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Posts tagged as entertaining

Roasted Cauliflower “Couscous” (AIP, Paleo)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jul 15, 2014 at 4:03pm

Roasted Cauliflower "Couscous" | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)This side dish is a twist on the couscous salad that changed my life. For years, my go-to potluck contribution was a couscous salad, loaded with roasted vegetables, dried fruit, cheese, and nuts. It doesn’t wilt on a buffet and pairs well with barbecued meats and other salads. I made it for my own parties, brought it everywhere, and gave out the recipe (it’s more of a technique than a recipe, really, because you can add whatever you like to it) to many friends. I made it for our neighborhood block party one fateful night in August of 2010, in fact, and ate plenty of it, along with a hot dog on a bun washed down with beer.

I’d been having progressively debilitating health problems before that August night. For a couple of years, I had been battling joint pain, digestive distress, weight gain, water retention, low energy, and depression with physical therapy, exercise, medication, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and diet. To say that I was distressed to find no relief from my symptoms is an understatement. Luckily, I started to keep a careful food journal and noticed that when I ate bread or pasta, my joint pain and low energy would peak. As a cook and recipe writer, I was afraid to give up eating wheat, but after the couscous/hot dog/beer night in 2010, I was in absolute misery.Roasted Cauliflower "Couscous" | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)That’s when I stopped eating gluten.

My symptoms improved so quickly, I’ve never looked back. In fact, I progressed to eating no grains and adopting a paleo (whole foods) diet and continued to improve, especially after a diagnosis of hypothyroid confirmed that gluten-free was indeed my path to better health. The last few months (since February) spent following the Autoimmune Protocol/AIP have meant further improvement (especially after an unfortunate experiment with eating non-gluten grains combined with high stress caused a relapse in my hypothyroid symptoms).Roasted Cauliflower "Couscous" | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)And so I present this grain-free version of my old potluck stand-by. It doesn’t taste exactly like couscous, but roasting the cauliflower first does give it a wonderful texture and flavor (better than steaming or sauteeing the cauliflower, in my opinion). This version has been every bit as popular with friends and family as the original. See what you think!

Recipe for Roasted Cauliflower “Couscous” (AIP, Paleo) at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Mmmocktail Time! Raspberry-Mint Simple Syrup (AIP, Paleo)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jun 26, 2014 at 7:17pm

Raspberry-Mint Simple Syrup | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)It’s no secret that I’m a fan of bubbly beverages. Champagne used to be my go-to, but these autoimmune protocol days (and for the foreseeable future because I feel great not drinking alcohol), my bubbles are of the sparkling water variety. I still enjoy a festive beverage around the cocktail hour, so I’m happily exploring non-alcoholic concoctions of various flavors and types. This raspberry-mint simple syrup plus sparkling water duo currently holds the tippy top sippy spot for pretty and absolutely delicious.

I think you should serve it for July 4th! Pickle some blueberries with Joy Summers’ pickled strawberry recipe. Skewer a few on a toothpick and add to the glass for a garnish. Or pickle raspberries. Or make the syrup with strawberries or blueberries. This is fun!

Raspberry Mint Simple Syrup (AIP, Paleo)
Makes about 2 cups

1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1 cup raspberries (frozen work nicely and are less expensive, but fresh are always lovely)
20 fresh mint leaves (plus more for garnish)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until hot and honey is melted. Pull from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Using a fine-mesh colander, strain syrup into a bowl, pressing down on the raspberries to extract their juice. (Tip, the resulting smashed raspberries are delicious – eat them!). Transfer syrup to a jar and store in the refrigerator.

To make a mocktail, fill a glass with ice. Fill glass with 1/3 simple syrup and 2/3 sparkling water (adjust ratio to taste). Stir gently to mix. Serve garnished with mint leaves (or pickled raspberries or both).

