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Cod and Potatoes — Whole30 Check-In

Cod with Romesco Sauce by Amy Roth Photo. Recipe: Bon Appetit Magazine

A week and a half in, and I’m doing great with Whole30! There have been no mid-afternoon slumps or hangriness to deal with, but eating this way does require much more thought than simply throwing together a quick sandwich or heating up an Amy’s cheese enchilada entrée. (Honestly, I needed an Amy’s intervention, anyway.) Avoiding easy fillers like rice or bread has been a little challenging, but nothing I can’t deal with, and I’ve lost a few pounds, though that wasn’t my goal at all.

I’m still amazed by how much unnecessary sugar is in our food. I’m generally not much of a packaged food eater (save for the aforementioned enchiladas), but love condiments and sauces, and many of my favorites are taboo. Also, I miss cheese. Terribly. It’s my one craving and I’m going to be the saddest person around if I find dairy gives me problems when I start reintroducing food.

The Meals

There were a couple of fantastic meals I’ve had in the past week that I want to share with you today. Up top, you’ll see my photo for Bon Appetit’s Cod with Romesco Sauce, Hazelnuts, Lemon and Parsley. It was eye-opening, mind-boggling… just a fantastic meal with only a few components. And where, may I ask, has romesco sauce been all my life?! I’ve read about it for years, but never took the plunge until I made this recipe, and now it’s all I want to eat. I want to proselytize door to door in my neighborhood so everyone can share in this pure joy of mine! Yeah, I know, but it’s honestly that good. Cod isn’t something I eat very often, but […]

Tuna Tartare

Tuna Tartare 2 | Amy Roth Photo

After a few weeks of indulging in near-daily holiday sweets and rich goodies (an occupational hazard, if nothing else), I start to crave simple, clean foods with salty profiles. It’s when tuna tartare and the like step right into the spotlight, and they don’t leave until well after the new year.

Darcie’s recipe hits all the right notes — salty and nutty, with a little hit of acidity. I could eat this every day, and probably will once we’ve settled back into a normal routine. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

For a roundup of all of our Advent Calendar posts for the year, click here.
Darcie can be found at her website, Gourmet Creative and on Instagram at @darcie_hunter.
Find me on Instagram at @amyrothphoto, Pinterest at @amyrothphoto and my portfolio at (you guessed it) Amy Roth Photo.

Tuna Tartare | Amy Roth Photo

December 17, 2016|Advent Calendar 2016, Appetizers, Fish, Pescetarian, Seafood|0 Comments

A Crêpesplosion in My Kitchen

The Crêpes of Roth (and Bialas!)

When Gil and I visited Quebec City last July, I toured the city on foot during the day while he was working. My very first stop was the year-round farmers’ market down along the water. It was July, so produce was abundant and I ate my fill of flavorful wild blueberries and local cheeses, but once I tried Marche ou Crêpe, my breakfast for the week was decided. No tourist trap, this; it was out of the way enough that I never ran across huge crowds, plus I enjoyed a delicious crêpe each morning that sustained me through a day of climbing the hilly, winding streets.

Since then, I’ve tried my hand at making crêpes from time to time without much success — my sad little pancakes tear or fold over on themselves, inevitably imperfect thanks to my substandard technique — so when Kasha suggested a cooking/shooting play date around the theme of crêpes, I jumped at it. If you don’t know Kasha, she’s the brilliant mind behind The FarmGirl Cooks, one of the faces of Bialas Farms at the Ringwood Farmers’ Market and, as it turns out, a crêpe-maker extraordinaire. So we got together last Thursday and I think I’m still stuffed from the occasion. I contributed some Cajun and Creole fillings, while Kasha made ALL THE CRÊPES along with a savory and a sweet filling. Here’s how it went down.

Mushrooms — I sautéed shallots in butter until they were soft, then caramelized thinly sliced mushrooms in the pan, added a little thyme, salt & pepper, and a touch of cream to finish it off. Once we assembled the crêpe, it seemed a shame not to drizzle it with truffle oil, which was a good call.

Ham & Cheese — Kasha made a scrumptious bechamel loaded with jarlsberg, which went perfectly with a slice of ham. Folded into a little pocket and baked until everything was warm and gooey, this was easily my favorite of the bunch. (Gil’s, too, once he sampled everything Thursday evening.)

