Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Salad

I'm trying to cut out sugar.  I hate dieting and I've avoided purposefully cutting out any food groups for awhile.  In fact in direct rebellion to the horrendous HCG diet that people are into right now, (DON'T DO IT PEOPLE) I have taken to eating bread, desserts and fat more than normal.   Now the pendulum is swinging back and bikini season is upon us.

So, though I of course will keep the nightly glass of wine, I'll let the carbs and breads go for awhile.

Tonight with cauliflower in my veggie box, I'm moving away from my normal instinct to serve caramelly roasted cauliflower and olives with pasta (which is awesome if you're eating carbs) and instead served it alongside white beans and a lemony light salad that was simply red leaf lettuce tossed with lemon juice, salt and olive oil.  It turned out to be amazing and I didn't miss the pasta at all. Though grilled sausage was on the plate as well, I found myself shoving it to the side and ended up donating it to my extremely carnivorous boys.  So I thought I'd give you the recipe more as a salad since that's how I ended up eating it.  It's more of an idea by the way, than a recipe so the measurements are more in grandmother style.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad
If you haven't roasted cauliflower, try it while it's still in season in much of the country.  Or keep this in your back pocket for next Spring if you're in the South where it may not be at the farmers markets any longer.  Serve it alone or with roasted chicken or fish.  If you're drinking a nightly glass of wine, like us, Rosé is the ideal pairing with a light Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc following close behind.
 
1 head of cauliflower (judge remaining ingredients based on how much cauliflower you have)
a handful of kalamata olives
a handful of golden or regular raisins
3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
red pepper flakes
kosher or sea salt
extra virgin olive oil

To serve:
White beans, drained well
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lemon
Enough lettuce for 2-3 people, hearty lettuces are better than mixed greens


Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Remove the core of the cauliflower.  Using a sharp knife, slice straight down through the cauliflower into 1/2" pieces.  Cut each big slice into smaller pieces.  Transfer all the pieces (including the bits that fell off while cutting) to a large cookie sheet.

Toss the cauliflower with the olives, raisins, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and olive oil.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, tossing at least once or twice.  When the cauliflower is very brown on the edges and tender, it's ready.  .

In a large bowl toss the beans with the garlic and enough olive oil to coat them and have some residual at the bottom of the bowl (about 1/4 cup).  Squeeze in the lemon juice and sprinkle with salt.  Taste and add more oil, lemon juice or salt as needed.  Add the cauliflower mixture and toss gently.  Serve over the lettuce.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Quinoa Bean Burgers - Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday is a great way to introduce your family to vegetarian cuisine.  No, not the tofu-laden vegetarian of the 80's. (Unless it's blended into a chocolate mousse, tofu does not enter our house.  I've tried it every way possible and it's somewhat like eating a bowl of soaking wet packing peanuts--except in the said mousse.) 

I'm too big a fan of pork products to really be a vegetarian, but I also love our earth and in order to not consume as many animal products, we do try to eat at least one or two vegetarian meals a week.

Bean cakes (or burgers) are an easy way to do this and when I found this recipe on the Eating Well website, I realized it fit the CWYG philosophy perfectly and I had everything on The List.  Plus it not only included beans, but quinoa which I love. 

Part of what I want my readers to adopt is the reality that recipes are simply ideas.  They can always be changed and are flexible so use what you have.  I didn't have avocadoes to make the guacamole or any sort of bread product to serve the burgers on but I did have lettuce from my veggie box and I had salsa I had made last week. (Want recipes for easy to make and freezer friendly salsas?)  So we simply had the "burgers" alongside a simple salad and topped with cheese, salsa and plain yogurt--which I regularly use in place of sour cream since we always have it.

By the way, you may want to double this recipe--my kids were totally bummed when they realized there were none left after their initial serving.  Plus they are great to freeze and use for lunches, too.  (Now, I'm wishing I had tripled the recipe...quick lunches...Duh!)  Happy Meatless Monday.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Swiss Chard, Caramelized Onion and Black BeanTacos


A transplanted Texan, I truly can't get enough Mexican food.  And surprisingly, it doesn't have to be heavy or full of fat if you make it yourself or if you're not dining at a Tex-Mex restaurant.

True Mexican food, as I've learned from studying Mexican cuisine more closely is that beyond the presumably limited diet of rice, beans, tortillas and cheese, grilled meats, interesting vegetables and a huge variety of salsas round it out and blend to make an extremely flavorful cuisine that is full of complex flavors.

