Another one of those recipes I told you about from vacation.
The most special thing about this recipe, I thought, was the truffled bean puree on the plate. Below is my plate from Sky at Beaches in Turks and Caicos.
The above bean puree is a little thinner than what I used on my plate and the salmon at Sky didn’t have the crunchy coating AND I didn’t have the broccoli and cauliflower. But like I said the truffle bean puree was what got my attention.
I use to keep truffle oil but I never really used it that much except on shoestring french fries (and those are fantastic). I feel like after a year it was old and threw it away and while on a trip somewhere I had purchased a small jar of truffle salt. This worked perfect in the bean puree; just enough truffle flavor without overpowering the dish.
My bean puree should have been a little thinner but since I really liked the flavor I wanted more on my plate. I think it would be much easier to smear on the plate had it been thinner.
Good and bad from Poppycocks…
So, the bad I will get out of the way first. We had dinner one night at Poppycocks in Traverse City, MI and my husband had the worst meal ever. It was cold, the plating didn’t make sense, vegetables looked raw and even after sending it back it still wasn’t good or even hot. In almost 50 years of marriage I don’t think he has sent anything back. The fish had no color and looked steamed and who puts a big chunk of cold tomato under a cooked piece of fish.
Now to the good. I really felt quilty eating my delicious Key Lime Shrimp and Pasta dish. It was so good and the lime flavor was so refreshing. I offered him a bite (only one) which he refused because he was waiting on his plate to be reheated. I think maybe they took the plate back and just looked at it and brought it back. So much for the SPECIAL of the evening.
Love at first bite! Sadness at last!
What I remember about this dish the first time I tasted it; well it was love at first bite. My son, Paul, made it one weekend when they were visiting The Woodlands. Anything he cooks is always delicious. But this particular dish brought sadness too.
The sadness from eating this dish came when there was one bite left on my plate and I knew that was going to be the last. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way about anything I’ve eaten before but the redfish along with the corn maque choux and topped with lump crab meat was just so good and it’s always such a memorable experience watching/helping/being a sous chef to him.
Weekend with the Michies..
Oysters have never been high on my list for seafood and “raw” seafood for sure. But, this past weekend our son Paul with Brooke, Milo, Donovan and little Ellie (dog) came to visit Gran and Papa G for the weekend and their friends the Hatleys came also with their daughters.
So, what was the plan for food? Well the guys went to the seafood market and came back with blue crab, shrimp, corn, potatoes, mushrooms (all for crab/shrimp boil) and Paul had some fresh oysters. Since I was out of horseradish (I had a tiny bit) Paul suggested a mignonette sauce and I had all the ingredients for making up some pretty quickly.
Thai food anyone?
A lot of recipes I do come from things I’ve eaten at restaurants and have tried to recreate, some recipe are things I have cooked over years of being married and some are recipes I try of other peoples. Usually I’m tweaking with things I want to change in the recipe.
In the case of this recipe I only made one change or maybe two. I added sugar snap peas which I tninkadd a needed crunch factor to the recipe and also some color to lighten the dish up. I did also add some soy (or Tamari) sauce with the fish sauce only because I hate the smell of fish sauce but know it adds a lot of flavor to Asian recipes. My only other recommendation would be to only use one Fresno pepper. Even though we like things really hot around here, two peppers make for a pretty steaming hot dish. If you can’t find Fresno peppers substitute a jalapeño.
There are all types of noodles you can serve along with this dish. I made my husband Udon noodles but you can use rice noodles, ramen, or soba noodles. I made my dish with black rice so if you are wanting rice try the black (not wild or brown rice or some good old white rice even though it’s not as good for you as the black or brown rices.
Don’t you love, crisp, thin, crunchy things?
Ya know how you get an idea stuck in your head and can’t stop thinking about it? Well, I do that all the time. Five or six years ago I was watching one of Giada’s cooking show and she made this turkey sandwich with crisp pieces of puffed pastry. The puffed pastry wasn’t baked the normal way where it gets about two inches high (I am not a fan) but was sandwiched between two baking sheets lined with parchment paper and baked until crisp and brown.
I started thinking about doing this sandwich for a “back to school” post but then what kid is going to take a puff pastry sandwich to school. Maybe same kid that would have a pig roast for his first birthday (grandson Donovan). He might not like puff pastry either but I’m sure you will like this “bread” with either a spread or just put some freshly sliced lunchmeat with some avocado and mayo and have the crunchiest flakiest sandwich ever.
When my kids were in school seems like all they wanted for lunch was either pbj or turkey on white bread of course, plain, no mayo or mustard. When I was growing up my favorite sandwich was probably a thick slice of bologna on white bread with mustard or an egg sandwich made like a toad in a hole but with two slices of bread.
Do you want something cool for dinner on a hot summer night?
I cook all the time it seems like whether it is summer, fall, winter or spring. Soups are not as appealing in the summer months as the other three seasons and I don’t like eating a lot of cold foods in the cooler months when all you want is some good comfort food. But, when it is 100° outside with the “feels like” temperature even higher than that I do occasionally go for something easier and cold for dinner.
The day I bought this salmon, it wasn’t even on my grocery list. But, when I happened by the seafood section and saw this beautifully arranged salmon fillets, I had to buy some. We are lucky here in our part of Texas to have a great assortment of seafood year round. This salmon was a beautiful orange and was a wild caught fish which makes it even better.
