Rosemary Roasted Halibut

Over the course of the two-plus years that I have been writing this blog, I have had many people tell me that they are nervous to cook fish. One of the no-fail ways to cook fish is to keep it as moist as possible, which makes it very hard to overcook — and the best way to keep fish moist is by baking it in a packet (otherwise known as a papillote if you want to be fancy).

This recipe would be perfect for a newbie fish cooker. It is quick, simple (only three ingredients!), delicious, and really hard to overcook. When you open the packets, the fish will have cooked in its own juices (and the butter, of course), keeping it moist and delectable. The rosemary fragrance and flavor is just right. I served this with heirloom tomatoes with a splash of olive oil, and Camembert Mashed Potatoes.

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Warm Grilled Shrimp, Zucchini and Orzo Salad

I made this delicious warm pasta salad right before we left for Europe, thinking that I’d get a little Greek going on before we got there (feta, seafood, lemon, herbs…). If vacation turns out the way I’ve imagined it, I might be eating something just like this as you are reading – probably something even better.

I adapted this salad from this Ina Garten recipe. She developed the salad to be served cold, but my version was delicious hot (and cold as well – the leftovers are amazing!). A few changes: I used grilled zucchini instead of raw cucumber, and left out the dill and red onion (I realize all of these changes make it less Greek…that’s okay). I halved the original recipe and, even with three people, we had a ton of leftovers.

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Seared Tuna Sashimi with Wasabi Vinaigrette

 

I hated, hated wasabi for years. When it accidently touched my sushi it would be a disappointment. When chefs felt the need to use it as a Frites dip I saw it as a waste. The taste of it ruined my life (dramatic? me?) until a sneaky sushi chef in San Diego hid fresh wasabi in my halibut sushi. It was life-changing! Such pure flavor, such a sinus-clearing heat! I finally saw the appeal of that wasabi business – people were just trying to make due when they couldn’t get the best (fresh wasabi, I have later discovered, is the best). And it turns out, there are actually some decent wasabi pastes out there, not that I care anymore because I love it all.

This little salad/appetizer embodies my declaration of love for wasabi. It is the fabulous Eric Ripert’s recipe, from the beautiful Avec Eric book, and I am officially adding it to my mental list of absolute favorite recipes.

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Margarita Shrimp

At the beginning of summer, I was incredibly wary about shrimp. I had eaten them here and there but never more than a couple at a time – they weirded me out. Totally abnormal, I know, but crustaceans were one of those things I adamantly refused to eat as a kid and I was still getting used to them. After my time on the East Coast this summer (where I gladly ate a few of these), my crustacean avoidance has disappeared. Realizing this, I have been incredibly excited to see what I can do with these babies!

When I’m not quite sure what to do with an ingredient, I usually ask my dad. For this recipe, which was a last-minute dinner one night when I couldn’t decide what to make, I looked at what we had in the fridge and my dad’s Citrus Chicken immediately came to mind. Using what we had, I gave my shrimp a nice citrus, cayenne, and – why not? – tequila bath, based loosely on his recipe.

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New England Lobster Rolls

I just returned home from two lovely weeks on the East Coast! I spent the first ten years of my life in New England and my college years in New Jersey, but I hadn’t been back in over two years. It was wonderful to see the friends and family that I was able to see, and I insisted on doing all of the tourist activities we could possibly fit in! Most of my to-see list consisted of breweries and creameries (cheese AND ice cream!), and I also ate a lot of seafood that I had never tried as a kid, like lobster and oysters.

I also had the wonderful opportunity to enjoy my Mom’s lobster rolls not once, but twice! While I learned to love lobster earlier this year, I had never cooked live lobster or done anything with it, so I feel very lucky that I was traveling with my mom and that she taught me how to prepare a lobster and how to make these delicious lobster rolls!

Click through for the easy recipe. Since my mom was cooking, it was easy for me to take step-by-step photos!

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Fried Fish Sandwiches

This recipe was inspired by summer – there’s nothing like a lazy meal on a hot day (preferably by the water). These sandwiches take me to one of those typical fish joints on the beach where they call your number over a loudspeaker when your order is ready – because of course, who wants to be indoors in the summertime? Easy, quick, fresh and delicious; and honestly, not that bad for you compared to other fried things you might imbibe in this summer (Deep Fried Twinkies?).

If you want to class up your homemade fried fish even more, I would recommend pairing these with a bright Rosé. I am beyond obsessed with Villicana Winery’s 2010 Rosé – I literally take it to every summer social event and drink it at home, too. The wine goes great with spicy foods and while this fish isn’t particularly spicy, if you wanted to up the cayenne to a full teaspoon or sprinkle some on while cooking, you’d definitely get a nice kick. Cheers!

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Ahi Tuna Tartare

I always think of avocado as one of my top summer foods. On wheat bread with goat cheese and tomato, alongside a quesadilla, on toast, or smashed with a fork into guacamole, avocados at their prime are just the best!

I have been obsessed with the combination of avocado, orange, and raw fish (this recipe may have started it). Usually, we keep the fish plain, with microgreens, avocado, maybe citrus, and a simple dressing, but I decided to take a stab at a tartare with this recipe. Now I’m not 100% sure if this technically counts as a tartare – it might have poke leanings (feel free to enlighten me!), but whatever it is, this Asian-inspired dish is the perfect appetizer for a warm summer evening!

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