Cajun Shrimp — This was a play on shrimp & grits, minus the grits. I essentially used this Emeril recipe, though I didn’t really measure ingredients, and swapped out the red bell pepper for celery. I used much less broth than called for, too, just because such a loose filling would’ve made it impossible to eat. Over the weekend, I combined this leftover filling with the crab filling to make a stuffing for trout, which was excellent. Do try it sometime. (And I highly recommend Emeril’s recipe for Cajun seasoning included at the bottom of the shrimp & grits page. I make it without salt so I can season my dishes as much as I want — which is generally a lot — without turning them overly salty.)

Crab — My dad makes an awesome crab filling for stuffed peppers which I thought would be excellent here. Unfortunately, the lump crab meat I bought wasn’t nearly as good as the stuff he gets back home, but it was still quite tasty and very simple to make. Just sauté minced shallot in butter until soft, add a little flour to make a blond roux, then pour in heavy cream or half-and-half and cook until thickened slightly. Add crab and simmer until warmed through and the flavors mingle, then season with salt & pepper or Cajun seasoning to taste. I topped the crêpe with a sprinkling of paprika to fancy it up for the camera.

Grapefruit Curd — Kasha’s inspired creation. Instead of the more typical lemon curd, she played around with grapefruit, and accented it with tequila whipped cream and lime zest. Like I said, INSPIRED.

Bananas Foster — Because you can’t have savory Louisiana-inspired dishes and not finish with this. Again, I didn’t really follow a recipe, but melted brown sugar and plenty of butter in a skillet, then added bananas cut into quarters (halved lengthwise, then halved again crosswise). I flipped them a few times until they were softened, then added some spiced dark rum to the pan and let it cook down a bit. It would’ve been criminal to waste the leftover whipped cream from the grapefruit curd crêpes, so we repurposed it as a topping here instead of ice cream. You could always use the traditional banana liqueur in the recipe if you have it, then add rum and flambé the whole thing, but I have a distinct fear of flambé and a pantry lacking banana liqueur, so we went the easier route.

Naturally, I paid the price for eating so much gluten, but it was worth it to me. I’ll work on a good gluten-free crepe sometime (not just buckwheat) and will post it here once my technique catches up with my imagination. It could be a while, though. Just saying.

Be sure to check out Kasha’s take on the day at The FarmGirl Cooks. And bookmark her site. You’ll learn something new everyday, I promise.

a few outtakes after the jump

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March 26, 2013|Cajun/Creole, dessert, Seafood|3 Comments

Obviously

Just ran across these old shots in my library and thought it was time they came out again. Ah, I do love oysters.

April 15, 2012|Louisiana, Pictures, Seafood|2 Comments

From the Market — Week 3

Caramelized Scallops with Strawberry Salsa

I haven’t come close to using everything I picked up at the market this weekend, but here’s a good sampling of what we’ve had.

Strawberries. Oh, yes. Divine, luscious, sweet, knock-your-socks-off strawberries, the memory of which will drive me away from the display at the grocery store that tries to tempt me, so redly and smugly. “Hey Amy, it’s still summer. Doesn’t a large, mealy strawberry sound delicious right about now?” Erm, no. Even more so (possibly) than tomatoes, they’re just so much better from the local growers.

They deserved a more special treatment than sliced over homemade yogurt (though they popped up there, too), so I worked up a strawberry salsa to top caramelized scallops. I tempered the fruity salsa with red wine vinegar so it would balance the naturally sweet scallops.

And we both loved it — if only I’d made more than just the appetizer portion you see here! But I set some aside for a very different, but still delicious appetizer, inspired by this post at Chocolate & Zucchini. Instead of using smoked sea salt, I smoked the remaining scallops with alder chips in my Camerons Stovetop Smoker, but otherwise stuck to the general recipe, then topped them off with fleur de sel.

It wasn’t difficult, but was a bit more trouble than the original would be. I think I’d happily feature the radishes with smoked salt for a party, just for ease of assembly.

My refrigerator is also seriously stuffed with all sorts of greens which I haven’t delved into (much) yet, but weeknight dinners are looking up!

recipe after the jump

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From the Market – Week Whatever

I’ve lost count of the missing weeks by now, but couldn’t let the last vestiges of summer slip by without posting about the latest seasonal finds from our market in Ringwood.

