30 before 30

All posts tagged 30 before 30

Grilled Chili-Garlic Swordfish

Published December 21, 2013 by jenmatteson

I’ve had swordfish one time in my life, and from what I remember, I thought it was just okay.  It’s a fairly plain, meaty white fish, which makes it an excellent canvas for flavor.  This was added to my 30 Before 30 list by my husband, though I’m not really sure what prompted it.  As you can probably guess, swordfish isn’t all that easy to come by, but you can likely find it at your specialty grocer, such as Whole Foods, where this recipe actually comes from.

Grilled Chili-Garlic Swordfish

I was excited to try it, because you know I love anything spicy, and Sriracha is the best!  Lucky for me, I decided to make it on a day that was somewhat mild in late November for Minnesota.  We’ve had some bone chilling wind chills the last few weeks, but the few days after Thanksgiving has been a much needed heat wave.  It was about 30 degrees, but no wind.  This made great timing for a recipe I needed to grill!

Grilled Chili-Garlic Swordfish

I loved the flavor of the marinade and thought it would be perfect for such a lacking fish.  Nate loved the it, and demolished his within minutes.  I didn’t care for it as much; I thought it had an overly fishy flavor.  And I love fish – I’ve never met a fish I didn’t like, but this just didn’t taste good to me.  I think part of the problem was that I may have slightly overcooked it, which actually will bring out a fishy flavor in seafood.  Funny right, because you’d think it’d make the fishy flavor go away!  But, I promised to share all my adventures with you, good or bad.  In this case, I guess it was 50/50 since Nate liked it and I didn’t.  I’d love to try this marinade on anything else; I’m sure shrimp, salmon, chicken, even pork would be lovely. So if you don’t want to take the risk, or spend the money on swordfish, try the marinade on something you’ve already got in your fridge or freezer!

Grilled Chili-Garlic Swordfish

Grilled Chili-Garlic Swordfish

Source: Adapted from Whole Foods Market
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 1/2 tbsp. tamari
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. Sriracha or other chili-garlic paste
4-6 oz swordfish steaks

Directions:

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  In a small bowl, whisk together tamari, olive oil, lemon juice and Sriracha.

2. Season steaks generously with salt and pepper, then brush with the tamari mixture.  Grill swordfish about 4-5 minutes, then flip, and cook for another 3-4 minutes until opaque in the center, brushing occasionally with remaining tamari mixture.

Recipe Swap: Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Crusted Tuna

Published June 7, 2013 by jenmatteson

This week’s edition of recipe swap, hosted by Sarah at Taste of Home Cooking, was Mexican.  I was assigned creamy citrus jalapeno cilantro pesto from Jey at The Jey of Cooking.  I love pesto and I WC-Recipe-Swap-badge-1love cilantro and jalapenos, so I was looking forward to making this.  The ingredients were somewhat similar to the cilantro pesto I recently made from Thug Kitchen, but with the addition of citrus, which was appealing.

Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Crusted Tuna

I had to change a few things from Jey’s original recipe, but not much.  Her recipe calls for pistachios, which I love, but Nate is allergic.  So instead, I used almonds.  I also had to add additional cilantro because my pesto was very watery.  I used the juice of one orange and 1/2 grapefruit, but maybe my fruit was really big or extra juicy, because I couldn’t get the pesto to thicken up as pictured on Jey’s post.  I added almost no oil because it was already so runny.  I should have added the juice a little at a time, but now I know for next time.

Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Crusted Tuna

Jey recommended serving this over chicken or tossing with pasta.  Seeing as though I’m really getting down to the wire for my 30 Before 30 list, I thought I’d take a risk and try it with tuna and check another item off.  All the flavors go really well together, so Citrus Jalapeno Cilantro Pestowhile it was a risk, it wasn’t by any means epic.  I marinated the tuna steaks in the pesto for about 30 minutes – I didn’t want to do it too long so as to start to cook the tuna with the acid in the pesto.  After quickly searing the tuna, I sliced and served it over a wasabi vinaigrette slaw and drizzled additional pesto over the tuna.  Not only was the tuna cooked to perfection (we like it rare, but feel free to cook it further if you like), but the pesto added the perfect amount of flavor, without over taking the clean taste of the tuna.  The crusted pesto added the perfect amount of crisp to the outside of the tuna, while the drizzled pesto added it a little more freshness. Nate and I both quickly cleaned our plates and adored this recipe!

Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Crusted Tuna

Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Crusted Tuna

Source: Cilantro Pesto slightly adapted from Jey of Cooking, Tuna is Pigzilla original
Servings: Pesto makes about 1 1/2 cups, 2 servings of tuna

Ingredients:

For the cilantro:
1 orange, juiced
1/2 grapefruit, juiced
1 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cup almonds
1 bunch cilantro
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded
6 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
2 tbsp honey
1-3 tbsp olive oil

For the tuna:
2-8 oz sushi/sashimi grade tuna steaks
salt and pepper
olive oil

Directions:

1. To prepare the cilantro pesto, combine walnuts, almonds, cilantro, onion, jalapeno and garlic in a food processor.  Pulse a few times, until ingredients are well combined.  Add juices a little at a time – you might not need all of it – until pesto comes together and has thick consistency.  With processor on, drizzle in olive oil until pesto has reach desired consistency.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Season tuna steaks with salt and pepper then coat with pesto.  Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes.

