Complaining about: What’s with avocados lately? About two out of every five I buy are inedible because they have these disgusting brown strings in them. They remind me of bermuda grass runners. Start to pull them out and they pull up all the brown yucky stuff along with the green flesh and it tastes awful. This is a particularly painful circumstance since avocados are fairly expensive and no matter which store I buy them from, this has been the case.
Searching for: Monkfish
I had a delicious, brothy monkfish, shrimp and rice dish in Lisbon that I would love to re-create. Fresh Market can order monkfish aka “poor man’s lobster” and Whole Foods has some on hand at the moment. Apparently, what I had is a typical Portuguese dish and I found the recipe online (note: no measurements were given, so punt):
Lobster and shrimp shells, monkfish bones (ask the seafood manager for trimmings), coarsely chopped onions, tomatoes, quartered, rice, leeks, parsley, sage, coriander, 1 bay leaf , Monkfish and shrimp
Making the broth – 12 hours (a serious recipe!) Place the shellfish shells and fish bones in a large stockpot along with the, tomatoes and onions; cover with water and let simmer over low heat for about 12 hours, adding more water occasionally so that the broth reduces very gradually; strain through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer.
Making the ragout – 15 minutes. Place the broth into a saucepan, allowing twice the volume of liquid as you have rice; add the parsley, bay leaf, leek, coriander and sage; bring to a boil; add the rice; reduce the heat and cook covered for about 8 minutes; add the monkfish and shrimps; continue cooking for 5 minutes longer; serve immediately in an earthenware dish.
Making: Vin d’Orange
Vin d’Orange is an infused aperitif made in the south of France and the basic recipe is this:
750 ml. rosé wine
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cinnamon stick
2 Seville oranges, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
Funny story: I was having dinner in Paris on my last night there. I called my friend Dan to coordinate his nice offer to pick me up at the Memphis airport the next day. He asked me what we were eating and drinking and I told him I was having something I had never had before called Vin d’Orange and that it was very good. He didn’t make any comment about the vin d’orange except to say “huh”. Yet oddly, a week before he had run across a Vin d’Orange recipe (he had never heard of this either) and decided to make it and stash it in my refrigerator as a surprise when I got back home. Weird coincidence, no? I was doubly surprised I would say. It has to sit in the refrigerator for three weeks so the second Saturday of April will be the big taste day.