I spent this past weekend in the Catskills with Beth, who has now been my dear friend for more than half our lives. (Not really sure how that happened.) We rented a lovely creekside cabin between Woodstock and Phoenicia and spent our days brunching, checking out small towns, and posing for the occasional swimming hole glamour shot.
Owing to the dark and winding roads (and an absence of taxis), Beth and I opted to spend our nights at home. Fortunately, our landlord had been kind enough to lay in a full bag of charcoal.
Cocktail hour started early on Friday, allowing me to get the flank steak off of the grill just as the last gasps of sunlight disappeared.
Saturday was another story. It was pitch black by the time I even thought to light the coals. Despite the dark, a persistent rain, and several watermelon cocktails, the salmon came out beautifully. Dinner was served right around the stroke of midnight.
I ate well this past weekend. I did not, however, make it through last week’s CSA share. I came home from a busy Monday determined to polish off a full head of Farmer Fred’s beautiful bok choy. Mission accomplished.
Miso Hake with Charred Bok Choy & Shiitakes
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon red miso paste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- pinch sugar
- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 8 ounces hake
- 1.5 tablespoons safflower or other vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 small knob ginger
- 2 scallions
- 1 large bunch bok choy
- Pre-heat the over to 400 with a small skillet inside.
- Add the butter, miso, vinegar, sugar and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce to a very small pot and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the miso. Remove from heat.
- Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over the shiitakes and let stand while they rehydrate.
- Remove the hot skillet. Swirl 1/2 tablespoon of oil in the bottom, add the fish, drizzle with the miso sauce, and pop it back in the oven. After about four minutes, pull the pan out and use a spoon to scoop up the sauce in the pan and drizzle it over the fish. Return to oven and cook another four minutes or so.
- Bring 1 tablespoon of oil up to medium-high heat. Rinse and roughly chop the bok choy. Mince the garlic and ginger. Slice the scallions. Add the aromatics to the hot skillet and cook, stirring continuously for a minute or so until they are toasted but not burnt. Add the bok choy in batches, starting with the white stems. Remove the shiitakes, retaining the water, and cut into thin slices. Add these to the pan and crank the heat up to high. Add the mushroom broth and the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the greens are wilted and charred in places.
You could serve this over a pile of steamed rice. I opted to take my carbs in the form of a Sixpoint Sweet Action, which is pretty much my all-time favorite beer. Oona digs it too.