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Pan-Seared Mahi Mahi With Sautéed Leeks

16 Jan

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I don’t cook fish very often at home. When I do, I usually opt for salmon, and I usually roast it. I decided to try something new this time…

Mahi-mahi has very little fat, so while it is not the best choice to get those omega-3 fatty acids, it is still a great choice for a low-fat, high protein meal.

While I would have preferred to purchase my fish at the farmer’s market, I didn’t get my act together in time this week, so I purchased my fish from Whole Foods. They sell frozen, wild-caught mahi-mahi there, nicely portioned into 2 6-oz fillets. I defrosted them in the fridge overnight on a covered plate.

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Pan-searing was a lot easier than I thought it would be. With a hot skillet, the fish was done in about 6-7 minutes. And the best part is that I got nice, golden sear marks.

I ate the fish with some sautéed leeks and a quick fennel orange salad (literally fennel, orange slivers, and a touch of OJ + olive oil/salt/pepper).

I brushed the fish with a little bit of teriyaki sauce that I had leftover from last night’s dinner (I made teriyaki bok choy over brown rice with an egg on top!) . You could also just mix together 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and a little fresh lime juice for a quick savory sauce.

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Pan-Seared Mahi-Mahi

Cooking method adapted from Mark Bittman’s Fish

serves 2

2 6-oz fillets mahi-mahi (I cut each fillet in half to have 4 small pieces of fish)

canola or coconut oil

fresh ground pepper

teriyaki sauce (see recipe below)

Make sure the fish fillets are at room temperature and pat them dry with a paper towel. Grind the pepper on both sides of the fillets.

Heat a 12-inch nonstick or cast-iron skillet for about 10 minutes, until smoking slightly. Add the oil, and place the peppered fish on the pan. Cook until browned on 1 side, about 3 minutes. Turn, and brown on the other side. Turn off the heat, brush the fish with the teriyaki sauce, and turn the fish in it a few times.

Teriyaki Sauce

recipe from Chloe’s Kitchen

makes a relatively large amount (maybe about a cup?); store in a jar if you have leftover sauce

3/4 cup water

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 garlic clove

2 tablespoons maple syrup or brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

In a medium saucepan, whisk together all of the ingredients. Heat the sauce over medium-high heat, whisking frequently until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture has thickened and big, syrupy bubbles appear on the surface.

Sauteed Leeks

2 large leeks, green parts removed, washed

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt, to taste

Slice the leeks in half lengthwise, and then slice in half again. Chop the leeks into small pieces.

Heat the oil on a skillet. Add the leeks and saute for about 7-10 minutes, until soft and lightly browned. Add salt to taste.

You could even add a little parmesan or some teriyaki for more flavor. I think these leeks would be great on top of a slice of toasted bread, like a crostini. 

>Maple Sesame Salmon with Whole Wheat Couscous and Sauteed Green Beans

18 Jan

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Boy do I love the broiler. The broiler can melt cheese until it is gooey and golden brown and the broiler can char my fish until it has the perfect plum-color surface. Two very good things.

This salmon is marinated in a sweet and salty mixture of maple syrup, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. I added a few chili flakes for a mild kick. Into the oven on a high broiler setting (425-450 deg. F). I sprinkled sesame seeds atop the fillets just a few minutes before the salmon was finished baking.

Served on a bed of whole wheat couscous (only takes 5 min. to cook) and sauteed garlic green beans, I’d say this is a beautifully balanced meal.


Maple Sesame Salmon

From “And then I do the dishes

Salmon fillets (enough for 4-6 people; have them de-bone the fish at the market)
3 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes or Sriracha sauce

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Mix all ingredients except the salmon and sesame seeds. Using either a bowl or a ziplock bag, place the salmon in the marinade and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (easy clean-up). Turn on the broiler to 425-450 deg F and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Place the salmon on the baking sheet (skin side up) and bake for 10-25 minutes (depending on your fish size and oven, just check it every so often). Baste every so often with the marinade. Flip the salmon over halfway through cooking. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top during the last few minutes of baking. The salmon will be ready when flaked with a fork and done on the inside (opaque flesh).

This makes great left-overs to take for lunch, too. So long lunch rut (for now, anyway).

Sauteed Garlic Green Beans

adapted from Eating Well

Olive oil
1 pound of green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup water
2 chopped garlic cloves
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Heat a pan with olive oil over med-high heat. Add the green beans and cook, stirring often, about 2-3 minutes until seared in spots. Reduce heat to medium, add water, cover, and cook about 3 minutes more. Take off the cover to ensure that all the water is evaporated. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Finish with balsamic vinegar and salt/pepper.

>More NY Eats

15 Jan

>So I have done a LOT of eating in the last few weeks. I knocked off quite a few hot spots from my self-made restaurant list. There are still so many more places I have yet to eat in New York City, but, oh, I’ll be back. Oh, and I’ve done a smidge of cooking/baking too…Spicy Chili, Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Ippudo is currently at the top of my list for dinner in New York City. Ramen. Pork buns–gorgeous pillows filled with perfectly cooked and seasoned pork. Cute furniture made for those dining in two’s. This place is busy its loud its soooooo good. They will tell you that you have to wait 2 hours on a Wednesday night, but just go around the corner for a beer and come back in 30 min. Stick it out, it won’t take a whole 2 hours. I got in after 40 minutes. And it is sooo worth the wait. Just don’t make the mistake of attempting to come here with 6 people. Stick to 2 people. Or come for lunch. But yes, Ippudo is my new favorite New York City dinner spot.


