Seared Mahi-Mahi with Green Gazpacho Sauce

When I saw this in the September, 2009 issue of Bon Appetit I had to make it ASAP. My oh my is it ever good! We grilled the mahi instead of searing it. It really doesn't make a difference in the final product. I think this would be great with tilapia, halibut, scallops and even shrimp.

I'm definitely keeping the sauce recipe handy for more dishes. I bought white balsamic at Trader Joes because it was cheap but you could definitely substitute white wine vinegar.

Recipe HERE

Mediterranean Chicken

Tonight was my turn to host supper club and the theme was Mediterranean. So I picked a four fork rated Mediterranean recipe from Bon Appetit's March 2004 issue. It's hard to say which Mediterranean country influences this the most. It's more of a flavor profile.

I will say it does deserve all the accolades on Epicurious. It's easy and full of flavor. The only alterations I made were to cut the olives and cherry tomatoes in half.

If you don't want to spring for wild mushrooms you could use button. But the wild mushrooms give the dish a more earthy flavor. I'll definitely make this again!

Recipe HERE

Oh and the green things next to the chicken are dolma (stuffed grape leaves). I love dolma and these were good but the recipe definitley needed tweaking. I do want to make a rice dolma one day.

Plumped Ginger-Caramel Shrimp

I want to eat this ALL THE TIME!! It is so tasty and fairly easy. Don't be alarmed by the amount of Chile powder. Your dish will not be that spicy.

I used frozen shelled shrimp which was fine, but made a big mess while shelling. Think red splatter. Next time I'll thaw and shell my shrimp and brine in the refrigerator.

The recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Splendid Table's How to Cook Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift. I put it on a bed of jasmine rice and served steamed broccoli on the side.

Plumped Ginger-Caramel Shrimp
Serves 4

1/2 cup kosher or sea salt (not iodized)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup medium hot chile powder (I used Penzey's Hot and it was tame)
2 qts warm water
1 1/2 lbs frozen shrimp in or out of shells

4 large garlic cloves
One 4-inch piece fresh peeled ginger(I used bottled and eyeballed it)
4 tbs canola oil(I used vegetable oil
1/4 to 1/2 tsp fesh ground pepper
4 tsp sugar

In a large glass bowl combine brine ingredients and add shrimp. Let brine at room temp while setting up the rest of the meal.

Drain shrimp and peel. Pat dry.

Chop garlic and ginger together in 1/8 in pieces.
Heat oil in 12 inch saute pan with straight sides. Add garlic-ginger mixture pepper and a sprinkle of salt Cook for 1 minute stirring with a wooden spatula. blend in sugar and cook until garlic is golden but not brown.

Add shrimp and stir till done. Turn out into a bowl. Taste for seasoning and adjust if you like.

Grilled Halibut with Golden Mole Sauce, Salsa Fresca, and Black Beans

Golden mole sauce doesn't photograph so well on a gold plate but that's what my boyfriend owns.

It was very good despite a mishap where I discovered he does not store the blade to his blender in the blender. Yeah I didn't look before pouring but luckily it only took a moment to notice broth pouring out the back of the blender so it wasn't a total disaster.

The recipe comes from Fish and Shellfish Grilled and Smoked by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig, which I've featured here before. I've made quite a few things from this book and haven't had a failure yet. If you like fish you need this book!

I served it with my standard light refried black beans. Just sautee a little garlic and red onion, dump in a can of black beans with the liquid and any seasoning you desire(I use cumin salt and pepper). Simmer and smash the beans with a potato masher or the back of a fork. I finish with lime juice and cilantro.

Here's the recipe for the fish. I made the salsa ahead of time and brought it to room temp before serving.

Grilled Halibut with Golden Mole Sauce, Salsa Fresca

Golden Mole Sauce

3 tbs corn oil
1/3 cup shelled, roasted, salted, sunflower seeds
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 yellow bell peppers seeded and chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 tsp salt

Heat oil in a large saucepanover medium high heat and add sunflower seeds through cinnamon. Sautee until onion is translucent 5-7 minutes. Add chicken broth. Taste and add salt as needed. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender and process until smooth. Keep warm until ready to use.

Salsa Fresca

Juice of one large lime
4 large ripe Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
3 Tbs olive oil
Salt and ground pepper to taste

Mix all of the above.


4 6-8 oz halibut filets
olive oil
salt and pepper

Brush fish with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a well oiled grill basket and grill over a hot fire until fish is opaque and beginning to flake when tested with a fork, about 4-6 minutes each side.

Serve fish on top of mole and topped with salsa.

Can also be made with other firm white fish.

