Thursday, March 19, 2009

Halibut Fish Tacos and Tomatillo Salsa

Okay, last one I promise! This one just looked really tasty!

Halibut Fish Tacos

Serves 4

Use any firm fish like rock cod or sea bass but halibut fillets are my favorite. Prepare the cabbage just before the fish is cooked so it does not become too wilted.

* 1 cup corn flour (Bob's Red Mill is good)
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon ground red chile
* -- Freshly ground black pepper
* 1 1/4 pounds halibut fillet, cut into 2-inch pieces to easily fit tacos
* 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
* 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
* 1/4 cup minced cilantro
* 4 cups thinly sliced white cabbage
* 1/4 cup canola oil + more if needed
* -- Salsas (see recipes)
* 1 dozen corn tortillas, warmed just before serving

Instructions: Pour the corn flour out on a large sheet of waxed paper and combine with the salt, red chile and pepper. Dust the pieces of fish so all surfaces are coated. Let them sit on the remaining seasoned flour while you prepare the cabbage.

Just before you cook the fish, combine the mayonnaise with the vinegar and cilantro. Toss with the cabbage. You want the cabbage to be barely moistened but enough to be a slaw. Set aside.

Redust the fish pieces with the remaining corn flour mixture. The damp fish absorbs the coating, so a second coating will help create a better crust. Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish pieces, a few at a time, and pan fry until golden on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add more oil, a tablespoon at a time, as needed. Remove the fish to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the rest of the fish pieces.

Bring the golden fish, cabbage, warm tortillas and salsas to your table, and let everyone assemble their own tacos.

Per serving: 515 calories, 36 g protein, 45 g carbohydrate, 22 g fat (3 g saturated), 47 mg cholesterol, 461 mg sodium, 6 g fiber.
Favorite Green Salsa

Makes 1 1/2 cups

This is the quickest green salsa I have in my repertoire but also my favorite. I even use it for sandwiches. This is not a chunky salsa; it should have a hot-sauce consistency.

* 1 pound tomatillos (about 10)
* 1 jalapeno
* 1 serrano
* 1/4 small yellow onion
* 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
* 1 tablespoon light-flavored olive oil

Instructions: Run warm water over tomatillos to help loosen the dry husks. Peel or rub them off and warm tomatillos with paper towel to help remove sticky residue. Place tomatillos in a saucepan and cover with water. Add the jalapeno and serrano chiles. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for just 5 minutes.

Remove tomatillos and chiles to a blender jar (not a food processor). Add the onion and puree. Add the cilantro, salt, vinegar, 2 teaspoons water and the olive oil. Puree to a hot-sauce consistency.

Place in a bowl and serve with tacos. I like to store the remainder in clean, emptied clear olive oil bottles or even Corona beer bottles. I use a whole jalapeno chile (fresh) as a stopper for the bottle.

Per tablespoon: 10 calories, 0 protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 1 g fat (0 saturated), 0 cholesterol, 89 mg sodium, 0 fiber.

Fish Taco Platter

Here's another fish taco recipe I'm thinking about trying. Anyone out there have any they really like?

Pickled Red Onion and Jalapeños

* 1 red onion (about 12 ounces), halved lengthwise, cut thinly crosswise
* 5 whole small jalapeños
* 2 cups seasoned rice vinegar
* 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
* 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt

Baja cream

* 1/2 cup mayonnaise
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
* 1 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lime peel
* Pinch of salt

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

* 12 ounces tomatillos,* husked, stemmed, divided
* 4 green onions, white and green parts separated
* 1 jalapeño chile
* 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled

* 1 1/4 cups (packed) fresh cilantro leaves
* 1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lime juice


* 2 cups buttermilk
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
* 3 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
* 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
* 2 pounds skinless halibut, sea bass, or striped bass fillets, cut into 1/2x1/2-inch strips

* 16 corn tortillas
* 2 cups self-rising flour
* Vegetable oil (for frying)

* Fresh salsa
* Guacamole


For pickled red onion and jalapeños:
Place onion and jalapeños in heatproof medium bowl. Mix vinegar, lime juice, and salt in small saucepan. Bring just to boil, stirring until salt dissolves. Pour over onion and jalapeños. Let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For baja cream:
Whisk all ingredients in small bowl. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For tomatillo salsa verde:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly oil roasting pan. Char half of tomatillos, white parts of green onions, and jalapeño directly over gas flame or in broiler. Transfer charred vegetables to prepared roasting pan. Add remaining tomatillos and garlic cloves to pan. Roast until all vegetables are soft, about 12 minutes. Cool.

