Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sea Bass with Spicy Asian Ginger Sauce

This week starts Food Network's Sensational Sides weekly blogging event. For the next 7 weeks we will be transitioning into Spring and Summer produce dishes. But first, we need to account for the fact that, in most parts of the country, we are still dealing with cold weather and a lack of fresh, local, in season ingredients. So this week is "Clean Out the Pantry Night", a way for bloggers from around the country to share a common theme.

I love making Asian Style dishes so my pantry always includes soy sauce, and rice vinegar, and sherry, and Sriracha (lots and lots of Sriracha...I love spicy condiments.)  This recipe combines all of these ingredients plus shallots, garlic, fresh ginger and chiles to first glaze sea bass and then top with a delicious sauce. Easy, Spicy and so, so Good.

I adapted the original recipe from Bon Appetit magazine back in 1996 and have been tweaking it ever since. The original was not spicy...but I think the heat really wakes up the fish. The perfect thing to help transition into warm, sunny springlike weather. I cannot wait.

Sea Bass with Spicy Asian Ginger Sauce
adapted from Bon Appetit December 1996
(serves 4)

1 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup shallots, minced
1/2 cup fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

6 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp maple syrup
3 tsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp Sriracha
1 1/2 tbsp cold water
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

4 6- to 7 oz sea bass fillets

For sauce:
Combine wine, shallots, 
ginger and red pepper in heavy small saucepan over high heat. Boil until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Add cream and a pinch each salt and pepper and boil until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
For fish:
Mix soy sauce, syrup, rice vinegar and sriracha in another heavy small saucepan. Mix water and cornstarch in small bowl until smooth. Add to soy sauce mixture. Stir mixture over medium heat until glaze boils and thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool glaze to room temperature. (Sauce and glaze can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange fish on small rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with some of glaze. Bake until opaque in center, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Bring remaining glaze to boil. Spoon glaze over fish.
Meanwhile, bring sauce to simmer. Remove from heat. Gradually add butter to sauce, whisking just until melted. Strain. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon sauce onto 4 plates, dividing equally. Top with fish and serve.

It is "Clean Out the Pantry Night" week at Food Network's Sensational Sides roundup. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends. Do you have a favorite pantry recipe? Feel free to share in the comments section or link to your blog if you have one. 

Here is the full schedule for #SensationalSides:
3: Clean out the pantry night
10: Kid-Friendly
17: Easy Easter Side
24: Something mashed

1: Salad (Lettuces)
8: Cheesy
15: No-cook

Feed Me Phoebe: Artichoke Hummus
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Red or Green: Sea Bass with Spicy Asian Ginger Sauce
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Quinoa Citrus Mango Avocado Black Bean Salad
The Heritage Cook: Chile Tortilla Soup
Cooking With Elise: Glorious Greek Salad Dressing
Devour: Clean Out the Pantry Night
Weelicious: Greek Nachos
Virtually Homemade: Garlic Rosemary Pizza Crust Bites
Domesticate Me: Fiesta Baked Eggs with Farro and Black Beans
Taste With The Eyes: Mom's Vintage Potato Salad
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Rice and Beans Casserole
The Sensitive Epicure: Salmon and Brown Rice Casserole (Gluten-Free)
Daily*Dishin: Spicy Chipotle Chicken Pasta with Crunchy Roasted Black Beans
FN Dish: Pantry Clean-Out Sides

California Girl in Taos

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Peanut Butter & Ginger Cookies

When I was growing up peanut butter were my favorite cookies...they still are.  Every time I make them  I am reminded of my grandmother. We went to my grandparents house every Wednesday after school for family dinner. She almost always had a freshly baked batch of peanut butter cookies waiting for us. What a perfect afternoon treat.  My grandmother has passed, but I often picture her in my mind, wearing her apron, cooking for her family, defining what family is all about and sharing her love in everything she did. I miss her so very much.

Now..for those peanut butter cookies. My grandmother's version called for vegetable shortening. I have substituted butter and amped up the healthy factor by swapping half the white flour for white whole wheat, eliminating the refined white sugar and using coconut sugar instead. And, just because I like some heat, I often add candied ginger and ginger spice. For a special treat, spread a layer of peanut butter on the bottom of one cookie. Top with the bottom of a second cookie for delicious pb cookie sandwiches. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter & Ginger Cookies
1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter, organic if possible
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup organic brown sugar sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1 egg, room temperature
2 tbsp candied ginger, finely chopped
3/4 cup unrefined white flour
3/4 cup white, whole wheat flour
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
additional coconut sugar for sprinkling

additional peanut butter for cookie sandwiches if desired

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter/flour 2 cookie sheets. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and peanut butter together until well mixed. Add sugars and vanilla and mix well. Add egg, beat until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in candied ginger.

