The Literate Chef

Posts Tagged ‘Uncle Fred’

Roasted Halibut with Tomato and Pesto

In Fish, Recipes on September 14, 2016 at 12:29 PM

roasted-halibut-with-tomato-and-pesto

ROASTED HALIBUT WITH TOMATO AND PESTO

Preparation Time 30 minutes – Serves 2

The other night for dinner, my wife made the great suggestion that we have fish; always a smart move after overindulging on the weekend. She also suggested that since we had recently made a new batch of Pesto Sauce from our crop of freshly grown basil, I do something with that and, maybe, use one of the luscious late-summer tomatoes we’d just obtained at the local Farmers’ Market.

With practically all of the ingredients predetermined for me, all I had to do was decide on how to prepare it and select the right fish for that method. Roasting seemed like a good idea, very little mess and no standing over a hot stove, so a thick piece of firm, white, fish would be best, either Halibut or Swordfish, depending upon what our local fishmonger had to offer that day. He had both, I chose the Halibut, which was about 1 inch thick. Next time I’ll try Swordfish!

High heat roasting (for 1 inch thick fillet @450 degrees between 15 & 20 minutes) might tend to dry out the fish, but a little white wine should keep it moist, and coupled with the liquid given off by the fish and other ingredients, should produce a tasty sauce of pan juices. Which it in fact did. So here it is, Roasted Halibut with Tomatoes and Basil. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we did!

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. Halibut Fillet
4 tbsp. Uncle Fred’s Homemade Pesto
1 ripe tomato, sliced thin
1/3 cup dry white wine

PROCEDURE:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Line a small shallow roasting pan with aluminum foil and place the fish in the pan.
3. Evenly spread the Pesto on fish.
4. Cover the Pesto with approximately 6 or 7 tomato slices, overlapping them to fit.
5. Place the roasting pan on the top rack of the oven and roast for 10 minutes.
6. Add the wine and continue roasting for 10 more minutes.
7. Slice the Halibut in two, and serve with pan juices.

Summer Serendipity

In General Articles on July 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM

A few Sundays ago, Sam Sifton of The New York Times had an article in the Magazine Section on Chef Bobby Flay and his Pan-Roasted Chicken With Mint Sauce. In it, Chef Flay explained how to obtain a good crust on a roasted chicken breast, as he does at his restaurants. I clipped the article with the intention of trying his technique some time in the future. However, as with so many good intentions, if too much had gone by, I would have no doubt forgotten all about the article. But serendipitously, two unconnected events happened shortly thereafter.

Last week, Grammy noticed that the basil plants on our deck were in full bloom and that unless the leaves were picked soon they would be lost. To our minds the best use of an abundance of basil is Uncle Fred’s Pesto Sauce. So she whipped up a batch and refrigerated it that same day.

Then, the other day, she announced that she was going to defrost a split chicken for dinner that night, and was going to roast it. That’s when I remembered the Sunday Times article and was fortunately able to put my hands on it. After a quick perusal of the article, I announced that I would take care of the chicken if she would prepare the Sautéed Spinach. She gladly accepted and the result can be found at Pollo con Pesto (Pesto-Crusted Pan-Roasted Chicken)!

Pollo con Pesto (Pesto-Crusted Pan-Roasted Chicken)

In Chicken, Recipes on July 8, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Pesto-Crusted Roast Chicken

Pesto-Crusted Pan-Roasted Chicken

(Preparation time, about 1 hour – Serves from 2 to 4, depending on chicken size)

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, halved
3 tbsp. olive oil
4 tbsp. Pesto Sauce
½ cup + 2 tbsp. dry white wine
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Procedure:

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a cast iron skillet large enough to hold the chicken, heat the olive oil on medium high until shimmering, about 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Rinse and pat dry the chicken.
4. Sprinkle both sides of each chicken half liberally with salt & pepper.
5. Gently place chicken halves skin side down in the pan, and brown for 8 to 9 minutes. Periodically place a weight on the chicken pieces pressing down to insure that the skin gets crispy.
6. Turn chicken pieces skin side up and remove pan to top rack of oven. Roast for 30 minutes, basting skin with fat drippings after 15 minutes.
7. In the meantime mix the pesto with 2 tbsp. of the white wine.
8. When chicken is done, remove the pan from the oven, re-baste the chicken and spoon pesto over each half. Return to oven and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
9. When done, remove chicken from the pan, set aside and keep warm while preparing the gravy.
10. To make the gravy, pour off all but 2 tbsp. of fat, retaining the solids, heat pan on stove on high, add the ½ cup of wine, bring to boil and de-glaze the pan scraping up the fond. Serve gravy alongside the chicken.

Please see: Summer Serendipity

SOUP’S ON!

In General Articles on November 19, 2011 at 11:47 AM

That was Big Mike’s call for dinner when he made his favorite Lentil Soup. Lentil Soup in those days, many years ago, meant opening a can of Lentil Soup, pouring the contents into a pot, taking several hot dogs, slicing them, adding them to the soup, heating the soup until the hot dog pieces puffed out, and then calling out to the family…’SOUP’S ON!’ I thought it was delicious, which was probably due to the fact that it must have contained three days’ worth of sodium.

Lentil Soup has nothing to do with the period of 40 days preceding Easter.  From what I have read, lentils have been around for about 10 millenia and their name is derived from the plant Lens culinaris, of which lentils are the edible seeds.

With the first days of winter only weeks away, soup is on the mind. So off we went to the supermarket to pick up the ingredients for Lentil Soup. This Lentil Soup takes a little more time than opening a can and heating its contents, but actually not much more time. The recipe came from Uncle Fred, who always had a few containers of it stored away in his freezer and which he generously shared with us upon our arrival at The Cape for the summer. Now I find myself assuming the role of Uncle Fred as I await the arrival of my children this Thanksgiving.

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