As I’ve written about on my other blog, I cater events at my loft sometimes for shits and giggles. For these events, I have a bad habit of trying out recipes that I’ve never done before. I come up with the menu, buy the ingredients, and hope for the best. So far I haven’t had any major catastrophes and it’s generally a lot of fun!
Tuesday night we hosted an event for Nick Troiano, an independent, citizen-funded candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District who also happens to be totally awesome. Since the weather has been unbearably hot lately in NYC, I wanted to put food out that was light, fresh, and healthy without sacrificing bold flavors. Cue the idea for a seafood salsa. This chilled ‘salsa’ is delicious served on thinly sliced cucumber, as a dip for tortilla chips, or as a taco filling with avocado, sour cream, and queso fresco.
Chilled Shrimp Salsa
*Serves 30-40 as an hors d’oeuvres or 10-15 as an appetizer
2 lb fresh or thawed shrimp, deveined and tails removed
4 cloves garlic
1/2 lemon, sliced
3 Tomatoes, minced
1 red onion, minced
1/3-1/2 cup cilantro, minced
3 limes, juiced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fill a large pot with water and place over medium/high heat. Add garlic, lemon slices, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.
Turn heat off, add shrimp, stir gently until shrimp are cooked – about 2 1/2 minutes. Strain shrimp and set aside until cool.
Once cool, chop shrimp into small pieces less than 1/2″ in size.
Combine tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, and shrimp in a bowl. Add lime juice and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and return to fridge until chilled. Serve cold.
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It’s summer!!!! I’ve finished exams, moved out of my dorm, and am in the process of moving into a new apartment so lots of exciting stuff is going on. Lots of exciting non-food related stuff means that I haven’t had as much time to cook 😦 I’ve been cutting corners recently and one of my favorite new tricks is frozen fish from whole foods. They had these beautiful 2-packs of wild caught salmon fillets for only $10.00 each that were calling to me and I just couldn’t say no.
If you put the frozen salmon in the fridge the before you go to bed it is perfectly thawed for dinner the next day. Pair that with a quick mango avocado salsa, healthy black beans cooked ahead, and a bed of lettuce and you have a healthy weeknight dinner with no refined carbs!
Salmon with Mango Avocado Salsa (Serves 2)
2 salmon portions (fresh or fully thawed)
1 avocado, cubed
1 mango, cubed
1 head bibb lettuce
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 tomato, cubed
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 can black beans
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced finely
salt and pepper
Sauté onion and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When onion is translucent pour in beans with liquid. Simmer covered for at least 30 minutes.
Combine red onion, tomato, mango, avocado, cilantro, and the juice of one lime in a small bowl. Season to taste.
Season salmon with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat for 3 minutes per side (for rare, longer to cook it all of the way through) in olive oil. Remove from heat.
Line plates with lettuce leave. Arrange salmon over 1 cup black beans and top with salsa.
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Whole Foods is a bit of a trek for me but since I had a meeting in Columbus Circle I stopped by as a special food shopping treat. It is amazing how good the produce is even in the depths of winter. The best surprise were some amazing looking mussels in the seafood department for $3.00/lb. With two lbs in the cart I picked up some lemon, shallot, parsley, and was good to go! The pasta dough recipe I use calls for 2 cups flour, 1tsp salt, 3 eggs, 2 tbsp, and works great. I would have loved to use a semolina based recipe but have been too lazy to restock it recently. If you don’t want to break out the paste roller go for some nice thin pasta like spaghetti or thinner.
2lb Mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded, discard any that do not close when tapped or are cracked.
1/3 cup parsley chopped
1 sprig thyme
1/2 lemon, cut into quarters
1 shallot, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup white wine
1/8 cup flour
4 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1. Put large pot on stove over medium heat. Add olive oil and shallots. Sauté shallots until translucent.
2. Add garlic, mussels, lemon, and thyme. Pour in wine, cover and reduce heat to low. Steam for about 10 minute or until the mussels are wide open. Cook pasta while mussels are steaming.
3. Remove mussels from pot while retaining the juices. Turn heat up to medium and whisk in half of the flour. Whisk vigorously until thickened so that the whisk leaves a trail. If the sauce doesn’t thicken within 3 minutes add flour 1 tsp at a time.
4. Toss pasta with butter, top with mussels, pour sauce over, and sprinkle with parsley.
*Serve with a bowl for shells.
The next day I took the left over mussels out of their shells and mixed them in with some left over tomato soup. It was the perfect lunch served hot with a piece of crusty sourdough bread!