• Categories

  • Archives

  • Meta

Jalapeno-Baked Fish with Roasted Tomatoes and Potatoes

I have really been enjoying Mexican Everyday and have been trying to cook as many things from it as possible. There are so many delicious recipes and I want to try them all! I really like fish, but haven’t really tried it very many times with Mexican flavors, so I wanted to give this recipe a try. I thought the potatoes sounded really good as well. This is a simple dish, and one that I made on a Friday after a long week, making it a good possibility for weeknight dinners. To prepare the potatoes, you just steam them in the microwave (can it get any easier?), and while they are cooking, just blend the tomatoes, jalapenos, and the spices in the blender. You can make the mixture as smooth or chunky as you want. After the potatoes are done, just layer the fish on top, pour the tomato mixture over it, bake for 15-20 minutes, and dinner is ready! I also like that you can adjust the spiciness of the dish- if you don’t like spicy, just don’t add as much jalapeno, and if you like it spicy, just add more!

Jalapeno-Baked Fish with Roasted Tomatoes and Potatoes
Source: Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

Serves 4

4 medium (1 pound total) red-skin boiling or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick

1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

Salt

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice

1 large garlic clove, peeled and cut in half

1/3 cup (loosely packed) coarsely chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish

About ¼ cup sliced canned pickled jalapenos

1 tablespoon jalapeno pickling juice

Four 4- to 5-ounce (1 to 1 ¼ pounds total) skinless fish fillets (I used tilapia), preferably ¾ to 1 inch thick

Turn on the oven to 400 degrees. Scoop the sliced potatoes into a microwaveable 8×8-inch baking dish. Drizzle on the oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to coat, then spread the potatoes in an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a couple of holes in the top. Microwave on high until the potatoes are nearly tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine the tomatoes with their juice, garlic, cilantro, jalapenos, and pickling juice. Process to a puree, leaving just a little texture.

Lay the fish fillets in a single layer over the potatoes. Pour the tomato mixture evenly over the fish and potatoes.

Slide the baking dish into the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the fish flakes when pressed firmly.

Scoop a portion of the fish-potato-sauce onto each dinner plate, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve right away.

Shrimp Risotto

img_0663.jpg

I have been wanting to try risotto for quite some time and finally decided to try it the other night.  I am now definitely a fan!  I can’t believe I went so long without trying it.  I have heard that it can be a lot of work, but I didn’t find this recipe to be much trouble at all.  I went to Cook’s Illustrated to find a basic risotto recipe and I used the recipe for shrimp skewers that I used last week in the Broiled Shrimp with Charmoula Sauce and Couscous.  What a great combination, and this gave me another shrimp dish to keep making.  I am definitely a fan of Cook’s Illustrated.  Every recipe I have made from them so far has turned out wonderful.  I will definitely be making this risotto again, and I am looking forward to trying different risotto variations.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2-4 ounces pancetta, prosciutto, country ham, or other flavorful cured meat, minced (I
omitted this and used shrimp skewers instead)
2 cups Arborio rice, or medium grain rice
table salt
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, combined with 3 cups of water
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup Parmesan cheese, or grated Asiago, plus extra for passing

Heat oil in a heavy pot, 10 to 12 inches in diameter. Add onions and ham; sauté, stirring occastionally, until onions soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in rice and 1 teaspoon salt or to taste. Add 3 cups of the broth/water mixture and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until pan bottom is dry when rice is pulled back with spoon, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add wine, stirring frequently until absorbed. Then add 1/2 cup of the broth/water mixture at a time, stirring constantly until each addition is absorbed; cook until rice is creamy but still somewhat firm in center (add more water in 1/2 cup increments if broth/water mixture runs out), 10 to 12 minutes longer.

Stir in cheese. Serve on a wide platter or individual plates with additional cheese passed separately.  Top with shrimp.

For the shrimp skewers:

1 1/2 pounds extra-large shrimp
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil for brushing skewers
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Adjust oven rack to highest position and heat broiler. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels. Thread shrimp onto 3 skewers, alternating direction of heads and tails. Brush both sides of shrimp with oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle one side of each skewer with sugar.

Place shrimp skewers, sugared-sides up, on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. (Use tongs to push shrimp together on skewer if they have separated.) Place baking sheet under broiler and cook shrimp until lightly charred, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, flip and broil until second side is pink and slightly translucent, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Remove shrimp from oven and, using potholder or oven mitt, carefully lift each skewer from wire rack.

Source: Cook’s Illustrated, March 1994

Broiled Shrimp with Charmoula Sauce and Couscous

img_0617.jpg

David is on Spring Break, so he decided to try a new recipe for dinner since he had plenty of time to cook. Although he doesn’t have much of a taste for desserts, I am glad that he does not feel that way about dinners. I feel very lucky to be marrying someone who can cook. That means that nearly every night we have a good home cooked dinner. He asked me what I wanted him to cook and I said that anything with shrimp will do. I love shrimp and could eat it every day, and I love being able to add new shrimp dishes to our recipe file. He turned to Cook’s Illustrated and came up with a wonderful combination: shrimp broiled on skewers with a just-spicy-enough sauce served over couscous. This was delicious and we will definitely be making it again.

