Rockfish Tacos with Carrot-Bean Slaw and Avocado Cream

24 03 2016

So here I am, This Girl is back…from a LONG break after having a baby! Bare with me as I get back to real cooking and blogging (enough with the frozen pizza, to-go orders and week-old leftovers, although I can stretch a leftover now like you wouldn’t believe)!

These tacos were inspired by last night’s baby food, homemade of course, and admittedly my son has been eating better than me lately. I made him pureed avocado and corn. I love the silky smooth texture, which is different then my usual chunky guac. Here I pureed avocado with sour cream making a “sauce” for these tacos, although his combo with the corn would be delicious as well. Too bad he ate it all! Next time I’m doubling, half for him and half for us!

Rockfish Tacos with Carrot-Bean Slaw and Avocado-Sour Cream

The following makes 4-5 large tacos (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 1 lb skinless rockfish, cubed
  • ½ Tbsp ancho chile powder (you could use regular chile powder, I just wanted to match the smokey flavor in the poblano)
  • ½ tsp each ground cumin and garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp each salt and onion powder
  • Olive oil
  • 1 heaping cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) blank beams, rinsed well
  • ½ cup sliced green onions
  • 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tortillas (I used multi-grain soft taco tortillas)
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend

Char the poblano pepper over an open flame on your stove. Continue to turn and char until all sides are done. Place in a medium bowl and immediately cover tightly with plastic wrap. This will trap the steam to make peeling easier.

Combine chile powder, cumin, garlic, salt and onion powder in a small bowl. Season fish liberally all over using spice blend. Add olive oil (few turns of the pan) to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add seasoned fish and saute until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.

While the fish is cooking, uncover the pepper once cool enough to handle and peel the skin. Don’t take too much time removing, leaving some of the char on will add flavor. Cut in half, remove seeds and rough chop/large dice. Add back to the bowl along with the carrots, beans and green onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper, any spice blend you have leftover from seasoning the fish, juice of half the lime and the rice vinegar. Mix well and set aside.

Add the avocado and sour cream to a small food processor along with salt and pepper to taste and juice from the rest of the lime. Pulse until smooth and set aside.

Warm tortillas in the microwave, or if you have time you can char them over an open flame on your stove or on the grill.

Finally, build your tacos. Spread some of the avocado-sour cream on the bottom of a tortilla, top with some cheese, the carrot-bean slaw and fish. Enjoy any leftover slaw as a side dish along with the tacos.

Mini Crab Cakes With Mango Chutney and Cilantro-Avocado Sauce

16 06 2014

I recently started a supper club with a group of close friends of ours, and this past weekend we headed to the beaches of OBX! Well not literally, but with an awesome spread of sea-side food it felt like we did!

My contribution included these awesome baked mini crab cakes, with a delicious creamy sauce and tangy chutney! Try not to be overwhelmed with how long this recipe is. There are several parts, which honestly have a lot of ingredients, and there’s a good amount of chopping to be done. But it’ll be worth it, especially if you’re out to impress your friends and fam because these are superbly delicious! My only regret is not having made extras!

Mini Crab Cakes (2)

The following makes 16 crab cakes (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat, Ina Garten and Emeril Lagasse):

For the crab cakes:

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small diced red onion (3/4 cup)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups small diced celery (4 stalks)
  • 1 small diced red bell pepper (1/2 cup)
  • 1 small diced yellow bell pepper (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 can (16 oz) wild caught crab meat or 1/2 pound lump crabmeat, drained and check that there aren’t any shells
  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs or panko
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, celery, peppers, parsley, hot sauce, Worcestershire, Old Bay and salt. Mix to combine and cook until the veggies are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, break up the lump crabmeat into small pieces and toss with the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard and eggs. Add the cooled veggies mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350.
  4. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out small portions of the crab mixture (to make mini crab cakes) and place on non-stick baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Increase the heat to 450 and bake for another 5-10 minutes to help get a golden crust.

