Thursday, April 16, 2015

Gnocchi and Seafood

Last week I bought a big bag of frozen assorted seafood at Costco, and there was still a fair amount left in the freezer yesterday, so I came up with this dish, inspired by some recipes I'd read lately:

Slice (not chop) a medium onion and two or three bell peppers- I used a red and an orange- and a couple of sliced garlic cloves, and slowly saute everything over low heat in a decent amount of olive oil- say, about 1/4 cup. You want to cook them until everything is meltingly soft, which will take at least 20 minutes.

Add a pinch of saffron, maybe 1/4 teaspoon paprika- the Spanish smoked paprika, if you have it- and a few red pepper flakes.

Add an equal volume of your choice of seafood, fresh or frozen. The mix I bought had medium shrimp, bay scallops, squid rings, and mussels. Canned clams would be a good addition, too.

Cover and continue to simmer over low to medium heat until everything is cooked. You don't want it top boil, but you do want to see a few bubbles. Taste the liquid, and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Add some fine minced parsley and toss.

Serve over your choice of pasta. I used gnocchi, but any pasta that's good at holding a thin sauce would work, like angel hair, or radditore 

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Ma Po Tofu at Chao Zhou

One of my favorite dishes at my favorite little noodle shop. Ma Po Tofu is ground pork and tofu in a spicy bean sauce with a fair amount of Szcheuan peppercorns for seasoning. One of these days I may yet find a recipe that tastes as good as what they make here.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Boukie's, Royal Oak, Michigan

Boukie's sadly closed suddenly in 2012, but reopened last October at the corner of Main and 11 mile. The food is just as good as it was in their old location, according to all reports, so we finally paid a visit to try some of their dishes, including the cauliflower with tahini:


and Hoummas with raw vegetables. It was all beautifully presented and absolutely delicious. Certainly the best Lebanese food anywhere near Royal Oak, and right up there with the best of Pita Cafe.

Mi Compadre, Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor has another new Mexican Restaurant- Mi Compadre- located in a strip mall at 2111 Packard. It's a very unprepossessing place, with minimal decor- just a kitchen not quite hidden behind a drinks cooler and a few booths. The menu is very untypical, with what the owners describe as authentic Oaxacan dishes like Tortas (sandwiches) and Tlayudas.

While snacking on heart shaped tortilla chips (it was Valentine's day) with two tasty salsas we ordered a chicken Fajitas:

And a beef Tlayudas:

The vegetables were all fresh (although the tomatoes were about what you can expect in February), as were the tortillas, which are sourced from the Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory. The beans were very good, the rice was exceptional ,and the beef and chicken were, well, dry, tough and tasteless. Between the two, I'd go with the fajitas, and I'd recommend you get the vegetarian version.

We'd still like to go back and try some other dishes on the expanding menu, and when we do I'll write about it here, of course.