Cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic and black truffle sea salt

I didn’t have much time to prepare anything fancy, but somehow my simple dish made it to the “I’ve been slaving away in the kitchen” category in my husbands eyes, even though it took all of 10 minutes to prepare, if that.  I searched for something interesting to make for a side dish.  We are staying away from so many starches and cauliflower just has that satisfying taste that not all veggies have.  I chopped up, trying to keep the “flowers” in tack, 1/2 a cauliflower, sliced about 8 nice white mushrooms that I bought from the local farmer’s stand and then added a few sliced garlic cloves.  Voila, just a few drizzles of my herb infused extra virgin olive oil and a few sprinkles of my black truffle sea salt, it was ready to go into the oven.  I put it at 375 for about 30 minutes covered with foil and then 5 minutes uncovered.  In the meantime I grilled up my usual grilled chicken, but this time I played around with the flavors a bit, using more salt and rosemary, from my friends salt concoction she calls, Herbs de PV.  She blended sea salts with natural growing herbs from Palos Verdes.  I think our meal was great and it was definitely healthy.

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simple melone with Sel de Cali (Chardonnay salt and Pinot Noir salt)

Today I decided to make a simple little lunch with my specialty salts. Sel de Cali (Chardonnay) and Sel de Cali (Pinot Noir)  Not only does the Chardonnay salt and Pinot Noir salt taste good, it looks spectacular.  Just by adding a few grains you have turned your boring melon into a wow!  So now I feel good, I had a good sweet and salty cantaloupe that was just right for a healthy lunch.  This is a quick and easy appetizer for guests and a great hors d’oeuvre for a party.  You can cut them up and put them on a stick… play around with presentation, make a trail of wine salt on the platter… either way, it will look and taste delicious.  By the way, I had 3 more pieces after this photo!

 

ceviche

chili peppers
chili peppers (Photo credit: marzbars)

I love ceviche.  I had the real deal 10-years ago when I went to visit my sister in Peru.  We traveled all over sampling some of the most amazing Peruvian dishes, but for me, Ceviche is my favorite.  I had never tried making it until today.  Inspired by the Peruvian restaurant and my local fish monger, I decided to try it out when I was buying my weekly fish.   The fish guy told me to try his frozen tilapia. I’m a purest and didn’t feel like buying frozen fish, why after all, I was in fresh-fish heaven?  However, he convinced me by saying, “It makes for a wonderful ceviche”  I bought four filets for about $5 dollars.  I went home thawed out the fish and started squeezing my bags of lemons and limes.  I know you can use one or the other (lemons or limes), but this was my first and I wanted it “cooked.”  I was on a time constraint so the only thing I did was cover my fish completely with lemon and lime juice and put it in the fridge.  I let it sit for a few hours, the time to get my son, bring him to an afterschool event and then back.  So my ceviche was done in several stages.  So, three hours later……  I chopped up some fresh hot peppers– I had bought a little medly of peppers and I can’t remember all the names of each, but in general any spicey pepper will do.  Some were super spicy and others more mild.  I also chopped up a big bunch of cilantro. I really love the fresh taste of cilantro, so I probably added more than the average Peruvian would add.  Next I cut up half a red onion in the thinnest slivers possible with a chefs knife.  A mandolin would have been perfect, but I don’t have one.  I also added 4 half of garlic cloves for flavor.  Lots of Sel de Cali– the chardonnay version, a bit of fresh, ground pepper and I put it all in the bowl with my fish and back into the fridge to “cook” some more.  Just before serving, maybe 2 hours later, I boiled a sweet potato to go on the side.  Generally this dish is served with big corn and a sweet potato.  I didn’t have big Peruvian corn, so we settled for the lovely orange-colored potato.  I have to say, it was delicious.  We had enough to feed several people.  I had used all 4 filets.  Next time I think I will use two filets, if it’s a main course for two people.  This dish would also be a great party appetizer.  It could be served on a tortilla, on a lettuce wrap, or just alone in little individual ramekins.  Now that I’ve made it the possibilities are endless if I am to entertain.   Just make sure you keep the ceviche cold, nobody likes a warm ceviche.

Tilapia filet

10-15 limes or/and lemons

3 hot peppers chopped fine

1/2 red onion thinly sliced

4 halved garlic cloves

1 bunch of cilantro roughly chopped

Sel de Cali- Chardonnay kind

1 sweet potato or yam

Lobster and shrimp ceviche

(Ceviche de pulpo, as known and prepared in th...

Ceviche