Archive for category Seafood
I may have neglected the blog over the the past 6 months, but you can bet I wouldn’t forget it’s 3 year anniversary! Compared to last year, there hasn’t been as many noteworthy blog-happenings. However, there were some really delicious and popular posts from the past year, such as this Red & White Sangria to celebrate Canada Day, the zesty Tequila Lime Bison Tacos, and some tasty Cranberry, Almond & Date Power Bars. Of course the biggest thing to happen for Kyle and I was the birth of our daughter in October; not exactly blog related, but being busy with her has definitely been the main reason the blogging has slowed down. The past six months with her have been so amazing … and the little bean has started to eat real food, so you can imagine how exciting that is for someone as food crazed as I! I’m sure we’ll be sharing lots of fun foods that we make with her as she grows up. Thanks again for another great year – and for sticking around even after the reduction in posts!
To celebrate this year, I figured why not cook up a good ‘ol Gorging George favourite? Tacos! Always my back up for those busy, “I-Haven’t-a-Clue-What-to-Cook” kind of days (I even have a pork shoulder currently braising away to pile onto some tortillas for tonight’s dinner). I’ve had beef, pork, bison, some vegetarian tacos and even enchiladas on the blog, but I have yet to share a fish taco. So I’m finally posting a recipe for some salmon tacos that I made a few months ago. They are crispy and spicy, and topped with a mound of freshly limed cabbage & jalapenos, some pickled red onions, creamy avocado, salty feta and a sour cream that has a slight kick to it. A great treat for a celebration or even a weeknight meal. If you don’t have dinner plans this long weekend, I suggest you get yourself to the grocery store ASAP to grab all the ingredients to make these – they will not disappoint. Here’s to another year of sharing my favourite recipes with you!
Crispy Chipotle Salmon Tacos
Note – I just listed “kosher salt” as an ingredient, omitting the quantity, as it’s used often throughout the recipe to season everything. I am assuming that you have at least 1 Tbsp of salt kicking around. If you don’t have any kosher salt and have to use Table Salt, please reduce the amount slightly as the smaller granules would make everything rather salty if used in the same quantity.
1/2 small red onion, sliced
red wine vinegar
8 flour tortillas
1 lb centre-cut salmon filet
1 1/2 – 2 tsp chipotle chili powder, divided
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 cup panko
3 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 juicy lime (or 2 if they are not juicy)
1 cup sour cream
1 avocado, pitted & sliced
1/2 cup feta, diced
Fill a mason jar or small container with the sliced red onion. Fill it up halfway with red wine vinegar. Add 1 tsp of salt and fill the rest of the jar with water. Allow to “pickle” while you make the tacos.
Heat your tortillas according to package instructions. Keep warm.
Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat in a large non-stick pan. Slice the salmon into 8 equal strips (they should be around 3/4″ wide each). Sprinkle all the salmon pieces evenly with 1 tsp of the chipotle chili powder and 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste. Whisk the 2 eggs together in a medium dish and pour the panko into another medium dish; season both with salt and pepper.
Working with one piece of fish at a time, first dip the fish in the eggs then into the panko mixture, pressing all the sides gently to ensure they are evenly covered. Place the fish gently into the hot pan. Repeat with remaining fish pieces. You don’t want to crowd the pan, so if yours is not large enough, work in 2 batches. Cook for about 8 minutes, flipping once after 4 minutes to ensure both sides get golden brown. (If you like, you can quickly fry the two outer edges to crisp them up) Remove the cooked fish to a paper towel lined plate.
Meanwhile, combine the cabbage, jalapenos, cilantro, juice of 1 lime, 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt in a medium bowl, mixing thoroughly; set aside. In a small bowl stir together the sour cream and remaining chipotle chili powder – use 1/2 tsp to keep it mild, or a full tsp if you like a lot of heat!
Construct the tacos: smear each tortilla with some of the sour cream mixture, then top with a piece of salmon, some of the cabbage mix, pickled onions, avocado and feta. Devour.
Makes 8 tacos.
I’m not one to make resolutions after New Years. I don’t believe I need a specific time of year to set goals, and many resolutions always seem so vague or unattainable: (“I will be a better ME” or “I will completely change my career path in one calendar year; find a man; and lose an entire human-worth of weight all in one calendar year”). I don’t like them. I especially don’t like the way I see them making people feel terrible about themselves come February/March. The weight that people said they would lose slowly crept up, not down. The novel someone was going to start writing has only materialized into doodles of flowers and smiley faces on a page. The resolutions seem to become the enemy of many who make them. What’s that? You’ll do better next year? Nope, resolutions are definitely not for me.