Carrot Dill and White Bean Salad and a movie review

I went to see Julie and Julia yesterday and LOVED it! Meryl Streep's Julia Child was unbelievably believable. It really did make want to get her book and try some of those recipes. I won't be boiling calves feet for aspic (blechh) but I would like to try the beef bourguignon once the weather cools.

Some say the Julie character is too whiny, and I see their point, but in her defense she did have a sucky job. And yes blogging is narcissistic but not nearly as much as Facebook and Twitter. Then again those two sites weren't around in 2002.

I cooked some dried cannellini beans today for salads after coming across THIS recipe on the 101 Cookbooks blog.

I'm not a huge carrot fan. I'll eat them in dishes but rarely all by themselves. These carrots were so good! I was worried the dish would be too sweet and I did not add all the honey the recipe called for. It was perfect and something I'll definitely make again.

Japanese Style Rice Salad

Yeah I know I tagged this as vegan/vegetarian but read on.....

I confess I'm not a huge fan of green salads. I eat plenty of them, but I usually start with all the additions and nibble at the greens.

I bought a Mr Bento Lunch Jar and have been searching for tasty grain, noodle and bean salads for the main course container.

This recipe seemed right up my alley. It comes from Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I did replace the tofu with shrimp because I didn't want to bake. I used water instead of sake and skipped the extra sugar. And i used short grain brown rice.

It is really good and mild compared to the spicy dishes I usually eat. i'm thinking it would be a bitbolder with the sake. Next time.

Japanese-Style Rice Salad
Time: 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the type of rice
Yield: 4 to 8 servings.

1 1/2 to 2 cups short-grain brown or white rice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped scallion
1 small or 1/2 large red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped or shredded celery
1/4 cup finely chopped or shredded carrot
1 cup firm tofu, preferably baked, optional
6 tablespoons miso paste
3/4 cup warm water or sake
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon mirin or honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar, or more to taste
2 sheets of nori, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons black or white sesame seeds, toasted.

1. Cook rice in abundant salted water, as you would pasta, until it's just done; white rice will take 10 to 15 minutes, brown 30 or a little longer. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain again, then combine with vegetables and tofu in a large bowl.

2. Put black pepper, miso, water or sake, sugar, mirin or honey, and vinegar in a small bowl, and whisk together. Taste, and add more vinegar and a pinch of salt, if needed.

3. Combine rice mixture with miso dressing with 2 big forks, fluffing rice and tossing gently to separate grains.

4. Crumble nori over salad and sprinkle with sesame seeds, taste, and adjust seasoning or moisten with a little more dressing. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to a day, bringing salad back to room temperature before serving.

Grilled Tilapia with Cherry Salsa

It's 115 degrees outside and I do not want to cook ANYTHING! When it gets like this I graze. Or make gazpacho.

But for the sake of the blog I managed to get my butt outside and grill some fish. I bought a large bag of cherries on sale and I have a bad habit of letting large amounts of produce go bad before I can consume it. I hate wasting food which is why I try to buy in small quantities.

This dish was definitely worth the trip outside to Hades. I'm not a dessert person so I was excited to find a savory cherry recipe. I even liked the fish with just the rub and no salsa.

I have leftover salsa and will probably use it on halibut or chicken over the weekend.

I first saw the recipe on my buddy Joe's blog, Culinary in the Desert, but the original recipe is from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food, June 2008.

It's a pretty dish too isn't it?

Halloumi Cheese with Cucumber Lentil Salad

I could eat an entire package of halloumi grilled or pan fried. But I showed restraint and made my last package last 3 meals.

It doesn't melt but it browns beautifully and gets "gooey". YUM-YUM-YUM-YUM-YUM-YUM-YUM-YUM!!!!

This recipe made a pretty good lunch. The best part was the cheese of course.

I used the beluga lentils because I like the protein punch. They're great in salads. But they're flavor neutral so if you can't find them other lentils will do. Persian cucumbers are small and tender but basically taste like cucumbers so you could sub an English hothouse or a regular cuke if you don't have access to the Persian. I think the Persian have a cooler fresher taste but that might be because of where I buy them. I also added chopped kalamata olives just because. The recipe says you can sub parm cheese but that would taste entirely different.

Recipe HERE

Grilled Halibut with Chimichurri

We just got back from an Alaskan cruise (Holland America Line) and had a fantastic time. Even if you think you are not a "cruise person" I encourage you to try it. You will not be disappointed.

There was plenty of halibut and salmon on the ship but my boyfriend ate no halibut and had salmon only once. So I decided since it's in season I'd do halibut since he missed out.

I've had chimichurri on steak many times but never on fish. Yum! It's a great compliment. I need to buy more halibut too as it's so good on the grill!

I highly recommend the chimichurri recipe I blogged about HERE.