Coleslaw with Caper-Anchovy Dressing (AIP, Paleo)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jun 24, 2014 at 1:21pm

Coleslaw with Caper-Anchovy Dressing | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)Are you dreaming of a July 4th barbecue feast? If you are, I have a few ideas for you. Creamy coleslaw is some of the best picnic fare around, but a vinegary slaw can be a tart change of pace, improve while sitting on a buffet, and even add a bit of polish to a plate full of picnic food. (Aside: Is there anything better than a plate full of picnic food? Gah!) Before I sing the salty praises of capers and anchovies, I want to point out my friend Shaina Olmanson’s sweet-and-sour Carolina-style vinegar coleslaw recipe on her delicious blog Food for my Family. Her husband Ole is a grill master – truly – so when she suggests the perfect slaw for July 4th barbecued pork, we all should listen. I make her coleslaw all the time and keep a jar of the dressing in my fridge – it’s fantastic on every salad.Coleslaw with Caper-Anchovy Dressing | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)So OK, back to capers and anchovies. I made this coleslaw for a lamb chop feast a few weeks back and it was a hit with everyone at the table. Capers with lamb is totally my jam, as are kalamata olives, oregano, and spring onions. If you want to sear a few chops on the stovetop for a quick weeknight meal, check out this delectable recipe and step-by-step video I shot with chef Peter Ireland. He has great tips for achieving the perfect crusty-pink chop.

Or if you’re thinking of grilling a succulent leg of lamb for your barbecue, well I wouldn’t blame you one bit and in fact, I’d happily show up with this salad!Coleslaw with Caper-Anchovy Dressing | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)So why am I picturing it with salmon? Because all the same zingy-briny flavors are fantastic with salmon too – spoon some of the dressing over the fish while it’s sizzling from the pan. The tang of the capers and lemon juice balance the creamy fattiness of wild-caught salmon for a memorable – and beautiful – entree that takes about 15 minutes to pull together.

Recipe for Coleslaw with Caper-Anchovy Dressing at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

And while I’m talking salmon, I’m never super thrilled with what I buy here in town. I order salmon online from Vital Choice and it’s sometimes excellent, sometimes just OK. If you have a salmon purveyor you’re passionate about, leave a comment, we’d all love to know!

And oh! While we’re talking about barbecues and picnics and summer entertaining, I want to introduce you to my insanely talented food writer friend Joy Summers’ new blog, Joy on the Rocks. On it she’ll be talking cocktails, both the craft-cocktail-scene variety and the make-at-home variety, including a gorgeous sangria just perfect for the 4th. Given my autoimmune protocol cocktail-less status these days, I’ve been remiss in sharing cocktail recipes and in pointing out what’s great to drink around town. I do plan to share raves about where to get a good mocktail. (Recommendations so far: La Belle Vie, which prints a whole menu of them, and Borough/Parlour where you can describe what you like and they’ll whip up something yummy. I’m overdue on trips to The Strip Club and Saffron, but I am certain that they make delightfully fresh, not-too-sweet concoctions, because all of their drinks are divine.) Fresh TartI don’t miss drinking alcohol, but I miss drinking tasty things. You know? My current fave quicky mocktail is 1/2 strawberry kombucha + 1/2 sparkling water. Dabomb.com, so good, I sip it while I’m making dinner. I’m posting a faux sangria recipe later this week, and I have big plans for not-too-sweet syrups to mix with sparkling water. I’m thinking melon/mint/honey and a Heidi Skoog/Serious Jam-inspired strawberry/balsamic/black pepper beauty. Heidi Skoog of Serious Jam | Fresh TartPhoto by TJ Turner

(Speaking of Ms. Skoog and her jam – see her fab recipe and learn how to easily make and can Raspberry Summer Jam, seasoned with ginger liqueur, scorched lemon, and orange blossom water! Berry season is upon us and it’s time to make gifts for your future, winter-weary self and family.)

Roasted Grapes with Pork Tenderloin Cutlets (AIP, Paleo)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jun 18, 2014 at 4:06pm

Roasted Grapes with Pork Tenderloin | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)Jams, sorbets, crisps, and cobblers are all delectable tricks for managing the bounty of the season and we should all continue to employ (and devour) them as often as possible. But in case you’re as smitten with the savory side of fruit as I am, roasting fruit with fresh herbs and olive oil is a useful (and delicious) trick too.

