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Tequila Lime Shrimp Bowl is a light mexican citric recipe with a touch of heat made of sauté shrimps, avocado, cilantro leaves, pico de gallo, mango and quinoa for a light and colorful Mexican dinner.Tequila lime shrimp bowl with avocado, pico de gallo, avocado, quinoa and cilantro

Mexican Shrimps tequila lime avocado mango cilantro and pico de gallo

This Mexican bowl is filled with fresh and colorful ingredients and simply irresistible for a hot summer night. The protagonist of the bowl here is the shrimps, they are cooked in a tad of tequila, garlic, habanero and a squeeze of lime for a little boost in flavor. I saw the recipe of Tequila Lime Shrimp here and there on the web and wanted to try it out. I add to come up with a slightly different version, so I’ve done a Mexican Bowl. Nothing looks more appealing to me than a simple bowl with lots of fresh and colorful veggies one next to the other and a touch of protein and grains.

To flame or not to flame

Tequila lime shrimp bowlFor sauté the shrimps I didn’t flamed them in the tequila, I wanted the shrimp to simply cook in this super tasty broth to get all that residual sweetness from the agave the calm way… to kick up the shrimps a notch. I’ve used a reposado type of Tequila which is darker and sweeter, although any tequila would do, I highly recommend the reposado for the final taste. To flame or not to flame is up to you and the tequila you use. Remember that in order to flame the shrimps you’ll need a Tequila with an alcohol content of 40% and over. Tastewise flaming or simply cooking in alcohol doesn’t change the final taste or structure of the dish. The Maillard reaction or caramelisation doesn’t have enough time or heat to take place and brown up the surface of those shrimps.

 

The sidekicks

Tequila lime shrimp bowl

As for the other ingredients in the bowl, I’ve use a healthy filler from South America ; white quinoa. I believe quinoa is the perfect crunchy and healthy sidekick to the shrimps, plus it fits the “Latino” flair from the dish. Quinoa being a South American grain which is high in proteins, iron and vitamins, it serves as the energy giver of the dish. The pico de gallo gives the bowl a fresh and lightly spiced element, the mango the sweetness and tropical flair, the avocado the smooth and creamy side and the cilantro leaves the crunch and some extra freshness. For a bowl filled with colors, flavors and textures!

Let’s get this bowl going!

 


Tequila Lime Shrimp Bowl

Makes 2 portions | Preparation: 15 minutes | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients
Tequila lime shrimp bowlThe shrimps
  • 200g of medium size shrimps (frozen or fresh)
  • 50ml of Tequila reposado
  • 1 lime
  • 2-3 garlic clove finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh habanero or your favorite hot pepper
  • salt and pepper
The pico de Gallo
  • 2 big tomato cut into small dices
  • 1/2 tsp of habanero or your favorite hot pepper
  • 2 tbsp onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
The other bowl sides
  • mango 
  • quinoa
  • cilantro
  • avocado
  • extra lime wedge
Directions
  1. Start by unfreezing the shrimps (if frozen) and season them with salt and pepper
  2. Assemble the pico de gallo, mix it up and let it marinate
  3. Cook the quinoa following the instructions
  4. In a wok or sauté pan, add a bit of cooking oil and saute the shrimps high heat for a minute
  5. Add the garlic, hot pepper and tequila and let them cook until the tequila is gone
  6. Stop the fire, add the squeeze of a lime
  7. Assemble the bowls with all the elements

 

Enjoy!

