Friday, April 29, 2011

Red Snapper on Wild Rice Salad

Exploring Fish throughout April

Tonight's Menu
Red snapper seared in a sweet and tangy sauce
Wild rice salad with pecans and cranberries
Wine Pairing: Riesling

Red Snapper is a firm textured white fish with a sweet nutty flavor. It acquires the flavor of herbs and spices wonderfully and is a great catch to grill. Serve it alongside citrus wines such as Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. To complement the fish a nutty wild rice salad completes the meal and makes for a colorful culinary indulgence. Wild rice blend is a combination of good quality brown rice (bran intact crunchy and coarse textured kernels with a nutty flavor) and wild rice (long narrow dark brown-black kernels with a nutty flavor). This takes longer to cook than regular white rice but is worth the effort.
Red Snapper
Ingredients: (serves 4)

2 Tbsp Sesame oil
3tbsp Rice wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tbsp Honey
1 tsp grated Ginger
1 tsp grated Garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
4 fillets red snapper
  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and dip the fish fillets in it. 
  2. Heat a pan at medium high and place the marinated fillets in it. 
  3. Cook for 2 minutes per side to sear and brown the fillets. 
  4. Pour the remaining marinade in the skillet and reduce heat to low. 
  5. Cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes till fish flakes easily with a fork. 
  6. Serve on a bed of wild rice salad.
Raw wild rice and brown rice blend.
Wild Rice Salad
Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 Cup wild rice blend
2 1/4 Cups water
1 large red pepper
2 stalks celery
1/2 red onion
1/4 cup each pecans(or almonds or walnuts) and dried cranberries
1/4 cup olive oil
juice and zest of 2 limes
  1. Put rice and water and salt to taste in a pan and bring to boil. Simmer covered for about 30-40 minutes till rice is 
  2. cooked and all the water is absorbed. 
  3. Fluff the rice with fork. Remove from heat. 
  4. Chop all the vegetables and add to the rice along with pecans, cranberries, olive oil and lime juice and zest. 
  5. Mix thoroughly and keep aside covered for at least 15 minutes for the flavors to blend. 
    Wild rice salad

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Roasted Salmon and Asparagus with Artichoke Crostini

    Exploring Fish throughout April

    Tonight's Menu
    Artichoke Crostini
    Roasted Salmon and Asparagus
    Lemon Dill Sauce
    Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir

    Roasted Salmon and Asparagus with lemon dill sauce

    Nothing says spring like asparagus. Its one of the most nutritionally balanced vegetables in existence. We simply love it here in this family. For detailed nutritional info on this amazing vegetable click here.
    Salmon is the most widely used fish in North America. Has a pleasant aroma and meaty pink flesh. Very high in omega3 oils and vitamin D content. Both fillets and steaks taste great. You really don't need to do much with this fish except season it and grill it. It releases the good oils as it cooks and tastes wonderful.
    Tonight we had a two course meal, starting out with the artichoke crostini while sipping wine. In the meantime the main dish was cooking in the oven. Perfectly simple but delightfully scrumptious. Here are the recipes. Try it out and don't forget to tell us all about it.

    Roasted Salmon and Asparagus
    Ingredients: (serves 4)
    500 gms fresh asparagus, hard ends trimmed off
    4 salmon fillets
    olive oil
    1 tsp fresh or dry thyme
    salt and pepper to taste
    1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. 
    2. Spray asparagus and salmon with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and sprinkle thyme on top. 
    3. Place everything in a large greased baking sheet in a single layer. 
    4. Roast for about 20 minutes till salmon is cooked through and asparagus wrinkles a bit. 
    5. Serve drizzled with lemon dill sauce (recipe below).
    Lemon dill sauce
    Ingredients: (serves 4)

    2 tbsp mayonnaise
    1 tbsp water
    juice and zest of one lemon
    1/2 tsp dill
    pinch each sugar, salt, black pepper

    Mix all the ingredients well and drizzle a tablespoon each on salmon and serve.

    Artichoke Crostini
    Artichoke Crostini
    Ingredients: (serves 4)
    1 french baguette sliced diagonally
    olive oil
    2-3 cloves of garlic
    1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
    3 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
    1 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
    1 tsp dry dill
    1 medium tomato diced
    1. Toast baguette slices till slightly crisp. Make sure not to over toast as we have to toast them again with the topping. Remove from heat. 
    2. Rub a raw garlic on the hot toast and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. 
    3. Prepare the topping by mixing artichoke, cheese, tomato, mayonnaise and dill together. 
    4. Pile the topping onto the garlic rubbed slices and broil on high for 3-4 minutes till topping heats a bit and cheese melts and brown. Do not overcook. Serve hot.

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Stuffed Baked Rainbow Trout

    Exploring Fish throughout April

    Tonight's Menu
    Stuffed Baked Rainbow Trout
    Mushroom stuffing
    Garlic Mashed Potatoes
    Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc
    Baked Rainbow Trout with Mushroom stuffing
    Rainbow Trout  is a pale pink fish with a delicate flesh and a nutty flavor that is milder than salmon. It provides an abundant supply of omega-3 and vitamin B12. Being a small fish it is low in mercury and thus has no limit on consumption. Farmed trout is available all year round. 
    This whole baked fish recipe is fairly easy and makes for a delicious meal as well as a showstopper on the dinner table. Do serve it whole as it looks super cool and then cut in to pieces. After cooking the bones come off quite easily.

