Fish

pineapple-jalapeno-salsa

Happy Friday! Favorite day of the week. I’m so original! My kids are getting soooo close to turning 1, and every day it seems they have a new skill. Bax is running around, Price is taking a few steps and trying sooooo hard to copy his brother. This might be the cutest thing ever, by the way. Bax will fly past him on his feet and poor Price gets almost panicky and starts launching himself off of stuff. He can take a few steps and I’m sure he’ll be walking any day now, little cutie. He could use a few more steps to add some definition to his knees/thighs (so far I’ve seen no concrete evidence that he actually HAS knees). Other skills? Price loves taking off his diaper and Bax loves poking people in the eye. Like really hard.

On to food. This pineapple salsa goes on anything. Anything. Use it as a dip, but I highly recommend it as a topper for your grilled fish or chicken of choice. We had it on top of blackened salmon and it was perfect. Talk about a perfect summer dinner party recipe!

Recipe

  • 1 1/4 cup pineapple, diced into small 1/4-in. pieces
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons canned green chiles or diced jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped white or sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste

I used fresh pre-cut pineapple from the grocery store, then chopped it up even smaller and used 1 tablespoon of the extra pineapple juice from the container. Place the pineapple and juice in a bowl, then add in remaining ingredients. Mix together, then let marinate at least 30 minutes before serving.

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I need some new TV show recommendations. Anyone? All of ours (and there are A LOT), are either off season or we flew through them on amazon/netflix/HBO. Some of my recommendations: Bloodline, Stranger Things, Nashville, Homeland (duh), Big Little Lies (double duh), and the MISSING – creepiest most addicting show I’ve seen in a long time. Typing all those shows out, you’re probably thinking that I’m a couch potato and maybe I should pick up a book. And quite frankly, it turns out I do have some couch potato in me and I love TV. Plus we’ve been subbing pasta for zoodles so I can lay around all I want.

I’m going to spare you the zoodle talk, because everyone who’s had them knows how amazing they are. Amazing and sneaky. There aren’t many substitutions in this world that are truly maybe for the better. But this one is. They really soak up the sauce so much more than regular pasta, and you can pair them with a semi-indulgent cream sauce like this one because you’re saving yourself 400 calories. Sorry, guess I’m not sparing you the zoodle talk. I can’t help myself! Love these things.


Recipe (for 4-5)

  • ~1.5 lb zoodles (I used two of the 10.7oz noodle co. containers)
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 container sliced mushrooms (the normal size..think it’s 8 oz?)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour or corn starch
  • 1 clove garlic (I used 1/2 teaspoon of the jarred minced garlic)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1.5 cups half & half
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese 
  • 3-4 cooked/grilled steaks, chicken breasts, or salmon fillets

I started by getting the veggies ready first; I simply cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces, then steamed them in a bit of water in the microwave for 4 minutes. I put them in an ice bath immediately after to conserve the bright green color. I dry-sauteed the mushrooms in a sauce pan for about 8 minutes to cook through and remove excess moisture.


Next, I made the sauce. Create a roux by melting the butter over low heat; add the garlic to cook. Stir in the flour with a fork, then add in the white wine. Cook for a minute or two over low heat, careful not to burn.  Slowly add in the half & half and milk, and whisk to combine (it can be lumpy at first – keep whisking). Add salt. Stir and cook over low heat to thicken; add in the parmesan cheese. Stir in the zoodles and veggies (about 2-3 cups) and cook for 2-3 minutes until the zoodles are cooked but crisp.


We grilled steaks seasoned with plenty of salt (About a teaspoon per steak) and pepper.  Grills vary but our New York Strips cook in about 8 minutes,  flipping halfway through. Would be great with chicken or salmon on top!

