Almond Vinaigrette

Posted in fish, food, home cooking at 3:10 am by wingerz


This is a really nice accompaniment to roasted salmon.

Almond Vinaigrette
from Cook’s Illustrated

1/3 cup almonds , toasted
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 medium shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
Table salt and ground black pepper

Place almonds in zipper-lock bag and, using rolling pin, pound until no pieces larger than 1/2 inch remain. Combine pounded almonds, honey, mustard, vinegar, and shallot in medium bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in olive oil until emulsion forms. Add water and tarragon and whisk to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Serve.


Halibut en Cocotte

Posted in fish, food, home cooking at 1:18 am by wingerz


I’m always on the lookout for really good fish recipes, and this one is phenomenal. Quick and simple preparation, colorful, flavorful, and succulent.

Notes: I used one 1 lb halibut filet and grape tomatoes and stuck a thermometer into the fish before putting in the oven (took it out when it was a shade under 120 since it was really fresh fish).

Halibut en Cocotte with Roasted Garlic and Cherry Tomatoes
from More Best Recipes

1/4 cup evoo
2 medium garlic cloves, sliced thin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups (12 ounces) cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 1 1/4 lb halibut steaks, each about 1 1/4 inches thick and 10 to 12 inches long
ground black pepper

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 250 degrees. Cook 2 tablespoons of the oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt together in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat until the garlic is light golden, 2 to 4 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the tomatoes, capers, and thyme.
2. Pay the halibut dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Lay the halibut on top of the tomatoes. Place a large sheet of foil over the pot and press to seal, then cover tightly with the lid. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook until the halibut is opaque and flakes apart when gently prodded with a paring knife, 35 to 40 minutes.
3. Transfer the halibut to a serving platter and tent loosely with foil. Bring the tomato mixture in the pot to a simmer over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce over the halibut and serve.


Roasted Salmon

Posted in fish, food, home cooking at 3:37 pm by wingerz


I first had something like this over at Nick and Ceida’s place. The salmon is wonderfully silky-smooth. As always, use good fish and don’t overcook.

In the photo, topped with a tangerine-ginger relish and accompanied by a shrimp salad. Recently I served it with couscous with wild mushrooms and a creamy cucumber-dill salad.

Oven-roasted Salmon
from Cook’s Illustrated

1 skin-on salmon fillet (1 3/4 to 2 pounds), about 1 1/2 inches at thickest part (see note)
2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Following step by step illustrations below, use sharp knife to remove any whitish fat from belly of fillet and cut into 4 equal pieces. Make 4 or 5 shallow slashes about an inch apart along skin side of each piece, being careful not to cut into flesh.
2. Pat salmon dry with paper towels. Rub fillets evenly with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees and remove baking sheet. Carefully place salmon skin-side down on baking sheet. Roast until centers of thickest part of fillets are still translucent when cut into with paring knife or instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of fillets registers 125 degrees, 9 to 13 minutes. Transfer fillets to individual plates or platter.



Posted in fish, food at 1:00 am by wingerz


With summer winding down and a 2/3 lb. piece of halibut from this morning’s market, I decided to make ceviche for dinner. I threw in four scallops as well. It was quite refreshing, and the scallops were especially good. Use fresh fish that you’d feel comfortable eating mostly raw.

Ceviche with Tomatoes and Avocados
from Cook’s Illustrated

1 pound extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), large sea scallops, skinless fish fillets, or a combination
1 teaspoon grated lime zest from 1 lime
1/2 cup juice from 4 limes
1/2 cup juice from 4 lemons
1 small red bell pepper , stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
1 jalapeño chile (small), stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 medium garlic clove , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 scallions , sliced thin
1 cup cherry tomatoes , quartered
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 ripe avocado , pitted and diced fine
Ground black pepper

1. If using shrimp, peel them completely, devein, and slice each shrimp in half lengthwise using a paring knife (through the deveined groove in the back). If using scallops, remove the side tendon (see illustration below) and slice into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. If using fish, remove any bones and slice into 1-inch squares about 1/3 inch thick.
2. Stir the lime zest, lime juice, lemon juice, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl. Gently stir in the seafood, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until the seafood is firm, opaque, and appears cooked, 45 to 60 minutes, stirring halfway through the marinating time.
3. Place the mixture in a fine-mesh strainer, leaving it a little wet, then return to the bowl. Gently stir in the oil, scallions, tomatoes, cilantro, and sugar followed by the avocado. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.


Poached salmon

Posted in fish, food, home cooking at 2:00 am by wingerz


Ah, delicious, delicious salmon. I normally sear it but was looking to mix it up a bit. This is a pretty straightforward recipe, and quite good. Do NOT let the salmon overcook. 125 deg F gets you to medium (110 for rare); it’s better to pull it out earlier rather than later.

Served alongside roasted red bliss potatoes (tossed with a drizzle of truffle oil) and a salad with sour cream and dill dressing.

