January 9 is a double celebration at our house: Dad’s birthday, and also the day we chose to get married! Yesterday ( first day home) was a bit of a challenge to celebrate as we three were pretty out of it after the long journey back to the tundra : 26 hours door to door! By the time we were on our flight out of LAX, we felt like Zombies! Still, we did bump into Tony Bennet at the airport, looking dapper in a charcoal suit. Made my day!
So what to cook for a special meal? I knew it would be something from my new favourite cookbook: Anna Gare’s ‘Home-made’ . Tasha knows me well: this book was such a thoughtful present from her at Christmas and as I flipped through the pages of beautiful recipes and photographs, it was so clear to see that this was a project born of great enthusiasm and LOVE of feeding the people around her. Just why I cook too! Mostly (haha!).
So what I made was ( a version of) Anna Gare’s Chilli Basil Smoked Trout Stir Fry, accompanied by Coconut Rice. We finished off with a chocolate fudge cake topped with silver candles from Wholefoods as I just ran out of time! You should find her online :http://www.lifestylefood.com.au/chefs/annagare/. She’s awfully cute, and multi-talented!
I guess the one thing I’d like to impart to you from this meal I cooked in such a hurry is that when you are rushed for time, using precooked items to assemble a meal is not a bad idea at all. Adding personal touches makes it all feel like you’ve put effort and care into it and no one really minds that you havn’t made the pasta from scratch or whipped up your own holladiase sauce!
For this stir fry, Gare uses a piece of smoked trout ( I couldn’t find any at Wholefoods, so substituted with smoked salmon). She fries shallots, ginger and garlic, peanuts, chilli and basil leaves. Then she breaks up bits of the smoked fish into the wok, adds a dash of fish sauce, lemon juice, and soy . Other ingredients she uses are snow pea and bean sprouts, and fresh coriander/cilantro. I did not have any snow pea sprouts and used some tender green beans instead. Worked quite well I thought. You were sorely missed as we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and dad blew out his candles. At least we had a little skype with you later! I was so pleased to hear you’d made the pea and mint salad! xoxo