I like to cook. Sometimes my daughter likes to eat.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Miso-glazed Black Cod with Braised Carrots & Soba Noodles

This recipe is a variation on the Salmon, Bok Choy & Udon theme: quick pieces that combine into an easy, flavorful meal that feels like special occasion food but comes together quickly on a busy weeknight. Since I put this together, we've had it enough times that MZ chows down on the soba noodles and even eats the carrots. Oddly, she's off fish these days, but if she were to actually try this, I think she'd love the light sweetness of the miso marinade and the suppleness of the black cod.

Black cod is in season locally right now. So is green garlic (you don't say), so I substituted it for scallions to excellent effect. The soba noodles aren't local, nor are they from a local merchant. But
Nijiya market has a nice line of organic, non-GMO products and their soba is good. And the Mariquita Farms carrots were a real clean-out-the-fridge discovery, since neither of us love cooked carrots; the miso compliments their sweetness without reaching dessert levels. The marinade keeps for about one month in a glass jar in the fridge, so make the whole recipe and enjoy it again! Also, I haven't really noticed a huge difference in flavor with longer marinating, so don't feel like you need to get up early to get the fish marinating in time.

Miso-glazed Black Cod with Braised Carrots & Soba Noodles
1 recipe Aqua's Miso Marinade
1 lb. black cod fillets
1/2 cup low-sodium chix broth
1 T sugar
1.5 T white miso
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions or green garlic
1/2 lb. carrots, cut in quarters lengthwise, then into thin slices on a deep angle
1/4 T butter (one thin slice from a stick)
2 sections from a package of dried soba noodles (see photo)

Place the fish in the miso marinade at least one hour before cooking. Then remove from marinade. Reserve marinade.

Place the chix broth, sugar, miso and leftover marinade in a nonstick pan. Bring to a boil, add the carrots, cover and cook 3-5 minutes, depending on preferred "doneness." Stir in the green onions or green garlic.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pan of water to boil, and heat a nonstick pan to medium-high for the fish. Cook the soba noodles according to the package instructions. Cook the cod fillets for 3 minutes on each side.

Stir the soba into the carrot mixture. Serve in rimmed pasta bowls with the fish on top.

The last of the green garlic

I have a few recipes I've been dying to post, and right now I'm procrastinating folding laundry, so why not?

This a salsa verde of sorts that's amazing served over grilled fish or chicken. The strong flavors make a simple dinner pop. Serve over salad or whole wheat couscous or orzo. As an aside, whole wheat orzo is my new favorite side dish, it's fast and toothsome, without the flavor and mouthfeel tradeoff of some whole wheat pastas.

Green Garlic Salsa Cruda

3 stems (?) of green garlic, from whites through light green, stopping wherever the stem becomes tough
One dozen green or oil-cured black olives
20 or so stems of Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon rinsed salted capers
1 t or more fresh lemon juice
Anchovy, mashed (optional)
EVOO or lemon EVOO
Salt and freshly ground peper to taste

Coarsely chop the first 4 ingredients. Add the capers and combine with your preferred EVOO to taste. Addictive served over grilled salmon or halibut, yummy on steamed vegetables.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Think globally, eat locally

May is so many things for Bay Area eaters, as Spring begins in earnest and the markets start to fill with lovely produce. What better time to rise to the Eat Local Challenge? If you follow this link, you will find perhaps more structure than you're willing to take on. I feel like it was just yesterday I was thinking of a birth plan, much less a sleeping plan or a weaning plan. Do I really need an Eat Local Challenge Plan? I think not.

But I do take this as an opportunity to act locally in my consumer behavior. Like many Bay Area food people (and isn't being a food person practically a prerequisite for living here?), I shop the farmers markets and try to think about where my food comes from. I understand that local means fresher and thus tastier, that less energy was expended to get it to me, and that I am contributing to my local economy in a very direct way. But this month, I plan to pay more attention to Local with a capital L. I like Tea & Cookies' 100-mile foodshed, that seems do-able.

I know I'll still buy things for MZ that don't comply, I'm not ready to give up her few sources of protein for the month. But let's see if we can't get her to eat more of Hodo Soy Beanery's great products. And I'll never make it through the month at all if I give up coffee. But Blue Bottle is a local business (as is Peet's). If I'm reaching for the Horizon, I'll pick up Clover Organic instead. Ben & Jerry's? Think Straus. Chicken? Why, Rocky and Rosie, of course! Oh, yeah, and plenty of wine. Good, local wine.

I may not be able to handle a plan, but I can handle a Pledge:
If not Locally Produced, then Organic.
If not Organic, then Family Farm.
If not Family Farm, then Local Business.
If not a Local Business, then Fair Trade.

Wanna join me?