I don’t know about you, but we’ve nearly eaten our weight in corn this summer. Grilled, smoked, raw, creamed, sautéed … it’s all been delicious and now that summer’s winding down, I’m truly savoring fresh corn while it’s still around. But a couple of dishes really stood out from the crowd and I want to make sure I tell you about them, and include links so I can re-create them next year.

This weekend I adapted Michael Ruhlman’s recipe for baked buttered corn (seen above), gilding the lily with burro di parma and wisps of freshly grated locatelli before baking, then finishing with a dab of truffle butter before serving. It sounds excessive, but the extra ingredients were used in moderation for just a touch of earthiness so really, corn was still the star. This dish is a great way to use late-season corn that maybe isn’t quite the revelation it was even a few weeks ago.

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For a couple of weeks in August, I was obsessed with cooking variations of Shrimp with Sweet Curry and Coconut Creamed Corn. We had it 3 times in the span of two weeks and I could still go for more, which will probably happen next weekend, now that I think about it. The only reason for adapting the recipe at all was because I didn’t have the specific spice blends called for, but after working around that problem, I’ve discovered that there isn’t a way to mess this up. The first time around, I left the curry out of the corn mixture and coated the shrimp with it instead (using Singapore curry from World Spice Merchants). The curry blend was light and paired perfectly with the shrimp; it accentuated the shrimp’s natural sweetness and, with a dash of cayenne pepper, added a touch of heat which cut through the richness of the coconut corn.

Nina found herself up to her ears in callaloo this summer, after deciding to grow it on a whim. Since I’m a sucker for any new (to me) ingredient, I made a beeline for the strange-looking vines when they appeared at her booth and managed to work it into a couple of other iterations of the shrimp and coconut corn recipe. If you’ve never had callaloo, it’s similar to water spinach or chard, but cooks down to something that seems much less virtuous, with a thick, silky, rich mouthfeel. I used madras curry in the corn base this time and simmered the shrimp along with it, so the dish was more of a stew than it was the first go-around. (No picture of what was an otherwise delicious dish because the callaloo turned the whole mixture a thoroughly unappealing-looking shade of bile green. And because I cobbled together a few recipes without writing down any of the steps/measurements, there’s no real recipe for you. But I’ll try to re-create it this weekend and let you know how it turns out.)

continued after the jump

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Deeeeep breaths…

The Saints game is about to start. As such, I have no time nor the presence of mind to write a real post, so I’ll leave you with a few pictures and a promise to do better next weekend. I’ve been creatively moribund since the holidays, but hope it’ll pass soon.


Got my gris-gris going first thing this morning with shrimp & grits. I hope the spirits aren’t too upset that my coffee lacked chicory.


And since it’s old home day, why not have a little old-fashioned banana pudding with Nilla Wafers? (I’ve been playing with the recipe I got from my mom, who got it at her wedding shower, but it’s not quiiiiite there yet. Will post it once it is.)


And on the topic of comfort foods, all I wanted last weekend was graham crackers and milk.


OK, that’s not entirely true. These Szechuan noodles with shrimp really hit the spot.


How could they not?

Time for a beer, maybe some wings. Geaux Saints! No matter what happens tonight, nothing will ever beat this fan video or the run that inspired it:

January 24, 2010|Asian, Bananas, Breakfast, Brunch, Cajun/Creole, Desserts, Seafood, Shrimp|6 Comments

Amy’s first risotto

091222_risotto

So… yeah. It’s been a while. How’ve you been? You’re looking great — have you lost weight? My apologies for abandoning this site, but things got seriously out of hand at work those last few weeks leading up to Christmas, and I couldn’t find time to do any cooking at all, and what’s a food blog without food? Keeping quiet seemed like the way to go.

The weekend before Christmas was a little less hectic, so I did manage to cook something before taking off for Louisiana — a risotto. Actually, my FIRST risotto. (Oh, stop your gasping.) I’ve always avoided it because the thought of standing in one spot stirring for so long didn’t appeal, but it was snowing and I had a bunch of mismatched ingredients in the house that didn’t add up to much else, so hey. Why not? It was that or shovel the driveway.

