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    20th July 2008

    Ginger and Cilantro Baked Tilapia over Mixed Baby Greens


    I came across this baked tilapia dish on the kitchn, and thought it would work well as a salad. Man, was I right! Not only that, but the asian-flavors marinade, made with white wine, soy, and sesame oil, makes a great warm salad dressing. This is a super-quick, super-simple meal that we’ll definitely be adding to the rotation.

    Chris says:

    This might be one of my favorite ways we’ve prepared tilapia.

    Lisa says:

    I agree — it’s so delicious. That sauce is awesome.

    Chris says:

    I didn’t even think about using it as the salad dressing until I pulled the pan out of the oven. It just smelled incredible — the wine, the ginger… so aromatic.

    Lisa says:

    I love the green onions and extra cilantro on top.

    Chris says:

    Me too. I don’t think I’d change a thing!

    Lisa says:

    It worked out perfectly. I definitely won’t complain if we have this again…

    Ginger and Cilantro Baked Tilapia
    2-3 tilapia fillets – about 3/4 pound
    1 jalapeno pepper
    3 garlic cloves
    1 inch grated ginger (1 tablespoon)
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1/4 cup white wine
    1 teaspoon spicy sesame oil
    1/3 cup chopped cilantro
    Scallions, chopped for garnish
    Extra cilantro, to garnish
    1 package/bag Mixed Baby Salad Greens

    Heat the oven to 475F. Pat the fish dry and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place in a glass baking dish.
    Chop the pepper and garlic, and grate the ginger. Put in a small food processor with the soy sauce, white wine, sesame oil, and cilantro. Mix until blended. Pour the sauce over the fish, pressing the solid ingredients down into the fish a bit. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily and is cooked through.
    Divide the salad greens between two plates. Remove the tilapia with a spatula and place half on top of the greens on each plate. Drizzle the fish with the marinade left in the pan. Serve with warm, crusty bread.

    2 Servings

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    posted in Asian, Main Dishes, Salads and Light Soups | 2 Comments

    20th July 2008

    Cilantro Salsa (a la Luna De Noche)

    Cilantro Salsa

    When I lived in Dallas, we frequented a Mexican restaurant called Luna De Noche, and I remember loving their cilantro salsa.  So I was thrilled a few years ago when my friend Mark got a copy of the recipe off of some promotional calendar or something.  He sent it my way, and I started making it to bring to parties and other gatherings.  Thus began the “Year of Cilantro Dip”.  (I’m not quite sure how or when it started being referred to as “dip” instead of “salsa”).  Everyone started requesting this recipe — EVERYONE.  People who *hate* cilantro LOVE this salsa.  It almost got to the point where people wanted to do shots of this stuff.  Use it as a dip with pita chips.  Use it to top crab cakes.  Inject a turkey with it on Thanksgiving (we did!).   This recipe makes a ton, so you might want to halve it, but then again, you might not.

    Chris says:

    Guess what Abbie wants for the party tonight?

    Lisa says:

    Mushrooms? Eggplant? Onions?

    Chris says:

    No, but nice tactic guessing things she hates… cilantro dip!

    Lisa says:

    Waaahoooooo! You haven’t made that in a while!

    Chris says:

    I know! Everyone *else* started making it that year that I sent out the recipe, so I got out of the habit. It’s obviously ready for a comeback.

    Random Party Quotes:

    Yum — who made this?

    Wow, this is very, very good.

    Whoa, that’s got some kick to it!

    *Five* bunches of cilantro?

    Cilantro Salsa
    2 32-oz cans Whole Peeled Tomatoes
    3 jalapeño peppers
    5 bunches of Cilantro
    2 tbsp granulated garlic
    2 tbsp salt
    2 tbsp red pepper flakes
    1 tbsp vegetable oil
    1 tsp black pepper

    Boil the Jalapenos until tender. Drain. Remove the seeds and membranes.
    Remove and discard the stalks off one bunch of the cilantro, then coarsely chop the leaves and set aside to be added to the salsa at the end. Remove and discard the stalks off the remaining bunches of cilantro.
    Working in batches, in a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeños. As each batch finishes, pour into a large bowl. When it’s all blended, add in the spices and oil and mix well with a spoon. Add in the chopped cilantro and mix again. The flavor intensifies over time.

    Many, many servings.

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    posted in Main Dishes | 9 Comments

    20th July 2008

    Baja Potato Salad

    Potato Salad

    Lisa and I are both big potato salad fans, as long as they’re not super-mayo affairs.  We needed to come up with a side dish to bring to a BBQ this weekend, and this recipe from The Border Cookbook seemed like a nice twist on the standard summer potato salad.  A vinegar and oil dressing replaces the usual mayonnaise, and  onions, tomatillos, and carrots provide an interesting flavor and texture combination.

    Lisa says:

    It’s sweet!

    Chris says:

    Yeah I like it, too.

    Lisa says:

    No, I mean — it’s sweet. As in, the dressing.

    Chris says:

    Ah! Yep, you’re right. The tomatillos seem to add some sweetness, and the vinegar gives it a nice tangy flavor.

    Lisa says:

    It’s definitely different. I like all the carrots.

    Chris says:

    The flavors seemed to intensify as it chilled — the recipe calls for you to refrigerate it for at least a couple of hours.

