M's Cooking Diary

Musing about food, wine and cooking.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Friday night fish

My mother-in-law has come from Brazil to stay with us for 6 month to help with the new baby, her first grand-son. She loves my cooking so it was no big deal to accommodate her when she told me that as a Catholic she does not eat meat on Friday. Especially since although devout, she is not try to impose her faith on us.

I thought it was a good idea to eat fish on Friday; it forces me to some creativity. The fact is, she does not need to eat fish on Friday, just not meat but we don’t eat meat everyday here. Sometime, I’ll make a potato tortilla and we’ll eat some bread and cheese and we’ll eat pasta at least twice a week and most of my past dishes are meatless.

So yesterday I made filet of tilapia in papillotes. First time I made anything in “papillote” and it was easier that I thought to fold the parchment paper hermetically closed.

I sat the fish on a bed of sliced potatoes and carrot, used some chopped shallot and parsley and sprinkled some lemon infused olive oil. 20minutes at 400 or until you can smell it ready.

Ever noticed that at some point you can tell that something is cook by the smell emanating from you oven?

To go with the fish, I made rice and farofa.

I served it with basmati rice made in the brazillian-vietnamese manner. In fact the rice was cook by adding warm water to the rice until it reaches the first phalange of a finger set on top of the rice. Then boiled rapidly without the lid until craters are formed and then closing the lid and keeping the pan warm for at least 20 minutes.

This is the way it is done in Vietnam.

In Brazil, they always heat some garlic in oil before adding the rice. This I did.

To perfume the rice, I added some coriander seeds.

Farofa is toasted manioc meal with butter. It seems strange to eat what is in fact dry flour with butter but it is surprisingly tasty and interesting from the point of view of texture. IN fact most foreigners fall in love with the stuff when they go to Brazil.

I melted some butter and added half an onion chopped fine. I made sure not to color the butter and when the onion became translucent I added the manioc meal and some chopped sour pickles and

Because I know my mother-in-law loves farofa and it has been a while since she last eaten it, I made mine with some of our precious “farinha copioba”, the finest from Bahia. Made in small mills of the Recôncavo baiano (the region around the capital Salvador and the Bay of All Saints).

6 Comments:

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