Wednesday, September 17

Grilled Sicilian Swordfish

A light and fresh meal of grilled swordfish topped with a lemon-herb citronette and arugula

Grilled Sicilian Swordfish

This is the perfect quick meal to make when you feel like eating something light and clean. The recipe, which is adapted from the Barefoot Contessa, features an unusually thin swordfish fillet that takes less than five minutes to cook. A lemon-thyme-olive oil sauce is spooned over the cooked fish while it rests,   and it's pricked with a fork to allow the sauce's flavor to really penetrate the meat. The finished dish is topped with a handful of arugula for more freshness. It's a healthy meal that's still full of flavor, and it's ideal for hot late summer nights when you still want to eat outdoors.

More Swordfish Recipes:
- Swordfish & Zucchini Skewers
- Grilled Swordfish with Eggplant-Pepper Salad

Grilled Sicilian Swordfish:
  • Heat a grill to high heat.
  • Lightly brush two 1/2" thick swordfish fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice, the leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme, a large pinch of red chile flakes, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper.
  • Grill the fish for 2 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.
  • Prick the fish all over with a fork and immediately pour the sauce over the fish and cover the dish with foil. 
  • Let the fish rest for 5 minutes, then uncover and transfer to plates. Top each plate with a handful of arugula and serve immediately.

Serves two

Tuesday, September 16

Corn, Cherry Tomato, & Spinach Quiche

Make use of late summer produce with this delightful quiche with savory parmesan crust

Huckleberry Corn, Cherry Tomato, & Spinach Quiche

It's been really hot in LA. We live in Santa Monica, which is almost always fair due to the ocean breeze, but this weekend was unbearable. And, foolishly, this was the time that I decided to make a pretty involved vegetable quiche with homemade savory pie crust, leaving my oven on high heat while it baked for over an hour. The kitchen was stifling and the pastry kept getting too warm and needed to be popped back in the fridge to cool down so that the butter wouldn't melt, but as soon as it was done and we dug into a big wedge of this corn, tomato, and spinach quiche with a scoop of green salad on the side, nothing mattered. The quiche, adapted from Huckleberry, is the best I've ever had. The dough is buttery and flaky, the filling is rich and smooth, and the vegetables are sweet and abundant. It definitely took some effort, so I'd suggest making the crust in advance (or if you must, use store-bought pie dough) to break up the steps. Once summer produce clears out from the farmers market, you can sub in whatever other vegetables you like that are in season.

Note: Have leftover scraps of pie dough? Make them into parmesan black pepper crackers.

Related Recipes:
- Green Vegetable & Cheese Quiche
- Swiss Chard, Potato, & Aged Cheddar Frittata
- Kale, Onion, & Potato Pot Pies

Corn, Cherry Tomato, & Spinach Quiche:
For Crust
  • In a food processor, combine 3/4 c. all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp. whole wheat flour, 2 1/2 tbsp. rye flour, 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp. grated gruyere cheese, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper.
  • Pulse a couple times, then add in 4 oz. cubed, cold, unsalted European butter and pulse 3-5 times to break up the butter into large pea-sized pieces.
  • Add in 2 tbsp. very cold water and pulse another 4-5 times.
  • Dump the dough onto an unfloured surface and press together to form a ball.
  • Flatten the ball into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Roll the dough out onto a floured surface into a large, thin square, and press into a tart shell.
  • Trim excess dough off the sides and press up on the edges so that the dough pushes past the sides of the tart pan.
  • Freeze the tart shell for at least and hour, or cover and refrigerate for up to a month.
  • Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill with dried bean or pie weights.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges turn golden, then carefully remove the weights and parchment and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
For Quiche
  • Heat the oven to 450F.
  • Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a medium skillet over hight heat.
  • Add in the kernels from 2 ears of corn, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, and a pinch of salt.
  • Cook for 2 minutes, then scrape the corn onto a plate and return the pan to the stove.
  • Add in another 2 tbsp. olive oil, 2 sprigs of thyme, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, a pinch of red chile flakes, and a pinch of salt.
  • Cook the tomatoes for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour the corn into the bottom of the baked tart shell, then add in the tomatoes and a handful of baby spinach.
  • In a bowl, whisk together 3 eggs, 3/4 c. creme fraiche, 1/2 c. heavy cream, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Pour the custard over the vegetables, making sure it doesn't overflow.
  • Top with 2-3 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the custard is set and golden.
  • Let cool slightly, then cut into wedges and serve.

Serves six-eight

Monday, September 15

Parmesan Black Pepper Crackers

These homemade buttery cheese crackers are the perfect compliment to a cold cocktail

Parmesan Black Pepper Crackers

I got the new Huckleberry cookbook over the weekend, which features recipes served at one of our favorite local restaurants, Huckleberry. I've already tried to recreate some of their dishes on this blog before (like this and this), but I'm thrilled that I can recreate the real deal now. I already tried my hand on an amazing summer quiche and used leftover crust to make these parmesan black pepper crackers. They're buttery and a little crumbly, like a savory shortbread cookie. Because they already have so much rich cheesy flavor, I'd recommend serving them as-is, without any toppings or dips.

Note: Feel free to adjust this recipe to include different cheeses, herbs, chile flakes, etc. The logs of dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen for up to a month, so you can slice and bake these crackers anytime you have guests stop by.

More Appetizer Recipes:
- Great Grandmother's Cheeseball
- Crab Dip
- Parmesan-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Parmesan Black Pepper Crackers
  • In a food processor, combine 3/4 c. all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp. whole wheat flour, 2 1/2 tbsp. rye flour, 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp. grated gruyere cheese, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper.
  • Pulse a couple times, then add in 4 oz. cubed, cold, unsalted European butter and pulse 3-5 times to break up the butter into large pea-sized pieces.
  • Add in 2 tbsp. very cold water and pulse another 4-5 times.
  • Dump the dough onto an unfloured surface and press together to form a ball.
  • Flatten the ball into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Roll the dough into a 2" wide log and flatten on all four sides to form a squared-off log.
  • Cut the log into 1/4" slices and arrange the crackers into a single layer on a lined baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg with a splash of water.
  • Lightly brush the egg wash onto the crackers, then immediately sprinkle them with flaked sea salt, ground black pepper, and finely grated parmesan cheese.
  • Bake the crackers for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Let cool, then transfer onto a plate and serve.

Serves ten-twelve