Garlic Shrimp Bake


I save a lot of shrimp recipes, but I realized I don’t often MAKE shrimp dishes.  Likely due to the cost of fresh shrimp, which can be pretty high.  I am not opposed to cooking with frozen shrimp, but it’s not my preference.  It’s just too watery, I hate thawing it, and they don’t quite live up to their fresher cousins.  Anyway, shrimp is something I really enjoy when I do get a chance to make it and this dish is no exception.

It has SO much flavor it’s unbelievable, especially considering how simple it really is.  Everything goes into one dish and gets thrown into the oven.  Of course you will want to make some bread to go along and sop up that amazing sauce in the bottom of the pan.  I also chose to whip up some orzo (which I flavored with a quick gremolata) because as usual my husband wouldn’t have called it dinner without some form of starch.  They all went very nicely together.

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The shrimp has such a freshness to it from the lemon, garlic and parsley.  Then you get that heat from the red pepper flakes that really kicks it up a notch, while still having a sweetness to it as well.  The tomatoes become little jewels that soak up that liquid in the bottom and they literally burst in your mouth.

Though the cost of shrimp often leaves me a bit shocked, I would gladly pay it a little more often to enjoy such fantastic dishes as this.  This dish would also be a great dinner party addition, perhaps justifying the cost even a bit more.  If that wasn’t enough to convince you, I would even go so far as to say it’s a pretty healthy dish, with most of the fat coming from the olive oil which is said to be good for you anyway.  So with those great excuses, you have no reason NOT to go out and pick up some nice shrimp and treat yourself to this dish!

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Garlic Shrimp Bake

Ingredients :

  • 1.25 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (if you are making this for two as we did you could easily get away with a lb and not have such a crowded pan)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 T. lemon juice (I actually just used the juice of one lemon and the zest as well)
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • splash of white wine (about 2 tablespoons or so)
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes (I used one roma tomato)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 T. fresh parsley, chopped

Directions :

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Arrange all the ingredients except the parsley in an oven-safe skillet (cast iron works great for this).  Bake for 10 minutes, or until shrimp is done (depending on the size of shrimp you buy).
  3. Remove from oven, top with parsley and serve along side some bread or pasta.

Recipe from Nutritious Eats

Pan Seared Salmon with Chive Dill Butter


So I know it’s been a while again since my last post, but what can I say….. I just get busy and unfortunately my blog and even making new recipes in general takes a back seat for a while.  But I always come back!  I left off with my first installment of a new project called Kids in the Kitchen, and though I haven’t had time to fit in another between busy school schedules, mini vacations and illnesses it’s still on my to-do list so be watching for that!  In the meantime I am hoping things have settled down enough that I can focus on making new and, in keeping with my current mindset of eating lighter and losing some of this holiday weight, healthier recipes.

First up on the menu is this Pan Seared Salmon with Chive Dill Butter.  I will share my technique/recipe below, but this is one of those great recipes that has a lot of versatility.  All you’re doing is preparing a piece of salmon and mixing whatever flavors you want into some butter to top it off.  Super simple.  I served this with some grilled asparagus drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper, and some smashed potatoes.  This was my first time trying smashed potatoes and all I can say is now I am a believer!  So good, with a crispy outside, seasoned just right, and soft in the middle….. but let’s get back to the salmon lol.

I will admit, I have struggled to cook salmon in the past.  It’s not particularly hard, but cooking fish in general takes practice to get it done right where you get that nice crust on top and the fish is nicely cooked through.  I have either had it stick in my pan, or ended up with somewhat undercooked fish in the middle of a nice thick piece of fish.  With time, however, I have gotten the hang of it.  Although I switched over to stainless steel cookware some time ago to cut down on my use of non-stick and their chemicals. fish is something I pretty much always use nonstick for.  Specifically, I use a a Rachel Ray Anodized Nonstick skillet and it works beautifully for giving me a nice crust, but avoiding the dreaded stick.  Another very important tip when cooking fish to ensure it doesn’t stick and gets great crust is to leave it alone once you have placed it in the pan.  It may be tempting to lift the edges to check, or slide it around to see if it’s sticking but don’t.  Trust me.  And don’t forget to use oil or butter or something to grease your pan.  Once it’s done on one side according to your recipe’s directions flip it once and again leave it alone til it’s time to come out.  It also helps to take your fish out a few minutes early to bring the temp up just a bit before you start, and make sure it’s dry…. especially if you are cooking with previously frozen fish.  Of course, as with pretty much all food, seasoning is important, so don’t forget to season before you place it in the pan!

Now that we talked a bit about cooking a nice piece of salmon, let’s talk about the butter…. as I mentioned it’s a versatile method.  You could put whatever herbs or seasonings in this you like.  The butter will melt beautifully over the warm fish and give that richness that takes a boring piece of fish to a whole new level, imparting the flavors you incorporated at the same time.  For this recipe I used some fresh chives, dill, garlic, lemon and some salt and pepper.  It’s important to start with room temperature butter for this, so don’t forget to take it out in advance.  You could even make the butter in advance and either use it hard from the fridge, or take it out a little before for a softer butter…. and any leftovers can be used on other meats, bread, or whatever sounds good to you.

As a natural casualty to having to photograph my food before I can eat it my salmon had cooled a bit while I was setting up so my butter wasn’t melting over it right away as I would have liked for the photos, so you’ll have to use your imagination a bit.