As usual, I have my requisite bunch of greens in my veggie box this week along with an extra bag of "braising mix" which are the baby leaves of winter greens all mixed together.  (If you've been following long, then you know that when you are getting veggies from a farm or CSA* you are limited to what they have harvested for that week. From December to early June that means all different kinds of greens, both cooking greens and salad greens.  So if you're new and wondering why there are several recipes sporting the same ingredients, that's why.  My recipes are based on what's available at the moment.)

This week's use for greens is one of my favorites.  My kids actually love it and I get to feed them very healthfully since chard is a Super Food second only to spinach.  I originally found the idea in Rick Bayless' book Mexican Everyday then I took it from there over the years as I've made them during this season each year.

The smoky salsa (my own creation adapted from several ideas from Bayless' book) and almost charred onions are really the secret to this recipe being so addictive.  Don't skip these.  If you want all of my salsa recipes download Everyday Mexican recipes. (Yes, as I'm typing this I realized the striking similarity between the book mentioned above and my own collection of Mexican recipes.  Didn't realize until now...)

By the way, though this has lots of steps, it will actually come together quickly if you chop everything at once and have all the burners going to do each task simultaneously.

CWYG STATS

Veggie Box Items -  Chard, green garlic

CWYG Items - black beans (cooked ahead), onions, chipotle chile, canned tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, corn tortillas, feta cheese, spices

Swiss Chard, Caramelized Onion and Black Bean Tacos

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups black beans, undrained (1 15 oz can)
3 cloves garlic, minced, divided use
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 bunches chard, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or other mild vinegar)
1 14 oz can whole or diced tomatoes
1 chipotle chile (from a 7 oz can, freeze the rest in ice cube trays then store in freezer bag)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

salt

For serving:

a dozen corn tortillas
feta or cotija cheese 

In a very large skillet, saute the onion in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil until several pieces are beginning to blacken on the edges.  Turn down to medium low and cook until very soft and brown.  This will take about 10 minutes so you be cooking beans and prepping tortillas for heating while waiting.

Meanwhile, prepare the beans.  In a medium skillet, heat the beans and mash partially.  Add 1/2 the minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of cumin.  Keep stirring over high heat until the liquid has reduced by half.   Turn to low and keep warm.  Taste and add a bit of salt if necessary.

When the onions are well caramelized, remove 1/2 cup (or a big spoonful) and reserve to prepare salsa.  Add the sliced garlic to the remaining caramelized onions.  Cook for a couple of minutes then add the chard.  Sprinkle with salt then toss to coat with the onion mixture and turn to medium low. Cook until wilted then add the cider vinegar.

While chard is wilting, combine the reserved onions with the canned tomatoes and chipotle chile in a blender container.  Blend until pureed.  In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil over medium high.  Have a lid handy, then pour part of the tomato puree in and cover quickly to avoid spattering.  When it calms down, add the rest of the puree along with the remaining minced garlic.  Cook for a couple of minutes covered then remove from heat.  Stir in chopped cilantro and a little salt.  Taste and add more salt to taste.  If the salsa seems to sweet or like it needs a little acidity, add some lime or lemon juice. You will have lots of salsa left and it will freeze for up to 3 months or you can use it on eggs for a Mexican scramble.

Heat the tortillas and layer with beans, chard, salsa and cheese.
*Community Supported Agriculture - which means that a farm receives money up front in exchange for members getting a "share" of what grows on the farm each week.  Services vary from farm to farm.  To find out more and see what you have available in you area go to http://www.
localharvest.org.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Moroccan Chicken Skewers with Fennel, Orange and Olive Salad

My method for coming up with a meal varies from day to day.  Sometimes it's simply a time issue - and out comes a box of pasta and whatever I can dredge up from the veggie drawer.  Many times it's a money issue, then I stretch dinner with potatoes, tortillas or rice along with a small amount of meat combined with veggies.

Then there's my veggie box.  Every Thursday is like Christmas for me.  I get to determine menus based on what's inside.  This week I got two bulbs of fennel.  With a certain licorice-esque flavor, it's a definite "love it or hate it" kind of veggie.

I'm on the "love it" side so with fennel in my veggie box, the seemingly always present oranges, preserved lemons in my fridge and a newly purchased just-for-fun tube of harissa (a northern African chile and spice paste), Morrocan food was beckoning me.

Seated just across the Mediterranean from Spain, Moroccan food is characterized by brothy tagines and couscous.  Fruits, vegetables, honey, spices, are the major flavoring agents.

