Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Weekday Dinner: Steamed Cod with Asian Sweet Potato Purée

I have never made this with the added zucchini before, but it adds a nice creaminess to the purée.

3 small or 2 large sweet potatoes
2 zucchinis
1/4 tsp minced fresh ginger
1.5 lbs cod filets
1 tbsp sesame oil plus additional neutral oil, such as canola
1/8 cup soy sauce and 1/8 cup water
1/4 tsp crushed Szechuan peppercorns
Salt to taste
1 thinly sliced scallion

Peel vegetables. Slice potatoes into 1 cm rounds and cut zucchini into 1 inch chunks. Heat a large, shallow skillet and add oil, then add ginger. Let sauté for less than a minute, then scatter vegetables over the bottom of the pan. Add water and soy sauce and cover; steam for 15 minutes on medium to low heat. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.

Once vegetables are moderately soft, lay fish over the top and season with Szechuan peppercorns and salt (or additional soy sauce). Cover again and steam for 10 minutes more, or until the fish is cooked through. Remove the vegetables and purée them, adding pan juices if needed for appetizing consistency.

Lay a bed of puréed vegetables on the plate, top with fish, and then sprinkle generously with scallion. Eat.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Most Interesting Lion in the World

DSC_0755 by ataylor02
Captions needed.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Many happy returns

Sorry to have been MIA, but I was busy getting married, honeymooning, and such. It did give me some time to read:
- the new Chathrand Voyage book (okay, not great)
- the new N. K. Jemesin (very good, with a relatively unusual Egyptian-inspired setting)
- the new Catherine the Great biography (nicely researched but poorly organized)
- the second Dagger and the Coin novel by Daniel Abraham (which I thought would be the conclusion of a duology but apparently there's more to come; this series is so far the most well done and sly example of weaving brutalist fantasy elements into a traditional fantasy character setup that I have ever seen, and is superior to Abraham's seasonally themed prior series)
- Railsea, the new Mieville (which is, if anything, proof that Christopher Priest was completely right about the potential effects of winning multiple Arthur C. Clarke awards for only above-average work: I get it, man, you like trains and philosophy and think corporations are evil, but really? Moby-Dick crossed with Tremors, plus your hobby-horses?)

I can elaborate on any of these in particular in comments. Your recs for books and for pleasantly entertaining television series available on Netflix welcome.