Family Style Pesto Salmon Wrapped in Filo

Family Style Pesto Salmon Wrapped in Filo

 

 

I don’t know how the weather is where you are but it’s gorgeous here in Arizona. This is the time of year when the desert is most beautiful; the Spring flowers are out, the birds are singing, and people are out walking, biking, hiking and taking advantage of this stellar weather. It’s also the time of year when many families gather to celebrate for religious and cultural reasons, or simply a Spring fling to get away from the day to day routines. I’ve been wanting to post family style pesto salmon trout wrapped in filo dough for a long time. Some time back I posted a recipe for wild salmon with pesto wrapped in filo and each piece of fish is individually wrapped. In this recipe the whole fish is wrapped, and it’s a superb dish to serve on a special occasion, or anyday for family and friends.

Before I got my healthy eating habits I had no problem about using puff pastry for this dish. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have anything against puff pastry now; in fact, I love it. But, the way my healthy eating habits works is that I make daily decisions about what foods I’ll eat and prepare for my family. Puff pastry is scrumptious but, there is another healthier choice that also tastes very good, and that’s to use filo dough brushed with extra virgin olive oil rather than using puff pastry. I prepare this dish for family and friends and everyone raves about it. It tastes sooo good, and it’s just the better choice when compared to salmon trout in puff pastry. Take a look at the graffic below to see a Nutrition Facts comparison (the fish and pesto are the same in both dishes, but 2 pieces of white bread are factored in for the salmon trout with filo recipe—it’s an equivalent for the filo dough—and 1 pound of puff pastry is factored in for the fish with puff pastry).

The results of the comparison are pretty revealing. Even though they are both rated with a nutrition grade of C+, the fish in puff pastry has two and a half times the saturated fat as the fish in filo, and it has almost twice as many calories.

Salmon-Comparison

 

Sometimes you don’t realize the difference a few changes can make until you see a side by side comparison. Dietary modifications are easy to make and the food can be equally delicious if not better. What’s more, you may even gain a healthier outlook knowing that you are taking care of your body. Go ahead and enjoy this guilt-free, delicious, and healthier recipe with family and friends!

**Edited -4-22-14 The title of the post should read family style pesto salmon trout wrapped in filo, as I made the recipe with steelhead trout which is somewhat like salmon but is part freshwater fish. I have kept the title the same but have edited the narrative.

Family Style Pesto Salmon Wrapped in Filo

Prep Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Family Style Pesto Salmon Wrapped in Filo

Ingredients:

    For the Pesto:
  • 2 cups basil, well packed
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Other:
  • 2-1/2 to 3 pounds Steelhead salmon, farmed or fresh
  • 1 box filo dough
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (for brushing the filo)

Procedure:

