Mahi: Part Two

As evidenced above, a few years back I had the joy of a fly fishing experience with Carl in the Dan River Gorge on the Primland property. That had been on my Whistle List for years, and I checked it right off that weekend! Now that’s not fishing for Mahi, duh; but it earned a gold medal for fun times with fab friends.

Flashing back even further in time to a second take on Mahi prep…in the manner of NOLA chef Paul Prudhomme (God Rest His Soul), I present a blackened version of Mahi. A quick story; in the late 1990’s while dining at K Paul’s for the first time, I spent most of the evening away from the dinner table, outside peering into the tiny screened-in kitchen where the fish were being prepared. The kindest chefs ever (heavily sweating and constantly wiping their brows in the heat of that tiny, tiny, tiny room) told me everything that they were doing. Bronzed fish, blackened fish, sautéed fish, panned in butter fish, poached fish, grilled fish, and on and on and on again. I was forever grateful to those lovely gentlemen and forever enthralled with the cuisine and techniques of Chef Paul and his style of cooking there on the great waters of N’awlins. This is total happiness, so pay attention…I’ll take Mahi Recipes for Five Hundred Please!
Thank you Hank Williams for these beautiful words:
“The fairest young maiden that I ever saw
Passed by as it started to rain
We both found a shelter beneath the same tree
On the banks of the old Pontchartrain.”

Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Fish
2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbs good olive oil
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t fresh black pepper
3 t Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Redfish Magic
2  6 oz filets of mahi (or other thick white fish of choice)
Filets should be 1 to 1 1/2″ thick

Place filets on a plate.
Pour 1/2 of the melted butter on top side of the filets.
Sprinkle filets with salt, pepper, and 1/2 of the Blackened Redfish Magic.
Turn filets over in plate and repeat with butter, salt, pepper, and Blackened Magic.
Heat skillet on high.
Pour the 3 Tbs olive oil into skillet.
Place filets in skillet and turn heat to medium high.
Cook 3 minutes uncovered. 
Turn to other side and cook 3 more minutes.

I hope you didn’t give up seafood for Lent! Come on in with an empty tummy. Experience just the right amount of heat and your heart will say “don’t take me back to the real world!”

Mahi, Two Ways: Part One

Well hellodie from the fishing scene in Istanbul! Follow the journey from the Turkish shore all the way back to Morehead City’s Captain Jim’s Seafood, and then straight in to Peg’s Kitchen for a lively adventure in fish prep! First, Istanbul, 2013… Lone fishermen in small boats catch Bluefish on the Bosphorus Strait and deliver them straight to the docks where they are cooked on sight for locals and tourists alike. Fanciful, docked, decorative boats serve as open air kitchens. Can NOT get any fresher than that! The cooks are constantly singing melodic tunes of “Balik Ekmek”, meaning “Fish Sandwich.” We indulged happily!

Fast forward to 2021 , where we are state side, and here in Greenville, NC cooking some great fresh mahi filets, two ways! No need to escape to the shore, I’m gonna school ya from right here. So, Be Inspired and Come in Hungry! Perhaps one of these recipes will become your signature fish dish…One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish! (Thank you Dr. Seuss.)

First Way: Sautéed Mahi with Clarified Butter

6 oz mahi filet, 11/2″ thick
1/4 t Kosher salt
1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
1 t olive oil
2 Tbs clarified butter
1/4 cup dry white wine, more if needed
1 Tbs capers
1/4 cup baby tomatoes
1 Tbs chopped chives, for serving
Cilantro, for serving

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper.
Heat skillet over medium-high heat.
Drizzle oil on bottom of skillet.
Add butter to skillet and swirl to evenly coat pan.
Add fish to skillet.
Cook 4 minutes.
Flip fish to other side.
Add wine, capers, and tomatoes to skillet.
Reduce heat to medium low.
Cook 6 minutes, until cooked through.

To plate:
Place filet on plate.
Spoon cooking juices with capers and tomatoes over filet.
Garnish with chives and cilantro.
Serve with a side of roasted red potatoes.

