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Aida Mollenkamp's Keys to the Kitchen: The Essential Reference for Becoming a More Accomplished, Adventurous Cook Hardcover – October 24, 2012
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Featured Recipe: Broiled Swordfish with Pomegranate-Mint Agrodolce
Agrodolce means "sweet-sour" in Italian and refers to a sauce with those predominant flavors. Normally made simply with onions, vinegar, and sugar, this one adds pomegranate, pine nuts, and mint for a more colorful—in both looks and flavor—version.
Yield: 4 servings
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Hands-on time: 40 minutes
Takeaway: How to broil fish.
Recipe Within a Recipe: The agrodolce sauce can be used as a condiment for grilled meats, sandwiches, or on toasts with goat cheese as an impromptu appetizer.
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 lb/455 g shallots, halved and cut into 1-in/2.5-cm slices
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup/240 ml red wine vinegar
- ½ cup/120 ml apple juice
- ¼ cup/50 g packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup/135 g pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup/70 g toasted pine nuts
- ¼ cup/55 g thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
- Four swordfish steaks (about 2 lb/910 kg total)
For the Pomegranate-Mint Agrodolce
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the shallots and garlic, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the vinegar, juice, brown sugar, the 1 teaspoon salt, the ½ teaspoon pepper, and bay leaf. Decrease the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are very tender and the liquid is thick and syrupy, about 40 minutes. Stir in the pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and mint. Season with salt and pepper.
For the broiled swordfish
Heat the broiler to high and arrange a rack 6 to 8 inches from the heating element. Pat the fish dry, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the fish under the broiler and cook until the fish is flaky, opaque throughout, and has a 135°F/57°C internal temperature, 8 to 12 minutes. Serve topped with agrodolce sauce.
Check out Seafood Watch online for current information about purchasing seafood.
When you add the vinegar to the agrodolce, open a window or turn on a fan because the vinegar fumes released may sting your eyes or make you cough.
The agrodolce can be made without the mint up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Heat over low heat before serving and stir in mint.
About the Author
Aida Mollenkamp is California-based food expert, TV host, writer, and culinary curator. She studied at the Cornell Hotel School and Le Cordon Bleu Paris before joining CHOW.com where she worked behind the scenes as Food Editor. Eventually, she moved to television where she hosted her Food Network show Ask Aida and later the Cooking Channel show, foodCrafters. Over the years, she has authored more than 1,000 original recipes and continues to publish new recipes on her site, aidamollenkamp.com. Through her work, she aims to inspire creativity in the meals you craft, the gatherings you design, and the food adventures you embark upon.
Alex Farnum is a San Francisco-based food and lifestyle photographer whose previous work for Chronicle Books includes Chicken and Egg and Cake Simple.
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Top customer reviews
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In fact, the recipes that appeal to me the most in this book are vegetables. There ARE a lot of meat recipes (spare ribs, lamb roasts, Peruvian-style beef steak) but the vegetable course appeal to me more. And that means that if you are not a big meat eater, you can find something to perk up your repertoire in this book.
The dessert course is equally adventuresome: mango custard pie, dulce de leche-lemon cheese cake and a chai-flavored coffee cake.
I found many, many things to bookmark for entertaining or for even just to make more out of a haul of vegetables from the farm stand. It also looks like a pretty decent gift for friends of mine who are enthusiastic cooks. Highly recommended.