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Dark Swan Creamy Parmesan Black Rice with Crab

dinner, seafood By September 24, 2015 Tags: , , , , No Comments


Today’s recipe is a perfect combination of food geek and pop culture geek. This dish was inspired by the Once Upon a Time season five previews of Emma’s Dark Swan persona. I wanted to create a beautiful and delicious black and white dish. I thought black rice would be the perfect, and the crab and parmesan cheese would provide great color contrast. Finally, I topped the whole dish off with feather-shaped parmesan crisp.

This dish was also heavily influenced by Massimo Bottura’s recipe Risotto Cacio e Pepe (found here) that was featured on the Netflix series Chef’s Table earlier this year. This is not meant to be a true risotto, hence the name creamy parmesan rice. Not only does it not use arborio rice, but it also not as creamy has risotto. The black rice keeps a nice al dente texture within the creamy sauce that is created in this recipe. Bottura created this recipe following an earthquake in Italy damaged several wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano, in order to use the damaged wheels. For the food geeks reading this, I cannot recommend the Chef’s Table series enough. Actually, stop reading this and go watch it now. I’ll wait.

When you are ready to try your hand at this recipe,you will need…

4 cups shellfish or chicken stock ( I used Better Than Bouillon’s lobster base)

3 cups parmesan broth (prepared as directed by Massimo Bottura’s recipe linked above)

1 1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup water

2 1/2 cups black rice

3 lemons

2 shallots, minced

7 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 tsp black pepper

7 tbsp unsalted butter

1/4 cup parmesan cream

1 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1 tsp fresh sage, minced

1 lb lump crab meat

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp fresh parsley, minced

1 egg white

Mix the shellfish or chicken stock, parmesan broth, water, and one cup of white wine together and bring to a boil. In a separate pot, melt three tablespoons of unsalted butter. Once the butter is melted, add one of the shallots and four of the garlic cloves and cook until shallots are translucent. Add the rice and toss the it in the butter, shallot, and garlic mixture. Toast the rice for two to three minutes. Then, slowly add the liquid to the rice, stirring as you go. The liquid does not have to be completely absorbed before each new addition. As I said at the beginning, this is not a true risotto.

IMG_1542Finally, add the juice and zest of one lemon and the sage to the rice. Cook the rice in a covered pot until all of the liquid is absorbed. When the liquid is absorbed, finish the dish with two tablespoons of parmesan cream, a quarter cup of grated parmesan, and a quarter teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper.

While your rice is cooking, make your parmesan crisps. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix half a cup of grated parmigiano reggiano and the egg white together with a fork. Form the cheese mixture into the desired shape on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat. Grind some black pepper over the unbaked crisps. Bake until golden brown.

IMG_1549When the rice is almost ready, melt four tablespoons of unsalted butter in a saucepan. Add the remaining shallots and garlic cloves. Add the sea salt and cook for a few minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the remaining half cup of white wine. Add the the juice from two lemons and the remaining parmesan cream. Cook the sauce for five minutes.

IMG_1545Add the crab and cook for an additional five minutes. Finish the crab adding the remaining black pepper and one teaspoon of fresh parsley.

IMG_1547Plate with the black rice and crab with the parmesan crisps and more grated parmesan. This recipe will serve four to six people.


Treats from the Tardis: Fish Fingers and Custard (and Chips)

dinner, seafood By September 18, 2015 Tags: , , , , No Comments

IMG_0678 (1)

As Whovians everywhere gear up for the Doctor Who premiere on Saturday, I decided to create a few recipes for the occasion. The first recipe is for what has become the quintessential Whovian recipe, fish fingers and custard. Inspired by the eleventh doctor’s bizarre taste in snacks, there are several versions of this recipe on the Internet ranging from sweet interpretations to Alton Brown’s unflinchingly accurate version complete with homemade minced fish fingers. This version involves two of my favorite pairings, fish and chips and french fries and aioli. In my version, I have made battered cod tenders, double-fried french fries, and a lemon-garlic aioli “custard”.

