Yesterday was my birthday.
40 something years young.
I had the night off from cooking.
Our friends Sally & Scott hosted a birthday dinner for me, so today will be a guest chef post!
We started with champagne and hors d'oevres. Lots of beautiful cheeses and great crostini w/ caramelized onions, blue cheese & candied walnuts.
Homemade baba ghanoush with warm pita bread.
The main dish was a fantastic cod & shrimp stew over vinegar mashed potatoes. A Rachel Ray recipe. This would be another terrific Christmas Eve dish for the Feast of Seven Fishes. Can't wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow!
Rachel Ray's Cod & Shrimp "Stoup" (bad name) w/ Vinegar Mashed Potatoes:
4 large baking potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
3-4 ribs celery from the heart, with leafy greens, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
One can diced or stewed tomatoes (14.5-ounces)
1 1/2 pounds thick cod fillets, cut into chunks
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons butter
In a deep pot, add the potatoes and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, salt the water and cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
In a Dutch oven or a large, deep skillet with a lid, heat the olive oil, 3 turns of the pan, over medium high heat. Add the onions, celery, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and lemon peel; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are softened, 7-8 minutes.
Pour in the wine and cook for 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup chicken broth and the tomatoes with their juice; bring to a simmer. Add the cod in a single layer, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Gently stir in the shrimp; season with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook until the cod and shrimp are just opaque throughout, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice; discard the bay leaf.
Mash the potatoes with the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, the vinegar and butter; season with salt.
To serve, mound the potatoes into shallow bowls. Ladle the stoup around the potatoes.
For dessert we had a fantastic layered carrot cake with butter cream frosting and the best card trick!