Sunday, August 1, 2010

A perfect summer's dinner

To say a cooking tizzy took me over Saturday is an understatement. For me, music and cooking in the kitchen is therapy, and I needed a solid dose of busy-ness with both hand and mind. A full afternoon and evening in the kitchen was just what the doctor ordered -- and I needed -- and got. To hear that the dinner was amazing (by even my harshest critics standards, too!!!!) was the icing on the cake. Oh, so proud of myself.

To start, I made my ever favorite and popular Coastal Granola for a breakfast treat. I had been craving carbohydrates and knew this would hit the spot without sending me running towards evil sugar. This time, I made it with raw almonds and walnuts (then toasted), lots of cinnamon, flax seed, and coconut. And to finish, chopped dried plum halves and dried cherries. When there is only 1/4 c of oil and honey in the whole ENTIRE batch, this is super healthy granola. Oh, tasty, too. One does not need to know how much I've devoured in the past 24 hours!

Next up: dinner for my sister and her friend. Given we were in coastal Rhode Island, with an abundance of fresh, organic, locally grown produce and harvested seafood, I resorted to what my sisters and I have now turned into a Saturday night tradition. Locally caught and fresh harpooned swordfish (just off the boat), fresh Coll Walker's corn, fresh garden swiss chard sauteed simply with garlic and olive oil, and a hugely abundant green salad with greens from our garden, local pea shoots, mango, avocado, and roasted tomatoes from local farms. 

Our delicious salad

Swiss chard, from the garden, sauteed with garlic

Coll Walker's corn, simply steamed

Allie's Roasted Tomatoes

Now, I'm not much of a griller. I'm not quite sure why it intimidates me, but it does very successfully. I've, til now, resorted to it being the man's job, but it's just me now, so I've got to swallow my fear and go for it. To say I slammed the nail on the head is an understatement. MAJOR homerun with Saturday night's swordfish!!!! It was nicely blackened on the exterior, and oh so tender and moist and juicy inside. My mom, the ultimate critic, even commented on how delicious the food was, about 4 hours after it was cooked. I'm still smiling all over...

My marvelous swordfish

I marinated the swordfish with a marinade that is a favorite of my siblings: some organic brown mustard, soy sauce, couple of garlic cloves, and a bunch of chiffonaded fresh basil. Rub it all over the fish filets and let sit for an hour or so. For the corn, fresh is key. I chose butter and sugar variety over white corn, and boy, did I score a homerun. I have NEVER had a sweet ear of corn like Coll's Saturday night!!!!!! I tossed the salad and acoutrements with my favorite dressing, a relatively low fat maple-shallot-champagne vinegar mixture. Oh, so so so good. 

I hope you enjoy these special recipes, below:

Mustard Marinated Swordfish

1/4 c grainy, organic brown mustard
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
A handful of basil leaves, chiffonaded
1.5 to 2 lbs fresh swordfish

Mix mustard, soy sauce and oil together til smooth. Add garlic and basil and mix. Rub over fish and let sit an hour or two before grilling. Grill til cooked as preferred, making sure to gently shake off excess marinate. 

Swiss Chard

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 - 4 tbsp olive oil
4-6 cups swiss chard, washed and chiffonaded
Salt to taste

Quickly saute 3 cloves of garlic in about 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add in a heaping bunch of washed chard. Gently cook until steamed and wilted well. Season with salt to taste. 


Buy fresh corn and husk, making sure to remove as much of the silks as you can. In a large saute pan (with a lid), heat about 3/4" water til boiling. Add corn and cook until fragrant and tender (you might have to taste the corn the first couple of times you do this. It should be tender and flavorful). Serve with pats of butter on 1.5" slices of bread and salt.

Allie's Roasted Tomatoes

2 pints garden fresh cherry or Juliet tomatoes
2-3 healthy pinches of salt

Toss tomatoes with salt in a 9x13" glass roasting pan. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and roast for about 15 minutes, until skins start to burst. Lower heat to 250 degrees F and roast until wrinkled skins and any juices begin to reduce in pan. Cool and serve.

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