To make this meal, you will need…

3 cups white rice flour

2 bottles of blonde beer

2 tbsp, plus 1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp, plus 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp, plus 1/2 tsp garlic powder

3 lbs russet potatoes

2 lbs cod fillets

3 pasteurized eggs, plus 1 pasteurized egg yolk

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 lemons

1/8 tsp ground cayenne

1 gallon of peanut oil, for frying

Start by making the aioli. Actually, let’s pause and have a conversation about raw eggs and salmonella. I am not a medical professional. I am just someone who loves to cook. There are serious health risks associated with consuming raw eggs (i.e., salmonella poisoning). Using pasteurized eggs reduces the risk, but it does not eliminate it. I have decided that I am personally comfortable with the risk. That does not mean you should be. I am a random person on the Internet. Take my opinion with a grain of salt. I encourage you to do your own research and make a decision for yourself and your family. Here is a helpful place to start. However, I would not recommend this recipe for children, the elderly, or someone with an otherwise weak immune system, as these groups are in the most danger in the event of salmonella contamination.

If you are cooking for one of these groups or are just not comfortable consuming raw eggs, you can still have an awesome custard dipping sauce. To make a raw egg free version, mix together 1 cup of regular store-bought mayo, the juice and zest of one lemon, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne, and a few pinches of turmeric or a few drops of yellow food coloring (to mimic the color of the egg yolk). To make the original recipe, combine 2 whole eggs, 1 egg yolk, the juice and zest of one lemon, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1/8 tsp cayenne in a blender or food processor. Turn on the blender or food processor on low. While the machine is running, pour the olive oil in slowly into the open top.


The aioli will be ready when it is the consistency of mayo. This should happen pretty quickly. Spoon the aioli into a bowl, cover, and place the aioli in the fridge to chill.

Now, you’re ready to prep your potatoes. Scrub the potatoes, slice them into strips, and place the strips in a large bowl of heavily salted water.

IMG_0656Once you’ve got your potatoes prepped, heat the oil in a large pot and prep the batter for the fish. In a large bowl, combine the rice flour, beer, 1 egg, 2 tbsp of salt, 1 tbsp of pepper, 1 tbsp of garlic powder, and the zest from one lemon. Leave the batter to rest. The oil should be ready by now. Check the oil by carefully dropping a pinch of salt into the oil. If the oil immediately bubbles when the salt hits it, then the oil is ready. While the batter is resting, blanch the fries in the oil (first fry). While you clearly will not need a deep-fryer for this step, I highly recommend a metal spider tool over a slotted spoon for placing food in the oil and taking it out of the oil. You can get these from Williams-Sonoma or Amazon for under $10.00. As always, use extreme caution around hot oil.

IMG_0659You don’t want to completely cook the fries at this stage. The fries will be done when they have begun to look puffy. When they reach this stage, scoop them out with the spider or a metal slotted spoon and place the blanched fries on a sheet pan lined with paper towels. Cover with the blanched potatoes with more paper towels and put them aside.

IMG_0670Once your fries are blanched, prep the cod by cutting the fillets into small strips.

IMG_0672Dip the fish into the batter. Use a spider or a slotted spoon to put the battered fish into the oil. Fry until golden brown.

IMG_0675Once the fish is ready, return the potatoes to the oil in batches to crisp them. As you remove the fries after their second fry, season them with salt (and other spices, if desired). Once your fries are ready, everything is ready to serve.

Coming Soon: A Jammie Dodgerâ„¢-Inspired Tart for Dessert!


Marinated Grilled Shrimp

dinner, seafood, shrimp By July 7, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Shrimp Salad

Grilled shrimp is a versatile protein that most home cooks have their own spin on. Grilled shrimp can be added to quesadillas, salads, stir-fries, pasta, or enjoyed by themselves (preferably with some cocktail sauce loaded with horseradish). Today, I am sharing my take on this classic.

To make these grilled shrimp you will need:

IMG_04232 lbs shell-on, deveined shrimp

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

3 lemons

1 tbsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp sriracha

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

To make the marinade, add the extra virgin olive oil to a gallon Ziploc bag. Zest the 3 lemons and add to the marinade.


Add the salt.


Add Worcestershire sauce.


Add the sriracha.


Add the black pepper


Add shrimp and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then, load shrimp onto metal skewers or into a grilling basket, like the one pictured below. Squeeze the juice from the three lemons onto the shrimp.Grill until opaque.


Peel and enjoy!