Archive for the 'Seafood' Category

Lemony Pasta with Shrimp and Broccoli

Today, I’d like to share a fantastic pasta dish with you that is so quick to make. A friend made it for a girls dinner several years ago in Thailand and I have cooked it myself many times since. The original recipe asks for butter as well as olive oil, but I don’t miss the butter in my version and my LDL is too high anyway. My kids love this pasta dish and have even requested it for their birthday dinners. You can use any vegetable you like. Asparagus, zucchini or fresh peas would be great, but so would leafy greens or whatever you find in the bottom of your fridge. Good quality olive oil, lemon juice and lots of garlic are key here and give this dish the biggest flavor boost.

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Grilled Fish Tacos

I chose to get out of my Mexican cooking phase, with a last ‘Hurrah”, Baja-Style Fish Tacos. I made these on Saturday, as part of my preparation for tomorrow’s Mexican-cooking fiesta. I was torn between the traditional deep-fried fish and the naturally healthier grilled fish version. Who doesn’t like the crispy, greasy, melt-in-your-mouth sensation once in a while… But no, I stuck to my guns, after all this blog and tomorrow’s class are all about healthy eating, so I grilled the fish instead. Ohhh, and it was good, really good. I marinated the fish in a spicy lime/cilantro/cayenne marinade for 4 hours, before grilling it for a few minutes on each side on my grill pan. The BBQ would have been excellent, but my husband, who is the master of that domain, wasn’t home. (I really got to get more practise on that BBQ sometime.)

I shredded 1/2 of a medium sized red cabbage and dressed it with coriander(cilantro), spring onions, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. I also made a guacamole and a Baja-style white sauce with sour cream, more coriander, and lime juice.

We layered it all onto our warm corn tortillas, first the guacamole, then the fish, followed by the cabbage and finally a drizzle of white sauce. It was a deliciously messy affair, but so worth it. I thought they were a vast improvement over the shrimp tacos I made recently. However, if you get fresh, large shrimp, marinate them just like the fish and quickly grill them on the BBQ, you should end up with a very comparable, super-satisfying, 100% umami dinner experience as well.

 

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Florentine Fish with Spinach

As part of my recent Italian themed cooking class, I prepared this easy and delicious fish dish. It comes from an Italian cookbook I got as a wedding present a long time ago… Back then I barely set foot in the kitchen, and the only fish I dared to cook was a piece of salmon on the BBQ. It’s funny, but I can’t remember many things I cooked in those early married years except for an interesting concoction of fruit curry and lots of pasta. It must have been a special occasion, when I picked up the Italian cookbook (which was one of very few) in search for a managable recipe. I picked out two, one was for panna cotta and the other one for this. I have made both of them innumerable times since then. Actually the panna cotta was also part of the cooking class, although with buttermilk instead of cream and agar agar instead of gelatin. But that’s another post.

This recipe is for those of you who need a bit of a nudge to cook fish! I can’t state enough how quick and easy it is, but the best thing is that no one can tell. It looks as good as it tastes, the fish is mild and most people like spinach. I usually serve it with some boiled or roasted potatoes, but it’s is just as good with rice or on it’s own. If you can’t get sole, try dory, orange roughy or any other mild, flaky, white fish. Your fish monger can help.

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Fish and Vegetable Curry

When we lived in Thailand I never ate much curry. I know you think there must be something wrong with me. Of course I loved the flavors (unless the only detectable flavor was super-hot chili), but I always missed the vegetables. Thai curries are mostly meat or shrimp based and have lot’s of inedible things in them.  Fish and vegetable curries are not as common  as they are in India or Cambodia.  So I searched the net for the perfect recipe, and when I didn’t succeed, I started experimenting with different ingredients, most of them traditional to any Asian curry. I came up with this recipe that fits all my criteria for an easy, healthy, super delicious and extremely versatile curry. You’ll find some ideas for variations at the bottom of the page, but really you can put in anything that is popular on your dinner table, even substituting meat or tofu for the fish. Give it a try, the outcome is amazing. The curry on the picture is slightly different than that in the recipe below. I made enough for 2 dinners and put in 1 broccoli, 1/2 cauliflower, green beans, snow peas, carrots, mushroom, kale, shrimp and fish. I served it with brown rice, but if you run out of time, just add more sweet potatos or regular potatoes. I also used more than a teaspoon of turmeric powder in my curry. It has an amazing range of medicinal properties, from anti-inflammatory, to anti-cancer, to anti-bacterial, to liver-detoxifier. We should include it in as many dishes as possible and I promise to help with that quest.

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2” cubes
  • 4 leaves kale, stem removed, leaves chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into 1/2” pieces
  • 1 handful beans or snow peas, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp. sea  salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. chili flakes
  • 1 pound fillet firm white fish, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 -11/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 4 spring onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

Directions:

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sauté garlic, lemongrass and ginger for 1 minute. Add the chopped sweet potato, sea salt and chili flakes, and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes.

Add about half a cup of water to the sweet potato and bring to a boil. Cover pot and simmer for about 5 minutes, then add the zucchini and remaining vegetables and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the fish and coconut milk, and simmer until the fish is almost cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. (You can add an extra half cup of coconut milk or water if you prefer a more soupy consistency.) Add the chopped kale to the top of the stew, cover pot again and continue to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pot from stove, sprinkle on spring onions and coriander and drizzle with lime juice. Gently stir and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Variations:

  • You can substitute the sweet potato with 5 regular potatoes plus 1 carrot, cut into bit-sized chunks and omit the rice
  • For a vegan version, you could use firm tofu in place of the fish. Chickpeas are also a great addition. .
  • Examples of suitable fish are hiramasa, mahimahi, monkfish, sea bass, cod or halibut.
  • You can spice it up with fresh jalapeno instead of the chili flakes or 1 level teaspoon Thai green or red curry paste.
  • Use butternut squash or carrot, in place of the sweet potato, .