This was our ninth anniversary dinner from the 5th. I just didn't feel like getting all dressed up to go out, so opted for a nice dinner at home. The Monster brought home a gorgeous bouquet a flowers and the same card that I'd bought him! Too cute. I gave him a horrendous pile of dishes to do...not cute.
This was the meal that produced said pile...
We started the meal with some nice big artichokes. Something The Monster said he'd never eaten before meeting his California gal. I cooked them submerged in boiling water with slices of lemon until the outer leaves pulled out easily. Here's a link that could help you non-artichoke eaters out a bit. She steams hers though.
The dipping sauce is a mix of mayo, Greek yogurt and balsamic vinegar. Yum!
Tilapia with Prosciutto and Sage with Toasted Walnut Sage Cream Sauce:
(Adapted from Gourmet, December 2004)
Prosciutto and sage add deep flavor to tilapia, which is a mild fish. Separating the two sides of the fillet helps to keep the thinner part from overcooking.
Makes 4 servings.
4 pieces skinless tilapia fillet (2 lb total)
8 thin slices prosciutto (not paper-thin; 6 oz total (I used an artisanal prosciutto di Parma and I used all 8 slices between 2 filets of fish split into 4 pieces.)
12 fresh sage leaves, stems discarded
4 teaspoons olive oil
Cut fillets lengthwise to separate smaller and larger portions, then pat dry and season with pepper. Wrap each piece of fillet crosswise in a slice of prosciutto, leaving ends of fillet exposed if necessary and tucking 1 or 2 sage leaves between prosciutto and fillet (use 1 leaf for smaller pieces of fish).
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté the 4 larger pieces of fish 4 minutes. Turn over and sauté until just cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered with foil. Wipe skillet clean and heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil, then sauté the 4 smaller pieces of fish, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 4 minutes total.
Plate over Savory Polenta and finish with Toasted Walnut Sage Cream.
Toasted Walnut Sage Cream:
This is another take on my Pepita Sage Cream Sauce...
pat of butter
1 Tbs chopped fresh sage
about 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
couple good spoonfuls of 2% Greek yogurt
fine sea salt
unsweetened soymilk, or milk of your choice to thin the sauce
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the walnuts.
Toss in the sage and cook on medium until the walnuts are a little toasty.
Let them cool slightly then add them and yogurt to a blender and puree.
Add salt to taste and thin with soymilk, or milk of your choice.
Chill in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
Alton Brown's method cooks in the oven freeing up your time to focus on preparing the rest of the meal. I've made it this way 3 times now, and there's no going back to stove top for me!
The only thing I would suggest, is to hold back on the amount of salt he uses. Just add it in to your taste, since the cheese is already salty. You might want the whole amount, but just adding it slowly ensures you won't end up with a too-salty batch. The next day I made a salad of arugula greens with fried egg on top and crispy on the outside-gooey on the inside polenta fingers on the side. I dressed the salad with lemon, olive oil and some of the leftover cream sauce...so good! Just slice up the leftover polenta and saute it in a non-stick skillet with a little olive oil until golden brown on both sides. Serve warm.
We finished the meal with a simple palette cleansing salad of arugula, avocado, and chevre. Tossed only with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Perfect. Least the "Peazer" though so.