Tequila lime shrimp bowl

Maple-mustard Salmon on quinoa, dill, cucumber saladMaple-mustard glazed salmon on a red quinoa, dill, cucumber salad and a topping of crunchy skin, what else a Salmon lover could ask for? I’ve used the new technique my mom found which consist of marinating in a dry (salt+sugar) marinade the salmon and cook it at really low temperature, this way you get a salmon cooked to perfection, not dried up by the intense heat. It needs slightly more patience to do then the usual fish you do at 180°C (350F).salmonpin

For the coccion, you’ll have to marinade a good 45 minutes, plus let the fish out of the fridge at room temperature for another 30 minutes before cooking. I know, it can be a pain in the … the process is quite long, but believe me, the result is unbelievable. The slow coccion will help cook the fillets to perfection and keep them moist. The dry marinade will help with the texture of the fish, and its color, turning to a slightly darker color and a firmer exterior, and boost the salmon taste. Then all you have to do, is mid-coccion adding a flavorful glaze to the fish, in this case I’ve used maple-mustard and voilà. A fabulous, cooked to perfection salmon fillet.

The bed of red quinoa is a simple salad of cucumber, radish and fresh dill to make it extra fresh. A touch of the leftovers of maple-mustard glaze from the fish mix with some extra olive oil for dressing. Nothing too complex, but surely tasty.

Maple-mustard Salmon on quinoa, dill, cucumber saladIf you get the chance to buy the fillets with skin, it’s always a “must” to rapidly fry a piece of the skin in olive oil, until no more bubbles and then sprinkle some salt on it and voila! A great crunchy-salty bite to add to any of your salmon dishes. Be careful, do not forget to take off the scales at first, by scraping perpendicularly with the help of your chef’s knife or scraper with teeth, against the scales directions until they are all gone. This step is sometimes pre done or you could always ask your fishmonger/marchant to do it for you.

So let’s make this perfectly cooked Salmon fillet!


Maple-mustard Salmon filet on a red quinoa, dill, cucumber salad

Makes 2 portions

Ingredients
Salmon
  • 2 salmon fillets (with skin preferably)
  • 3 tbsp of salt
  • 3 tbsp of sugar
  • 3 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp of white wine mustard (or with grains)
The quinoa salad
  • 250g of red quinoa
  • 20 cm long cucumber cut into cubes
  • 2 radishes thinly cut
  • a few branches of fresh dill finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Start by scraping and taking off the skin of the salmon, by holding the skin tight while passing a sharp knife between the flesh and skin.
  2. Add the 3 tbsp of sugar and salt to the salmon + skin and let marinate 45 minutes in the fridge
  3. When marinade is done, rinse off the salt and sugar away and path dry, leave at room temperature for 30 minutes
  4. Bring oven to 120°C (250F) (yes… that low)
  5. Cook the salmon filets for 20-30 minutes depending on their thickness
  6. Mix the maple syrup and mustard
  7. Glaze the fish mid-coccion and keep a bit for the quinoa salad dressing
  8. When the fish is glazed, add olive oil to the leftover of maple-mustard and reserve
  9. Cook the quinoa as indicated
  10. When ready mix the maple-mustard dressing, quinoa, cucumber, radish, dill, salt and pepper and mix the salad
  11. *optional -In a pan, add olive oil and fry the salmon skin until crisp, salt it when done, reserve
  12. When the side of the salmon fillet comes right off with a fork it’s ready, serve the fillet on a bed of the quinoa salad and top with the crunchy skin

Enjoy!

Maple-mustard Salmon on quinoa, dill, cucumber salad

Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilliFlamed scallops on quinoa fusilli is a nice light meal to start the summer. This dish is filled with slightly cooked bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, lime zest and fresh basil leaves. The sauce is mainly a little butter in which the scallops seared in before getting flamed and caramelized with an orange flavored cognac/brandy (Grand Marnier). A divine dish, and so simple to make.

Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilliWhere I come from, the east part of Canada, scallops are pretty common in our plates. Although, since I’ve been living in Spain, it got quite difficult to find any and when I finally do, they cost so much… So I go to the freezer shop… yes only frozen stuff of all kinds shop, and get my patagonian mini scallops once in awhile. Strange… that in Spain, a seafood lover country, it’s so hard to find any. Although in the West part of Spain, Galicia, they do a meal with scallops in breadcrumbs, ham and onions which sound delicious.

