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Vegetable Taco Fillings A Mexican love letter to Vegetables

Vegetable Taco Fillings_Ideas_ recipes _Yes, more please!

Feelings…. nothing more than Fillings”… Hello friends, we’re back.We have been on a roller coaster; from a vacation in Mexico, to Slow Wine Festival, meeting new people, giving cooking classes, Ian giving lots of photography classes…we have been busy, but you have always been on our minds.

Visiting my Mexico after more than eight years was reinvigorating. Being back in my birth country was very fulfilling and I felt my roots strongly. We were welcomed at the airport with a big familiar smile and , thankfully, we did not have to get in the long customs line. During the visit we could eat and breathe the delicious in-season ingredients that Baja produces; from papayas, to avocados, chiles, lettuce, pineapples, limes, guanabanas, tomatoes, chard, radishes, you name it!. I just felt like a fish back in the water, especially walking along the pristine coastline. Now I’m melancholic… its hard to forget the people, the laughs, the air and the sea… and the food. From freshness, flavor, aroma, ingredients, preparations, sazones… can you imagine? Good thing we just visited one little town…Phew!

I have harnessed the melancholy and channeled it into a love letter to every Vegan and Vegetarian who has felt neglected by the Taco Love. Yes baby, not one, not two, but EIGHT vegetable fillings that will add vitamin “V” (vegetable) on any Taco night!

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Ceviche de Pulpo-Octopus Ceviche

Octopus-Ceviche-de-Pulpo_Tostada_Yes,more-please!

Octopus, the smartest, flexible and unique looking creature of the bottom of the sea. Eight arms, purple skin, side eyes, camouflage expert and a bag of attitude that will ink any snoozy neighbour. Why is this mollusk so intimidating? texture?, tentacles? I think Octopus are phenomenal, lots of personality and intelligent creatures.
Please, Do not judge by appearances this invertebrate is so delicious!. The meat is extra white, when is cooked properly, the texture is tender and mildly fishy, almost sweet. If you are lucky enough to get a fresh octopus you will taste the freshness of the sea water. You will have to tenderize the hell out of it before cooking,  like people from the Mediterranean smash their octopus against beautiful sea rocks right after being caught, or massage them until their arms are floppy and relaxed. But if you buy it previously frozen, from a good Sea food source half of the work is done for you and it saves you from doing the villain job.

 

If you follow my simple recipe instructions your Octupus will be tender, and flavorful, ready for ceviche, or just a simple drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive oil sea salt, lemon, smokey paprika and you have “Pulpo a la Gallega”. But, today, for me on a Summer day, Ceviche is my dish of choice. Trust me on this one.

I chose slightly different vegetables than the commun ceviche, like Cherry and Sun Gold tomatoes, which balance the acidity of the traditional ceviche adding a sweet balance. Also instead of red onions which for me are too strong and can overwhelm the delicate Octupus flavor, I chose shallots, they have a milder, onion and garlic profile that complements the Octupus. A good punch of heat with sharp and bright Serranos thinly sliced, that tickle your tong with out setting it on fire. Fresh cilantro, Mint and seedless cucumbers which add a lot of crunch and freshness to the dish.

If you want to eat like a Mermaid along with your Sailor this Summer, this Ceviche de Pulpo-Octopus Ceviche recipe is for you.

Jazz it up!

 

Ceviche de Pulpo-Octopus Ceviche

Serves 2 hungry sailors or 4 mermaids…

2 Medium Octopus, I used previously frozen from …*
3/4 cup Cherry tomatoes cut in halves
3/4 cup Sun Gold tomatoes cut in halves
1/2 English Cucumber, small diced
2 Shallots thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 Sprigs of Mint just the leaves torned.
1 Serrano thinly sliced
1 Habbanero thinly siced optional
3 Juicy limes = 1/3 cup fresh lime juice approx.
1 lemon, the juice and the zest
1 glug Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste, optional

1-2 Avocado Hass
Corn Tostadas, or crackers…
Extra lime for wedges
Cholula, Valentina, Hiuichol or Tabasco hot Sauce

* Thanks to Steven, Fish Monger at Whole Foods Market- Domain, Austin for saving me some octopus!