My parents sent me back to Jersey with about five pounds of frozen shrimp and crab meat the last time I visited. All that was left in our freezer was one container of crab, so I set my sights on turning out a delicately-seasoned risotto. (Going easy on seasonings isn’t something that comes naturally to me, but crab requires a light hand.) It couldn’t have been easier, really. I sweated some onion in a decent amount of olive oil and butter with 4 bay leaves, added a little garlic once the onion was translucent and cooked it for 30 seconds or so, then added a cup and a half of arborio rice, stirring it in the fat until the grains were just starting to look chalky. Then the laborious process (or so I imagined it would be) of adding liquids and stirring, […]

December 31, 2009|Christmas, Italian, Oysters, Pictures, Seafood|4 Comments

Happy Bastille Day

We spent a very busy weekend with family, celebrating niece Sela’s SIXTH BIRTHDAY. Plenty of pics to come, but I couldn’t let this date go by without posting a French (ok, Cajun/Creole)-inflected dish from Saturday: Shrimp boil seafood salad.

090713_seafood_salad

See, my parents sent me a lovely care package a few weeks ago, and that Zatarain’s had been taunting me every time I opened the pantry, so I decided on a shrimp boil seafood salad, using good gulf shrimp and lump crabmeat liberated from my parents’ freezer when I was home last month. Since Gil and I were the only two eating, I didn’t fire up the crab pot, but kept the whole thing indoors. I boiled water, salt and Zatarain’s seasoning together for a couple of minutes before tossing in 4 small yellow onions and a whole head of garlic to season the water to perfection. Once they were cooked through, I fished them out and added baby red potatoes, then shrimp in the last couple of minutes. I turned off the heat as soon as the shrimp went in, and when they floated to the top, the salad was ready to assemble.

I diced the potatoes along with carrot, avocado and red bell pepper, added some of the boiled garlic, salted capers (soaked in water and chopped) and the seafood, then tossed everything with a gorgeous Creole remoulade from Chef John Folse. Shame I didn’t make more, but there were tacos and cake to look forward to at Sela’s party and it would’ve just put us over the top.

But if you’re looking for something more properly French on this date, you could take a gander at my Paris pix from our seven-month anniversary. What […]

July 14, 2009|Appetizers, Crab, Pictures, Salad, Seafood, Shellfish, Shrimp|4 Comments

Da posto

Time passed, and it was decreed that cook eat FRET needed a little root work, and thus made her pilgrimage to New York. She’s the outgoing sort who has food-blogger friends from all over the country (world, at this point?), so Gil and I met up with her, Zen Can Cook and Colloquial Cooking for dinner at Del Posto Friday night. Thursday Night Smackdown was unable to make it, so we feasted on her portion of the lardo that came around with the bread basket, and I’ll blame her when my skinny jeans no longer fit.

Our dinner companions were everything you could ask for — friendly, smart and talented, and honestly just lovely people, all-around. I’ll leave a review of the food to them, but must put in a plug for my dessert, the Sfera di Caprino, Celery & Fig Agrodolce & Celery Sorbetto, as the menu so mouthwateringly puts it. Delicious and unusual. Probably not something I’ll try to duplicate even in the slightest, but if someone out there would like to do the honors, I would not complain if you got back to me with your recipe.

Grazie!

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It has been brought to my attention (though it hadn’t really escaped my notice) that I don’t post often enough. But that’s not entirely true; just check my guest post at TNS for evidence.

090426_trout_raw

But I do have a couple of things from last weekend that are sitting in my drafts folder collecting pixel-dust, so maybe the criticism is justified. It’s really a shame, because this meal could only have been better if I’d caught the trout myself minutes before firing up the (brand new) grill. But without access to decent trout streams here, I thought Whole Foods would be an acceptable substitute. I stuffed the fish with thin lemon slices and sprigs of thyme just before grilling — simple preparations are perfect with fresh trout. Dinner was on the table about 15 minutes later, served with an avocado, tomato and red onion salad, and grilled asparagus on the side. It’s that time of year, after all.

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Hey Cecily, you asked what I could do with limes…does this work?

090503_cookie

Cornmeal cookies with lime glaze, inspired by the same at Amy’s Bread. These were a little crispier and less cakey than the originals, but were still just my kind of cookie — crumbly, crunchy, sweet/tart and completely lacking in chocolate.

090426_cookiesbaked

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And just for you, Claire — more Rufus pictures:

090426_ru_nose

The thing about a greyhound is, it’s really hard to get the nose and eyes in focus at the same time if your camera isn’t on a tripod.

090426_ru_eyes

But the boy really knows how to relax.

090426_ru_grimace

And I could learn a thing or two about patience from him.

recipe after the jump

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May 3, 2009|Cookies, Corn, Daily, Desserts, Fish, Pictures, Seafood|3 Comments