    Prepare the Pan:
  1. Line a jelly roll pan, or a large pan with tin foil. It must be large enough for a cookie rack to fit inside of it.
  2. Make the Pesto:
  3. Process the garlic until it is minced, and then add the pine nuts and process 8 seconds. Add the salt and basil and process about 8 seconds. Slowly add the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Place this in a small bowl covered with plastic and put it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
  4. Prepare the Fish:
  5. Select a knife to cut the salmon trout away from the skin. A long slicer works best, or you can use a chef's knife. Wash the fish and pat it dry.
  6. Cut the fish filet away from the skin. To do this hold the knife in your right hand, and the hold the tail of the fish with your left hand (this is for right handers. Left handed people with reverse this and hold the knife in the left hand and the tail in the right). Slide the knife blade back and forth between the flesh and the skin, and keep the angle of the blade at a 30° angle. Once you have successfully sliced in about three inches you will be able to grab the skin and hold it firmly as you continue to slide the blade back and forth to remove the skin. Discard the skin, and lightly salt and pepper the filets.
  7. Arrange the fish on the countertop. Place the first filet on the countertop with the bright orange side facing up, with the tail on your left. The second filet goes on top of the first, bright orange sides facing together and the tail end will be on your right. Arrange them so there is an even thickness when the two sides are together. They will not completely overlap but they should distribbute to an even thickness. Trim the tail ends, as much or as little is needed, to have a center piece that feels like the weight is evenly distributed.
  8. Get out your filo dough and carefully unroll it. Lift up one full sheet and lay it on the counter. Lightly brush on some to cover. Repeat the with 3 more sheets of filo and 3 more time of oiling. When you have 4 sheets together on the counter place the bottom filet in the center of the oiled filo sheets. Cover with all the pesto sauce and then top with the second filet, making sure that the thick end of the top piece matches up with the thin end on the bottom piece.
  9. Get out a new sheet of filo and lay it on the counter so it is longer horizontally than vertically. Lightly brush it with oil. Top this with a second sheet of fill and lightly oil it. Next, fold it over from left to right. Lay this piece over the fish to cover it, and then trim the edges to remove the excess dough.
  10. **At this Point the last two pictures do not match up with the instructions. I hope they do not confuse you, but the idea is to get the package of fish flipped over and onto the cookie rack. The best way to do this is to use a long spatula and slide the salmon trout into the center of a flat cookie sheet (no edges). Once the fish is on the cookie sheet place the top side of the cookie rack face down on the fish and then, holding the cookie rack and the cookie sheet together flip them over 180°. The top side of the salmon trout package should now be face up on your cookie rack.
  11. Bake:
  12. Preheat the oven to 375°. Score the filo with 5 angled slits about 5 inches long each. Place the salmon in the oven and bake until the center of the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 165° and the filo is golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes.

**You'll find fill dough in the frozen section of the supermarket. Buy it ahead of time and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. This is very important! Keep the the fill covered with a very lightly moistened cloth.

http://www.myhealthyeatinghabits.com/2014/04/17/family-style-pesto-salmon-wrapped-in-filo/

Weight Watchers PointsPlus value per serving: 14. There are 6 servings.

Family Style Pesto Salmon Wrapped in Filo 2

This recipe is also posted at Hearth and SoulSimpleSupperTuesdayTotally Talented Tuesdays, and Full Plate Thursday

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Wild Salmon with Pesto Wrapped in Filo

Salmon with Pesto Wrapped in Filo

Salmon with Pesto Wrapped in Filo

 

Last night a documentary called The River of No Return was on Nature, a PBS presentation. A wolf biologist named Isaac Babcock and his wife Bijornen, took a year trek along the Frank Church-River, in the Idaho Wilderness. As you can imagine, much of the show dealt wolves, but the biologist also spent time filming other species like birds and fish. The mountainous area is so pristine and the photography is gorgeous. It was especially moving to see the images of the salmon swimming upstream against the full force of the river having to jump into and over the waterfalls in their struggle to return to the spawning grounds. Salmon are born in fresh water then they live most of their lives in the ocean. They return to fresh water to lay their eggs. Their journey home is Homeric.

Watching that show last night made me feel that salmon was the perfect finish to our 38th power foods blog group. This fish is a symbol of power and strength. As a food it provides our bodies with essential anti-oxidants and vitamins. It has both DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), which are omega 3’s that help lower cholesterol, and are the components you’re looking for when you buy fish capsules. Check with your doctor to see the amount of DHA and EPA you should be taking. The salmon’s pink hue comes from the krill the fish eats which is full of powerful antioxidants like selenium, and astaxanthin. It’s also rich in vitamin D, B6, and B12. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, it’s best to eat wild salmon. Farmed Atlantic salmon should be avoided because it poses environmental problems and doesn’t the same nutrients. Check the Monterrey Bay Aquarium page to see best choices when choosing.

If you’re looking for an easy, but delicious and memorable dinner to prepare, try wild salmon with pesto wrapped in filo. It’s easy to put together and it bakes in just 20 minutes. In this recipe the dough is brushed with olive oil, which is a healthier choice than brushing with butter or using puff pastry. And the pesto is dairy-free, cutting back on the additional fat and calories as these pouches are very filling.

