couldn't tell the difference, sorry Italy. I might however try them again for my pizza sauce, and who knows, I might be eating my words!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fare Start

While in Seattle we went to this amazing restaurant! It is called Fare Start. It is a place that takes homeless people, houses them, and trains them in culinary arts, then helps them find a job in the food industry. They have a 97 percent job placement rate. Not only are they feeding the homeless, they are creating REAL solutions. I love it. All the wait staff was volunteer so not only was tab going to a good cause, so was the tip. Great idea huh? The night we were there, they were having graduation of four students. They were so grateful for their opportunity and we appreciative that someone was willing to take a chance on them despite previous bad choices made in their lives. There needs to be a a Fare Start in every city in America? Who wants to start one with me?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chocolate Bunt Cake

My extended family likes their frost THICK! I am talking 50/50, a little cake with your frosting type deal.  As for myself, I appreciate the cake, and could even do without frosting sometimes. If this resonates with you, make this bunt cake. This recipe may look familiar, it is the same formula I use with pretty much all cake recipes.

Chocolate Bunt Cake

1 chocolate cake box mix
1 small box chocolate pudding
4 eggs
1/2 c oil
1/4 c water
1 c sour cream
1 half bag chocolate chips (optional)

Combine the first 6 ingredients and mix well, the batter will be thick. Fold in chocolate chips. Put evenly into a pam sprayed bunt pan. Cook for about 40 minutes at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean. Let is sit for about 10 minutes to cool, then invert onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar.
note: to dust, put powdered sugar into a sieve and shake over the cake. 

Monday, March 9, 2009

how to marinade

 A pretty popular marinade in these "Mo" parts (aka Mormon community) is the classic bottle of Italian dressing.  You can't open a ward cook book without Italian dressing not being mentioned in two or three recipes. I am not knocking the Italian dressing marinade, it is a valid marinade, and I will tell you why. There are 3 things all marinades need.
1. oil. Oil enhances the flavor and bastes the meat.
2. an acid, (vinegar, citrus, wine, buttermilk, yogurt) acids act as the tenderizer
3. seasoning (salt, pepper, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, spices, garlic, onion).

Italian dressing has all three things right? So it works. If you are using highly acidic things for your marinade, overnight marinading is too long. Keeping meats in marinade for too long will essentially be cooked by the acid. Things like buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream are good to marinade overnight in. Fish should only be marinade for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

So for the London broil I marinated it in equal parts olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, 4 smashed garlic cloves, 2 or three tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, couple teaspoons of salt and pepper, a couple teaspoons of steak seasoning (costco), 3-4 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 3-4 tablespoons of sugar ( I don't know why, I just thought it would be good). I mixed it all in a bag and added the London broil and kept it in the fridge for about 6 hours. Before I grilled it, I scraped everything off ( the garlic will burn) and it was delish!
So as far as marinating goes, you can play with just about anything, just remember the three key points. Or just stick to the Italian dressing, if you are lame!

london broil, you like medium rare, trust me.

The london broil, it is also called the top round steak. Its a great piece of meat because within the "steak" category it is fairly inexpensive and can feed a big group. If you absolutely can not bring medium rare meat to your lips, do not bother with the london broil. Once you over cook the london broil it is garbage. It becomes tough and flavorless.  Some of you may look at this picture and shutter. My belief is that people who like their meat well done have never tried medium rare. They have an aversion to "bloody meat" but in fact have never really tried "bloody meat" How do I know this do you ask? Because I was one of those people. but I have since seen the light. I challenge you to get past the notion of "bloody meat" and try something medium rare. Close your eyes and take a bite, and you will finally know what steak is suppose to taste like!

How to cook a London Broil:

You can marinade it or use a steak rub prior to cooking it. Secondly, before you cook it, let it sit at room temperature for between 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you didn't marinade it, liberally salt and pepper on both sides. 
The easiest way to cook it is on the barbecue ( I use my barbecue all year long) but you can also use your broiler in the oven (set your rack on the highest shelf)
Preheat your barbecue(on medium heat) or broiler.
To cook it perfect,  time it.
Cook 4 minutes, turn over. Cook 4 minutes, turn over again but lay it the opposite way so the grill will make cross marks. Cook 4 minutes, turn over again to make cross marks on the opposite side.
If you are broiling it, only turn it over once, cooking 8 minutes on both sides.
Now let it sit for about 5 minutes before you cut into it. If is too rare, you can put it back on, but my prediction is that it will be perfect. If it is over cooked, oops, now you know for next time to cook it less or turn the heat down!
Cut it as thin as possible against the grain.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

my carrots and peas

So I cooked the first of my Seattle "harvest" today for dinner. I had the kids shell the sweet peas, which was the perfect "job" for them to help with dinner. Although Porter got fatigued, Alta helped him after she had already set the table and unloaded the dish washer (needless to say, Porter is turning into his father, and Alta is her mother). After the peas were done she tore the salad leaves. I could not convince my grandmother that these were indeed carrots. She asked like three times what they were. I just steamed them then added butter and honey and some fresh ground pepper. They were so good! A little different tasting than regular carrots. So if you ever see them in a store (if you are in Utah) email me immediately from your iphone or blackberry. If you don't have one, go get one, just in case you run into these carrots. I need to be informed. The peas really made me want to plant a garden, so that is just what I will do. I need a garden master to come help me . . .