Easy Salmon Salad

easy-salmon-salad

I used to have ‘fat pants’ that I wore to work on Mondays. Literally every Monday, I wore my black Express wide leg trousers. I don’t know if they were technically considered ‘wide leg,’ but I got them in a size larger than normal and there was something about their fit that left looooots of extra room for my weekend wine, ice cream, pizza, and cosmopolitans. FYI these pants are circa 2005, literally, so I don’t know that you’ll be able to find them now (in case you were looking).  I wore them just about every Monday until I was about 4 months pregnant with twins in 2016, when even my fat pants weren’t forgiving enough. Yes, I wore the same pants on and off for over 10 years; the hem coming undone on the bottom was super sharp looking.


You see, when the weekend rolls around you guys, all bets are off. What bets am I talking about? I don’t know.  But while I can eat and drink with discipline Monday through Thursday, I simply can’t do it on the weekend. Nor do I want to. I loooove indulging. And I love food (duh). And I love wine. And I looooove salt. So when Monday rolls around, I simply don’t fit into my normal pants. And then I spend the next couple of days cleaning up my mess. And THAT is what this post is about.  A nice healthy “clean” lunch/dinner/snack to get you back on track. 

PS. I use the word ‘clean’ lightly, as I’m fairly certain ‘clean eating’ doesn’t include mayo. 


Recipe (for 2)

  • ~1.5 cups cooked salmon, chopped/shredded into large chunks (about 10-12 oz fillet)
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about 2 tsp)
  • 3 teaspoons light mayo (or greek yogurt)
  • ~3 teaspoons fresh chopped dill
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pickle or celery
  • S&P to taste

Prepare the salmon as desired (gilled simply here without the sauce).  Chill. Chop/shred with a fork into large chunks. Mix in lemon juice, mayo, fresh dill, pickle and/or celery, and salt & pepper. I ate mine on some delicious seeded crackers, but on top of toast or just by itself would be great. Tastes so fresh and healthy! This is a perfect recipe when you have a little leftover salmon from a dinner out or if you chronically over cook for your family like I do.

spicy-shrimp-with-tomato-basil-risotto

Today I decided I really need to focus the majority of my parenting efforts on not letting one of them get kidnapped. Yep, it’s going to be that simple for me going forward. Homemade baby food and story time – sayonara.

To break it down for you, there was one of me at the splash park yesterday with two [fast] mobile babies,  9 balls, 11 fountains, 50 screaming rambunctious kids, and 100 super friendly parents that wanted to talk about the twins. I loved all of this, every minute, until I was helping Price slap the water when I realized Bax had taken off and I couldn’t see him for .7 seconds. Panic! And I realize that I only have two kids and so many people have more and I’ve only had mine for 9 months, but I’m telling you.  My focus has shifted to simply bringing them home with me each day. That and putting on sunscreen.

In totally unrelated news, we had one of the meals of our life this week. As usual, my husband was the brains behind the operation. He comes up with ideas, and I execute. This dinner was so good and so special tasting – it is perfect for a dinner party but easy enough for a Sunday night. Why do I always make suggestions on what day of the week you should make things? Make it any damn night you want. You’ll love it. And if you’re cooking for someone who doesn’t like shrimp, either a spicy chicken or steak would be equally delicious. Shrimp are nice because they cook up so fast.


Recipe

  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp (about 30 count)
  • 2 teaspoons blackening seasoning (store bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1-1.5 teaspoons crushed red pepper, divided (.5 tsp for risotto, .5-1 tsp for shrimp)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or 1 tsp minced from jar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup white wine, divided (1/2 for risotto 1/2 for shrimp)
  • 3/4 of a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (juice included)
  • 1 cup risotto
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil

To prepare the risotto, heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook several minutes until translucent, then add the butter. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of the white wine and let reduce for a few minutes over medium heat. Stir in the tomatoes (plus juice), 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed red pepper and the 1 cup risotto; keep the heat on medium-low here to avoid burning the risotto. Just let the risotto soak up most of the liquid, then continue to add the chicken broth – about one cup at a time, adding as the risotto cooks up the liquid. The risotto is done when you have used all the broth and most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the parmesan, oregano, and basil.