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Pan Seared Salmon with Chive Dill Butter

Ingredients :

  • salmon fillets (about a lb) * I used salmon with the skin
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 T. butter, at room temp * I just eyeballed how much butter so this is estimation
  • drizzle of olive oil (about 1/2 tsp. perhaps)
  • fresh chives, chopped (about 1 tsp. or so)
  • fresh dill, chopped (about 1 tsp or so)
  • salt and pepper to taste (separate from the salt and pepper above)
  • garlic clove, minced
  • lemon zest
  • Lemon wedges (for serving with the fish)

Directions :

  1.  Make your butter first.  To your room temp butter add your herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, the garlic, lemon zest (by preference but about a tsp or so), and some salt and pepper.  Using a small spatula sort of stir/whip it up until well combined and set aside.  If making ahead put back in the fridge.  You can either use it straight from the fridge later on, or let it warm up just a bit so it’s a little softer.
  2. Prepare you salmon.  If you are using previously frozen salmon be sure to pat dry before you start.  Season your salmon with a bit of salt and pepper (I like to use coarse salt when seasoning meat).  If you are using salmon with skin you don’t need to season that side, but if not I would suggest doing both sides.
  3. Heat the T. of oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat.  If using skin-on salmon place it in your pan skin UP so you get the nice crust from that first bit of heat on the top of your fish first.  Once you have set your fish in your pan DON’T TOUCH IT for about 4-5 minutes.  You see the fish start to turn opaque towards the middle and the edges will start to brown.  Flip it and cook an additional 4-5 minutes.  Of course the cook-time depends on the thickness of your fish, so take that into consideration, and watch for the fish to become opaque all the way through.
  4. Remove from pan and top with a dollop of your prepared butter.  Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Note : Amounts for the herbs in the butter are estimations and I encourage you to use more or less to your tastes.  I like a nice punch of flavor and likely used more than stated above.

Pasta with Shrimp, Lime & Saffron


Whenever I make a dish with fish or shellfish in it I just feel like I am eating better.  Obviously that is not always the case, but generally I do feel it holds some truth.  Fish and shellfish are both very low calorie and fat, and generally are prepared in ways that keep things light and fresh.  Despite the large amount of olive oil in this dish (but keeping in mind olive oil IS good for you lol) I do feel like this is a pretty light, yet satisfying dish.  The nice fresh, slightly sweet taste of the shrimp pairs perfectly with the bright tangy and spicy sauce.

Let’s talk about saffron for a minute.  It is the most expensive spice on the market and most people have probably never tried it.  It is actually the stigma of a certain type of crocus.  It lends a sort of sweetness to a dish, and a little goes a LONG way.  When you buy it you often get a tiny amount and you really only need a few threads for a dish.  If you just can’t justify spending so much on a spice, I think this dish would still be a winner without it, but if you’re curious definitely give a shot!  It will probably last you a long time because not many dishes call for it.  A tip I found for dispersing the flavor more evenly in your dish is to soak the threads for about 5 minutes in a teaspoon of warm water or white wine to then be used in your dish.

The recipe I followed actually had a slightly different name (Pasta with Scampi, Lime & Saffron), but I don’t think it’s correct.  When I think of scampi I think of shrimp cooked in a garlic butter sauce, and there is no butter in this dish.  There is however a good deal of garlic.  Don’t shy away from it, it’s not nearly as intense as it seems lol.  I used a shallot as my onion for a more mild onion flavor.  The recipe was also originally written for a full lb box of pasta, but I used a bit less (11oz).  I didn’t end up needing any pasta water to thin my sauce out, but don’t forget to hang on to it just in case.  The recipe I followed called for Nolly Pratt, but I have no idea what that is (however they referenced white wine in the article so that’s what I went with), instead I used a chardonnay.  And, as always, if you can get your hands on some nice fresh shrimp that would definitely be best.  However frozen is fine too.  I wanted to leave the tails on for a prettier picture, but the part of me that can’t stand food that is a hassle to eat won in this case.

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Pasta with Shrimp, Lime, & Saffron

Ingredients :

  • 12 oz. linguine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 18 medium sized shrimp (about a lb)
  • 1 onion finely chopped (or shallot)
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 100 ml white wine
  • few strands of saffron (remember a little goes a long way)
  • zest of 2 limes
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp. chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 sliced green onions
  • black and white sesame seeds for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions :

  1. Clean, devein, and prepare shrimp how you like them.  Salt and pepper them.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium to medium-high heat with a bit of your oil and cook shrimp on each side for about a minute and set aside.  They should be mostly cooked through because they won’t cook much longer after this, but remember shrimp are easy to over-cook.
  3. Add the rest of your oil to the skillet and saute onions for a few minutes until softened.  Add garlic, chili flakes and saffron (on medium so your garlic doesn’t burn) and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add white wine, and scrape any bits off the bottom of your pan.  Bump it back up to medium-high and let it simmer for a couple minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions and reserve some of the starchy pasta water to thin your sauce as needed.
  6. Add to your pan the chopped parsley, lime zest, lime juice, green onions, and drained pasta.  Add a little of the pasta water at this time (only if necessary) as well.
  7. Add your shrimp, toss to coat, and heat through… make sure your shrimp are now fully cooked through.
  8. Garnish with a sprinkling of black and white sesame seeds and a wedge of lime.

