Cajun Seared Salmon topped with a Simple Guacamole

I always forget how simple and easy fish is to make. I just always have to remember to thaw it properly in enough time for dinner! Ha! Luckily, yesterday, I remembered to put the frozen salmon into the fridge to slowly thaw the fish! I then ran it under WARM (not hot) water just before I cooked it while it was still in the vacuum sealed pack… just to finish the thawing. Once that was done… Dinner really took 20 minutes. Start to finish. How lovely is that?! Even if you work full time and need something quick to eat when you come home, this is a great answer! Serve this over a bit of rice, orzo pasta…. with some chips or… as is! I ate this with a few corn chips, and it was the perfect and filling dinner! I couldn’t even finish my portion of the salmon! DELISH though!

Salmon and a Simple Guacamole

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INGREDIENTS

1-2 lbs salmon (I did 2 salmon steaks of sockeye salmon – wild caught)
1 TB olive oil (I used light extra virgin olive oil)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Emeril’s Bayou Blast Cajun seasoning
2 TB butter
1 tsp black pepper
2 TB lemon juice

For the Simple Guacamole:

1 avocado, sliced
1 green onion diced
Juice from 1/2 of lemon
1/2 cup frozen corn (or fresh) slightly heated up and set aside
Salt and pepper to taste
2 TB chopped fresh parsley

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INSTRUCTIONS

Drizzle the olive oil over the salmon and rub the Cajun seasoning over and into the top of each salmon steaks. Place in fridge until ready to cook. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the cast-iron grill pan onto the stove and heat to medium-high. Salt the grill pan lightly.
Combine the avocado, green onion, parsley, lemon juice, corn and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well, chill until ready to use.
Grill the salmon skin side down on grill pan for 4 to 5 minutes. Top the salmon with pieces of the butter and the lemon juice and place into preheated oven (still on cast iron grill pan… make sure yours is oven safe!) And bake for 5-10 minutes to desired doneness. It really depends on the thickness of the salmon steaks. (I baked them for approximately 8 minutes.)
Top with some of the simple guacamole and enjoy!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

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Beer Batter Fish Tacos with a Fresh Lime Slaw & Guacamole

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So, I’ve got a bad cold coming on… I’m pretty miserable really. It just hit me overnight and got progressively more annoying throughout the day. I had dinner tonight planned already, because my father in law arrived today! John had asked me to make something “Mexican”, but I didn’t want to do something I’ve already done… so Fresh Fish Tacos it was. Since I felt crummy, I did NOT want to deal with GRILLING fish. It can be such a hassle, and I just knew that just because of how I felt, tonight would be the night that it would all fall apart and taste awful. So… beer battered it was! Not the lightest, but… still quite tasty! I cannot label this as light, but I can label it as “Fresh”. ūüôā

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Beer Battered Fish Ingredients:

3 wild caught Cod filets (or similar white fish)
3/4 cup of dark beer (I used Thomas Creek Red Ale)
2/3 cup of white whole wheat flour (plus about 1/3 cup for dredging)
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

  1. Combine beer, flour, cayenne and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk until a smooth batter is achieved. Set aside.
  2. Cut fish into 3″ pieces (Depending on type of fish, make sure it does not have bones). Pour a little flour onto a plate. Lightly dredge fish pieces in flour, shaking off excess. Set aside.
  3. Heat about 1″ vegetable oil in a deep skillet over high heat. Move floured fish and batter near the stove. Dip the floured fish pieces into the batter, ensuring each piece is fully coated and excess drips off. Fry fish pieces, a few at a time, until golden brown and crisp on one side. Use metal tongs or a metal spatula to flip them and cook on the other side. Remove carefully and drain on paper towels..
  4. To assemble tacos, top each corn tortilla with a few pieces of fish, slaw (recipe below), guacamole, a bit of salsa verde and, if desired, some feta or contija cheese.

Slaw Recipe:

1/4 head of cabbage (regular white or napa)
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 TB of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Guacamole recipe posted here: http//dancinandcookininthekitchen.com/2014/06/02/sunday-lunch/

I served with Sweet Potato (tortilla) chips and salsa.

Turned out quite good!!!! I would definitely make this again!!

 

Enjoy!

And, for the quote of the day:

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Cowboy Burgers and Homemade Fries

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So, a nice summer dish… you think burgers, right?? Well, also, do you have some extra guacamole and no chips left?? Onions, and don’t have a recipe to put them in? (Yeah, me neither… lol, but that’s ok). Want a summer meal that won’t take forever, but tastes AMAZING??? Make these cowboy burgers!! I got rave reviews from my brother and husband… and I even loved them!! DELISH!