Poached Salmon with Dill and Sour Cream Sauce
from Cook’s Illustrated

2 lemons
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill fronds , plus 8-12 dill stems
2 small shallots , minced (about 4 tablespoons)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
1 skinless salmon fillet (1 3/4 to 2 pounds), about 1 1/2 inches at thickest part, white membrane removed, fillet cut crosswise into 4 equal pieces (see note)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Cut top and bottom off 1 lemon; cut into 8 to ten 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut remaining lemon into 8 wedges and set aside. Arrange lemon slices in single layer across bottom of 12-inch skillet. Scatter dill stems and 2 tablespoons minced shallots evenly over lemon slices. Add wine and water.
2. Place salmon fillets in skillet, skinned-side down, on top of lemon slices. Set pan over high heat and bring liquid to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until sides are opaque but center of thickest part is still translucent (or until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 125 degrees), 11 to 16 minutes. Remove pan from heat and, using spatula, carefully transfer salmon and lemon slices to paper towel-lined plate and tent loosely with foil.
3. Return pan to high heat and simmer cooking liquid until slightly thickened and reduced to 2 tablespoons, 4 to 5 minutes. Strain cooking liquid through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl; discard solids. Return strained liquid to skillet; whisk in Dijon mustard and remaining 2 tablespoons shallot. Simmer over high heat until slightly thickened and reduced to 2 tablespoons, 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in sour cream and juice from 1 reserved lemon wedge; simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat; whisk in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill fronds. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Season salmon lightly with salt and pepper. Using spatula, carefully lift and tilt salmon fillets to remove lemon slices. Place salmon on serving platter or individual plates and spoon sauce over top. Serve, passing reserved lemon wedges separately.


Fish Tacos

Posted in fish, food, home cooking at 12:10 pm by wingerz


Another tasty fish and salsa combination. The beer-battered fish is good enough to serve on its own. I substituted fresh tomato salsa for the diced tomatoes and sour cream for the chipotle mayonnaise.

Fish Tacos
from Cook’s Illustrated

4 – 5 cups vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup light-colored beer
2 pounds skinless cod , cut into 4- by 1-inch strips
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas or flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups recipe Chipotle Mayonnaise
3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1 1/2 cups diced tomato
Lime wedges (for serving)

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Pour the oil into a large Dutch oven until it measures 1 inch deep. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 375 degrees.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, salt, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne together in a large bowl. When the oil is almost ready, whisk the beer into the flour mixture until completely smooth.
3. Wrap a stack of corn or flour tortillas in foil and warm on a baking sheet in the 200-degree oven while frying the fish.
4. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Add half the fish to the batter and stir gently to coat. Following the photo, use tongs to lift the pieces of fish from the batter, one at a time, allowing any batter to drip back into the bowl, and add to the hot oil.
5. Fry, stirring the fish gently to prevent the pieces from sticking together, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
6. Remove the fried fish from the oil and let drain briefly on paper towels. Transfer the drained fish to a wire rack set over a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Return the oil to 375 degrees and batter and fry the remaining fish. Smear each of the warm tortillas with 2 tablespoons Chipotle Mayonnaise, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup lettuce and 2 tablespoons tomatoes. Add 1 piece of the fried fish to each tortilla and fold the tortilla over the fish. Serve with lime wedges.


Seared Tuna with Peach Salsa

Posted in fish, food, home cooking at 10:52 pm by wingerz


Sometimes you just let the ingredients at the market determine what’s for dinner. Everything but the olive oil and kosher salt were from this morning’s visit to the farmer’s market. In general I’m not a huge fan of tuna but I was pretty happy with the way this turned out – the salsa is great, especially when made with good ingredients.

Seared Tuna with Peach Salsa
2 tuna steaks, about 1/2 lb each
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
kosher salt
1 tbsp oil

Peach Salsa
2 small peaches, diced
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice

1. Place the tuna in a ziplock bag with olive oil and 2tbsp lemon juice. Let it marinate for 1-2 hours. Right before cooking, take it out and sprinkle some kosher salt on both sides of the steaks.
2. Mix all of the salsa ingredients in a small bowl. Add more lemon juice/salt/pepper to taste.
3. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet at high heat. Add 1 tbsp of oil to the skillet and wait until it smokes.
4. Place the tuna in the skillet. Flip it over in 1-3 minutes, depending on how much you want it to be cooked. I usually look at it from the side and flip when it looks like it’s cooked 1/4 to 1/3 of the way through. After flipping, let it cook for another 1-2 minutes.


Pan-roasted halibut

Posted in fish, food, home cooking at 1:14 am by wingerz


Between my traveling and some rainy Sundays it’s been a few weeks since I got fresh fish from the farmer’s market. Today I snagged a 1lb piece of halibut. Pan-roasted it and served it with a concoction of olive oil, butter, shallots, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley (sort of like this).

As with all fish, keep a close eye on it. There’s a very fine line between perfection and very slightly overdone. Mine was perfect, Jen’s was very slightly overdone. She should have said something before I gobbled up my piece.

Pan-Roasted Halibut Steaks
from America’s Test Kitchen

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 halibut steaks , each about 1 1/4 inches thick and 10 to 12 inches long (about 2 1/2 pounds total), gently rinsed, dried well with paper towels, and trimmed of cartilage at both ends
Table salt and ground black pepper

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. When oven reaches 425 degrees, heat oil in 12-inch, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet over high heat until oil just begins to smoke, about 2 1/2 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, sprinkle both sides of both halibut steaks generously with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-high, swirl oil in pan to distribute; carefully lay steaks in pan and sear, without moving them, until spotty brown, about 4 minutes (if steak is thinner than 1 1/4 inches, check browning at 3 1/2 minutes; thicker steaks of 1 1/2 inches may require extra time, so check at 4 1/2 minutes). Off heat, flip steaks over in pan using two thin-bladed metal spatulas.
3. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into steaks reads 140 degrees, flakes loosen, and flesh is opaque when checked with tip of paring knife, about 9 minutes (thicker steaks may take up to 10 minutes). Remove skillet from oven and separate skin and bones from fish with spatula. Transfer fish to warm platter and serve immediately, with flavored butter or sauce (see related recipes), if desired.