There is nothing like waiting for a hurricane. I hope you don’t ever have to! Listening to the weather reports can be so off-putting. It’s coming this way, no it’s not, now it’s going this way. So we continue to wait and it is raining from some other system in the atmosphere. My husband and I are not complacent, just listening and waiting, like everyone else around us.
Last night we invited friends over to share the waiting and pass the time together – the hurricane wait dinner. I chose to make a fish en papillote (though I used tin foil instead of parchment paper) using a Pacific rockfish, thanks to Aldi. By the way, the new Trader Joe’s down the street put up their new hurricane barricades (like several other local businesses and the theater where I usher) and closed til the all-clear is sounded next week. Better to be prudent and prepared in this season than sorry.
The fish was pretty simple. Preheat the oven to 350F. I put one filet in each packet, topped with several slices of zucchini, yellow squash, and lemon and drizzled with a very little lemon olive oil with aromatic fennel fronds tucked on either side. Close up tightly, put on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 20 minutes. And, voila, a nice main course. Our friends contributed a tasty chicken and pineapple dish.
Accompanying dishes were a kale salad (from COSTCO) and pan fried little potatoes. I sliced them in half, boiled til soft, then threw then into a pan with a little olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. In the potato water, I blanched some lovely string beans and hard boiled an egg to top the beans along with an aioli.
But something went wrong and my aioli. This morning, I pulled out my stick blender and transformed it into mayonnaise:
20 second mayo (care of Food & Wine, I think) – add 1.5 tsp. white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 egg, and 2 cups of oil in a tall, slender container. Lower the immersion blender into the container to the bottom. Puree for 3 minutes, then slowly pull the blender to the top until totally emulsified – quick and tasty mayo.
I realized I had no dessert and remembered having seen recipes for olive oil cake. I used Martha Stewart’s recipe – it has no dairy (remember, my husband shies away from most dairy, and I don’t keep milk in the house). The batter was kind of thick, but nonetheless, into the oven it went. Not bad for a first try. I topped the cake with pan-toasted and chopped pistachios nuts and served it with beautiful, seasonal berries and some crème fraiche from a previous dinner – https://www.marthastewart.com/1530508/lemon-olive-oil-cake. Give it a try.
No better way to wait out the coming storm than with friends and good food. The latest word from our fearless mayor is to expect rains and winds the force of a tropic storm, maybe starting tonight. Maybe I’ll keep my hands busy with a craft or two tomorrow.