April 20th, 2009

potato wrapped cod with lemon aioli and grilled asparagus and zucchini salad

potato wrapped cod

THIS FOODIE FIGHT IS ON! i’m a proud participant in the first ever foodie fight, a competition between 6 bloggers who all have to use the same 2 ingredients to put their best dish forward. it was created by nick of macheesmo and dan of the food in my beard (2 really awesome blogs). go check them out, then come right back here, because, oh, do i have something to show you.

potato wrapped cod

as soon as i found out the 2 main ingredients for the competition were potatoes and lemon, my mind instantly went to potato wrapped fish. lemon works with both fish and potatoes, and potato wrapped fish = instant fish and chips. add a little spring veggie goodness, and it’s good!

potato wrapped codpotato wrapped codpotato wrapped codpotato wrapped cod


i figured that the fish would be the most challenging part, but it was even harder than i thought. the key is to get the potatoes really paper thin so they’ll wrap around the fish and also fry up and stay crispy. using plastic wrap to pull the potato packet together was a huge help.

potato wrapped cod

potato wrapped cod

i love that the wrapped potato gives the illusion of giant scales on the fish. after wrapping all the fish pieces, i put them in the fridge to firm up and moved onto the veggies.

potato wrapped cod

potato wrapped cod


what’s better than asparagus and zucchini? how about grilled asparagus and zucchini? even cooking it up for just a minute or two really changes the taste. the veggies got tossed with a bit of lemon juice and lemon zest as well as salt and pepper. the slices were very thin, but even after they were cooked, they still had a healthy bite to them.

potato wrapped cod

potato wrapped cod

ok, back to the fish. unwrapping the fish packet from the plastic was pretty tough, but i could breathe a sigh of relief once it was in the hot pan. like anything you want to crisp up correctly, you have to actually walk away from the pan and give it a few minutes. the potato will naturally release from the pan once it’s got a good crust on it.

potato wrapped cod

amazingly, the fish stays incredibly moist while the potato gets perfectly crisp. since the fish and potato were both seasoned before cooking, the only thing you have to worry about is getting it in and out of the pan carefully.

potato wrapped cod

the last part of the dish that tied it all together was the aioli. i thought it would be a good sauce for the fish, and it really added a garlicky and lemony tang. finally getting to taste the finished meal just felt good. the best thing about this competition was that it pushed me to try new cooking techniques. now i just need to learn how to not have it take me 3 hours to prepare a nice meal. it’s an honor to be in this contest with the 5 other talented bloggers, and i can’t wait to see what they’ve concocted.

so one last thing – HEAD ON OVER TO THE FOODIE FIGHTS SITE TO SEE ALL OF THE ENTRIES AND VOTE!

or you can vote below:

potato wrapped cod

continue reading and get the recipe »




April 17th, 2009

pumpkin corn chowder

pumpkin corn chowder

after i graduated from college, i wasn’t exactly batting down a barrage of job offers. that’s not to say that i wasn’t prepared to find a job, but as a creative writing major, i was a little uncertain about my future. graduation meant moving back to my parent’s house in pennsylvania while i job-hunted for positions in dc. getting an interview meant having to take a few hour drive south – or, as i did, crashing with my girl in baltimore, an almost halfway point. i had several interviews spaced a few days apart (for the job that i still have now!), so crashing for a night became crashing for a week…and a half.

so what did i do on those days in between interviews? well, besides online job-hunting, not a whole lot. so when the girl got home after a full day of summer classes to find me still watching tv in my pajamas, i figured i need to find a way to busy myself (and repay my incredibly gracious and beautiful host in the process). so began my quest for new meals!

pumpkin corn chowder

i dedicated my days to cooking things i had never attempted to surprise the girl each night with a new dinner. that week marked a few first-time meals for me, but what really sticks out in my mind is this pumpkin corn chowder. using fresh corn helps, and make sure you use plain canned pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie mix, then adjust the flavors with your own spices. if you like hearty soups, this is the way to go. as with any soup, the fun is in playing around with the ingredients, so feel free to deviate from the recipe to make it your own.

pumpkin corn chowder

continue reading and get the recipe »




April 15th, 2009

nana josé’s chocolate pecan cake

flourless chocolate pecan cake

i’m a bit late on this one, but really, is there any bad time for a flourless chocolate cake? last week was passover with my girlfriend and her family, and a few days later was easter with my own family. i’m still recovering from over 100 hours of straight eating (mostly sweets) – chocolate caramel covered matzah to giant easter egg cakes. and lots of peanut butter cups.

flourless chocolate pecan cake

once we arrived at my girl’s parent’s house, we got started on the cake, which could not have been easier (the whole thing is mixed in a blender!), but what makes the cake really work is the fresh berries and lime juice. i’m almost embarrassed to say that this was my first flourless cake, but it’s a perfect spring dessert (and the perfect end to a really awesome seder feast).

flourless chocolate pecan cake

although the cake has a cup of pecans, the final result basically tastes like a rich brownie. to get a more intense pecan flavor, next time we might toast the pecans or even add some on top before serving. also, the recipe below calls for strawberries and blackberries, but we made ours with blueberries and raspberries. so even though passover is almost over, and even though you probably already have a house full of leftovers, don’t be afraid to whip up one more treat.

flourless chocolate pecan cake

one last thing – i’m proud to announce that i’ll be entering the food blog battle arena with 5 other talented bloggers in the very first FOODIE FIGHT! foodie fights is a really cool spinoff of the cook offs going on over at macheesmo, and i’m excited to be a part of it. check out the foodie fights site for the rules, secret ingredients and other contestants. i can’t wait!

flourless chocolate pecan cake

continue reading and get the recipe »




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