Grilled Swordfish with Tomatillo Corn Relish

Swordfish is more steaky than fishy (that dense, meaty, heartiness), so if you’re not sure what you’re craving, its a good way to go once in a while. Just like with red meat, you need strong flavors to stand up alongside it, and so for this dish, I grilled some citric marinated swordfish steaks and served them with a tomatillo corn relish.

The slowest step in preparing this dish is marinating the fish, and even that goes pretty quickly (no more than an hour!), so this is one of those dishes you could feasibly do during the middle of the week. The marinade imparts a subtle, spicy, citric flavor unto the fish, which compliments the more forward flavored relish. The relish largely resembles salsa verde and has similar citric, crisp, flavors with a balance of sweetness and crunch brought by the corn. All together, it was a really strong flavored, tasty… click to read more…

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Indian Pizza

Once again, Jeff over at Culinary Disaster organized an Iron Chef style challenge, and this go around, the theme was pizza. Since I always aim to make something a bit different, I wanted to make some sort of exotic pizza. After imagining many dead ends, a friend’s recounting of chicken tandoori pizza popped up in my head, and suddenly, a rush of Indian-themed ideas started swirling together. The result: Indian Pizza!

If you’ve never had something like this before, you’re probably skeptical about this one, and hey, I hear you–it does sound weird, but if you like Indian food, I promise you, this is a joy to eat. I didn’t want this to be some everyday pizza with just chunks of chicken tandoori on top (which sounds like it would be…crappy), so I revisited every element… click to read more…

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Pan-Seared Salmon over Fennel Cauliflower Puree with Sweet Mediterranean Relish

In bumbling around for something to do with the cauliflower leftover in my fridge, I came across a fish recipe that really caught my eye. This solved two problems for me as I hadn’t a clue what I intended to do with the beautiful wild salmon filets waiting for me as well. So by total chance, today’s dish: a Pan-Seared Filet of Salmon atop a Fennel Cauliflower Puree, served with a Sweet Mediterranean Relish (say that three times fast).

This dish worked really well. The salmon was not the sad-colored, farm-rasied stuff, and the taste really reflected that. The cauliflower puree was a tasty side dish (also a great way for me to use up some fennel fronds I had leftover)–creamy, slightly sweet and anisey, and just full of that comforting caulifloweriness. The only change I would make next time: prepare more relish!

As simple as the… click to read more…

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Carne Asada Tacos with Watermelon Mango Avocado Salsa

Watermelon salsa. Sounds different, right? But not in a bad way–more like really interesting. I certainly thought so when I first heard of it, and while the watermelons were abundant around here, I knew I had to try it. So closely following Susan’s very tempting recipe, I made some Carne Asada Tacos with Watermelon Mango Avocado Salsa.

And how did it come out? Quite surprising–I’d never had watermelon in any form other than dessert, so I was really curious to see where it would go. The end result didn’t quite have the tex-mex sort of flavors I was expecting, but it was nonetheless quite enjoyable.

The peppers give the salsa a bit of heat, the avocado some creaminess and richness, the jicama a tartness and a firm crunch, while the watermelon played the curious role of…refreshment. Sort of like having a salsa with really juicy tomatoes…but not. It… click to read more…

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Creole Beer Battered Fish Fry

Even if you’re iffy about eating fish, I imagine just about everyone is up for a fish fry. I mean what more is there to say about this? Don’t we all have a soft spot in our hearts for deep fried food? (Yes!) For this version, I made a Creole-spiced beer batter that was really strong, spiced, and flavorful, making for a very enjoyable indulgence in what is really simple, summery, Southern-styled comfort food.

I really enjoyed this–the fish was tender, moist, meaty, and fresh while the batter was zesty, spicy, crunchy, and just…well, really damn good! I used a good bit of coarse cornmeal so that the end result would have a really solid grit and crunch about it while the spices have a distinctly Creole flare about them. Underneath all of this is another major player in the beer batter: the beer! I chose to go with an IPA (India Pale Ale) as I love the hoppy,… click to read more…

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Veal Chops with an Herbed Pan Sauce

This dish had everything going for it–its quick to prepare, delicious, and to seal the deal: its veal! Some times, the simplest approaches are the best kind, and for this, I decided to stick to one pan so as to have really flavorful meat and to use those juices for an even more flavorful pan sauce. So today: Veal Chops with an Herbed Pan Sauce.

While the dish has a somewhat rustic appearance, the taste is stunning. The veal had a great, buttery crust on it while the meat inside was melt-in-your-mouth tender with that delightful, harmoniously neutral veal flavor. The sauce was simple, but surprisingly rich and hearty, being earthy, herbaceous, and slightly sweet. This was also given body from the gelatin released in cooking the veal and enriched with butter to add that little touch that puts it over the top.

The only thing that didn’t live up to my expectations: the cheese I stuffed into the… click to read more…

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