Preparation Method:

1.Fill a large pot with at least 1.5 Gallons of water. Add 1 tablespoon sea salt and 1 large bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Once Water is boiling place the two octopus into the pot and lower the heat to low simmer. Cover pot with a lid and cook for 25-35 minutes.
Cooking times:
Usually this medium-small octopus cook very fast and they are tender. If you decide to use a bigger Octopus, increase the cooking time at least for 1 hr. and 30minutes, depending on the size.
How to tell when is cooked?,Use a fork and prick the wides part of the leg. or in between the leg and head if it feels tender and inserts with no trouble, octopus is done! Remove from hot water into a iced water bowl to prevent overcooking.Octopus-Ceviche-de-Pulpo_how-to-cook-octopus_Yes,-more-please!

2. Meantime your octopus is cooling off, Chop all your vegetables, do your prep.

Octopus-Ceviche-de-Pulpo_prepping-the-ceviche
3. Once your octopus has cooled down slice each arm into 1/4 inch to 1/4 inch slices, discard the center and slice the head like if you where slicing a calamari, or into dice, what ever you prefer. Place into a plater and squeeze the lime juice, add salt and olive oil.

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4. Add All the chopper Vegetables, Toss well and live it rest for 15-20 minutes. Smash 1-2 Avocados season with a bit of salt an lime juice. This will be the glue when you built your tostada.

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Call all the Sailors, Mermaids and Drummers!

Serve with tostadas and a cold beer…Enjoy!

Music Pairing: Caravan Written by Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington

Version from the movie Whiplash

Octopus-Ceviche-de-Pulpo_Summer-recipes_Yes,more-please!

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Cucumber Avocado Pico de Gallo Salsa

Cucumber-avocado-Pico-de-Gallo-and-Salsa-tips-Yes,-more-please!

Hello friends, a quick recipe for your weekend. This is a great fresh salsa-guac! It is not a guacamole, it is not your usual Pico de Gallo, its both! The cucumber adds crunch and extra freshness and the avocado adds a bit of creamy goodness. What else could you ask for?… It is a quicky to make just what you need on a long weekend, something fresh to snack on along with some refreshing drinks, perhaps like this fabulous Texas Caipirinha… ehehm…

Besides the recipe which is so easy to make, I would love to share with you a few of my tips when making Fresh chopped Salsa fresca, mostly known here in USA as “Pico de Gallo”. Enjoy!

Sharp knife:
Everything has to begin with a sharp knife. Nothing ruins good salsa more than a dull knife. Mushy cuts do not make a salsa very appealing and ruins the texture. So, sharpen those blades, baby!
Tomatoes:
Mix them up! Juliet, Cherry tomatoes, Sun golds, Lemon Boy, Roma, Heirloom, right now is the right season were there is plenty tomato goodness to choose from. 
My favorite Tomatoes in Austin, TX are the ones that Boggy Creek Farms produce. Click here to visit this beutiful Austin Urban Farm is one of the best.
Cucumbers:
English cucumber, or Jade are my favorite since they don’t have to many seeds, thin skin, they keep their crispy texture when marinated.
Red Onions:
Red onions  are  sharp in flavor. My advice is after dicing the onions give them a quick rinse, drain them and add them to your salsa. Rinsing them will make them milder by washing away that milky pungent liquid. You, your loved ones and your guests will appreciate the little extra care!
Avocado Hass:
This kind is the creamiest of all avocados. They have a fleshier inside and small oval pit. Choose the ones that are firmer to the touch it should feel like well done steak. These level of ripeness will hold better in this kind of salsa-guac, creamy, not mushy.
Dicing Jalapeños:
Rub a bit of cooking oil in your hands before cutting a jalapeño, this will protect your hands from the spicy burn.
Remove seeds and vein or leave them up to how spicy you want it!
 A good way to know when a pepper is spicy, is to smell the pepper. Cut the pepper length wise. Smell it. If it smells like fresh-cut grass it will be very mild. But, if it smells like fresh cracked black pepper you hit the jack pot is a spicy one. Watch out! maybe you just one one jalapeño in your salsa…
Limes:
Use limes, instead of lemons. They have a sharper acidity that balances great with the sweetness from the tomatoes.
Sea salt:
Why Sea salt instead of Kosher? It tastes fresher and the salt crystals brighten up the salsa flavor.
Fruit:
You can add other fresh fruit if you feel adventurous like Mangos, Strawberries, Green papaya, Pinneapple, Jicama, Peaches, the world is your canvas!

