Grilled Fish Fillet on a sweet Coconut Rice, topped with a fresh salsa tropical with a touch of heat to bring you right under the tropics sun!
A decade ago… I was travelling with my now husband and my little black cocker throughout South America and we ended up in beautiful Cartagena, Colombia. I believe one of my top places in the world! We loved it there, and after living for a year in Peru everything seemed so different on the other side of the continent. Starting with the first meal we’ve got… coconut rice and grilled fish! Sooo simple and sooo unforgettable. Although in Colombia they make a “sofrito” (a reduction until paste) with the coconut milk first to give it extra taste and a brownish color, here I’ve skipped this step to simply cook the rice in coconut milk. The coconut flavor is all there though, plus it’s way faster and easier this way. A full on coconut taste with an optional makrut lime leave to give it zesty feel that is so inviting! Yes… a bit rich some would say, but if you eat it with a lean fish fillet… the balance is great!
I’m all about mangos… who isn’t really? But when added to a savory dish better cut some of that sweetness off… and no better friend to make this happen than a hot pepper and a vinegar touch! The perfect spiked sweet and sour combo, sweet mango, sour apple vinegar and spicy habanero is a match made in heaven… Yes!… That cheezy! Anyhow, this salsa goes well anywhere but combined with the coconut rice this dish will bring you right to the tropics. A perfect summertime dish!
So let’s travel to the tropics!
Grilled Fish Fillet with a Tropical Salsa & Coconut Rice
1/2 tsp of finely chopped hot pepper of your choice (I’ve used habanero)
full hand of cilantro leaves finely chopped
The Fish fillet
4 fish fillet (I’ve used a megrim here, but sole, halibut or turbot are great)
1 *garlic clove
salt and pepper
Start by making the Coconut rice, add the coconut milk to the rice, a broken makrut lime leave and some salt and cook the usual way (15 min)
Cut all the ingredients for the Salsa Tropical into small dices, adding the seasonning and reserve
Bring a grill pan or grill to high heat, add a touch of cooking oil spray and the seasoned with salt fish, let it cook rapidly until the cooking line is halfway up, about 1-2 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets
Turn the fish and add the *optional garlic and a bit more of olive oil and make sure it goes all over the pan, cook another 1-2 minutes or until done
Serve the fillets over the coconut rice and topped with the tropical salsa.
Spicy-Mango Shrimp Skewers are a colorful, tropical and most of all delicious. Spicy and sweet is one of my favorite combination, although it’s a mildly spiced recipe. Those skewers remind me of Caribbean food, especially with the mango and little sprinkle of grated (unsweetened) coconut. You can simply make a bunch of those under 15 minutes, no need to marinate, on the BBQ or the oven, so simple to make. The solely added ingredients, other than the obvious ones, are a spicy paprika or any hot pepper powder you prefer and coconut shreds. If you don’t want to let go of summer, this is the way, it will warm you right up.
This dish can be serve as an appetizer or main meal, it’s light, fresh and filled with vitamins, in other words, a healthy dish. You also could make smaller version of skewers for a hors d’oeuvre style dinner or tapas night. I’ve added the skewers on a bed of the grated coconut for presentation, so the guest can choose the ones on top if he doesn’t like the coconut factor. Anyhow… it’s a happy, light and punchy in flavors and colors crowd pleaser.
Spicy-Mango Shrimp Skewers
a few medium sized shrimps
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
salt and pepper
If you use wooden sticks soak them in water, to prevent them from burning
Cut all the ingredients into small pieces, unfreeze the shrimp in cold water
Makes the skewers
Sprinkle with the paprika to taste, salt and pepper
Cook at 200°C (400F) for about 10 minutes (depending on the size of your shrimps, until firm) in the oven or on the BBQ (less time in the BBQ)
Serve with a sprinkle of grated coconut
Serve as a main meal on rice or appetizers on coconut shreds. So simple and tasty. Enjoy!
Summer is almost here… it’s time for outdoor fun, it’s time for a refreshing Sangria! Here is a slightly different one, a healthier version from the traditional red wine sangria. It’s the Hibiscus Sangria with mango, mandarin and lime slices and Cava (sparkling wine), to make it extra bubbly!
