Sooo I was cooking up a little welcome home feast for myself last night. It felt good to be back in my own kitchen to cook in my shorts & tee shirt there is no better feeling.
Anyways lets talk food for real. Thought of this while I was in the food market (like I do with most of my meals). The only fish that looked appealing at the moment was the swordfish. So I figured I would challenge myself a little bit & pull out all the stops.
The dish, Swordfish w. butternut squash purée roasted shiitake mushrooms baby bok choy & brown sugar bacon. I can’t even begin to explain how great it felt to pull this dish off. Since the texture of swordfish is more meaty than a delicate fish like Halibut I knew the bacon would work perfect. The smooth rich flavor of the squash purée along with the earthiness of the mushrooms & the sweet yet salty bacon make your taste buds tingle.
Swordfish steaks- 2 each
Butternut Squash- 1 medium size
Shiitake Mushrooms- 20 each
Baby Bok Choy- 1 head
Uncured Bacon- 5 thick cut slabs
Thyme- 1 small bunch
Garlic- 3 cloves
Butter- 4 Tbsp butter
Light Brown Sugar- ¼ cup
Maple Syrup- 3 Tbsp
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the bok choy in the water for 15 seconds then remove & run under cold water.
2. Peel and dice the butternut squash. Season with salt & pepper. Along with the butter add to a medium size sautee pan cook on medium heat until butter is melted. Add ½ cup of water cover and cook the squash until it is fork tender.
3. In a blender. Add the squash and butter mixer and puree until smooth. Set aside and keep warm.
4. Wash the leeks & split down the middle. Peel away the 3 inner layers of the leek & slice thinly.
5. Cut the slabs of bacon into 4 or 5 equal size sections per piece.
6. In a pan on medium heat, add the bacon and render the fat until crispy
7. Remove the fat from the pan then add the maple syrup and brown sugar. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the bacon is well coated & remains with a crunch.
8. In a smoking hot pan. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil & the mushrooms roast until brown.
9. Turn the burner down to medium high heat. Add the garlic, thyme and leeks. Cook until the leeks are soft. Add the bok choy then remove the garlic & thyme.
10. Season the swordfish with salt & pepper. Place in a smoking hot pan w. 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Sear on both sides until golden brown. Place in the oven for 6 mins or until the fish is cooked through.
11. To plate, place 2 generous spoonfuls of the puree on the bottom of the plate. After, the mushrooms & bok choy on top of the squash. Followed by the swordfish on top of the vegetables. Finish with the brown sugar bacon on top of the swordfish.
I’m going to work on my recipe descriptions for any posts I make in the future. Thanks again for tuning in and happy cooking!
Over & Out
As I sit on the plane I figured it would help pass time to write something before the plane took off.
A memorable trip in regards to the food I came across on my week in the Bay Area. My first time to San Francisco and definitely not my last! I hit as many restaurants that I could on a mission to find the best clam chowder in the Bay.
I don’t know where you rate New England Clam Chowder on your soup charts, but it is most certainly in my top 5. When it comes to Clam Chowdah the most essential ingredient are the clams, there should be a healthy portion of clam in every bite! Along with potatoes, bacon & little bits of carrot are always a nice surprise. I don’t really like my chowder too thick either nor do I like it loose. You must find the perfect medium between the two with a hint of black pepper and Tabasco. Don’t forget the Oyster Crackers to top it off & that is my idea of a perfect chowder. Luckily I was able to find what I was looking for at “Fish Restaurant” in Sausalito so next time you are in the area stop by and judge for yourself.
Chowder wasn’t the only thing on my radar. I also found the best damn breakfast I have ever had from a restaurant/ cafe at ” Brenda’s ” in San Fran. A French creole soul food restaurant, Brenda’s menu has more than the traditional French toast and pancakes. The menu has a wide variety including daily chef’s specials like the “Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict “. I went for an order of braised beef with grits, poached eggs, hash browns & a buttermilk biscuit. Everything was perfect without an issue I also threw in an order of the Beignets. The French version of a donut filled with apples & caramel, sent my taste buds into an oral coma for about 2 hrs. I didn’t want that feeling to go away.
Lastly you must check Boudin’s on the pier. If there is one thing San Francisco is known for other than their seafood, is there amazing sourdough breads. Something about the air out there that allows the most perfect crust for bread. The inside, soft and melts in your mouth while the crust has a crunch with just the right amount of chewiness to it. They make all shapes and forms of bread even down to loaves shapes like alligators and lobsters. I’m going to stop now but if you are in this beautiful city at any point make sure you check out some of these spots or even let me know of somewhere I should stop next time.
Much appreciated everyone have a blessed day. One love.
My friends have been telling me for a while now so I finally decided to take a shot at blogging.
While out in Cali I headed out to Napa Valley for the day. By far one of the most scenic drives I have ever been on, it reminds me of the drive out in Asti Italy.
Lunch was at Bouchon, master chef Thomas Keller of the French Laundry (which is just 2 mins up the road). Everything was excellent, from the bread being the perfect texture and temp. The wine, a ’09 Sauvignon Blanc from Carneros, California was crisp and fruity. As for the food itself there was not a flaw that I could point out. Truffle mac & cheese has the perfect amount of truffle, amazingly cheesey cheese, the crust was crisp and crunchy every single bite. I had the Pork Belly with braised cabbage & my friend had the Lamb Ragout. Hands down the most flawless meal I have had in a while.
Afterwards make sure you hit Bouchon Bakery right next door I shouldn’t have to explain anymore.
If you are looking for some nice wine, on the other side of Bouchon is Hope & Grace winery. Stop in for a wine tasting, they have some of the most delicious wines. My favorite was the ’09 Petite Sirah. Seems like 2009 was a good year for grapes in Cali.
Appreciate you tuning in. If you like it there will be more, if you didn’t enjoy what I had to say… Who cares?