3.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-high and add tuna steaks.  For rare tuna, cook for about 3 minutes on one side.  Turn steak up on one end and cook for one minute more.  Turn once more, so first seared side is facing up.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Finally, turn once more, cooking the edge that has not yet been seared.  Remove from heat and let rest for at least to minutes.  Slice thinly and dress with additional jalapeno cilantro pesto.  (I served mine over a wasabi vinaigrette slaw and a little basmati rice).

Check out what the other ladies did for the Mexican Recipe Swap:

Croissants

Published May 12, 2013 by jenmatteson

I have really been putting these off because I knew how time-consuming they would be.  But, I’m really running out of time to get my 30 Before 30 list done, so I had to bite the bullet and go for it.  It was actually a good weekend to make these because it was slightly chilly, and ridiculously windy.

Croissants

I was home alone on Friday night, and whilst making enchilada sauce, cilantro pesto and prepping my veggies for the week, I thought it’d be a good idea to start the dough for the croissants.  I’d just spent the afternoon at my parents house, relaxing by the fire with a cocktail, and then stopped at the grocery store on the way home.  I got in my comfies, cleaned up the kitchen (of course only so I could get it dirty again), and opened up Baking with Julia to start the croissant dough.  Like a good girl, I had already read through the entire recipe (and it’s LONG), so I knew what to expect.  I knew I could let the dough do its second rise overnight in the fridge, so I wanted to get to that point. Well, guess what?  I didn’t get any compressed yeast at the store, which was the first GD thing on the ingredient list.  Seeing as though I was already in my comfies and had a glass of wine poured, I decided not to go to the store again.  Plus, I wasn’t even sure my store would carry compressed yeast (I’ve never bought it before), so I didn’t want to take the chance of running out to grab some, and coming back empty-handed.  What a waste of time.

Layered Croissant Dough

Croissants

Instead, I Googled a recipe for croissants using dry active yeast seeing as though that was what I had on hand.  First recipe to come up: Martha Stewart’s.  Now, she may be a thieving felon, but damn, that woman knows her way around a kitchen…and a home.  I would absolutely love to live with her for a week.  Okay, a month.  Minimum.  Though I know Momma Marsha was counting on me to make Julia Child’s croissant recipe (from the cookbook I borrowed from her), I went with Martha’s, purely for convenience.

Croissants

Convenience is the farthest thing from making croissants, which I knew going into this from Momma Marsha.  While making them, I thought, I don’t think I would ever make them again unless I wanted to punish myself.  I didn’t at all think it was hard, but it really is time-consuming.  I started the dough on Friday night and finished late late on Saturday night.Everything seemed to be going swimmingly, until I got to the baking part.  The bottoms of the croissants completely burned.  The tops looked pretty, tasted buttery and were ultra flakey, but the bottoms were far from elegant.  I’m thinking maybe I let them rise in too warm of a place and the butter melted before putting them in the oven.  That being said, I might attempt these one more time (not any time soon) so I can get a better result.

Croissants

Croissants

Source: Martha Stewart
Servings: 16 croissants

Ingrdients:

1/3 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
1 tbsp sugar, divided
1 tbsp salt
1 1/3 cups warm milk (110 to 115 degrees)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
2 tbsp olive oil
3 1/2 sticks (14 oz) chilled unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp heavy cream

Directions:

1. In a liquid measuring cup, combine water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar.  Allow to proof for 5 minutes.  In another measuring cup, combine remaining 2 tsp sugar, salt and warm milk.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour.  Add yeast mixture, milk mixture and oil.  Blend everything together by cutting and pressing with a rubber spatula, incorporating all flour.  The dough will be wet.

3. On a well floured work surface, turn the dough out and let rest for 3 minutes to allow the flour to absorb some of the liquid.  Start kneading by lifting edges and flipping over onto the other side.  Continue movement, turning from one side to the other, end over end until dough is smooth and draws back to shape when pressed out, about 8-10 times.  Do not over-knead.

4. Transfer dough to clean bowl.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down and turn out onto lightly floured work surface.  Using floured hands, push dough into 12-inch by 10-inch rectangle.  Fold dough in three, like a business letter, and transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet or plate.  Cover with plastic wrap and set in warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.  You could also let it rise overnight in the fridge.

5. Punch down the dough, cover with plastic, and return to refrigerator for 20 minutes.  This will allow the gluten to relax, making it easier to roll out.