I hope these simple tips help you to get inspired and give a refresh spin to your salsa. Do you have any tips when making salsa? I will love to read about them.
Share them here and shoot us a comment!

Relax and have a great weekend!

Cucumber-avocado-Pico-de-Gallo-and-Salsa-tips-chips

Cucumber Avocado Pico de Gallo Salsa

Makes 1, 2, 3 or 4 people dance!

2 cups diced fresh tomatoes of your choice, check out my tips above.
2 cups finely chopped cucumbers
½ cup finely dice white onion
1 medium size avocado Hass chopped in small cubes
1-2  jalapeños small diced one with seeds one with out.
1 small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
2 large juicy limes
2 good pinches of dry mexican oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt

Corn Chips… lots of them!

Preparation:

In a large bowl combine all the chopped ingredients, season with salt and add the oregano by rubbing between your fingers like if you where to snap the oregano at it. This warms up the herb and makes it into smaller pieces which flavors the salsa better. Add the lime juice 
toss and serve with corn chips and your fabulous Texas Caipirinha like this on the side…Enjoy!

Cucumber-avocado-Pico-de-Gallo-and-Salsa-tips-make-salsaYes,-more-please!

Make your Salsa dance…

Music Pairing: Salsa – Tito Puente

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Rancho Gordo Corona Beans with Spicy Cilantro Pesto

Rancho-Gordo-Corona-Beans-and-Spicy--Cilantro-Peanut-Pesto_Yes,-more-please!

Beans are the perfect food to cook during this seasonal transition. You know, those days when the weather shows a great deal of indecisiveness . Cold-warm-windy-rain-sunny all in one week. What to cook? Beans. Whether you add them to vegetable soups, tacos or salads they are always there for you as a quick route to make great meals. The trick to it is a little simple plan, a slow cooker, and patience (my little grasshopper).
Beans don’t like to be rushed. They like to soak over night,( preferably) and they like to cook at a steady low, low simmer almost like one bubble per 3 seconds. They like to be cooked in plenty of water lightly seasoned. Usually a piece of onion and one dry or fresh chile is all they need. Salt should always be added at last once the beans are cooked and are soft enough to absorb the salty flavor. They also love clay pots, slow cookers, cast iron pots, Dutch ovens, or any heavy pot that retains even heat and keeps them well snuggled.
As you can see once you have these four factors down it is extremely easy to make a great batch of beans. I always make a big pot of beans and freeze small batches. I can’t tell you enough how much of a life saver this is. Even if you forget to take them out of the freezer, It will take 10-15 minutes to defrost in a microwave or a conventional pot with a lid on. Frozen beans keep for up to four months. I make a batch every month and a half and it works great for the two of us.