Sift together dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients. Stir until just combined, do not overwork dough. Form dough into balls 2 inches in diameter. Place on cookie sheets and flatten with tines of a fork. Sprinkle cookies lightly with additional coconut sugar. Bake for approx 12 minutes. Cookies will be very soft. Remove from oven and let cool on sheets on rack for 10 minutes. Remove cookies from sheets and place on racks. Allow to cool.

It is "Comforting peanut butter recipes" week at Comfort Food Feast roundup. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends. Do you have a favorite peanut butter recipe? Feel free to share in the comments section or link to your blog if you have one.

Domesticate Me: Peanut Butter and Banana Overnight Oats (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
The Heritage Cook: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten-Free)
Virtually Homemade: Mini Nutter Butter Baked Donuts with Chocolate Ganache
Weelicious: World's Greatest Peanut Butter and Jelly 
In Jennie's Kitchen: Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cinnamon Buns
Red or Green: Peanut Butter and Ginger Cookies
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Thai Red Curry and Peanut Vegetable Slaw
Devour: Most-Comforting Peanut Butter Desserts
Taste With The Eyes: Korean Buckwheat Noodles, Peanut Sauce and Banana
Sensitive Epicure: Peanut Butter Oat Bars (Gluten-Free)
FN Dish: 10 Peanut Butter Pairings

Feed Me Phoebe: Thia Peanut Chia Pudding

California Girl in Taos

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I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog "California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle

smashed sweet potatoes with roasted salmon & sauteed fennel
I love these potatoes. Sweet, spicy, savory and, best of all, healthy & delicious. You can bake the sweet potatoes first but, to make it even easier, I microwave them until soft and then proceed with the recipe. As always, use the best quality organic or sustainably grown local ingredients. If you keep a couple of cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in your pantry this dish is ready when you are.

Sweet potatoes are one of those "taste delicious and good for you" foods. Full of vitamin A & C plus, if you eat the skin, full of fiber. The chart below lists other vitamins and minerals found in 1 medium potato. Click here for a complete list of benefits for this amazing tuber.

Sweet Potato, baked
1.00 medium
(200.00 grams)

 vitamin A213.5%

 vitamin C52.2%



 vitamin B633.5%




 vitamin B318.5%

 vitamin B117.5%

 vitamin B216.1%

 The World's Healthiest Foods

I added chipotle peppers and the accompanying adobo sauce to the cooked sweet potatoes and included chopped green onions for taste and crunch. Extra virgin olive oil and coarse sea salt completed the dish. Served with roasted salmon and sauteed fennel, this made a wonderful meal last Saturday night. Sunday morning I warmed up the leftover potatoes, topped with a poached egg and voilà...brunch was served. Give them a try...I think you will love the Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle.

*Note...I mash the potatoes skin and all. This results in large pieces which some may not like. I want the fiber and I love the taste. Feel free to scoop the flesh out and discard the skin if you want a smoother texture.

Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle
(serves 4)
4 medium sweet potatoes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
1 canned chipotle pepper, minced
2-4 tbsp adobo sauce (from the canned chipotles)
1 tsp coarse sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Scrub potatoes and pierce numerous times with a sharp knife (be careful!). Place on microwave safe plate and cook, on high, for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft when given a squeeze. Note, microwaves provide different levels of heat so check after 15 minutes. Mine took exactly 18 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to the touch.

Cut the potatoes width-wise into 1 inch slices and place in a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher. Add the 2 tbsp olive oil, green onions, minced chipotle, 2 tbsp adobo sauce, salt and pepper and continue mashing until as smooth as you like. Stir with a wooden spoon. Taste and correct seasonings if necessary. If you like your potatoes spicy (I do!) add an additional 1-2 tbsp adobo sauce.

Mound the potatoes into a medium sized baking dish. Heat in oven for 20 minutes, or until hot. Remove from oven, drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt and serve.

Other potato recipes you may enjoy:

It is "Potatoes" week at Comfort Food Feast roundup. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends. Do you have a favorite potato recipe? Feel free to share in the comments section or link to your blog if you have one.

The Heritage Cook: Potato, Bacon, Green Chiles and Cheese Casserole 
Feed Me Phoebe: Bangers and Spinach Mash with Cider Onions
Dishin & Dishes: Sweet and Savory Potato Stacks
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Potato-Chickpea Masala with Cilantro Chutney
Weelicious: Potato Fans
Haute Apple Pie: Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
Taste With The Eyes: Truffled Poached Egg, Asparagus and Truffle Vinaigrette, Black Truffle and Potato Stack
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Warm Pan Fried Potatoes and Greens Salad
Red or Green: Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle
In Jennie's Kitchen: Crispy Oven Fries
The Sensitive Epicure: Healthier Twice Baked Potato Skins
Elephants and the Coconut Tress: Indian Spiced Potatoes
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Healthy Bacon Egg Potato Breakfast Casserole  ‎
Virtually Homemade: 
Bacon Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes, Reinvented
FN Dish: 
10 Potato Picks (Recipes)

California Girl in Taos

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pizza with Green Chile, Chicken & Cheese (gluten free)

I love green chile. In New Mexico we eat it on everything! So, tonight I decided to recreate a beloved dish, Green Chile & Chicken Stew, and turn it into the toppings for pizza. So...New Mexico green chile sauce, roasted chicken, heirloom tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, extra sharp cheddar cheese and toasted pine nuts served on a gluten free pizza crust. How good does that sound?
New Mexican Green Chile Sauce

These toppings would be delicious on any type of pizza crust. If gluten free is not your thing, try the cornmeal crust over at my Napa Farmhouse 1885 blog. But for this recipe I decided to experiment with a purchased gluten free version.

