Branzino stuffed with fennel

Fish marketfish

Brussels Sprouts
Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday at the Redondo farmer’s market I saw a fish stand that looked so appetizing, it was time to buy some fish, Branzino.  In Italy I ate Branzino, a Mediterranean Sea Bass, almost weekly.  I just use a simple recipe.  I stuff the whole fish with fennel, mainly the stems and exterior core, the stuff not presentable enough for a salad or other.  I bake it.  I put it in at 350 degrees for 20 mins and then at 400 for 10.  After it’s done I filet it or if the fish is small serve whole.  http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-eat-fish-on-the-bone

I served our branzino with a side of Brussel sprouts and some salt water potatoes cooked in dill.  Just toss some dill in the boiling water.

Enjoy

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Grilled Salmon with a Yogurt Chive Sauce

grilled fish

Again here I go with the grilling.  It’s just so easy and healthy not to mention delicious!  This dinner takes less than 30 mins to make

Salmon filet or steaks

1 lemon

1 cup greek style yogurt or sour cream.  Full fat is preferred

15 blades of chives

lots of salt and pepper for the yogurt sauce.

Place your veggies to cook.  You can make whatever you like. I just went simple tonight with steamed broccoli and salt water boiled potatoes.  Potatoes go really well with this because the yogurt sauce is a perfect compliment to them.  Place your salted salmon steaks on the grill.  In the mean time make your yogurt sauce.  Add chopped chives, salt and pepper to 1 cup of yogurt, mix and there you have it.  Once your salmon is cooked to your liking, plate everything and put a dollop of sauce on your salmon.  Place the rest of your yogurt sauce in a nice little serving bowl for each to add more tasty sauce to their potatoes or salmon.

Salt water fingerling potatoes

brocolli-or any other veggie.

Tofu and Ginger

Tofu
I was never a Tofu fan until living 4-years in Japan now I crave this dish

This is a very simple dish I use as a little starter or appetizer.  I learned this yummy treat when living in Japan . We went out to dinner a lot and in most restaurants when seated, you are given a little something to eat right away.  This tofu dish was a popular starter offered by most restaurants.  I just recently passed on this very simple recipe to my neighbor who is now eating it almost daily.  I never was really into Tofu until now.

 

1 package of tofu for 4: Silken tofu works best, but if not a soft tofu will do.

15 blades of chives chopped

1 inch of ginger grated or chopped finely (or both for real ginger fanatics)

Soy sauce

 

This is so simple, just looking at the photo you can see the ease of making this dish.  Cut tofu into 4 portions.  You can be creative and cut a square then cut into 2 triangles to make a cool display.  You can put one facing up and the other down, or whatever looks good.  Add a good amount of chopped chives, this also works with small green onions, add the grated/chopped ginger on the top and then drizzle soy sauce.  Voila.  Works well with chopsticks.

If you have extra tofu, if you are just making this for one or two, put tofu in tupperware covered with water.  You will want to change the water daily.  This will keep for a few days.

Grilled Tuna with Mango Cilantro Salsa

yummy salsa
This tangy salsa is a perfect compliment for tuna, the flavors will just explode in your mouth

This is one of our favorite meals.  I originally got the recipe from William Sanoma Grilling book, but have made many alterations.

2 ripe mangoes

1 or 2 limes for juice and some zest for decor

big, big bunch of cilantro

3 inches of chopped and also finely grated fresh ginger

1 hot pepper-like a jalapeno

1/2 red onion

Cube the mango, squeeze the lime juice, zest some lime, finely chop 2 inches of the ginger, grate one inch and use the juices, finely chop the jalapeno and red onion.  Mix all together.  Finely chop half the bunch of cilantro and tear off the leaves in small pieces of the other part.  Mix all together.  Taste it.  Sometimes it can be lacking lime juice.  Add a bit of salt.  Place in fridge until needed.  I usually serve it in a bowl on the side after I place one or two spoons of the salsa on the tuna.   Serve tuna with a few side veggies.