Recipe from My Kitchen Treasures

 

 

Broiled Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce


Rather than drag the kids to the store with me, which let’s face it is a nightmare, I like to wait until my husband is home before I go grocery shopping.  This is fine, except that by the time I am done it’s getting a bit late, and I often don’t feel like cooking anymore.  This is where super quick and easy meals come in!  Fish is a great option because if you buy fresh you need to use it right away anyway, and most preparations of it are fast.  I had planned to make some roasted potatoes with this, which admittedly would have added a good deal of time to the process, but luckily for me I forgot the potatoes.  I did get some asparagus though, and I knew between the two of us we had more than enough salmon so I just decided that would be dinner.  It ended up being plenty for me, but I am sure my husband would have liked to have the potatoes too.  Anyway, I sauteed the asparagus up while the salmon broiled and this meal came together lightning quick, and with very little work!

I actually can’t recall whether I have broiled fish before.  I have baked it plenty of times, but I guess I worried that the high heat of the broil on the top only would leave the middle uncooked before the top started to burn.  I am happy to report, at least this time, that is the not the case.  It was perfectly cooked through without being dry and had a nice bit of crust on top.   The recipe was originally for a much larger fillet of salmon, but for the two of us I halved the recipe.  That’s still 1.25lbs of fish!  Mine were cut into 4 individual fillets, so they cooked faster than the suggested time, so watch it closely when you put it in.  The sauce is easy to throw together, but if you want to save even more time, or allow for more time for the flavors to marry you could make it that morning and throw it in the fridge or even the night before.  Just make sure to give it a good whisk before serving it.

The flavors, though simple, were fantastic.  I was a little surprised by the step to rub soy sauce on the salmon, but whatever purpose it serves must be worth it because the salmon alone was great.  Combine that with the creamy sauce with that bit of grain and spice of mustard and the tang of the dill and you have a perfect pairing.  I used some of the sauce to drizzle on my asparagus as well.

Salmon isn’t the cheapest protein out there…. I think for 1.25lbs I paid close to 20.00!  To me that’s a lot, but we don’t eat salmon that often so I don’t mind splurging every once in a while.  Because it doesn’t fit into most people’s daily budget, however, I think it often becomes a “company dish”.  This not only has great flavor, but looks beautiful on the plate and would be great to serve to your guests.  I would just suggest rounding out the meal with something like… oh I don’t know… roasted potatoes and asparagus! lol.  Just don’t forget the potatoes like me and you’re golden.

 

Broiled Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce

Ingredients :

  • 2.5 – 3 lb salmon fillet
  • soy sauce for rubbing the salmon
  • fresh bay leaves and thyme sprigs for garnish (I didn’t bother)
  • 1/2 cup coarse-grained mustard
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, or to taste

Directions :

  1. To make sauce, in a bowl combine the mustard, water, cream, oil, sugar, and dill.  Whisk together until well combined and set aside.  If making ahead be sure to chill in fridge, and re-whisk before serving.
  2. Preheat broiler.
  3. Rinse salmon and pat dry.  Arrange skin side down (mine were skinless) on a foil-lined pan and rub thoroughly with soy sauce.  Season with salt and pepper and broil about 4 inches from the heat for 12-15 minutes or until just cooked through.  Transfer salmon to a platter and garnish with herbs.
  4. Serve salmon warm or at room temperature with mustard dill sauce.

Recipe from A Chow

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Honey Walnut Shrimp


You may recall that recently I made Sweet Fire Chicken in an attempt to recreate one of my favorite Chinese Take-out dishes at home.  I thought it only fair to try and do the same for one of my husband’s usual choices.  I haven’t ordered this myself, but he says this is a fair comparison to the dish he orders from Panda Express.  He says the walnuts are a bit sweeter, but when asked if he would rather have this version or the other he voted for this dish.

Personally, I also really enjoyed this dish.  The shrimp fried up beautifully and was perfect coated in the honey sauce.  I really like the crunch factor from the walnuts and of course they carry on that sweetness factor as well.  This goes very well over some plain and simple rice.  Hopefully you have a little better luck with your rice preparation though…. I have been testing out a new rice cooker and can’t seem to stop getting mushy rice.  After overcooking my first batch of  sugar water (I will get into that in a moment) I fell a bit behind in getting everything else ready and the rice had to sit in the cooker for a bit longer than I would have liked.

Now about the walnuts… I am sure most of you already know how to do this technique and would laugh at my mishap tonight, but for those of you who haven’t made anything like it before I thought I would share what I learned.  The recipe said to boil the sugar water, while continuously stirring it, until it turned golden and thickened.  I kept waiting to see a golden color, even past the point where it thickened up, and in doing so I ended up with a mess of hard sugar again.  I imagine I boiled all the water out… oops!  The second time I pulled it as soon as it thickened up regardless of color and that worked well enough.

As far as being low FODMAP or not… I think this one fits the plan.  The only questionable ingredients I can think of are the honey (which there is such a small amount I doubt it would effect most people unless it was a trigger) and perhaps the cornstarch (but honestly I am just not sure about that one, and again I imagine it effects some more than others).  Other than being quite full from eating more than I should as usual I didn’t have any issues with this meal in the stomach department.

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Serves : 3-4

Ingredients :

  • 1 C. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1/2 C. walnut halves
  • 3 T. mayo
  • 1 1/2 tsp. honey (I used more like 2 tsp.)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lg egg, beaten
  • 1/2 C. cornstarch

Directions :

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Heat 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add sugar and stir, constantly, until golden and thickened. Add walnuts and gently toss to combine. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined plate.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, honey and condensed milk; set aside.
  4. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Working one at a time, dip the shrimp into the egg, then dredge in the cornstarch, pressing to coat.
  6. Working in batches, add the shrimp to the skillet, 8-10 at a time, and fry until evenly golden brown and crispy, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  7. In a large bowl, combine shrimp and honey mixture.
  8. Serve immediately, topped with walnuts.