I decided to take the flavoring profile and create a grill-friendly recipe that would use the herbs I had in my fridge as well as the fennel and oranges.  Combined with a little quinoa in lieu of the more typical Moroccan accompaniment of couscous, this meal is both gluten-free and low-carb.

CWYG STATS


Veggie Box - fennel, mint (from herb garden)

CWYG List Items - chicken, spices, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, oranges, quinoa, olives

Moroccan Chicken Skewers with Fennel, Orange and Olive Salad

Chicken and marinade:

1 tsp each cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, garlic powder
1/2 tbsp each salt and cumin
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey (I didn't use this, but could tell it should have been there)
1/2 tbsp harissa, optional (use a large pinch of red pepper flakes instead for heat)
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2" chunks
1 large yellow onion cut intoe 1 1/2" chunks
6 12" wooden or metal skewers (soak wooden skewers in warm water for at least 30 minutes)
 
Salad:
2 bulbs fennel
3 oranges
a handful of oil-cured or kalamata olives, pitted and halved
extra virgin olive oil

Herb Sauce:
a large handful of mint leaves (1/2 cup)
a large handful of cilantro leaves (1/2 cup)
2 preserved lemon quarters, rinsed and chopped (Use a tbsp of lemon zest, a tsp of salt and the juice of the lemon instead)
2 scallions, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

To serve:  cooked quinoa, rice or couscous

In a bowl or zip-loc bag, mix the all the marinade ingredients.  Add the chicken and mix well to the marinade.
Marinate for at least 30 minutes but up to 24 hours is fine.

Prepare salad.  Remove fennel fronds if present. Cut the fennel in half lengthwise.  Remove any tough outer layers, then remove the core by cutting a deep "V" around it.  Cut the fennel halves into quarters then thinly slice.  Transfer to a large bowl.

For the oranges, use a cutting board with a well around the side or set a smaller cutting board inside a deep-sided cookie sheet to catch the juices.  (The juice is part of the dressing.)  Cut the two ends off the orange then cut down the sides removing the peel and pith to expose the flesh.  Drain off any juice into the bowl with the fennel and sprinkle the fennel with salt.  This will slightly wilt the fennel.  Slice the oranges 1/4" thick then cut the slices into quarters. Add to the bowl with the fennel.  Add the olives and drizzle with olive oil.  Let stand til time to serve.

For the herb sauce, place all the ingredients in a blender or mini food processor.  Blend well.  Taste to see if it is seasoned well, then add salt if necessary.

Heat your grill (or broiler if you don't have a grill of some sort).  Thread the chicken and onion on the skewers then place on the grill.  Grill on each side for about 3 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and the onions are browned.

Place the skewers on top of quinoa and drizzle with the herb sauce then add the fennel salad on the side.

Vietnamese Table Salad

OMG - the "stir-fry" cut, grass-fed beef I've been hoping would thaw by dinner is thawed and I have to do something with it or it will spoil.  But I'm  supposed to be walking out of the house.  Aaargh!  I grab the things closest at hand.  Lime juice squeezed earlier, granulated garlic, powdered ginger and sesame oil.  Squish it together, put in the fridge, wash my hands, out the door.  It looks like Asian tonight.

Fast forward 2 hours and I'm staring at a bowl of marinated beef.  It's almost the end of the fabulous beef from Long Meadow Ranch - order here - and since it's grilling season, stir-frying just didn't seem right.

I turned to look in the fridge to find that stir-fry would have been a bit difficult anyway.  The end of my veggie week - Thursday is veggie box delivery day and today's Wednesday. Just a little leftover lettuce, and a bunch of other salad veggies - the green parts only of green onions, some Thai basil from cooking for clients, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes (yes, I'm buying cucumbers and tomatoes out of season, technically, but I'm craving them for the water content.  My  seasonal slip-up.) and more mint than I know what to do with because it's growing like weeds.  I was racking my brain to come up with a plan that didn't involve rice (no time to make since it takes an hour for brown) and that used all these things. I was thinking a salad, but since I just made an Asian salad a few days ago, that sounded monotonous.  But I set about prepping veggies.  I looked down at the carrots I had grated next to the cucumbers I had chopped and it hit me!

Vietnamese Table Salad.

I first enjoyed this when I was studying briefly at the Culinary Institute of America.  The second of my two weeks there examined several different ethnic cuisines and this salad "recipe" was part of our class one day.  It's great because you make it like tacos and it can be served in little divided piles on each plate or you can do a large platter in the center of the table.  Using large lettuce leaves as the "taco shells" you pile all kinds of fresh veggies, herbs and optionally meat into the lettuce then top it with a very balanced sweet-hot-tart dressing that is typical of Southeast Asian cuisines.

