"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Key Lime Cheesecake with Mango Ribbons, and Crispy Oven-Fried Cod

Oh, this cheesecake. You are really going to love it, and here's why:

*it's relatively light
*and it tastes phenomenal

I only have one teensy weensy little complaint, and that is that mango is not so easy to slice, and when you're slicing this beauty up into pieces to serve, the mango gets dragged down with the knife. If you're really going for maximum wow, you might want to slice first, then decorate. Also, my mangoes were REALLY ripe and didn't curl up as pretty as that nice Epicurious photo up there--they were juicy and floppy and I had to drape them decoratively. It still looked beautiful, though.

And I am serious about it being relatively light. It only calls for two packages of cream cheese, and just a few eggs. I've seen some recipes that call for not only three packages, but a stick of butter too!! I'm not saying this is diet cheesecake, only that if you just eat a little bit it won't ruin your caloric day.

But can anybody ever stop at just a little bit? THAT is the question.

Oh, and believe it or not, I used lime juice from a plastic squeeze bottle. Nothing fancy. Loved it.


I have to confess to feeling a minor sense of triumph with Crispy Oven-Fried Cod.

Every once in a while I get a phone call from my friend Pat, who is a dedicated recreational deep sea fisherman. He will tell me he's got a lot of cod/flounder/hake/or something, and do I want any? He has a super heavy duty cooler in the back of his truck and he keeps the fish on ice, and I always go and meet him someplace--the parking lot at his job, the parking lot after book group, the parking lot by his house--and bring a box of zip lock bags. He loads me up because he knows I freeze it. I LOVE this. Free fresh fish in a world where even in a major fishing port seafood is extraordinarily expensive.

And I go home and immediately sort out the fish, roll it up and bag it individually, and put it all in the freezer.

The last time I did this, for one reason or another, Don absolutely refused to eat it. He just didn't like the looks of it or something. So I've had this fish in my freezer for about half a year, trying to figure out when I can serve it--could I bring it to my book group, or make a fish stew for my writing group? Did I mention that I have a lot of it?

This past Thursday, when Don was at an evening class, I decided to try this recipe out with O'Malley. He was enthusiastic about the idea, and so I thawed out two cod fillets and went at it.

I loved it, O'Malley didn't, and surprise of all surprises, when Don came home he loved it too. He kept saying that he didn't understand it because usually he didn't like cod. It is possible, of course, that anything tastes good when it's battered and fried (like Oreo cookies) but I'm not going to delve into the whys and wherefores. OK, I'm going to delve a little bit. I really pressed as much moisture as I could out of the fish, because it seemed like they had absorbed a lot. I'm beginning to conclude that cod doesn't actually freeze that well, or at least not the way I'm doing it. O'Malley's complaint was that the fish was dry, but I think that's why Don liked it.

If you, dear reader, would like to duplicate exactly what I have done here, I welcome you to my freezer--otherwise I think you'll find this a great way to prepare any kind of white-fleshed fish that you find at your market.

No comments: