I was flipping through a magazine and I came across a picture that I thought was a good candidate for tonight's dinner. It was an ad for a restaurant called The Townlyne Grill in NH and it showed a preview of their menu. Their was only one picture and it was this one, a macadamia nut crusted swordfish with a fancy sauce of orange and balsamic, plated in a fancy way. So going by the description and picture alone I made this dish. The appetizer was one I had in my back pocket for the right moment. I saw Laura Calder do this one time a while back, on her show "French Food at Home" and it was the "cook for a chef" episode.
This was great! I thought it was simple to make, impressive looking and delicious. Aubergine is French for eggplant. You roast one eggplant and mix the flesh with eggs, milk and spices. You slice and roast another eggplant then arrange them in a ramekin, filling with the other eggplant mixture and a layer of goat cheese in the middle and bake it off. It's a nice appetizer size and healthy. It's served with a tomato salad on the side, we loved it, here is the recipe.
Macadamia Swordfish with Orange Coulis and Balsamic Reduction, Gingered Watercress and Wild Rice
I took a picture of the picture in the magazine to show you what I was going for. I forgot to save orange for garnish and put some green on for garnish but I think it was probably very close in taste to the one in the magazine. So good!
I roughly chopped about 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts and lightly toasted them in the oven for about 7-10 minutes. I let them cool and chopped them finely. When it came time to cook the fish I seasoned the 2 portions of swordfish with salt and pepper then dredged them in flour then egg wash then into the chopped nuts. I placed the fish in a lightly oiled baking dish, topped each one with 1/2 tablespoon of butter and into a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
Before baking off the fish get the sauce underway. I juiced about 5 oranges and reduced the juice in a pan with about 2 Tbsp of sugar until you swirl the pan and it looks thicker and syrupy. This will take 5-10 minutes over medium-high heat. When it was done I put in about 1 tablespoon of butter and swirled it in until completely melted.
I reduced about 3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar until it thickened as much as you go before it gets too dark and sticky. You want to reduce it by about half and do the same, swirl in about 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Let it sit to cool a bit then using a spoon drizzle a circle around the plate. Spoon in the orange coulis and use a toothpick to swirl the two together to make it fancy. Place the swordfish in the center of the plate and place wild rice and gingered watercress (here is the recipe), along side.
Chocolate Chip Cannoli
I followed this cannoli shell recipe, and made the filling like this... I strained some fresh ricotta cheese by placing the ricotta on top of a coffee filter lined strainer and placed it in a bowl, put a small dish on the cheese and weighed it down with something heavy. I left that for 3-4 hours to remove most of the moisture. I put in confectioner's sugar to taste, the zest of 1/2 an orange, a bit of vanilla to taste and about 1 Tbsp of heavy cream. Mix with a hand held electric mixer until the texture is creamy and smooth, taste to see if it needs more sugar.