Recipe From Damn Delicious

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Published in: on August 11, 2013 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Smoked Salmon Quesadillas with Creamy Chipotle Sauce


I love smoked salmon, and I love chipotle sauce.  I was not so sure I would love the two together.  I couldn’t picture it in my mind.  After a little back and forth I decided to give them a try and I am glad I did.  I should have realized the smoky flavor of the salmon would pair perfectly with the smoky chipotle pepper sauce.

There was just enough heat for me to leave these with a little kick, and not a mouth on fire kind of feeling.  I wasn’t sure they would seem cheesy enough with just cream cheese and feta since it was such a thin spread on the tortillas, but I’d say it did the trick.  If you do like your quesadillas oozing with cheese though I would suggest throwing a little more in there, or perhaps using a bit of shredded Monteray Jack in addition to the others.  I liked the addition of the green onions and red peppers, but felt they got a little lost in there, and I would have just liked a little more of them perhaps.  Or to bring more flavor into the quesadillas rather than on top you might consider putting a little cilantro inside as well.

Overall, though, these were simple, different, and very good.  I don’t think I have met a quesadilla I haven’t liked yet!  A quick note… I was making these for just my husband and I so rather than make three quesadillas I just made two fuller ones.  I also feel like this made more sauce than needed, so if you don’t like having leftovers maybe consider cutting back just a bit on the sauce ingredients.  As I mentioned it wasn’t too hot, but if you heap the sauce on it quickly could become so!

Smoked Salmon Quesadillas with Creamy Chipotle Sauce

Makes : 2 or 3 quesadillas

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 T. minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 flour tortillas (8 inch)
  • 3 oz. smoked salmon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted sweet red peppers
  • fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions :

  1. In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the chipotle sauce. In another bowl, mix cream cheese and feta cheese until blended; spread over tortillas. Top half side of each with the salmon, green onions and red pepper; fold over.
  2. Place quesadillas on a greased griddle. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and cheese has melted. Serve with the chipotle sauce and top with cilantro.

Recipe from Jo Cooks

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Thai Coconut Lime Soup


It was grocery day and I was searching for a new dish to make that featured some sort of seafood.  Came across this and was immediately interested not only because of the lovely photos, but also because three of the four words in the name of this dish are some of the best foods in my opinion.  I figured three out of four wasn’t bad, and I would try to get past my distaste for soup and give it a shot.  I am glad I did.  This soup definitely has a LOT of flavor between the fresh ginger, green curry, coconut, lime, shrimp, serrano, garlic, and cilantro.  It also packs a LOT of heat!  I think next time I will wimp out and dispose of the seeds from the pepper.

One of the reasons I don’t particularly like soup is because of the broth… it just seems like too much to me I guess.  Figuring I had probably already done a number on my stomach from the heat in this dish I didn’t finish my broth, but did find that dipping some bread in it was a nice way to mellow out some of the heat and make me not feel like I was drinking my meal.  Both my husband and I though agreed this soup would be better with a little less broth, and more stuff in it.  So I would suggest increasing the ingredients in the soup to about 1.5x or maybe even 2x the amount listed, and sticking with the listed amount of broth ingredients.  I had doubled the recipe and we ended up tossing a lot of the left over broth after filled our bowls with the extra shrimp, mushrooms and onions.  Or you could throw a bit of rice in it to make it a little heartier and get rid of that excess broth issue if you are like me.

Anyway, this was still a winner in my book, and smelled amazing.  I loved the blend of flavors, and I just love trying new things.  In particular I don’t think I had ever had green curry paste before this dish.

Thai Coconut Lime Soup

Serves : 2                 

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 lb raw shrimp
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 2 T. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano, thinly sliced, seeds and all
  • 1/2 onion, sliced into thin wedges
  • 3 T. Thai green curry paste
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • zest of 1 lime

Directions :

  1. Heat the oil in a pot and saute the shrimp just until pink on both sides.  Set aside.
  2. In the same pan saute the ginger, garlic, hot pepper and onion for a few minutes on low to medium heat, until the onion starts to soften.
  3. Add in the curry paste, brown sugar, and mushrooms.  Saute for a few more minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, and water to the pan.  Bring up to a simmer and cook gently for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the cooked shrimp and cilantro to the pot.  Heat through.  Taste for seasoning adjustments.
  6. Serve hot with cilantro and lime zest as garnish.

Recipe from The View From The Great Island

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Published in: on March 5, 2013 at 9:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Baked Fish Fillets with Lemon & Red Capsicum


Do you know what a capsicum is?  I do…. now.  I admit I had to look it up.  It is red bell pepper.  The recipe gives directions for roasting your own, but unless you really want to and have the time, I would just cheat and buy them from the store, which is exactly what I did because I DON’T have the time to be roasting red peppers on a weeknight after grocery shopping.  As it was we already had to eat dinner after 7, which isn’t something I like to do if I can help it.  Luckily once I got home and got things put away this dish came together fairly quickly.

I made some roasted red potatoes to go with it, which was a nice pairing, but it did take a little longer to get dinner on the table since they had to be in the oven longer than the fish.  The blog I got this from suggested steamed baby potatoes as a good side, and I don’t know much about steaming potatoes, but perhaps that is quicker if you really want to get dinner on the table in a short amount of time.

