Thursday, April 30, 2009

Great Main Dish Fish Salad Recipes...... You have to taste this!

In these times of the AH1N1 Influenza virus which means that you stay home with family, relax and reduce the contagion possibilities for you and yours, coming up with creative menu ideas seems to make sense to me. Went to the market first, got all my errands out of the way and now the fridge and pantry are filled with items that my family likes. All I need to do now is look at all these ingredients to determine how many dishes I can come up with.

I don't know about where you live, but it's Spring after all and I figure most places are getting ready to thaw and fresh, full of flavor food is just the ticket after the winter season. Here in Puebla, the weather has been pretty perfect, sunny days and cool nights so our diet isn't as seasonal as other places, plus being so close to Mexico City, almost everything is available which is wonderful news to us. The rainy season is upon us and everything is sure to be blooming soon!

We've been on a fish kick lately (we love fish and seafood in all forms!) and salads just sounded right, so I'm enclosing some Spanish influenced main dish salads to really bring flavor to the table and make mealtime a memorable occasion. Of course if you want to make these into a first course dish instead, they are great too.

*************** *******************


Mixed Green Salad Greens, your choice
1/4 cup green onion, cut in thin rounds, green part too
1/4 cup tomato, chopped in small squares
1 tbl cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts
1/4 cup cashew pieces (optional)
1 tbl sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup shredded beets, peeled (optional)
1/4 cup shredded carrots, peeled (optional)
6-8 Surimi sticks, cut in sounds (can use more or less)

Orange Vinagrette: (keep some handy, great on almost everything)
1 cup Orange Juice
1-2 tsp Mustard, preferably Dijon but can use almost any kind you like
Salt & pepper

Lemon Juice

Have Orange Vinagrette on hand. Place green onion, tomato, cilantro, alfalfa sprouts, nuts and shredded veggies in a bowl and drizzle dressing on top and toss well but gently. Add some lemon drops to accentuate the flavors and pink pepper is also a plus if you have it. Add lettuce leaves and toss lightly. Place on plate and top with the Surimi and more nuts, alfalfa sprouts and sesame seeds (you can use black sesame for contrast too). More vegetables can be added or exchanged depending on personal taste.

***************** ********************


Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup bacon, cut fine
3 green onions, cut in julienne slices
1/2 broad beans, cooked, peeled
1 lb green beans, cooked al dente, cut in 1.5 inch sections
1 lemon
2 lbs Mussells, steam until open with some water and lemon juice, then separate the meat from the shells and pass the liquid through a sieve, reserve separately
1/2 cup black olives, pitted
1 bunch Swiss Chard, cleaned and cut in slices
1 lb tomatoes, poached, peeled and cut in 6 sections each

Sherry Vinaigrette (another great dressing to keep in the fridge)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chopped shallots
1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine mustard, shallots and vinegar. Whisk in olive oil.

Put the tomatoes in an oven dish, sprinkle with salt and enough sugar. Cover with oil and bake in a 140 C - 284 F degree oven for 5 or 6 hours. Let cool and reserve. Cook Swiss Chard in a little water and salt for 1-2 min, drain, cool and reserve. In a large pan, cook green onions and add the bacon, don't overcook. Drain off any accumulated fat (leave a very little in the pan) and add the vegetables, leaving the broad beans aside. Mix everything well, adding the reserved mussel liquid and leave it boil for 3-4 min. Take off the heat. Drizzle a little oil onto the vegetables and add salt and pepper, making sure to taste to adjust seasonings and let cool. In a glass or food processor, put the olives in and cover with oil. Pulse several times to mash and add a little salt, checking by tasting and reserve.
To serve: Place a bed of greens onto the center of the plate; top with the Mussel meat and place the tomatoes around this and top with the broad beans. Drizzle some of the olive mixture on top. Check taste to see if you want to add the vinaigrette or leave as is.

