Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Fresh Start

Look at Giada, sitting over there on her immaculate white couch, all perky and pretty and fearlessly brandishing a bowl of potential tomato stains. I partially hate her for how easily she pulls off what has to be a charade of perfection, but the other, bigger part of me wants to be friends with her, or barring that, wants to emulate her. Ha. Unlikely. I don't even buy white shirts, much less dare eat pasta in them.

Lots of Giada's recipes appeal to me when she's selling them on tv, but until this point, I've only cooked from this book twice. She puts on an excellent show of enjoying her own food, but I have very little idea of how good the end product is in real life. So, without further ado, let the immersion begin!

Matt went grocery shopping on his way home from work. I don't want to put shoes on Charlie until his feet are all healed up, so I couldn't go during the day. Tonight's dinner had to be quick and easy, and Roasted Halibut With Pea and Mint Salad (pg 134) seemed to fit the bill. I'm sure you're getting sick of hearing me say this, but I should have read the directions closer, because I didn't realize the fish had to marinate in oil, garlic, and lemon juice for 30 minutes.

I did not marinate the fish, and so this was quick and easy. I coated the fish in the marinade and popped it right in the oven. Marination would have improved things, but this was still pretty good. The store had no halibut, so I used cod, which doesn't taste like much on its own. The fish stayed nice and moist following the recipe's timing, and had a subtle taste of garlic. Had it marinated, I'm sure it would have had more flavor. Even so, it tasted fresh and light (and better than anything out of the Healthy Family Cookbook. I'm sorry. I'll get over it eventually.)
The pea component of this was really good. Matt said he's never enjoyed peas so much before. I have to agree. The recipe instructs you to cook a shallot and sliced red pepper in olive oil for a few minutes. Take it off the heat and add thawed frozen peas, lemon zest, fresh thyme, and a load of mint. I was afraid it would be too minty, but it was just right.

Conclusion: Liked it. I would definitely try this again, allowing the fish to marinate.

Much to my dismay, I can not participate in this week's French Friday's With Dorie. The recipe was to be Roasted Rhubarb, which you add to cake or ice cream as a dessert. Apparently the supermarket had no rhubarb. Matt even asked someone about it. They said that the shipment they received was so awful looking that they threw it out and ordered more. I am saddened. We have raspberries and blackberries in the fridge, so I think I'll make a sauce out of those for my rhubarb-ready vanilla ice cream, since I had my heart set on dessert tonight.


  1. what a relief! life is too short to deal with, read about, write about, and most especially to eat, mediocre food !!!

  2. oh and not to mention the wasted hours planning, shopping for, prepping and cooking the mediocre food... I hope this next cookbook is a keeper

  3. Sorry to hear about the rhubarb, it's definitely disappointing not to be able to at least try the recipe (though I can't say that we were fans).
    And have fun with Giada. I have seen her show before but never tried any of her recipes so I'll be interested to see how it goes.

  4. Glad to see your next endeavor started off on a positive note! I had the same difficulty with rhubarb: none in the grocery store, so I had to buy it at the farmers market.

  5. Sorry the rhubarb didn't work out for you - at least the store had the good sense to spare its shoppers from the ugly horrd shipment!
    Giada has some nice recipes. Enjoy!

  6. Great start to a new cookbook! Be brave...rock the white shirt on the next one :)

    Sorry to hear about the rhubarb. I always love checking out the individual renditions of FFwD.

  7. I can't believe how hard it is to find rhubarb. The 4 stalks I got (only 4 in the store)were pretty green. Next time I am holding out for red ones. Nana actually went to 5 different stores today trying to find us more (St. Nana) Not a stalk to be found but there is always tomorrow :)