Thai Green Curry Shrimp and Beans

A little history regarding this specifically meaningful recipe…My dear friend (and best international travel companion) and I cooked prawns (along with other wonderful Thai delicacies while sipping champagne!) all afternoon one day at the Spice Spoons Culinary Institute, Anantara Resort, Bangkok, in 2017. A few fun bits emphasized regarding prawns vs shrimp…Prawns have three pairs of claw like legs, shrimp have one. Prawns have longer legs than shrimp, and may taste a bit sweeter and meatier than shrimp, that are more delicate. Prawns are most often served with their heads on, which can be disconcerting to the novice; I know this first hand! My initial experience with these freaky little heads was in the early nineteen eighties (YES I am a fossil) in New Orleans at Pascal’s Manale and I may have gasped out loud just a little, but it was delicious. Chef Ohm was amazing during our afternoon cooking session and later that evening prepared a sumptuous private dinner for the four of us outside on the lush lawn. We all agree that this was the best “friends trip” ever!!! So…here you are with a tasty Thai Shrimp recipe that Chef shared with us! This is wicked good…enjoy in excellent health my friends!

Sometimes you just have to sip fresh coconut milk from a freshly cooled and cut coconut when it’s offered. And this is what we are using in the following recipe!

Here’s what you need:
12 oz linguine
12 oz fresh green beans, trimmed, and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/3 cup green curry paste
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (plus additional leaves for garnish)
3 Tbs olive oil (add more if needed)
3/4 to 1 cup coconut milk (see pic above!)
1 lb large, cleaned shrimp*
1 cup pasta water (more if needed)
1/2 cup cilantro
2 Tbs fresh lime juice

*We love the shrimp, and everything, from Captain Jim’s Seafood, Atlantic Beach, NC
(if you’re in the area).
Typically, they deliver to Greenville every other Saturday.
Best seafood, and best personal service ever!

Here’s how you prepare it:
Bring large pot of water boil.
Add linguine and cook 5 to 7 minutes. (Check package directions.)
Add fresh green beans.
Cook until crisp tender, probably 3 minutes.
Reserve 1 cup or more of pasta water.
Drain pasta and green beans.
In large skillet, cook curry paste and cilantro in oil, over medium heat, stirring 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant.
Add coconut milk, season with salt, and bring to simmer.
Cook 2 minutes until slightly thickened.
Stir in shrimp and cook 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Stir in pasta, green beans, and lime juice.
Add reserved pasta water to create a silky sauce.
Toss to coat.
Serve with lime wedges and cilantro.

Triple Citrus Shrimp Taco

Hola mi Amigos! Cinco de Mayo is quickly approaching and we’re orchestrating like a symphony here. This is the best little taco north of Mexico. Hell, it’s the tastiest little jewel you’ll serve Saturday the 5th. Let the Mexicans celebrate their army’s unlikely victory in the Battle of Pueblo in 1862 (not to be confused with their Independence Day celebrated in September); and we shall celebrate our love of margaritas and all things delicious that go down oh so smoothly!

Southwestern Shrimp Tacos
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbs minced fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbs Asian seasoning
2 t firmly packed light brown sugar
2 t lime zest
2 t lemon zest
2 t orange zest
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
6 crunchy taco shells
Head of leaf lettuce
Guacamole
Sour cream
Cilantro, chopped

In medium bowl, combine oil, thyme, Asian seasoning, brown sugar, zests, salt, pepper, and garlic.
Add shrimp and toss to coat.
Preheat skillet to medium high.
Toss in shrimp and cook 1 1/2 minutes on both sides, tossing until fully cooked, 3 to 4 minutes.

To serve:
Place leaf lettuce inside taco.
Layer with shrimp and guacamole.
Place sour cream on side of plate.
Sprinkle all with cilantro.

PtotheS…this shrimp recipe is excellent served over a bed of rice or orzo, with a side of sauteed asparagus.

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

IMG_4037Taking a little mental trip back to my time in Thailand. Call me lazy…I’m finally getting around to completing my photo book of this trip that was fourteen months ago! All of the treats that we enjoyed keep popping up in my noggin as I pour over the hundreds of photographs. This recipe is based on a chicken soup that Chef Ohm of the Anantara Riverside Resort taught us. As we cooked by his side throughout the afternoon, along with a splash or more of champagne…he uttered some nice sayings like “remember that a recipe has no soul on its own; you bring the soul to it.” And Chef Ohm brought it folks! Sharing the soul and love; just sharing it.

Soup Thai Chicken Coconut Soup II

Ingredients:
3 Tbs sesame oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 medium carrots, diced
4 celery ribs, diced
2 t fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cans light coconut milk
2 Tbs red curry paste
3/4 t salt
3/4 t black pepper
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
2 Tbs smooth, light peanut butter
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 green onions, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Fresh cilantro leaves
Salted peanuts, chopped

Directions:
In large saucepan, heat sesame oil over medium heat.
Add chicken, carrots, and celery.
Cook and stir until vegetables are softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute.
Stir in tomatoes, coconut milk, curry paste, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
Add edamame; cook 10 more minutes.
Stir in peanut butter.
Stir in spinach, green onions, and lime.
Cook until spinach is wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Place in soup bowls.
Top with cilantro and chopped peanuts.
Garnish with a lime wedge.
Serves 8.

