Saturday, June 2, 2012

halibut, pot roast style and cottage living?

many of my favorite magazines have gone out of business...a sign of the times i suppose.  i was heartbroken when gourmet ceased publication and sad when metropolitan home shuttered.  the closing of a small cottage industry magazine, appropriately titled cottage living really hit hard.  this beautiful magazine emphasized everything i love about "living a green life of style" (our motto).  the focus was on smaller homes (cottages), not massive houses.  the details of wonderful craftsmanship, organic cooking and eco-friendly sustainable gardens were always the main stories in each edition.

regular customers know that we reuse magazine pages in our products at napa farmhouse 1885(tm).  many of our items come packaged in mason jars and the "toppers" are repurposed magazine pages.  when you make a purchase on our website each jar, or tin, or box is wrapped in pages....almost like a present...and the packing material is usually crumbled up magazines.  (we use biodegradable peanuts when necessary for extra protection).  since i have collected magazines for years..and am now going through a "clearing out of stuff" phase, this green way to manage our shipping materials is a win win for all. 

today i was thinking about all that i have learned from techniques and recipe ideas throughout the years from bon appetit, food and wine and the aforementioned gourmet; the home and garden design inspiration from martha stewart magazine and countless other publications. fashion...where would we be without all the fashion mags?  throw in business journals, music, art...countless lessons from so many wonderful issues. 

today's recipe is an example.  i found the original recipe for pot roast halibut in cottage living maybe 10 years ago. i have made it so often..and tweaked the recipe so much...that i cannot post the original. i just do not remember. here is my version....and isn't that the best compliment to magazines?  they provide the tools and idea inspiration to make it your own.  that level of confidence is truly priceless.   thank you! 

this dish is delicious year round...and you can change up the vegetables to stay seasonal...turnips and beets are delicious in winter, try with summer squash and tomatoes in summer... (you do not need to precook the squash and tomatoes...just add them to the pan with the fish).  i love to serve for dinner parties...easy and can easily be doubled.

pot roast halibut
3 large carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
6 fingerling potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 sweet white onion, peeled and sliced
4 oz brown mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 1/2 lbs halibut fillets (about 1 inch thick)
large pinch herbs de provence
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
more e.v.o.o. for drizzling

preheat oven to 325 degrees. fill a medium sized saucepan with water 3/4 full.  add large pinch of sea salt and bring to a hard boil. add the carrots and potatoes and cook 10-15 minutes, just until they start to soften (do not overcook).  drain.

add olive oil to a large, oven proof skillet (you will need a lid later for this pan) and heat until oil is hot.  add onions and mushrooms and cook until vegetables are softened (4-5 minutes). do not let the onion brown. add the garlic and cook an additional minute stirring constantly.

remove from heat.  add carrots and onions to skillet.  season vegetables with a pinch each of salt and pepper and stir to combine.  push the vegetables to the sides of the pan and add the fish to the center. season the fish with a small pinch of salt and pepper.  pour the wine over the fish and sprinkle the entire dish with the herbs de provence . 

cover the pan with the lid and bake for 25 minutes.  remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil (the best quality you have) and serve immediately.

what are your favorite magazines?  why?  do you still receive hard copies...or do you use the ipad versions? curious minds want to know  :)


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