18 March, 2013

No Mayo Egg Salad

I love, love, love egg salad.  
But I hate, hate, hate mayo.

Olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon, of course. 
The lemon juice gives it a nice zip. I add a bit of diced red peppers for color and added veggies.

Serve on lightly toasted whole-wheat bread with fresh romaine. Or eat on it's own if you're paleo or gluten free!
No Mayo Egg Salad

6 hard boiled eggs, cooled and shells removed
4 scallions, sliced, green parts only 
1/4 cup diced red pepper
3 tbsp good quality olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, use potato masher to mash the eggs. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, dijon mustard, and olive oil. Add to the mashed eggs.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.  Voila!

11 March, 2013

Quick Fish Provencal

I bought frozen cod that I was not impressed with. 
Originally I simply broiled it, a little salt and pepper and lemon.

Since I'm pretty new to the fish game, 
I thought maybe I just don't like cod. 
But then I made this. 
Fish Provencal.

Browned fish fillets stewed in tomato sauce and fresh herbs.

So fast, so easy, and pretty darn good!
This is a rustic version- I like to keep the onions and tomato chunks pretty visible.  For a more elegant version for entertaining, I'd suggest finely chopping the onion and pureeing the tomato before cooking.  

This is also a pretty basic version. It can literally be whipped up in a half hour. Add black pitted olives if you desire for a little authenticity (The Boyfriend hates olives, so I skipped it). 

Serve with crusty French bread, of course! (Unless you're gluten free!)
Quick Fish Provencal

4 6oz Cod fillets (or other white flaky fish)
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 thyme sprig, leaves only
1 tbsp fresh basil leaves (about 6 basil leaves, chopped)
1 clove garlic, minced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Flour (for dredging the fish- substitute almond flour if making gluten free)

In a large skillet, heat a few drizzles of olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the onion.  Saute about 5 minutes, until onion begins to look translucent.  Add the garlic. Cook one minute.  Add the tomatoes and all the herbs. Season with salt and pepper, stir, and let sauce simmer while you prepare the fish. 

Add 2 tbsp oil to a skillet and heat over medium to medium-high heat. Season flour with a bit of salt and pepper.  Lightly dredge the fish fillets in the flour until both sides are coated. Add to the hot skillet, and saute until fish is browned on both sides.  Remove fish, and add to the simmering tomato sauce. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes, or until fish is flaky and cooked through.  

Garnish with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan if desired. 

A few other favorite recipes:
Sage Chicken Chili with Lentils and Garden Vegetables

Butternut Squash Gnocchi in Saffron Cream Sauce, Crispy Pancetta & Crumbled Pecans

04 March, 2013

Herbed Shrimp Risotto with Balsamic Tomato

Is there anything better in this world?
This dinner received another 'restaurant quality' rating from The Boyfriend. 
We both had seconds, and had no leftovers. 

These pictures are a bit fuzzy from the steam, but it was so good we had to eat it immediately.  
So I apologize for picture quality!

This is a warm, comforting risotto with a deep seafood flavor, chunks of shrimp, topped with a bit of dill and chive tomato salad.

Risotto gets all it's flavor from the stock you use.  I highly recommend making your own seafood stock for this dish.  It may sound hard and labor intensive (for those of you that have never made seafood stock) but it's really quite easy.  You just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. That's pretty much it.

If you don't have the time or energy to make your own stock and are purchasing store-bought chicken stock, do yourself two favors:  
  1. Buy low sodium (store bought stocks are SO SALTY!)  
  2. Simmer the stock in a saucepot with some fresh herbs (thyme rosemary, sage, etc) and some chopped onion, carrot and celery.  It'll make store-bought taste more like homemade. 
Herbed Shrimp Risotto 
with Balsamic Tomato

1/2 lb uncooked shrimp, deveined, shells and tails removed and reserved for seafood stock
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp fresh finely chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

1 cup arborio rice
2 shallots, minced
1 tsp finely chopped dill
1 tsp finely chopped chives
1 tsp salt
Zest of one lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
About 1 quart shrimp stock, fish stock, or chicken stock

Balsamic Tomatoes:
4 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp basil chiffonade
1/2 tsp chopped chives
fresh pepper to taste

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional, for garnish)

For Balsamic Tomatoes:
Combine olive oil and balsamic vinegar, whisk. Toss together the tomatoes, basil, chives, and pepper. Dress with olive oil mixture. Refrigerate until ready.

For Shrimp:
In a bowl, add the shrimp and all the remaining ingredients for shrimp. Toss well to coat the shrimp in the olive oil/herb mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Heat a skillet over medium high heat with a few drizzles of olive oil. Add the shrimp.  Cook a few minutes until shrimp start to look golden.  Flip, and continue cooking about 2 more minutes until golden on both sides.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Once cool, roughly chop the shrimp into chunks, leaving 6 shrimps whole to place on top of risotto. 

For Risotto:
In a large skillet, heat about 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat.  Add the shallot, and saute a few minutes until starting to soften. Add the arborio rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is fully coated with olive oil (1-2 minutes). Add 1/2 cup fish stock and cook, stirring often,  until the liquid is almost completely absorbed (4-5 minutes). Add another 1/4 cup shrimp stock and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed (~8-10 minutes).  This step is important- to cook arborio rice correctly, you must add the chicken stock in small increments.  Once absorbed, add another 1/4 cup, waiting for that to be absorbed, and continue adding 1/4 cups of stock until rice is creamy looking but still al dente, about 30-40 minutes. You may have leftover stock.  If you run out of stock, use water. 

Add the dill, chives, salt, lemon zest, and chopped shrimp to the risotto. Stir, and cook just a few minutes longer, adding a bit more stock if risotto is looking dry. 

To assemble:
Mound risotto of plate.  Top with a spoonful of balsamic tomato salad and whole shrimp.  Sprinkle with Parmesan if desired.