I’ve seen a recipe not long ago of “agua de Jamaica”, a simple juice made of infusing hibiscus leaves and sugar then cool it. The picture looked so yummy, and I thought, those flower are so pretty… they must taste pretty good too. Well, I found some hibiscus leaves in the market, tried as a simple tea… without any sugar… wasn’t tasty like they looked… I was shocked by how unpleasant taste that infusion had… then I had little stevia (natural sugar) and cooled it overnight. Wow the difference it make with a bit of sugar sometimes… It went from 0 to hero drink!
Hibiscus leaves have many health benefits, it help control your blood pressure, by lowering the LDL and increase the HDL which means; it helps your heart stay strong. Also, it’s used in many diets because of its great properties of helping to keep the weight off, it’s a good inflammatory and diuretic, even help to increase your man’s libido, etc. End of story: it’ s a magic flower! We should all get to know better “hibiscus” in other words. So this is my number one, healthier factor in this Sangria and also, I add instead of red wine a “Cava” sparkling wine (Spain but could be any Sparkling wine) which cuts the amount of calories.
The sangria preparation isn’t one easy one, if you do it the right way… It takes a maceration time of your fruits first, which means you’ll have to plan to make it ahead. Back in college, living with 4 roommates, I use to make a big Sangria every year to celebrate the beginning of summer. Which is a big deal in Canada… I would do it in a big salad bowl with lots of fruits like oranges, lemon, peaches etc. Now that, I am living in Sangria land… I have to keep the tradition going. This year, it’s the year of the “Healthy Hibiscus Sangria” version and it’s delicious!
Let’s summer start!
Hibiscus Sangria with mango, orange and lime
Make a big punch bowl (1 1/2 litre)
1 bottle of Cava(or sparkling wine of your choice)
600ml + (100ml for ice cubes) of infused hibiscus leaves water (Add like 6 tbsp of leaves to make 700ml)
3 tbsp sugar(or 2 tbsp of stevia for healthier result)
1 mango sliced
2 mandarins slices
2 limes slices
4 tbsp of Grand Marnier(or Triple Sec, Cointreau or Curacao)
*optional extra sparkling water if you like it bubbly
Infuse the hibiscus leaves for 5 minutes and add the sugar while it’s still hot
Cool the infusion (Make some ice cubes with 100ml of the infusion)
Wash and cut into slices all the fruits
Add the fruits to the hibiscus infusion, cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours
Add the Grand-Marnier, the cold Cava (sparkling wine) and ice cubes to the cold infusion
Mix and serve
Serve with the hibiscus ice cubes and a few pieces of fruits! Enjoy!
Mango Chicken tandoori skewers is such a healthy and warm dish. Tandoori chicken by definition is suppose to be cooked into a Tandoor (clay) oven… but who owns one of those in the western world?? So I simply use the Paste (marinade) called Tandoori, which you can find in markets around the world. The sauce is red, delicious and spicy… yet not “hot” spiced. I love to eat my Tandoori chicken with a side sauce of yogurt, cilantro and lime and a few pieces of pepper and mango. This fruity touch could be substituted by pineapple. The balance in this dish is perfect, spicy, creamy smooth and fruity! Top combinaison and extra healthy. Obviously, since I am on the “eternal diet” I used a low fat greek yogurt for the sauce and the marinade of the chicken.
Tandoori chicken needs to marinade into a mix of plain yogurt and tandoori paste for a few hours, usual a good 12-24 hours. This paste contain all those special indian spices and the famous red color of the dish, which, by the way, on my pictures are not as red as it usually is. I’ve used a new type of tandoori marinade and the color wasn’t as red as I would I’ve liked. The taste was all there though… So once the chicken is finally marinated you can simply cook the skewers in the oven, which I did, or you can imitate the actual Tandoor oven by cooking it on charcoal BBQ.
So let’s cook some indian dish tonight!
Mango Chicken Tandoori Skewers
Makes 2-3 portions
2 chicken breast cut into long thick strips
150g tandoori paste
150g of plain yogurt (1 small yogurt)
mangos or pineapple in cubes
red bell pepper in cubes
1 small plain yogurt cup
2 hands of fresh coriander leaves
Bring oven to 180°C (350F)
Add the Tandoori paste, plain yogurt to the chicken pieces and marinate for 12-24 hours
Make the yogurt sauce by blending the coriander and mixing the yogurt, lime and salt, pepper. Reserve
When the chicken is marinated, pass the wood skewers under water to prevent them from burning
Cut the mango and pepper and assemble the skewers with the Tandoori chicken
Cook the chicken skewers for 25 minutes at 180°C (350F)
Serve with nice long grain rice and the yogurt sauce. Enjoy!