The colors of this dish were just gorgeous.  The sauce was a vibrant red/orange color and then you throw in the green of the parsley and the white fish and it’s just a piece of art really.  I don’t know that I have had many (if any) fish dishes with a red sauce, so this was different for me, but it was a good different.  I really liked the sauce, and felt it was a good balance of flavor with the lemon, coriander, garlic and of course the red peppers.  I have had red pepper sauce in a few pasta dishes before as well, and I really like the change from the usual tomato based sauces.  If you haven’t tried it before I suggest you do!

The only change I made to this recipe was to throw a bit of lemon zest over the dish before baking it to really brighten the flavor and bring that subtle lemon flavor out more.  Not my best picture, but as I said, it was getting rather late and fish really isn’t good cold lol.  Red sauces can be quite tricky to photograph and something like this where you can’t even really see the protein makes it even  harder!

 

Baked Fish Fillets with Lemon & Red Capsicum

Serves : 6       Time to make : 40 minutes (plan ahead to roast your peppers which will add to the time)

Ingredients :

  • 1 large red capsicum, or 1 cup chopped store bought capsicum (I actually found one smaller jar of roasted red peppers to equal about a cup when chopped so used the entire jar)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T. water
  • 3 tsp. coriander seed (I only had ground coriander so used about 2-2.5 tsp.)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 6 fillets of firm white fish such as cod or tilapia  (approx. 4oz each)
  • salt and ground white pepper to taste
  • 4 or 5 dried basil leaves
  • lemon zest (optional)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions :

  1. Heat oven to 200˚C (approx. 400˚F). Cut the capsicum into quarters, removing the membrane and seeds. Place onto a baking tray skin side up and roast until the skin has blackened. Immediately place the roast capsicum into a bowl and cover with a plate making sure it’s a tight fit.  Once cooled the skins will peel off the capsicum pieces.
  2. Place the capsicum, garlic, olive oil, coriander seeds, lemon juice, water, salt and ground pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth.
  3. Season the fish fillets with salt and white pepper and place in an oiled baking dish. Pour the capsicum puree over the fish, scatter the bay leaves (also sprinkle on the lemon zest if you choose to use it) and place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes at 200˚C (approx 400˚F). Test fish is ready by inserting the point of a knife into the center of a fillet. If the fish is white and flaky it is ready. If not, place back in the oven for another few minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the fish and serve at once.

Recipe from The Cook Who Knew Nothing

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Published in: on February 28, 2013 at 9:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Healthy Sweet & Sour Fish


I don’t know about you, but when I am browsing for new recipes and I see the word HEALTHY in the title I automatically pay attention.  Of course, sometimes upon further investigation of the recipe I decide it’s either just not for me, or not nearly as healthy as it claims, but lucky for me I decided to give this one a try.  I honestly don’t even care if it’s healthy or not because it was just so good!

It has all the elements of a nice Hawaiian type sweet and sour with the vinegar, peppers, pineapple, etc, but then you get the kick from the chili sauce and this just takes on a whole new level of goodness.  I really liked the use of fish in this rather than something like chicken, which I would typically do.  It was so soft and flaky and the flavor was perfect.  You just have to be a little more careful in the cooking process so as not to break up the fish too much.  Besides being full of flavor, this dish has a lot of color and would be sure to impress at your next dinner party.

This dish does take a little longer to prepare, but it’s worth the extra effort, and having everything prepped and ready to go from the start really makes things go smoothly.  The recipe says to serve over rice, but you’ll probably notice I just mixed it all together in the picture.  I was just saving myself the hassle and mess of trying to do it later on my plate lol.

Healthy Sweet & Sour Fish

Serves : 8          Time to make : 40 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 2 lbs. tilapia
  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 each,  red/yellow/green bell peppers
  • 2-3 cups fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili garlic sauce, or more to taste
  • 2 T. + 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • cooked brown rice
  • sesame seeds

Directions :

  1. Fish: Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces and mince 1 onion. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for 1 minute. Add the fish and sprinkle with cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Cook, flipping occasionally and draining any excess liquid, for 5-10 minutes or until the pieces are golden brown on the outside and white all the way through. Set aside.  (Be careful with the fish to avoid breaking it up too much)
  2. Vegetables: Chop the bell peppers and 1 onion into bite-sized pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet and saute the peppers and onions for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown on the outside and tender-crisp. Chop the pineapple into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan, cooking for another few minutes. Set aside.
  3. Sauce: Combine the vinegar, ketchup, sugar, salt, pineapple juice, orange juice, and sweet chili garlic sauce in a large skillet over medium low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch into a few tablespoons of water until smooth. Add to the sauce in the skillet and bring to a low boil. Cook for a few more minutes until the sauce is thickened.
  4. Combine the fish, vegetables, and sauce (you might not want all of it – just eyeball whatever looks good) in a large pan or bowl. Serve over brown rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds. I liked mine with extra sweet chili garlic sauce.

Recipe from pinch of yum

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Fettuccine with Salmon, Mushrooms & Apsaragus


I love smoked salmon, but I don’t buy it very often.  So when I came across this recipe I knew I had to try it.  I have had smoked salmon in pasta dishes before, and feel it works really well because of the concentrated flavor, as opposed to fresh salmon.  It’s also super easy to just flake already prepared fish into a quick pasta dish, and you can buy it in advance rather than having to make whatever fresh fish you purchased the day you buy it to preserve the freshness.

