Monday, December 12, 2005

Everybody needs a little time away

Wow. Ten days since my last post. Sometimes you just need a break, you know? Especially when you think about food for a living. My friend Julia calls it "being fooded out."

My other excuse is that we had my sister's family here for ten days. We did all sorts of fun things, very little of which was food-related, thanks to my niece and nephew. Unless you count the cotton candy at Disneyland.

But last night I made a really nice pan-roasted monkfish on mushroom ragout. Here's the recipe:

I minced 4 cloves of garlic and 4 shallots, finely chopped 1 yellow onion, and diced 3 portabella mushroom caps and about 5 large chanterelles. Then I rendered 3 diced strips of thick-cut bacon (I like Niman Ranch) over medium heat until browned. Removed the meat, but left the fat, increased the heat to medium-high, and browned the garlic, shallots, onion, and mushrooms. Added a bay leaf and a handful of halved pear tomatoes. Seasoned with salt and pepper, Portuguese allspice and a tiny bit of regular allspice. When everything was nicely caramelized, I deglazed with a little chicken stock.

In a separate pan over medium-high heat, I seared the salt-and-pepper-sprinkled monkfish in a little olive oil, then roasted it at 425 for 7 minutes. Took it out, realized that wasn't enough time, and put it back in for another 5. Took it out, realized it still wasn't enough time, and put it back for 4 more.

The monkfish looked a little pale on the ragout, so I sprinkled it with some dried tomato powder that my mom had given me. Pretty! Unfortunately, I didn't manage to pull out the camera before we dove in. But this is a photo of the lovely
MasĂșt Pinot Noir I drank with it. This is a small biodynamic winery in Mendocino County founded by Robert Fetzer (yes, that Fetzer). If you can get your hands on a bottle (about $32), you'll be happy indeed. As my boss said when she tried it today, "This is true Pinot Noir."


Reg said...

Ever since Sideways was released, I've found that some people have become wine snobs about pinot noir. I love when they come into my restaurant and order a "pinot." I get great satisfaction in asking them if they want "grigio" or "noir." I mean I work in a CPK for crying out loud!

Amy said...

I know what you mean, Reg. It's this decade's Chardonnay. At the same time, it's just really tasty!

Mona said...

Pinot Noir is a new favorite of mine. Am always loving trying new ones. A recent one my mom and I both enjoy for a few bucks less is Norton Ridge. Give it a try.