    Ingredients: (serves 4)
    2 whole Trouts, cleaned and dry
    3 cups sliced mushrooms (could be any variety)
    2-3 cloves of garlic, grated
    2 celery stalks, chopped
    1 tsp dry thyme
    4 tbsp butter, melted
    2 tbsp olive oil
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 tbsp lime juice
    • In a pan heat 2 1/2 tbsp butter and olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds till pink.
    • Add mushrooms and celery and thyme and cook till mushrooms brown a bit about 10-12 minutes and the liquid evaporates. 
    • Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
    • Open the fish and sprinkle lime juice generously inside and out. Season with salt and pepper.
    • Divide the mushroom filling equally in two and stuff the fish with the filling.
    • Place the stuffed fish on a greased baking sheet and brush outside with the remaining melted butter.
    • Bake at 350F for about 25-30 minutes till fish is cooked through. Carefully lift the fish with two spatulas and serve with garlic mash (Click here for recipe).

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Halibut with Spaghetti in creamy mushroom sauce

    Exploring Fish throughout April

    Tonight's Menu
    Baked Halibut
    Spaghetti in creamy mushroom sauce
    Steamed yellow and green beans
    Wine Pairing: Chardonnay

    Baked halibut with spaghetti in creamy mushroom sauce and steamed beans

    Halibut is a firm white fish with a mild flavor. High in omega 3 oils and vitamin D, halibut is overall low in fat. That is the reason why it pairs wonderfully with a creamy dish such as the pasta in creamy mushroom sauce.

    Ingredients: (serves 4)
    4 Halibut fillets about an inch thick
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp dried oregano
    1/2 tsp thyme
    1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
    2 tbsp olive oil
    • Preheat the oven to 400F.
    • In a bowl combine salt, oregano, thyme, pepper. Sprinkle over the fish fillets and rub in with fingers.
    • In an oven proof skillet, heat oil over medium high and cook fillets with the spice side down for 2 minutes till browned. Turn the fillets over.
    • Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes till fish flakes easily. 
    Spaghetti in Creamy mushroom sauce
    Ingredients: (serves 4) 
    Whole wheat spaghetti pasta
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 tbsp butter
    3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
    4-5 oz fresh mushrooms chopped
    1 tbsp flour
    1/4 cup chicken broth 
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 tbsp thyme
    salt and pepper to taste
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and put aside. Reserve a cup of pasta water for later.
    • To make the mushroom sauce heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet and add garlic. Saute for a minute and add mushrooms.
    • Cook mushrooms for about 3-4 minutes till tender and add flour. Stir and cook the flour with the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes till the flour taste cooks out. 
    • Mix in broth while stirring and also cream and thyme. Cook until thick. If its too thick then use the reserved pasta water to thin it out to the desired consistency.
    • Toss the cooked pasta in the sauce and season. 

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Cod with Funky Fries and Pineapple Salsa

    Exploring Fish throughout April

    Tonight's Menu
    Lime Dill Cod
    Funky Fries
    Pineapple Salsa
    Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc

    We are often urged to consume more fish in our diet owing to its health benefits. Besides being an excellent source of protein, fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. But in our family fish is simply a choice food for all, for the eaters as they love the taste and for the cook as it is just too simple and easy to prepare. So here are a few different types of fish and how to prepare them.

    This evening its the good old 'cod'. Cod is dense white fish with a mild flavor. Being a lean meat it cooks really fast and best in moist heat. Cod livers are processed to produce the cod liver oil which is a great source of vitamins A, D, E besides omega 3 fatty acids.

    Cod is the fish used in fish and chips. Taking an inspiration from there this version is wayyyy less in fat as no deep frying is involved but gives the full flavor.

    Lime dill Cod
    Ingredients: (serves 4)

    1 1/2  lbs cod fillets
    1 lime (juice and zest)
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 tsp dill (fresh or dry)
    1-2 tbsp olive oil
    1. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper on both sides. 
    2. Sprinkle generously with lime juice and then top with lime zest and a sprinkling of dill. I used fresh dill here, but dry one works well too. 
    3. Heat olive oil in a pan at medium-high. Cook the fish for about 2-3 minutes per side until fish is cooked through and no flakes easily with a fork. Do not cover the pan with a lid as this will make the cod watery. Also, handle it with care, as cod cooks it has a tendency to fall apart. 
    4. Gently take out the cooked fish from the pan and serve hot with tangy pineapple salsa and funky fries.
    5. To make pineapple salsa check out the ingredients and recipe here
    Funky Fries
    Ingredients: (serves 4)

    3 large potatoes
    2 tbsp olive oil
    salt and pepper to taste
    1. Preheat the oven to 425F. 
    2. Scrub the potatoes well. Cut narrow wedges of uniform thickness with the peel. if you prefer, you can peel the potatoes. 
    3. Mix oil and seasoning and cut wedges thoroughly. 
    4. Lay on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake on the top rack for 20 minutes until golden and crisp. 
    5. Serve hot.