Friday, 30 August 2013

Orange Grilled Mahi Mahi Salad

Orange grilled Mahi Mahi served whole, sliced or crumbled over your favorite vegetables makes a delicious, hearty meal.  You can use fresh if you are lucky enough to get it however, frozen fish is still a fantastic product. Create your favorite combinations of vegetables and toss in an orange vinaigrette and you have dinner. 

You will need:
  • 2 pieces of Mahi Mahi
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh ginger
  • 1/2 orange juiced and 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 clove garlic - crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 orange juiced
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil- use your best extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey mustard
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • salt/pepper to taste
Plus all your favorite vegetables chopped for a nice big salad

Step 1: in a large bowl add thawed fish, soy sauce, ginger (fresh grated is always better) orange zest, orange juice, crushed garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss, cover with plastic wrap and keep in fridge while you prepare salad and heat grill.

Step 2: in another large bowl add all your ingredients for the dressing. Add orange juice, rice wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, honey mustard, sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste. Mix taste and adjust if necessary. Add more salt and pepper or more vinegar if necessary.

Step 3: chop all the vegetables you like for your salad. I add the chopped vegetables directly over the dressing but, I do not toss until just before I serve. Make sure you put hearty vegetables like peppers or cucumbers directly on the dressing and leave the tender greens to last so they do not touch the dressing and get wilted before you serve. 

Step 4: grill your fish for a few minutes on each side until just cooked through basting with the remaining marinade.

Toss salad, crumble or slice fish (or leave it whole ) and pour the wine! 
I have also used some Avocado lime cream that I had from a meal the day before which went very well.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Eggplant Meatballs

Even if you are not a vegetarian you can enjoy some meatless meals. This one does not disappoint. These meatballs are packed full of bold flavour and even the biggest carnivores will feel satisfied. You can serve these simply with a basic tomato, some fresh basil and a shaving of grated Parmesan.

You will need:
  • 1 small eggplant - baked should equal 1 cup
  • 1 large bun or a few slices of bread crumbled
  • 1/2 cup milk or water
  • 1 ounce or a handful of dried mushrooms -soaked in 1/4 cup boiling water.
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • another bun or couple of slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp parsley and basil - chopped fine
  • 1/2 onion grated
  • 3 cloves garlic -chopped fine
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • your favourite tomato sauce to drown the meatballs in

Step 1: slice eggplant in half and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet (I always cover in parchment paper) bake 30-45 minutes or until very soft to the touch. Let cool until you can handle and with a spoon scoop out flesh. Chop until pretty much pureed. Set aside. If there is too much liquid you can drain in a colander.

Step 2: in a small bowl add torn bread and milk. Let sit for 10 minutes until completely wet and falling apart. 

Step 3: take your favourite dried mushrooms and rehydrate by soaking in some boiling water. Leave 5 minutes and then drain liquid (this is great liquid to keep for the pasta sauce) Chop mushrooms fine.

Step 4: in a large bowl add eggplant, bread, mushrooms, Parmesan, chopped herbs, grated onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to determine how wet your mix is.

Add the egg yolk and another crumbled bun or 2 slices of bread. Mix again and add breadcrumbs if too wet. At this stage you can form a ball and fry it to see how firm it is and if it holds together well. If it falls apart add a bit more breadcrumbs or some more Parmesan cheese to the remaining mix and fry another test meatball. I like these to hold together but they are still on the softer side compared to a true meatball.

Step 5: using a small ice cream scoop or your hands form even sized small meatballs.

Step 6: in a large pan with some olive oil. Cook meatballs until browned on all sides. 

Step 7: add some tomato sauce to your pan with the meatballs. I keep the olive oil because I always use great oil but, if you prefer to drain the oil you can. Cook 15 minutes.

I serve a few meatballs with a bit of sauce and a grating of fresh Parmesan.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Grilled Fish Tacos with Avocado Lime Cream and Fresh Tortillas

These pictures do not do this justice, These were some of the best grilled fish tacos I have ever made. I think I moaned during every bite!! Fresh made flour tortillas, grilled tuna, pico de gallo (peek-o de guy-o) and a smooth avocado lime cream.....divine!! You have got to make these! If you want to buy store bought corn or flour tortillas you can but, the fresh are out of this world and you can make them and keep them warm while you prepare the rest of the meal. Simple grilled fish, a fresh salsa and some warm tortillas make a truly fantastic dinner. Big Pete said these were good enough for company!