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Now let’s talk about what kind of beans to cook. For those who have not yet read our “about” page, Beans are my favorite grain and my ultimate last supper. Being from Mexico, beans are a huge part of our everyday diet. So, I am always looking for the ultimate bean, fresh and of good quality, that cooks evenly and has great flavor. I finally found it a few years ago when In the search for a bean that tasted like the ones home, I ran into Rancho Gordo. The first time I saw this brand was at wholefoods. Unfortunately they do not carry them any longer, but the good news is that you can buy them online. Rancho Gordo is not only a brand, Steve Sando owner, and grower is dedicated to find and save heirloom bean grains. He is part of Seed Saver Exchange where he rescues and grows beans and grains of the Americas.
He is recuperating our American diet roots. From North America, Mexico, Central and South America. Me being Mexican, knowing any one with this kind of mission goes straight to my heart.
My favorite beans Ayocote negro, Mayocoba, Midnightblack, Rosa de Castilla, Royal Corona uff etc…
If you are a bean fan like me, you can enroll into the Rancho Gordo Bean Club. Yes, you read that correctly, they will send you an amazing bean allowance 4 times a year. Also, you can enjoy some of the rare bean varieties. For more details click here: Rancho Gordo website

Rancho-Gordo-Corona-Beans-and-Cilantro-Pesto_Beans

As you can read I’m a 100% bean lover.
I hope you enjoy this recipe these Corona beans are a special type of bean, they are huge almost the size of a prune. In flavor they are buttery, potatoey and very starchy. These beans are easy to pair with any meal or a satisfying main dish for a meatless Monday. This bean does require the pre soaking overnight, it’s a must so plan ahead. Once they have been soaked, they cook more evenly and plump up.
I hope you like the recipe, which I feel is more like a pairing since it is so effortless.
Get into the bean club soon! Enjoy!

Rancho-Gordo-Corona-Beans-with-Spicy-Cilantro-Pesto_ingredients

For the recipe you will need…

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Pozole Verde a.k.a Pozolillo

Pozole-Verde_Pozolillo_ingredients~Yes,-more-please!

Pozole is a soup usually made with hominy, pork meat, spices and fresh garnishes that create a wonderful one bowl meal warm soup. Let’s say Pozole Is kind of the Mexican Pho. There are a couple of variations upon regions and availability of ingredients, red chiles , green tomatillos and poblanos, or just garlic and onion. There’s even not so traditional versions using chicken or turkey to make the soup a little lighter and healthier; even vegetarian versions using button mushrooms instead of meat, in my opinion all equally delicious in its own way.

Another variation on this dish would be the fresher version also known as ‘Pozolillo’, that uses fresh white corn in the cob kernels like in Michoacan and Guerrero. Which is the version I prepared.

The hominy used in Pozole is freshly made from dry kernels that are transformed into ‘nixtamal’ this process involves soaking the dry corn kernels  in water and limestone to burn and cook the skin. It is an intense preparation more commonly used in the South of Mexico, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Michoacan, Guerrero, State of Mexico and Distrito Federal. While in the norther mexican states like Sonora, Monterrey, Chihuahua, the proximity with the border has a not so preferred commodity, hominy on a can which to my taste is hard to equal the good flavor from the freshly made.

 Despite the regionalism, Pozole is a classic soup among mexican families, every family has its own recipe and a style; whether is white, red or green, a grandma, sister, mom or aunt who makes it; It is always a great comforting meal that brings family and friends together.

In my family, My Grandma, from my father’s side is my Pozole Guru. She will start to cook the Pozole two days in advance by soaking the dry corn-nixtamal with a bit of lime stone to lose the skins on the kernels, rinse it infinite times and slow cook it for a couple of hours. Grandma Mago used pork shoulder and very meaty pork cuts. Her Pozole was white, meaning she would not add any chiles to tint and flavor the broth, the flavor came from the cosmic union of the extremely well prepared artisanal hominy, tender pork, garlic and onion. Amazing, simply amazing.

On the other side of my family, the Pozole Guru is my Aunt Paloma, she makes the BEST Red Pozole. Absolutely delicious, she uses also pork and red chiles like ancho and guajillo which are very mild chiles that flavor the broth transforming it in this aromatic and savory broth you almost want to use a straw to drink it. Scrumptious.