Stem and seed jalapeño. Place all roasted vegetables, green onion tops, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in blender. Puree until smooth, stopping to push vegetables down into blades several times. Transfer to medium bowl. Season with salt and more lime juice, if desired.

For fish:
Mix buttermilk, cilantro, pepper sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and lime juice in large bowl. Add fish; toss. Cover; chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Wrap tortillas in foil; place in oven to warm. Whisk flour and remaining 2 teaspoons salt in medium bowl. Add enough oil to large skillet to reach depth of 1 inch. Heat oil until thermometer registers 350°F. Working in batches, remove fish from marinade and dredge in flour. Carefully add fish to skillet, cover partially, and fry until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain, then transfer to oven to keep warm.

Set up buffet with all taco fixings, along with fresh salsa and guacamole.

*Green and tomato-like with a papery husk, tomatillos are available in the produce section of some supermarkets and Latin markets.

Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema

This was pretty good, but not the greatest. I accidentally overcooked the fish so it was hard and tough to chew but I thought the flavors were pretty light - if you are looking for light cooking. Unfortunately, I was looking for that mexican-lime kick that I am used to from Tex-Mex.

Lisa Bell, Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2006
Cumin, coriander, and paprika lend these fish tacos a delightfully warm, smoky flavor. They're the perfect foundation for the zippy sour cream sauce. For an appealing variation, substitute peeled medium shrimp for the snapper or romaine in place of cabbage.

4 servings (serving size: 2 tacos)

* Crema:
* 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
* 3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
* 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
* 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 garlic clove, minced

* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
* 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets
* Cooking spray
* 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
* 2 cups shredded cabbage


Preheat oven to 425°.

To prepare crema, combine the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

To prepare tacos, combine cumin and next 5 ingredients (through garlic powder) in a small bowl; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over both sides of fish. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Place fish in a bowl; break into pieces with a fork. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top each with 1/4 cup cabbage and 1 tablespoon crema.
Nutritional Information

394 (14% from fat)
6.3g (sat 1.5g,mono 1.5g,poly 1.5g)

Baja Fish Tacos


* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1/2 cup mayonnaise
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 (1.25 ounce) package ORTEGA® Taco Seasoning Mix, divided
* 1 pound cod or other white fish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 1 package (12) ORTEGA® Taco Shells, warmed
* Toppings: shredded cabbage, chopped tomato, lime juice, ORTEGA® Thick & Smooth Taco Sauce

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1. COMBINE sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro and 2 tablespoons seasoning mix in small bowl.
2. COMBINE cod, vegetable oil, lemon juice and remaining seasoning mix in medium bowl; pour into large skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork.
3. FILL taco shells with fish mixture. Top with cabbage, tomato and sour cream mixture, lime juice and taco sauce.

CPK Barebque chicken salad

***Fried Tortilla Strips***
Vegetable oil for deep frying
12 corn tortillas -- cut into 1/4 inch wide strips
***Garden Herb Ranch Dressing***
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cold water
2 3/4 cups mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
7 tablespoons sour cream
2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions (greens and white parts)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh basil
***Grilled Garlic BBQ Chicken***
1 1/3 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/3 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons salt
4 (5 ounce size) boneless -- skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup good quality bottled sweet and spicy barbecue sauce
1/2 head iceberg lettuce -- cored, rinsed, dried, and cut into 1/8-inch wide strips
1/2 head romaine lettuce leaves -- separated and trimmed, rinsed, dried, and cut into 1/8-inch wide strips
12 large fresh basil leaves cut into 1/8-inch wide strips
1 pound jicama -- cut into 1/4 x 1/4 x 3/4-inch strips
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup canned black beans -- rinsed and drained
1 cup canned sweet white corn kernels -- drained
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 pounds ripe fresh tomatoes -- cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup good quality bottled sweet and spicy barbecue sauce
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
Turn this recipe into a puzzle! [click]


Fried Tortilla Strips: In a deep, heavy frying pan, heat several inches of vegetable oil to a temperature of 375 degrees F.

