Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Pat's Day Message: Don't Be Afraid of the Fish

First, scones. For a long time this was solidly the only thing I knew how to cook. They're quick, they only require a few ingredients, most of which you already have around the house, and they are really easy. This is a real Irish recipe from my mom which explains why the directions are fast and loose. At this point she makes them as a general extension of her hands.


  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1/4 sugar
  • Baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • Milk
  • ½ stick of margarine or butter
  • About a cup of raisins/crasins (personal favorite)/chocolate chips

Set oven to 350 degrees

Mix 3 cups of flour, a ¼ cup of sugar and a heaping teaspoon of baking powder with a colander.

Cut up a little less than half a stick of margarine and crush up into mixture.

Add a little less than a cup of raisins/craisins/chocolate chips and disburse through the mixture.

In a measuring cup crack an egg and whisk it with a fork. Then add milk until you have a little more than a cup but no more than a 1 ¼ cups. Whisk this mixture.

Make a divot it the center of the dry mixture and add the egg and milk.

Mix the dough in a clockwise motion until everything is totally mixed and the dough comes off the sides of the bowl into one clump in the center.

Place cookie sheet in the oven to heat.

Spread flour on the counter or cutting board, dump the dough out of the bowl, and sprinkle more flour on top. Kneed the dough by taking the outer edges and folding them into the center.

Once you have does this 6 or 7 times the bottom of the dough should be flat against the work space. Flip the dough over and press it down to create a rectangle ½ inch thick.

Cut circles into the dough using a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass. Take the sheet out of the oven and melt butter or margarine on the sheet. Place the scones on the sheet (they don’t usually expand out, but try to leave at least 1 inch between scones.)

Scones are cooked in 20 min., however depending on your oven, you may want to flip them over in 15 min. and cook the top side down for 5min.

Now for my second Irish recipe. In my house we had lamb stew instead of corned beef and cabbage which I don't think I've ever had. Anyway this is a really good recipe and I don't have a ton to say about it except: you're welcome.

Thyme and Vegetable Lamb Stew

  • 1 pound(s) lean leg of lamb, stew meat, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cup(s) fat-free chicken broth, reduced-sodium
  • 2 1/2 medium leek(s), or 2 large, white and pale green parts only, sliced
  • 2 medium stalk(s) celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrot(s), thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 medium potato(es), baking-variety, peeled
    Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add lamb and cook 10 minutes; drain and set lamb aside.

    Pour broth in same saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Add leeks*, celery and carrots; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.

    Return lamb to saucepan; add thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, until lamb is very tender, about 45 minutes.

    Grate potato into stew, using small holes of a box grater. Stir well and reduce heat to lowest possible simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
    *Leeks: so apparently leeks are pretty dirty inside ( You need to cut them length wise and pull the layers apart in a bowl of water to get the sand (?) out, before you slice them.

And now for the lecture about fish and how it's great and you shouldn't be afraid to eat it. I started cooking fish a while back and it is great. It defrosts and cooks really fast and it is crazy good for you. Your grocery store actually has flash frozen individual cuts of fish, so you don't even have to go to the counter and worry about deboning ( it.

One of my favorite ways to eat fish is to steam it. Our frequent food guinea pig, Brian, is leaving the country next month to work in a farm in Chile, so we had him over to celebrate. Here is Brian celebrating:

So the fish. It works well with most fish; I've tried it with tilapia, cod, and salmon. Giada (with the big head of Food Network fame) uses salmon but here I made it with tilapia:

A few adjustments, first, as a rule I don't have fresh minced rosemary around. As a rule I don't have any fresh herbs around because they mock me as I use them for a single recipe and then they wither and die with my ineptitude. Second, I used cherry instead of marsala wine because that is the only booze I can keep in my house that doesn't mysteriously disappear on a Tuesday night when Bridge and I decide that, while watching the original 90210 sober is fun, watching Ian Ziering a little drunk is way more fun. Third, if you don't have some. They are really great. Lastly, I hear that people are afraid to cook fish because they're not sure when it is done. It's done when it flakes and tastes done; it's not that deep.

Now finally on this day of the Irish, I would like to impart on you a public service announcement. Please fill out your census form. It's really important for money and democracy or something. Bridge and I are really thrilled with our census:

See you all on the flip side!

1 comment:

  1. I will be filling out my census form today. Thanks for reminding me to be a good citizen. And thanks for more great recipes! But my back is bothering me so I still want you to come and make me food. Okay?