The recipe I came across for the marinade for this dish used soba noodles. I decided to make it “pasta” free and make my noodles from zucchini, cucumber, carrot and onion. Remember, I don’t want to call this zucchini pasta because it isn’t fooling anyone saying that. I wouldn’t want my tastebuds set for some good pasta and get a mouth full of vegetables but, if you know in advance that this is a very healthy dish, you will not mind at all that it’s carb free.
Great use of leftover crab meat.
My son and his family were here recently and he made a wonderful Grilled Redfish on Half shell with Crab Macque Choux (corn) and a Carrot Habanero Burre Blanc Sauce. It was delicious and even though I could not begin to top his dish (see below) I did have 1/2 pound of crabmeat leftover from his Macque Choux .
So, one night we had some friends over and I decided to make a tuna tartare appetizer (recipe coming soon) we had tried at the Harvest Grill in Meridian, Mississippi when on our way to a family wedding in Alabama. And I wanted to come up with a crab dish to use that left over crab. I debated over either a crab spread (hot or cold) or crab salad but when I found this crab cake recipe I decided to try it because it used some avocado on the plate as a resting place for the crab cake and a red pepper sauce smeared on the plate. Visually, it just jumped off the page and I think I actually had all the ingredients to make it.
You don’t need any tortillas for this taco.
I’m always looking for something new to try on friends. Wednesday night is my “girl’s night out” night. Sometimes we do “movie night” (my favorite), sometimes we go out to eat at a local restaurant or occasionally we do dinner and one of our houses.
I love fish tacos and I know I’ve been doing a lot of shrimp recipes lately but I couldn’t resist trying out a recipe for shrimp tacos using lettuce leaves in place of the tortillas; so is it a taco or lettuce wrap or a little bit of both? Doesn’t that mean you can eat twice as much since that lettuce has almost zero calories. I like doing anything with shrimp because as long as there is a bag in your freezer you can come up with something yummy on a moments notice. I have 15 shrimp recipes in my “entree” section here and 14 recipes for appetizers (hot and cold). So, that goes to show you, there’s a lot you can do with that curved little crustacean.
I finally found some sugar cane and wanted to use it.
I’ve always wanted to make something on a sugar cane skewer and now I have. And now that I have I may just save it for drink skewers. This recipe would have been much faster using ordinary wooden skewers. That said, don’t worry about looking for sugar cane, just get out those long pics.
Many years ago before using the internet, I use to look up newspaper food pages (usually on a Wednesday or Thursday) to see what foods were popular (I guess now we would say “trending”) in that area. The Courier-Journal in Louisville’s food pages can still be accessed. If you have time, try typing in some of your favorite city’s newspapers. The Citizen-Times in Asheville offers a 30 day free look. The Post and Courier from Charleston has free access to their recipes. If you want to see what’s happening on the other side of the US (from me anyway) Napa Valley Register offers free access too.
I just read an article about what was the favorite foods from each state. Results were crazy. In almost all states, by far, the winning type of food was pizza. Of course, Texas had Mexican food winning out as did Colorado and California. Hawaii’s favorite food was bakery items.
My pan overfloweth!
If you are tired of doing BBQ for the 4th of July, why not try a big pan of paella.
My first experience with paella was many years ago in Mexico. After checking into our all-inclusive resort we had a cocktail in hand before even making it to our room. We settled in for a few days of sun, beach and beautiful water. This resort was where I first tasted a white vegetable soup that took me years of searching to come with something similar to what I ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner while in Mexico
One day while we were on the beach, the chef prepared a paella. It wasn’t any ordinary pan of paella either. The fire for cooking this was a big oil drum with flames blazing from the top. The pan was maybe 5′ across and that they perched on top of the flaming barrel. They proceeded to cook the ingredients, and at the end adding in the green peas. As we sat in our chairs on the beach enjoying cocktails that were delivered before we even asked for them, we were salivating at the aroma coming from this gigantic pan and as they slowly picked up the pan to move it to the table to start serving all of us beach goers, THEY DROPPED IT and spilled paella all over the sand. So, we had to wait a little while to taste it since they had to start over from scratch. When we were finally served the dish of paella, it was delicious.
Years later we had some paella in Spain which was just ok (picture below); I thought it was too mushy. Then my son make it here one year for our Spainish feast we did after Thanksgiving and I was just his sous chef. So, I thought it was about time for me to try it on my own.
Not everything served in a bowl is soup.
A bowl serves a good purpose when you’re serving a food that you don’t want to chase all over the plate. I love pasta in a bowl because the rim of the bowl gives you a way to pin down your squirmy pasta pieces. Breakfast in a bowl makes sense too because you have layers of your favorite breakfast items all stacked up.
Now, I guess everything mingled in a bowl isn’t for everyone. I remember one of my kid’s friends not liking anything touching on a plate and all the food had to have its own space. I’m guilty of putting beans or peas in a small bowl on my plate because I don’t want all the juice running around the other foods and getting them soggy.
One Friday night we went to Bonefish Grill and as always I checked out their menu before going and I knew exactly what I was going to order because it looked so pretty in the picture I knew I would be making it because my mouth was watering just looking at the picture.