Charmoula Sauce:

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced very small (about
1/2 cup)
1/2 small onion, minced (about 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 medium cloves garlic
1/8 tablespoon salt
lemon juice from 1 lemon

Put all ingredients in a medium saute pan and cook over medium heat until the onions are nearly caramelized. Place in blender and pulse a few times.

For the shrimp skewers:

1 1/2 pounds extra-large shrimp
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil for brushing skewers
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Adjust oven rack to highest position and heat broiler. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels. Thread shrimp onto 3 skewers, alternating direction of heads and tails. Brush both sides of shrimp with oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle one side of each skewer with sugar.

Place shrimp skewers, sugared-sides up, on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. (Use tongs to push shrimp together on skewer if they have separated.) Place baking sheet under broiler and cook shrimp until lightly charred, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, flip and broil until second side is pink and slightly translucent, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Remove shrimp from oven and, using potholder or oven mitt, carefully lift each skewer from wire rack.

For the couscous:

1 1/2 cups couscous
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 cups water
4 teaspoons olive oil

Toast the couscous in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat (no oil) for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. In another pan, saute the onion with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt over medium-low heat until the onion is soft and translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, lemon zest, and desired cayenne and saute for about 30 seconds, exposing the cayenne to dry heat. Add water and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the liquid to the pot of couscous, cover, and let stand until the couscous has absorbed the liquid, about 12 minutes. Stir in the remaining oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste with a fork.

Source: Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Shrimp Etoufee

img_0443.jpg

I love shrimp and am always willing to try new shrimp recipes. I was looking through my Joy of Cooking cookbook and started marking meals to try. Shrimp Etoufee was one of those dishes, and I decided to make it tonight because I had been craving a good shrimp dinner. I knew I could count on the Joy of Cooking for a good, authentic recipe. David and I both loved this. It was nice and spicy and I loved all of the flavors together. I will definitely be making this again!

3 pounds medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Toss with:

1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper

Set aside. In a large, flat-bottomed pot or skillet (I used a Dutch oven), stir together over medium heat:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons flour

Cook, stirring constantly, until the roux is almost as dark as milk chocolate, about 20 minutes. Stir in:

1 cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped red bell peppers
¼ cup chopped green bell peppers (for this I used all green bell peppers)
¼ cup chopped andouille sausage or smoked ham (I used sausage)

Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. The roux will continue to darken to a deep mahogany color. Add:

2 tablespoons chopped garlic
¼ teaspoon dried sage, crumbled
¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Stir well and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in:

2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon hot red pepper sauce, or to taste

Stirring constantly, bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the spice-coated shrimp to the skillet and bring the liquid back to a simmer. Reduce the heat so the sauce bubbles gently, cover, and cook until the shrimp are just firm and pink, and are curled, about 10 minutes. Add:

½ cup finely chopped scallions
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Season to taste with:

Salt and ground black pepper
Hot red pepper sauce

Serve with cooked rice.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Joy of Cooking

Shrimp Fra Diavolo


I came to the conclusion that David and I were in a food rut. We always have good dinners, but we were too restricted to the same foods in our rotation. We couldn’t think of what we wanted or didn’t look for new ideas. I decided that it was time to get out of our rut, so I went through my Cooking Light magazines from the past year and tore out pages of recipes for us to try. We both decided that it was time to try something new. We are going to make it a goal to try as many new recipes as possible. The first new recipe I decided to make was Shrimp Fra Diavolo. According to Cooking Light, “fra diavolo” is Italian for “brother devil.” It is a sauce that is usually tomato-based and always spicy. It does not traditionally have mushrooms, but the mushrooms really add to the flavor and texture of the dish. I liked the spiciness of the dish, but if you like really spicy food, you can definitely add more red pepper. David loved this meal and declared it his new favorite shrimp dish. We are big shrimp lovers, so this comment meant a lot to me. I will most definitely make this again. I’m glad our first new dish was a success. Here’s the recipe from the October 2007 issue of Cooking Light:

8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups cremini mushrooms (about 10 ounces)- *I used portabello mushrooms
2 1/2 cups marinara sauce (I used my own homemade version)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (I used kosher salt)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
Parsley sprigs, optional (I added dry parsley to the sauce)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; keep warm.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms to pan; saute 6 minutes. Add marinara, red pepper, salt, and black pepper (and parsley if you add it here like I did); bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Serve over pasta. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

YIELD: 4 servings (serving size is 1 1/4 cups shrimp mixture and 1 cup pasta)
439 calories and 8.5 grams fat per serving