    Lisa says:

    So *that’s* why you wouldn’t let me taste it earlier…

    Baja Potato Salad
    1/2 cup rice vinegar
    10 peppercorns
    4 whole cloves
    1 bay leaf
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 small head of garlic, minced
    3 oz tomatillos, husked and chopped
    4 carrots, grated
    4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, boiled in salted water until tender, diced
    1 jalapeño, seeded, minced
    1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
    3/4 tsp oregano
    salt and fresh ground pepper

    In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaf to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to steep.
    In a deep skillet, warm the oil over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the tomatillos and cook an additional 5 minutes. Finally, add the carrots and cook an additional minute, or until the carrot wilts.
    Place the potatoes in a bowl and spoon the carrot mixture over the top. Strain the vinegar and pour over the mixture. Add the jalapeño, parsley, and oregano, and mix again. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Refrigerate, covered, for at least two hours.
    Serve chilled.

    6-8 Servings

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    posted in Mexican, Sides, The Border Cookbook | 0 Comments

    11th July 2008

    Free Giveaway Review: Chef’N VeggiChop

    A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to  be “picked at random” in a drawing at The Kitchn … the prize?  One of twelve VeggiChops, a hand-powered food processor from Chef’N.  I wasn’t really sure from the pictures how this thing worked, but once you have it in your hands, it becomes pretty apparent.  Also, it’s apparent that I need to clean the grout between our kitchen tiles.  Yikes.

    The green ring at the top of the lid flips out and you pull it like you’re starting a lawnmower to rotate the blades within.  The device itself is relatively small; you’re probably not going to use this to make salsa for a huge dinner party.

    Out of the box, there’s not many parts: the bowl, the lid with lawnmower pull, the rotating blades (with plastic guard — safety first!), and finally a small ring you can place below the blades for use in chopping herbs — the ring has an arm that keeps the herbs high enough off the bottom of the bowl so they reach the blades.

    So how’d it work?  I needed to make some pico de gallo for fajitas a few days ago, so I thought I’d put the VeggiChop to the test.  One thing I always thought was odd with these devices is that you have to cut the vegetables to a certain size to fit them in the bowl in the first place, so why not just keep using the knife you already have out?  Well, one benefit I found is that I didn’t end up with a bunch of tomato guts to clean up off the cutting board.  Since I only had to quarter the tomatoes, not much pulp escaped.  I placed the tomatoes, along with onion, cilantro, and 1/2 a jalapeño, and gave a pull.  Hey, that was easy — it’s chopping!  By the fifth or sixth pull, everything was at the size and consistency I wanted.  Just added a little salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lime juice and I was good to go.  It was the perfect amount for the two of us.

    Pico De Gallo

    So, it works as advertised.  One drawback to doing everything at once is that all the pieces end up the same size: I usually mince my jalapeños in when I make pico de gallo, and here they were pretty good size chunks.  I could see using this to quickly chop a bunch of vegetables for soups or stews; the lawnmower pull makes pretty quick work of things.

    This would be great for someone who doesn’t have a lot of room in the kitchen — or hey, lower your carbon footprint by using this guy instead of an electric food processor!  ;)

    Lisa says:

    Are we going to do our quotes on this post?

    Chris says:

    I wasn’t planning on it, why?

    Lisa says:

    Because I really like that pico!

    Chris says:

    Okay, then, we’ll do the quotes.

    Lisa says:

    [...]

    Chris says:

    And… go!

    Lisa says:

    Well, I kinda just said everything I wanted to.

    Chris says:

    Oh. Well then. Um… “Thanks for the free stuff, thekitchn!”

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    posted in free stuff | 3 Comments

    9th July 2008

    Pan Roasted Salmon over Fresh Greens with Garlic and Basil


    We’re continuing detox week here at We Heart Food, so tonight we made this light salmon dish as prepared in How To Eat Supper. Salmon is pan-roasted with garlic and basil and then placed over a bed of fresh greens. A simple and very quick preparation; the salmon is the star of the show here!

    Chris says:

    This salmon is slammin’. What the — what’re you doing with that bread?

    Lisa says:

    Making a Slammin’ Salmon Sandwich, obviously.

    Chris says:

    Obviously. What’s your favorite part of the dish?

    Lisa says:

    One guess.

    Chris says:

    Gotta be the garlic. Those paper-thin slices just melt on your tongue!

    Lisa says:

    Ding ding ding! My only problem is that there aren’t more of them.

    Chris says:

    I really like that you have both the cooked and the fresh basil. I also think this would also be good with some asparagus.

    Lisa says:

    Ooooh, good idea!

    Pan Roasted Salmon over Fresh Greens with Garlic and Basil
    1/2 bag fresh spring greens or mesclun mix
    1/4 lb sugar snap peas, roughly chopped
    12 fresh basil leaves, torn into large pieces
    2 salmon fillets, skinned
    extra-virgin olive oil
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    2 large garlic cloves, sliced paper thin
    1/3 cup dry white wine
    lemon wedges

    Divide the greens between two dinner plates, then scatter the snap peas and 1/2 the basil leaves over them. Rinse the salmon, pat it dry, then salt and pepper both sides of the fish. Set aside.
    Add enough olive oil to a 12-inch skillet to leave a light film, and heat to medium-high. Add the salmon to the pan and sear for one minute, flip, and sear for another minute on the other side.
    Sprinkle the garlic and remaining basil around the fish in the pan, lower the heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook for 5-6 minutes, flipping the salmon once, until just done. The fish should be barely opaque in the center.
    Remove the salmon from the skillet and set aside, keeping warm. Add the wine to the skillet, set the heat to high, and scrape the garlic and basil from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the juices thicken and sizzle.
    Drizzle the hot sauce over the greens and top with the salmon. Serve with lemon wedges.

    2 Servings

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    posted in How to Eat Supper, Main Dishes, Salads and Light Soups | 3 Comments


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