Once again, I have to apologize for not blogging! The long summer nights, bike rides, socializing with friends and incredible summer heat have all conspired to keep me out of the house and off of the computer!
I have plenty to catch up on including homemade rhubarbeque sauces, smoked pork shoulder and homemade pickles just to name a few. And I'll get to all of it (eventually)!
This past Friday evening after a long hot day of working out, biking, trying to get in some tanning at the pool and house cleaning J and I decided to take it easy, stay home and cook ourselves a great meal. J has been checking out cookbooks from the library which is actually brilliant. You can test drive the recipes without having to commit to purchasing and our neighborhood library seems to have a great selection on-hand. The past couple of weeks we've had Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook. I have really come to enjoy Bobby Flay and his style of cooking and to appreciate the complicated and subtle combinations he is so good at.
The original recipe called for a poblano vinaigrette but as we couldn't get poblano peppers at the co-op and didn't realize we were out of honey we tweaked it a bit. The recipe also called for a side of yellow pepper hominy which we adapted using instant polenta, fresh corn kernels and baby red peppers.
The whole thing came out incredibly. I would definitely put it up there with one of our best meals. We did everything inside on the stove which was perhaps a mistake in a home with no central air during a heat wave but ended up being well worth it!
PAN SEARED STRIPED BASS WITH JALAPENO VINAIGRETTE AND PEPPER CORN POLENTA
For the jalapeno vinaigrette:
2 jalapeno peppers
3/4 Tbsp dark molasses
2 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Roast the peppers, put in a sealed bowl to let the skins steam, remove skins, destem and seed and chop roughly
Add all ingredients to a small food processor and blend. Set aside
For the striped bass:
***A note on fish, find yourself a fish monger you like and trust. We love Dirk's Fish on Elston. Dirk himself is always there smiling, chatting and handing out samples. They are committed to sourcing from safe fishing practicers and let you know what's in season. I never question the quality of what I'm getting and was thrilled to see fresh striped bass, head on and all, in the display case and watch it be filleted to order.
2 fillets of striped bass (about 1/2 lb total)
salt and pepper
Season the fish with salt and pepper and fry up in a hot pan on the stove. Here's the secret, just let the fish sit there for a few minutes to cook in peace before you flip it!
For the polenta:
1/2 cup instant polenta
2 spring onions, diced
4-5 mini bell peppers, chopped
2 ears corn, kernels cut off the cob
Approx. 3 oz grated white cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
Cook the polenta as directed.
In a pan, heat the oil and saute the onions with salt and pepper until starting to soften. Add the garlic and peppers and continue to cook. Add the corn and cook for another couple of minutes.
Add the vegetables to the cooked polenta, stir in a little butter and grate in the cheese.
Drizzle a little of the vinaigrette on a plate. Set down the fillets and top with the rest of the vinaigrette. Add a side of the polenta.
We poured a slightly oaked chardonnay with hints of pineapple from Kali Hart. Typically, this is not my favorite style of chardonnay, but the pineapple in the wine worked perfectly with the heat of the jalapeno.