Monday, January 31, 2011

Flounder-Wrapped Asparagus with Tangerine Reduction

I found this great place that I like to get fresh and local seafood, it is called Catalina Offshore Products. As far as I'm concerned, they have the freshest fish and the best specials this side of the Mississippi (or at least here in San Diego)! I love getting the catch of the day. It is always a fun little surprise for me when I find out the fish I get and the added bonus is to figure out how I want to cook it!

The catch of the day: Flounder....yum!

Featured in my Farmers Market Bag produce: Asparagus (yes, in January!)

Fresh off my tree right now: Tangerines, and lots of em!

A quick Internet search with these ingredients in mind led me to an Epicurious recipe that sounded delicious and was easily adaptable. This beautiful eye-catching dish was light and summery, yet full of delicate flavor. I know it may sound odd for January, but I will argue that the weather has been in the 70's all week! So if you are looking for something tasty or want to eat something that helps you pretend it's summer, then I suggest giving it a try!

Flounder-Wrapped Asparagus with a Tangerine Reduction sauce

For the Fish:
1 lb thin white fish such as Flounder, Sole, Grouper, or Halibut
2 Tbsp grey shallots, finely chopped
8 shavings of tangerine zest
1 bunch fresh asparagus (ends trimmed)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 C chicken broth or vegetable stock
paprika for dusting

Preheat oven to 450. Brush a roasting pan with olive oil and sprinkle shallots and zest into pan.
Prepare a pot of boiling water and immerse asparagus spears into boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer to an ice-water bath with a slotted spoon and allow to cool.

Rinse and pat-dry fish and arrange on cutting board. Trim into 3 or four pieces (first thinning or butterflying fillets if necessary). Season with salt and pepper. Lay 5 or 6 asparagus spears perpendicularly across each fillet and wrap fish around so that the seam is on the bottom. Transfer to prepared roasting pan. Brush fish with olive oil, season with more salt and pepper, dust with paprika and add broth to pan. Cover with foil and bake 15-18 minutes until fish is just barely cooked through.

For the Sauce:
1/2 C + 2 Tbsp fresh tangerine juice
1 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped grey shallots
8 Tbsp Earth Balance (or Butter if you can tolerate it)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
sprig of fresh summer savory or thyme

Boil tangerine juice with shallot in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat until reduced to about 3 or 4 Tbsp (5 minutes). Reduce heat, add savory or thyme sprig and whisk in butter gradually, 1 Tbsp at a time while whisking constantly. Remove from heat and add salt, cayenne and lemon juice.

When fish is done, reserve the pan juices and transfer fish to a platter and cover with a foil. Discard zest and pour the pan juices into a small skillet and boil over med-high heat until reduced to half (about 2 minutes). Gradually whisk into Tangerine Reduction, then spoon over fish and serve.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wonton Crisps with Green Curry Mango-Shrimp Salad

Allow me to present an appetizer for your next gathering to impress the crowd and tickle their taste buds! The recipe is two steps. #1 is to make the wonton crisps, which can conveniently be done ahead of time, and #2 is to make your stuffing, which can be anything you want to experiment with! Below is my recipe for a mango-shrimp green curry salad which is full of flavor and texture. I love the zing of spice from the curry paste which is balanced with a creamy coolness from the mango, lime and mayonnaise.

Wonton Crisps with Green Curry Mango-Shrimp Salad

Wonton Cups:
1 package prepared wonton wrappers (can be found at any Asian market or this brand is available at your local Whole Foods)
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp water
Whisk together oil, honey and water until combined. Using a pastry brush, brush each side of a wonton wrapper with oil mixture and insert into mini muffin tins or silicone baking cups, coaxing the tops to curl decoratively. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until crispy and browned. Remove from molds, cool and set aside.

(Can be made 2-3 days ahead of time. Store in an air tight container.)

Green Curry Mango-Shrimp Salad:

1/2 C mayonnaise
1 Tbsp green curry paste
1/2 Tbsp sriracha hot sauce
Dash of soy sauce
juice of one lime
1/4 C cilantro, chopped finely
2-3 Tbsp mint, finely chopped
4 scallions, diced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 mango, firm but ripe, finely diced
1 1/2 lb cooked baby shrimp

Whisk together wet ingredients and herbs until well combined. Season to taste. Mix in scallions, bell pepper, mango and shrimp. (Can also be made 1 day ahead)

Spoon into prepared wonton cups, place on decorative platter (I used my bamboo steamer baskets) and serve immediately.

**TTK TIP** To avoid soggy wonton cups, line each wonton with a small piece of butter lettuce before filling with mixture. Adds some color and a little crisp!