Moqueca De Peixe

Here’s a nice fish stew. I used Dover Sole and also added some shrimp (mainly because I had some leftover shrimp I needed to use). I also doubled the recipe because I like leftovers. If you do the same, you don’t have to double all the vegetables unless you want to. I also didn’t have dende oil (palm oil), so I just used all olive oil.

Moqueca

Moqueca De Peixe (fish Moqueca)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs. fish (any white fleshed fish like red snapper, grouper or red fish)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 small tomato roughly chopped, 2 medium tomatoes sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 bell peppers (1 green and 1 red) sliced into thin rounds
  • 4 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 small onion roughly chopped, 1 large onion sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dende oil
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • pickled jalapenos thinly chopped, to your taste
  • 2 teaspoons salt

METHOD:

  1. Cut the fish into 2-inch pieces.

  2. Combine 1 small tomato, 1 small onion, 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 garlic cloves in a food processor and process until pieces are very small. Mix it with juice of 1 lime.

  3. Cover both sides of the fish with this mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

  4. Use the half of the bell peppers, tomatoes and onions cut into round slices and half of the remaining cilantro to make layers on top of each other in a large saute pan.

  5. Cover those layers with the fish and the marinade.

  6. Make other layers with the remaining bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and cilantro to cover the fish. Add the jalapenos (I use 1 teaspoon for mild flavor).

  7. Drizzle everything with olive oil and dende oil. Add coconut milk and 1 teaspoon of salt, stir, cover with a lid and cook over low heat, until the flesh starts to flake, about 20 minutes.

Julia Child’s Napoleon’s Chicken

Here’s a dish, that at first glance, seems like an unworkable combination. And honestly, it’s one of those dishes where the chef threw what he had together. But it works. The best part is that you can leave parts of it out and it’s still delicious. If you cooking this with the thought of having leftovers, you can cook everything but the bread and eggs and do those as needed. You can also do a simple fried egg and it’s just as good.

Julia Child’s Napoleon’s Chicken

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 chicken cut into pieces for frying
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon of Napoleon’s cognac (or Brandy)
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 lbs. peeled, cored, seeded and diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 8 large white mushroom caps with stems
  • 8 rounds of 1/4″ thick sliced Italian bread
  • 12 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • black olives

METHOD:

  1. Rinse and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large seasoned skillet (a chicken fryer with 3″ to 4″ high sides) over medium high heat until hot. Add chicken and brown well on all sides.

  2. Add 1/4 cup of the white wine, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add cognac and flame. Add onions, cover and simmer another 10 minutes. Remove chicken to platter.

  3. Remove stems from mushroom caps and dice. Reserve caps. Spoon some grease from pan. Saute garlic and mushroom stems. Add tomatoes, 1/4 cup of the white wine, and Italian seasoning stirring up all the chicken bits. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a high simmer. Return the chicken pieces to the skillet, folding into the tomato sauce. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 15 – 20 minutes until chicken is no longer pink.

  4. While the chicken is cooking, heat a saucepan over high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil and the rest of white wine. Add the mushrooms. Toss lightly a few times until they are tender, but not soggy or overcooked. The caps should be white and retain their shape. Set aside and keep warm.

  5. Heat a frying pan with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil (may need more) until hot, but not smoking. Lightly fry the rounds of bread until slightly browned. Set them aside on paper towels. Keep warm in oven.

  6. Add the shrimp to the hot oil and fry until they just curl up, about 1-2 minutes. Set them aside on paper towels. Keep warm in oven.

  7. Heat another saucepan over high heat with oil at least an inch deep. Poach the eggs one at a time in the hot oil for a minute or so, lightly stirring with large spoon to keep egg together. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on paper towel to drain.

  8. Putting it all together: Set chicken pieces on serving platter. Spoon the tomato sauce over the chicken pieces and garnish with black olives.

  9. Place the eight croutons around the chicken. Place an egg on every other crouton and garnish with parsley. Place 3 shrimp on each of the other 4 croutons.

