Catch of the day with rainforest
Thursday Life shares an intimate Sunday brunch with close friends and family of Allison and Alistair Smalling at the view-blessed, hillside Kirkland Heights home of Allison's parents Noeleen and Hendricks Porter. With Rainforest Seafoods as the main ingredient, our host, homemaker par excellence Allison Porter-Smalling whipped up dish after dish of seafood delights that took the culinary imaginations of those gathered right to their favourite marina and beachside hot-spots. Let's dig in!
Fish Fillet in Black Bean Sauce & Kelly's Homemade Pepper Jelly
*Kelly Lue is a dear friend.
Garlic Potatoes with Parsley
Garden Salad with Feta Cheese
Assorted Wines & Cocktails
Fish Fillet in Black Bean and Pepper Jelly Sauce
20 slices of Basa fish fillet
2 tablespoons, of garlic salt
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons of complete seasoning
1 1/2 tablespoons of fish seasoning
1 tablespoon of black pepper
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 cup of fish stock or dry white wine
2 tablespoons of Kelly's Homemade Pepper Jelly
1 tablespoon of black bean sauce
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
Season fish with complete seasoning, fish seasoning, black pepper and garlic salt.
In a deep frying pan over medium to high heat, pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and slightly brown fillets on either side for about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain off all the liquid and transfer fish.
In a small pan, heat the remainder of olive oil over medium heat. Add some of the chopped onions and cook, stirring in occasionally until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the pepper jelly and the black bean sauce, the white wine and the sugar and simmer for another 5 minutes.
In a deep casserole dish, sprinkle diced garlic and half of the remainder chopped onion. Add fish fillets and spread all of the heated pepper jelly and black bean sauce over the fish fillets so they are well saturated. Sprinkle the remaining chopped onion on top for dressing. Place on rack in oven and bake for about 20 minutes at 350oF degrees.
Ceviche (Seafood Mix Cocktail)
1 pack Rainforest Seafood Mix
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
3/4 cup carrot (diced)
3/4 cup celery (diced)
1 1/4 tablespoons capers (drained)
1 teaspoon finely diced Scotch bonnet pepper (seeds removed)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (optional)
A pinch of basil
Boil 2 cups of water in a medium-size pot. When water is completely boiled, throw in the seafood mix for only 1 minute. Drain water and reserve seafood mix.
In a large bowl, place basil, celery, carrots, parsley, and capers and Scotch bonnet, mixing in all the ingredients. Add the seafood mix (mussels, octopus, squid, shrimp) and thoroughly stir all together.
In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, sugar and/or apple cider vinegar seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper tasting as you go along to adjust the seasonings. Then place in a small sealed container, shake well (getting all the seasonings saturated in the liquid juice) and place in the refrigerator for up to about 5 to 6 hours.
Divide the Ceviche (seafood mix) between eight martini glasses and serve.
Cooking Is My Passion
My passion for cooking began with my mother Noeleen Porter. Growing up, I remember her hosting large groups of our family and friends regularly for Sunday brunch. It was through her that I really learned the initial art of entertaining.
It's really something that has always stayed with me, and continued to grow rapidly when I met my husband Alistair, who enjoys being at home, and enjoys a good home- cooked meal. To sum it all up, it has always been in my blood. There isn't a time I can remember when I wasn't inherently passionate about cooking and entertaining.
These days, at least twice a week, I write recipes in my hardcover notebook — that all my friends seem to tease me about — and then when it is perfected, I transfer those same ideas onto my laptop. One of the things I enjoy most is collecting recipes. I will see a dish, and say "I can make it better!" I search for a dish, sort it by the highest rating, look at the reviews then use each review and change the recipe. I always do a test run of every dish that I am going to "make my own", and use my friends and family for feedback. At the end of it, I have my own recipe. Another interesting fact about me is that I enjoy my wines. I pair wine with my food every day. No shame in saying I have a glass every night!
What inspires my passion is the satisfaction that I get when I see my family and friends enjoying my food. Cooking is an art. It's like creating a piece of art that people can interact with intimately and cooking with love is the main ingredient I use to create that art. Entertaining while cooking comes natural to me as our home is often a busy one — with four kids and many friends and family to feed. It's very important for everyone to feel at home while in our house.
My current project is a cookbook (an eBook for Amazon) that I started. Upcoming events include an after-work (Friday) cookout, which I would like to start as a fish fry and peak thereafter with my very own restaurant. I also wish to pursue a boot camp at the Culinary Art Institute in New York. My husband travels often for work, so I just need a little more time as I am super busy with my children in the interim.
All in all, I love to cook, experiment with new recipes and entertain! Setting a table filled with delicious food is my way of giving back to my family and friends. I can't wait to see where it takes me!