The recipe I followed was formatted for the metric system, and so I had to do a bit of converting.  This isn’t a big deal with the help of some of the online converters.  But aside from that I find that there are also often differences in things like produce sizes.  Specifically for this recipe, it called for an entire bunch of asparagus, for a pasta that is meant to serve two.  I didn’t think much of it until I started to cut it all up and then it seemed like a LOT!  To my surprise it turned out ok (though I did make a bit more linguine than it called for), but I still have to wonder if I was meant to use that much.  The original recipe also called for swiss brown mushrooms, which I am unfamiliar with (at least by that name) so I used crimini mushrooms, and about 8 oz of them.  One other thing I wasn’t quite certain of was the call for “hot smoked salmon”.  I have no idea if that meant spicy, or if you can perhaps purchase smoked salmon heated or what, but I just went with a nice thick smoked salmon I found in the seafood section of my local grocery store.  To make things easier for all of you, I am just going to share my conversions/alterations when I type up the recipe.

The dish itself really was fantastic by the way.  Full of flavor, nice and creamy….. this is not your figure friendly type of dish necessarily lol…. and had wonderful color to it which you know I appreciate.  This is another one of those recipes that is great for any night of the week, but good enough to stand up to a special occasion or dinner party with friends!

Fettuccine with Salmon, Mushroom & Asparagus

Serves : 2               Time to make : 20 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 8 oz. linguine (though I used more like 12oz)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 8 oz. sliced brown mushrooms
  • 1 bunch asparagus, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • sm. handful chopped parsley (about 2 T.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb. smoked salmon

Directions :

  1. Boil a large pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet and saute mushrooms and asparagus for a few minutes until tender.  Add the garlic the last minute to avoid over cooking.    Lower heat to a simmer and pour in the cream.  Simmer for 3 minutes then add the parsley, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine and remove from heat.
  3. Strain linguine and transfer to the cream mixture.  Toss to combine.  Flake most of the salmon into the pasta, reserving a few pieces to garnish with.  Divide into two bowls and sprinkle a bit of parsley on top with the pieces of salmon.

Recipe from Chew Town

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Sweet Chili Shrimp Stir-fry


This is a fabulously simple dish, ready in under 20 minutes.  It would be just as good for a special occasion as a quick weeknight meal and has a lot of flavor despite the seemingly simple ingredient list.  I had to really fight the urge not to throw a little something extra in this, and really give it a chance, but I am glad I didn’t.  The peas give it that freshness, the sauce gives it the heat and sweetness, the nuts give it that crunch and have a great buttery texture that just goes so well with the shrimp, and of course the lime just ties it all together and gives it that little something extra.  I almost didn’t even make this because it seemed SO simple, and I wasn’t sure if Jeff would be ok with it.

I accidentally grabbed cooked shrimp when I was at the store, but it was ok since all the flavor is in the sauce and I didn’t have to worry about getting it into the shrimp since it coats everything.  I didn’t have Jasmine rice on hand so went with some boil in a bag brown rice and I actually think it went perfectly with this.  For the chili sauce I had some garlic chili thai sauce already opened so I used that.  My only issue with this recipe was when it was time to photograph it…. it’s not exactly the prettiest dish to look at, but what it lacks in appearance it makes up for in taste!  You won’t regret trying this one.

Sweet Chili Shrimp Stir-fry

Serves : 2         Time to make : less than 20 minutes!

Ingredients :

  • 1 lb shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 C. sweet chili sauce
  • 1 1/4 C. snow peas
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 C. cashews, roughly chopped
  • 1 lime
  • 1 1/2 C. jasmine rice, uncooked (or another quick cooking variety)

Directions :

  1. In a medium sized pot cook rice according to package directions.
  2. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over moderate heat.  Cook garlic in oil until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add shrimp and saute until pink and cooked through.  Remove from pan.
  3. While shrimp is cooking, trim ends off snow peas and cut into thirds diagonally.
  4. Add sesame oil to the pan and saute snow peas until tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Return the shrimp to the pan and add the sweet chili sauce, cook until  heated through.  Add more chili sauce if necessary.
  6. Serve over rice and top each plate with chopped cashews and a fresh lime cut into wedges.

Recipe from the clever carrot

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Published in: on February 14, 2013 at 12:54 pm  Comments (3)  
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Chilean Salmon with Avocado Cream Sauce + Island Nectar


As promised last night on my facebook page, here is Chilean Salmon with Avocado Cream Sauce and a drink I made up to use the rest of the coconut water.  If you are following my facebook page (there is a button on the right hand side of this blog) you will know that I had a bit of a fiasco with this recipe last night.  Because I had such a thick piece of salmon, and didn’t want to cut it and take away from the photographic presentation, I ended up with a portion in the middle/bottom that wasn’t quite done.  Having the skin still on the bottom side didn’t help either.  It wasn’t a big deal though, as I just flaked off the parts that were done and then put the rest back in the skillet for a minute more until it was done.  It was quite the mess however since I had already put the sauce on top.  I suggest making sure your pieces are cut more reasonably though if you want to present a beautiful piece of fish on the plate.

