Saturday, July 26, 2014

Roasted Whole Snapper with Ginger and Cilantro


I grew up eating whole fish from time to time. We would eat fillets mostly because it was easier and it is more difficult to find whole fish at regular grocery stores like Safeway/Food Lion/Giant/whatever. We only ever had whole fish when my grandfather caught some. I thought it was a little weird back then, but as I've gotten older I've learned that whole fish is the way to go.

This was my fiance's first time ever having whole fish. He grew up in a very Caucasian household, so I understand. I brought it out to the table and he said "How do you eat it" and I laughed. I had to explain that we would just take vegetables and pull of some fish in our rice bowl and come back as we desired. He enjoyed it, and it was a cute experience.

Ingredients
  • 1 whole red snapper (1.5 lbs or so)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp fresh minced cilantro
  • touch of sesame oil
  • salt and pepper
  • desired vegetables (I used bean sprouts, napa cabbage and carrots)
  • Rice for serving
Directions
  1. Clean and scale your fish. Cut about 3 or 4 diagonal slits in each side almost to the bones.
  2. Mix together the fresh ginger, garlic, cilantro, sesame oil. Rub mixture in the slits in the fish
  3. Season inside and out of fish with salt and pepper.
  4. Prop the fish up by splaying the belly flaps on a sheet pan. Prop a ball of aluminum foil under the tail if necessary. The fish should stand upright. 
  5. Roast fish at 350 for about 25 minutes. The skin should be a little crisp. You can crank the oven higher at the end if you desire for extra crispy skin.
  6. Cook your vegetables as desired. Serve fish with vegetables, rice.
Note: you can also make a dipping sauce with equal parts rice vinegar and light soy sauce, but it's really not necessary.



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: Spinach Ricotta Quiche with Quinoa Crust



It's secret recipe club time again. Awesome. I get so much enjoyment out of seeing what everyone else posts every Monday. I find so many amazing recipes and it forces me to be creative. It helps so much when I'm not feeling inspired (which has been happening a lot lately with 90 degree days and lots of wedding shit. So much wedding shit to do in the next 5 weeks).

This month's assigned blog was Debbie Does Dinner Healthy. Debbie is a Mom of 3 living in Minneapolis MN and is also the leader for Group C. Almost all of her recipes are low calorie while still looking so delicious. I knew this could be a perfect blog to pick up some guilt-free recipes.

There was only one problem with Debbie's blog: there were just too many options! I wanted the Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya. I wanted the Crockpot Chicken Mole and the Twice Baked Cauliflower. I ended up settling on the Quinoa Egg and Vegetable Bake (which wasn't really settling, since it's really an amazing sounding low calorie quiche)

I loved it and could have eaten the whole pan (correction: ate like half the pan over breakfast and lunch, but that's okay because the whole thing is only 1300 calories). It had the texture I wanted, allowed me to use up a lot of veggies in my csa box, and allowed me to use up some leftover egg whites I had after making ice cream. My fiance...not so much. He already doesn't like quinoa unless I mix it with ground beef/chorizo for stuffed peppers or squash. Give me thirty years of marriage and maybe I'll convert him.

I'd change a couple things for next time, but not much. First, I'd bake the crust for 10 minutes before putting in the egg mixture. I loved the crusty texture of the edges and wished it carried through for the entire dish. I would also cook the quinoa in chicken stock like I normally do (cuz then maybe the man would like it a little more)

Great dish Debbie! Not sure if this will make it into our regular breakfast rotation, but I know I'll make it when I have a weekend on my own.

Spinach Ricotta Quiche with Quinoa Crust

Ingredients for crust

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 oz shredded cheddar cheese (about 1/4 cup)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for filling
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 extra large handful of fresh spinach (2 cups? about?)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced (I used green because that's what I had. Red would have been much nicer)
  • 4 spears asparagus, sliced (not necessary, I just had some I needed to use)
  • 1 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix cooked quinoa with egg white, cheese, salt and pepper. Press quinoa into sprayed 9 inch pie pan and push up the sides.
  3. Sautee onions, peppers, asparagus and spinach until onions are slightly translucent and spinach is wilted.
  4. Mix eggs, egg whites, ricotta cheese and cheddar cheese together. Add vegetables and mix.
  5. Pour into quinoa crust. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes until cooked through
  6. Let cool 5 minutes before slicing.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Coconut Pistachio Biscotti


I used to drink coffee every morning (not always with a biscotti). In the last few years, the acid from coffee has begun to bother me more and more, to the point that I can no longer drink coffee in the morning on an empty stomach because it will upset my stomach too much.

I usually drink tea in the morning and in the afternoons now. I like it better than coffee anyway and always have. I'll only have coffee when I make biscotti, because sometimes things just go better together.

These biscotti have a very tropical flavor and a great salty-richness from the pistachios. They are not too sweet and just delightful with a cup of coffee. I highly recommend this recipe. (Do you file this under cookie or breakfast? I don't know)

Enjoy! And enjoy my favorite coffee mug teaching you how to eat a lobster.

Coconut Pistachio Biscotti


Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ½ cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup coconut
  • 1 cup pistachios


Directions

  1. Toast coconut and pistachios for 5 minutes and remove to let cool
  2. Fist together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and coconut extract, then add flour mixture and mix until it comes together. It will be very stiff
  4. Mix in coconut and pistachios.
  5. Divide into two parts and form each into a loaf about 10 inches long. Flatten biscotti until it is about 3 inches wide and place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Remove and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  7. Slice loaves into individual biscotti (about ½ inch thick). Place cut side down on the cookie sheet and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Allow cookies to cool and store in airtight container

Friday, July 4, 2014

Strawberry Basil Lemonade


Happy 4th of July everyone!

We'll be heading to a BBQ this afternoon for food/drinks/games and then to the country club near our house in the evening for fireworks. The terrace is open for members but they open the fairway of the golf course to the rubes of the neighborhood (that's me!)

This drink is absolutely perfect for a hot afternoon. It was a great way for me to use up some extra basil in my CSA box  and it was so refreshing.

You can muddle the basil if you really want, but I think it's cool just to spank it to release the aroma. It's also better if the strawberries are over-ripe

Strawberry Basil Lemonade (by the glass)

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp 1:1 simple syrup
  • 2 strawberries, quartered
  • 2 basil leaves
  • 8 oz water (sparkling or still)

Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a glass top with ice. Enjoy, of course. Leave for 20 minutes to let the flavor of the strawberries seep in. 
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