Scallops are mostly wild in Canada, although the farmed scallops are supposed to be sustainable for the environment. Scallops are little filters of the sea, they purify the water from suspended solids, bacterias, etc. They are beneficial for the sea, and apparently hardly need any antibiotics in those type of farming. So… in other words, it’s a good deed to eat them.

Scallops are in many sizes and forms; some like in Canada, come whole with its shell, or some come with the coral (red part) still attached to it, and of course there is many sizes. Back in my homeland, I was used to medium sized scallops, which takes slightly more time to cook, although in this dish, I’ve used those mini patagonian scallops, which take barely 3 minutes to cook. So you’ll have to adjust your timing depending on the size of your scallop. The searing effect is much more easy to caramelize on a medium or big scallops, with the mini kinds… they are cooking too fast to sear good, that why I’ve caramelized them by flaming them.

So let’s flame those precious sea creatures.


 Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilli

Makes 2 portions

Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilliIngredients
  • a pack of 30 mini scallops 
  • 250g of quinoa fusilli
  • 1 bell pepper finely sliced
  • 15 cherry tomatoes cut into 2
  • 30g of butter
  • 30ml of Grand Marnier (or any Cognac/Brandy)
  • 2 few leaves of basil leaves
  • zest of lime
Directions
  1. Unfreeze the scallops (in cold water) and path them dry with a paper towel
  2. Salt and pepper them up
  3. Cook the quinoa fusilli al dente (usually less long than normal wheat fusilli, be careful the package directions often suggest double the time… so go with the old way, try them up)
  4. Bring a wok or pan to high heat
  5. Add the butter to melt
  6. Add the scallops, and let sear them (resist the urge to move them too much if you want a good brown skin) for 3-4 minutes or until golden
  7. Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilliAdd the Cognac/Brandy and flame the scallops (turn off your fan before flaming)
  8. Add the pre-cut pepper, tomatoes and cook another minute
  9. Add the pasta, salt, pepper and mix all together
  10. Serve in bowl, with a few basil leaves and lime zest on top

Enjoy!

Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilli

Salmon on quinoa and bean saladSalmon on quinoa and white bean salad is a great summer dish. The beauty about salmon; it doesn’t contains Mercury like in tuna, swordfish,etc. Mercury as we know is hazardous for our health. Wild salmons on the other end, they eat mainly krill or underwater vegetation, which contains no mercury.  That is when they are coming from the wild, but most of salmon you’ll find in markets comes from fish farms and eat soy and corn. Salmon is also fully packed with vitamins, omega-3 and so much more, to keep our brains and nerves on a good path.

Salmon on quinoa and bean saladSalmon is considered a “fatty” fish, do not worry… the “good” kind of fat; meaning, it’s way easier to cook, it will keep moist more easily than a lean fish, which make the fish suitable for high heat cooking methods like BBQ, grill, searing in a pan, oven, etc.

The salad is a delicious lukewarm red quinoa, white beans, bell pepper, sunflower seeds and arugula mix. The dressing of the bean salad is made with a little beetroot juice to give it this red color and earthy taste, also garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. This side dish is a great alternative to rice or potatoes, plus it’s extra healthy.

Let’s make that protein filled bomb!


Salmon on a Quinoa and White Bean Salad

Makes 2 portions

Ingredients
  • 2 pieces of salmon
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • lime slice
  • thyme branches
  • salt, pepper
the quinoa bean salad
  • 200g of white beans
  • 150g of red quinoa
  • 1/2 bell pepper cut into dices
  • a few arugula leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of beetroot juice
  • few sunflower seeds
  • flat leaf parsley
  • salt, pepper

Directions

Bring oven to 180°C (350F)

  1. Wash and clean the salmon, take over the skin and bones
  2. In your favorite heat resistant recipient, add the salmon
  3. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and lime in top and cook at 180°C (350F) for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size, mine was a 20 minute piece)
  4. During that time, cook the quinoa, like rice method, cover by max 1 cm of water in a small sauce pan (cook less than the pack say… the grains should not crack open) add salt
  5. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients from the salad
  6. Serve the fish on top of the quinoa salad

Enjoy!

