January 02, 2008

January's Food Focus: Moosewood

Wasting no time diving into my goals for 2008, last night's dinner came from my focus cookbook for January: Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites. I picked the Moosewood book up at the neighborhood used book store several years ago because I'd heard good things about the restaurant and the collective. I've paged through it a couple of times, bookmarked a handful of recipes... but never cooked from it until yesterday.

Yesterday's search for inspiration found me preparing their Baltic Fish, a simple baked fish based on the restaurant's more calorically dense Fish Otis, doused liberally in a sour cream dill sauce.

Why'd I choose this one? It looked fairly easy, I had most of the ingredients on hand, and I figured the leftovers would reheat well later in the week when time is at more of a premium.

The verdict? Eh. It was okay. John didn't care for it, but that may well have been partially user error. Because my fish guy at Andronico's was out of cod, I opted for tilapia. Stupid, stupid, stupid... tilapia's never performed well for me in the oven (though it sautes like a dream). In a addition, I cut the bake time back by 5 minutes as fish usually dries out in my oven. So we ended up with a bit of tilapia sashimi in the center of one of the fillets.

You'll also notice there's no photograph. That's because it's visually bland. A study in white. And it's all soft. It needs something... red bell peppers? thicker sliced onions? to balance it out texturally. On the positive side, the leftovers were *far* more satisfying tonight. Not sure if the dill/sour cream needed time to macerate or what, but it was much more interesting reheated. Sadly there are enough to-try recipes out there that I probably won't come back to it.

I served it with a light green salad and a glass of Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Riesling. Very nice.

Want to try it yourself and see if I just screwed it up? The recipe follows.

Baltic Fish
adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-fat Favorites, 1996

2 large fillets of tilapia (1 pound total weight)
3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and sliced (about 12 ounces)
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and ground black pepper to taste
the juice of one meyer lemon
1 cup low fat sour cream
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1/2 (heaping) tablespoon dried dill
1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced

Preheat the over to 350.

I started with the potatoes, boiling them as directed with the garlic for ten minutes, mashing them with a wooden spoon, seasoning with a bit of pepper and spreading them in the bottom of an 8x8 glass baking dish.

I added the fish to the potatoes, and juiced the lemon over the top, catching the seeds in my hands.

I combined the sour cream, dill and horseradish in the sour cream container (I'm all about reduction of effort) whisking with a fork until the three were well combined, then spooning the sour cream mixture over the fish.

I then topped this with the red onion slices, covered the whole thing in foil and put it in the oven for 30 minutes while I worked on a salad.

The shopping list:
farm raised tilapia and sour cream from Lunardi's.
potatoes, garlic and red onions from Farm Fresh to You.
meyer lemons from a coworker's tree.
dill from Penzey's.

From the archives: Today in 2007, we made ravioli.

Technorati Tags: | | |


Cynthia said...

You, mess up a recipe? I seriously doubt it.

Happy new year to you and the hubby.

Ann-Marie said...

I did my best to cook from Moosewood, back in a lost dim past. Never did get into the Moosewood groove, I'm afraid.

I do make a sour cream/dill sauce for poached salmon, and it really does need an overnight maceration to become its best.

Deborah said...

I've always wanted to try a Moosewood recipe - too bad this one didn't turn out for you. Hopefully the next one will be better!

The Queen Bee said...

great post...you should also check out 'the enchanted broccoli forest' great home cookin'- & fabulous hippy-esque ala 1970's recipes!