 

Servings: 4                    Prep Time: 35 minutes                  Cooking Time: about 20 minutes

 

Equipment Needed:

Sheet pan

Cookie rack of same size

Pastry brush

 

Ingredients for Dairy-Free Pesto:

2 ounces fresh basil leaves (about 2 cups)

2 small tooth garlic

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons pine nuts

Salt to taste

 

Ingredients:

1 box filo dough

4 salmon filets, skin removed (5 to six ounces each)

1/3 cup pesto

1/2 to 3/4  cup olive oil

 

Procedure for the Pesto:

1. Place the garlic in a food processor and process 10 seconds. Add the salt, basil, and the pine nuts and then process a few seconds. Next, slowly add the olive oil.

2. Scrape the sauce into a small bowl and cover with plastic.

 

Filo dough with oil

Filo dough with oil

Procedure for the Salmon:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375°

2. Line the sheet-pan with aluminum foil and then place the cookie rack in the pan.

3. Wash the fish filets and then pat them dry.

4. Lay down one sheet of filo dough horizontally on the counter and brush it with a thin layer of olive oil.

5. Lay a second layer of filo dough on top to the first sheet and brush it with the oil. Next, take the side end and fold it over so the corners meet. Brush the top with oil and lay a ½ sheet of dough over the top.

 

Salmon before wrapping

Salmon before wrapping

6. Spread 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons of pesto on top of the dough about the same size as the salmon filet. Set the fish on top of the sauce and then brush the dough with oil. Fold in the sides of the dough, and brush the top with oil, and then set the fish pouch on the cookie rack. Make two angular slits in the top of the dough, each about 2 inches long. Repeat this whole procedure with the remaining filets.

7. Bake the fish pouches until they are golden brown —about 20 to 25 minutes.

 

 References:

Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmon

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/SeafoodWatch/web/sfw_factsheet.aspx?gid=49

 

Today is the last day of our blog group which has been talking about and writing about  Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, (from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine). It’s been a lot of fun! I’d like to thank all the participants who have taken part in this collaborative effort, and especially to those who crossed the finish line. I’m looking forward to our next group hosted by Alyce at MoreTimeattheTable.blogspot. It will be a once monthly post and the subject is Ina Garten. If you would like to participate please contact Alyce at afmorgan53(at)yahoo.com.

 

Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up!  Alyce – More Time at the Table, Ansh – Spice Roots,   Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living, Minnie – The Lady 8 Home, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits

 This posted can be seen at Full Plate Thursday, and the Pennywise Platter

 

Steelhead Trout with Turkey Bacon and Rosemary

Steelhead Trout with Turkey Bacon and Rosemary

Steelhead Trout with Turkey Bacon and Rosemary

 

This week while researching rainbow trout for the 38 Power Foods blog group, I realized that some grocers and fishmongers don’t understand the —what appears to be folklore term— “salmon trout”. They call the pinkish to reddish colored fish by their proper names: rainbow trout, or steelhead trout, whereas, I have always known pinkish-reddish fish as salmon trout. I’ve learned, there is a slight but important difference between the two. Both rainbow trout and steelhead trout are the same species and are closely related to salmon, and both share a pink to reddish colored flesh. But the rainbow trout that leaves freshwater rivers to spend 2 to 3 years at sea before returning to fresh water to spawn, is called Steelhead trout. These fish are larger than rainbow trout and have a deeper red color, closer to that of salmon. Both Steelhead trout and rainbow trout taste close to salmon, but the last one has more of the trout undertones.

According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, farmed rainbow trout and steelhead trout are a “best choice” based on abundance, well-managed environmentally friendly farming practices, and health benefits. These fish offer the important inflammation fighting omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA), and they are also loaded with B vitamins, niacin, and selenium. While rainbow trout and steelhead trout offer many of the same benefits as salmon, they are more affordable, and in most cases can be prepared in the same delicious ways.

About steelhead trout with bacon and rosemary: My family and I used to enjoy trout with bacon and loved it, but when we started to eat healthier that recipe went out the window due to the quantity of saturated fat. This week I had the idea of using turkey bacon, which contains 50% less fat than pork bacon, and has half the calories. It’s a healthier choice and it’s better for your healthy eating habits.