Ingredients:

Balsamic Sauteed Onions:

1/2 onion cut into large pieces
1/4 tsp minced garlic
2 TB balsamic vinegar
2 TB olive oil

Sautee all above ingredients until onions are caramelized and soft

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Burgers:

1.5 lbs. ground beef (I used 85/15, but you can use a leaner beef if you’d like)
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
1/2 TB chili powder
1 TB BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)

Stir all above ingredients together and form into patties (where you make the inside of the burger thinner than the outside… see Rachael Ray’s tutorial on how to shape a burger patty!!) and set aside.

When ready to make, either put onto a hot grill, or do as I do: pop them on a heated up and salted GRILL PAN!!! I just “grilled” them for about 4 min per side, and right before I took them off the grill, I topped them with my cheese of choice, made sure it melted, and then took off and placed onto the bun. Then, I topped that with the onions, guacamole, and placed the 2nd half of the bun and ENJOYED!!!! DELICIOUS!

Ho1memade French Fries:

5 Yukon Gold potatoes cut into THIN fries. I left the skin on
1 tsp. garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
2  TB olive oil (drizzled over potatoes)
1 TB chopped rosemary

After cutting potatoes into small fries, soak in cold water. When ready to bake, drain water, and toss with all above seasonings and put onto a greased pan and toss again. Make sure it’s just a single layer of fries. Bake at 450 in a PREHEATED oven for 15 min. If not crispy enough, put back into the oven for 5-8 min on LOW BROIL to crisp them up! And then ENJOY! (Toss around half way thru)

Guacamole: 

Check out my recipe in this previous post: https://dancinandcookininthekitchen.com/2014/06/02/sunday-lunch/

These burgers turned out so juicy and delicious, and were very quick to put together! I, for some reason, never realized how easy burgers were!!! WINNER!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Spicy Shrimp Tostado with Refried Black Beans and Guacamole

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These tostados were on my list since I saw them. I changed a few things, so now, the recipe is mine!! ūüôā I needed something pretty quick, but realized I was out of refried beans…. so, I made some out of canned black beans!!!

Recipe for Refried Black Beans:

1 can Organic Black Beans
1/2 cup organic low sodium vegetable broth
1 TB canola oil
3 TB finely diced onion
1 tsp. cumin
1 TB butter
1/8 tsp minced garlic

Refried Black Beans Directions:
Put oil and onion and cumin into sauce pan and stir and simmer until onions start to become translucent. In the mean time, rinse the can of black beans until all of the liquid that it is canned in is gone. I usually do this in a colander. Then, take the black beans and the vegetable broth, and put into a blender, or like me, the nutribullet. Blend until smooth. Then, add into the sauce pan with the onion and oil blend. Stir, and add the butter and garlic. Let simmer until cooked down and thick and able to “pull” from the bottom of the pan.

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Shrimp:

8-10 shrimp
2-3 TB olive oil (or similar oil)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
ground black pepper
Place shrimp into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Then sprinkle on the spices and toss. Place onto tin-foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. (This is for medium sized shrimp, you want to cook until no longer translucent).

Tostada Ingredients:

Shrimp (as cooked above)
Heated up frozen corn(about 2 TB per tostada)
Guacamole (about 2 TB per tostada)
diced tomatoes (as much as you’d like!)
Refried Black Beans (as cooked about) about 2-3 TB, as you’d like

I bought the corn tostadas. Place on a plate. Refried beans first, then guacamole, then the corn, tomatoes, then shrimp. ENJOY!!!!!!

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Copy-Cat Chipotle Burrito Bowls! (With quick chips)

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These were AMAZING!!! I will most likely be repeating this recipe in my kitchen again!! Oh man, they were GOOD!

Ingredients: 

1 large chicken breast, “butterflied” (cut in half, and layed out flat)
2 TB of adobo sauce from a can of Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 TB olive oil

this is for 1 chicken breast, if you cook more, to make food for more than 3-4 people, double or triple the recipe. My recipe fed 4 people.

Combine the seasonings and sauce together with a spoon, and spread over both sides of the chicken breast. Put into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour “marinating”. You can marinate it for as little as 15 minutes, or overnight if you wish. After¬†

While the chicken is marinating, get the rice going.

After the chicken is done marinating, place on grill, or like me… use your trusty cast iron grill pan! Grill for 7-8 minutes per side, and cut a slice in the thickest part to make sure it’s cooked through and not translucent. Then, cut into 2 inch chunks for on the burrito bowl. ENJOY!

