Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
This was a very easy side dish made easier by using that boil-in-a-bag type of rice.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
One of my favorite easy salads is a simple concoction of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
Also, the herb I use depends on what looks best or what flavor I want. Sometimes I use basil. This time I used oregano.
Sometimes I use a little garlic. This time I did not. Again, it is all what the mood calls for.
In the past, when I have made this with large tomatoes, I have used the drier type of mozzarella, cut into slices to place atop the tomato slices, then top it with the dressing.
More often when I make this I use the mozzarella that comes packed in water. I like the texture better, and the flavor. This time I bought mozzarella pieces the size of cherry tomatoes.
Here is the simple version I made last night. I did not really measure this stuff. It's a taste thing for me. The sweetness of the tomatoes will determine how much or little salt and pepper and herbs I add.
Let your taste buds and the number of people you want to serve be your guide here and make it to your liking.
Jill's late-summer Caprese salad
Red, orange and yellow grape/cherry tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
white balsamic vinegar
sea salt flakes and fresh black pepper to taste
fresh mozzarella cheese
Wash tomatoes, remove any stems then cut each in half and place in a bowl. You want the juices here. They combine with the oil and vinegar to make the dressing.
Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Add a splash of the oil and vinegar and toss gently.
Then try it, and adjust to your taste.
Add the oregano.
Taste it again. Adjust the seasoning and oil and vinegar as needed.
You can serve this immediately or let it sit a while. I put mine in the fridge for about an hour.
I also made a little extra to have for lunch the next day. It will keep overnight just fine.
To serve I cut the mozzarella pieces in half and put them on a small plate.
Then I spooned tomatoes on top of that and drizzled some of the oil/vinegar mixture over that.
The oil and vinegar mixed with the juice from the tomatoes makes a good amount of dressing for this.
I added a piece of a good crusty bread to the plate and used that to mop up some of that dressing.
It was an excellent starter to dinner. It's light, but substantial with the cheese in there. The flavors are so fresh and so bright and clean. It's a perfect, beautiful late-summer plate.
Monday, September 15, 2008
cut into eight pieces each
Monday, September 8, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Vietnamese-style Summer rolls
Cook about a handful of these according to package directions and let cool.
Thin, thin, thin.
This did not work for the green onions though. I just used the knife for that.
Once all the veggies are chopped, combine the carrots, cucumbers, green onion and bean sprouts. Toss with soy or Ponzu sauce.
Assembly goes pretty fast, so you want to have all your ingredients on hand.
Have veggies, noodles and cilantro ready.
The rice sheets are dry and stiff and must be reconstituted in warm water.
I used a small sautee pan of warm water, just from the tap. No need for boiling. You will be working with your hands in this, so it should not be too hot.
Soak one sheet at a time in the water until the sheet is soft and pliable. If there are any large holes or tears, discard and start with a new sheet.
Carefully remove sheet to a work surface and spread it out as flat as possible.
This is where you need to work somewhat quickly so the sheet does not get too dry and stick to the surface.
In the center of the sheet, sprinkle some cilantro leaves.
Add a small portion of the noodles on top of that, then top with some of the veggie mix.
Fold one end then the other over, like above. Then fold a third side all the way over the veggie mixture. From here, roll it up tight like a little burrito. The last side should basically stick to the outside of the roll and seal itself.
To serve, I cut them in half and served with a few things: peanut sauce, hot mustard, red chili sauce and Ponzu mixed with a little honey.
These were vegetarian (no fish sauce in mine), but I think they would be good with some cold, cooked shrimp in there.
This was an experiment, but it was a fun one that turned out to be a tasty one, too. Use what you like, basically.
These were great as a starter. And with the leftover ingredients, I was able to quickly assemble a couple for my lunch the next day after diving.
OK. That's all I got for today.
Monday, September 1, 2008
These all describe the grilled fish I made last night.
After a four-store hunt for mahi mahi, it finally came together.
The result was a light and tasty fish dish that also was super, SUPER easy.
Jerk-spiced grilled mahi mahi
with avocado-melon salsa
1 small avocado, ripe but not mushy, peeled and diced
1 cup cantaloupe, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
3/4 tsp lime zest
salt and pepper to taste
Gently toss all ingredients to blend. Season to taste.
Keep in fridge until ready to use.
Now for the fish...
You can use any jerk seasoning you like, whether you make it or buy it.
I made mine this way:
2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 6-ounce mahi mahi fillets
Heat grill on high.
I used a solid cast-iron grill pan on my gas grill for this. This way I could flip with no worry about the fish falling through the grill.
In a small bowl, stir together the oregano, allspice, ground black pepper, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and salt. Add oil and mix to make paste then rub seasoning onto fish, coating completely.
Once grill is very hot, put fish on the grill.
Cook about 4 minutes and flip.
DO NOT mess with the fish until it is ready to flip. This will help reduce breakage.
Cook on the other side until fish is opaque in the middle, about 4 more minutes.
Serve with salsa.
The lime juice in the salsa is a good acid for this.
The fish is spicy and a little crisp.
The salsa adds sweet with the melon, creamy with the avocado.
It was a fabulous combination.
I would try this seasoning and salsa on chicken and expect it to be good.
It even sounds like something that would be good on steak, especially a nice thin carne asada type.