Friday, June 1, 2012

Experiments

There are a lot of really great blogs out there, with some incredible recipes.  I was inspired by Hunter Angler Gardener Cook to make a panna cotta and fruit compote for it.  I was also interested in trying to recreate a coconut milk based seafood stew I had in a restaurant, and found this recipe, which I altered slightly and came up with a really terrific dinner.  Here's what I did:

For the panna cotta, I made half the recipe since I only had four ramekins.  This set up in the fridge while I prepped for dinner.  [2 cups heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar, heated in the microwave until very warm.  Add 1 tsp. vanilla.  Mix 1 packet unflavored gelatin with 3 T. cold water, pour the hot cream over it and stir.  Chill in oiled ramekins for at least 2 hours.]  The compote was blackberries and blueberries mixed with 4 T. lime juice, 1/3 cup of sugar, and simmered for 15 minutes (based on Hank Shaw's mulberry key lime compote).  Then I added the cornstarch and cooked it 5 minutes more and let it cool.

To make the stew, I started with the chowder recipe but changed the fish and added rice noodles.  Before I ran a few errands I chopped 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, 3 carrots, 1 onion, and some garlic, and set it aside.  I had bought half a pound each of swordfish, scallops and squid and a pound of little necks.  I cut the scallops in half, chopped the squid and swordfish and cleaned the little necks and set everything aside.  To the sauteed vegetables and spices I added 1 pint of lobster stock, 1 pint of light cream, and 1 can of coconut milk.  I did not add the tomato paste because the lobster stock had been made with a tomato base.  Once I got everything simmering, I added all the seafood except the little necks and simmered for 5 minutes.  Then I added the little necks and a package of rice noodles and simmered for 12 minutes until the little necks opened.  It tasted amazing and, because the noodles absorbed a lot of liquid, became more of a stew than a chowder.  Garnished with parsley and cilantro, it was a very filling meal.

 Getting the panna cotta out of the ramekins was a little challenging but I finally got the hang of it.  A little compote spooned around it and some garnish, and voila!  Perfection.



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