Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chocolate Souffle' and Halibut with Lemon butter Caper Sauce (Date Night!)

Occasionally, when the mood would strike us, I would make a special meal at home for my husband and I.  This is one of our favorites. I usually would do a 3-course meal and start with a nice salad with homemade Caesar sauce (non-dairy,) and then move on to the Halibut, and finally, my favorite, the dessert!

Believe it or not, both of my kids would eat the left over souffle' and would really enjoy it. But then again, who doesn't like chocolate, I mean, seriously?

I know how hard it is to find time with your husband/wife after kids are born. I also know that it is doubly hard when you have a special kid, (READ: Martian,) who is not exactly the easiest child to find a babysitter for. Well, that is precisely why I came up with this particular meal plan. Even if I can't get the kids to bed, it is still a meal that my kids will eat, (modified with GF breadcrumbs!) Plus, it makes us feel like we are at a nice restaurant, even if we are not.

1st Course, Salad with Caesar Dressing:

1/8 teaspoon of dry mustard powder, or pulverized mustard seeds
1/8 of each: cracked pepper and sea salt
1 clove of garlic (for rubbing around the bowl)
(you could also use garlic-infused olive oil and omit a step!)
1/2 of an anchovey. (no extra flavors!, packed in olive oil is the best)
Juice of one lemon
4-5 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

1st: mix the dry ingredients, rub the garlic along the sides of the bowl to extract the juices.
2nd: add the 1/2 anchovey, smash it with a fork or spoon and incorporate it with the dry ingredients
3rd: add the lemon juice, whisk the dickens out of it!
4th: Slowly add the Olive Oil to it and continue to whisk so that it becomes emulsified!

Pour over and toss the greens of your salad! (I prefer Arugula, Romane, etc. with tomatoes.)

2nd Course: The Halibut:

I find that the recommended portions for Halibut are a little too large for me. However, you may go up or down. For two people, 1 lb total is a good size.

To begin, make sure you have the following ingredients:
2 fresh lemons or natural lemon juice (about 1/4 cup)
Olive Oil, extra virgin about 2 tbsp.
1 tbsp of ghee butter
a generous handful of capers
finely minced garlic, about 1/8 of a tsp
a small bunch or sprinkle of fresh thyme.
and of course, the Halibut.

To begin, dry pat the halibut with a papertowel to get excess moisture off.
Salt and Pepper to taste on both sides of the fillets.
take a pan and heat on med-high heat, add olive oil.
heat oven to 425 degree F.
put the fillets of halibut in your pan once you see little ripples in the EVOO.
cook on one side for 2 mins, flip over carefully. For the love of Pete, please do yourself a favor and use a spatuala, do not use tongs, the fish will fall apart.
Cook on the other side for two minutes.
Stick in pre-heated oven. (either directly in the same pan, or do what I do and move over to a grill pan and put in oven for 10-12 minutes.)
take your pan and deglaze with the lemon juice. If you are going to use fresh lemons, use either a squeezer you can get at a kitchen supply store or a fork. (if you use a fork, let the lemon juice go through your fingers to pan so that you can get the little seeds.) Use a soft spatula to get all of the lovely little bits of fish that are stuck to the pan, let the juice cook down a bit, stir in the tablespoon, or pat if you will, of ghee butter.
add the garlic and capers and a little splash of water.
Pull the halibut out of the oven, make sure that it is cooked enough (fork an edge and make sure it flakes!)
pour the lemon-caper sauce over the top and you are done!

For the best part:
Here is the fun fun part!

Here is what you need:
6 oz of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
1 tsp of cocoa powder or organic powdered sugar with cornstarch.
2 tbsp of ghee butter or coconut oil for greasing the ramikins
2 tbsp of ghee butter for the recipe
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp of GF vanilla (again, the real stuff!)
a pinch of cream of tarter (no other additives!)
a pinch of sea-salt
2 tbsp of organic cane sugar or sugar alternative (stevia)

First, take a good pan or use a double boiler and melt the chocolate and 2 tblsp of ghee butter over LOW heat. (you burn it and you will not have a good souffle')
once it has melted and they are well mixed together, take the mixture of heat and add the vanilla. Once it has cooled down a bit, add some of this chocolate mixture to the two egg yolks, that have been slightly beaten. this will ensure that you do not have curdled eggs. add the yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture incorporate well by hand.

With a hand mixer or a stand mixer:
beat the sugar, salt, cream of tarter and egg whites together until stiff peaks form.

Now it is time to incorporate the two! This is very tricky, so pay attention.

pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl. Add 1/3 of the egg white mixture to it by folding gently with a rubber spatula. add another third, same thing, fold gently. Finally, the last third, it should look like marble. Do not incorporate it completely, this makes for a dry mixture.

take four small ramikins, grease with ghee and dust with cocoa powder (make sure it is GF/CF!) or the powdered sugar or even shavings of Enjoy Life chocolate bars.  pour the mixture of the souffle' into each. Clean the edges with a slightly damp paper towel, or the souffle' will not rise. Place the ramikins in a shallow water bath. (use a cake pan, add some warm water to it, but make sure that you do not get water in the ramikins.) Stick in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.

When they are done, take them out of the oven and garnish with fresh fruit and powdered sugar! Enjoy your date night!


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