 

Servings: 4 to 6             Prep Time: 10 minutes       Cooking Time: about 10 minutes

 

Ingredients:

2 pounds steelhead trout (2 filets for a total of 2 pounds)

6 bay leaves

6 sprigs rosemary

4 slices turkey bacon

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

 

Procedure:DSC06558

1. Preheat the oven to broil, and set an oven rack 5-½ to 6 inches below the broiler.

2. Wash the fish filets and then pat them dry.

3. Put the filets on a roasting pan, rub a teaspoon of olive oil on each filet and then sprinkle a little salt and pepper over them.

4. Evenly space 3 bay leaves over each fish filet, and then put 3 sprigs of rosemary on each filet. Top each filet with 2 slices of turkey bacon.

5. Bake the fish about 10 minutes until it is no longer raw in the center, or until a thermometer reaches the internal temperature of 145°.

To serve: garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and lemon wedges.

 

References:

If you are a blogger and would like to take part in our group blogging about Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, (from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine) we’d love to have your company. Contact: Mireya(at)myhealthyeatinghabits.com for details.

 

Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up!  Alyce – More Time at the Table, Ansh – Spice Roots,   Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living, Minnie – The Lady 8 Home, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits

This posted can be seen at Full Plate Thursday, and Pennywise Platter 

Tilapia Burgers with Tropcial Fruit Salsa

Tilapia Burger with Tropical Fruit Salsa

Tilapia Burger with Tropical Fruit Salsa

 

Summer officially begins in a few weeks, but here in Arizona it is officially summer in my book. It’s been over 100° all last week, and it’s not letting up for the next few days. In spite of the heat, I love summer–with the air conditioner. I get to enjoy eating my favorite meals: plenty of salads, fruits and vegetables. These foods are crisp and fresh and eating them is a great way of cooling off.

This week Sarah is hosting The Food Matters Project, and the healthy recipe she’s chosen is Mexican fruit salad with grilled fish. Since I recently posted grilled ono with mango salsa, I decided to make variation of tilapia burgers with tropical fruit salsa. You can find Mark Bittman’s original recipe on Sarah’s page.

If you would like to see what the other participants have created, click here. Check the upcoming schedule if you would like to join the group. What creative concoction would you come up with?

 

Servings: 6-7

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: About 6 minutes

Photo by Mireya

Photo by Mireya

 

Ingredients for the Salsa:

 2-1/2 cups chopped pineapple

1-1/2 cups chopped papaya

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 Serrano chili pepper, minced  (or more if you like it spicier)

½ cup red onion, finely chopped

Pinch salt

 

Ingredients for the Fish Burgers:

1-1/2 pounds tilapia

¾  cup whole wheat bread crumbs, finely ground

1 egg white

1-½ tablespoons olive oil

½  red onion, finely chopped

5 green onions, finely chopped

1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

 

Procedure for the Tropical Fruit Salsa:

1. Mix all the ingredients and a bowl and put it in the refrigerator to chill.

 

Procedure for the Fish Burgers:

1. Pour 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil into a small pan and sauté the red onion and garlic until they are transparent, and then set the pan aside.

2. Chop the tilapia into chunks about 2 inches square, and divide the fish into two batches.

3. Place the first batch of fish in the food processor and give about four short pulses on the switch being careful not to over process. You don’t want the fish to be pasty; there should still be some small flakes left. Place the ground fish in a medium bowl and set it aside. Process the second batch of fish and then add it to the bowl with the other ground fish.

4. Add the egg white, bread crumbs, sautéed red onion and garlic, chopped green onions, salt and white pepper, and stir well. If the mixture doesn’t hold together well, add another ¼ cup of breadcrumbs.

5. Pour a small amount of oil on a flat grill and spread it around well. Cook the fish cakes about three minutes on each side until the cakes reach an internal temperature of 155°.

 

Serving Suggestion: Eat the fish cake on a bun, or serve with a side of quinoa.

Tip: If you have any left over salsa, serve it on top of a quesadilla. It’s really yummy.