This dish was borne of an excess of juicy red grapes that I knew weren’t going to be enjoyed before they passed their prime. Waste not, want not (I hate wasting food). I’d never roasted grapes before so it was a bit of an experiment, but given their sweet juiciness, I figured they’d emerge pretty tasty. Indeed they did. I added rosemary because I was in the mood for rosemary, and I had pork tenderloin planned for dinner, and pork and rosemary together are one of my favorite combinations. Sage would be delicious too, or really any of of your favorite herbs: fresh oregano or thyme in particular are nice with sweet things (and classic with pork). Salt and olive oil get the caramelization process started and dissolve into a dreamy salty-sweet sauce.Roasted Grapes with Pork Tenderloin Cutlets | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)I served the sauce over pan-fried pork tenderloin cutlets but if you prefer to grill pork tenderloin (or chops), do that. For a more barbecue sauce effect, you could roast onions alongside the grapes and finish the sauce with a splash of vinegar. I left the onions and vinegar out of the master recipe because I could imagine the grapes spooned over coconut yogurt for a breakfast treat. I’ve eaten them warm on top of the strawberry-rhubarb sorbet I posted last week. And I incorporated the leftover pork and grapes into an absolutely killer warm/cold summer salad (warm pork and grapes atop a bed of cool, crispy greens, spring onions, radishes, and avocado; if you find yourself with leftovers, I highly recommend it). Roasted Grapes with Pork Tenderloin Cutlets | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)Employ this same trick with berries, peaches, plums, cherries, rhubarb, or apples! Use a more neutral oil (or coconut oil) and skip the salt (or use just a pinch), drizzle with honey at the finish, and enjoy as a full-on dessert alone or as a sauce. Endless options, all summery and in my opinion, better than chocolate (and definitely better than carob; little AIP joke there).

Recipe for Roasted Grapes with Pork Tenderloin Cutlets at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

PS If you’re looking to boost the nutrient-density of this dish, both the pork and roasted grapes are fantastic alongside a pan of greens sauteed in good fat. Try this: saute the pork and while it rests for a few minutes, throw several handfuls of torn spinach, swiss chard, kale, or turnip greens (my new fave) into the hot pan drippings and saute until wilted. Season with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a splash of apple cider vinegar and salt to taste (don’t skimp on the salt). Lemon juice or other acid tempers the bitterness of greens, as does salt, as do the sweet grapes for that matter. A good combo all-round.Roasted Grapes with Pork Tenderloin Cutlets | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)I mention nutrient-density because in my ongoing experiments on myself, I continue to be impressed by the results of upping the nutrient density of my meals as high as I can push them, namely: appetite evenness. I’ll tell you, when I eat a breakfast of a big bowl of greens and/or cabbage sauteed with protein and fat alongside fresh berries, and especially if I include a rich cup of chicken or beef bone broth, my appetite is gone until 2p. Poof. Energy is stable, mood is good. It rocks. As I noted in an earlier post, I’ve been shooting for 9 cups of mostly vegetables/some fruits per day, combined with bone broths, grass-fed/pastured meats, and wild fish. I’m working on organ meats, which are the most nutrient-dense of all foods, but which I’m less used to eating. I loooooove pates, but those I adore are made with butter and/or cream. I read a tip to cut grass-fed beef liver into pill-sized pieces and freeze them, then pop them like pills. I’m intrigued. I’m also working up to including high vitamin butter oil (if I can tolerate it) and fermented cod liver oil into my daily routine, I’ll keep you posted (or, you’ll smell it through my blog). My stepmom Susanna gave me the book Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson for a gift. It’s absolutely fascinating. Stay tuned for a review (and fun tips for maximizing nutrition through easy food prep tips) aka More Fascinating Adventures in Autoimmune Protocol and Now Nutrient Density Too! (Heh. But seriously, playing with food is awfully fun, and feeling great is well, great.)

Scallops with Morels, Ramps & Saffron-Coconut Milk Pan Sauce (AIP, Paleo) plus The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook Giveaway!

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on May 20, 2014 at 1:06pm

Scallops with Morels, Ramps & Saffron-Coconut Milk Sauce (AIP, Paleo) | Fresh TartHelloooooo again and Happy Spring! I’ve been away for so long, finishing a cookbook I’ve been working on called Twin Cities Chef’s Table, highlighting Twin Cities chefs, eateries, and our overall food scene, to be published in Fall 2014. It’s been an incredible project to photograph and write, but I’m excited to be back to sharing recipes with you all.

