Friday, October 26, 2012

Rosie's First Real Meal Upon Returning Home.

 Rosie had fun today.
Today's lunch was the first real meal
I've made since we've been home
from our 2-week trip.
(We left Thursday, October 4
and got back home on Wednesday, the 17th.)
Oh ... I've made the occasional omelet-in-a-bag,
but I don't consider that a real meal.

I hope you don't mind if I intersperse
trip posts along with posts from home.

Today, I thought you'd like to know the first
real meal Rosie has prepared since returning.

Today's late luncheon will be a Taco salad
with seared mahi mahi, atop shredded greens,
with a Asian-inspired side salad,
and a Rosie-inspired black bean salad.
In addition, I will be preparing 
 in a citrus marinade.

First, Rosie's version of Asian-ness.
 Aren't my peppers pretty?
I love all the colors.

 Whenever I use peppers in any dish,
I like to confetti it up.
I want every color pepper I can get.

 Every year in my garden, I have sweet bell peppers,
banana peppers, habaneros,
cayennes, Anaheims, Cubanelles,  jalapenos, Thais ...
You name it, I have it.

 Today, I wanted to use all that gardeny goodness
in my salad.
Rosie is starting on her slaw.

 Ingredients for
 Rosie's "Asian" Slaw

1/4 large pepper, julienned
(I use different flavored and colored peppers,
from sweet to mild to whatever.
I like to mix and match.
Confetti it up!)
1/2 carrot, julienned
1/4 small cabbage, shredded
1/3 cup sliced red onion
1/2 Granny Smith apple, sliced
and doused with lemon juice
to keep from oxidation.
Or you can just wait 
until the last minute to add in the apple,  
like I did.

1-inch cube frozen ginger *
(yields 1 TB juice)
juice of one lime
1 TB tamari soy sauce
1 TB rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TB sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 cup canola oil 
freshly grounded salt and pepper

* I always have ginger root in my freezer.
I buy fresh ginger, cut it into 1-inch cubes,
pop the cubes into freezer bags,
then put in the freezer.
This way, I always have ginger on hand.
I take a one-inch ginger cube 
and nuke it for about 25 seconds.
Then you can easily squeeze the cube
and get all the juice out.
I throw the dried pulp out. 

Mix first seven ingredients.

At this point, I have 1/2 cup liquid.

I slowly whisked in 1/2 cup canola oil
to make an emulsion.
Taste test.
Season with freshly ground salt and pepper.
 The only way to get juice out of ginger root
is to freeze it first.
In one-inch cubes.
Then nuke a cube for 20-30 seconds
depending on your microwave.
Squeeze away.
You should get 1 TB ginger juice.

 At the last minute,
I added in my apple slices.
If you slice the apple ahead of time
and leave it exposed to air,
it will oxidize/turn brown/rust.
To avoid this unfortunate occurrence,
either wait to the last minute to add in the apple slices,
or slice them and squeeze some citrus over the slices.

 I love a good ribbon of dressing
cascading into my salad.

 Pour and toss.
Cover and refrigerate.

Next on my luncheon agenda 
is Rosie's 67th adaptation
of the ever-adaptable, malleable, versatile,
and ...????
...  the little black dress of salads ...
... which you can doll up with anything.

... the Black Bean Salad.

 Above, I have the makings of

1 cup dried black beans, rinsed, and properly cooked
(about 35-40 minutes)
in salted, slightly simmering water, 
rinsed at the halfway mark,
then back to another simmer.

Cooked beans will yield 1 1/2 to 2 cups.
handful of chopped red onion
1 large tomato, peeled and chopped.
3 TB cider vinegar
1 TB sugar
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp adobo seasoning
1 tsp cumin 
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 cup canola oil,
 whisked in delicately, 
 to make an emulsion.
freshly ground salt and pepper
minced jalapeno to taste
(I used 1/2 fresh jalapeno.  
It was very mild.)
cilantro leaves to taste

 Here's my 67th Black Bean Salad.

 Dressing suspended in a delicate emulsion,
back left.
Black bean, tomato, red onion,
pepper, jalapeno in forefront
freshly picked cilantro on right.

That delightful dressing
will pull all of this together.

I added the dressing to the bean salad.
Mix, cover, and refrigerate.
Let the flavors get acquainted.

Now, remember
 I told you at the beginning of this post,
 I'm making a Taco Salad.

That involves a Taco.

Let Rosie hold you by the hand
and walk you through Taco-Heaven.

Any time the Hawthornes are On The Road,
we stop at every WalMart we see.

We want to stock our truck/fridge up with
fresh strawberries, blueberries
assorted nuts, prunes, wheat germ, and turkey jerky.

Plus, Mr. Hawthorne always says,
"Whenever I get homesick,
all I have to do is go to a WalMart.
They're all the same.
Even the people look the same."

 So, would you just look at what we found
at some WalMart on the road.
Can you tell what it is?
Why, it's tortilla pans,
And you KNOW the Hawthornes must have this.

I didn't oil the pans.
I oiled my tortillas (both sides) ...

... then pressed them into the pan.

Corn tortillas are not as well-behaved as flour tortillas,
so I had to punish them by 
smothering them in foil and dried beans.
Any mother knows to do this - from Parenting 101.

400 degrees, about 10 minutes

I set these aside and started on my shrimp.

I skewered my shrimp
on rosemary sprigs,
then I marinated them.

Shrimp Marinade
juice of one lime
juice of one lemon
juice of one orange
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 TB sugar
1/4 cup oil
salt and pepper to taste
Mix first 6 ingredients.
Slowly whisk in oil to make an emulsion.
Taste test.
Season with salt and pepper.

Let the shrimp marinate for about 30 minutes.
When you're ready to grill the shrimp,
take care of the marinade.
Pour the marinade into a small pan,
place over medium heat,
bring to a boil,
reduce to simmer.
and let it reduce.

Mr. Hawthorne grilled the shrimp,
basting with a combination of melted butter and oil.

I loved the infusion of the rosemary flavor in the shrimp.

On to the mahi mahi.
Remove the dark bloodline.

I cubed the mahi mahi
and sprinkled a little Paul Prudhomme's 
 Blackened Redfish Magic over top.

I added a tablespoon of butter
and a tablespoon of oil
to my hot skillet,
let the butter melt,
and seared the mahi mahi cubes
over medium high heat.
3-4 minutes until done.
Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

You should have some goody bits
in the pan in which you seared the fish.
With heat on medium,
add a little white wine to the pan
and scrape those bits up.

Let the wine reduce for a few minutes.

Next, I poured in the marinade, which has been reducing,
 into my wine and goodie bits.
Cook 4-5 minutes at a simmer to reduce.

To give your sauce a little extra richness,
 swirl in 3 tablespoons of butter,
one butter pat at a time.
 Cut off heat, set aside, and keep warm.

First I added a comfy green nest of shredded lettuce.

Place the mahi mahi on top of the lettuce,
add the black bean salad
and the Asian slaw.
Lay the skewered shrimp alongside
and pour some of the sauce over the shrimp.
Scatter some cilantro or parsley over top.

Oooh.  I've missed this.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

Okay, first of all, I can't believe that you bought the tortilla bakers, or whatever they are called. Geez, talk about a uni-tasker.

And here's a handy-dandy tip for you: if you want an apple that is sweet and tasty and yet doesn't oxidize, try Honey Crisp apples. They can last for hours in open air without turning brown. Alas, they are only available in the fall.