Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

We could make a new dish every night and we’d never run out of new recipes to try thanks to Pinterest—and the rest of the internet. Here’s a few that I made this past week in case you need a new idea, and a few I may try next week.

By the way, if you’re looking for my usual list of ebooks on sale, I’m publishing it from now on in a separate post, On the Bookshelf. Expect to see that Saturday morning.

In the Kitchen

Blood orange glazed salmon

You could make this easy recipe with regular oranges but blood oranges are in season right now so take advantage if your market has them. I was surprised that my Food Lion did. I reduced the sugar and increased the spices in the glaze. I made a whole side of salmon so we have lots of leftovers. Delicious.

Zest one of the oranges before you juice it for the glaze and add the zest to a sauté of asparagus, bell pepper and onion.

barramundi with leeks, fennel and tomatoes

Barramundi with Fennel, Leeks and Tomatoes

I realized while writing this that I don’t know anything about barramundi. It wasn’t one of the fish we served when I managed a McCormick & Schmick’s so I didn’t study it. Yes, I studied fish back then. Even wrote the “fish book” for the company.

Barramundi is a type of sustainable farmed sea bass native to Australia and the Indo-Pacific. My BJs package says:

“Australis Barramundi is a mild, buttery and delicious white fish that is versatile in adapting to a wide range of recipes. High in protein and low fat, it has half the calories of salmon. Plus, it has high levels of Omega-3, so it’s good for heart, skin and brain health.”

It’s tasty too. I adapted it to this striped bass recipe from The New York Times—added some orange bell pepper to the ragout. I served it with zucchini pesto and roasted root vegetables (turnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes) tossed with rosemary, garlic slivers, sea salt, and dried thyme.

Banana Bread

Instead of making cinnamon rolls last weekend, I made banana bread instead. All that sugar scared me off, for now, I still plan to make them one of these cold cozy Saturdays.

Plus, I wanted to get rid of five bananas I had in the freezer, so I tried this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated—this link takes you to the recipe on Leite’s Culinaria since Cook’s Illustrated is a subscription site. Ooh, it’s good—an intense banana flavor. Next time, I’m going to substitute some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour because I love that sort of nutty flavor.

Garlic Parmesan Croutons

My other Saturday project was croutons. I had a staling loaf of anadama bread so I infused some melted butter and olive oil with garlic. Then I strained out the garlic and tossed the bread cubes with the butter/oil mixture and salt, pepper, and dried parsley, basil, and oregano. Halfway through baking I sprinkled Parmesan over it all. I packed my sheet pan too full so the croutons aren’t as crunchy as I’d like but they’re tasty.

bolognese sauce

Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese Sauce

On Sunday, I made Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese recipe from The Classic Italian Cookbook—but you can find it at The New York Times. My copy is stained and buckled, but the page with this recipe is pristine, a sign that I’ve never made it before. They no longer sell the original cookbook. They combined it and another one of her books into Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

Her version, Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style or Ragù, calls for the usual trinity—carrot, onion and celery—plus white wine, milk, and nutmeg. And, of course, tomatoes and ground beef. No garlic. Heavenly. And it better be after simmering in different stages for about six hours or so. I served it with tagliatelle. Roasted broccoli and garlic bread on the side. Ate leftovers for lunch and put half of it in the freezer.

On the Menu

I don’t have too many ideas yet. But I do think I’ll make gingerbread granola this weekend. The recipe I make is cobbled together from recipes on the Minimalist Baker and Cookie and Kate blogs.

Sunday night is one of my dinner duty nights. I might lighten it up this weekend with Cauliflower Pizzas with Chard and Olives. I have a reliable cauliflower pizza crust recipe already so I may use that instead of this one, we’ll see.

Honey & Chili Chicken Thighs with Creamy Cilantro Sauce is still on the menu for a weeknight.

I’ll report back next week on what I ended up doing and what turned out well.

Ragù photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Amazon book links are affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission on any sales that result from clicking. Thank you.

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