Thursday, 23 August 2007

The black forest...

Posted by Bonita

aug23_01

I've really increased my intake of fish this year, considering I've started to eat considerably less meat (especially red meat) and pork and try to stick with leaner meats like chicken and even meat substitutes like tofu. I also love to go grocery shopping, and nothing's more exciting than when fresh ingredients inspire your dinner plans. The other day, I picked up some nice whole rainbow trouts. It's been a long time since we've had rainbow trout in my home. My mom used to make it all the time, but stopped after my dad complained about the numerous bones he has to pick out of his fish. However, having a craving for rainbow trout, I picked some up, hoping that my dad gained some patience over the years to pick out those bones!

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I think simple is the best way to go with fish, so as not to cover up the often delicate flavour and texture of the fish. I stuffed the inside of the trouts with fresh parsley and dill and sliced citrus fruits, seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper and threw it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the size of your fish). The trouts were cooked perfectly...just cooked through so that it falls off the bones but still melts in your mouth. I roasted some lovely beets and sauteed the beet greens to go with the fish. I never knew you could eat the greens as well until this year, and they are really delicious! Simply blanched them for a few minutes, and then sauteed them with a little garlic, ginger and some lemon juice. Unfortunately I went a little heavy on the lemon juice this time around, but I personally found them delicious this way!

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As for dessert, I made a Black Forest Gâteau today. We picked up two large 10 kilo buckets of pitted cherries a couple of weeks back and put them in the freezer. I've been meaning to make this cake for a couple of weeks now, ever since we bought the cherries, but another recipe always came up instead. Finally, after weeks of waiting, I got around to making this cake! I used the recipe from my Le Cordon Bleu Cake book. Instructions were simple enough to follow, although it does require a bit of work to put the cake together. The most painstaking part is decorating the cake, especially with my lack of talent for icing and decorating cakes. Let's just say that by the end, there was whipped cream and chocolate shavings all over the counter, the floor, and even in my hair (yes...don't ask how it got there!). Sadly, like most of my cakes, it turned out looking ugly and very amateur-looking, but thankfully it did taste pretty good.

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I'm still frustrated though how my whipped cakes always turn out either on the dry side or too dense. This cake turned out a little dry for my taste, even though I soaked a lot of the Kirsch syrup into the cakes. I'll definitely need to take a course one of these days to learn a few trade secrets from the pros on how to obtain a fluffy and moist génoise cake. Despite the few glitches here and there, my mom really liked it! She's not a big sweets person, but she came back for seconds! It helps that Black Forest is her favourite cake...

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