It was CWYG at it's best.  This is the heart of this concept.  You can always create a meal out of what you've got, you've just got to keep an open mind.  If I had thought stir-fry was the only thing I could do with "stir-fry" cut beef, I would have had to go to the store and dinner would have been delayed or we would have had a boring pile of stir-fry meat sitting next to a boring salad.  Instead it became something very exciting and beautiful.

CWYG Stats
Veggie Box - Lettuce

CWYG List Items - beef, carrots, coconut, cashews, peanut butter, chile garlic paste, tamari (soy) sauce, lemon juice, olive oil
 
Vietnamese Table Salad
So I'm going to give you guidelines and ingredients, but you determine the quantities based on how many people you will serve.  I had barely a pound of my hoarded grass-fed beef but it gave us enough for 4 people.  If you don't have stir-fry beef, either use a whole sirloin and then slice or, so that each piece will be super flavorful, slice it thinly and marinate then carefully grill the individual slices.  (If you have a grill with wide openings between the grates, thread them on metal skewers or soaked wooden ones.)

1 lb Beef (or chicken, pork, shrimp, meaty fish) marinade
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp granulated garlic
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp lime juice

Mix together and let stand for 1/2 hour (no longer for fish or shrimp) or up to 24 hours for beef, chicken or pork).  Grill according to the protein you use. Salt after grilling

Salad Components (Use as many as you have on hand):
Shredded carrots
Chopped or shredded cucumbers
Chopped Tomatoes
Whole herb leaves (cilantro, mint, basil in any combination)
Chopped peanuts or cashews
Toasted coconut
Whole lettuce leaves from large romaine, red or green leaf, or iceberg (less nutritious, I only use when it comes in the veggie box)


Dressing:
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
2 tsp sriracha or Asian chile-garlic paste
2 tsp agave nectar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp peanut butter, crunchy if you have it
1 tbsp olive oil

Whisk together everything except the olive oil.  Once the peanut butter is incorporated to make a thin dressing.  Whisk in the olive oil.  Taste and add salt if necessary and balance all the flavors til it tastes good to you.

Attractively arrange all the salad components in small piles around a platter except the lettuce and dressing.  Make a stack of lettuce leaves on one end (or two stacks on either end).  Pour the dressing into a bowl with a small spoon.

To assemble (instruct guests so they will feel comfortable with the idea):  Hold a lettuce leaf like a taco.  Add meat first then top with remaining ingredients.  Drizzle with a little dressing then fold up and eat.  Have napkins handy.  It's messy but very good.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Orange Beef with Purple Cabbage


Satay. Pho. Dim Sum. Maki. Though they don't translate into English directly, you probably know what at least a couple of these words mean.

Asian cuisine is no longer foreign to us. 

With a typical flavor profile that is a balance of sweet, salty, hot, and sour, it is appealing (and quite addictive) to almost everyone.  Stearing clear of the fried options, it is also fairly healthy.  

From my perspective as a mom,  Asian food is the perfect opportunity to get my kids to eat vegetables.  From my chef point of view, I like the fact I can find the odds and ends from my veggie box and have an intelligent use for them.  Purple cabbage was one of these veggies.  I like cole slaw only with certain things and the texture of it isn't my favorite for salads, so I was trying to find a use for the two mini heads that appeared in my veggie box today.  Then I remembered the grass-fed stir-fry beef in my fridge.  Perfect. A profusion of oranges factored into creating a base of flavor for the marinade. With some julienned carrots and sliced scallions for color and additional nutrients, the dish came together beautifully.  Feel free to use chicken or pork if you have it on hand instead of the beef and whatever veggies you have in place of the cabbage.  This sauce will be delicious with almost any combination of meats and veggies. 

Cooking Note:  You will need to cook half this recipe at a time if you don't have a skillet or wok with a large (12" or more) bottom surface.  If you do it all at once, everything will steam because there won't be high enough heat to caramelize the sugars of the vegetables and meat.  In turn, you will miss a lot of the flavor that comes with cooking on high with little liquid.


