Thursday, August 18, 2016

Summer Seafood: Salmon

Here's the second of my favorite summer seafood recipes.  Not only is it summer filled with stone fruit and cucumbers but it also has a warm tropical taste from the toasted coconut rice.  While the salmon and salsa should be the hero of this dish I have to say for me it's the rice.  I LOVE IT!!  I really could eat this rice everyday and just by itself cause it's just that good.  So while I was going to write something funny and clever about this dish and or my life I think it's best to just get straight to the recipe, cause really I know that's why you are here.  Enjoy!

Salmon with Coconut Rice and Nectarine Cucumber Salsa

2 - 6 ounce salmon fillets 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup cucumber, chopped
1 nectarine, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse and pat the salmon dry.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the cucumber, nectarine, red onion, 1 tablespoon of mint and fresh squeezed lime juice.  Place the salsa in the refrigerator until the rest of the meal is done to keep cool and marinate the flavors together.

In a large cast iron heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Carefully place the salmon in the pan skin side down.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes.  Gently turn the salmon over and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Turn the salmon back over to the skin side and place it in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Coconut Rice

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup water
1 - 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (I prefer low fat)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cup jasmine rice

Heat a small pan over medium heat, add the shredded coconut.  Stirring continuously, cook the coconut until toasted and slightly brown.  Pour into a small bowl to cool.

In a medium sauce pan bring the water, coconut milk and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to a boil.  Add the rice, stir to combine and reduce the heat to low.  Cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed.  Remove from the heat.  The coconut rice will be a bit stickier that your regular rice.  Fluff the rice with a fork.  Add the toasted coconut, stir to combine.  

Note: If you own a rice cooker, simply put all the ingredients into the rice cooker, stir to combine and let the rice cooker do the cooking for you!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Summer Seafood: Scallops

After a long run of boozy cocktail posts we are finally here to bring you some food to soak up all the alcohol.  Earlier this summer I had the chance to test out a few recipes during some much needed time off.  It felt so good to put away my dance shoes, break out my knives and pop open a bottle of wine to enjoy while I experimented with my favorite summer time food; seafood!  I really do think we ate clams at least twice in one week and scallops a few different ways including this recipe.  

This dish takes only about 35 minutes to make.  It's super easy and light which makes a perfect summer time meal.  The creamy herb sauce is SO good and makes the dish fresh and vibrant.  I know I'll be making these scallops again soon!

Scallops with Creamy Herb Sauce and Israeli Couscous

6 large scallops, fresh or thawed if frozen
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large portabella mushroom, cubed
1 ear of corn, shucked and kernels removed
1-1/3 cups Israeli couscous
1-3/4 cups water or chicken broth
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup creamy herb sauce (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to broil.

Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel.  Season the scallops with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the couscous to the pan and saute for about five minutes, until lightly browned.  Add the water or chicken broth and bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat, fluff the couscous with a fork and set aside.  

In a medium mixing bowl combine the bell pepper, mushrooms and corn and two tablespoons of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread the vegetables onto a foil lined baking sheet and broil in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, until done and slightly charred.  

While the vegetables are roasting, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan or cast iron over medium high heat.  Add the butter and melt.  Carefully place the scallops in the pan and cook for about two minutes until browned.  Gently turn over the scallops and cook for one to two minutes more.  Immediately remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate.

To serve, place about 3/4 cup of couscous onto each plate.  Divide the broiled vegetables between the two plates then carefully place the scallops on top finishing with a generous dollop of the creamy herb sauce.  Makes 2 servings.

Creamy Herb Sauce

1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed
1/2 cup parsley, stems removed
1/4 cup dill, stems removed
2 stalks green onion, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons creme fraƮche

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.  This sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.