Tuna, grill for 2-3 mins on each side.  I like my tuna rare but here are a few suggestions on grilling tuna http://bbq.about.com/od/fishandseafood/a/aa103004a.htm

Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken with veggies

BBQ chicken
Deliciously simple

We recently moved to Southern California where we enjoy our BBQ on the patio, hopefully year round.  I have perfected my grilled chicken however each time I make it, it’s a bit different from the last.  But it’s always super yummy.

A bunch of herbs (fresh preferably) –rosemary, thyme, oregano and parsley.  If you don’t have all these herbs, it’s ok, use a good portion of what you have and you can always add dried herbs.

2 chopped cloves of garlic

Lemon zest from one lemon, chopped up finely

Lemon juice from one lemon

Olive oil, a large drizzle

salt

Pepper

About an hour before grilling, chop ingredients as finely as possible and toss in with the chicken and some olive oil.  Hold back on the lemon juice until just before grilling.  I don’t like to use lemon or lime juice as a marinade too early because it tends to cook the meat ahead of time, leaving it chewy.  Place in fridge and stir once or twice to keep the chicken coated in your herb mixture.  If you don’t have time to let the herbs marinate, it is ok, you can also just toss all ingredients with the chicken, right before grilling.  However, ideally letting the chicken soak up the flavors, can only lead to a super delicious meal.  Turn the grill on high.  Squeeze lemon juice on the chicken mixture and then place (breasts, wings, thighs, etc) on grill.  Try and pile the herbs and garlic on top of chicken to not waste the fresh flavors.  Turn chicken over after two mins and cook the other side for two more minutes.  Flip over again and reduce heat to low.  Depending on how big or thick the chicken pieces are, cooking may vary. I usually give myself 30 mins on low for it to cook nicely.  Flip over often.  While the chicken is cooking, start working on the vegetables.  For this specific dinner I made corn on the cob and grilled veggies (tomatoes and zucchini drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste) that I put on 20 mins before the chicken should be done.  And voila, another yummy meal.  This chicken dish goes with so many different types of vegetables. I’ve made it in the past with grilled eggplant, potatoes, brocolli, steamed spinach, brussel sprouts, the list goes on and on.  I tend to like 2 or 3 different types of veggies on the plate and try and pick contrasting colors.

Hope you enjoy!

Ratatouille

The other day I went to the Torrance Farmer’s market.  I wasn’t too impressed, but just before leaving I walked by a table that had pre-made bags of mixed veggies for one dollar.

I grabbed a mixed bag of zuchinni, yellow squash and other squash varieties.  I also got a bag of nice red, juicy tomatoes. It was a perfect mix for a yummy Ratatouille and it was delicious.

2 zuchinni

2 yellow squash

1 other, not sure it was a round squash type zuchinni

1 egg plant

2 red onions

1 shallot

Mushrooms, any kind and as much as you want.

4 cloves of garlic

8 tomatoes, peeled and deseeded

sprigs of thyme

fresh oregano

herb de provence

salt

pepper

olive oil

Start a pot of boiling water.   used to put your tomatoes in to later skin.  Saute the chopped onions in olive oil.  Mix in the dried herbs and salt and pepper.  Cook until translucent.  Add chopped garlic.  Cook for 2 mins.  Add the tomatoes to the pot of water and pull the tomatoes out once the skin is broken.  Place in a strainer to cool and then peel, deseed and chop the tomatoes.  Add a bit more olive oil and the chopped veggies:  egg plants, squashes, zucchini and tomatoes.  Let cook on low, covered for about 30 mins.  Add mushrooms, any kind will do.  I used oyster mushrooms roughly chopped, about two hand fulls.  Cook uncovered for another 30.  Basically, you can leave this cooking on low.  You could also do this in a slow cooker on low.  I made rice with a bit of veggie stock and served this with seared scallops that I purchased in the frozen section at Trader Joe’s.  There is no exact science to my ratatouille.  Just add good quality stuff and it will be excellent.  Enjoy