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October 14, 2006

Comments

Carlene

Thank you for such a wonderful lesson and complete detail so that I can create on my own. What a wonderful experience and new adventure for myself as I try to replicate some type of bean here.

Stephanie Beack

Carlene, It looks like you can get cranberry beans right at your local Portland Farmer's Market, in season October through December. https://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org/Default.aspx?sm=product_avail

If you have a hard time finding cranberry beans, I'd try this with another small, firm bean like navy, white bean or cannellini beans. Go with dried (not canned) and soak them for several hours first before cooking them. Fresh fava beans would also work beautifully in spring, you'd need to blanch and then also remove the tough outter skin.

Carlene

ay I did it, prepared my first dish from scrumptious street. Even though I witnessed this dish in production, I still forgot a step or two (missed brushing the parchment with O.oil.) but the fish came out delicious. I used a dried navy bean, good. There was something slightly bitter in my finished bite that I think might have been a result of not marinating my vegetables long enough. What other types of base ingredients do you suggest for "steaming" the fish over?

Stephanie Beack

Congratulations! I am honored you tried it out at home and glad the fish was delicious. We'll talk through the bitterness to see if we can identify why that was the case. Could be not marinating long enough, could be not enough salt, or a couple other things.

As for the base ingredients to form the bed, think of that really as your side-dish so it's really flexible and the answer is "whatever you really like with the fish and is good and juicy, not dry." Some terrific choices are capers, olives, fennel, carrots, celery, red or yellow bell peppers, citrus, zucchini or other summer squash, asparagus, beans, peas, mushrooms... Think juicy something that cooks relatively quickly (under 15 minutes) and that is either smaller or you can cut/slice quite small and elegantly.

A couple of other rules to follow. Always include aromatics; herbs, onion family roots like shallots, onions, leeks, citrus zest. You should also include some type of flavorful cooking liquid such as an acid (vinegars, juices, citrus), light wines, pernod, vermouth, vegetable or fish stock are all good choices. Butter helps create a nice balanced flavor to the aromatics and acids you may be using. Many people also use aluminum foil instead of parchment. I don't ever use foil but if you choose to do so make sure NOT to use acid in your recipe as that will create an undesirable chemical reaction and produce a very metallic taste.

It's really up to your imagination, preferences and following some of these guidelines.

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