Working in batches if necessary to prevent overcrowding, carefully add the tortilla strips to the hot oil, submerging them with a metal skimmer or slotted spoon. Fry the tortilla strips until evenly golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

Carefully lift them out with the skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer them to paper towels to drain and cool. Set aside, uncovered.

Garden Herb Ranch Dressing: In a mixing bowl, use a fork to stir together the mustard and cold water, forming a paste. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the bowl and, using a handheld electric mixer at low speed or a whisk, blend together just until smooth, taking care not to incorporate too much air into the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Grilled Garlic and BBQ Chicken: Preheat a stovetop grill or the broiler. In a mixing bowl, stir together the olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, and salt. Turn the chicken breasts in this marinade and leave to marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Grill or broil the chicken breasts until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. Cut the chicken breasts into 3/4-inch cubes and, in a bowl, toss with the barbecue sauce to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Salad: In a large mixing bowl, toss together the lettuces, basil, jicama, Monterey Jack cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, dressing, and half of the Fried Tortilla Strips. Transfer the salads to chilled serving plates. Surround each salad with diced tomatoes and the remaining Fried Tortilla Strips. Top each salad with chunks of Grilled Garlic BBQ Chicken and drizzle the chicken with the barbecue sauce. Garnish with the scallion.

This recipe from CDKitchen for California Pizza Kitchen Bbq Chicken Salad serves/makes 4

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cream cheese frosting

I needed to write it somewhere and I am at the computer so here it is...

8 oz. cold cream cheese, straight from the fridge
5 TBLS. softened butter
2 tsp. vanilla

Beat together and then add:
2 cups sifted powdered sugar (sift after measuring) - add to taste

Monday, March 16, 2009

A few more recipe sites

have been added over on the right hand side of our blog here. Go take a peek! I am getting very hungry just looking through all of them!

My newest addiction-- Pumpkin Soup!

Every time we go to a new country we have to adjust our eating according to what is available-- both to buy, and what we have in our new kitchen. This recipe is very simple, and since everything is pureed even a baby can eat it. Cora loves it.

Pumpkin, Carrot & Coconut soup:
1 pie pumpkin (3-4 lbs)
1 small to medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
4 carrots, chopped
1 can coconut milk (or cream-- the stuff we have here in spain has a lot of solids in it--about half the can. I don't know what they would call it in the states)
Chicken base to taste (I usually put in enough for 3 quarts of water, but go by taste since you don't want to ruin it by over doing it!)

To prepare the pumpkin there is the easier way that takes longer, or the quick way that is harder to do: you can either jab it a few times with a knife and cook it whole in the oven until it is soft, then scoop the cooked pumpkin out, or cut it up while raw into chunks and boil it in the soup until soft.

Put all the ingredients except the coconut milk into a pot. Add enough water to cover all of the veggies and let boil until carrots and pumpkin are soft (about 15 minutes). Pureè everything. I use a hand blender that I can just put into the pot and turn it on. The soup should be VERY thick right now, and you want to turn the heat off so it doesn't send splashes of boiling pumpkin mixture everywhere! I then open my can of Coconut Milk, pour in and stir. Serve with crusty bread.

Note: I often double this recipe, and use one pumpkin & one butternut squash. It is a nice blend, but I have made it just with butternut also when pumpkin wasn't available at the store.

I hope you enjoy. We sure do!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Yummy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c butter, soft
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanila
2 c flour
2/3 c cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 c milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Combine flour, cocoa, soda and salt.  Mix the two together and then mix in the chocolate chips.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Let sit on the pan for another minute and cool on a rack.