Mexican baked fish

Fish gets a lively flavorful yet easy treatment with tomatoes, almonds, garlic, butter, cayenne and lemon.

This is a southeastern Mexican recipe, from Tampico, or adapted from Moosewood chefs’ idea of Tampico cuisine. In any event, it is delicious!  And did I mention easy too.

Thanks to Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant, Mexican section.

 

For one or two people:

6 oz cod per person (or flounder, scrod or haddock)

1/3 c sliced almonds, toasted and cooled (bake on sheet pan for 5 mins until fragrant)

8-10 cherry tomatoes, or 1 small tomato (if you have none or it’s winter, use sun-dried tomatoes reconstituted in boiling water)

chopped parsley or cilantro

 

1 garlic clove, minced

1/8 t cayenne

2 T butter

lemon juice from ½ lemon

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

 

  1. Toast almonds, and let cool. Mix with tomatoes, parsley and salt. Can make this 2-3 days ahead if refrigerated – will allow flavors to meld, although I would not do this with fresh tomatoes since I believe Tomatoes Do Not Belong in Refrigerator.
  2. Heat baking pan in oven; remove and add 2 T butter to melt. When ready to cook, lay fish in pan.
  3. Heat in small sauté pan over very low heat: garlic, butter, and cayenne. Add lemon juice.
  4. Put almond mixture on top of fish. (If using flounder, roll flounder around almond mixture.) Pour butter garlic mixture on top of almond mixture.image.jpeg
  5. Cover and bake 20+ minutes until fish is cooked and flaky. Wow!

 

Serve with roasted potatoes and plain boiled green beans.

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Late Summer Fruit Salad

Let’s say you want to try to watch your calories/waistline after months of saying “yes” to every ice cream opportunity. Try fruit salad! Fruit is still fresh, local and flavorful in the Northeast. From poaching fruit for apple and pear tarts, I happened to use the reduced poaching liquid for an impromptu fruit salad. Sublime.

Here’s a re-creation:

105 g water (approx 1/3 c.)

15 g sugar (approx 1 T)

juice of ½ lemon, divided

2” piece vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise, seeds scraped into pot with water, then pod thrown in too

 

  1. Heat water and sugar in small pot to dissolve. Stir with wooden spoon. Add ½ of the lemon juice and all of the vanilla beans and pod, and cook for about 6 mins. Let sit out to steep or put into refrigerator to cool quicker.
  2. Cut up:

½ melon, cut into large chunks

½ pt strawberries, hulled and cut in half

½ pt blueberries

one apple, quartered, cored, peeled and cut into medium chunks.

  1. Mix sugar syrup, fruit and squeeze lemon onto apple, and mix.
  2. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to blend. Take out at least ½ hour before serving to warm up a bit; though cooler than room temp is desirable.

 

Other options to explore:

Omit vanilla; use lemon verbena and/or mint

Try stronger flavoring such as cinnamon stick (& star anise?) with or without vanilla bean

Breakfast tacos

imageSick of breakfast? Same old eat-healthy-yogurt-muesli-in-a-rut a.m. meal?

Try breakfast tacos! Sure, they won’t be the same as Mexico or San Antonio, but they’ll be in your home this a.m. and not a plane ride away.

For one healthy-size appetite.  Double, or triple as needed.

Ingredients:

½ onion, large dice

½ red pepper, large dice

2 hot peppers, small dice

 

2 eggs

 

Sour cream

Salsa

Grated cheese – queso fresca, Monterey jack, or cheddar

 

Corn tortillas

 

First: Procure your best tortillas. Note bene: these will most likely not be in your supermarket. Mexican grocery in your town? Fancy food shop (Guido’s in western Mass) or coop.

 

  1. Dice your peppers and onions and sauté. Remove to plate.
  2. Prepare cheese; get sour cream and salsa ready with a spoon in each.
  3. Heat pan and add bit of oil. Warm up tortillas in pan, turning up to three at a time, moving into interior, turning over, etc. Put on plate or baking tray.  Throw into preheated oven (lowest settting, around 170 degrees), cover with towel, and turn off oven.
  4. Cook scrambled eggs, then add in peppers, etc when almost cooked. Cook some more and remove to plate.
  5. Assemble your tacos:

Spread out tortillas flat on plate. Scoop on egg potion. Scatter on grated cheese. Dump on some salsa, then some sour cream. (If watching calories/fat intake, feel free to thin sour cream with water, a la Mexicanos). Eat. Yum.