Just one week ago I was far, far away in a fairy-tale land. A place where eating pasta twice a day is not only accepted but expected. A land of corner cafes and breakfast pastries and gelato galore. A country that romanced me through fluffy carbs and fresh seafood, wooing me to never leave. Here’s the full story.
To my knowledge, there are only two things that Ina Garten and I disagree on:
Jesus and cilantro.
I hold neither against her. But cilantro is the key to my most recent recipe obsession. My friend Caroline passed this gem to me, and lately I’ve been whipping it up once or twice a week. It’s that good, that easy, and that healthy.
Grilled Mexican Fish with Cilantro-Lime Slaw
First, make the slaw:
¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 limes, juiced
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 cups finely shredded cabbage (I use that pre-shredded bagged stuff)
1 bunch scallions, chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeds removed and finely diced
- In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Add the cabbage, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño. Toss thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Next, marinate the fish:
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 limes, juiced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cumin
2 large or 4 small firm, white fish filets (such as tilapia)
- In a shallow dish, whisk together the oil, honey, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and cumin. Add the fish, turning over to coat. Marinate about half an hour.
Finally, cook & assemble:
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1 lime, cut into wedges
- When you’re ready to cook, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Sear the fish on each side about 2 to 3 minutes or until cooked through, being careful not to overcook.
- Taste the slaw for seasoning, adding more salt if needed. Fold avocado into slaw. Pile fish and slaw onto plates. Serve with lime wedges.
- When preparing the slaw, go ahead and measure your ingredients for the fish marinade as well. Most of the ingredients are the same, so it will streamline the process.
- You can easily turn this into a fish taco fiesta. Just add warm tortillas.
Yet another CSA treasure got cooked up yesterday in my kitchen. This time the special ingredient was the oh-so-hearty green favorite, kale. Although I have sautéed kale with garlic and added it to soups many times, I had never made kale chips. So, it seemed like the right thing to do. And guess what? It was super easy and turned out to be a delightfully salty little snack. My dear friend Caroline, who is gluten intolerant and therefore always looking for new GF munchies, wholeheartedly approved. And like she said, “I could eat this instead of popcorn while I’m watching a movie!” Indeed. We should put it in zip-lock bags and go see “Bridesmaids.” Because that movie theater popcorn is like a million dollars. (You know, if I did the math right.)
Baked Kale Chips
Serves 2 during a 90 minute film
1 bunch kale, rinsed & dried thoroughly
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Remove tough stems from kale and tear into bite-sized pieces. (Keep in mind that the kale will cook down quite a bit, so tear accordingly.)
- On a baking sheet, toss the kale with the olive oil and salt using your hands. Arrange in one layer.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the kale is browned but not burned. Be sure to watch the time—too little and the kale will be soggy, too much and you’ll have char on your hands.
- Go easy on the salt. I used 1 teaspoon and it was too much, which is saying a lot because I love salty stuff.
- These are called “chips,” but don’t expect something sturdy that you could use for dipping. The texture is more like tissue paper and about as filling.