Little Black Apron

Do you remember  that post in which I wrote about cookbooks? I do. I never bought any of them, though. I haven’t even purchased a cook book until today.  Borders was having a huge sale, with boxes upon boxes of books for 3.99. Sounds like my kind of deal, I  thought. I picked up a few new reads, along with  The Little Black Apron.

At first I was basking in all its Little Black glory, because it is a cookbook aimed at single young nothings who don’t know how to boil eggs. Thank you, powers that be! You’ve been watching! I am a bit hesitant to admit that I don’t know how to do much if it doesn’t require a microwave, but this book was written because I’m obviously not the only one. Oh, sure, I watch The Food Network and watch all the wonderful things that are made, but I don’t even know where to begin making them on my own! The closest I get is my brave little toaster.

I got it home, and opened it. (Why didn’t I think of this before I bought it?!) There they were, those terrifying eighteen-word titles. If you’ve ever looked at a cook book, you know what I mean. I was seeing things like “carrot and tortise shell flambe with garlic potatoes and glazed, grilled tofu”. What about the basics? What about boiling eggs? Where is that cookbook? Even after reading the first two chapters, I felt bad. No, I don’t know how to broil, and I vaguely remember my Home Ec teacher mentioning that there are two different measuring systems for wet and dry ingredients but… that can’t be important, can it? Around page 14 the book compared cooking to sex, and I liked the book a little more.

Before I continue, I feel that I should mention that fear has not stopped me from playing in the kitchen! I make fantastic (edible!) banana bread… then I lost the recipie.  There was the failed cupcakes in 8th grade, the failed Nestle Tollhouse cookies my Sophmore year, my delicious caramelized banana’s  something or other (great over ice cream), my failed break-and-bake cookies (3 attemps), and the Great Failcake of 09. So I’m no good at baking. Or keeping track of recipies. Please don’t think less of me for it.

After perusing the pages for an hour or so, I have realized that these recipes are practical! I can do this! All it takes is a timer, a little virgin olive oil, and no fear. I can’t wait to use this book. I am so inspired by this I’m going to try a little something tonight. To whet your appetites, dear reader, here is a simple little recipe pulled right off of the website.

Try serving it with roasted asparagus (toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for 12 minutes) and whole wheat cous cous.

Seared Sea Bass with Creamy Lemon-Herb Sauce
serves 4

1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1/4 cup low-fat mayo
1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
juice of 1/4 lemon
1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons basil, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chives, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons tarragon, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
extra light extra virgin olive oil
4 sea bass filets, about 4-6 ounces each

1. To make the dressing: combine sour cream, mayo, shallot, lemon juice, parsley, basil chives, tarragon, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend until herbs are very finely chopped. It will be thick at this point so add about a tablespoon or so of water and blend. It should be thin enough to drizzle but not too watery.

2. Remove the fish from the fridge about 20 minutes before cooking it.

3. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat and add oil. While the pan heats up, season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. When the oil begins to smoke add the fish to the pan. Let it sear about 4 minutes, then flip and continue cooking another 4-5 minutes. The fish should be flakey but not dried out.

4. Serve fish with a dollop of sauce on top.

Published in: on May 4, 2009 at 6:10 am  Leave a Comment  

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