Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Artichoke Tapenade

I'm getting ready for a visit to my sister, and I'm thinking this simple and tasty tapenade might be good to make while I'm there.  Putting the recipe on my blog gives me easy access when I'm travelling!

(adapted from Smitten Kitchen, from a recipe by Mario Batali)
8-10 servings, as an appetizer

  • 1 cup (4 oz) green olives stuffed with garlic (if you can't find these, add 2 garlic cloves, minced, to the ingredients)
  • tablespoon capers
  • 14 ounces canned artichokes, drained well and quartered
  • tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt, to taste

Use a food processor to chop together the olives/garlic, capers, artichoke hearts, lemon juice, and olive oil, until almost smooth, but still a bit chunky.

Taste, and add salt, more chili powder, and additional lemon juice, if desired.

The tapenade will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Soy-Steamed Fish with Scallions and Pistachio

I made this recipe with salmon--delicious! Steaming is a great way to cook fish, and this recipe adds in some great flavors. I don't have a dedicated steamer, so I made one in a wok.  This was the only tricky part of the recipe.


¾ pound fish fillet such as salmon, sea bass, halibut or cod, about 2 inches thick
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon Chinese fermented black-bean paste or sauce (optional)
2 scallions, white and pale green parts only, cut into fine julienne
2 tablespoons vegetable or pistachio oil 
1 1-inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled and cut into fine julienne
2 tablespoons toasted chopped pistachios, for garnish
 Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

SETTING UP THE STEAMER (have a 2nd person on hand to help when putting in the plate of marinated fish.)
In a wok, place a small bowl, upside down, in the bottom. On top of that, put a collapsible metal steamer (with the stem unscrewed and removed). On top of that, put a large salad plate. You need the wok to have enough space between the plate and the walls of the pot so that you can easily place the plate into the wok.

1.     Put fish fillet on a sturdy heatproof plate, salt lightly and set aside.
2.     In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, wine, sugar, sesame oil and bean paste (if using).
3.     Set up a steamer, large enough to accommodate the plate, with 2 inches of water in the bottom. (See notes above)
4.     Bring water to a rapid boil over high heat. Lay the plate in the steamer. Spoon soy sauce mixture evenly over fish and cover with lid. Steam fish for about 8 minutes, until cooked through--125 degrees on the temperature probe.
5.     Using a large spatula, take the fish off the plate and replate. Use a turkey baster to transfer the marinade from the plate in the steamer. Arrange scallions over the fish fillet.
6.     In a small pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until rippling. Add ginger, let sizzle for about 15 seconds, then spoon ginger and hot oil over fish.
7.     Garnish with pistachios and cilantro sprigs, and serve immediately.