Friday, March 19, 2010

Trout with Vegetable Hash and Fresh Ricotta Cheese

Last night's dinner was outrageously good. Was it because it was warm and sunny? Was it because we had dinner on the porch along with a bottle of rosé? Perhaps, rabbit, perhaps. I still think it was one of the better meals we've had in a while, and I'm sure it also has to do with the taste of meals to come. That is, it was a spring time meal. We had trout that I stuffed with the foamy leavings from my tangelo lemongrass jelly. I saved the lemongrass and foam because it looked too good to throw out. Good idea, says I, because stuffed in this trout was an inspired move. (And I cleared a jar out of the fridge!) I was waiting for some nice duck for that jelly foam, but haven't seen any. Did you ever think to stuff your fish with jelly? No? Think again! I baked the whole fish, stuffed and drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, for about twenty minutes at 400 degrees.

This here is what I'm talking about. Early springtime hash. Carrots, beets, leeks and portobello mushrooms, diced, sauteed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and drizzled with shallot confiture syrup. Can I say boo-ya? I hate saying that, but I really think it deserves it.

And, oh, what's this? Some fresh ricotta that I made and crumbled on top of the hash? You should make some of this cheese. I can't believe it took me this long in life to figure this out. Easiest cheese ever. (Except for maybe yogurt cheese.) I used this recipe from 101 Cookbooks, although it's pretty much standard stuff. And don't forget to save your whey. Yah, whey! You can bake with it, drink it (if you want, maybe I don't want to), use it in a soup. It's going to rain this weekend, so bread and soup it is.

And who is this?

Meet my girls! I didn't think I would get so attached to them so quickly! They are Ameraucanas, and I couldn't be happier with them. They lay delicious blue and brown eggs.

More on them soon. I've only had them a week so we're still getting to know one another, but I've been bribing them with scraps from the house and they are buying it. This weekend is all about outdoors and celebrating spring. I couldn't be more thrilled.

Happy Vernal Equinox, everyone!


  1. good for you! i am so jealous - this weekend is about working all night in a dark club with a lotta blinky lights...soon tho, very soon.

    your girls are cute!



  3. Thats fantastic that you made the ricotta- I have ricotta envy! Your girls look wonderful. I can almost hear their contented chook gurgles.

  4. I make ricotta as well, but oftentimes it is just when my mozzarella fails me. :)

    Whey is good in muffins and also great in pancakes. Just in case you get the idea to make some this gorgeous weekend...

    So jealous of the girls!

  5. Tigress- Very soon! I've been jealous of blinky lights before. But I'm still sorry you've got to work...

    Mamou - So easy. I'll explain when you visit!

    City Hippy Farm Girl - The ricotta was so good and so easy. Really. Chook chook!

    Kaela- I know you make ricotta; why didn't I remember that and check your site for the recipe?? Ah so.. I have been using the whey in everything. And yes, just made Ricotta pancakes this a.m. with whey. So good!

    Do you have enough space for chickens?

  6. Lots of fun! I've made paneer, but have not yet tried ricotta. Thanks for the link. I'll give it a go.

  7. Denise - I've yet to make paneer. We'll have to swap!

  8. I am going to try to make this ricotta. It looks so good! As for the whey, how do you bake with it? Just sub. it for liquid?

  9. Liz - the ricotta is totally worth it. It yielded four cups and I've been eating it (happily!) for days. Ricotta pancakes, crumbled on veggies, in hummus, tossed with pasta. The uses are endless. The whey can stay in the fridge for a while (not sure, a few weeks?) and is subbed for milk in any recipe. Same amount. You get double use out of your milk!

  10. Thanks Jules! I just made the ricotta. It is draining right now. You totally inspire me. Thanks!

  11. Liz, that makes me feel all sparkly! Yer sweet! Enjoy!