Halibut with Red Chermoula

Halibut with Red Chermoula

Halibut with Red Chermoula

It wouldn’t be a true Sunday if I wasn’t trying a new recipe at our house and this past weekend was no different. Since our Summer has been so busy with literally every weekend booked with activities (‘yay’ for fun times, not ‘yay’ for productivity), it was nice to have a slow Sunday and have the time to bust out a new recipe (or two!).

Prior to this weekend, I had no idea what Chermoula was; however, after reading about it in the latest issue of Bon Appetit Magazine, I just knew I had to make it. Beyond the fact that I was immediately drawn to this recipe just purely because of the beautiful burst of colors from the tomatoes, I loved the fact that Chermoula uses plenty of paprika and cumin combined with cilantro. The original recipe – Slow Roasted Cod with Red Chermoula – uses cod, but I opted to use halibut. All in all, this recipe provided a great flavor with the spices from the Chermoula, the fish was well cooked through the roasting process and the marinade only amplified the tomatoes for an overall fantastic meal.

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos to document making this recipe, but here are a few facts about Chermoula:

1. It is a marinade used in Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking.

2. It is highly versatile. It is most often used for seafood; however, it can be used for other meat and vegetables.

3. There are many different varieties of Chermoula that use plenty of different spices (my advice would be to pick one based on your spice preference and try it with your favorite seafood!).

Have you ever used Chermoula?

Pork Tenderloin with Date and Cilantro Relish

Pork Tenderloin with Date and Cilantro Relish

When done right, combining sweet and savory flavors can result in a nice combination. One of these examples is the use of pork and certain fruits. Some of these include classic examples such as peaches and pork chops, ham and pineapple on a pizza or prosciutto and melon. This specific recipe, Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro Date Relish, smartly uses a very sweet date as a relish but is able to balance the intense sweet flavors with the use of cilantro as well as by adding a nice peppery and salty rub to the pork.

Deemed a winner by all who tried it, this recipe is a nice one to use for a Sunday dinner with family or friends. I’d recommend to add extra cilantro (as shown in the below picture) and add a few cloves of roasted garlic.

What is your favorite fruit and pork combination? Share in a comment below!

Cheers!

Pork Tenderloin with Date and Cilantro Relish

Southwest Chicken Burger and Lime Corn Salad

All right, the secret is out… I was so incredibly over Winter and it’s dreariness. In fact, I’m ready to skip Spring too and head straight for Summer a.k.a. Grilling Season. Nothing excites me more than the thought of charred burgers, grilled corn on the cob and oozing fruit-filled desserts. Oh, and the mouth-watering smoky smell of barbecue…but I digress!

So, with some sunshine this past weekend, those in the Northwest do what they do best: bring out the grill! Even though this might have been a little premature (yes, I did attempt to wear a dress and found I was a little bit too ambitious… it was still cold!), I was ecstatic to get my “grill on” even if that meant wearing a light jacket and pants.

For this weekend, we decided to make Southwest Chicken Burgers with Grilled Lime Corn Salad.

The best part about this recipe? No exact sizes of ingredients needed – just some good ‘ole eyeballing and taste-testing!

Southwest Chicken Burgers

Ingredients:

Ground Chicken
Corn
Black Beans
Garlic
Green Peppers
Red Onion
Bread Crumbs
Cilantro
Pepper Jack Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Directions:

1. Mix ground chicken together with garlic, black beans, green peppers, red onion, cilantro and corn. Add salt and pepper.

2. Form ground chicken mixture into patties.

3. Put onto grill. Grill on each side for a few minutes (test to make sure that it is cooked all the way through).

4. At the last minute of grilling, add a slice of pepper jack cheese and toast buns.

5. Assemble buns and chicken patties together. Add necessary other sauces!

Grilled Lime Corn Salad

Ingredients:

Corn
Lime
Olive Oil
Green Pepper
Red Onion
Cilantro
Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

1. Grill corn

2. Add grilled corn with chopped red onion, green peppers, cilantro.

3. Mix lime juice with olive oil to taste. Add dressing to corn mixture.

4. Serve immediately (with above chicken burger of course)!

I think the key in both of these items is the use of cilantro. It’s not often that I use it; however, when I do, it feels the same way that a fashionista would utilize a statement piece.

Overall, a nice change from the usual burger and a great mix of flavors!

Cheers to Grilling Season!

Steak and Avocado Fajitas

I don’t have steak all that often. As a result, I find myself encountering an intense craving for it every now and then. To my delight, I stumbled upon this recipe for Beef and Avocado Fajitas this past weekend (But for this post, I’d rather refer to it as steak!). I wouldn’t have thought to highlight avocado and steak as the two main ingredients for fajitas; however, I was intrigued and figured I needed to take advantage of an opportunity to eat flank steak!

Step 1: Chop Onions, Carmelize Onions
and Slice Avocados
Step 2: Mix Spices Together and Rub
Them Onto Flank Steak

Step 3: Cook Flank Steak in Pan,
Let Cool and Then Slice
Step 4: Assemble Ingredients Together
Into Warmed Tortilla and Eat!

At first glance, you would think this recipe would need more heat, perhaps in the form of salsas or peppers. But, I was pleasantly surprised by the strength of heat from the spices. Aside from spicy flavors, the avocado and carmelized onions provided a nice splash of cooler flavors. All in all, I really liked this recipe and will look forward to making it again in the summertime!

Cheers!

Black-Bean & Tomato Quinoa


Whether you pronounce it “KEEN-WAH” or “KEEN-AH-WAH”, hands down I love it. However, I will admit that at first glance, I was a bit skeptical of this strange, grain-like substance. But, after a few times that I of trying it, I realized that this once previously thought sketchy crop was actually quite tasty. Even though Quinoa has a unique, nutty flavor, the key to its taste success lies in the dressing (at least in my opinion).

Lately, I’ve been on a lime-kick and have indulged in any and all recipes lime-worthy. I happened to find a recipe for Quinoa (Black-Bean & Tomato Quinoa) and the dressing relied heavily on limes. So, after zesting a lime, cutting some cilantro, and cooking some Quinoa (not from a box, go me!), I was set to make this recipe!

Step 1: Chop Cilantro and Zest Lime

Step 2: Whisk Sugar, Salt, Oil, Melted Butter
Lime Juice, Lime Zest, and Pepper Together


Step 3: Cook Quinoa


Step 4: Mix Tomatoes, Black Beans,
Lime Dressing, and Quinoa Together 


This recipe is definitely very fresh and tasty. Next time, I’d love to add more vegetables and some jalapenos to add some more flair. Even though Quinoa looks a bit funky (as compared to usual pasta), I really like it. I will admit that it was a bit of a pain and hassle to make it the old-fashioned way. Next time, I will definitely look for a short-cut!

Funky, fresh, and flavorful — at least I found something to keep me satisfied for a few days!

Cheers!