This Pickle decided to treat her Fried to some morning decadence.  I searched online to find a recipe that combined his favorite ingredients: crab, eggs, and avocado.  I passed on all the sushi combinations and crabs Benedict.  Finally I found just the recipe to whet his Cajun appetite:  Crab Avocado Frittata.

The mix of Gruyère chees, lump crab, avocado, eggs, and heavy cream was to-die-for.  I plated the frittata atop arugula with a shallot vinaigrette.  The recipe took only 20 minutes plus another 20 minutes in the oven.


Last night called for an impromptu dinner party, so we went to one of our favorite recipes:  “Steamed Cod with Ginger-Garlic Mustard Greens.”  Quick, healthy, and easy (less than 15 minutes), the dish comes from a New York Times recipe, but it doesn’t appear to be online anymore.   The recipe originally calls for flounder, but all of Nashville didn’t seem to have any fresh flounder, so we used Trader Joe’s frozen cod. If fresh flounder was available, we would have preferred that. But alas:

-1 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil

-1 tsp toasted sesame seed oil (optional)

-3 garlic cloves, minced

-1 1-inch-thick slice peeled fresh ginger root, minced

-2 small bunches mustard greens, cleaned, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces

-1 tbsp soy sauce (optional: for drizzling)

-One packet of Trader Joe’s frozen cod (must be defrosted according to packet instructions. Otherwise, the fish will become too soggy.)

-Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

1. Heat oil in a very large skillet (we used a large Le Creuset “French Oven”). Add garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mustard greens, soy sauce and 3 tbsp water, and saute until greens start to wilt, 2 more minutes.

2. Spread greens out in pan. Season cod with salt and pepper, and place on top of greens. Cover pan, reduce heat to medium, and let fish steam until just cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. If pan dries out before fish is cooked through, add a little more water, a teaspoon at a time.

3. Uncover pan and transfer fish to serving plates. If greens seem wet, turn heat to high to cook off excess moisture. Serve greens on top of fish, drizzled with a little more sesame oil and soy sauce, if desired. (If you forego the sesame oil, some crushed red pepper can add some spice.)

We served this dish with a wild rice blend. In addition, as I was picking up the mustard greens at Harris Teeter, I saw some beautiful, wild, not-yet-frozen shrimp from the East Coast (with head on) for $5.99/lb. So I bought a pound to supplement the fish, in case one Trader Joe’s packet of cod wasn’t enough for four people (I was right). I deheaded and peeled the shrimp, marinated them in Cajun spices, sauteed them in butter with garlic and chives, and served them with the main dish. Our second course was a green salad. All paired with the Lonely Cow (New Zealand) Sauvignon Blanc. Voila. The total time to cook this entire meal was about 30 minutes.

Post-Xmas Tree Din-Din

December 7, 2009

After purchasing and hauling an Xmas tree into the house, I went to 12th South Tap. Consumed half a dozen oysters and wanted to do some quiet reading. Instead, I was sandwiched between a talkative Jacksonian democrat and a mother-and-daughter duo with pink hair. One of the most interesting and unexpected experiences in the neighborhood.

This left little time for dinner, so we assessed the provisions in the fridge and decided to make some pad thai–akin to the Jasmine’s recipe. Shrimp were from Whole Foods for $7.99/lb.

Now to the tree…

Frozen steamer clams from Trader Joe’s to be mixed with half a box of linguine.

Salad mix with herbs, supplemented by slices of cucumber, apples, and blue cheese. Homemade dressing, base: grape seed oil. Once water for pasta boils, less than 10 minutes to prep and cook.

Results were fine…definitely room for improvement. We’ll try it again with these modifications.

Warning: sometimes the clams from Trader Joe’s can be a bit sandy.

Serves 2 easily
-Half a 16 oz. box of linguine
-One box of Trader Joe’s Steamer Clams
-1 tbsp minced garlic
-2 tsp red pepper flakes
-2 tbsp chopped flat parsley
-Salt to taste

-Put water on to boil for pasta. Once water boils, put in linguini.

-Follow instructions for steamer clams on box, stovetop instructions.

-Both should take about 8 minutes. Stir both pots occasionally.

-During these eight minutes, heat a sautee pan/skillet, add 2 tbsp of olive oil.

-Add 1 tbsp of minced garlic. Heat and stir until garlic is slightly brown.

-Add 2 tsp of red pepper flakes (more/less to your taste), and stir in with garlic.

-Take off heat.

-Once clams are done, turn off heat. Once pasta is done, drain, and return to pot–save 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water.

-T oss pasta with olive oil/garlic/red pepper flakes, along with chopped flat parsley.

-Add salt to taste.

-Add saved pasta cooking water–tablespoons at a time, if still too dry

After a long day and little time for dinner prep, ahs picked up a pound of shrimp from Harris Teeter on 21st Ave, one of the best places around to quickly pick up quality, not so expensive seafood (6.99/lb for wild caught, medium-sized shrimp–sadly, this time, a few days old).  The totsoi came from our CSA farmers at Hill and Hollow. From prep to finish, less than twenty minutes–except for the white rice, which was cooked early in the evening.

  • Fired up the wok with some vegetable oil
  • Added the chestnuts for less than a minute, then pushed them to the side
  • Added peeled shrimp, chopped garlic, fresh pepper, and two glugs of fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • Once slightly pink push to the side as well
  • Add totsoi in the middle, and let wilt slightly
  • Use tongs to turn over totsoi for consistency
  • Finally, mix all together and make sure shrimp is thoroughly cooked, though not overcooked.

Voila.  Super easy. The totsoi’s hint of bitterness balances the crunchy chestnuts and shrimp nicely.  Serve on white rice.  If serving only two, there should be some  leftover for tomorrow’s lunch.