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So, what do you do when a friend brings you a couple pounds of fresh Gulf shrimp? Of course frying them was the first thing that came to mind, but then I remembered a recipe from this month’s issue of Cooking Light – Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus, and Pesto.
This is one of those easy-peasy recipes that is full of flavor. Be sure to visit Cooking Light for the recipe by clicking here. I’ll be back later in the week with more tasty treats to share. Have a great Sunday, everyone!
I have been wanting to make my own sushi for quite some time, but I hadn’t been able to muster up my courage. Lucky for me, I’m a Daring Cook. The November 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was brought to you by Audax of Audax Artifex and Rose of The Bite Me Kitchen. They chose sushi as the challenge.
The challenge consisted of four parts: 1) sushi rice, 2) dragon rolls, 3) spiral sushi roll, and 4) nigiri sushi. After investing an hour and a half just to prepare the sushi rice, I vowed never to complain again about the wait at my favorite sushi joint.
Smoked salmon, cucumber, avocado…need I say more? Although my “dragon” has a face only a mother could love, I’m still proud of it. Who cares about looks when it tastes so good, anyway?
The spiral roll was the most challenging of them all for me. Actually, I have a confession to make – I enlisted the help of my gracious husband on this one. I committed a rookie mistake and overfilled my spiral roll. I know, I know…less is more. But you should know how hardheaded I am by now.
I used sashimi grade tuna for both the spiral roll and the nigiri. The nigiri proved to be the easiest for me as it does not involve rolling, but rather a hand-shaped roll. Next time, I will forgo the thin line of wasabi on top of the rice that binds the sashimi to it. Let’s just say, husband and I will have no sinus issues for the next decade. 😉 I rounded out the meal with a little seaweed salad and some miso soup (thank you, Fresh Market!).
If you want some full on food porn complete with fantastic sushi recipes, visit Audax and Rose. As if that’s not enough to satisfy your hunger, check out the rest of the gang on the blogroll. Join me Tuesday for a very festive bundt cake that’s sure to get you in the holiday spirit.
The husband and I decided to vary our typical seafood meal of salmon smoked on the grill. While seeking inspiration, we came across an amazing blog which in turn reminded us of the snapper wellington we had while on our honeymoon in Key West.
Peter over at Fotocuisine has some amazing step-by-step pics to go along with his Phyllo Wrapped Chili Grouper with Almond Beurre Noisette. I’m still not sold on the idea of fish and cheese, so we brainstormed and came up with two varieties of grouper – one with lemon butter and the other with avocado and tomato.
While I busied myself layering and buttering the phyllo dough, Kevin got to work on the rest of our meal, an almond rice pilaf and green beans with tomato, almonds, and gorgonzola.
The results? An enthusiastic thumbs up for the avocado grouper and a “meh” for the lemon butter. Perhaps, if I’d added more lemon zest it would’ve been a contender. I’m reworking this recipe in my head and I’m thinkng an Italian version with pesto, garlic, and maybe some sundried tomatoes would be nice. Stay tuned…
So, what do you do when your friend catches a 127 pound yellowfin tuna 130 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico on Memorial Day? You invite him over for dinner, that’s what!
Tuesday night, my husband and I were treated to the best tuna ever by our very generous friend, Tagg. And did I mention he was gracious enough to share his recipe for tuna tataki with us? Score!
Tagg’s Tasty Tuna Tataki:
Sesame seeds *
Pour a small amount of oil in a skillet and heat until hot (but not smoking). Coat tuna on both sides with sesame seeds. *Note: T recommends using a combination of white and black sesame seeds. We only used white sesame seeds (because that’s what I had on hand), but I plan to try the ebony/ivory combo next time. Sounds like perfect harmony to me. 😉
Sear tuna briefly on each side. Tuna of this quality is best served rare, so whatever you do, do not overcook the tuna! That offense is punishable by law in these parts. Well, not really, although it should be. But I digress…whisk remaining ingredients together for the sauce. You’ll need to play around with the measurements because T was “eyeballing” it. This sauce is so delicious and flavorful, I couldn’t help but dip my veggies in it too!
We had a HUGE serving of tuna tataki as an appetizer, but I liked it so much that’s how T prepared my tuna entree. The guys wanted to mix it up a little so I blackened their tuna steaks and whipped up a quick pineapple salsa. How quick? Well, I started by grilling the pineapple sections. While the grill was doin’ it’s thing, I chopped a serano pepper and some cilantro. Next, I chopped the grilled pineapple and tossed with the pepper and cilantro. A few dashes of Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice (I was improvising, okay?) and voila! You have an easy pineapple salsa that tastes pretty darn good if I say so myself…and I do.
We practically made ourselves sick from eating so much tuna – if such a thing is possible. I mean, we stuffed ourselves to the gills. No pun intended…okay, I did make that pun intentionally. Maybe all those omega-3’s are making me goofy.
I was in the mood for a grilled steak last night, but, well, the weather was less than cooperative. So, what’s a girl to do? The next best thing…tuna steak.
Since my last attempt at blackening seasoning yielded lackluster results, this time I took a little help from The Fresh Market. After coating the tuna steak on both sides with blackening seasoning, I pan-seared it for a couple of minutes on each side.
Earlier in the week, I made a fruit salad with pineapple, mango, kiwi, strawberries, grapes, and a sprinkle of sweetened coconut flakes. I added chopped serano pepper and cilantro to the leftover fruit salad (minus the grapes) for my fruit salsa. This made a perfect topping for the tuna!
To round out the meal, I prepared mambo rice, black beans, and sugar snap peas. Delish! The only problem? No room for dessert!
What do you like to cook when the weather outside is frightful?
Last week, Kevin and I dined on chipotle salmon burgers, mambo rice, and salad with avocado – delish! First, let me tell you about the salmon burgers. My mom found this recipe in Cooking Lite magazine.
CHIPOTLE SALMON BURGERS:
Shape the patties up to eight hours in advance, and cook just before serving. Use a grill pan or nonstick skillet to cook them since they may not hold up on a standard grill. If you have a mini food processor, use it to prepare the mayonnaise mixture. You can use regular hamburger buns instead of English muffins. *Note: We ate ours without the bread and they were delicious. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 burger)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mango
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh pineapple
- 1/8 teaspoon finely grated lime rind
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (1 1/4-pound) salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Cooking spray
- 4 English muffins
- 4 butter lettuce leaves
1. To prepare mayonnaise, combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender; process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl; cover and chill.
2. To prepare burgers, place onions, 1/4 cup cilantro, chile, and juice in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add salt and salmon; pulse 4 times or until salmon is coarsely ground and mixture is well blended.
3. Divide salmon mixture into 4 equal portions; shape each portion into a (1-inch-thick) patty. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
4. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
5. Wipe skillet with paper towels; recoat with cooking spray. Place 2 muffins, cut sides down, in pan; cook 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Repeat procedure with cooking spray and remaining muffins.
6. Place 1 muffin bottom on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 lettuce leaf and 1 patty. Spread about 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture over each patty; place 1 muffin top on each serving.
I discovered mambo rice when watching an episode of Guy’s Big Bite on Food Network featuring Guy Fieri. I’ve served this at a few get-togethers and it’s always a hit. The recipe says it makes 4 servings, but I don’t think that’s accurate. I cut the recipe in half and we still had a lot left over.
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups rice
- 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 4 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Add water, chicken stock and rice to a rice cooker. Cook until al dente.
Combine all other ingredients in a bowl.
Remove rice from cooker and toss, separating with fork. Once rice is separated, slowly add the blended mixture.