I couldn’t return in May without writing about ramps and morels, two of my favorite foods on the planet, perhaps this year more than any other given the CRAP winter we just had. I mean, wow, that was tough, in the end mentally more than physically, but I can say that because I didn’t have to shovel snow. For you snow shovelers, you are superheroes, and you have definitely earned a feast of morels. A photo of your plate would be a mountain of morels burying those seared scallops…

AIP Barbecue Chicken Wings with Sauteed Broccoli, Green Goddess DressingPhoto I shared on Instagram of AIP barbecue chicken wings with sauteed broccoli, green goddess dressing

I’m in my third month of the autoimmune protocol allergy elimination diet – see Adventures in Autoimmune Protocol posts for the specifics – and I can report continued improved health and abatement of hypothyroid symptoms and food reactions. In fact…I feel pretty damn amazing. I seem to have crossed some sort of threshold, into a phase of renewal, which I attribute to a rather kablam confluence of events – intense nutrition/healing, spring, wrapping the book, therapeutic reading/reflection/journaling, the support of amazing friends, plenty of rest (and a magical vacation, next post), as much time outdoors as I can swing, and having my life pointed in the right direction. The best way I can describe it is that I have returned myself to myself. Tralalaaah! It’s a wonderful, long overdue, hard-earned feeling.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I thought the restrictions would be unbearable (no dairy, grains, nuts/seeds, eggs, nightshades, industrial oils, legumes/coffee/chocolate with the goal of reintroducing/testing those foods over the summer to see which specifically were causing my hypothyroid symptoms to roar back), but it hasn’t been unbearable at all and in fact it’s been, um, FUN. It rocks to feel so good, I’ve had a blast cooking, and I am immersed in reading about nutrition, which is exactly how I love to spend my time (recent reads which I highly recommend: The Wahl’s Protocol by Terry Wahl’s, MD; of course The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD, which is the protocol I’m following, I refer back to it constantly; Your Personal Paleo Code by Chris Kesser; Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan, MD; The Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet, PhD; It Starts with Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig). More on all of those later.
Stephanie Meyer | Fresh TartI don’t usually post pics of myself, but I like what this one says: my hair health is returning and my face is no longer puffy (hair loss/damage and water retention are both hypothyroid symptoms I am glad to have back under control).

One unexpected bonus has been the fantastic interactions I’ve had online around the autoimmune protocol, on Instagram and Facebook in particular. What a marvelous group of people, facing down serious food-related health problems and finding their way back to real, whole food…which means a heck of a lot of cooking. While it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed, it helps me to think about it all as a gift to myself and my loved ones, especially when I’m tired and feeling sorry for myself – my AIP mantra is it is a privilege to cook and eat beautiful food. I understand how woowoo that sounds <insert audible eyeroll>. It’s taken me a long time to feel that way about food and cooking. This blog’s first name was Moderate Epicurean – a reflection of my then thoughts around eating whatever I wanted, in moderation.

But my thoughts have evolved and that’s no longer my goal. It turns out that for me at least, healing occurs and moderation takes care of itself when I skip grains, sugar, alcohol, and vegetable oils (and perhaps eggs and/or dairy and/or nuts, I’ll know more when I reintroduce them), and eat a bounty of whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense food – high-quality meat, loads of vegetables and (smaller amounts of) fruit, and generous amounts of good fat. Putting an autoimmune (or other chronic health) condition in remission is the best outcome of all, of course, but being free from cravings, guilt, weight gain, mood swings, and low energy is a close second – in fact, without those side-effects, actively striving for moderation is unnecessary. Perhaps that’s a source of my unburdened tralalaaah feeling as well, I hadn’t thought of it until right now. I am free from worrying about my weight, eating every few hours, or whether I’ve had one too many cocktails. It would have been nice to figure that out before I was in my 40s (I began my gluten-free, and then grain-free/Paleo journey almost 4 years ago), but hey. There’s hope for the next generation…The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook by Joshua Weissman…as exemplified by 18-year old Joshua Weissman, who through giving up processed/packaged non-food and learning to cook real, fresh, nutrient-dense food, lost 100 pounds and reclaimed his health and vibrancy. On his journey, Josh has become a crazy-talented food photographer and recipe writer at his beautiful blog, Slim Palate. In addition – this is one very accomplished young man! – he recently published the smash hit The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook, a book rich with delectable, approachable recipes for everyday and special-occasion cooking. Josh has accomplished all of this while finishing his senior year in high school. In honor of all of his accomplishments – and in honor of spring, and fresh food, and good health – I can’t imagine a better way to return to blogging than to give away a copy of his book! Leave a note in comments if you’re interested, I’ll announce a winner here on Fresh Tart in one week, next Tuesday, May 27.Scallops with Morels, Ramps & Saffron-Coconut Milk Sauce (AIP, Paleo) | Fresh TartThe recipe is adapted from Josh’s book. I gave an option for using fresh morels and ramps – ’tis the season, of course – but the dish is gorgeous with dried morels too, which makes it an all-season recipe. As a one-pan dish, it’s a weeknight recipe as well. And as scallops with morels and ramps, it’s a party recipe too!