To cook the shrimp, it’s so EASY! First of all, when you go to the seafood counter there are tons of beautiful expensive shrimp that are shouting Buy me! Buy me! But you don’t need to. I got medium sized shrimp for $12.99/lb and they were delicious. And better for this dish than the giant ones. Just saying.

Heat some olive oil in a skillet, until the pan is hot.  Season the shrimp with the blackening seasoning and remaining 1/2-1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (depending on your desire for heat). This definitely gives it a kick, so simply use less red pepper if heat isn’t your thing. I found ~1/2 teaspoon to be plenty. Add the shrimp to the pan, let brown for 1 minutes, then flip and cook 2 more minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup wine to the pan, and cook until the wine is mostly reduced/gone. About 3-4 minutes. Serve the shrimp on top of the risotto, with some shaved parmesan and a glass of Rose, of course!

honey-soy-sriracha-grilled-salmon

It’s FRIDAY.  Hoooray! Isn’t that just the best feeling? I don’t actually know why I’m so happy it’s Friday, as I’m still home with the babies and Monday is really no different than Friday for me right now…but it just feels good. Also I get to drink wine and eat Mexican with abandon. Guacamole, I’m coming for you.

This marinade just made my summer. I will be using it all summer long on fish, on chicken, on pork tenderloin, on everything. It’s perfection, and it’s THREE ingredients. (I’m not counting the oil).  Because salmon has a high fat content, I only used a tablespoon of oil here – you don’t need any more.  If I were using this for chicken or pork,  I would use about 1/4-1/3 cup of oil. Also, heat intimidates me (as in spicy heat), so I only use about a tablespoon of Sriracha. This is very very mild. For a little more punch add 2 or 3.

Recipe

  • 4 8 oz salmon filets
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1-3 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame oil

Mix all the marinade ingredients and transfer to a ziploc bag. Add the salmon and marinate for at least an hour (no more than 8). One hour of marinating will be more than enough – fish saturates quickly.  When ready to cook, heat the grill to medium high.

Now here’s a handy tip I learned from Simply Recipes: cook the skinless side DOWN first, because fish breaks apart easier when it’s cooked. So if you place the skinless side on the heat first, the skin will hold it together, then you flip it over and finish cooking on the other side.  So I did skinless side down first for 3 minutes, then flipped and did another 5-7 minutes. Don’t forget to generously oil the grill grates first!

pan-seared-red-snapper-with-tomato

So my thoughtful uncle who lives in Alaska recently sent me the cutest children’s book – The Little Red Snapperhood. It’s basically about a cute little red snapper that gets tricked by a mean wolf eel who wants to eat her fresh baked octopi. And I’m guessing her as well.  It’s basically the ocean version of Little Red Riding Hood (duh), although the wolf eel was far more pleasant than the original wolf, opting to sit down to a nice dinner of octopi with the grandmother and little snapper rather than eat everyone. Anyway, it inspired us to eat a Red Snapper. Although after writing that little synopsis I’m wondering where that would put me in the story.

This recipe honestly came together in less than half an hour.  I felt inspired by all the things I’m going to make with red snapper going forward. Fish tacos. Fish sandwiches. Fish with mango salsa.  I guess that’s it.

Recipe

Fish

  • 1 lb Red Snapper or other white flaky fish (two 8 oz pieces)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Lemon pepper or S&P
  • Olive Oil

Sauce

  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons diced white/yellow onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic (or 1/2 tsp jar version)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse/kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Capers (drained)

To make the sauce, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and onion and cook for a few minutes. Pour in the wine and let it reduce for about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients, and then simmer sauce on low for about 10 minutes. To prepare the snapper, heat a nonstick pan over medium heat with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Season the fish with salt, lemon pepper and lemon juice.  Place the fish skin side up first;  cook each side 3-5 minutes for a relatively thin piece.  I got a huge snapper that was over an inch thick, so I had to cook closer to 6-7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and top with sauce.

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