Tag Archives: prosciutto

Crunchy Halibut with Mixed Herb Gremolata and Saffron Mashed Potatoes

When it comes to making dinner,  do you usually have a plan in place for the week ahead, with meals decided upon and shopping complete for the whole week?

Or…do you shop for a few days at a time, deciding as you go?

Or.. do you cook on the fly with no planning involved and wing it with whatever you have in the house?

I guess I kind of fall somewhere in the middle. I try and plan out a good part of the week, and shop a few days at a time for items I need. That way I have  the freedom to change my mind if I am craving something different than what is planned (which happens a lot), or for times like this occasion when I arrived at the market to find some beautiful fresh halibut looking out at me from behind the seafood case.

I really like the contrasting textures and flavors in this dish: crunchy/creamy/salty/sweet all rolled into one.  If you have never tried adding saffron to mashed potatoes, now is your chance. We are after all, in mashed potato season, right? I have also included a few tips for getting your mashed potatoes just right; just in time for Thanksgiving!

Panko Crused Halibut

4 (4 ounce) halibut fillets, skin removed

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup milk

1 cup panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons canola oil

Gremolata:

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

2 tablespoon minced chives

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Season both sides of fish with  salt and pepper. Dredge both sides of fish in flour, then dip in milk , followed by panko crumbs.

Heat  oil to shimmering over medium-high heat in a large saute pan. Add halibut fillet and cook until panko browns lightly. Turn fillets over, reduce heat to medium and cook until fish is just becoming flaky, approximately 7 minutes.

For gremolata: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl

Saffron Mashed Potatoes

1 1/3 pounds (4 medium)  Yukon Gold potatoes, washed, peeled, and cut into uniform 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon
salt, divided
2 tablespoons warm butter

Pinch of saffron threads

1/2 to 2/3 cup hot milk, half &  half, or cream


In large saucepan, Add  potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and just enough cold water until potatoes are covered; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium; cover and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.

While potatoes are cooking, either in another saucepan or microwave, heat butter.  Also heat hot milk or cream to a simmer (do not boil) separately from the butter in another saucepan or microwave. NOTE: Do not add cold butter or cold milk/cream to when making mashed potatoes.

When the potatoes are cooked, remove from heat and immediately drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander. Return to saucepan; heat over medium-low heat approximately 1 to 2 minutes to dry potatoes, stirring occasionally.

In the same saucepan that the potatoes have been heated in, mash potatoes with a potato masher, potato ricer,  or beat with electric hand mixer until chunky.  Stir in warm butter, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, saffron threads, and 1/2 cup of the hot milk.  Add additional milk, a little at a time, if necessary, for desired consistency

Season to taste with additional salt, if desired.

4 servings

A few mashed potato tips:
* Do not cut the potatoes into smaller chunks as too much water will be absorbed by the potatoes. After cutting the potatoes, immediately place in cold water to prevent discoloration of the potatoes.

*Gluey or gooey mashed potatoes are caused by vigorous over mashing, as anyone who has tried to make the side dish in a food processor can attest. When potatoes are boiled, their starch granules swell. If those granules are broken too vigorously, the cells release copious quantities of starch, resulting in a potatoes with the consistency of wallpaper paste.

* Boiled potatoes left in water will start to jellify and may even increase in volume, becoming swollen and watery. That is why it is important to let the potatoes drain for a couple of minutes in a colander immediately after they are cooked.

Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto

3 lbs. fresh Brussels sprouts
5 slices of Prosciutto
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 small shallots, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons  Balsamic Vinegar

Trim stems and remove outer leaves from Brussels sprouts; wash, then cut larger sprouts in half. In a covered pot, boil Brussels sprouts with enough water to cover until tender. Approximately 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, cook prosciutto in hot oil over medium heat; once crispy, remove. Use same pan and oil to cook shallots, garlic and butter. Allow to soften, then add sprouts, salt and pepper.

Cook for approximately 8 minutes or until browned. Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with prosciutto.

4 servings

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Twelve Days of Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres (Seventh Day)

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Wowee—day 7 already. I hope you are having as much fun as Tokyo Terrace and I are working together on this project. By now you should be building a pretty good arsenal of cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres.

hors d’oeuvres [awr durvz; Fr.awr dœ-vruh ]

Hors d’oeuvre, meaning  literally “outside of work”, or food served before the main meal. It’s kind of a funny word, don’t you think? Really tricky spelling too. I have to look at it each time I spell it to make sure I didn’t switch the letters around. Speaking French would help my problem, I suppose…or there’s always spell check.
Sometimes people refer to the food eaten before a meal as an appetizer. I think that is true, but I usually think of an appetizer as a first course that is eaten at a table, whereas I think of  Hors d’oeuvres as finger food. When I am putting together a menu of Hors d’oeuvres that will take the place of a meal, I like to think about balance. It’s important to not only balance flavor, but to balance foods that are light, and foods that are substantial. We all know what happens if you have a few too much holiday “cheer” on an empty stomach…
Today’s Hors d’oeuvre “Endive Spears with Artichoke Pesto, Crispy Prosiutto, and Arugula” is very light and cleansing in flavor;  the kind of Hors d’oeuvre that works well before sitting down to dinner. I like to include something like this into the cocktail party mix, as they add freshness and crunch into the assortment, balancing some of the heavier Hors d’oeuvres. If you follow my blog, you know how much I like salads, so this is one of the Hors d’oeuvres I like to stand near at the table.
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Endive Cups with Artichoke Pesto, Crispy Prosciutto, and Arugula

For Pesto:

1/2 cup slivered  almonds, toasted

One 6.5 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry

1/4 cup cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Salt and freshly ground pepper


For the Topping:

2 teaspoons olive oil

7 ounces Prosciutto,finely chopped

1 cup arugula, thinly sliced

4 heads Belgian endive, ends trimmed, leaves separated


For Pesto: In a mini food processor, pulse the artichoke hearts with the almonds until finely chopped. Add the cream cheese, Parmesan, and lemon zest and process until a smooth paste forms. Season with salt and pepper.


For Filling: Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium high heat; add chopped prosciutto and saute, stirring frequently, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towel lined plate to drain.


Assembly: Place one teaspoon of the artichoke pesto into the bottom (blunt edge) of each of the endive leaves. Top with crispy prosciutto and arugula. It’s that easy!

Makes about 24 spears

I love the colorful, refreshing cocktail Rachael has paired for us today. Have a look:

day 7 cocktail
Shibuya Punch
Click here to Visit Tokyo Terrace for the recipe.

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