As you can see I have a mayor task here, So far I’ve cooked both Pozole styles, white and red, I love them equally. And yes, it is the cook hand, what we call “sazon” that makes a dish your dish and the only way to exceed at it is practice,  practice and more practice my little grasshopper.

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This time I’m attempted to recreate a Pozole Verde or Pozolillo. First time I had this green gem soup was at a friend’s house she was from Michoacan. I inmediatelly fell in love.
This Pozole Verde is made with white corn kernels instead of hominy and uses tomatillo, serrano and poblano peppers to flavor the broth. What is so special about it? the broth in this Pozole Verde It’s light, fragrant, almost has a herbaceous flavor, and the green tomatillo adds a bit of a thickness to the broth without making it heavy to the palette. The corn kernels make this Pozole a great fresh taste, really unique and very achievable if you lack of a mexican Grandma, Aunt or good quality hominy.

In this recipe, I used sweet corn. Why? Well, Ian is more familiar with the corn flavor than with the hominy. Not a lot of people likes hominy and I strongly believe is because what they have tried is from a can. So what you do? What did I do?..I used what I had freshest available. This week I ran into a good corn sale at the market, it was fresh and tasted sweet, juicy and crunchy good enough to make it into a soup.
Now, I know some people will crucify-me about using sweet yellow corn but, I have to say that the variation came out tasting really good.
Do your best with what you have, use what is freshest available to you, if you find white corn this will be my first option, and if you prefer Hominy, I will encourage you to find “Rancho Gordo hominy”.
This Rancho Gordo California farm grows heirloom beans and grains, the quality and flavor resembles a lot of the hominy you can find in Mexico. Sometimes I can find them at Whole foods or Traders Joe’s. If you plan ahead of time, order them on-line. absolutely divine. http://www.ranchogordo.com/index.htm

Last option will be Juanita’s Mexican style hominy. Yes this particular brand has the best texture, and 3 ingredients, water, hominy, lime stone. Making it the best option. If can is the only option you have, this will taste good.

I used chicken one of my favorite chickens from Smith & Smith Farms, I know chicken again!!! well I do not mind when the quality of it is so good In fact, every other weekend I’ve been buying a whole chicken from this farms, there are so good I crave chicken!.. ridiculous I know…

Any how, easy recipe, one pot wonder, it keeps really well, I have not attempted to make this Pozole Verde on a crock pot, I see no reason why not you could use it. Please, if you do, let me know how it goes.
Keep warm and EAT your SOUP, do not lick the bowl, use a straw!.

Pozole-Verde_Pozolillo~Yes,-more-please!

Pozole Verde a.k.a. Pozolillo

Serves 4 Mexicans 6-8 Green coats.

8 cups /2Lt. chicken stock
3.5-4 lbs. Whole chicken or the meat of a roasted chicken shredded.
6-8 ears of white corn preferable or yellow corn de-kernel
2lbs green tomatillos.
3 poblano peppers remove seeds and deveined.
2-3 serrano peppers
1 large bunch cilantro
½ teaspoon mexican dry oregano
1 medium white onion
1 small head of garlic
2 teaspoons Sea Salt.

Garnish with:

Iceberg Lettuce shredded
Radishes
White Onion finely chopped
1-2 Lime wedges
Mexican Crema
Avocado
Corn Tostadas

Salsa toasted chile de Arbol:

1/4 cup Corn, Sunflower or Vegetable oil
14-20 Dry chiles de Arbol- (remove stems, include seeds)
1-2 medium garlic cloves
1 pinch of sea salt.

Toast in Oil about 14-20 dry red chile de arbol, until they have this mahogany dark color, remove from heat, add 2 garlic cloves cut in half and a good pinch of sea salt. Blend all this until a coarse puree. Add a dash of dis paste when ready to eat.The heat in this sauce-paste is mild, due to the toasting of the chiles, it makes it smoky and mild heat.