CWYG STATS
Veggie Box -  purple cabbage, green garlic, carrots

CWYG List Items - onion, garlic, rice, sesame oil, tamari sauce, sherry, ginger, beef, oranges, scallions

Orange Beef with Purple Cabbage
Heads up for the rice if you're like me and have a weakness for white rice, but know there are definitive benefits to eating brown rice.  In order to overcome this weakness, I insist on using Basmati or Jasmine brown rice and have recently adopted this method for cooking instead of the traditional 2:1 ratio in a saucepan which seems to always come out either uncooked or gooey (great for a chocolate cake but not for rice).  It takes a full hour plus a few minutes to boil the water up front, so plan accordingly and either make it a day before or do this first before prepping the other ingredients.

1 1/2 cups brown Basmati or Jasmine rice
1 orange, zested and juiced (add more juice or OJ concentrate to make 1/2 cup if necessary)
2 tsp sesame oil, divided
2 tbsp tamari (or soy) sauce, divided
5 cloves garlic, minced (I used some green garlic from veggie box), divided
1 2" piece of ginger, peeled and grated, divided
2 tbsp agave nectar or natural sugar
2 tsp kosher salt, divided
12 oz - 1 lb of sirloin cut into 1/4" thick slices (preferably 100% grass-fed)
2 tbsp sherry
2 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 small head of purple cabbage (1/2 lb), shredded or julienned

2 carrots, peeled and julienned or shredded
2 scallions, thinly sliced
red pepper flakes, optional if you want a spicy stir-fry

Prepare rice then prep ingredients while it's cooking.

In a medium bowl or zip top bag, combine half each of the orange zest, sesame oil, tamari sauce garlic, ginger agave and salt.  Mix well then add beef.  Marinate for 30 minutes on counter or up to 24 hours in fridge.

For sauce, mix the orange juice with the remaining orange zest, sesame oil, tamari sauce, garlic, agave, salt, sherry and cornstarch in small jar and whisk well.


In a skillet or seasoned wok, heat half of the oil.  Add half the ginger and red pepper flakes if using.  Let sizzle for a few seconds then add half the beef in a single layer, reserving the cooking liquid.  Let cook on high for a couple of minutes without moving it at all so it will brown well.  Flip the beef over to let the other sides brown. 

Remove the beef to a plate then add the onion and let it brown a bit.  Add the cabbage along with 2 tbsp of water and some of the marinating liquid to help the cabbage wilt quickly.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until the cabbage is softened and the marinating liquid has reduced significantly.  Add the carrots, scallions and beef.  Toss to warm the beef then add half the sauce mixture.  Cook until it is thick and coats everything well.  Serve over rice.  Repeat with the remaining elements.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My kid made Pain Au Chocolat!

Could a mother ever be so proud?  Pain Au Chocolat made by my 12-year-old's hands.  Every bit.  The flour.  The butter. The folding.  He Did It!

Though the original plan was Frangipane from a recipe by Jacques Torres (Harry's favorite chef and inspiration for wanting to be a chocolate maker when he was 4), the main purpose for making it was to make the puff pastry from scratch for a school project.  Since this recipe used store-bought puff pastry we went searching for one that made the pastry from scratch and in the process found a Pain Au Chocolat recipe from Chef Torres with all the steps for the pastry as well as the finished product.  Since this is the one pastry that our entire family will almost literally fight over at the bakery if there's only one left, we both instantly agreed that this was the recipe. With his dad's birthday on the same day he was presenting his project, Harry decided this would also double as Dad's birthday breakfast.

For my part, since my mantra is "Cook What You've Got" this fit much better so we were all happy.

Ingredients for Pain Au Chocolat: Butter, flour, sugar, eggs, chocolate...all on hand thanks to the LIST.

Ingredients for Frangipane:  Butter, flour, sugar, eggs, almond flour, corn syrup...had to go to the store.

Great...we're off.  Pastry is not my forte, so no experimenting here, but you can print the master recipe for the dough then come back to see the steps.  By the way, if you look at the lighting you can see that this takes several hours (days in our case).

Step 1:  Mix the butter, flour, sugar, milk, water, salt and yeast until it is soft and starts pulling away from sides of the bowl.  It will look a bit :"ropey".

Step 2:  Knead the dough until it is smooth.

Step 3, 4, and 5: Lots of rolling the dough!  To create the buttery layers, you have to roll and refrigerate several times. This is the second round.  Roll into a 10x30" rectangle.



  Step 4b:  Spread the butter onto the dough. (Little bro is itching to get in there and get dirty, too!)


Step 6:  Roll one more time before cutting.


Step 7:  Cut into rectangles.  The recipe makes 20 large pastries, but we made 10 large and 30 small so each of Harry's classmates could enjoy their own mini Pain.

