Monday, November 21, 2005
swordfish, orzo & chocolate souffles
I am still "learning" to like fish, something I disliked immensely as a child (with the exception, I'm embarrassed to say, of Mrs. Paul's fish sticks). In college I started liking sushi of all kinds, but I still had issues with cooked fish. Now in addition to sushi, I love shrimp, tuna, salmon, particularly when well prepared. There's a baked Moroccan fish tagine with chermoula marinade, potatoes and peppers that is out-of-this world. But my efforts to prepare fish recipes that rely on the unadulterated flavor of the fish itself never seem to amount to much. I always feel like I'm dutifully eating the final product-- last night, a lackluster swordfish with orzo. I've had wonderful swordfish before, but I can't remember where. I'm wondering if it's the condition I buy the fish in. At the grocery store the swordfish was just sitting there in the case looking kind of pathetic, along with the other bottom dwellers, the obligatory tilapia, and the frozen shrimp. It's all been pre-frozen, even though we live an hour from the ocean. I've been told of a real fish market in town, which I hope to check out, but I haven't been happy with what's on offer at the grocery stores.
At any rate, I baked this with a lemon and olive oil dressing. Eh. The accompaniment was really nice-- I cooked some orzo, sauteed garlic and a few cups of spinach, mixing it with the orzo, some halved cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and olives. Spicy red pepper to taste. Feeling deprived, I decided to make a chocolate souffle with pistachios, a lightened version that is good if you're trying to be good and not eat too much (Nice with new "lowfat" Haagen Dazs, which is actually delicious). This was on my old website when The Barbecue was at a different address. Now, back by popular demand...
Chocolate Souffles with Pistachios
6 Tablespoons sugar
1 ounce semisweet chocolate
4 1/2 teaspoons butter
2 Tblsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tblsp. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup lowfat milk
3 large egg whites
4 teaspoons chopped pistachios
Spray 4 ramekins with cooking spray and scatter a teaspoon of sugar over it lightly. Melt butter and semisweet chocolate over low heat, adding three tablespoons sugar until dissolved. Whisk in cocoa, flour and salt, then add milk little by little until thick, about three minutes, stirring all the time. Remove from heat and cool. I do this by putting the mixture in a metal pan and sticking it in the freezer briefly.
Beat eggwhites over high speed in a mixer until foamy. Add three remaining tablespoons of sugar one by one and beat until eggs form stiff peaks. Fold egg white mixture into chocolate mixture in four equal additions, being careful to blend it without losing the air. Then divide souffles between ramekins, sprinkling pistachios on top. In a 375 degree preheated oven, cook for 20 minutes and remove. Serve with ice cream.