IMG_4052

A sampling from our private cooking class with Chef Ohm. Yummy!

Bacon and Egg Bánh Mì

Cooking around the globe…my favorite passion! Last February we chased our culinary dreams (and a few very fine golf courses for the don!) to Vietnam. The darling gal pictured here was our guide throughout the charming town of Hoi An, their market, and the Red Bridge Cooking School. Sensory overload is a total understatement! IMG_4455 (2)One easy take away was the Bánh Mì; that’s Vietnamese for bread, more specifically the baguette, which was introduced by the French during the colonial period in Vietnam. Unlike the traditional French baguette, the Vietnamese baguette is made with rice flour, making it airier. In Vietnamese cuisine, Bánh Mì is typically made into a sandwich, commonly including pickled daikon radishes, carrots, cucumber slices, cheeses and cold cuts of choice. I mixed it up a little bit here! But first, a couple of fun market images…

IMG_4474

IMG_4471 (9)

And since I’m hooking you up with an egg Bahn Mi recipe, here’s our Market egg lady!

4 large carrots, shredded
6 whole radishes, sliced
6 slices jalapeño peppers, diced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
6 slices bacon
4 crusty French bread rolls, split open
1/2 English cucumber , thinly sliced, lengthwise
4 eggs
Bunch fresh cilantro

Brunch Bacon and Egg Bahn Mi
Preheat broiler.
In medium bowl, toss together carrots, radishes, jalapeños, vinegar, and sugar.
Cook bacon and remove to plate to drain and cool.
Cut into halves.
Arrange bread cut side up on baking sheet.
Drizzle with bacon grease.
Top with salt and pepper.
Broil until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
Top one half of each bread roll with cucumber slices.
Top with bacon halves.
Top with veggie mixture.
Cook eggs in skillet with remaining bacon grease.
Top veggie mixture with eggs.
Top with cilantro.

P to the S…I made this with sausage, since there was no bacon in my fridge. I also spread a bit of ricotta (flavored with fresh lemon juice) and additional veggies on the other side of the bread, just because!

All the Way from Mexico, Black Bean Soup

GulfHola Baby! This was supposed to be coming to you last week from Cabo on the Tropic of Cancer! For a bit of geography click on this link and learn all about our tropics, latitudes, longitudes, and the likes. Exercise for the brain y’all. But the night before we were to travel, a little publicized Tropical Storm named Lydia hit the Baha Peninsula, washing out roads, closing the airport, knocking out electricity, and much more. I was ready to throw in the towel and just stay home; but not my fast thinking sister-in-law HHH. Within thirty minutes, she had us re-booked to the east coast of Mexico with stellar accommodations at The Iberostar.  PoolI was determined to do some testing of Mexican/Southwestern recipes with the Cabo Chef at Diamante. so I just switched gears and here I am sharing new knowledge with you good people from Playa del Carmen instead! Mucho to come! Yummy, Bold Flavors! Just attempting to put some well being into each and every day.

Soup Black Bean Soup I

3 Tbs olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 Tbs ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 14 oz cans black beans, drained and divided
3 cups chicken broth
Juice of whole lime
1/4 t salt
1/2 t black pepper

For Garnish:
Avocado, cut into small pieces
Cilantro, chopped
Sour Cream
Lime slices

Heat oil over medium high heat in soup pot.
Add onion.
Sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add cumin, garlic, 2 cans of drained beans, and broth.
Cover and cook on low 30 minutes.
While soup is cooking, heat remaining 1 can beans in separate pot for 20 minutes, until tender.
Remove soup pot from heat.
Carefully blend with immersion blender until smooth and totally blended.*
Add lime juice, salt and pepper.

To serve:
Ladle soup into bowl.
Spoon separate beans in center.
Top with dollop of sour cream, avocado pieces, cilantro, and lime.**

*You may also use a blender to blend soup in batches. Cover top with wet paper towel instead of blender top. This allows steam to escape.

