Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sicilian Scrod

Tis the season for birthdays in my family and it has been just one party after another for weeks now. The latest was for my oldest daughter, Jess. For her birthday dinner she requested seafood.

Jess is my most adventurous eater, so I decided to take a chance and try to recreate a seafood dish I ate several years ago at a dinner party in Chatham.

All I remembered about the dish was how much I loved it and how surprised I was that raisins were pretty awesome in tomato sauce. The tomato raisin sauce was ladled over fish and baked.

I made up my own recipe and since it was a special occasion, I broke out my home canned tomatoes. Despite the fact that I burned the pine nuts TWICE (really keep an eye on these guys - they only take 5 minutes and they are too expensive to ruin), I was happy with the recipe. It was as good as I remembered.

It was also the perfect main event for a dinner served in courses, because after you put it in the oven, you have 20 minutes to enjoy some appetizers, which is just what we did.

First we served a delightful shrimp bisque that was much tastier than the bland photo would have you believe. I’m making this one again soon too, so I’ll post the recipe with (hopefully) better photos in the near future.

Next we had a salad with blue cheese and pomegranate seeds. I love this combination, and pomegranates are in season now so we’ve been eating them a lot.

I got the recipe for Jess’s birthday cake from Leslie at The Hungry Housewife. As soon as I saw this recipe for a Reese’s Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting on her blog, I knew my kids would love it.

And they did! It’s a peanut butter and chocolate cake that is so rich and yummy you must have a glass of milk to wash it down, even if (like me) you don't usually like milk. In fact, I think this recipe alone could actually make milk the new beverage craze. From my bartending days, I remembered it's all about the presentation. I had mine in a shooter glass and if I had thought ahead, I would have put out a tray of these:

Next time I will, because there will be many next times for this cake. This is one seriously good recipe, so if you want to bake it, go visit Leslie here. She has a really fun blog with great recipes and gorgeous photos.

Only one more birthday to go and then it’s on to Christmas!

Sicilian Scrod
Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 quart whole tomatoes
1 cup sliced shitake mushrooms
4 large basil leaves, cut chiffonade style
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 pounds of scrod filets
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in oven

Put olive oil in Dutch oven pan and sauté shallots, garlic and mushrooms over medium low heat until tender. Add tomatoes and break up with a wooden spoon. Add herbs and salt and pepper and simmer sauce for one hour. Add raisins and simmer for another 45 minutes.

Place scrod filets in baking dish and ladle sauce over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Top with toasted pine nuts and serve.

For a printable recipe click here


Rachel said...

Wow, all three recipes for this birthday feast look fantastic. Reese's peanut butter cups are one of the few gluten-free candies my husband loves, so I think I may have to adapt that cake recipe too and surprise him.

vanillasugarblog said...

That scrod!!! I must make that! I love those Italian dishes that are truly authentic.
I made that cake way back in the spring--hubby loved it, so did his office. I was not going to leave that cake sitting in my house, I sent it off to his work.
Speaking of bisque, if you guys ever get a chance go to Lindsey's Rest. in Buzzards bay (chances are you already know about it), but it is a well-kept hidden secret for some of the best seafood on cape. They are famous for their seafood bisque.
Isn't it freezing today?

Danyele Easterhaus said...

i can never come back here again...i think i'm licking the monitor! yikes! thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Meg said...

That cake looks amazing!

Love the scrod dish!

Dharm said...

These are great Birthday Food Feasts!! Can I have my birthday at your place next year??!!! Please wish your daughter for me!

Thistlemoon said...

looks like an awesome birthday dinner! I love raisins in tomato sauces - they plump up so nice!

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

My birthday is coming up soon, can I come to your house for dinner? YUM!!!!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

This is my kind of dinner. I am definitely making this fish recipe soon!

Laurie said...

I would be happy to cook all of your birthday dinners!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Your fish dish sounds really tasty! I love the combination of flavours. And that salad would be such a refreshing pause after the bisque! Happy Birthday to your daughter.

Deb in Hawaii said...

The entire dinner looks delicious! Love the scrod and that cake looks incredible. I am a big fan of peanut butter cups.

Pumpkin said...

Umm... Can I come over for dinner?