Friday, September 19, 2008

Cooking with foods I'm not fond of

I got my CSA box yesterday, and there was a big bunch of chard in it, my least favorite of greens. I also have been doing some recipe testing for an author working on a Japanese cookbook, and next up on my testing list from her was fish burgers. I like crab cakes (who doesn't <grin>) and when my kids were little, I used to make fish cakes with leftover mashed potatoes and cod, that we all liked, with lots of ketchup (who doesn't <grin>). But fish is definitely not my favorite thing to cook - and, living in the Midwest for the last 30 years, it's been pretty easy to avoid, the delicious trouts I can get at the farmers' market, smoked or fresh, being the major exception.

This meant that last evening was spent working with foods I don't really like. The results were better than expected - I made the chard into a gratin using a Deborah Madison recipe, golly, lookit that, there's a bunch of chard right on the cover of the book...); the main downside was that it came out on the rich side, since I subbed a mixture of mascarpone & ricotta lurking in the back of the fridge (leftover from a party appetizer; mascarpone & ricotta spread on focaccia, topped with pesto and roasted red peppers) for the goat cheese called for in the recipe. The fish burgers stuck together surprisingly well, and were attractive little patties, albeit a little dry - they needed a mayo-based sauce I think, like tarter. I stuck them in the freezer for Al's next visit - he'll like them.

I tasted the fish (and gave some to the cats), and ate a small portion of the gratin, but was still unsatisfied, so snarfed a slice of the pepperoni pizza that Mark & Ethan brought home.

What I think I really wanted was Laurie Colwin's Creamed Spinach with Jalapeno Peppers.

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