Step 8:  Here's where they are transformed from a simple croissant to Pain au Chocolat. Stuff with chocolate chips and roll up.

 

Step 8:  Let rise then bake. 

Step 9:  Eat!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Meatless Monday: Black Bean Tamale Pie

Comfort food 101.  Make a stew and top it with something.

With black beans fully cooked and waiting in the freezer that meant black bean chili topped with a simple cornbread recipe filled with cheese and chiles. 

Here it is, the perfect pantry recipe:

CWYG Stats

Veggie Box Items: - none

CWYG Items: - garlic, onions, canned tomatoes, spices, black beans (canned or pre-cooked), cornmeal, masa harina (corn flour), cheese, canned chiles, milk, eggs, baking powder

Black Bean Tamale Pie

olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp ancho chile powder (or regular chili powder)
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp salt
1 can diced tomatoes (I blend them since my kids don't like the big tomato pieces)
4 cups black beans, drained (about 3 cans)
Gluten Free Cornbread Ingredients (recipe follows)2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 can diced green chiles

Heat the oil in a large deep sided skillet or saucepan.  Saute the onions and garlic until softened.  Add the spices, beans and tomatoes.  Cook until bubbly and liquid reduces slightly.  Transfer to an 11 x 7 pan.

Mix together all of the cornbread ingredients and add 1 cup of cheese and the chiles.  Spread on top of the black bean chili and top with the remaining cheese. Bake until slightly browned on top and toothpick inserted into the cornbread comes out mostly clean.

Serve with a simple salad and fruit.


Gluten Free Cornbread 
(Adapted from Dianne's Dishes recipe)
1 cup of stone ground yellow corn meal
1/2 cup of corn flour
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 tablespoon of baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 tbsp vinegar and topped with milk to make 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all together and spread in an 8" square baking dish. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Double and use a 9 x 13" pan.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Citrus Butter and Mango Salsa

 The first week of Spring!  Well not really, it was just the first week it felt like we might actually be past winter.  Time to break out the grill.  OH NO!  No gas, then the dog needed to be bathed, then.... So it was finally around dusk that dinner was started, but thankfully it was fairly easy to throw together.

I found Mahi Mahi for an insanely good deal at the grocery store and had mangoes since they are the only fruit that's not citrus or on the Dirty Dozen list and is in season right now.  (It totally goes against my locally grown food philosophy, but I have two fruit loving kids who are growing weary of tangerines out of our CSA box and the oranges from friends' trees.)

Then we had gotten a bunch of cilantro, spinach and green garlic in our CSA box, so combined with the never ending lemons we have and the quinoa in my pantry, I had the perfect side dish simply subbing green garlic for the regular garlic. - recipe here.  Though the asparagus was not from my CSA, it was grown in California, so I justified my purchase since it does fit into the seasonal and marginally local grid.

Use whatever hearty fish is available, wild-caught and reasonably priced - Mahi Mahi, tuna, salmon, etc. Feel free to substitute your favorite seasonal soft fruit for the mango. (Pineapple now, strawberries in Spring, peaches in summer or melons in late summer and early fall.)  You could certainly sub in rice for the quinoa, but quinoa is a complete protein which is double good coupled with the fact that it's a whole grain.

CWYG Stats
Veggie Box - Cilantro, spinach and green garlic

CWYG Items - onions, garlic, parsley, raisins

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Citrus Butter, Mango Salsa and Quinoa Salad

1 stick unsalted butter
1 green onion
1 clove garlic, minced
zest of a large lemon or 2 small lemons
salt and pepper to taste
1 large mango, peeled and finely chopped
1 jalapeno or 2 serranos, finely chopped
handful of cilantro, chopped
1 small shallot minced
juice of lemon or lime
olive oil
4 5-6 oz sturdy fish fillets
Quinoa Salad
asparagus for serving, optional

Mix together the citrus zest, herbs and butter with 1 teaspoon sea salt.  Transfer to plastic wrap and roll up like a toosie roll.  Place in the fridge to firm up.

Mix the mango, jalapeno, cilantro, shallot and lime juice together in a small bowl.

Drizzle the fish with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Grill on each side for 5-7 minutes or until flaky.

Place the fish on top of the quinoa and top with a slice of the flavored butter.  Spoon over the salsa and serve with asparagus.

Copyright 2012 TablaVie Personal Chef Service

All photos and recipes may not be used without express permission from Christi Flaherty, owner and creator of Cook What You've Got Concept and blog.
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