You will need:
  • a couple of tuna steaks - mine were frozen which are great if you can't find fresh
  • 1 tbsp taco seasonings or make your own
  • 1 lime juiced and 3 tbsp olive oil
Taco Seasoning
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes (you can grind or leave whole)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
Avocado Lime Cream
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 small individual serving container yogurt- I used coconut and it is really great in this!
  • 1/2  lime - juiced
  • 1 garlic - crushed
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • salt/pepper to taste
Pico de Gallo
  • 2 tbsp onion - diced fine
  • 1/2 small jalapeno- chopped fine
  • 3 tomatoes - diced
  • 1 lime - juiced
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 spring onions - diced fine
  • 1 clove garlic - minced fine
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • thinly sliced cabbage
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • thinly sliced onions
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup warm water

Step 1: if you can get fresh tuna or halibut great but, I used frozen and it was perfect. I thawed the fish in the fridge (my bag had 2 pieces which was perfect for 2 people) Place the thawed fish in a few tbsp of olive oil and return to fridge while preparing the rest of the toppings. I don't add the spices or the lime until just before grilling because the lime will start to cook the fish and the salt in the mix can dry the fish out.

Step 2: in a food processor add flour salt, olive oil (lard is traditional but I like olive oil) and baking powder. Add 1/2 cup of the flour and process until a ball starts to form in the machine - less than 1 minute. If the dough is very soft and wet at this stage I remove from the machine and knead on the counter. I add just enough flour to make the dough no longer sticky to the touch. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge at least a half hour which is really the time it takes to make the other parts of the meal. You could also make this the day ahead.

Step 3: chop all your ingredients for the Pico de gallo and add to a small bowl. If you prefer you can do this in the food processor using a few pulses but, I like the chunkier texture created by the hand chopping. Get a good knife I promise you you will enjoy chopping things with a good knife. Set aside. 

Step 5: add ingredients for the avocado lime cream to the food processor. I add everything except the yogurt first. Pulse and then add the yogurt and process again to get a smooth texture. You may need to stop the machine and scrape down at least once.

you can certainly just put this in a bowl to serve or you can put in a ziploc bag or squeeze bottle to drizzle over tacos.

Step 6: thinly slice a few leaves of cabbage, thinly slice some onions, some limes and gather lots of cilantro for your garnishes.

Step 7: divide your dough into approx 12 balls. I just form a log and cut in half and then continue to cut each piece into halves until I have 12 even balls. I personally like little tacos which stay nice a fresh and don't tend to get soggy. Cute little tacos! Roll a basic circle with each.ball.

Step 8: in a small hot pan (without oil) cook tortillas on each side for a few minutes. They may puff up and you just want a bit of colour on the tortilla. 

Once cooked place in a foil wrap and you can keep these in a warming drawer or low oven to stay warm while you cook fish.

Step 9: prepare your taco seasoning mix or you can use a store bought one. There will be lots leftover for another time just store in a small jar. 

Step 10: sprinkle both sides of fish with taco seasoning and squeeze the lime over the fish as it is cooking. Cook for a few minutes on each side on a hot grill. Crumble the cooked fish into pieces and place on a plate for people to assemble their tacos. I just have a board and let people make their own.

My tacos had cabbage on the bottom, tuna, pico de gallo, a squeeze of Avocado lime cream and a squeeze of fresh lime. Big Pete likes to add some Frank's Red Hot sauce.

I am not kidding you will go crazy!!!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sweet Feta Cheeseburgers

I have said it before but, I truly love a great juicy burger and this one does not disappoint! It is made with grated sweet potato and crumbled feta cheese and is moist and yummy. If you have people in your house that don't want to eat vegetables I always say "chop them fine and they won't notice.

You will need:

  • 1 lb ground beef - don't use extra lean you want some fat%
  • 1/3 cup finely grated sweet potato (this is not a yam )
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 spring onion - diced fine
  • 2 tbsp grated onion
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste when you are grilling

Step 1: finely grate 1/3 cup sweet potato (this is not YAM folks!! look it up.)

Step 2:  In a large bowl add ground meat, sweet potato, crumbled feta, finely diced spring onion, grated onion, chopped parsley, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice.

Step 3: lightly toss rather than compress meat to mix all ingredients. You want a nice moist burger, don't overwork that meat.  

Step 4: form 4 patties. 

Step 5: salt and pepper patties and grill to the way you like them.

Serve with your favourite toppings!!