Recipe for Scallops with Morels, Ramps & Saffron-Coconut Milk Pan Sauce (AIP, Paleo) is at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Spiced Fresh Cranberry Relish Mold

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Nov 26, 2013 at 1:12pm

Spiced Fresh Cranberry MoldPoor cranberries. No one really ever eats them, despite tradition, even when made from scratch. I think it’s because Americans are unaccustomed to the delights of chutney-eque condiments. Which is a shame, given the palate-cleansing powers of a tangy, acidic punch on a plate of buttery, rich foods.Spiced Fresh Cranberry Mold | Fresh TartThis recipe is as old school as I possess. My mom’s been surprising guests with her famous cranberry relish mold forever. Why surprising? Well, much like my mom, it’s got a spicy kick that sneaks up on you, in this case a surprising zing of horseradish that eliminates all worries of cloying sweetness. Think mostarda and you’ll have exactly the right idea.Spiced Fresh Cranberry Mold | Fresh TartAs a bonus, the mold is stunning on a holiday buffet table. My mom’s original recipe calls for raspberry Jello and canned cranberries, so I reworked it a bit to include fresh cranberries and fruit juice. The end result has more texture, and a fresher taste, without losing the surprising spicy kick. Pretty perfect, I think.

I hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Recipe for Spiced Fresh Cranberry Relish Mold at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Oct 22, 2013 at 7:38pm

Brussels Sprouts Gratin | Fresh TartI’m always trying to find things to douse in Cedar Summit cream, because let’s face it, I’m obsessed with the gloriously grass-fed stuff. Given a giant bag of darling little baby Brussels from the farmers market, and a hankering for my fave cauliflower gratin, I present the easiest, coziest Brussels dish in the world. I have a vision of setting this on a holiday table (particularly next to a roast beast), nestled among candles and pine boughs…although until the holidays roll around, I simply made it my dinner, with toast and a glass of wine.

Note: I am thoroughly enjoying the occasional slice of St. Paul’s own Thuro Sourdough Gluten-Free Teff bread. The Thuro folks have no idea who I am, I just happened to pick up a loaf in the freezer at The Wedge, in my quest for tasty GF breads made without weird fillers and nasty vegetables oils, which is no easy task. It’s seriously sour, which I love, and makes a flavorful, chewy piece of toast, toast that in fact makes me pine – again – for dearly departed, grass-fed Pastureland butter, which used to be made from Cedar Summit Cream.

Obsessed, I tell you.Brussels Sprouts Gratin | Fresh TartAnd another note: I recently devoured the book Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Catherine Shanahan, MD. I understand completely if you are not in the mood for yet another book about nutrition but…I still think you should read it, especially if you’re considering a pregnancy. I found myself reading several passages aloud to Puppy Louis, who now knows more about genetics than the average fluffy pup. I also found myself snapping iPhone pics of pages off my Kindle, for a potentially annoying way of sharing passages that blew my mind. Dr. Shanahan describes what she calls The Four Pillars of traditional diets around the world, the ways of eating that have produced the genetically healthiest people over millenia: meat cooked on the bone, a combination of raw and cooked plants, offal/organ meats, and fermented foods. She makes a strong case for avoiding vegetable oils and sugar in particular – a very strong case. Dr. Shanahan recently revamped the training diet of the injury-plagued LA Lakers and has helped several players heal nagging injuries. Good stuff.

Recipe for Brussels Sprouts Gratin at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Clafoutis

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jul 3, 2013 at 10:09am

ClafoutisAll-American pie is always perfect, but consider warm, fruity, French clafoutis for this 4th of July celebration. For one, clafoutis is faster to pull together. Can you mix pancake batter? In a blender? Then you can make clafoutis, which is in effect a giant crepe, scattered with fruit, and eaten hot out of the oven with whipped cream or creme fraiche or ice cream. Kids can definitely help pull this together – or make it all by themselves!Clafoutis: Cherry, Rhubarb-Raspberry, PeachI made three quick versions – peach, cherry, and rhurbarb-raspberry – to demonstrate how adaptable clafoutis can be. Plums, nectaries, blueberries – any fruit that marries well with crumbles, buckles, crisps, cobblers – can have an affair with clafoutis. If you can’t bear to serve anything but pie on the 4th, make clafoutis for breakfast. Melty creme fraiche and warm maple syrup are awesome together, for the record. Sexy even. It’s all bon.ClafoutisInspired by my friend Zoe Francois of Zoe Bakes (cornbread and peaches baked on the grill, oh my!), you could try baking clafoutis on the grill after you pull off the burgers and/or ribs. It’s hard to mess up a clafoutis which makes it experiment worthy. If you give it a try, let me know.