 

References:

http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1740298

http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/recipes/shrimp-tilapia-burgers-44092908

 

This recipe is also posted at the Pennywise Platter

Lemon Soy Salmon

Lemon Soy Salmon

Lemon Soy Salmon

 

Last night as I was preparing dinner and wondering what recipe I should blog about today, and it dawned on me, “Hey, why not post this healthy recipe for Lemon Soy Salmon.” There’s a side of me that tends to think that a good recipe needs to have lots of ingredients, or a special one, to make it a good recipe, when that’s really not the case. In fact, this is one of those recipes that I appreciate all the more for its simplicity. Other than salt, it has only five ingredients: salmon, olive oil, lemon juice, soy, and garlic. So, it’s easy to put together; it’s easy to cook on the grill; and, it’s very enjoyable to eat.

I don’t eat sushi because I don’t want to risk getting the parasite anisakis, from undercooked, or raw fish. In my post for perfectly cooked salmon, I spoke about the need to cook fish to an internal temperature of 145° in order to kill the parasite, but according to the FDA you can also kill the parasite by freezing at -4° for seven days. So, now instead of grilling the fish to 145°, I cook it to 142° or 143°. I feel that when you cook a salmon filet to the higher temperature it tends to dry the fish too much. My family and I really enjoy the flavor and texture more by cooking it to 142° and because it was previously frozen, I don’t have to worry about the parasite.

You can use a bi-metallic thermometer or a thermister to check the internal temperature.

bi-metalic thermometer

Bi-metalic thermometer

I use the bi-metallic type and I stick it horizontally through the fish (see picture below) to check the temperature.

Insert the thermometer horizontally through the fish

Insert the thermometer horizontally through the fish

Make sure that you insert the whole length of the stem into the fish. Enjoy this  delicious, healthy, and easy recipe!

 

Servings: 3

Prep Time: 10 minutes to pre-heat grill, 3 minutes to prep salmon

Cook Time: 8 minutes

 

Ingredients:

3, 6-ounce, pre-frozen salmon filets

1-½ to 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (If using regular soy, don’t salt the fish.)

1-½  tablespoons minced garlic

Salt

For Dipping Sauce:

1 tablespoon lite soy

1 tablespoon lemon juice
Procedure:

1. Wash the fish filets and put them on a plate. Very lightly salt the filets, and then pour the 2 tablespoons soy sauce over them. Flip the filets in the soy to make sure they are well seasoned with the sauce.

2. Rub the garlic into the filets, and then rub a little olive oil in. Let the filets marinate will you heat the grill. Now, turn on the grill and let it pre-heat on high for 10 minutes, or until it is hot. You want to heat the grill to high to cook fish. If it is on low the fish will not sear, and then it is likely to get stuck to the grill and fall apart.

Marinate the salmon

Marinate the Salmon

3. When the grill is hot, scrape then grill to clean it, and then use your tongs to hold a lightly oiled paper towel  and wipe the grill with it.

4. Put the salmon filets face-down at a 45° angle. Let the salmon cook about 2 minutes and then  turn the fish to 180° angle. It should now be at a 45° angle, but facing the other direction. Cook about another 2 minutes.

5. Remove the fish with a spatula, and oil the grill again. Flip the salmon and let it finish cooking on the second side, about another 4 minutes. Check the temperature with the thermometer. I like it at 142°. If you don’t have a thermometer, use a fork or knife to lift a layer of meat to check for doneness.

To Serve – Garnish with lemon wedges, and serve with the dipping sauce (optional).

 

This recipe is posted at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Grilled Ono Fish with Mango Salsa

Ono with Mango Salsa

Ono with Mango Salsa

 

I’ll always remember a meal that I ate many years ago at the Little River Inn, south of the town of Mendocino, on the California coastline. The coastal view was breathtaking, the decor elegant, and the food —wow! I ate halibut topped with mango sauce and I was gaga about it. I once tried to make it at home, but my local grocery store doesn’t carry blue ocean backdrop, and windswept cypress trees; the meal just wasn’t the same.