Shrimp Ceviche with Quinoa pasta

Living in Peru for a few months, one must learn how to make a good ceviche! It’s such an easy and light meal, perfect for summer. I had to make it all the way peruvian by adding the Quinoa element. So I found a nice quinoa fusilli, and mixed it with a shrimp ceviche. I came with this idea, of quinoa pasta ceviche, for a friend 40th birthday. She loves Peru so much and she had a surprise party, where everyone had to bring a meal… So… I’ve created this dish to honor her love for Peru.

Ceviche quinoa pastaBack in Peru, where they say the ceviche is from, the Moche civilization (the guys before the Incas, situated on the coast), apparently created the dish. Today, the peruvians make ceviche mostly with fresh fish or shellfish, on the coast, even with shark… The peruvian ceviche is usually served with a side of sweet potatoes and choclo (big grain corn) and it is quite spicy. The Ecuadorians version, though, is served as a soup and contains more fresh coriander leaves and tomato juice. As for my recipe, it’s a mix of both world, I add the fresh coriander and make it less spicy than the peruvians, oh! and the personal touch, it’s served on quinoa pasta.

The ceviche process, require fresh seafood. Then, it’s the acid of the lime that cooks the seafood over a period of time. I do my shrimp ceviche in 24-30 hours, this way the shrimp gets firm enough, if it’s a fish ceviche then it won’t be as long. Most recipes, I see on the Web, say 3 hours of refrigeration… but from my personal experience in Peru, I know they leave it, at least, overnight in the fridge. It won’t get bad, just firmer with time. The only problem is the “hot peppers” are quite hard to find in Spain, I found some frozen Rocoto peppers in a Latin American market, but they lose a lot of their spice strength. I know in the Caribbeans, they do their ceviche with Habanero peppers. I mean… you pick the kind of hot pepper you prefer.

So let’s get that Peru flavour going!


Shrimp Ceviche with Quinoa Pasta

Makes 4 portions

IngredientsShrimp Ceviche with Quinoa pasta
  • 250g quinoa pasta
  • 300g fresh shrimps
  • 1 yellow or red bell pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 20 limes or lemon (there is more to make sure…they have enough juice)
  • 1 orange 
  • 1/2 rocoto pepper (or Habanero)
  • coriander leaves
  • salt, pepper
Directions
  1. Devein and wash the fresh shrimps, rinse in cold water
  2. Add the shrimps to the bottom of a bowl, add a little salt and pepper
  3. Squeeze limes and orange until covering the shrimps
  4. On top, add the finely sliced (mandoline) rocoto, onion, pepper (in that order so the rocoto flavour merge to the lime juice)
  5. Leave to marinade in the fridge for about 24 hours
  6. Cook the quinoa pasta
  7. Take out the juice from the shrimps (keep a tiny bit)
  8. Add to the quinoa pasta with the coriander leaves, salt, pepper, mix it up

Serve cold, with a nice lime on the side. Enjoy!

Tuna Tataki de wasabi

I know… I know… It’s wasabi and it’s too strong you would say… But the truth is: nah! Just need to balance the wasabi vinaigrette with some vinegar and honey and you’ll be surprised by the result. Sure, it’s gonna be a bit spicy, especially if you add the wasabi crunch on the sides of your tuna, but it’s not too strong, believe me.

I use to dislike wasabi, strangely I’ve changed. I remember the recipe that made me switch from dislike to loving it. It was not even an asian dish, like sushis, but a recipe from an Australian chef, that made a “sweet mashed potato” with wasabi! Sometimes, it just takes a different take on a disliked product to start loving it… Tuna Tataki de wasabiAlthough… sometimes it never comes. Or an other example; goat cheese. Most people dislike goat cheese at first, but then they try it in a bruschetta and then add some more on a salad and then before you know it: it’s everywhere!