Preparation:

If you are using the whole chicken:

1. In a large pot add 8 cups of water ½ medium onion, ½ teaspoon oregano, ½ head of garlic ½ bunch of cilantro, 2 bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme, 2 carrots, 1 sprig of celery, 2 teaspoons sea salt. Add the whole chicken, skin on, cut in pieces, for faster cooking. Bring to a slow simmer; with a ladle remove the white foam that forms as it cooks. Cook for about 35-45 minutes. Until chicken is tender.
2. Once the chicken is cooked, Remove the chicken, herbs, onion, garlic, sieve the broth.
3. Let the chicken to cool down until riches a comfortable temperature to remove the skin and shred the chicken meat. Set aside.

If you are using a Roasted Chicken:

1. Remove skin from roasted chicken and shred. Save the chicken carcasses and set aside.
2. In a large pot add 8 cups of chicken stock, ½ onion, ½ teaspoon oregano, ½ head of garlic ½ bunch of cilantro, 1-2 teaspoon salt and the chicken carcasses from the roasted chicken. Bring to a slow simmer; with a ladle remove the white foam that forms as it cooks. Cook for about 20-25 minutes. Until chicken is tender.
3. Once the chicken broth is seasoned and cooked, Remove the chicken carcasses, herbs, onion, garlic. sieve.

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4. Remove the tomatillo husk, wash them and cut in halves. Cut poblano peppers in half remove the green veins, and seeds. In a blender add the tomatillos, poblano peppers, the other ½ onion, 3-4 garlic cloves, the other ½ bunch cilantro, salt, 2-3 serrano peppers. Add one serrano at a time and taste in between blending so you can measure how spicy it is. The serranos in this recipe are used to add flavor not spice, they act like black pepper. Add a little of the chicken broth from the pot to help blend all this. Blend until is pureed.
5. On a large deep pot add 1 tablespoon sunflower oil until oil is hot. Add the tomatillo blended sauce to the oil and cook for 5 minutes (careful it will splatter). Now that the sauce is sautéed, add the 8 cups of chicken stock, along with corn kernels. Bring to a slow simmer. Cook for about 25-35 minutes.The broth will change color from emerald green to a bright sage green. At this point taste to adjust for salt. Add your shredded chicken to warm through.

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7. Serve piping hot and garnish with shredded lettuce, chopped onions, slices of radishes, squeeze of lime and a dollop of crema. Enjoy!

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Pozole Verde~Yes, more please!

 

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Seared Rainbow Trout + Citrus-fennel-potato salad + Cilantro pesto

Seared Rainbow Trout : Citrus-fennel-potato salad & Cilantro pesto_Yes,more please!

This summer my basil plants have not done really well. I think my mistake was not being able to see that I had 3 plants in the same pot. Oh well! I separated them, but they are a bit annoyed with me at this time. If just they knew I love them. The reason I planted them is because I love pesto and without basil my next favorite herb for pesto is cilantro.
Cilantro is really hard to grow but easy to find fresh at the store or market so I decided to give it a shot and it seems I came up with a pretty exciting recipe. It is like a cross between pesto and the Argentinean chimichurri; not too creamy not too oily, right in the middle. I’m loving it. I used fresh cilantro, peanuts, and chilies. A hint of lemon zest and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I skipped the Parmigiano cheese and still  It’s creamy and light at the same time.

With this premise, I went to the seafood market and run into this gorgeous Rainbow Trout Fillets. Done deal! the perfect pairing for my pesto. Rainbow trout is a delicate fish but with enough character to old up the herb and zesty flavors. Trouts belong to the family of Salmon, so it has a firm flesh and good fatty acids, Therefore lots of flavors.
Fish intimidates a lot of people, and oh my God, “Fishskin” forget it!. Well, it is time for you to get out of your comfort zone and just do it.  Get resources, talk to your vendor, fisherman, fish aficionado, how to choose fish, where to get it in your city, how to choose a good one. For me, there are two clues to go by smell and texture. I do not buy fish that smell like fish and the flesh to the touch needs to be firm. The next intimidating factor comes from the not knowing how to cook it or which method works better. My friends, if you follow these simple instructions you are on your way to have a feast of kings!

