TamaraEsq’s First Catering Gig: Miso Black Cod, Escarole, Black Forbidden Rice

My neighbor, the cardiologist/budding photographer, and I, the lawyer/budding chef, get along very well.  He’s taught me a thing or two about photography, and generously set up his home studio to take pictures of Fin for his sixth month birthday.  I appreciate these things, so I decided to thank him in trade: dinner for his family on me.  I’m treating it like my first (pro bono) catering gig.

Since he’s a heart doctor, he wisely limits his intake of red meat, so I went with fish and made an old favorite, miso black cod with coconut miso sauce, forbidden black dirty rice, and sauteed escarole with red peppers and mandarin oranges.  I made everything at home, packed it to go, then plated dinner up at my neighbor’s house.  I had to return to Fin and feed Big N, so I didn’t stay to hear their review.  When I made the dish a few minutes later for Big N and I, I realized that my miso marinade could have been sweeter, my escarole could have been crisper, and my rice could have been warmer, but I hope they enjoyed it anyway.  I hate when my food doesn’t meet my own standards.

I do think the sauteed escarole recipe, a concoction I invented last night, contrasted nicely with the fish.  The fish is a little sweet, and the escarole slightly bitter, but not as bitter as mustard or dandelion greens.  Plus the mandarin oranges went well with the asian coconut flavors I had going on.  Escarole is healthy leafy green vegetable that’s simple enough to make at home when you’re sick of the usual spinach, kale, or chard.  Try it.  Even better, be neighborly and make enough to share.  Sauteed escarole recipe is below.

Sauteed Escarole

Serves 3
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Meal type Side Dish


  • 1 head Escarole
  • 1 Red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup Grilled corn (use left overs or Trader Joe's sells grilled corn in the frozen section)
  • 1 can Mandarin oranges
  • Olive or grape seed oil (as needed)


1. Wash and spin or pat dry the escarole. Chop into 1/2 inch chiffonade.
2. Roast and peel bell pepper: place on open gas burner with flame on high. When skin blisters and turns black, turn. Continue to turn over the flame until all black then immediately place in bowl covered with plastic wrap. Wait 5 minutes while steam loosens skin. Then peel with hands or rub a paper towel over it. Slice the roasted bell pepper in thin 1/4? slices.
3. Heat grape seed oil in saute pan on medium high. Add escarole, stir until escarole starts to wilt. Cover and simmer to let steam slowly cook escarole until just al dente, about 5 minutes.
4. Add bell pepper, grilled corn, and mandarin oranges and cook until just heated through. Season with salt and a little white pepper to taste.


  1. Wish I was your neighbor!

  2. Heyyy I wanted to write and say I really like reading your Site!


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