Humble pie

Recently I was reminded of a very important lesson by my husband. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.  I don’t know why but I sometimes turn up my nose at my husbands IDEAS for meals.  Well, maybe I do know why.  Some of you ladies out there are probably scoffing right about now, seeing I have found a man that likes to cook, but hear me out.  Sometimes when I am listening to his food and ingredient combos, my sub-conscience goes back in time. Back to his first attempt with Thai, back to the kitchen sink soup I walked into when we were first married.  I have always loved trying new things and Eric is game for eating and making new things himself.  One day many years ago he decided to make Thai curry for us.  The recipe called for kaffir lime leaves but since we did not have any available, he substituted lime peel.  What is the problem?  At that time being unfamiliar with cooking with zest he used the whole lime peel, pith and all.  The result was a bitter, nasty tasting curry.  We ended up eating this while watching a movie at home with the lights out.  Not wanting to be offensive and being appreciative of the effort he had made I kept eating it.  I was not really paying attention to him and what he was doing with his food and being that it was dark I could not see it anyway.  After I had eaten all that he had served me, he suddenly exclaimed, “This is crap! It is disgusting, I can’t eat this.”  I felt bewildered as I wish he had said that much earlier!  We had a good laugh about this that night and still remember and laugh about it now. Another day I came home to a horrendous smell coming from the kitchen. “What are you making?” I asked. He shouted happily, “Soup!”  I had to go check it out, we were low on groceries and I knew we did not have all the stuff to make any kind of soup.  He had taken just about every canned good we possessed along with some really watery chicken broth and had made one, lets just say, interesting smelling soup.
That being said he has come a long way.  We both have.  He likes to relate the story of how I only liked Sutter Home white zinfandel.  But there are just some occasions when I am a little unsure of what he has cooking up for dinner.  This occurred the other night after another long 12 hours at work, and is the incident that I had to eat some humble pie.  We had flounder in the freezer and also some cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar we had purchased on our most recent adventure.  His idea was to pan fry the flounder and make a reduction sauce with the vinegar and a fruit chutney to serve atop.  To me that just sounded like dessert on top of fish and was at first unappealing.  He was undiscouraged and continued making the dish.  This is what he said about me after he wrote down the recipe for his creation, “Jordan disliked the idea of cinnamon pear sauce, saying she thinks fish should be savory.  After eating she quickly changed her mind.”
An accurate statement for sure, it was love at first bite.  The fresh fruit was slightly warmed, which offered a tangy bite to the crisp fish.  The cinnamon pear balsamic reduction had a sweetness but it was also savory. Complex acidic flavors paired well with the pan fried fish.  He served it with chimichurri rice, sauteed vegetables and deep fried avocados (he found the recipe for these on allrecipes.com) It was made the day after July 4 so this is his Fifth of July flounder.

Fifth of July Flounder
 
Recipe by:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Two medium sized flounder fillets
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 8 oz mushrooms
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes
  • flour for dredging
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • canola oil for frying
  • 1 nectarine
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (cinnamon pear flavored is what he used)
Directions
  1. Add oil to skillet and saute 3 cloves garlic until light carmel color. Remove.
  2. Add mushroom and cook until browned, remove. Add cherry tomatoes and saute for a few minutes. Return garlic and mushrooms to pan until heated through
  3. Dredge flounder fillets in mixture of flour, salt, pepper and smoked paprika and pan fry in oil over medium high heat.
  4. Dice up nectarine into quarter inch cubes, saute in 1 TBSP butter, until soft. Add about ¼ cup of cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar deglazing pan. Remove the nectarines and allow the vinegar to reduce in to a savory syrup.
  5. Serve with a spoonful of fruit over top and a drizzle of sauce. Serve with sauteed vegetables, and rice. (We used Trader Joe's chimichurri rice)

 

P.S. Eric and I are going to be going to Cleveland in the near future and are stoked about our reservations at The Greenhouse Tavern.  I have been reading a lot about it recently, first on a fantastic blog I stumbled upon called Fritos and Foie Gras.  Leave it to a New Yorker to be in the know about a top rated restaurant in Ohio. The author of this blog says it is one of the best meals in America.  I am very excited to find this out for myself, and am hoping for some additional inspiration in the kitchen!
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