Build a Bowl ingredients: 

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Cilantro Lime Copy-cat rice: http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Chipotle-Cilantro-Lime-Rice-Copycat/step2/Chop-squeeze-mix-and-enjoy/

This recipe for rice that I found on this blog… PERFECT!!

1 cup rice
juice from 1/2 lime plus zest
1/2 TB olive oil (just a drizzle)
salt and pepper seasoning to taste
1/4 cup chopped FRESH cilantro

I cook my rice in a rice cooker. Take the 1 cup of Jasmine Rice, and place into a mesh colander. Wash the rice until it runs clean. Then, put into the rice cooker, and cover with water, just over the top, until if you put your finger to rest on top of the rice, the water will come just to the first “knuckle” on your pointer finger. Then, press cook and forget it! After the rice is done, you take out, fluff, and add the cilantro, lime juice and zest, add a bit of oil and salt and pepper. AMAZING!

Guacamole recipe is listed here: https://dancinandcookininthekitchen.com/2014/06/02/sunday-lunch/

Peppers & Onions: I just sliced up 1/4 of a yellow onion, and half of a red bell pepper, and sauteed in a tiny bit of olive oil until soft.

Scallion: I just sliced up 1 green onion.

Corn:¬†The corn is just a bag of steamed frozen corn. You could also slice leftover grilled corn off of the cob… I imagine that would be AWESOME!

Lettuce: The lettuce is just romaine lettuce cut up.

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CHIPS:

I just took 4 flour tortillas, cut into 6 pieces each, sprayed the cookie sheet w/coconut oil cooking spray, and then the other side of the tortilla w/the cooking spray. Then, I sprinkled fine sea salt onto the one side of the chip. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Voila!

 

 

Sunday Lunch

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There are a few recipes that need to go in here… so I’ll start with the simple.

Beets:

Fresh beets, cut up and boiled for 20 minutes. Then, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. YUM!

Guacamole:

2 avocados, sliced and diced
the juice of 1 lime
1/4 sweet onion
splash of hot sauce
1 small bunch of FRESH cilantro (about 1/4 cup)
grape tomatoes sliced in half (I used around 10)

Shrimp Caprese Orzo Pasta

Original recipe: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=2746948

Minutes to Prepare: 5
Minutes to Cook: 10
Number of Servings: 4

 

Ingredients

Orzo Pasta, 1 cup 
Grape Tomatoes cut in 1/2, 1 cup 
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Basil, 1 tbsp
 White Balsamic Vinegar, 1 tbsp 
Salt, 1 dash
Pepper, black, 1 dash
*Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 tbsp
Juice of 1 lemon, plus the zest
Shrimp, raw, 10 medium
1/4 of a cucumber, sliced
FRESH mozzarella cut into slices
While orzo pasta is cooking according to box instructions, mix the tomatoes, half the garlic, the basil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and mozzarella cheese in a serving dish.In the oven, at 350 degrees, cook shrimp in the remaining garlic and the EVOO. About 8-15 minutes (depending on size and if they were frozen).

Drain pasta and stir together with diced tomato mixture and then top with cooked shrimp.

Serving Size: Makes 3-4 Dinner Portions

Number of Servings: 4

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

 

Greek Chicken:

adapted from this recipe: http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/06/greek-marinated-chicken/

Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ¬Ĺ Tbsp dried oregano $0.08
  • 1/2 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 medium lemon
  • ¬Ĺ tsp ground himalayan sea salt
  • freshly cracked pepper $0.05
  • ¬ľ bunch fresh parsley $0.20
  • 3¬Ĺ to 4 lbs chicken pieces $6.86
  • Instructions
    1. To make the marinade, combine the yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl. Use a fine holed cheese grater or a zester to scrape the thin layer of yellow zest from the lemon skin into the bowl. Also add the juice from half of the lemon (about 1-2 Tbsp). Stir until the ingredients are well combined. Roughly chop a big handful, or about ¬ľ bunch, of parsley and stir it into the marinade.
    2. Add the chicken pieces and marinade to a gallon sized zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible, close the bag tightly, and massage the bag to mix the contents and make sure the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate the bag for 30 minutes.
    3. After marinating for 30 minutes, either cook the chicken on a grill OR preheat the oven to 375 degrees in preparation to bake the chicken.
    4. To bake the chicken, place the chicken pieces in a large casserole dish (9×13). Bake the chicken in the preheated 375 degree oven for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown on top.