There is another recipe I make with fish that also uses mango and tastes delicious; it’s “Ono with Mango Salsa.” Ono, or Wahoo as it is also called, is a tropical and subtropical predatory fish caught in Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, including the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas. It has a tuna-like body, but it is more elongated, and it has a massive set of teeth. The texture of the fish is firm, like tuna.

This recipe is quick, easy, and delightful. I recommend it to all my friends who like to eat well, but don’t like to spend too much time in the kitchen. Hint hint… you know who you are.

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

4, 4-ounce wild caught Ono filets (aka Wahoo)

2 mangos, seeded, skinned, and chopped

1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 Serrano chili pepper, minced

Salt and pepper to taste (it doesn’t take much)

Garnish: sliced lime and cilantro leaves

Procedure:

1. Remove the meat from the mango and cut it into small cubes. (See photos below)

2. Mix the mango, red onion, cilantro, Serrano chili, and lime juice in a bowl and set it aside.

3. Salt and pepper the fish on both sides. Heat the grill and then wipe the grate with an oiled paper towel, or cloth. Set the fish on the grill at a 45° angle. Cook about two and a half minutes and then turn it 90° so the fish will have a criss-cross pattern; or, just leave it in the same place for 4 to 5 minutes before flipping it. After you flip to the second side, continue cooking until the fish reaches an internal cooking temperature of 145°

Garnish – sliced limes and cilantro leaves

Serving Suggestion: Serve with quinoa and vegetables.

How to Cut a Mango:

Make a vertical cut down, just to the left or right from the top

Make a vertical cut down, just to the left or right from the top along the wider axis.

Cut it in half and slice the meat away from the skin

Cut the piece in half and slice the meat away from the skin.

 

*Note – Use ripe, but firm mango. The fruit used to demonstrate how to cut the mango is too mushy. It’s still good to eat, but it’s not nice for texture and presentation. The fruit used in the featured photo with the fish at the top of the page is perfectly ripe, but still firm.

 

Resources:

http://www.chefs-resources.com/Wahoo-Ono-Fish

http://www.honolulufish.com/fresh-fish/

Hake with Green Sauce – 50 Women Game Changers – Elena Arzak #40

Hake with Green SauceHake with Green Sauce

 

We’re back this week for Gourmet online’s “50 Women Game Changers.” Elena Arzak is a 4th generation family restaurant chef/owner. Her great-grand-father began restaurant Arzak in 1897, as a family business in the beautiful coastal town of San Sebastian, Spain. It later passed to her grandmother, who as a young widow ran it alone. Then Elena’s father, Juan Mari, who as an inquisitive young man, went beyond his mother’s cooking style. He based his new approach on the roots of traditional Basque foods; and, he was at the forefront of the New Basque Cuisine which began in 1976.

Even though her parents tried to dissuade her, Elena Arzak knew from the age of 11 that she wanted to be a Chef and a part of her parent’s restaurant. Every day after school she helped out with the prepping for dinner service. She knew what a Chef’s life demanded when at 18, she went the Schweizerische Hotelfachschulein Lucerne, Switzerland, to study cooking and management. Then for five years she worked at various top European restaurants, returning in 1996 to work alongside her father, where they now run the restaurant as equals and have a Michelin three star rating. She has won numerous awards, among them: the 2010 Best Chef National Gastronomy Award, from the Spanish Gastronomy Academy, and the 2010 Eckart Witzigmann Award, Eckart Witzigmann Foundation.

Elena has a small kitchen/laboratory where she houses a library of flavors to experiment with textures and gustatory delights. She likes to describe their food as “singular, Basque, evolving, research-based and avant-garde”. The ingredients she must always have on hand are olive oil, garlic, vegetables and eggs. (You may want to watch this video to see their restaurant and food.)

*Note about the recipe – from time to time as we’ve been following the women game changers we come across a chef who has few if any recipes on the internet, and no books to be found at the local library; this is the case with Elena. The recipe, hake with green sauce, is a traditional Basque recipe their food is inspired by —and it’s healthy. It is a José Andrés recipe, adapted by Amy and Jonny at We Are Never Full, and I in turn, have slightly adapted it to use shrimp instead of clams. The spirit is there.

