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Friday, May 13, 2016

Asian Halibut with Bok Choy and Eggplant with Peanut Sauce

My 99 cents find is managing to leave all the other cookbooks in the dust!  The Frugal Foodie Cookbook was published in 1999 by a couple who had a blog of the same name.  At one point they moved from BlogSpot to WordPress.  Now, all I can find is the old BlogSpot blog.  So, I'm hoping it's because they found themselves with wonderful, busy careers and a couple of kids and they just don't have time to blog anymore.  We've made two more dishes from the cookbook and both were clearly a five.  And, we've got a couple dozen more that I've listed to try.  Actually, I'm blogging instead of doing my grocery list for the week.  I like to have my menus and grocery list done by Friday but that wasn't happening this week.  A very dear friend had a house fire.  She's in the burn ICU and her house is going to need a lot of help.  Her brother is down in Louisville so we'll be the point people for heading there every day and checking out the progress.  She's doing better and may actually have her breathing tube out by today so she can talk.  It's going to be a long and rocky road!

Well, let's get back to happier news.  Like good recipes.  The most recent recipe was for a dinner party.  I managed to snap a photo as I was cooking the halibut but not as I plated it.  The goal was to get dinner on the table while warm :-)  Along with the halibut I made our new favorite salad - Endive with Blackberries and Blue Cheese.  For dessert - super simple angel food cake with frozen berries, whipped cream and toasted almonds.  I whirred the berries with a bit of liqueur in the food processor and added a bit of the same liqueur to the whipped cream.  But, the star of the show was the halibut.  This was a restaurant quality recipe.  And, shockingly, I made it almost as written.  I know, that never happens.  LOL  I'd not had the recipe handy when I made the grocery list for Connie.  So, I had him get a head of bok choy.  I used four big leaves instead of the baby bok choys.  And, we were out of lime juice so I subbed in lemon juice.  The recipe said four servings would run $27.  Wrong.  The halibut alone was $56.82.  But, it was worth every bite.

Halibut with Warm Mushroom Salad


6 head baby bok choy, leaves separated and washed
1/2 c water
4 T soy sauce
4 T white wine
2 t fresh ginger, minced
2 lbs halibut, divided into four pieces

for the mushroom salad:

4 T olive oil
6 c mixed mushrooms, coarsely chopped
4 T white wine
1/2 c soy sauce
6 T rice wine vinegar
1 T fresh ginger, minced
2 T chives, chopped very finely
juice of one lime


In a large skillet - preferably one that has a lid - lay the bok choy.  Let it steam uncovered for a few minutes until it's softened just a bit.  While it's steaming, make the sauce with the soy sauce, white wine and ginger.  Then, lay a piece of fish on each leaf or piece of bok choy.  Pour the sauce over, cover and steam until the fish is flaky - about 6 minutes.  In another skillet, heat the olive oil then sauté the mushrooms.  Make the dressing and set it aside.  To plate the dish, put a fish filet with it's bok choy in the center of the plate.  Scatter some warm mushroom salad over then pour on some of the mushroom salad dressing.

The other recipe we made was for Japanese eggplant with a peanut butter sauce.  Connie got kind of a funny look on his face when he started eating it.  I said, "What's up?"  He said, "This is turd sauce."  I'm thinking ooops, he really doesn't like this stuff.  Then, he goes on to say, "You could put this on a turd and it'd taste good."  Ok then, we have turd sauce.  I'm still laughing at that one!!!

Japanese Eggplant with Peanut Soy Sauce


2 eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1 1/2" thick slices
2 T peanut butter (I used crunchy since that's what we have on hand)
1 1/2 T soy sauce
1 1/2 T sake (or dry white wine)
1/2 t sugar
1/4 t chipotle chili powder


The recipe called for steaming the eggplant slices in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, then rinsing under cold water to stop the cooking.  Then, it called for mixing the sauce in a small saucepan on medium heat for five minutes.  I first tried grilling the eggplant and when that didn't work, I sautéed it.  Next time I'll steam it! 

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