Seared Rainbow Trout : Citrus-fennel-potato salad & Cilantro pesto_Rainbow Trout fillets

Seared Rainbow Trout : Citrus-fennel-potato salad & Cilantro pesto_Fresh Rainbow Trout Fillets

Seared Rainbow Trout + Citrus-fennel-potato salad + Cilantro Pesto

Serves 4

For the Cilantro Pesto:

4 cups  about 2 bunches of Cilantro include stems
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
3-4 chilies  2 serranos, 2 red sweet peppers (you can interchange chilies, like habanero, jalapeño, shishito, just add one at a time so you can control the spice level)
3-4  garlic cloves
1/2 – 3/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper

Preparation:
Add everything to the blender or food processor, blending and pulsing to desired consistency. You can live it more chunky or smooth is up to you.*

For the Left Over Pesto:
I’ve been using it in avocado sandwiches, pasta, and cucumber salad is a hit!. This recipe makes about 2-1 1/2 cups and stays good for about a week. Keep it in an airtight container and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pesto. This will prevent air from oxidizing it and turn it dark gray.

Seared-Rainbow-Trout_Cilantro-pesto_-ingredients_Yes,more-please!Seared Rainbow Trout : Citrus-fennel-potato salad & Cilantro pesto_Cilantro pesto

For the Potato Fennel Salad:

4-6 medium-small New red potatoes cook al dente.
1/2 a large bulb of fennel finely sliced
1/2 small red onion finely sliced.
1-2 handfuls of frisse (or arugula)
The juice of one medium orange.
A splash of Rice Vinegar
A splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Salt & Black pepper to taste

Preparation:
Place all salad ingredients in a bowl. Toss well a few minutes before serving so the potatoes can absorb some of the vinaigrette.

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Potato-Fennel-Salad_-tossing-the-salad

For the Seared Rainbow Trout:

4  Rainbow trout fillets skin on.
Kosher Salt &  fresh cracked Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

There are five rules to leave by when you are searing skin on trout fillets:

1- HOT skillet, I mean sizzling hot; water droplets dance in the skillet at this temperature.

2- Room temperature fish. Pull the fish out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before you gonna start cooking.

3- Pad dry the fish before seasoning.

4-Proper seasoning salt & pepper both sides of the fillet.

5- Skin side hits the pan first. One flip. That’s it! yes, one flip you read it well. So let’s start cooking…

Preparation:
Heat up a non-stick skillet. Place seasoned trout fillets skin side down into the very hot skillet. Do not crowd the pan, so you can ensure the skin of the trout is seared and crispy. Now, avoid the temptation, do not Look at it, don’t flip it, do not move it around. Don’t please!. Wait 1 and a half to 2 minutes, as soon as you start to see that the edges of the fillet are turning white (like a halo all around the perimeter) then carefully flip it with all your conviction in the knowing that ONE flip is enough.
The skin should be golden brown and crispy edges. Once you flip it is over. Give your fillets an extra 1 to 2 minutes tops.
Remove from heat let it rest a bit 40-60 seconds. And your fillets are Ready to serve.

Serve trout skin side up so stays crispy, top it with a generous spoonful of the pesto, roasted chopped peanuts and drizzle some lemon juice to finish it.
Top the trout with the red new potato and fennel salad. You can also serve this dish family style all arranged on a serving platter, take it to the table and A Comer! Serve immediately accompanied by a good glass of Vinho Verdhe like Casal Garcia from Portugal, or an Albarino 2009 La Cana, from Galicia Spain.
Enjoy!