However; I do subscribe to trying to set attainable goals. Whenever you’re ready to tackle them. So that you have a purpose. Something to drive you forward in this life. But, as it were, I nearly gave up on this the past few months. Well, I guess not; but the goals weren’t really for my own self-fulfillment. I wanted to set up our house in a reasonable amount of time to make it live-able and our own. So we did. We even started painting within 6 weeks of moving in. I wanted our new dog to be a puppy, but at the same time listen to us to ensure her safety and our sanity were kept intact. It happened; she finished her first level of obedience classes this past week! But myself? I had nothing. Just. Get. By. I almost feel as though I’ve been running on fumes the past few months: Holidays; Nesting; Family visits; Raising Puppy; Work Overload. I’ve enjoyed every last minute of it, but focusing on everything else turned into me eating a ridiculous amount of junk food, drinking copious amounts of pop (dear lord, I have been downing nearly a soda a day…up from 0 a month before October), and absolutely no physical activity other than dog walks. And I’m finally feeling the effects of not taking care of myself. I am sluggish, and not sleeping properly. Yesterday I was wheezing after a 15 minute walk with Kona which ended in only a slight incline. My lungs hate me right now.
So last week, while I was menu planning, I tried to be more mindful of what we were going to be eating; with a goal of reducing all the junk we’ve been consuming, and increasing the amount of good-for-us foods. However, I had to start off slow. Ease our bodies back into our “healthy-ish” eating (because we will never be paleo or clean or vegan eaters in this household). I have a plan to “drop-the-pop” – but that will start after this weekend of course…I’m not going to go cold turkey. First Step this past week: eat more fish. (What happened? We used to eat fish nearly 2 times a week. December hit, and BAM! we gave it up for beef and pork and more beef. We rarely ate beef before … now we can’t get enough of it) So we finally ate salmon again. But just to be sure our bodies didn’t reject it as some sort of invader from the sea, I wrapped the salmon in pork. And our stomachs gracefully accepted.
Prosciutto Wrapped Salmon
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 6oz salmon filets
4 prosciutto slices
cooking spray or 1/2 tsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Combine first 8 ingredients (olive oil through pepper) in a small bowl. Spread the olive oil mixture over the two salmon fillets. Wrap each fillet with 2 slices of prosciutto.
Preheat an oven-safe, non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Spray with olive oil spray, or pour in the 1/2 tsp olive oil. Pan-fry the salmon for 2 minutes on each side. Place the pan in the oven, and finish the salmon in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.
We ate this with Warm French Lentils from Ina Garten’s How Easy Is That?
Hoping everyone south of the border enjoyed their Thanksgiving weekend. Up here in Canada’s North, Kyle and I have started a tradition of recording the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (since we both typically work Thursdays), and playing it on the weekend while we trim the (faux) tree and decorate the house. And this weekend was no different. Our first time decorating the new home was lots of fun – although we are noticing that with extra space you need extra “stuff.” So, we may have to get up early boxing day to take advantage of sales in order to beef up our Christmas decor for next year.
This past week, Kyle was out of town. And when he’s gone, I barely cook … and if I do, it’s typically something that Kyle doesn’t really care for; such as this recipe (which I actually did make and devour a few days ago). However, there was lots of leftover salmon and quinoa in the fridge from the last dinner we enjoyed before Kyle left. I ate it for lunch a few days in a row, but quickly tired of it. So one evening this week I decided to try my hand at some gluten free salmon cakes. I have missed making my typical salmon cakes; loaded with fresh, soft white bread to hold the mix together and create a fluffy cake. As I have discussed before, pre-made gluten free bread leaves much to be desired … and I have yet to find anything that would mimic the fluffy texture of white bread. And for that reason, I have not made salmon cakes since before May when I found out I’d have to give up gluten.
All that changed this week though. When I eyed up my leftovers and the contents of the fridge (because it was a coooooold winter night, and I sure as heck wasn’t going out to the grocery store), I whipped up these gluten free, tasty cakes. The leftover quinoa stood in for the bread that I previously would use. While it didn’t provide the same fluffiness, it proved to be a welcome substitute. The quinoa became super crisp on the outside after a quick pan-fry; and the middle had the characteristic crunchy and “popping” texture of cooked quinoa. And since quinoa has only a slight nutty taste, it was a great blank canvas for the garlicky sautéed vegetables and fleshy pink salmon. I dare say I may have enjoyed these even more than my gluton-filled white bread version from salmon cakes past.
