Friday, March 21, 2008

The Joy of Cooking

Well, it's been to long since I checked in here, and with good reason. A week ago Monday we had to take my Father to the hospital for complications due to his chemotherapy. I'm not sure if anything sucks your soul dry as sitting in a hospital room all day for 9 days. I am in serious need of getting my groove back on.

Two activities I love in life, photography and cooking. I haven't done either in almost two weeks. In a perfect world for me I would make images all day while they are aggressively marketed, distributed and licensed worldwide, then make dinner for my family. I love to cook, I really do, it makes me happy and yesterday I needed to be happy. Also, I just happened to get a call from my friend, the ever delightful and fabulous Renee Comet, an outstanding food photographer. I told her how I felt, haven't been working, ect, was going to cook dinner and she suggested I cook, photograph the results and put it on my blog. I instantly felt better, I now had purpose and motivation. Thanks Renee! (btw- Renee we had no budget for props, food stylist or assistants on this shoot, it's just the plate of food by the kitchen window)

I decided to try Roasted Mahi-Mahi w/Fennel, Olives, and Oranges. Wanting some fennel is what inspired choosing this dish (and Mahi-Mahi was on sale at Safeway). If you've never cooked with fresh fennel (the bulb, not the seed) it's wonderful. Also read of it's medicinal properties here. Now I never follow a recipe exactly, what fun would that be, so I did a few thing differently than the recipe above. One thing I decided was to not bake the fish, I prefer mine with a little pan roasted searing action and brought into play my beloved Sauteuse my Mom gave me for Christmas. I decided to add a little wine while roasting the fennel to ratchet up the sweetness but more importantly to give me an excuse to run out to the liquor store (Honey, I need one of those really big bottles of wine for this recipe). I chose a playful Mouton Cadet Bordeaux, an amusing little wine, a tad bold yet refreshingly unpretentious. 1 cup into the pan while roasting, remaining liter straight down your gullet. Even though this dish has a Mediterranean flair I thought I'd try including popovers. If you like popovers, and who doesn't, here's a pretty simple recipe for Easy Ethereal Popovers . I grated some fresh Parmesan to sprinkle on top before baking but that's just how we roll up in here.

Cooking for me is great therapy. Like photography I am creating something I enjoy, another form of creative self expression. These are important things to have in anyone's life. When you don't have them, or are missing them, you realize how important they are. Without them I would dry up into an empty lifeless husk and blow away.


David Santos said...

Hey, you did blog about cooking dinner. I thought you were joking last night. Did the dishes get slammed in to the sink?

Randy Santos said...

Dave- in my post hit the link that refers to the medicinal properties of fennel (for women). I would suggest every married man have several fennel bulbs on hand at all times. I'm thinking of crafting a necklace of fennel.

Chris said...

Hey Randy, thanks for trying one of our recipes. Your take on pan roasting instead of baking is interesting. Great photo too!


Randy Santos said...

Thanks for the great recipe Chris! I like your site and recipes. I'm thinking of making next week the Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Herbed Cornmeal Rub, or maybe the Friday Night Slow Cooked Brisket and Onions. Keep adding those Great Recipes!

Al Romas said...

Reading this made me want to cook tonight. Actually, I just want to go to the liquor store. I had a 2001 St. Francis Cab last night and my palate is requesting it again. Must listen to my palate.

Oswegan said...

It looks great. It also sounds like a really bright combination with the oranges and the olives and fennel. I'm trying to imagine it.