- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.2lzcOnhH.dpuf Nothing but Delicious: July 2011

Fresh is Delicious: Fish in a Bag

Do you have a favorite summer meal in your family?

If I were classy and eloquent and French like Beatrice Peltre of La Tartine Gourmande (my hero) I would tell you that my favorite summer meal is called "poisson en papillote."

Being straightforward and American, I have to tell you: at my house we say "Fish-in-a-bag."

Regardless of what you call it, this dish is delicious.

The first time I had fish-in-a-bag was memorable. Most of my relatives were staying in a house by the sea near Cape Cod. We spent all day outside walking along the beach, throwing rocks and watching the waves crash into the sand. The weather was perfect and we were happy to be together.
When we got back to the house, my Mom gave everyone a job: cook the pasta, chop the onions, season the fish. My Ema (Grandmother) blessed the food and we sat down for dinner. The TV was off, cell phones were put away. We were a family.

Now my Mom makes fish-in-a-bag every summer and I love it!


The classic way to make fish-in-a-bag is in a parchment paper packet. That is also the hard way. The easy way is to use tin foil. You need a piece that is roughly the size of a small cookie sheet. Or, if you want to be chic like my Mom, you can also use a brown paper lunch bag lined with parchment paper. The great thing about this meal is that it's very versatile. As long as you have a starch, onions, tomatoes, an acid, salt and a piece of fish, you can make fish-in-a-bag. All of the other ingredients are added touches.

I like to use:
1 large bell pepper, julienned
1 small onion, julienned
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
the juice and zest of one lemon
salt to taste (I used about a teaspoon of kosher salt)
*1T capers and 3T chopped olives if your dining companion is into that sort of thing.
(this makes enough for 4-6, depending on how hungry you are!)

Preheat oven to 450. Let the vegetable mixture sit for at least an hour or until you see liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Place pre-cooked (al dente) pasta, rice, quinoa, polenta or grilled crusty bread onto flat tin foil. Spoon vegetable mixture over the starch until it is covered. Place a small filet of white fish (I used haddock) on top of the vegetables. Put a few more vegetables on top of the fish (making sure to use the rendered liquid) and fold the tin foil into a packet so that the food inside of it will steam. Bake for 15 minutes on a cookie sheet. Let packets rest outside of the oven for five minutes before opening. Serve immediately with feta cheese and pine nuts.

Beer is Delicious: Beersicles

This is a story about beer and happiness.

It's funny to think about the fact that a little over a year ago, Coy and I were overwhelmed by the number of unfamiliar beers on the menu at The Flying Saucer.  We were on our first date. I was nervous and I wanted the beer I ordered to make me look cool. The kind of beer a girl orders on a first date really says a lot about her, don't you think?

Budweiser, Coors, PBR, Miller, Keystone or even Corona definitely scream "SLUT!"

Cider of any kind, Smirnoff Ice and Blue Moon subtly imply that a girl is high maintenance.

Something heavy, yet familiar like a Guinness does suggest a certain level of coolness. However, it also suggests that the girl can fart the alphabet.

So you see the dilemma. I decided to order a Yazoo Pale Ale. To my relief, Coy did too. We were mutually impressed with one another.

It was all uphill from there. In the last year, we have spent many happy Friday nights together at the 12th South Taproom, sampling new and unique brews. We have gone to the East Nashville Beer Festival, toured the Yazoo Brewery and are planning to attend the Music City Brewer's Fest this weekend (YAY!). Last but certainly not least, Coy has started the Better Beer Project.

Last week, we celebrated one fantastic year together as well as Coy's 25th birthday. I thought about baking a cake but that didn't seem quite special enough. I found a recipe by the Homebrew Chef for "Beersicles" and I rewrote it around Yazoo Pale Ale, of course. I have to say, beersicles are pretty freaking delicious, especially during this horrible heat wave!

Yazoo Pale Ale Beersicles:
(serves four)

1 12oz bottle of Yazoo Pale Ale
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
simple syrup to taste (I used about 4T)

Pour into molds and freeze over night. Enjoy!

Being sick is not delicious

Dear friends,
I think I have laryngitis! My doctor's appointment is today, so "Brews-day" has been postponed until Thursday, July 28. Please check back then!

Fresh is Delicious: The Silly Goose

Have you ever had food in front of you that looked so good, so fresh, that you felt almost silly to wait any time at all before eating it?

I have.

The lovely Katie Hagedorn visited me once again last week and insisted that we go to The Silly Goose in East Nashville. Why in the world have I never been there before? Their food is, to me, the epitome of the word "delicious;" it's fresh, unique, light and flavorful.

I got a "Waterfall Salad:" Butter lettuce, avacado, mango, pineapple, almonds, figs, dried cherries and corriander passionfruit dressing. I couldn't get over how beautiful it looked. I was immediately torn between putting it in my mouth and taking a photo of it. So I snapped a quick shot of it on my cell phone and got straight to business.

Meanwhile, Katie got a "Roscoe" and had a "love affair" with the sweet, juicy tomato wedged between bacon, avacado, basil aioli, arugula and honey flax seed bread.

And Becky, Katie's cousin and my future date to the Chicago Chocolate Ball, got the "Saylor:" Grilled eggplant, roasted red pepper, avacado, basil, arugula and lemon-kalamata aioli on grilled ciabatta.
I can't wait for Katie to come back and for us to go to The Silly Goose together again. Can you believe we didn't get a dessert?

Cake is Delicious: (Goat) Cheesecake

Today I am writing a guest post for another site about old fashioned pies and cakes. I decided to start by making my Ema's cheesecake with goat cheese instead of cream cheese. Here are a few out-takes...

Beer is Delicious: @BeerProject

Well friends, it's been a while. But I am back with good news: every Tuesday from here on out is Brews-day!

Brews-day will feature beer in my recipes as well as beer pairings. Why not? I have a constant supply of craft beer from my boyfriend and the talented gentleman at The Better Beer Project.

This beer is called BlueberryHOPtart (be sure to hash tag it as such if you mention it on Twitter!). It is ever so slightly sweet, ever so slightly sour and has the fresh smell and taste of Summer. (via @BeerProject: "BlueberryHOPtart is a spicy, complex French farmhouse ale brewed with fresh blueberries and Belgian candi.") And do I really need to say it? My favorite part is the beautiful color.

Today I am drinking it with leftover summer salad made with local vegetables and cheese. Outside it is 97 degrees; I cannot tell you how happy I am to be in the air conditioning with a cold drink and a fresh lunch!

Summer Salad:
2 zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds and grilled with salt, pepper and olive oil
one pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh basil

Dress salad with olive oil, lemon pepper, goat cheese and balsamic syrup (recipe follows). Serve hot or cold. Serves two as a meal or four as a side dish.

Balsamic syrup:
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup honey

Reduce by half in an uncovered pot over medium (DO NOT BOIL). Let cool completely before using.

Happy eating and drinking to you all!