Since last night’s dinner turned out so well, I decided to test my luck with another Bittman recipe and tried one of his fish preparations today. Like yesterday’s dinner, this meal was quick to prepare, tasty, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the nice things about Bittman’s cookbook is the relatively low fat content of many of his meals. I like to save my calories for dessert (leftover pecan pie from our Thanksgiving feast). And if you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts, try them roasted. Just once. I promise they’re nothing like the mushy, bitter Brussels sprouts of your childhood.
Baked Salmon with Leeks
adapted from Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes from the New York Times
1 1/2 lb (680 g) leeks
1/2 cup (120 ml) dry white wine or chicken or fish stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 lb (680 g) salmon or other fish fillet, about 1 inch thick
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Trim about 1/2 inch from the root ends of the leeks, then trim off all the tough green leaves. Cut the rest in half lengthwise and chop, then wash well in a colander, being sure to rinse between all the layers.
Scatter the washed leeks over the bottom of an ovenproof casserole. Mix with the wine or stock, salt, pepper, and mustard. Top with the fish, then sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper. Cover the casserole and put it in the oven.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until a thin-bladed knife meets little or no resistance when inserted into the thickest part of the fish. Uncover and serve the fish with the leeks and pan juice spooned over it.
Serves 4 as a side dish
1 x 13-oz (370‑g) package cheese tortellini (Barilla recommended)
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
Cook the tortellini until it’s al dente, according to package directions. Drain the tortellini (but do not rinse) and rinse out the pan. Add the olive oil and minced garlic to the pan and heat on medium, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden. Watch the pan carefully, as the garlic will go from golden to burnt in a matter of seconds. If the garlic burns, start over with new olive oil and garlic. Just as the garlic turns golden, turn off the heat. Return the tortellini to the pan and toss with the garlic and olive oil. Serve with the grated cheese.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten
1 1/2 lb (680 g) Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt, and serve immediately.