For the Mango Salsa (makes about 1 and 1/2 cups):

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped poblano peppers
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  1. Combine mango, poblano, peppers, onion and garlic in a bowl and mix. Add vinegar, cilantro and salt and stir well.
  2. Refrigerate in an air-tight container with a lid until you’re ready to serve.
For the Cilantro-Avocado Sauce (makes about 2 cups):
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 lime zested
  • 1 lime juiced (about 4-5 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce
  1. Combine everything in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

 To serve:

  • Using your squeeze bottle full of sauce, squeeze some of the sauce onto a large serving plate (or in individual cups like shown above). Top with one crab cake if plating individually, then top with some of the mango salsa.

Vegetarian Chili With Avocado Salsa

15 10 2012

I’m a sucker for a good bowl of chili, especially on a cold fall night. Tonight fit the bill for me to try this vegetarian spin on a hearty classic. This chili is just as delicious and filling, but I didn’t miss the meat….give it a try and see for yourself!

Vegetarian Chili With Avocado Salsa

The following makes 4 servings (compliments of the South Beach Cookbook):

Vegetarian Chili:

  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 can (14-19 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 can (14 and 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 can (14 oz) vegetable broth
  • 1 can (4 oz) green chile peppers, chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Avocado Salsa:

  • 1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

To make the avocado salsa:

In a large bowl, combine the avocado, tomato, onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, cumin and pepper. Lightly toss and let stand for 30 minutes.

To make the vegetarian chili:

While the salsa stands, make the chili. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes (with juice), broth, chile peppers, chili powder, garlic, cumin and oregano and simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve with the avocado salsa, sour cream and lime wedges. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Potato, Chorizo and Cheese Quesadilla With Avocado-Yogurt Crema

7 05 2012

In my last post for Potato, Chorizo and Cheese Casserole I mentioned this casserole would also make a great filling for quesadillas. So in true resourceful fashion, I turned leftovers into tonight’s dinner….quesadillas. The addition of the avocado-yogurt crema totally made the dish!

Potato, Chorizo and Cheese Quesadilla With Avocado-Yogurt Crema

The following serves 2:

  • 4 flour tortillas, fajita style
  • Leftover potato and chorizo casserole
  • Extra mexican shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 lime, zest and half the juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Reheat the potato and chorizo casserole in a large saute pan with a little olive oil over medium heat. As it warms through, mash it with a potato masher. Divide the potato and chorizo mixture equally between two tortillas (I like to build and cook these on a pizza stone). Top with some shredded cheese and place another tortilla on top and firmly press down. Bake on the pizza stone in the oven until the tops start to crisp, then flip and continue baking until the bottoms start to crisp.

For the avocado-yogurt crema: Puree yogurt, cilantro or parsley, oil, garlic, avocado and zest and lime juice until smooth. Season with a little cayenne, salt and black pepper. Mix well and adjust seasoning to your liking. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Remove tortillas from oven and let cool for a few minutes before cutting. Serve along with the avocado-yogurt crema and a salad if desired. The salad I made shown above was with romaine lettuce, parsley, lime juice, olive oil, garlic powder and a little salt.

Tandoori Spiced Chicken Tacos With Leftover Avocado, Yogurt and Cumin Dip

16 04 2012

I wanted to use up some of my leftover avocado, yogurt and cumin dip  from the weekend (see the dip portion of my post from yesterday). I immediately thought about something Indian or Mexican. And then a light bulb…who needs to choose when you can fuse both with an Indian-spiced chicken taco?!?

I have a great pre-made tandoori spice from my local farmers market. I recommend saving yourself time and looking for the pre-made kind, but if you can’t find it, below is Bobby Flay’s tandoori spice breakdown.

