Monday, July 25, 2011

Catfish Are Biting

Spicy and sweet is a great combination and is so good to eat. That’s what I love about this dish, blackened catfish with mango salsa. I am also in love with anything mango. Eating a piece of fresh mango is true bliss. This dish always reminds me of sexy summer nights. The sultry spiciness of the catfish is enhanced with the sweet tanginess of the salsa.  Magic begins when you take your first bite and continues on to the last seductive bite.

Also when thinking about what catfish to buy (or any other fish/seafood for that matter), it’s always good to consult the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. They help you to find good sustainble fish to purchase and which ones to avoid. I find this is a super helpful guide for me and for others as well.

Well, I hope you love this dish as much as I do and it brings some sexiness to your mouth.  Mmmm, bring on the spicy FOODGASMs!!!

Now here are the recipes you need to do this yourself. Or with someone else!

Blackened Catfish with Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa
 2 mangos cut up in small dice (about 1 ½ cup)
½ red pepper, cut up into small dice (about ½ cup)
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Optional -Sriracha sauce, ½ to 1 t depending on taste (this will add a bit more heat)
•Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Blackening seasoning
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon ground chipotle
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon medium hot chili powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
•Mix spices together in a bowl and set aside.

4 large catfish fillets (USA farm raised)
Olive oil for pan.

•Put dash of oil into frying pan or on cast iron griddle pan.
•Heat it up, medium high heat.
•Sprinkle catfish fillets with seasoning on both sides (more or less depending how
  much spiciness you want)
•Put in pan or onto griddle and cook for 2-3 minutes each side.
•Cook till the catfish is firm to touch. Take off the heat and let rest for a moment.
•Top with mango salsa and serve.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Have you had a Big Night?

Here’s another dinner in a movie suggestion.
You may or may not have seen it. Big Night. This 1996 film met with some critical acclaim, including a nomination for the "Grand Jury Prize" at the Sundance Film Festival.
It’s set in the early 1950s and stars Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub, as two Italian brothers who are trying to make a go of it with a restaurant, The Paradise,  in New Jersey. They should be able to make it. Nearby there’s a much inferior restaurant which is filled with customers.
But chef Primo (Shalhoub) is an artiste! Things must be perfect. He’s outraged when a customer orders risotto and then asks for a side of spaghetti. It is all that his brother Segundo (Tucci), the businessman of the pair, can do to keep him from tossing the customer in the street.

But the bank is breathing down their throat, threatening foreclosure, so when rival restauranteur promises to bring jazz singer Louis DiPrima to The Paradise, the brothers gamble everything, certain that the publicity will turn things around.  They invite the press, friends, and acquaintances.
Primo prepares a fantastic feast. It’s centered around a timpano (a form of timballo, a very involved baked pasta dish).
The responses are, shall we say, foodgasmic!
“Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God,” gushes one of the diners.
The response”
“Oh my God is right. Now you know. To eat good food, is to be close to God.”
Well, no matter how many foodgasms were had, Louis DiPima doesn’t show, and the hoped-for publicity fizzles, as does the chance for the brothers to save their restaurant.
If you haven’t seen this film, rent it now. But be prepared to be hungry. Even the final scene, the preparation of a simple omelet is bound to make you hungry.

posted by Etta Worthington

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Carrot Potato Soup

Who doesn’t love comfort food? I sure do! This recipe is one of my favorites that my mother always used to make me when I was little girl. It is a creamy carrot potato soup and is vegetarian and can be easily made vegan by leaving out the butter. I have updated the recipe a little by adding some chopped tarragon and mini homemade potato chips for garnish. Super tasty and oh so comforting. A big bowl of this soup is like a big bowl of hugs from mom!

And now here's the recipe so you can try it.  Let me know what you think.

1 Tablespoon butter ( to make it vegan exclude the butter)
1 Tablespoon olive oil (to make it vegan double the olive oil)
1 whole onion medium dice, about 1 ½ cup
4 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced, about 4 cups
7 medium carrots grated, about 5 cups
6 cups of vegetable broth, or to just cover vegetables
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
salt and pepper to taste

1 potato, peeled
Oil for frying (vegetable or any other neutral oil is fine)

(to make this soup vegan, you can cut out the butter and double the amount of the olive oil)
Simmer for 15 minutes over medium heat, until tender
Put immersion blender in pot and blend until smooth and creamy (if you don’t have an immersion blender, you can put the soup into a blender and blend till creamy and then put back into the pot).
Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon and use the other tablespoon for garnish.
Optional -Garnish with the homemade potato crisps.

Optional garnish
In a medium pot place oil about halfway up and heat over medium heat, till when a test piece of potato is thrown in it starts to sizzle. Slice very thin circles of the potato about 1/8 thick, or as thin as you can get. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes or slice thinly into smaller pieces and fry until crisp and golden brown. These are basically cute mini potato chips. Put onto paper towel to absorb oil and season with salt.