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fresh from Seattle

Look at the souvenirs I brought back from Seattle! Some people bring home snow globes or t-shirts, I bring home produce and donuts.

It made me jealous walking through pikes place and seeing all the great produce and seafood. Why can't we have that stuff here in Utah? I bought fresh sweet peas, brocollini, mini, eggplants, crazy looking carrots, and these amazing grapes (they were seedless wine grapes) that tasted like what you get off your own  vine in the summer.                                                           Most of pikes place is touristy junk that you would see in the parking lot of a Grateful Dead concert.  Once I got to the produce, and the guy offered me a slice of plum, I was lured in, and I walked away with a 20 pound bag of produce. Some girls buy shoes or jewelry, I buy produce.
If I knew how to fillet a fish, or shuck raw oysters, I would have come home with 30 pounds of seafood.    
The next thing I brought home was a dozen doughnuts from "Top Pot Donuts" To me, Krispee Creme's don't do it for me. They are like biting into sugar and air. I like dense cake doughnuts. Good cake donuts are hard to come by in my parts (sorry random grocery store bakeries. you aren't making the grade) so when someone in Seattle told me about "Top Pot Donuts", I knew I had to go. They were just what I had hoped.
So although my husband was mortified as we carried our donuts and produce through secruity (the FSA dude asked me if the donuts were a laptop, "No just donuts" I replied) I couldn't have been more thrilled. Stay tuned for what I do with my produce this week!
So when we saw the kids, of course they said, "what'd you bring us?" You can choose between a sprinkle doughnut or a purple carrot.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm in Seattle , without an umbrella

So no cooking folks, I am accompanying Fairb on a little business trip to Seattle. I should be out sight seeing or something, but I cannot resist just laying in bed, being kidless! I'll be back at the stove soon enough!

Monday, March 2, 2009

I hope my kids learn to love good food one day like I did

When I was a kid I hated fish. More than I hated fish, I hated the rice my mother would make when she made fish. Today I love fish, and I love the rice my mother would make when she made fish. My children are constantly complaining about my food, they hate just about everything that I love. Because my food is the source of my ego, I have recently put in place a new rule, you complain about food, you go to your room. Interesting, unlike my childhood self, my children like fish, but they did not like the rice that I made to go with the fish. However, you will like the rice, because you are a grown up.

Orange Rice

Ingredient list:
2 oranges zested and juiced
1 med onion fine diced
1 garlic clove minced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 1/2 c uncooked rice
1/4 c ish sugar
salt and pepper

Cook the rice according to the instructions. Meanwhile, saute the onions, carrots, orange zest and garlic in a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Once onions are tender, add the sugar and orange juice.  Simmer until orange reduces. Taste, it should taste fairly sweet, but not dessert like. Once rice is done, combine it with the sauce.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cashew Crusted Cod

When I hear cod, I think fish and chips. When Fairb was in graduate school, we lived in a tiny flat in central London. We had two babies in a tiny one bedroom place. While we were there, to my surprise, I got pregnant again. I was still nursing Alta, and the only way I knew I was pregnant was that I was starting my famous barfs. I can't go any where near a kitchen when I am pregnant sick (it makes me shutter just reliving it!), so down the street there was a very authentic fish and chips place, so the family at a lot of greasy fish and chips.  Oddly enough, I have warm memories of that greasy place. Usually pregnancy kills a restaurant in my heart (You couldn't pay me to eat at Cafe Rio) but I would still return to that fish and chips place if I ever returned to Bloomsbury (yes, like in peter pan).
Tonight I made cod for the first time, but instead of fish and chips style, I crusted it in cashews, pan fried it and served it with rice.

Cashew Crusted Cod
2 cod fillets
handful of roasted cashews
handful of butter crackers (ritz, town house)
2 eggs beaten
fresh ground pepper
fresh lemon 
3 T butter
3 T olive oil

Take the cashews and crackers and blend them together in the blender, till it resembles bread crumbs. Pour onto a plate. Pour beaten eggs onto a plate. Heat a large skillet on medium heat with a lid and add the oil and butter. Cut the cod into portions. Dip into the egg and season with fresh ground pepper (you don't need salt because the crackers and nuts have salt) then roll into the cracker nut crumbs. Add to the skillet. Once all the fillets are in the pan, cover, cook for about 3 min then flip. Cook until fish flakes with a fork, taking great caution to not over cook because cod will dry out quick! Finish the fish with a squeeze of fresh lemon.