Life is Great

The Delicious Appreciations of Pick Yin

Not exactly predictable.
Has enough brains for codes
(but can be completely clueless on other more important matters).
Likes her Joe (and her man?) black, her chocolate dark and her food spicy.
“Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu.” — Seneca

Total Posts   191      Last Updated   23 November 2015 12:00 PM (GMT +8)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fennel Squid-Ink Pasta with Baked Cod and the Best Chocolate Pudding

Fennel Squid-Ink Pasta with Baked Cod and the Best Chocolate Pudding

When it comes to dating my other half, I try not to take things for granted. Love expressed through my food, although easily appreciated and never expected, is always a journey of thought and mindfulness. There are things we both like to eat and then others only I would bother with. I try not to venture to the latter too often. And when there are those little moments where I manage to turn him towards things he thought he would not enjoy as much, I dance a little inside and claim what small victory I'm given.

Fennel Squid-Ink Pasta with Baked Cod and the Best Chocolate Pudding

Fennel Squid-Ink Pasta with Baked Cod and the Best Chocolate Pudding

Throughout the 3 years of this cook and tell endeavor, I'm thankful for his support. The never ending taste test, honest critiques, tiresome photo shoots, occasional breakdowns in the kitchen, dirty dishes duties; his knees are as deep as mine in this. The broken camera, the new camera, and now, with an upcoming adventure, a storeroom turned amateur photo studio. We may be chest deep soon, and he gladly plays along, investing for more than what you will see here.

Fennel Squid-Ink Pasta with Baked Cod and the Best Chocolate Pudding

Fennel Squid-Ink Pasta with Baked Cod and the Best Chocolate Pudding

Without doubt, food will remain one of those things strengthening our bond, a crucial constant and serious pursuit in our lives as a couple. Here I share what I made for our belated Valentine's Day dinner at home, quietly savored with our favorite wine, to return the favor of an incredible foot massage I received on the day. I'm aware it's a month late, but as you know, it's never too late to share love.

Fennel Squid-Ink Pasta with Baked Cod

Adapted from Saveur's Squid Ink Pasta with Salt Cod Confit
Serves 4 to 6

  • 4 fillets of individual serve cod, about 350-450 grams each
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ pound dried black squid-ink pasta (angel hair, spaghetti or linguine works well)
  • 1½ teaspoons crushed red chile flakes
  • 15 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small bulb fennel, trimmed and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • Zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, place the cod fillets on a baking tray. Season with salt and pepper, coat with a light drizzle of olive oil. Set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy base skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs, a pinch of salt and pepper; cook until golden, about 6–8 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Put the prepared fish into the oven and cook till just done, about 7-8 minutes. Generously salt the boiling water and add the pasta, cook until al dente, about 8–9 minutes.

When pasta is just about done, heat remaining reserved oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the chili flakes, garlic, and fennel and cook until soft, about 2–3 minutes. Drain the pasta and remove the fish from the oven. Add pasta to the pan, zest and juice of the lemon, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, coating the pasta well. Dish onto serving plates, place cod fillets on top. Garnish with bread crumbs and roasting juices from the baked fish.

Silky Chocolate Pudding

Adapted barely from Smitten Kitchen's Best Chocolate Pudding
Serves 4 to 6

  • 25 grams cornstarch
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups/705 ml whole milk
  • 200 grams good quality 70% bittersweet chocolate (chopped or chips)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top bowl of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over just simmering water and whisk occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon (similar to cooking a custard), add in the chocolate. Continue whisking until the pudding is smooth and thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a serving bowl or into a large measuring cup with a spout and pour into individual serving dishes. I don't mind pudding skin, so I cling wrap over the top of the serving dish(es) before refrigerating. If you dislike pudding skin, place plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding and smooth it gently against the surface before refrigerating. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Pudding keeps up to 3 days (yes, we got dessert covered for the week, win!).

2 Comments on Fennel Squid-Ink Pasta with Baked Cod and the Best Chocolate Pudding

Oh yum, your chocolate pudding looks divine!

Posted by Anonymous Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen, at Mar 19, 2013, 10:45:00 PM  

Thanks Rosie!

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Mar 27, 2013, 11:08:00 AM  

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