"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".

Friday, March 13, 2009

Red Bean and Bacon Soup & Pan-Roasted Mahi-Mahi with Butter and Lime

Red Bean and Bacon Soup is an incredibly satisfying supper, but it brings up the life-long anxiety I've had about beans.

No, not this one:

Beans, beans--good for your heart
the more you eat, the more you...well, you know.

It's this one:


I've soaked dried beans overnight, I've done the "quick-soak" thing, I've used canned...and when ever I used canned I feel like somehow I'm cheating. Like the finished produce will somehow be shoddy.

But baby, it sure is fast. Canned, that is.

I threw expedience to the wind with this recipe, though, and used dried red beans, using the above-mentioned quick-soak, which is (if you don't know) bringing your beans and water to a boil, then covering them and letting them sit somewhere for an hour or two.

OK, now that we've got my neuroses out of the way, right up front, I'll go on to say that this recipe is kind of a pain in the ass but if you've got a little time it's worth it for the end result.

Bacon, of course, adds its deliciousness to the whole thing, in the form of the grease that you cook the soup veggies in at the front, to the crispy bacon bits that you garnish the soup with at the end. Other tasty components include chili powder, medium-dry sherry, and sour cream (as a garnish) in addition to soup regulars like garlic, onions, etc.

And because I don't have a food mill, because I HATE food mills and will never waste my money on one, I just blended the bejeezus out of the cooked soup, all of which is messy and (as I mentioned above) time consuming but worked nicely to create a red bean soup puree.

And now I can't find a good photo to steal. Grrr!

OK, just use your imagination, kids...visualize a bright blue bowl, filled with a brick red pureed soup...with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of crispy bacon, and a spangle of scallion greens.

And now you can picture me with my friend Elizabeth, with whom I used to walk umpteen miles a week but the winter has been so crappy we've lost our routine, so imagine us getting together FINALLY not to walk but to eat this soup and drink red wine and catch up on our lives.



NO, I did not really cook mahimahi. Where do you think I am, the Virgin Islands? But I am relieved that they've stopped calling this fish by the name I used to know it--dolphin--an alarming prospect on a menu for somebody who buys dolphin-free tuna.

Want to see a picture?

Now, I'm not going to tell you about the one deep sea fishing trip I took (in the above-mentioned Virgin Islands) but I will tell you that mahimahi, when it's in the water, is the color of rainbows, and when it's dead, it's gray. Also, if you're at all squeamish, you should never go on a deep sea fishing trip.

I used haddock instead, which for all I know might also be rainbow-colored in the water but I don't think so.

Ah, men and their fishing trips. You don't really see a lot of women in these pictures, I wonder why that is?

Anyway, here in Gloucester we have haddock a-plenty, and so haddock is what I used.

This recipe (Pan-Roasted Mahimahi with Butter and Lime) is ridiculously easy and makes good use of simple, flavorful components. All you need is a skillet you can put in the oven, fish, flour, butter and lime and you're good to go.

It's not in the book so I'll go into detail should you be inclined to try it--preheat your oven to 350, then dredge your seasoned fish in flour. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a skillet and let the fish cook not too long...about 3 mins. Flip them, throw the pan in the oven, let them cook for about another 7-8 minutes, and take them out. Remove the fish from the pan. DON'T FORGET THE HANDLE IS HOT. (duh, you're saying but I've grabbed hot handles more times than I can swear at)Add a little more butter and a lime's worth of lime juice--deglaze the pan (that means stir it while it's boiling for you newbies)and pour that over the fish.

Yum bunnies. You can garnish with parsley, if you want to get fancy, but you don't have to.

Argh! I suck at taking photos these days (I'll make it up to you, I promise) so here's another opportunity to work on your visualization skills...imagine a nice, thick piece of white fish, with the palest brown crust...in a pool of buttery sauce with the sharp perfume and bite of lime.


Gluten-Free recipe in this post: Red Bean and Bacon Soup

1 comment:

Georgia said...

Yes I did imagine the finished haddock and am glad Eating Down the Fridge ends today so I can buy some new stuff to manga.