6. Place butter on a lightly floured work surface and beat with rolling-pin to soften.  Smear butter out with the heel of your hand so it’s spreadable consistency, but still cold.  Refrigerate if it becomes soft and oily.

7. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out into 18 by 10-inch rectangle.  Facing the rectangle, lengthwise, spread the butter as evenly as possible on the upper two-thirds of the rectangle, leaving a 1/4 inch border.  Fold the bottom, unbuttered, third of the dough up to the middle.  Fold top third down to cover it.

8. Lightly flour the top of the dough and the work surface.  Turn the dough so the edge of the top flap is to your right.  Roll dough out into 18 by 8-inch rectangle.  Move quickly, starting within one inch of the end near you moving to within one inch of the far end.  Fold dough in thirds as before.  Wrap in plastic and return to fridge for 1 hour.

9. Remove dough from refrigerator and sprinkle with flour and deflate dough by tapping lightly with rolling-pin.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 8 minutes, to relax gluten, if necessary.  Repeat rolling and folding process, as above, twice more.  If butter has hardened and congealed into flakes, beat the dough with light firm taps, from one side to the other, until butter has softened.  It must be able to stretch the length of the dough and width of the rectangle inside the dough as your roll it out until it has softened.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.  If refrigerating overnight, cover with board and 5 pound weight.  Resting overnight will facilitate shaping.

10. Place chilled dough on lightly floured surface.  Deflate dough.  Roll dough out to 25 by 12-inch rectangle.  Cut in half, lengthwise.  Return one half of the dough to the refrigerator.  Cut the other half into triangles with a 5-inch base.  One half should make about 8 triangles.

11. Roll the triangles out to enlarge slightly.  Roll toward the tip, creating tension by using your other hand to stretch the top of the triangle away from you.  The dough should overlap 3 times, with the tip sticking out from underneath.

12. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet, about 2-inches apart, curving inward, creating a crescent shape.  Cover with lightly with plastic.  Repeat with second piece of dough.  Let stand in a warm place very spongy and doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

13. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and heavy cream.  Lightly brush over the tops of the croissants.  Open oven door and spritz heavily with water from a spray bottle and quickly close the door.  Place croissants in oven and spray the bottom of the oven with water once more.  Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes, turning after 10 minutes to ensure even baking.  Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to bake until cooked through, about 5 more minutes.  Transfer to wire rack and cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Oasis Naan

Published February 26, 2013 by jenmatteson

I really had no intention of making naan, but it was suggested for my 30 Before 30 list by a reader, so I thought, why not?  And I’m glad I did.  What I’m not glad I did (or didn’t do) was not read the entire post before I made her recipe.  I followed the recipe as written, and when I started typing up this post, I read through what she actually said.  Guess what she said?  She put cinnamon and sugar on one of the batches!  What?  That sounds amazing.  But, I suppose they’ll be time to try that in the future.  I was satisfied with what I made.  The grass is always greener…

Oasis Naan

I’ve never had traditional naan, but if I had to guess, this is probably what it supposed to taste like.  At least I sure hope so, because it was pretty delicious!  As I was already planning to make sourdough this weekend, I didn’t think I needed a lot more carbs in the house, so I cut the original recipe in half.  The recipe suggested chives and caraway seeds, but I didn’t have any, so I used only cumin.  I really liked the smokeyness that the cumin brought to the naan.  Now if I had only made some sort of Indian cuisine to eat this with.  I didn’t. Something else to add to my list of “to-dos” I guess.  I did cut them in half and stuffed them, like a pita pocket, with spinach and chicken, topped with a little yogurt-dill dressing.  They were phenomenal!

Oasis Naan

Oasis Naan

Source: Adapted from Always Add More Butter
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup tepid water (80-90 degrees)
1 tsp active dry yeast
2 1/2 – 3 cups bread flour
1/2 tbsp salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 tsp cumin

Directions:

1. Stir water and yeast together in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook.  With the mixer turned on, add 1 1/2 cups flour.  Beat for one minute, scraping flour from sides if necessary.  Sprinkle salt over the mixture, and begin adding remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until it forms a stiff dough.  You may not need to use all the flour.  Continue to knead the dough in the mixer, about 5 minutes.

2. Transfer dough to lightly oiled bowl, turning once to completely coat the dough in oil.  Cover with damp towel and let rest at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.

3. Place baking stone in oven on center rack.  Preheat to 500 degrees.  Set aside a bakers peel or a baking sheet lightly dusted with flour.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into four equal parts.  Roll each into a ball and flatten with palms.  Roll each piece out to 1/4-inch thick, about 5-6 inches across.  Sprinkle each with water, salt and cumin.  Pierce each round several times with the tines of a fork.

4. Slide onto baker’s peel or floured baking sheet, and transfer to baking stone.  Bake for 6-8 minutes, until tops begin to brown.  Remove and let cool on wire rack before serving.

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