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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Flavors of the Sea...or something

Well, since I slacked off the last two weeks, I suppose I owe it to you, and me, to post a pic and some food.  I really didn't mean to slack off, I just wound up having things to do and so I let this slip.  I know, bad girl (hand slap), I won't do it again.  Or at least I'll try not to.  I really do like posting my recipes, although I haven't heard anything back yet if someone has tried them or not.  I hope you have, and I hope you like them.  Now what I am about to post, the two recipes below, I have actual amounts on one, the swordfish, but I regressed on the shrimp, on my measurements.  So I am telling you right now, they are all approximate, but I am pretty sure I am darn close to the exact amounts.  like I said I had been slacking...I wasn't lying.
This is the first time I have eaten swordfish.  So naturally, it is also the first time I cooked it.  I must say, I was very pleased.  It was very tasty!  I bought the fish from my local Hy-vee meat counter.  I know, it's not a fish mongrel and we don't live close to the coast, so this is as fresh as I can get.  My husband wanted steak but I wanted fish, not only for flavors but also because of my keeping it healthy this year.  I first eyed a nice piece of tuna, but after seeing the price, I opted for the swordfish, and accepted my own challenge (in my head) to try something new.  I am glad the tuna was too pricey!  I made a pesto, more like a puree, of parsley, lemon, and garlic for the top of the fish.  I ws surprised when I tasted the fish and realized I didn't need the puree.  Sometimes I think things may be better with a sauce, but this wasn't one of them.  The puree was pretty good on my baked potato though, using it instead of butter.  So here's the swordfish!

Now the recipe is for the marinade, in which I only used it for 1 piece of fish.  You may double it if you have 3-4 fish portions you are cooking, but it will be enough for 2.

    Grilled Swordfish
1 6 to 8 oz swordfish fillet
1 orange, zested and juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced(I used my garlic press)
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
salt and pepper
In a shallow dish, place the juice and zest from the orange, the minced rosemary and the minced garlic.  Sprinkle a little salt and pepper.  Stir.  Add the fish fillet and cover.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.  I refrigerated for about 2 and 1/2.  When you are ready, take the fish in the marinade out of the frig about 20 to 30 minutes before you are going to cook it.  I used my stove top grill pan to cook this, but you can use a saute pan.  I preheated my grill pan, and when it was hot, I placed the fish in the pan.  I did not time how long it took to actually cook, I'd say close to 15 minutes total.  I mainly looked at the fish to let me know when it was ready.  the swordfish is a nice thick piece of meat, and you can see the color change from an opaque color to a real white.  When I noticed the color change had spread halfway up the side of the fish, I knew it was ready to flip.  It only took a few more minutes and it was ready for my plate.  Please excuse the horrible picture, and typos, but I did want to share this.  I tried getting my husband to try it.  Let me just say, he's not a fish fan and he even said it wasn't bad.  For him eating something he doesn't like, and saying that, it's like getting 4 stars out of 5.  For someone who likes "white meat" pork or chicken, but not keen on fish, this is the one to try!  You will not be disappointed.
Now on to my Caribbean flared dinner.  I had to make it friendly for the pescitarian, so I chose shrimp.  Now, since I'm cheap, but like lots of flavors, my local Aldi's came in handy.  I made a mango, pineapple, strawberry salsa to add a little extra pizazz.  Mango salsa is one of our favorite things, and this time I had to add other fruits because I didn't have enough mango's.  So good!  I also made red lentils, but I know from experience I overcooked those.  They were kinda mush.  But at least they had some flavor.  I also baked some plantain chips in the oven.  Not bad, but I am sure the real fried ones would have been slightly better.  It was nice to use those to "dip" into the fruit salsa.
Red lentils~I fallowed the directions on the bag, EXCEPT I add 1 tsp gram marsala seasoning to the 4 servings I made.  That and did I mention I cooked them to mush.  Oh well.   I also cut up some fresh veggies and slightly cooked them in a saute pan, no butter just a tablespoon of olive oil, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  I just wanted a little heat, but it's not necessary.
Shrimp-now we are getting to the good stuff!
1 lb jumbo shrimp, raw and shell on
1/2 to 3/4 cup pineapple juice (from canned)
1/2 tsp minced jalapeno
1 garlic clove minced
zest from 1 lime
2 tbs chopped cilantro
1/2 to 1 tsp blackened seasoning
In a shallow dish mix together the juice, jalapeno, garlic, lime zest, cilantro and seasoning.  I skewered the shrimp onto bamboo skewers, 4 and 5 to a skewer and then placed the skewer in the mixture, turn to coat, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.  I used a dish with a tight lid, and after about a half an hour I turned it upside down so that all the shrimp could be submerged,  if that makes sense.  Again, I used my grill pan on this.  When your grill is hot, place the shrimp on the pan.  Let cook only a few minutes (when they start to turn pink on the underside) then turn them. Cook until pink all the way around.  These cook quickly so don't overcook or they will be pretty little rubber shrimp on your plate. 
For the fruit salsa you can use any combo of fruit or just one.
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/2 cup crushed pineapple(canned that has been drained)
1 jalapeno, mined finely
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 tbs minced red onion
1/4 cilantro, chopped
juice from 1 lime
zest from 1 lime
1/2 large orange(or red or yellow) pepper, chopped finely
8 oz strawberries, stems removed and chopped
I tried to keep everything similar in size except the jalapeno and red onion.  Since they pack a lot of flavor and some heat, smaller is better.  I mixed all the ingredients in a bowl, added just a pinch of salt.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Plantain Chips
2 plantains
1tbs olive oil
gram marsala seasoning
preheat oven to 425.  Slice the plantains very thin, like 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch.  Toss in the olive oil, and sprinkle just a light dusting of the seasoning on the plantains.  Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake, checking after 8 minutes.  You want them light brown, and crisp. 
Oh, i forgot the picture!  So here it is! Enjoy!

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