**I squeeze a bit more lime juice in to each bowl after it is served and garnish side of bowl with additional lime slice.Palm Trees

Chocolate Lava Cakes

dessert-chocolate-lava-cakes-iBusiness Class with Turkish Airlines is kinda sweet. And on our return flight from Istanbul back to the Great USofA this past weekend, one of the sweets served was a warm chocolate cake. I knew better than to be tempted by that offer…but i will share this authentic offering! Back in the winter of 2007, the don and I took a wee respite at the Ritz Carlton in Cancun. Whoa…that’s been a decade! They had just reopened after the devastation of Hurricane Wilma, and they were thrilled to have guests back in the hotel. As part of the major renovation, the Ritz added an all Viking Culinary Center. What a beautiful atmosphere in which to cook; added bonus, it overlooks the Caribbean Sea. That’s right. One of the courses I took with Chef Rory that week included this show stopper.  I was a bit afraid initially of my results, but it was perfection on a plate; and it has turned out perfectly in my home kitchen time and time again! Sharing the Love!

8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces
2 1/2 sticks butter
5 egg yolks
5 whole eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbs all-purpose flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 425°.
In a small sauce pan, melt the chocolate and butter together over very low heat.
*Do not allow chocolate to get too hot.
Remove from heat and keep warm.
In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, whole eggs, and sugar.
Pour warm chocolate into egg mixture.
While stirring chocolate mixture add sifted flour slowly to avoid lumps.
Spray 6 soufflé cups with cooking spray.
Pour mixture into cups and place on a sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to rest 3 minutes.

To serve:
Go around edges of soufflé cup with a knife to loosen the cake.
Invert on to a plate.
Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on side of cake.

Makes 6 mid-size ramekins, or 8 small ramekins.

dessert-chocolate-lava-cakes-iii

Vegetarian Mini Enchilada

Stomp.jpg

I “Stomp”ed around Chicago with td (my husband of 41+ years!) and some friends for a few days just before the 2017 New Year. We happily played the usual suspects tourists…

beanposed with The Bean (formal name “Cloud Gate”) created and installed in 2006 by the amazing Anish Kapoor,

peg-heather-buddy

hung out with blues great, Buddy Guy, 2012 Kennedy Center Honor Recipient (please watch this video with Morgan Freeman presenting Mr. Guy with the Honor), seized this magical photo op with him at his club, Buddy Guy’s Legends), bavettesand hopped from one fantastic restaurant and hotel bar to the next. No lack there, my friends! BONUS, we enjoyed dinner one night with James Beard Award winning chef Rick Bayless at Frontera Grill. I mean, we just couldn’t even decide what to order; it all was so tempting…so we began with hand crafted margaritas. I was so inspired with our dinner, that I flew home and waked up my own kitchen, and prepared this concoction. So…take this little jewel to the bank and thank Rick B. and Peg all the way! And PtotheS…

Be Sociable, Share This! Everyone has been sharing a LOT lately, so let’s unite and share something yummy, just a nice little recipe-no politics ever on this blog-just joy and fun!

southwestern-mini-black-bean-enchiladas10 miniature 4” flour tortillas
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can refried beans
8 oz can red enchilada sauce
4 oz can chopped green chiles
4 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbs thinly sliced green onions
4 Tbs chopped avocado
4 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 fresh lime, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease 12 cup muffin pan with olive oil or melted butter.
Tuck tortillas gently into cups.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes until crisp and browned.
Stir together black beans, refried beans, enchilada sauce, and green chiles in medium bowl.
Divide mixture evenly among baked tortilla cups.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Back at 350° until cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
Transfer enchiladas to serving platter.
Top evenly with lettuce.
Drizzle with sour cream.
Sprinkle with green onions, avocado, and cilantro.
Squeeze fresh lime juice over top.
Garnish with fresh lime.

The Kentucky 95

Happy Sunday! We rolled with a Kentucky 95 and Animal Crackers over this icy weekend. This just seems right for brunch, lunch, or five o’clock anywhere, or any time, really! We first tried this last summer with Bobby Flay at Bar Amercain. But in this cold and flu season, we felt a wee bit healthy drinking the oj! These ingredients are in most fridges, so no need to risk the icy driving if you’re still inside like we.

adult-beverage-kentucky-95

3/4 oz Makers Mark or other good quality bourbon
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz fresh orange juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Ice cubes
Champagne, chilled
Lemon or orange twist for serving

Combine bourbon, lemon juice, orange juice, and simple syrup in tall glass over ice.
Stir well.
Strain into wine glass filled with crushed ice.
Top up with champagne.
Garnish with a twist.