Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Monkfish stew with kohlrabi and peas (olkopi diye macher rosha)

Monkfish is often referred to as the poor man's lobster. It is a wonderfully meaty fish and much less work than a lobster. The fish butcher sells it all cleaned up. This is a mildly spiced stew that my mother would make growing up with shrimp. Monkfish is not available in India - it is found in the Atlantic ocean. Here I have adapted my mom's dish to work with monkfish. I first tasted monkfish in New York and loved the texture, non-fishy taste and how it holds up to stews. Kohlrabi pairs well with the fish. If you have never eaten kohlrabi, this is one way to try it. In the western world it is mostly used in a salad or as a puree. In India, raw salads are not very popular and it is used as a vegetable for either stewing or sauteing. Here are some other ways to use kohlrabi.
The kohlrabi in this recipe, is first cooked with tomatoes and spices and then stewed with the monkfish. Peas are added at the end to retain their color. Great one pot meal to eat with steamed rice.

Monkfish stew with kohlrabi and peas

2 small kohlrabi, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (About 1 1/4 cups)
10 oz monkfish tail, cut into six, 1/2 inch slices (Ask the butcher to give you a cleaned tail)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 medium vine ripened tomato, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander powder
1/3 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
Kosher salt to taste

  1. Heat oil in a 3 qt saute pan. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds. Add the kohlrabi as soon as they pop. Reduce heat to medium and saute the kohlrabi for about 3 minutes till it gets some color. Add the cumin powder, coriander powder, cayenne, turmeric, and the chopped tomato. Cook till the tomatoes are fully cooked and oil leaves the sides of the pan about 10 minutes.
  2. Now add the pieces of monkfish and saute for about 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water and cook covered at medium low heat for about 13 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally till the fish and kohlrabi are completely cooked. If the sauce looks too dry, add a few more tablespoons. The end product will be saucy but not soupy!
  3. Finally add the peas and sugar - check for salt and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Serve hot with steamed rice.
Serves 2 as a Main course or 3 as part of a shared meal.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Lentil and arugula salad with roasted red pepper and artichokes

French green lentils are the perfect lentil for salads due to its wonderful quality of holding its shape. I combine them with meaty roasted artichoke hearts, sweet roasted red peppers, peppery arugula and tangy goat cheese for the perfect main course salad.

Lentil and arugula salad with roasted red pepper and artichokes

1/2 cup French green lentils
1 large red bell pepper
2 cups packed baby arugula
8 oz frozen artichoke hearts
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
Freshly ground  black pepper
4 oz goat cheese

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the red bell pepper on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes in the middle rack turning once in between till the pepper is blistered all over. Remove from the oven and keep the pepper in a brown paper bag or in a bowl covered with foil. This will allow the pepper to sweat and make it easy to remove the skin. When it is cool enough to handle, remove the skin, discard the seeds and the pith and cut the pepper into thin strips. 
  2. While the pepper is cooling, toss the frozen artichoke with salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Drizzle olive oil and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in a 400 F oven for 20 to 30 minutes till the artichokes have a golden brown color.
  3. In the meantime, rinse the lentils and put them in a saucepan with plenty of lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to a simmer, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender; be careful not to overcook them. If there is any water left, drain the lentils.
  4. Whisk all the ingredients of the dressing and taste for seasoning.
  5. To assemble the salad, place the lentils, roasted peppers, and roasted artichokes in a large bowl. Just before serving, add the arugula pour the dressing over the salad. Toss to coat evenly. Gently fold in the pieces of goat cheese.
Serves 3 to 4

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Stir fried shrimp with pepper and celery in a hoisin sauce

Shrimps are my favorite seafood and when I have a last minute guest to entertain, this is my go to non-vegetarian protein. They are easy to defrost and cook very quickly too. In this traditional Chinese recipe, I have combined them with fragrant and ever so slightly spicy green peppers and some celery for crunch. The sauce is a mixture of soy sauce with a heavy hand of hoisin sauce. The shrimps are marinated with Chinese rice wine and cornflour which gives it that beautiful glossy appearance. Then they are lightly sauteed with ginger and garlic and finished with the hoisin sauce mixture. Great served with plain white or brown rice.

Stir fried shrimp with pepper and celery in a hoisin sauce

1/2 lb shrimps, peeled and de-veined (about 30 shrimps per lb)
1 small green pepper, cut into 3/4th inch squares
1 stick of celery, thinly sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine + 1 tablespoon rice wine
1 1/2  teaspoons corn flour
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 tablespoon garlic, peeled and finely minced
1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. In a small bowl combine 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine, corn flour and 1 tablespoon water. Coat the shrimps in this mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a 10 inch non-stick saute pan over medium heat. Add the canola oil, minced ginger and garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the chili flakes, chopped pepper and chopped celery and saute for 1 minute. Now add the shrimps and salt and cook till the shrimps turn pink about 2 to 3 mintues. Add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine and 1 tablespoon water and cook for about 2 minutes till the shrimps are glossy.
Serves 2 as part of a composed meal