Salmon & Quinoa Cakes
This recipe likely only makes enough for 2 people … although it could potentially be stretched to serve 3; so remember to increase the ingredients if you’re planning to cook this for a crowd. You will notice there is broccoli in the photos even though I do not call for this flowery green vegetable in the recipe. This is because my leftover quinoa was from Heidi Swanson’s Double Broccoli Quinoa recipe. You do not have to use this to make your cakes – it can be plain or any leftover cooked quinoa you have in your fridge. Although I do recommend making the aforementioned quinoa recipe as soon as you can – it’s so darn tasty that the only reason there was leftovers was due to the large amount it makes!
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil, divided
1/4 cup red onion, fine diced
1/4 cup celery, fine diced
1/4 cup peppers, fine diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup cooked salmon
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 Tbsp gluten free flour (I used a pre-made mix)
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
Heat 2 tsp of the olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, celery, peppers, and garlic for 5 minutes, or until softened. Season the onion mixture with the salt and pepper; set aside to cool.
Once cool, combine the onion mixture and remaining ingredients in a medium-bowl. Thoroughly mix. Line a baking sheet with wax paper (or foil or parchment paper); start making “cakes” out of the mixture, using about 1/3 cup for each cake. Place the cakes on the wax paper as you go. When they are all made, place the salmon cakes in the fridge and allow to set for about 15 minutes.
Heat the Tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat (time-saving tip: just use the same pan you used to saute the vegetables). Place 3 salmon cakes in the hot pan; cook for approximately 5 minutes per side, or until golden-brown. Remove the cakes from the pan and continue with the remaining salmon cakes.
Serve hot or warm with Chipotle Tartar Sauce (or your sauce of choice).
Makes 5-6 salmon cakes.
Chipotle Tartar Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp minced dill pickle
1 tsp chopped capers
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 – 1 tsp chipotle chili powder (use less if you want this less spicy)
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with salmon cakes or your favourite fish or seafood.
I have some serious writers block. I have been staring at this page for nearly an hour without placing even a word on it. Okay, maybe I wasn’t just staring at this page; I was doing some other things on the computer, chatting with my husband, and watching some recorded late night talk shows. But I really wanted to share this recipe with you. I know some people who have hoards of parsley in their gardens, and the salsa verde served with these scallops is a great way to put this fresh herb to use.
I had salsa verde for the first time at a little Italian grocery store in Winnipeg. I had ordered a sandwich, and the clerk behind the counter recommended I put it on. I trusted him, and was thankful for it. It was a zingy sauce from the salty anchovies and capers, and the pungent garlic – complementing my sandwich with salami, mozza and roasted red peppers. I was instantly converted to a lover of Italian salsa verde. Not to be confused with tex-mex salsa verde that uses green tomatillos in place of red tomatoes, this salsa verde is an herby green sauce that Italians dress their meals with.
If you think you don’t like anchovies, please don’t leave them out – just give this a try before making your final verdict. This sauce just may convert you. The salsa verde keeps for about 2 weeks in the fridge – the garlic is going to get too bitter before the sauce would really go bad. Add it to your sandwiches and wraps throughout the week; or serve it with grilled or roasted meats and fish.
Seared Scallops with Salsa Verde
Salsa Verde recipe Adapted from David Rocco’s Dolce Vita by David Rocco
You can make the salsa verde in a food processor or blender if you like – it’ll create a more even consistency if that’s what you’re looking for. I followed David Rocco’s method, and simply used my chef’s knife to do all the chopping for me.
For the Salsa Verde
1 large bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
4-6 fresh basil leaves
3 garlic cloves
3-4 anchovy fillets
2 Tbsp capers, drained
1/2 – 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Scallops
8 large Digby Scallops (or 8 oz of scallops)
kosher salt & pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
lemon wedges (optional)
Roughly chop the parsley leaves, basil and garlic on a wooden cutting board until they are about half-way chopped. Add the anchovies and capers to the pile of herbs and continue to chop until everything is evenly minced. Place the herby, salty mixture into a small mason jar and add the olive oil to fill the jar. Have a quick taste to determine whether you need to add salt (the anchovies and capers can be quite salty, so don’t add any at first). This is ready to use; store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
To cook the scallops: pat the scallops dry. In order to obtain a really good sear, you need them as dry as you can get them. Heat a cast-iron or heavy bottom frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Season the scallops liberally with salt and pepper. Once the butter is melted, add the scallops to the pan. Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes, flip them over and continue cooking the other side for an addition 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and serve with salsa verde and lemon wedges.
Serves 2. (But makes a jar’s worth of salsa verde to use later)