I live to eat and love to cook. Welcome to my life!

March 27, 2011

Pretty food

So sorry for the prolonged absence and lack of sharing.....between work and life I have been a bit too busy to sit down and share my latest and greatest feasts and food adventures. Not to mention the recipes that go along with them.

Tonight is a short, but I couldn't resist sharing with you what mama is making for dinner.

As I sit at the counter recovering from a crazy week at work (translation: drinking wine and NOT standing up all the while singing in my head the song by Dolly Parton "Workin' 9-5" except in my case it was more like 5-9. As in 5am-9pm. Urgh), I was summoned by Mommy Dearest over to the window with a "Jen you gotta get a picture of this!"

So I got up and tiptoes over to the window to find this....

Which in turn got wrapped up so nicely to become this....

"This" is a 3 1/2 pound trout from Lake Casitas that my Dad brought home. I think it might have been as big as my bass.....but I'm pretty sure not. They are a great team, Dad brings home the food, mom makes it pretty and delicious.

Anyhoo....brain is not working so well so I am just going to share with you, eat my dinner and pass out for at least 12 hours.

Whole Fish Wrapped in Grape Leaves
Adapted from recipewizard.com

One 8-ounce jar grape leaves, drained and rinsed
1 small lemon, sliced into paper-thin rings, preferably with a mandoline
One 2 1 ⁄ 2- to 3-pound snapper of any variety: black, striped, or spotted bass; whole large-mouth bass or freshwater bass; any variety of whole drum; or whole parrotfish, orange roughy, ocean perch, tilapia, or trout, scaled and cleaned
1 tablespoon olive oil
Suzi Q Santa Maria Style Seasoning (or Garlic Salt & Pepper)
8 parsley sprigs
8 thyme sprigs

Lay three quarters of the grape leaves on your work surface, overlapping them to form a compact bed that you will later fold up onto the fish; reserve the other leaves to lay over the fish. Lay 4 lemon slices down the center of the leaves.

Score the fish skin three times in parallel, diagonal cuts on each side of the body, cutting down only about 1⁄2 inch, not through to the bones. Oil the fish on both sides with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season each side and the cavity with the Suzi Q. Place the parsley sprigs and another 3 or 4 lemon slices inside the fish's body cavity. Set the stuffed fish over the lemon slices on the grape leaves.

Arrange the remaining lemon slices over the top of the fish, then lay the reserved grape leaves over the body. Fold the bottom leaves up to cover the sides of the fish, tucking them under the top leaves to seal the fish in a grape-leaf packet. Pat to adhere, then tie in several places with butcher's twine to close the fish and the leaves in one packet.

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 F. Place a metal rack in a large baking sheet or roasting pan. Set the wrapped fish on the rack. Roast until the leaves are crispy and a metal skewer inserted through the leaves and into the flesh comes out hot, about 25 minutes. Untie the fish; discard the grape leaves and lemon slices before serving.