Slow Lamb with Baked Provencal Tomatoes

Here’s an easy recipe for cooking a whole leg of lamb. The cooking time for this recipe says it takes about 4 hours for a 2 lb leg. I had a 5-6 lb leg and it took me about half that time to get to medium rare (140 degrees), so use a thermometer to check for the doneness you want.

Slow Lamb with Baked Provencal Tomatoes from French Food at Home

INGREDIENTS:

For the lamb - 1 (2-pound) lamb leg on the bone - 3 tablespoons olive oil - Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper - 1 cup white wine - 1 head garlic, broken into unpeeled cloves - 3 bay leaves - 4 short sprigs fresh rosemary - 1 large bunch fresh thyme sprigs

For the tomatoes - 4 medium tomatoes - Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper - 1 heaping tablespoon bread crumbs - 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh parsley - 1 clove garlic, minced - Olive oil, for drizzling

METHOD:

  1. For the lamb: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

  2. Rub the lamb with about half the olive oil and season generously with salt, and pepper. In an oven-proof casserole just large enough to hold the lamb, brown the meat on all sides on the stovetop. Deglaze with the white wine. Lay the garlic and herbs on and around the lamb. Drizzle with the remaining oil. Bake in the oven for 4 hours, turning once at half time. Remove from the oven and serve from the casserole with the juices spooned over. This is nice served with baked tomatoes and sauteed potato slices.

  3. For the tomatoes: Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  4. Cut the tomatoes in half at the waist. Lay them cut-side up in a baking dish, and season with salt, and pepper. Mix the bread crumbs, parsley, and garlic in a small bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the tops of the tomatoes, and then drizzle over a little olive oil. Bake the tomatoes until hot and slumping, about 20 minutes.

  5. For the plate: On a nice platter set the piece of lamb, line with the baked tomatoes, creating a glorious feast for the eyes in presentation.

Greek Salad

Tired of plain old salads? Here’s a quick, easy, and tasty one. I always have homemade vinaigrette on hand so I used that instead of the olive oil and vinegar.

Greek Salad from French Food at Home

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 English cucumber, finely diced
  • 5 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, very, very thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 11 ounces /300 g kalamata olives
  • 7 ounces /200 g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 heaping tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup /125 ml olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine or Jerez vinegar (sherry), plus more to taste
  • Drop balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD:

In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, tomato, onion and pepper. Scatter over the olives, feta, capers, and oregano. Add the olive oil and vinegar and toss the salad well to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Taste to check the seasons and add more vinegar, salt, or pepper, as needed. Serve.

Poulet Basquaise

I made Poulet Basquaise.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 whole chicken about 4 lbs. cut into 8 pieces
  • salt and black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 red bell peppers cut into julienne
  • 2 green bell peppers cut into julienne
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 16 ounces canned Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light chicken stock or broth
  • 3 sprigs of flat leaf parsley finely chopped

METHOD:

  1. Season the chicken all over with the salt, pepper and cayenne. Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot add the butter. When the butter has foamed and subsided, add the chicken, skin side down, and brown on that side only! Remove chicken with tongs and set aside on a plate. Add the peppers and onion to the pot and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for about 10 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the wine, scraping, scraping – as always – to get the good stuff up. Cook until the wine is reduced by half then add the water and the chicken stock. Return the chicken to the pot, making sure to add all the juice that’s accumulated on the plate while it rested. Cover the pot and allow to cook on low heat for about 25 minutes, then remove the chicken to your serving platter.

  2. Crank up the heat to high and reduce the sauce for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the parsley. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.

Transylvanian Stockpot

For dinner, I made the Transylvanian Stockpot from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook. The recipe is on page 44.

I made a few changes to the recipe. First, I used uncooked polish kielbasa and just fried them up in lard (and left the lard in the pot). Second, I love cabbage so I put more in than the recipe called for. Finally, because of all the cabbage, I used a little more liquid. I added an extra cup of chicken broth, and about 2 cups of water. I wanted the make sure that the liquid completely covered all the meat and vegetables.

Like most traditional stews/soups, this one has everything that makes these recipes so good, and it’s dead simple to make. Lots of fat and protein, and just the right amount of vegetables to round out the flavors. I will definitely be making this again.