Monday, November 20, 2006

Ah, yes! Concerning me!

Where to begin... let me see... It has been pretty busy here at the clan house. Summer is coming along and I've got a sh*tload more to do in the garden. The house doesn't take care of itself, and with The Most Wonderful Woman In The Entire World sick and down for the count I've been busy taking care of mum-in-law too (frail 80 year old).

My posting has been, shall we say, not as prolific as I'd hoped... That doesn't mean I've run out of stories or recipes, it's just means there's been more pressing business to attend to.

Damn, how the hell did I ever find time to work?

I know that folks in the US are busy with Thanksgiving day preparations, so there may not be much blogging going on nor many readers (hey, like *I* have any???) but I'll put something up anyways... It, of course, has something to do with me in Alaska while I was growing up (still haven't grown up yet, if anyone's asking). I'll get to the Aussie stuff later...

A Day In The Life

This was back in 1990...

Wake up at 600 am... shower, shave, etc.

Shovel down as much brekkie cereal as I can, get ready to leave at 7 am

7 am: Strap 30 pound fencing bag to backpack, put on winter bicycling gear (-25 F on a warm day), head out of door on mountain bike at 715 am with 35 pounds on back and ride a few miles in the cold and snow to the U.

8 am: On the racquetball court playing for 1 1/2 hours at full throttle; diving for everything, slamming into walls, and hustling back to the middle after every shot.

9:30 am to 1:00 pm Teaching two fencing classes in the gym, foil and epee. Ummm, this is harder than it sounds...

1 pm Lunch (and lots of it --still at U).

2 pm to 430 pm: either snowboarding (if it was warm; above -15 F) or biking on any trail available (note, coldest winter biking: -58 F)

430 pm to 630 pm: Dinner. Ummm, eat everything in sight; still at U.

7 pm to 10 pm Fence at the fencing club for three hours with no breaks --foil, epee, or sabre; all comers, no worries.

10 till midnight: have a liquid supper at the pub --still at the U.

midnight: ride home through the snow and ice with the fencing bag strapped onto the backpack.

1 am: fall asleep till 6 am to get up and do it all again...

Ok, food/recipe time:

Seafood Bisque

A bisque is a creamy soup, just in case any of you were interested.

This'll serve 4 folks.

What you need:

500 gms (one lb) raw, unpeeled medium prawns (shrimp)
1 Basa fillet --250 gms (1/2 lb) of any raw white-fleshed fish will do
1 raw, cleaned, squid tube --8 to 10 inches
water (H2O)
1 tbsp dried mint
1 1/2 tbsp dried tarragon
1 pinch turmeric
some flour, sifted
200 gms sliced shrooms
2 handfuls raw broccoli flowerettes
olive oil

What you do:

Peel the prawns, and put the shells and "head" in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan filled with water (H2O). Set prawn meat aside. Boil the prawn-shell water for about 45 mins (it'll smell really really good). Set the pan aside to cool for a bit.

While the prawn-shell H2O is boiling, quick fry (a wok works best) the sliced shrooms and broccoli in a bit of olive oil with half the mint and half the tarragon till they are done to the consistency YOU like (some like em soft and squishy, some like em hard and crunchy). Oh, keep the veggies moving regularly. Set cooked veggies aside.

Slice the squid tube into rings, about 1/4 inch wide. Cut the basa into chunks about 1 cm square, and chop each shelled prawn in half. You can do this while frying the veggies.

Quick fry all the seafood in a wok with a bit of olive oil, the rest of the mint, and the rest of the tarragon. This should only take 2-3 minutes, make sure you stir regularly. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE SQUID OR PRAWNS!!!!!!

Take a potato(e) masher to the saucepan that has the boiled prawn-shell water. Mash down the "heads" of the prawns to extract even more flavour (flavor). Strain the prawn-shell water to get rid of the shells and return it to the saucepan.

Sprinkle in the turmeric and stir. Put saucepan back on the stove top and bring it back close to the boil. Sift in the flour while whisking until you have a creamy texture. Add the veggies and seafood. Heat for a few mins while stirring.

Serve in a bowl as soup, or over pasta as a sauce. You can sprinkle fresh grated parmesan over the top and toss on a few sprigs of herbs for garnish too.


Hey! Did you all notice: a seafood recipe from me that doesn't use garlic! Course, you can add minced garlic to the frying seafood with no worries...

Oh, almost forgot: this is a dave original recipe.


Geeky Dragon Girl said...

Mmmmm seafood bisque, yummy! I love creamy soups. Don't know about the squid though. Them things are like rubber bands.

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

If you don't overcook them (only a couple of mins in the wok) the rings are nice and tender. That's why you cut the fish into small pieces and the prawns in half, that way they are cooked in the same time as the squid.