Recipe one, lifted from Bittman mostly:
Catfish with Rice
- 3 cups fish or chicken stock (I used chicken, as it was what I had)
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed and drained
- 2-3 medium tomatoes, cored, chopped and mashed (w/their juices)
- 3 tbsp. butter, melted
- 2 tsp. garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 cup Madeira or other sweet wine
- 1-1 1/2 lb. catfish or other mild, firm fish, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Bring stock to a gentle boil in medium sacuepan or wide skillet with lid
- Add rice and bring to a boil
- Turn heat to medium-low and cover; cook for 15 min.
- Turn heat to low and stir in tomatoes with their juices, shallot, garlic, butter and Madeira.
- Gently fold in fish, cover, and simmer for 15 min.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Tasting halfway through I knew that this wasn't quite doing it for flavor – nice, but needed something more. So I began preparing a supplementary sauce (below); if I'd had to do it again I'd probably have added a bit of salt to the rice, along with some paprika and saffron. Maybe 1/2 chopped onion. However, all that said – it was really nice, delicate and all the tastes that were there, were good.
Totally-Improvised Accompaniment Sauce to Above Dish
- 4 oz. red wine
- ajvar (several tbsp.)
- 3 cippolino onions, diced
- olive oil
- 6 preserved capers
- several large dashes paprika
- fewer dashes cayenne
- Heat olive oil to medium
- Add onions and cook until soft
- Add spices, stir in, and then add half of wine
- Cook wine down for several minutes, stir in ajvar, and add capers and remaining wine
- Cook down to desired consistency
Very nice and works quite well over the rice
Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup
- 4-6 carrots, cut into 1/4" sections
- 1 sweet potato, cubed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger root, minced
- 2 sprigs fresh sage, cut
- 2 cups water
- Bring stock to low boil and add onions; cover and cook for 5-10 min.
- Add bay leaves, sage, cover and cook for 2-3 min.
- Add sweet potato and cook 10 min.
- Add carrots and cook 5 min.
- Uncover and add ginger; cook 10 min.
- Cover and cook 20 min, or until most of stock is cooked off.
- Add water, bring to boil for 2 min. and turn off heat
- Let cool and transfer to food processor; blend to desired consisentency
- Serve hot or cold
Sweet, flavorful, and not planned at all. A win!