Seared-Rainbow-Trout-with-Cilantro-pesto_How-to-sear-a-trout_filet_Yes,more-please!Seared-Rainbow-Trout-with-Cilantro-pesto_How-to-sear-a-trout_Yes,more-please!

Seared-Rainbow-Trout-with-Cilantro-pesto-ready-to-serve_Yes,more-please!

Seared-Rainbow-Trout-with-Citrus-fennel-potato-salad-&-Cilantro-pesto_Yes,more-please!

Enjoy!

Music Pairing: Ibrahim Ferrer- Buena Vista Social Club

Seared Rainbow Trout + Citrus-fennel-potato salad + Cilantro pesto

Serves 4 There are five rules to leave by when you are searing skin on trout fillets: 1- HOT skillet, I mean sizzling hot; water droplets dance in the skillet at this temperature. 2- Room temperature fish. Pull the fish out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before you gonna start cooking. 3- Pad dry the fish fillets before seasoning. 4-Proper seasoning salt & pepper both sides of the fillet. 5- Skin side hits the pan first. One flip. That’s it! yes one flip you read it well.
Course dinner
Cuisine FUSION
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Author Mariana McEnroe

Ingredients

For the Cilantro Pesto:

  • 4 cups about 2 bunches of Cilantro
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 3-4 chilies 2 Serrano peppers 2 red sweet peppers (you can interchange chilies, like habanero, jalapeño, shishito, just add one at a time so you can control the spice level.)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon.
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper.

For the Potato Fennel Salad:

  • 4-6 medium-small New red potatoes cook al dente.
  • 1/2 a large bulb of fennel finely sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion finely sliced.
  • 1-2 handfuls of frisse or arugula
  • The juice of one medium orange.
  • A splash of Rice Vinegar
  • A splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Salt & Black pepper to taste

For the Seared Rainbow Trout:

  • 4 Rainbow trout fillets skin on.
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Instructions

  1. Make the pesto: Add every pesto ingredient to the blender or food processor, blending and pulsing until a rough paste. Pulse it more times for a smoother consistency. I like it a bit more chunky, small pieces of peanuts still show and the herbs are roughly chopped, but not completely pureed.

  2. For the Left Over Pesto: I’ve been using it on avocado sandwiches, pasta, and cucumber salad is a hit!. This recipe makes about 2-1 1/2 cups and stays good for about a week. Keep it in an airtight container and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pesto. This will prevent air from oxidizing it and turn it dark gray.

  3. Make the potato salad: place all salad ingredients in a bowl and gently toss well a few minutes before serving so the potatoes can absorb some of the vinaigrette.

  4. Sear the fish: 

    Heat up a non-stick skillet. Place trout fillets into the very hot skillet remember the fish enters the pan skin side down. Do not crowd the pan, so you can ensure the skin of the trout is seared and crispy. Now, avoid the temptation, do not Look at it, don’t flip it, do not move it around. Don’t please!. Wait 1 and a half to 2 minutes,  as soon as you start to see that the edges of the fillet are turning white (like a halo all around the perimeter) then carefully flip it with all your conviction in the knowing that ONE flip is enough. 

    The skin should be golden brown and crispy edges. Once you flip it is over. Give your fillets an extra 1 to 2 minutes tops. 

    Remove from heat let it rest a bit 40-60 seconds. And your fillets are Ready to serve.

  5. Serve trout skin side up so stays crispy, top it with a generous spoonful of the pesto, roasted chopped peanuts and drizzle some lemon juice to finish it.

    Top the trout with the red new potato and fennel salad. You can also serve this dish family style all arranged on a serving platter, take it to the table and A Comer!

  6. Serve immediately accompanied by a good glass of Vinho Verdhe like Casal Garcia from Portugal, or an Albarino 2009 La Cana, from Galicia Spain.

    Enjoy!

 

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