Saturday, July 24, 2010

Homemade Halibut Fish Sticks with Pickle Caper Tartar Sauce

Bon Appetit has had my toungue wagging all week with amazing recipes that have not let me down. This recipe was so easy and so quick....perfect for a weeknight (or the weekend...whatever).

I know what you're thinking. Fish sticks? Really?

Really. Let me explain.

This is NO freezer burned, cardboard, bottom feeder, tasting fish sticks....let me assure you. (Sorry Van de Kamps...I'm sure you are really nice people, but I just don't see myself ever eating a frozen fish stick).

Instead these are crispy from panko bread crumbs, and flaky halibut dipped in homemade tartar sauce. Heaven. That's what these are. They are just plain good. Really, really good.

I used my Le Creuset pan for these because it gets really hot and helps get these things get extra crispy.

If you think fish sticks are a great concept, it is. But wait until you move onto the homemade tartar sauce: pickles, capers, lemon zest....sounds good, doesn't it?

I just made a few changes to the tartar sauce. To cut the fat, I used half low-fat mayo and half non-fat Greek yogurt. I also added lemon and lemon zest. To me, when I eat fish, I need lemon.

Check out the recipe at Bon Appetit!

Here is my version of the tartar sauce:

Tartar sauce:
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, such as Fage
1 dill pickle, coarsely chopped, such as McClure's
1 tablespoon pickle juice
1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Mix together in a medium sized bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Coming soon: HOMEMADE YOGURT!! I know you have probably heard me talk about wanting to make my own in the past. Now I have the chance--plus, I'll even review the product as well! Stay tuned!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Grilled Chicken with Grilled Peaches and Chipotle Peach Sauce

It's amazing what 2 hours on the beach, ALONE, can do for you. For me, I was able to catch up on my Bon Appetit magazines. I don't think I've focused on a single thing for more than 10 minutes since I became a mom. So I made up for lost time....and salivated over every single thing I wanted to make. I was sure to make a mental note of everything I wanted to try.

This was one that caught my eye. Since my husband has been giving chicken the 'stink eye' lately, I was sure this would get the thumbs up.

I didn't really make any changes except for pair it with jasmine rice, and grilled zucchini (I halved my chicken breasts because they were large). Don't be discouraged if it looks too fancy. Fancy does not mean difficult. The dressing took about 5 minutes hands on time. I made it ahead of time so dinner prep was really simple. Start to finish, the meal took about 30 minutes.

For the recipe, click here!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rasberry Peach Basil Water

Summer is at it's height in Michigan. We have had so many 90 degree days it makes it hard to get out of the house...and I need to stay hydrated.

I gave up soda a long time ago. If I have one, I consider it a treat, but it's certainly not part of my daily routine to drink. I stick to water but sometimes that gets to be a bit monotonous. Since I'm not a fan of juice (too sugary for me) I'm really running out of choices!

Then, the lightbulb went on. My husband and I take a yearly trip to Calistoga Ranch, where we were married almost 3 years ago. One of our favorite bartenders makes fruit water daily. All he does is takes fruit, blends it, tops it with ice, then fills the jug with water. It's fabulous and refreshing...and it contains no sugar (well except from the fruit itself). I also manage to get a bit of my fruit serving in there, too! I've spent the summer experimenting.

Now, don't expect an 'in your face' flavor here. It's meant to be subtle. But it's definitely the ultimate summer refreshment!

Enjoying our water at the pool!

Raspberry Peach Basil Water
Recipe by: Cafe Coco

1 peach, pealed, pitted and diced
1 cup raspberries
5 basil leaves, muddled

In a blender, blend the peach chunks and rasberries until blended. Add to jug. Top with water and ice. Top with the basil leaves. Stir. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can continue to top with ice and water.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Halibut Fish Tacos with Peach Avocado Salsa

When I became pregnant last year, I had sworn off fish for months. Not by my choosing but of by choice of my woozy stomach. Unfortunately that lasted well past 'fish season' so I missed out on nearly the entire thing. Fortunately though, my normal tastes and appetite have reappeared (probably times 100 these days because I'm nursing). But because of this, the choices I make are so much more important.

While wandering the market near my house, I decided I would make fish tacos. My first choice in the past would have been to make these with mahi mahi, but since I was told it was previously frozen (something that just don't do with fish), I settled on what was delivered and cut that day, halibut. I was skeptical because halibut, while meaty, is very flaky. I worried that it wouldn't really stand up in a fish taco.

I was proved wrong, very wrong. Not only was this the perfect choice, halibut was the perfect accompaniment to the peach and avocado salsa! It gave these fish tacos a very delicate bite!

You've got to try these things! Fish tacos are one of my all time favorite summer meals. It's fresh, it's fast, and it's healthy!

Halibut Fish Tacos with Peach Avocado Salsa
Recipe by: Cafe Coco

1 lb halibut filet
1/2 avocado, diced
1/2 peach, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1/2 lime juiced
1 tablespoon cilantro
2 oz. feta cheese
white corn tortillas
canola oil
olive oil
lime wedges
Greek Yogurt (I use fat free)

To prepare the halibut: pre heat cast iron skillet on grill. Add a few tablespoons of canola oil. Season fish with sea salt or kosher salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Cook skin side up for 4 minutes. Flip and cook another 4 minutes or until cooked to desired doneness. Cover with foil for a few minutes. Then flake off the meat for the tacos.

To prepare the salsa:
Add avocado, peach, jalapeno, lime juice, and cilantro to a medium bowl. Toss lightly. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble tacos:
Warm tortillas (I just put mine in the microwave for 10 seconds in a damp paper towel.) Top with halibut, salsa, and feta. Garnish with Greek yogurt and lime wedge.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My husband and I are part of a co-op. Pre-baby I kept my own garden, but after last years poor yeild, we made the decusion that it would be best to let the experts handle growing while I focused my new role on motherhood, instead.

So far it's been great. All I have to do is put the baby in the stroller and walk a few blocks to pick up our share. For anyone not able to plant their own garden, for whatever reason, this certainly is a great alternative. Plus, you support your local farmers.

One of our shares had fresh Michigan strawberries. Whenever I have an abudance of strawberries I try to find creative ways to use them. I love putting berries in a salad because it's a great way to get your greens and your fruit, not to mention it gives the salad a sweet kick.

This strawberry poppyseed salad goes great with any summer main course. I think I served steak, but you could certainly serve it with fish or chicken or whatever you would like!!

You could always buy a poppyseed dressing but after reading the labels I figured it would be easier (not to mention cheaper) to just make it myself. Be careful, read the labels. Some claim to be 'all natural'....only to contain high fructose corn syrup. How is that 'natural' again?

Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chevre and Candied Pecans

8 oz. leafy greens or butter lettuce

1/2 cup- 1 cup strawberries, cut up

4 oz chevre cheese

1/2 cup candied pecans, for the recipe, click here.

Poppy seed dressing

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/3 cup canola oil

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard or 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons poppy seeds



Whisk together vinegar, mustard, and sugar. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add poppy seeds and whisk again. You can also put in a small blender- just add all the ingredients together reserving the poppy seeds for after blending.