Oh Mahi Mahi this was GOOD!

Oh Mahi Mahi this was GOOD!

I was already missing the tropical breezes, roaring ocean and balmy breezes a week after returning from our island visit. So to appease my yearning for anything to (as the Calgon commercials go) ‘take me away’, I pulled some Mahi Mahi out of the freezer and set to work creating something for dinner.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I have a well stocked fridge and pantry. I just love to cook and I love to cook spontaneously. I hate having my creativity limited by having nothing on hand. So, I keep a well stocked pantry, fridge and freezer.

This entire meal was ‘created’ using my Flavor Bible as a food/spice pairing guide, creative juices and what I had on hand. This is a ‘one pan’ meal, all cooked in stages in my trusty cast iron skillet.

First to be cooked were the potato medallions. I had duck fat in my fridge, and there is nothing better than potatoes cooked in duck fat! Seasoning them with salt and pepper, I let them cook until well browned and tender. On an oven safe plate they went in to a 200 deg oven to keep warm. I left the pan with that lovely seasoning and next;

I bloomed some Alleppo Pepper in the pan, adding a little olive oil, and a lot of garlic. I ‘shaved’ the brussels sprouts while the potatoes were cooking and sauteed them in the pan. When tender but still crisp, into an oven safe container and put in the oven. I wiped the pan clean with a paper towel.

Next came the fish, seasoned with salt and pepper, then pan fried with extra virgin olive oil.

While the potatoes and sprouts were cooking, I mixed up a simple salad in a bowl. Sliced radishes, cucumber and red bell pepper. I made a simple dressing of white wine vinegar, grapeseed oil (very healthy for you), a pinch of sugar, good healthy splash of Yuzu, salt, pepper and a handful of chopped cilantro.
Also while the fish was cooking I made a pistou of cilantro, salt, garlic and EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil). Simply chop the cilantro and garlic fine on a cutting board, add some kosher salt and with the flat side of your knife mash and combine by ‘smearing’ it on the board. Add to a bowl and add enough oil to make it look like the photo. It’s really a ‘to taste’ type of condiment.

The end result was heaven on a plate. And yes, for a brief moment, if I closed my eyes I could pretend I was back there in paradise.

Easy Winter Salad

Easy Winter Salad

Hubby decided to work from home and forgo the traffic jams that were sure to be on the highways following the 18 inches of snow we got in 24 hours. (Good call, the commute was 3x’s as long as usual this morning)
So, when he took a break for lunch, I had prepared a lovely (and tasty) hearty salad.
I cook a lot from my pantry, and all these items were either in my fridge or in the very well stocked pantry I keep.
Make a simple vinaigrette: blueberry vinegar (mine is home canned) , smidge of honey mustard, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Toss fresh baby greens in the vinaigrette and top with:
Hard boiled eggs
Quartered pickled baby beets (home canned)
Leftover chicken breast
Slices of blueberry/vanilla artisan goat cheese (any goat cheese would do, but I had this on hand and it paired perfectly with the dressing)

Our family does not care for nuts, but for those who do like them a candied walnut would be nice. I think if I had to do again, I’d add shallots to the dressing.

The key is to keep a decently stocked pantry. The culinary world is open to you if you have more than canned tuna and peanut butter on hand. I think a well stocked pantry discussion is a great future post.