Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tea Time enjoys good fish by B. Selengut

J.K. and I had a fishy lunch this week which featured a recipe found in this month's cookbook, good fish, by Becky Selengut. However, this selection for March cook the book doesn't have a single sweet recipe. Instead JK used her favorite shortbread recipe, Chocolate Liqueur Shortbread, from The Sophisticated Cookie, by Jeanne Benedict to create our dessert. We're going to split this post in two, getting fishy (part 1/Angela) and the cookies+cutters (part 2/J.K.).

For lunch we had Sardine and White Bean salad (p197). This appealed to me because I Love white beans and also the interesting introduction by the author, "I think you can get all the ingredients at a gas station." Which may or may not be true (I think it's possible!), but I definitely found them over at my local produce store. I didn't buy any bread as there were some leftover ends in the freezer which made perfect toaster oven croutons. The chosen Sardines turned out to be perfect for this cookbook recipe since they were clearly labeled as sustainable on the package. The opened tin contained lovely nearly whole fish, just minus heads, tails and guts. (I drained the oil and gave it to the cats for a treat, extra shiny coats this month!) I also love pickled red onion, but hadn't thought to make them myself as 'fridge pickles'. Thanks to the inspiration of this recipe, there is a batch of them chillin' right now. They are ready and willing to be tossed on any salad or used as garnish on a hot meal. Looking at ingredients, I subbed a nutty cow cheese (not aged) instead of Parm like in the recipe. J.K. and I really enjoyed this lunch. We ate the flavorful White Bean salad next to spinach leaves topped with olives and avocado. I also made a small compote of plain yogurt with walnuts and mandarin to go with our dessert cookies. This was a simple, yet tasty and satisfying meal. If you want a quick dinner, Sardines and White Beans with Fried Egg will hit the spot.

Sardine and white bean salad with fried egg!
and JK, not pictured here, fish cookies for dessert.
Table for 2=Angela

I bookmarked several recipes in this months cookbook, but I just couldn't find the time to get the ingredients and make them. One of them I wish someone one else would make so I can eat it is the chilled crab soup (p55). I love a good soup and this one sounds divine. I also wanted to make the Quinoa cakes with smoked fish (p157). On a Hawaiian vacation we stopped at one fish shop/resto several times to buy up their delish fish salad and I am hoping this recipe could fill the smokey hole in my life. Really though, I can't wait to see what everyone else has cooked up this month, especially ohbriggsy and Grow and Resist, our intrepid cook the book leaders. (In fact, they've just posted the next four cookbooks, so why don't you check them out with us?) When they go, they go all out! I'm also wondering what they made for desserts to go with their dinner party meal?
Here's the scoop on the Dessert from J.K.

I started by digging out my fish cookie cutters, but I also have a few new toys to play with. March 14 is Pi day, so I ordered all three sizes of Pi cutters from in Kansas. The Doctor Who cutters were made by WarpZone, who sells on Etsy. The fish aren't signed, so I don't know who made them.

There are only five ingredients for this recipe. I chopped my frozen butter before putting it in the bowl with the sugar.

Then I wisked the flour and cocoa together, and measured the liqueur.


Pat your dough into a more-or-less square shape. I used my ¼" paddywhacks for the outline cutters. Paddywhacks are no longer being made, but Perfection Strips are currently available.

I covered the dough with a piece of psychic–er, I mean silicone–paper, to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.

A bit of dough did stick to the silicone paper.

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and place cut cookies close together to freeze.

Place frozen cookies far enough apart on cookie sheet and bake while still frozen. This will help them keep their shape.

The 3/16" paddywhacks worked better with the Whovian impression cutters.
That's just the end of the dough between the two K-9s.
Baked fish cookies-Chocolate Dessert Deliciousness.