I've found that one of the lovely and unexpected benefits of being a food blogger and writer is your friends start giving you food.
I arrived home from work one day to find a small, fragrant package in my mailbox from my friend Abbie, a talented and creative home cook in Austin. Inside, some beautiful handcrafted dried blood orange slices and finishing salt from her kitchen.
Then, my seriously smart friend Renee from the office gave me a jar of pungent ginger preserves -- one of her favorites. And for good reason: it's golden, sweet and spicy, with a serious kick.
And finally, our hilarious, generous globetrotting friend Beth brought us back some amazing spices from Abu Dhabi, including some Kashmiri chili powder and biriyani masala.
So I decided to combine these gifts into a dish, and came up with Ginger Glazed Sole.
I put about a quarter cup of the jam in a small saucepan, along with a drizzle of olive oil. Added a teaspoon each of the spices, a little minced garlic and a good pinch of brown sugar. I crushed a dried blood orange slice into the mixture, brushed it over the sole fillets, and baked for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. I dusted it with the blood orange finishing salt and served with a side of steamed broccoli.
The delicate sole fillets contrasted nicely with the assertive ginger glaze. And, while this dish is not for the faint of heart -- it packs some major heat -- the sweetness of the preserves and brown sugar softens the punch. A bit.
Thanks, friends. You make me smile.