Halibut season started a few weeks ago and I couldn’t resist picking up two exquisite pieces from the seafood counter to celebrate. I recently vowed to cut down on seafood posts as this was starting to feel like the Plenty of Fish online dating website. The reality however is that the majority of my meals contain something from the sea and these fillets were too nice to pass up.
I wanted to coat the halibut with crushed almonds, similar to the pistachio crusted salmon that I made a few weeks ago, but unable to read my own chickenscratch on the crumpled Post-It note, I forgot the almonds, so we improvised with bread crumbs. If you have almonds, I suggest using them crushed, otherwise it was still delicious with the bread crumbs.
I wouldn’t be a true Canadian if I didn’t have a hankering for doughnuts. Between Tim Hortons and Dunkin Donuts, I was practically weaned on these caloric concoctions, and it was likely one of my first words. They are the ultimate comfort food, whether accompanying a hot cup of coffee and crossword puzzle on a lazy weekend morning, or savouring a bag-ful at an outdoor market in the summertime, fingers coated in cinnamon sugar. Mini carnival doughnuts are the most lethal and underestimated of the doughnut genus, as their diminutive size confounds the stomach – the hand bypasses the brain on its way to grab another and the bag is empty before the brain finally catches wind of the ploy. When my mom sees a mini doughnut stand at the Saturday Saltspring Island Market, she’ll buy a dozen, quickly eat one, then shove the bag towards me with an emphatic “Get them away from me!”
After I made these at home one morning before work, I sampled one doughnut hole still warm, and immediately swallowed 3 more without chewing. My willpower is not strong enough. But who can resist a dessert that can also be eaten as breakfast? I wouldn’t recommend keeping leftovers at home, unless you’re planning on running a marathon in the days ahead. I brought a tupperware container to work and handed doughnuts out in meetings throughout the day, keeping them at the opposite end of the table from me. Enjoy!
I first tasted this dish – known as Khao Niaow Ma Muang – in Kanchanaburi, a city in Thailand notable for its Bridge on the river Kwai, otherwise known as the Death Railway. Despite its murky past, where during World War II the Japanese forced Allied prisoners to build a railway from Thailand to Burma, the city is now very quaint: scenic river views, internet cafes, outdoor night markets and elephants that will pose for food or money.
It is most likely in Kanchanaburi that Sonia contracted Dengue Fever, though she wouldn’t know about it until a few days later once we had already left town. The mosquitos there were kamikaze-crazy and they marauded through the humid streets in thick swarms with an electric, infuriating hum. Oblivious to the impending “break bone fever” that was to come, Sonia and I both dined at a restaurant that resembled a tiki jungle hut, where our guidebook recommended mango and sticky rice for dessert. Before then, I had never conceived of rice being eaten with mangos – and certainly not as a dessert. I haven’t tasted it again in a restaurant since returning home, though looking through photos of the trip recently a Pavlovian response ensued, which left me salivating and craving the sweet and salty sticky rice with a side of cool, freshly sliced mango. Enjoy!
Finally, a dessert post! I’ve been told that there have been too many healthy recipes on this site recently and I have to agree; there hasn’t been a hint of chocolate in over a month and I’ve been getting the shakes from withdrawal. There is a long list of desserts that I’ve been dying to get to, including tiramisu, panna cotta with caramel sauce, deep-fried Mars bar and New York Style Cheesecake. I’m also always open to requests…
This jelly roll is sugary, yes, but made using Angel Food Cake, which is lighter and fluffier than a traditional Swiss roll; it practically eats itself. I love Angel Food Cake for the way it almost melts in the mouth and I would normally eat it in the summertime smothered in fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream. It’s not quite summer yet, though here in Victoria the lawnmowers are already whirring in activity, the daffodils are in full bloom and the cherry blossoms that line the streets are beginning to lose their petals in a florid flurry of pink.
I’ve included the basic recipe for Angel Food Cake, though if you are short on time and already feel like you’re being put to work enough by having to laboriously roll up the cake and daub it with jelly, then take a shortcut and pick up the angel food cake mix from the grocery store. Otherwise, it is easy enough to make from scratch. You can also buy store-bought jam or make your own; I used the homemade strawberry-raspberry jam I had made a few weeks ago. A tip, however: if you’re anticipating leftovers, the roll will soak up the moisture from the jam overnight and will likely be a bit soggy the next day – which is not ideal. It will taste much better within the first few hours of making.