Tandoori Spiced Chicken Tacos With Leftover Avocado, Yogurt and Cumin Dip

The following serves 2-4:

  • 1 Tbsp pre-made tandoori spice
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 – 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Soft flour tortillas, count on at least 2 per person (I like to use the fajita style so you can really fill them up!)
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Leftover avocado, yogurt and cumin dip
  • Queso fresco cheese, crumbled or chopped
  • Box of 5 minute couscous
  • Half a lime, zest and juice
  • Cumin

This Girl’s way: I cut my chicken in large cubes and then tossed with 1 Tbsp of the pre-made tandoori spice I have along with 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil. That was more than enough spice to coat the chicken evenly. I marinated the chicken with the spices and oil in the fridge for an hour or so.

Bobby’s tandoori spice blend: 2 Tbsp each of onion powder, garlic powder, ground ginger and ground coriander; 1 Tbsp each of ground cumin, ground cayenne,  ground turmeric, ground white pepper and kosher salt; 3 tablespoons vegetable oil. If you’re following Bobby’s blend, I recommend combining all the spices first, then toss some with the chicken until you feel you have it well coated – then add the oil (store any leftover spice in an airtight container to use another time).

Pan sear the chicken in a little olive oil over medium-high heat for about 5 – 7 minutes, or until the juices of the chicken run clear, tossing often.

While the chicken is working, cook the couscous according to the package, but also add in some lime zest and a sprinkle of cumin to the cooking liquid. When the chicken and couscous are just about done, wrap tortillas in a damp towel and microwave for about a minute.

To build the tacos, spread some of the avocado, yogurt and cumin dip on the taco; top with lettuce, chicken and some queso fresco cheese (if desired). Serve alongside the couscous (hit the couscous with a splash of lime juice just before serving). Enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day!

Crostini With Chicken, Avocado, Yogurt and Cumin

15 04 2012

This is an easy, light and delicious appetizer recipe. I found the idea for an avocado-yogurt dip with cumin from Cooking Light, but rather than serving it straight up as a dip, I took it up a notch by adding chicken and serving it on toasted garlic crostini. I show how to do both ways below.

Crostini With Chicken, Avocado, Yogurt and Cumin

The following makes 2 cups of dip, or a loaf of chicken-dip crostini:

  • 1 store-bought cooked rotisserie chicken, cubed
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (original recipe called for fat-free plain yogurt, but I added Greek instead)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped and seeded jalapeno pepper (I used one pepper)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 ripe pelled avocados, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Loaf of ciabatta bread, sliced

Preheat oven to 400.  Heat olive oil over low heat and once warm, add some garlic, crushed cloves or minced will work. Continue to heat the oil and garlic just until the garlic begins to brown, season with salt and then turn off the heat. Brush ciabatta bread with garlic infused olive oil and bake until toasted and golden.

Place all ingredients (minus the chicken) in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth.

In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the avocado-yogurt mixture. Top ciabatta crostini with the chicken-dip.

You could also serve the avocado-yogurt mixture as a dip without the chicken. Serve the dip with pita wedges or pita chips and any combination of cut veggies such as carrots, celery, red bell pepper, grape tomatoes or cucumber.

You can prepare the dip portion of this recipe up to eight hours in advance and refrigerate in an airtight container.

Avocado Butter Spread

5 03 2012

I found this avocado butter recipe in Cuisine at Home, which suggested using the butter as a topping on garlic bread. It’s not really a butter, it’s more like a spread but has the consistency of butter. I just so happened to have all the ingredients on hand and this sounded so good, I decided to make up a batch to use as a spread for a chicken wrap instead.

Chicken Wrap with Avocado Butter Spread

  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 Tbsp minced scallions
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Puree avocado, cilantro, scallions, lemon juice, olive oil and salt in a food processor or immersion blender. Puree until consistency of butter, about 1 minute.

The wrap itself is super simple too. I just sauteed a small chicken breast lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder in a little olive oil. While the chicken is resting, build the wrap. I took a sun-dried tomato basil wrap – laid it flat on a foiled baking sheet and then topped it on one side with grated Vermont white cheddar cheese, sliced red onion and the sauteed chicken, sliced. I broiled it for a few minutes (laid open) on a low broil until the cheese melted. Then I spread a good amount of the avocado butter on the other side and topped with some sliced romaine. Roll up, slice in half and enjoy!