Read an Excerpt
Mediterranean Fish Stew
French and Spanish influences combine in this golden flsh dish. The tarragonis typically French, while saffron and almonds were added to Spanish cooking centuriesago with the arrival of the Arabs from North Africa. Firm fleshed fish,such as cod or scrod, halibut, or turbot, work best. Unlike most fish dishes, this oneimproves after it sits, so consider making it in the morning or even a dayahead. Simply leave the fish slightly underdone so it will be pefectly cooked afterthe stew is reheated. For a satisfying meal, all this needs is crusty bread.
1 tablespoon unsalted butterInstructions:
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
Pinch of saffron, crushed
1-1/2 pounds firm white fish fillets, cut into 4 pieces
Salt & black pepper
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
In a medium-size skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft. Transfer the mixture to a soaked 3-quart clay pot.
Add the clam juice, broth, wine, tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of the tarragon, and the saffron. Cover the pot and place it in a cold oven. Set the oven temperature to 450'F and cook for 20 minutes.
Remove the pot from the oven, add the fish and cover. Return to the oven until the fish cooksthrough, 5 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the stew and fish into 4 serving bowls. Garnish with the remaining tarragon and the almonds, and serve.
If making the stew ahead, add the fish to the clay pot, stir to coat well, then transfer the stew to a large plastic container. The fish will partially cook in the stew. Let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Transfer the stew to a pot and bring to a simmer on the stove top until heated through.
Indonesian Beggar's Chicken
Tamarind, lime, cilantro, and a touch of chile give this chicken its classic Southeast Asian flavor. Indian and Asian food stores carry tamarind paste. Serve the chicken with fragrant basmati or jasmine rice.Ingredients:
1 medium onion, slicedInstructions:
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 serrano chile, seeded & chopped
1 anchovy fillet, drained & chopped
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
One 4-1/2 to 5-pound chicken
In a blender, combine the onion, cilantro, garlic, tamarind paste, chile, anchovy, soy sauce, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Blend to a paste.
Rinse the chicken, dry with paper towels, and place on a plate. Smear the inside of the chicken with one third of the spice paste. Smear the remaining paste over the outside of the chicken. Cover the chicken loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Transfer the chicken to a soaked 3 quart clay pot. Cover the pot and place it in a cold oven. Set the oven temperature to 450'F and cook the chicken for 1 hour and 25 minutes, or until the drumsticks wiggle easily.
Remove the chicken to a serving plate. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, pour the pan juices from the pot into a small bowl and let sit until ready to serve. Just before serving, skim off any fat that has risen to the top. Carve the chicken and serve with the pan juices..