****************** *********************


12 tbl Olive Oil
16-20 Med to Large Shrimp, peeled and cleaned and put on 4 skewers. Salt and pepper well.
1 Frisse Lettuce (or any delicate leaf green), cleaned and cut in pieces
1 lemon
2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cut in thin julienne slices (or you can shred)
1 cup Pesto
12 Large Scallops

PESTO SAUCE: (Good all around sauce you can use on pasta, fish, chicken, etc.)
2 garlic cloves
2 cups, basil leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tbl pine nuts (can also use peeled almonds)
3 tbl Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 - 1/4 olive oil

Put all ingredients in food processor, turn on while you drizzle light stream of olive oil into it and it becomes a paste. Check seasonings and set aside.

Salt and pepper the scallops well and place in fry pan with a little olive oil on med-high heat. Watch carefully since you don't want these overcooked. As soon as they get golden brown, turn and then take off heat and reserve. Once scallops are done, cook the shrimp until pink and set aside too.
Mix the apple slices and lettuce. Add the pesto and mix very well being careful not to put too much.
Put greens on plate and top with warm seafood as this salad is best when warm.

******************** *************************


Olive oil
3 cups cooked white rice (can be leftover rice)
2 doz med shrimp, cooked with their heads, then peeled and cooled
1 cup corn kernels (can be fresh or canned)
2 large mangoes, peeled and cut in very thin slices as large as possible
2 cups mayonnaise
salt and pepper
1 cup smoked salmon (or white fish with some drops of Liquid Smoke, let rest)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch chives, cut in small pieces

Bring the shrimp liquid to a boil in a pan and reduce. Mix with the mayonnaise but don't let it get too thin but should be pourable. Reserve. Mango slices will be used as a sort of canelones, so cut carefully, cut the rest of the mango into small cubes. Cut the shrimp in cubes.
Mix the rice with 1-2 tbl of oil, half of the cut shrimp, mango cubes, corn, tomato, 1 tbl of cut chives, salmon and half the mayonnaise. Add some salt and pepper and check seasonings.
Lay mango slices down and fill with the salad mixture and roll up just like canelones.
To serve: Put some mayonnaise drizzles onto the plate and lay the "canelones" over this, top with the rest of the cut shrimp, more chive pieces and tomato pieces. If needed more mayonnaise can also be added.

***************** ********************


4 tbl olive oil
1 dz black olives, pitted
1 tuna can, in oil, drained (or you can reserve the liquid to use for dressing too)
2 hard boiled eggs
1 head of lettuce, cleaned and separated
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbl vinegar, can be wine / sherry or your choice
1 lemon, juiced

Drain the tuna (you can reserve the liquid) and sprinkle with lemon juice. Steam the potatoes until done and cut in slices. Prepare the dressing by mixing vinegar, salt and pepper and adding some oil (the tuna oil or olive oil) while beating with a fork or whisk. Use half the dressing to pour over the potatoes.
Peel the eggs and cut in quarters. Mix the tuna with the potatoes in salad bowl, add the lettuce leaves and olives, drizzle with the rest of the dressing and decorate with the egg quarters.

Tip: When you cook the eggs, move them around the water with a wooden spoon so that when the yolks harden they will stay in the center of the white and will give a better presentation. It is recommended that the cooking time be 12 min for medium sized eggs too.

******************* ********************

Hope you will try these and let me know what you think. You can also get creative and switch ingredients around so you make these "your own" too. You'll find that all of these are really adaptable to your taste and lend themselves well to either lunch, dinner, casual or festive days. I've also changed the fish and seafood around to meet my budget, either going higher for fancy occasions or really, really low for those end-of-month, "I'm waiting to get paid" kind of times which we all know about, so don't hesitate on using fish that's on sale or making a "mock smoked fish" either, all fair in food and cooking as long as YOU like it, ok? The more creative you get, the more possibilities and ways to make and present food you'll find and the easier and more satisfying it will be for you. Recipes are only a guide after all......

There's thunder and lighting outside now (really loud too!), I can feel the temperature drop and the smell of wet earth is powerful.... mmmm, makes me feel like baking, so after I decide what to make for dinner I guess I'll make some big cookies to make ice cream sandwiches to go with that fresh strawberry dream ice cream I made this morning..... I'll go get started......

See you soon with more cooking from the

No comments:

Post a Comment