Hanoi Turmeric Fish with Dill

This recipe intrigued me at once when I saw it on Sandra’s Please Pass the Recipe. Firstly because I’ve never cooked Vietnamese before, and secondly because although fish and dill are a well-known combination (especially in Scandinavia), I had never heard of dill being used in Asian cuisine. This is how Sandra described it: “Cha ca la vong, originates from a single restaurant with a huge reputation in Hanoi. Essentially it’s white, firm fleshed fish marinated with turmeric, pan fried, tossed with fresh dill and served with peanuts and nuoc cham, the Vietnamese sauce that makes everything taste good.” I had picked up some fresh turbot fillets and thought it would be nice to prepare them this way. I’m glad that I did, because it was easy to prepare and delicious! Continue reading “Hanoi Turmeric Fish with Dill”

Improved Fennel Polpette

A few weeks ago I prepared fennel ‘meatballs’ for the first time, based upon my memory of having them at the great trattoria Tischi Toschi in Messina, Sicily. I was aware that Luca Casablanca, chef and owner of Tischi Toschi, follows my blog, but I had not imagined that he would react to my post. He did, and he left me some constructive feedback. I loved this, as what better way is there to improve upon my cooking then to get feedback from a master? He wrote: “E’ preferibile non passarle nella farina, l’uva passa deve essere quella nera ” Corinto Nero ” nel soffritto mettere cipolla e non aglio, non pomodoro fresco a pezzi bensì salsa di pomodoro, e mi raccomando di metter almeno la metà di parmigiano . Complimenti e grazie del ricordo.”, which means: “It’s better not to put flour on them, the raisins need to be those black ones “Corinto Nero”, use onions instead of garlic for the sauce, not pieces of fresh tomatoes but a tomato sauce, and I recommend to use only half the parmigiano. Well done and thanks for remembering.”

I decided straight away to honor his reaction by making the polpette di finocchietto again, using his suggestions. As you may remember I was not completely happy with the texture of my first attempt, as they were too wet and didn’t keep their shape. I really needed to fix that as well, as without flour they would be even more prone to falling apart. I decided to wring out the fennel greens with a kitchen towel to remove more water from them, and that worked like a charm. Continue reading “Improved Fennel Polpette”

Fennel ‘Meatballs’ (Polpette di Finocchietto)

As an appetizer for my Sicilian dinner I prepared vegetarian meatballs made from fennel and dill, served with a tomato sauce. In Italy these polpette di finocchietto are made with wild fennel greens, which grow abundantly in Italy in spring. For lack of the wild fennel greens, I decided to use a mixture of fennel fronds (the green stuff on top of fennel bulbs) and dill. We loved the polpette di finocchietto during our wonderful dinner at Tischi Toschi, the best trattoria of Sicily in the port town of Messina. I did not ask for the recipe, so this is my own version. They came out great with a lot of flavor. If you’d like to cook vegetarian, this is also very suitable as a main course. Continue reading “Fennel ‘Meatballs’ (Polpette di Finocchietto)”

Roe Deer Carpaccio with Herb Salad

Warning: stop reading this post now if you are a big fan of Bambi. One of the tastiest and most prized types of game is venison from roe deer. A roe deer (Dutch: ree, French:  chevreuil, German: Reh, Italian: capriolo) is a small species of deer that is very picky about its food. It only eats the nicest leaves in the forest, and that’s why it tastes so damn good! The taste is so good in fact that my favorite way of eating roe deer is raw as carpaccio. Unlike other game like regular deer (venison), or wild boar, roe … Continue reading Roe Deer Carpaccio with Herb Salad