Monday, October 20, 2008
The very first thing I did when I got to Charleston was head to the grocery store because when I opened my daughter’s refrigerator the only thing in there was CONDIMENTS. There wasn’t a single food item in her fridge, her freezer or her cupboards.
I promise that situation has been corrected and her larder is now full so she can continue to cook herself dinner after I leave. On my first night I cooked our family’s version of comfort food – a nice seafood stew. After the grocery store, we went straight to the Shem Creek Seafood Market, where seafood was noticeably more expensive than it is on Cape Cod.
The clams were fairly affordable so I bought two dozen of them before a whole flounder caught my eye. Even though the filets were ridiculously pricey, the whole fish was only $6.99 a pound. I can filet a bass without blinking, but the flounder was more intimidating because of its weird flat shape. The fish guy offered to clean it for me, and that sealed the deal.
For some reason I thought he was actually going to filet the fish, but nope. He just chopped off the head and took out the guts. I could have done that! So here’s what I ended up with:
And I had no idea what to do with it. Worried about creating a bony mess, I decided to poach the flounder separately in the oven with some white wine and Italian herbs and then add it to my fish stew later. This was definitely the way to go.
I sautéed some Andouille sausage, onions, garlic and peppers, added white wine and a can of tomatoes and then the clams. The Kid was very happy with her first home cooked meal in months.
I don’t know if anyone noticed that I have now added a new feature to print just my recipes, but a great big thank you goes to Stephanie at www.stephscafe.blogspot.com for teaching me how to do this. It has always bothered me that if anyone actually wanted to print a recipe they would have to either print the whole page and all my ramblings or write it out by hand. So if anyone wants to know the trick, I’d be happy to pass it on just like Steph did. Just send me an email.
And if you get a minute, check out her wonderful blog. She’s cooking up some really yummy food and her sassy, fun loving attitude is as earthy and sweet as the Apple Thyme martinis she recently made that I can’t wait to try.
One small whole flounder
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground Italian spices
Cut head off flounder and remove guts. Place in baking dish and add white wine. Season fish with salt, pepper, Italian spices. Squeeze lemon juice on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until fish flakes easily.
To serve, scrape off skin and gently lift filet from top side of flounder. Remove bony skeleton and lift bottom filet. Serve with more fresh lemon for a simple, yet tasty main course or add to a clam or fish stew.
2 dozen clams
1/2 pound Andouille sausage (or cherizo)
1/2 yellow pepper, sliced and cut in half
1/2 orange pepper, sliced and cut in half
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 14.5 can diced tomatoes with oregano and basil
1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
Heat olive oil in sauté pan. Add sausage, peppers, onions and garlic and sauté for five minutes. Add white wine, tomatoes and basil. Bring to boiling point and turn heat down to medium low. Add clams and cover pan. Cook for five to seven minutes until clams open. Serve with crusty bread for dipping.
Click here for a printable recipe