One of my favorite places in my neighborhood market is this fantastic Middle Eastern market, always overflowing with fresh pita bread and naan, endless $1 spices by the scoop, and all of the nuts, grains, and everything Middle Eastern you could dream of. But more than anything, I love the great guys who run the place. And now that I live across the street, we get to see each other wonderfully often.
So yesterday when I walked over to pick up a few scoops of lentils, they of course asked what was on the menu. As soon as I mentioned “salmon”, their elderly mother who was sitting behind the counter immediately started talking a million miles an hour in her native language. Her son translated, “She says you must cook salmon and lentils this way — cumin, coriander, cilantro, salt, pepper and a nice bit of lemon juice. It is the best way. You will love it.”
Today I made one of my favorites for a special treat — classic lobster bisque.
I have a long list of restaurants I whose lobster bisques I adore, but for some reason I had never before tried making it at home. (Somehow lobster tails don’t seem to make it into my budget too often!) But my recent discovery of a bag of frozen chopped lobster meat from Trader Joe’s inspired me to give it a try. And I’m pretty sure now that this soup may make it into “the rotation” (as my friend Christin calls it) of favorites from now on.
Years ago when I was in college, I remember visiting a friend at KU who took me to one of her favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants for lunch. As we walked in, we read on the chalkboard that the special of the day was…you guessed it…salmon fajitas!
I knew that I loved fajitas. And fish tacos. But this was definitely my first time seeing the two paired together, especially with salmon! I was a little skeptical, but when the waiter brought the sizzling skillet to our table, we both knew we were in for a treat. Their salmon fajitas were stunningly delicious!! I still remember everything about that meal. Instead of serving the salmon in filets, they had broken it up while sauteing so that the edges of each small piece were seasoned and ever-so-slightly-crispy. The salmon was then served on warm tortillas with the classic bell pepper and onions fajita combination (although I have since enjoyed adding in lots of extra zucchini, mushrooms, and sometimes sweet potato). Finally, they were topped off with lots of fresh guacamole, limes, salsa, sour cream, cheese, and whatever other toppings your heart desired.
I know that it’s summer and just about every kind of fresh vegetable and fruit seems to be in season. But this week I have had this crazy craving for shrimp scampi!!
Granted, it calls for some lovely fresh parsley lemons. And of course, lots of fresh garlic. But other than that, it’s pretty much all about the shrimp and butter and cheese and carbs — which are always in season in my book. ;)
Whenever my coworkers ask where I’d like to go to eat for lunch, about 9 times out of 10 my reply is a super-enthusiastic vote for Mexican. Yeah, it’s kind of the office joke. This little food blogger could live on Mexican food!!
But being that we work clear out in the ‘burbs, authentic Mexican food can be a little hard to come by. Thankfully the closest local Tex-Mex chain happens to have some of the best chips and salsa in town, plus one of my all-time favorites — “Parmesan-Crusted Shrimp Quesadillas.”
Most people tend to pair chimichurri sauce with steak or chicken. Me? I love it on fish!
There’s something about the bright, fresh sauce that seems to pair perfectly with a mild, light fish like Mahi Mahi or tilapia. Even better when served alongside some yummy green broccolini! This simple meal takes all of 15 minutes to prepare, and is wonderfully delicious and healthy too.
Sadly, it seems like fresh summer tomato season is drawing to a close. But for one final hurrah this past weekend, I used my last batch of cherry tomatoes to make this recipe I had bookmarked recently in Bon Appetit. (Apparently tons of other food bloggers had the same idea, because this recipe has received rave reviews all over the blogosphere!)
Originally, it was a recipe for chicken and this delicious tomato-herb pan sauce. But I have been on a fish kick this month, so opted for some healthy tilapia instead. Choose whichever you’d like. But you absolutely must try this amazing sauce. It is summer at its best — fresh, sweet tomatoes are cooked down with white wine, oregano, paprika, and of course, lots of garlic. Absolutely delicious. And the whole meal came together for me in less than 20 minutes!
We all know the basics of how to measure ingredients. For example, how you’re never supposed to crack your eggs directly into your batter (in case there’s a bad one)? Or how you should always pour vanilla into your measuring spoons away from (instead of above) your mixing bowl? Or how you should never, ever, ever measure out a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes just inches above a simmering sauce?!?
Sorry to have been so MIA this month on the blog! As some of you Twitter followers have heard, I just recently put my little house on the market, which ended up being quite the project. Holy moly. Suffice it to say, the majority of the time I have spent in the kitchen recently has been painting cabinets and shelves, repainting the walls and trim (twice!!), replacing hardware, and cleaning galore. And then of course, I had to remove my beloved kitchen appliances from the countertops and clean out anything unnecessary from the cabinets. So instead of cooking, I have to admit there have been quite a few salad and Kashi pizza nights happening… :)
Once the house went up on the market last week, though, I finally did take an afternoon to make a nice lunch. I looked in my much-more-bare-than-usual cabinets and saw a can of coconut milk begging to be used, along with a bag of shrimp in the freezer. So decided to pull out this recipe I had bookmarked from Martha awhile back! The yummy ingredients had caught my eye, and I also knew it would be quick to prepare (which is now a priority, since I have to be out in 15 minutes if a realtor calls and wants to show the house). So decided to give it a go!