July 29, 2010

Fireweed Custard

This time of year, fireweed is everywhere.  It's a gorgeous plant, one of my favorites.  As it turns out, it's perfectly edible as well.  Pretty flowers, edible... I had to get in on this game.  I've got a few more things to experiment with, but the first thing I did was a fireweed custard.  I adapted the recipe from the fireweed ice cream recipe at livefromalaska.
I gathered my fireweed from Arctic Valley.  I didn't really know how much I needed, so I just picked several dozen stems.  Now, the custard recipe calls for petals only, so once I'd laboriously de-flowered my flowers I ended up with about three quarters of a cup.
Next, I added the cleaned petals to 1/4 sugar and processed them for a few seconds.
The resulting mixture was a rather gorgeous purple, instead of the magenta of the petals.  I added this mixture to 1 cup of heavy cream, 1/2 cup skim milk and 1 tablespoon of honey.  Over medium heat, I kept stirring until the sugar was fully dissolved, then removed to cool.  Meanwhile, I whipped up an egg yolk, then carefully stirred the egg into the cream mixture.  This was then returned to heat, just long enough to thicken, and finally, refrigerated.

Somewhere along the way I lost the nice purple color, but I tried to get it back with some judicious food coloring.
I served this custard layered with chocolate cake.  I wasn't sure how the flavors would work together, so I used a less-chocolatey chocolate cake, but actually I think it would have been even better with a dark chocolate cake - just a hint of bitterness to accentuate the sweetness of the fireweed custard.  The custard cake still won rave reviews from the family, though!

July 12, 2010

Simply Silver

I apologize for the poor quality of the picture, but it was late, I was hungry, and all I had was our little "boat camera."

Anyway, if you've never fished before, here is the best reason to start: fresh fish.  And by fresh I mean "swimming around just a few hours ago, straight from the fillet knife to the grill" fresh.

We'd just spent the day out in Resurrection Bay and beyond, fishing for halibut and coho.  Then we spend a while cleaning our catch and we were exhausted, but one bite of this and we came back to life.  Seriously, it tasted like king crab.  I swear it did.  Best salmon I've had in my life.  And as an added bonus, easy-peasy to make.

After you catch it, that is!

1 fresh salmon fillet, skin on

Sprinkle the flesh side with salt and pepper.  Place skin side down on the grill.  Cook until flesh flakes nicely with a fork.


July 1, 2010

Teriyaki Salmon and Pineapple-Chili Halibut

The Husband's uncle and girlfriend were in town, so we made some inroads on our remaining fish and had a great big seafood extravaganza - necessary, since we're going out fishing again in less than two weeks.  I opened up with white wine clams, then had these two dishes as entrees as well as some king crab legs.  Fantastique!

Thanks to Ed's Kasilof Seafoods for the ideas!

Teriyaki Salmon

Salmon fillets
1/4 c brown sugar
3 T olive oil
3 T soy sauce
1 t garlic powder
1 t ginger
1/2 t cayenne

Blend all but the salmon in a plastic bag.  Add the salmon and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Flip over and refrigerate another 30 minutes.  Bake at 350 for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Pineapple-Chili Halibut

1 halibut fillet, cubed
1 cup sweet chili sauce
1 small can crushed pineapple
1/4 c olive oil
juice from 2 limes
1/2 c rice vinegar
2 t cayenne

Blend all but the halibut in a plastic bag.  Add halibut and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning halfway through.  Bake at 350 until cooked through and flaky, about 8 minutes.  Alternatively, skewer and grill!

Shortcake Roll

This is a great dessert that I got from a coworker a year or so ago.  I tried to make it last summer, but I made the mistake of leaving it on the counter to cool while I ran some errands - who would have thought that cats liked angel food cake?  Mine apparently does!

Use any fruits you'd like for this roll.  The chocolate topping is optional, but my husband's side of the family doesn't consider anything dessert unless it has chocolate in it!

1 package angel food cake
2-3 cups sliced strawberries (or other fruit!)
2 c whipping cream
2 t vanilla
2 T powdered sugar
powdered sugar for dusting
chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a large rectangular pan (I use the 18x15 disposable oven trays... it needs to be big!).  Mix the angel food cake according to package directions.  Pour onto pan and spread evenly over the whole pan.  Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Sprinkle a cotton towel with powdered sugar.  Place the cake onto the towel.  Remove the pan and roll the cake up in the towel.  Cool on a rack while rolled up.

In a large bowl, combine the whipping cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.  Whip with a mixer until light and fluffy.

Carefully unroll the cake.  Spread with whipped cream and top with berries, then roll it back up.

Top with powdered sugar or melt chocolate chips and drizzle over top.