 

Cooking Time: 8 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

 

Ingredients:

4 hake filets (cod, or halibut will also do)
8 large shrimp, peeled and deviened
4 tablespoons best extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons, finely minced garlic
¼ teaspoon flour
3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
4 tbsp dry white wine
salt and black pepper

Procedure:

1. Gently heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil and add the garlic. Do not allow garlic to color, and after a minute or two, stir in the flour.

2. Season fish with salt and pepper, and place the fish skin side down in pan (if it has skin), and add the parsley. Gently shake the pan, or use a wooden spoon, so that fish moves around the pan in a circular motion. After 3 or 4 minutes gently turn the fish over.

3. Add the shrimp and the wine and continue to cook the fish, moving it around in a circular fashion. Your sauce should look green, slightly shiny and emulsified after about three more minutes. Check that the shrimp is cooked on both sides

Serve immediately. I served this with boiled red potatoes, but a nicer touch would have been to parboil them, and then slice them in half and place them cut side down, on a baking pan with 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Then bake them until you could easily pierce them with a knife, and they were crispy on the bottom.

Check out what these other bloggers have come up with.

Val – More Than Burnt Toast, Joanne – Eats Well With Others, Taryn – Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan – The Spice Garden, Heather – Girlichef, Miranda – Mangoes and Chutney, Jeanette – Healthy Living,  Mary – One Perfect Bite, Kathleen –Bake Away with Me  Sue – The View from Great Island, Barbara – Movable Feasts, Kathleen – Gonna Want Seconds,   Linda A – There and Back Again  Nancy – Picadillo, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits,  Veronica – My Catholic Kitchen,  Annie Most Lovely Things , Claudia –Journey of an Italian Cook,  Amrit Beetles Kitchen Escapades, Alyce – More Time at the Table

Basil Chimichurri over Grilled Salmon

 

Basil Chimichurri over Salmon

Basil Chimichurri over Salmon

 

Chimichurri is a zippy dipping sauce eaten in the land of grilled meats,  Argentina. Many credit the origin of this sauce to the Argentinean cowboys,  gauchos,  who used dried herbs to make the sauce. Chimichurri can be green,  or red,  and it may be served with different types of meat. The ingredients may vary depending on the cooks palate,  but the basic ingredients for green chimichurri tend to be:  parsley,  garlic,  red pepper flakes,  red wine vinegar,  oregano,  onion,  salt,  and olive oil. Delicious!

Wanting to use up the leaves on my basil plant before it kicked the bucket­­ –an event easily foreseeable since I don’t have a green thumb,  I wondered how basil chimichurri would taste over salmon. Well,  no need to wonder any longer. It was fantastically yummy! It’s probably just as flavorful on cod,  tilapia,  or tuna. Try it.

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2.5 hours

Ingredients:

Four 6 oz. Salmon filets

1 cup basil,  lightly packed

1 large tooth garlic,  (1-inch circumference)

1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8  teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

Procedure:

1) Place the garlic and the pepper flakes in a food processor and process until the garlic minced. Add the basil and process 10 seconds. Next,  add the oil,  salt (scant ¼ teaspoon) and pepper,  and process a few seconds. Transfer the sauce to a small bowl and refrigerate at least an hour.

2)  Smear a small amount of sauce onto both sides of the salmon filets and place them on a plate.  or in a quart-size baggie. Let them marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.

3) Pre-heat the grill on high for 10 minutes,  and then brush the grill with oil.  Place the salmon skin side down on the grill,    and cook approximately 3 minutes. Flip the fish and continue cooking until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°,    approximately 2 more minutes.

To Serve: Accompany the salmon with a side of rice and spoon the remaining basil chimichurri over the fish.

 

Read more about the etymology and origin of chimichurri check out this blog link.

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Recipe: Shrimp with Garlic

Shrimp with Garlic

Shrimp with Garlic

Garlic is a staple item in Spanish cooking and in this dish it is a key ingredient. It has long been hailed as a wonder herb in folk medicine. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods,  garlic offers: anti-inflammatory compounds,  anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties,  as well as heart healthy benefits.