I have so many friends who are gluten free...either because they have celiac disease or just because they feel better after giving up wheat. When I entertain I try to ensure I have choices for everyone. So I found frozen gluten free pizza dough at my local organic market and used it for this recipe. I bought an 8 oz package of udis gluten free pizza crusts and kept my fingers crossed. I was pleasantly surprised with the result. The crust was thin, crispy, and tasted really good. A tad bit sweet but not overdone. I did not tell my husband in advance that this was a "gluten-free" pizza as I did not want to invite prejudice and he LOVED the final result. Full disclosure, I usually try to avoid purchasing products with added sugar and this product contains dried cane syrup and cultured corn syrup solids. For that reason I don't think I would purchase again for me...but, once in a while, if you need to avoid wheat and are craving pizza, this one is delicious. I think my next step will be to experiment with making homemade gluten free pizza dough. If you have any recipes you love please let me know in the comments section of this post.

Now, back to the pizza.  The toppings quantities are approximate. Add more or less of your favorites. The amounts listed worked for the two udi's crusts. *Note, the package instructs you to bake for 5-7 minutes. My pizzas took twenty minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven to get crispy and brown. So check your oven often during the cooking time. Enjoy!

Pizza with Green Chile, Chicken & Cheese (gluten free)
1 1/2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup green chile sauce (recipe follows)
2 cups roasted chicken (shredded)
1 large yellow heirloom tomato, chopped
4 sun dried tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slivers
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted in a dry skillet until light brown
1 8 oz package udi's gluten free pizza crusts (containing 2 pizzas) or your favorite homemade or purchased pizza dough
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Spread 3/4 cups cheese evenly on each pizza crust. Divide the remaining ingredients between each pizza. Using a pastry brush, "paint" the naked crusts with olive oil. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes checking oven frequently after the first 5 minutes (*See note above)
Cut each pizza into quarters and serve immediately.

Green Chile Sauce
(makes 3 cups)

This sauce is wonderful as a dip with tortilla chips, as a topping for eggs, burritos, nachos,enchiladas, shrimp or meatloaf. Try on hamburgers. You will find many ways to use the leftovers!

2 tbsp extra virgin oil oil
1 leek chopped, white & green parts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp pure cornstarch
sea salt
black pepper
1 1/2 cups New Mexican roasted green chile (fresh or* frozen) skin removed, seeded & chopped chopped (about 15 whole chiles) (see resources)
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock (homemade or organic boxed)
1 tsp dried chile caribe or dried red chile flakes
1 tsp ground coriander

*if using frozen green chiles, defrost and drain before use

Add olive oil and leeks to medium saucepan set over medium high heat.. Saute for 5 minutes until softened and beginning to caramelize. Add the garlic and 1 tbsp corn starch and saute for another minute. Season with 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper.

Add the green chile, stock, chile caribe and coriander to saucepan. Stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. At the end of the cooking time, check consistency. If you would like a thicker sauce add the additional tbsp of cornstarch stirring in until dissolved. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

Another pizza recipe you may enjoy:

It is "Pizza" week at Comfort Food Feast roundup. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends. Do you have a favorite pizza recipe? Feel free to share in the comments section or link to your blog if you have one. 

The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Pizza Crust and Homemade Pizza Sauce
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Easy Turkey Taco Pizza
Devour: Top 5 Pizzas Without Sauce
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
Weelicious: Pizza Balls
Dishin & Dishes: Iron Skillet Chicken Pesto Pizza
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomato, Red Pepper and Corn
Red or Green: Pizza with Green Chile, Chicken and Cheese (Gluten-Free)
Virtually Homemade: Individual Cheese Quesadilla Pizzas
Domesticate Me: Grilled Pita Pizza with Prosciutto, Chanterelles, Arugula and a Fried Egg
Food for 7 Stages of Life: No Yeast Pizza Dough
In Jennie's Kitchen: Easy, Homemade Pizza Dough
The Blue Apron Blog: Our Favorite Pizza Toppings
The Sensitive Epicure: Mini Deep Dish Polenta Pizzas (Gluten-Free)
FN Dish: Homemade Pizza Comfort by the Slice

California Girl in Taos

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I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog "California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.