Happy Independence Day, Minnesota!

Recipe for Clafoutis at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 4.20.18 PMPS If you’re searching for 4th of July entertaining inspiration (or recipe ideas any day), bookmark or follow the Fortify: A Food Community Pinterest page! Formerly the Minnesota Food Bloggers, Fortify is a group of food lovers, many of whom have popular food blogs and write stunning, delicious recipes. Check out the page, I know your mouth will water. We have a Fortify: A Food Community Facebook group page too; join us!

Whole Fish Baked in a Salt Crust with Fennel & Olives

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Apr 24, 2013 at 12:30pm

I had the pleasure just a few short weeks ago of doing a cooking demo at the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show with Sea Change executive chef Jamie Malone. Since the show, Malone was named to Food & Wine Magazine’s list of Best New Chefs 2013! Very exciting for her, and for Minneapolis. If you’re waiting for a show at the Guthrie to enjoy a meal at Sea Change, you’re so missing out. Very soon, when spring arrives, make your way over to their stunning patio, overlooking the Stone Arch Bridge, and feast upon oysters and perfectly cooked, sustainable fish, washed down with beautiful wine. A night to remember, for sure.

And for a night at home in front of a roaring fire, because that’s just where we’re still at, make this simple, elegant fish. I hadn’t baked fish in a salt crust before doing the demo with Malone, but I sure will now. First of all, it’s really fun. The crust is just egg whites and kosher salt, mixed until it feels like wet sand.

It takes just a couple of minutes to pat it around the fish – and draw on a smiley face, per Malone’s suggestion – which can be done ahead by a few hours if you like. After a brief bake, crack open the crust (very impressive) to reveal moist, silky fish, not salty at all but perfectly seasoned, ready to eat alongside spring vegetables with a drizzle of best olive oil. You can’t beat if for elegance and simplicity.

I made the version in the picture with whole snapper because I hadn’t called ahead for striped bass. After having both (the striped bass at the Home & Garden Show with Malone vs. the snapper I made) call Coastal Seafoods ahead for the striped bass (they can order it but don’t stock it); it’s meatier flesh is a perfect fit for baking inside the crust.

Chef Jamie Malone’s recipe for Whole Fish Baked in a Salt Crust with Fennel & Olives at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Gremolata

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Apr 3, 2013 at 6:40am

I know, I know, I should have posted this before Easter, but lamb with gremolata is lovely all spring (year) long, so make it this week instead! I had let gremolata – a relish of minced lemon zest, garlic, and parsley – slip out of my rotation but it’s back with a vengeance, thanks to helping out at a Cooking the Market class at Kitchen in the Market last week.

Have you ever taken a Cooking the Market class? Led by co-owner chef Molly Herrmann, the classes are pure improvisation, cooking with imagination and instinct, the perfect cooking class in my mind because it captures exactly the joy (and reality!) of cooking at home. Molly leads the class through a tour of Midtown Global Market, pointing out potential ingredients from The Salty Tart, Holy Land Market, Grassroots Gourmet, Produce Exchange, and El Burrito Mercado. The goal is to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with new ingredients while a chef provides guidance and assistance. Add music and wine and you’ve got a winning evening out with friends, coworkers, or family.

Last week’s gremolata topped a dish our group named Mediterranean Tacos: socca (chickpea flour pancakes) topped with harissa, crispy Brussels sprouts, fried haloumi cheese, and preserved lemon gremolata. So lovely! And a pretty terrific Meatless Monday dinner if you need ideas…

You may have had gremolata atop osso bucco, where its bright, fresh zing is a traditional contrast to silky braised meat. But you don’t have to think hard to imagine that it is just fabulous tossed with warm (or cold) new potatoes with olive oil, or spooned over a pan of sauteed peas, or swirled into soup, or sprinkled over seared fish…on and on. Add mint if you like – terrific with lamb, of course – or shallots instead of garlic. Some recipes call for adding anchovies which would probably make the best egg salad sandwich ever (still have Easter eggs to use up?) For me, when spring is frustratingly near but not yet quite here, punches of color and zest are not just welcome, but essential.

Recipe for Grilled Lamb Chops with Gremolata at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.