Let’s talk coffee. Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Inside the Ace Hotel. Very trendy, extremely good coffee. There is a lobby inside the hotel where a slew of trendy New Yorkers sip their coffee (or at night their cocktails) and type away at their laptops, stick their nose into a good book, or chat with an old friend. Stumptown is originally from Portland, Oregon. Who’s up for a road-trip to Portland?


Shake Shack.
I have no photo because I gobbled this thing up. Yes I ate a burger, a fast-food burger, outside in the snow after a yoga class. Fast food and yoga. Oh yes, I did it. And there was hardly a line, which is a rare occurrence at any Shake Shack location. This burger was good but nothing to rave about. The bun was indeed soft and buttery (compared to the toasty crisper In-N-Out bun). They have yummy shakes, too. My friend ordered a cold shake in the cold weather. And then this friend ordered a hot chocolate from Stumptown right after he finished his chocolate shake. This boy knows how to live right.

Speaking of burgers, have you been to 5 Napkin Burger yet? 10 oz of burger. 10 freaking ounces! Caramelized onions. Gruyere cheese. Absolutely no lettuce, no tomato, no pickle. This is a good place to go after seeing a matinee showing of Memphis.


‘Wich Craft. Nice little spot for a sandwich. Grilled cheddar with smoked ham, pear, & mustard on cranberry-pecan bread.


Rue 57. I’m not crazy about Midtown/Times Square. It is too touristy, too crowded, and too corporate. But let’s say you have a brother who works as a lawyer in Midtown. You meet him for dinner. Rue 57 is a fine place to dine. It is kind of funny in that it has Parisian cuisine, American classics, and sushi, but somehow it works. Below you will see a few of the many menu options at Rue 57.

Beet Salad: frisee, baby greens, sliced bosc pear, baked goat cheese, orange vinaigrette

Special: Baked clams with sun-dried tomatoes (I enjoyed the clams however my brother thought they were too rubbery; he’s had better, he says)

Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass with Baby Spinach

E.A.T. Oh, the Upper East Side. You really are something. E.A.T. is a gourmet deli/restaurant and if you are itching to see a NYC celeb, I recommend going here for some good eats and good sees.

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Coconut Lime Rice and Tropical Fruit Salsa

5 May


2 huge fish fillets, and I mean huge. Like, 3.5 feet long each. While this may seem small to some fish experts, 3.5 feet of fish definitely hits a record for me.

Today was a big day. It was my last day cooking for the entire co-op. To send everyone off on a good note, I made a happy, summery dinner. Ginger glazed n’ grilled mahi mahi (I did a tofu version of the mahi mahi for my veggie friends) with fresh squeezed lime and chopped cilantro over a bed of coconut rice and a tropical salsa, all accompanied by sauteed snap peas and daikon radishes.


So I held my breath and crossed my fingers that this fish would turn out ok. The marinade is simple yet strong and I had to use some arm muscle to slice my fish into nice angled pieces (the scaly skin was tough to cut through). My co-cook, David, got a nice grilling lesson. I made him stand over the smoky grill and be “the fish man”. He did a great job–the fish looked and tasted great with its nice grill marks.

I have definitely learned a lot from cooking in the co-ops and I feel thankful for that experience: seasonal food gets delivered to me, I have the power to feed a lot of people, I can get really creative and try out new ideas…

Next year I am living in an apartment with two friends, and I am excited for the change! I can’t wait to have a smaller community where I can cook a relaxing and intimate dinner in my clean house. I can’t wait to peruse the markets and I can’t wait to host my friends and family for small get-togethers. I can’t wait to spend more time with my candy-apple-red Kitchen Aid Mixer and my mortar and pestle and my nice tart pans and my cute measuring spoons.

So here’s to good times had and good times to come! Go try something new. It will probably be scary, it may turn out to be a horrible mess, but at least you tried and maybe you might try again.

Ginger Glazed n’ Grilled Mahi Mahi
adapted from AllRecipes

serves 4

3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 (6 ounce) mahi mahi fillets
salt and pepper, to taste

cilantro and lime, for serving

1. Stir together honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic, and olive oil.
2. Place the fish in the marinade and let sit for about 20-30 minutes.
3. Heat your grill (or oil a grill pan) and grill your fish (start skin side down) once each side until easily flaked with a fork. Flip only once.
4. To serve, place your fish on a plate and squeeze fresh lime over the top. Garnish with freshly minced cilantro and top with a fresh fruit salsa (see recipe below).

Fresh (Tropical) Fruit Salsa

recipe from FoodNetwork

1 ripe mango (and/or papaya), peeled, seeded, and diced
1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple
3 kiwis, peeled and diced
1/4 cup minced red onions
1/4 cup minced red bell peppers
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons minced jalapeno
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Pinch salt

Combine the mango, avocado, pineapple, kiwi, onions, bell peppers, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, garlic, and salt in a bowl and gently fold to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving for the flavors to blend.

***NOTE: feel free to add/subtract whatever produce you wish (jicama might also be nice to add!)

Coconut Rice

recipe from FoodNetwork

***NOTE: The coconut makes the rice really rich (feel free to use less coconut milk/more water if your not into the “richness”)

1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 cup long grain white rice

fresh chopped cilantro and fresh squeezed lime, for serving

In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk, water, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, stir well, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer undisturbed until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy, about 20 to 24 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit without stirring for 10 minutes.

Alternately, you can put everything into a rice cooker and BAM! Done.

Fluff with a fork and add the cilantro and lime. Adjust seasoning, to taste. Serve hot.