Shrimp with garlic,  or gambas al ajillo,  ranks high on my list of favorite Spanish tapas,  along with tortilla de patata and champiñones al ajillo. In Spain,  when you order a dish of shrimp with garlic it’s served with the head and the shell still intact. A common response from many squeamish Americans is,  “Agh! Its eyes are there.” And I’ve heard more than one person say. “It’s looking at me.” Don’t worry. The instructions for the following recipe is prepared with the head and the shell removed. Give it a try. Not only is this dish flavorful, it’s also very easy to prepare.

 

Prep time:  5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Servings:  4 to 6 as an appetizer

Ingredients:

1 pound raw shrimp, peeled (25-30 per pound),

4-5 cloves garlic

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon parsley,  chopped

Procedure:

1)  Heat the oil over a medium-high flame in a 10 to 12 inch frying pan. Add the garlic to the pan oil and cook until the garlic turns a white color,  about 1 to 2 minutes.

2)  Add the red pepper flakes. Stir for 20 seconds and then add the shrimp. When the bottom side of the shrimp turns white and appears cooked,  flip the shrimp over and cook 1 more minute. Place the lid on the pan,  turn off the heat and let the shrimp to sit 2 to 3 more minutes.

3)  Place the shrimp on serving and garnish with parsley.

¡Buen Provecho!

Mireya

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Recipe: Scallops with Whole Wheat Pasta

Scallops with Whole Wheat Pasta

Scallops with Whole Wheat Pasta

If you’re following an anti-inflammation diet you’re probably eating a lot of legumes and wild salmon or tuna, and making sure to eat dark leafy greens. But sometimes you want something special, something delicate that’s not served as often as other food choices; that something may be scallops. According to WHFoods.com this seafood mollusk is a good source of protein, high in vitamin B12, magnesium, potassium, and it is a good source for omega 3’s for fighting inflammation. It’s also loaded with tryptophan, and may help you have a better night’s sleep.

I served this simple dish a couple of weeks ago for some friends and they absolutely loved it. Be sure to serve it a lot of veggies and a big side of greens to make up for the pasta, something we eat exceptionally on an anti-inflammation diet. Another option is to serve the scallops over Quinoa, or Brown Rice Pilaf. However you serve them, I’m sure you’ll love this dish. (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

Scallops, 1 pound

Whole wheat pasta, 1 pound

Olive oil, 1/3 to 1/2 cup

Garlic – approximately 11-12 cloves, peeled and minced

White vermouth or white wine, 1/3 cup

Parsley, 1/3 cup – finely chopped

Salt and black pepper Lemon – to garnish

Directions:

1.) Get you water pan ready to cook the pasta. Fill a 8-quart pan with water, add 1 ½ teaspoons of salt. Bring it to a boil.

2.) Wash the scallops. You’ll notice a bump about a 1/3 inch square on the side of the scallop. This is the nerve. Gently tear it off and throw it out. Pat the scallops dry and salt and pepper both sides.

3.) Add the pasta and cook until it is at the al dente stage. And while it is cooking you will prepare the scallops.

4.) Pour 1½ tablespoons of olive oil into a wide bottom flat pan. Heat the pan on high until you see that the oil has lost its thickness. It will look more like water. Add the scallops to pan, turn down the flame to medium high, and sear. Turn them over as soon as you can, without having them stick to the pan. Remove the scallops from the pan and set them on a plate off to the side. They should be delicately browned on both sides. If they stuck to the bottom of the pan while you were searing them, you will probably need to wash your pan for the next step.

5.) Heat 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil.  Add the minced garlic and stir, being careful not too burn it.  It will turn a whitish color. Continue to cook one minute. Add the white wine, the scallops, and stir in 3/4 of a teaspoon of salt, and 1/3 of a teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat, cover the pan and set it off to the side.

6.) Drain the pasta and place it in a bowl. Pour the scallops over the pasta add two-thirds of the chopped parsley and toss it all together so the sauce covers the pasta well. Sprinkle  the remaining parsley over the top of the pasta.

Mireya

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Scallop on Foodista