The flavor of this salmon was fantastic!  The actual preparation of the salmon is very simple, but allowing the lemon juice to soak in a bit and then covering the top with a generous amount of course sea salt and pepper results in such a beautiful crust that is full of flavor and allows the actual salmon flavor to really be the star.  Topped with the cool, creamy, slightly spicy avocado cream dip this is melt in your mouth good!  As I mentioned, my piece of salmon still had the skin on one side, which can be nice for presentation if you like that sort of thing, but I feel like it kind of messes up the cooking process… at least in a hot skillet since it seems to block some of the heat from reaching that bottom side and making it through to the middle to ensure a fully cooked fillet.  It would also be nice without the skin to have the option to salt and pepper both sides for even more crust.

Note : my piece of salmon was quite wet to start, and I had forgotten to pat dry it a bit before putting the lemon juice on.  As a result when I placed in into the hot oil in my skillet there was a LOT of splash from the moisture which not only caused a disaster on my stove top, but also managed to give me quite a few little burns.  I imagine even if you do dry your fish off well before putting the lemon juice on it’s going to splatter a bit from the lemon juice so beware and consider having a splatter screen handy!  And here is another little tip when cooking fish in a skillet.  Once you set the fish down don’t touch it until you see the bottom is starting to brown and the color will start to change up the side of your fillet.  You want it to be about halfway before you flip it.  If you try to move it before it starts to crust over you chance breaking the fish or having it stick to the skillet.  Also, always use oil or non-stick spray and cook in a quality skillet.

Chilean Salmon w/ Avocado Cream Sauce

Serves : 2+                          Time to make : 15 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 1 lb fresh salmon fillets (2 good sized fillets or you can opt for smaller pieces to serve more people)
  • lemon
  • course sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • olive oil (about 2-3 T.)
  • 1 Haas avocado, about 2/3 cup
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T. finely chopped shallots
  • 1/3 C. coconut water (I used Blue Monkey with pulp)
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch chili powder
  • pinch smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. chopped chives

Directions :

  1. Pat dry your fillets and then place on a plate and squeeze the juice of one lemon over top and allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking.  Generously sprinkle your course sea salt and fresh ground black pepper onto the salmon fillets before carefully placing into the hot oil.  Cook on the first side about 3-4 minutes depending on the thickness of your salmon until browned on bottom and the color has turned light pink about halfway up the side of your fillet.  Flip and cook through.
  2. Meanwhile for the sauce (It can help to have some of the sauce ingredients ready to go before you start cooking your salmon) cut open your avocado and scoop out the insides.  If you have never cut an avocado before what you do is take a knife and make a cut from top to bottom.  You won’t be able to cut through because of the pit, once you hit that sort of roll the knife around the avocado until you cut all the way around from top to bottom.  Holding both sides twist and pull and you’ll have two perfect halves with the pit in one of them.  I like to use a knife or spoon to pry the pit out at that point and then using a spoon slide it between the peel and the avocado and you can scoop it out in one swipe usually.
  3. Place all sauce ingredients together in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.  Spoon over your finished salmon.

Recipe from : domestic fits

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Now for the drink… I am calling it Island Nectar because the flavors are very “Island-y” and it has Guava Nectar in it… real creative I know lol.  As I mentioned on the facebook page, I just wanted to use up the rest of the can of coconut milk and figured some sort of cocktail would be the way to go.  I have a rather diverse bar in my pantry from all the various drinks we have tried over the years so I knew I could probably come up with something.  Unfortunately the ones I wanted to use, such as the rum were pretty low, hence the somewhat random amounts listed, but it actually ended up just right for my tastes.  Jeff likes a lot more alcohol in his drinks, whereas I am more about the taste, so if you are more like him you might want to add some straight rum or vodka to it so as not to change the taste too much.

So without a real plan I just started pouring things together and at first it was AWFUL… I mean seriously bad.  This was around the point that it was just coconut water and guava nectar.  I hadn’t really ever tried guava nectar before, but had a few cans lying around for a drink I wanted to try from Guy Fieri.  It is definitely not something I would drink on it’s own… So I knew I needed to sweeten it up and just started grabbing other things I had and voila it was suddenly good!  I don’t know how much this makes, but it about filled a basic pitcher.

Island Nectar

makes : 1 pitcher

Ingredients :

  • 1 can Blue Monkey Coconut Water with pulp (or slightly less if you used some on the fish)
  • 1 (11.3oz) can guava nectar (I found some called Jumex in the beverage isle at the grocery store)
  • 1 can 7-up
  • 2 oz. triple sec
  • 6 oz. pineapple rum
  • 1 oz. vanilla flavored syrup (like for coffee drinks)
  • ice
  • mint sprigs or lime wedges for garnish (I didn’t have anything on hand)

Directions :

  1. Combine everything over a generous amount of ice in a pitcher and stir.

islandnectar copy

Mango & Banana Salsa with Tilapia


It is my goal to eat more fish this year for it’s health benefits and just for the variety as well.  I have always enjoyed fish, but I am not very experienced with it, so it will be fun to try new ways to prepare it.  Tonight’s recipe instantly grabbed my attention by all the gorgeous colors in the dish.  After all, they way your food looks plays a large role in your enjoyment of it.  I was a bit disappointed to see that the recipe called for mango because I just can’t stand the stuff, but I also knew that I could probably substitute some pineapple with good results since I have had a similar salsa before.  The addition of banana was very new to me however, and intriguing for sure.  I will post it with the original recipe, but my own review is for the pineapple version.

The dish comes together very quickly, and easily.  I suggest making the salsa earlier in the day if you have time and letting it sit in the fridge to really let the flavors marry, but I only had about a half hour for mine and it was still great.  The dish has such a freshness to it, and a great balance of heat, sweet, and sour with the colorful salsa.  With the eye-catching presentation it’s the perfect thing to serve to guests if you want to impress.  It’s also very low calorie/fat which everyone appreciates.  The recipes makes a lot of the salsa, almost more than you need, but it worked out to sort of eat it like a salad with the cut up fish rather than as a topping for it.  I was a bit confused about the part where it called for half of a long red pepper, and then listed jalapeno or thai, so I just got a red jalapeno and put the whole thing in there since they aren’t very big.  I would suggest tasting whatever type of pepper you use first to determine how much you want in there.

 

Mango & Banana Salsa with Tilapia

Serves : 4                         Time to make : 25 minutes (+ time for salsa to sit)

Ingredients :

  • 1 large ripe mango, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (a heaping cup) * I subbed the same amount of fresh pineapple
  • 1 medium banana, firm ripe, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 long red pepper, ripe jalapeno or Thai
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2/3 cups cilantro leaves, 1/3 cup minced & 1/3 cup roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice (I added a little more and some zest)
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt or to taste
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • flour (about a 1/4 cup or so
  • 2 T. olive oil

Directions :

  1. Combine mango, banana, pepper, red pepper, cilantro, onion, lime juice, and salt in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 hours if time allows, otherwise you can move right on to the fish.
  2. Pat dry fish fillets, season with salt and pepper on both sides and dredge in flour; shaking off excess.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add fish and cook until medium golden brown and fish easily lifts from bottom of pan.  Turn over and cook until done all the way through.
  4. Move to either one serving tray or individual plates before topping with the salsa (about a cup per fillet if individual).  Serve with additional lime wedges if desired.

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Ultimate Tuna Melt


Let me start by saying I did not name this recipe.  It came from Food.com.  However, I do agree that this is one awesome tuna melt!  The first time I made this recipe was in 2007, and I have made it countless times since.  Not only are they tastey, but they are quite quick and simple to prepare, and low in fat and calories.  These melts make it into our meal rotation often during those times we are trying to lose a bit of weight… such as last night lol.

Over the years I have very slightly altered the recipe to suit our needs and this is what I will share on my blog.  The ingredients are all basically the same, but I may have changed a few amounts and also the method a little to give the best results.  Jeff and I usually each eat 4 of these…. yeah I know it sounds like a lot, but even at that many the calorie total fits well within our daily budgets.  If you can find the 100 calorie english muffins that works best (if you are counting calories anyway), but any type will do just fine.  Likewise, I use the ultra thin cheese for diet reasons, but have used regular slices before as well.  As for the tuna, I use chunk light because I try to avoid Albacore for the mercury levels, however the original recipe did suggest the albacore.

 

Ultimate Tuna Melt

Serves : 2-4               Time to make : 15 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 4 (100 calorie, or wheat variety) english muffins, cut in half
  • 2 small cans of tuna (in water), well drained
  • 3/4 cup artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (I usually use one of the small jars of marinated hearts)
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (start with the lesser and taste it)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 8 slices ultra thin provolone

Directions :

  1. Preheat broiler, and arrange muffins on baking sheet.  Spray lightly with any sort of cooking spray and brown slightly.  This happens fairly quickly so keep an eye on it.  Once done set aside while you mix the topping.
  2. In a large bowl combine the tuna, artichokes, onions, lemon juice and zest, seasoning, and oil.  Spoon carefully onto each toasted muffin.  Top with a slice of cheese.
  3. Broil for a couple of minutes, watching closely until cheese has melted and starts to brown.  I find that rotating them helps get them all evenly done.

ultimatetunamelt

Fish Picatta


This recipe comes from Melissa d’Arabian, whom you may have seen on Food Network.  I’ve made other variations of this recipe before, but this one is SO simple I had to give it a try and I was so glad I did because it’s literally bursting with flavor.  It’s a great weeknight meal because it takes so little effort to prepare, and it’s also a nice light dish with low calories and fat.  If you’re like me and would like to find more ways to incorporate fish into your diet for all it’s healthy benefits, I highly suggest you try this recipe.

Tonight I paired this with some fried potato slices (fish and chips), but it would also be good with a simple pasta to soak up all that delicious sauce left on the plate.  Or perhaps some couscous would be nice too.  Tilapia is fairly inexpensive, but you can splurge a little and use something like Halibut for this too if you want.  Really, any firm white fish would work I am sure.  The lemon flavor is VERY strong, so if you would like it a little less lemony go ahead and do half the lemon juice.  I have tried this with both pinot and moscato and had great results.

 

Fish Picatta

serves 4                time to make : 20 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 4 small fillets of white fish such as tilapia, about a lb total
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 lemons, juiced (I also take the zest off one for extra flavor)
  • 2 T. capers
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Directions :

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  While pan is heating, blot fish with a paper towel, season with salt and pepper.  Dredge in flour, shaking off excess.
  2. Saute fish in oil until just cooked through and lightly browned, about 4 minutes.  Turn half way through cooking.  Move to platter and keep warm.
  3. Immediately deglaze the pan with the white wine, whisking for about 1 minute.  It  helps to lift the pan off the burner at this point or you will have a HUGE mess.  Add the lemon juice and capers next and stir to combine.  Add the butter, allowing to melt as you whisk together.  Simmer for a couple minutes to allow the sauce to thicken slightly as it reduces. 
  4. Pour over the plated fish, and top with your chopped parsley (and this is where I add the zest as well).

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Published in: on January 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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