Talking tataki is another subject… not everyone is a fan of… uncooked fish. Well sometimes… it just takes that “one” great sushi to change your mind. No pressure, this recipe can become a well done Tuna instead, no worries here. The usual tataki, is a Japanese meal, consisting of searing the fish. Meaning super high heat, preferably an unsticky pan, no fat, for 30 seconds on each side. My piece of fish was cut into a “steak” piece, which isn’t the real deal, it usually needs to be cut into a perfect square bar, but good luck finding that…

So let’s get that fish ready.


Tuna tataki with crunchy wasabi

Makes 2 portions

Ingredients
  • 2 tuna steaks (150g each)
  • 2 tbsp of the below dressing
Bean and Quinoa salad
  • 340g white beans
  • 100g red quinoa
  • 1 totally peeled carrot
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
DressingTuna Tataki de wasabi
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinager
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 lime
Topping of the tuna
  • cruched wasabi coated peanuts
  • black sesame seeds
  • tamari, or soy sauce
Directions
  1. Cook the quinoa as indicated
  2. Mix all the dressing ingredients, add 2 tbsp to the tuna, marinate for 10-15 minutes
  3. Add the rest of the dressing, carrot, shallot and quinoa to the white beans, mix
  4. Pat dry the tuna
  5. Bring a non sticky pan to high heat
  6. Sear the tuna on both sides, about 30 seconds each, if well done leave about 3 minutes each side. *optional add a little tamari or soy sauce on top at the end of coccion.
  7. In a plate mix the cruched wasabi peanuts and black sesame seed
  8. Add to the side of the tuna steak
  9. Serve on the bean / quinoa salad

Bring the tamari or soy sauce bottle on the table to pour on the fish, for salt lovers. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Crunchysalmon3This is a recipe I make pretty much every week, because it’s a tasty and healthy meal. I love the crunch factor, especially with fish dishes. Salmon is the protagonist here, that fish is an omega-3 bomb so I try to eat lots of it. Furthermore, it doesn’t contain high mercury levels, unlike tuna or other big sea fish, so it’s a pretty good fish to crave every week.

I happen to live close to a nice market, where they offer the best of fish quality. I usually  buy the middle part of the salmon, which is a mix of meat and fat, whereas the tail is mostly meat but I like the height of the middle part. The cooking time will vary depending on which part of fish you use, but this middle part is about a 20-25 min at 180°C (350F). I roll up the thin side of the fish under itself to make it cook at the same pace then the thick part.

If you leave the skin on, you can first fry it in olive oil in a pan to make it crisp before putting in the oven to finish the cooking. However this way, the crunch factor is in the skin, which you would then need to salt, but not with my crunchy sage topping. But it depends how you like it.

sageSpeaking of the crunchy topping… You can choose whichever aromatic herb you like. I make mine with sage which I grow at home, I think it’s quite a flavorful and unique herb and sadly used too little. I often fry the leaves quick in a pan, a  process which gets all that flavour out and the texture becomes crunchy, which is better then it’s thick uncooked leaves. Try to fry a few and then sprinkle them on an omelette, it’s fantastic! It’s a strong aromatic herb so don’t use too much. On top of it all, studies say it’s a memory booster and is researched for an Alzheimer’s cure.

The red quinoa bean salad is so easy and healthy, no one should pass on it. I lived in Peru, where that grain comes from. I was there for a year, a few years back. My Spanish teacher was a super passionate about “red quinoa” and reminded me never to forget about the first part of those 2 words… “red”. She talked about it’s benefits over and over, and I love her for it, so I guess I had to try it… and it was a “revelation”.

OvIMG_8356er there in Peru it didn’t cost much back then, but my teacher used to say the price would soon explode, since other countries were gaining interested in that grain. I guess she was right…

Back to the recipe… I usually cook a little less than the pack suggest, because the germ comes out then… overcooked every time… That is rule number one about quinoa, you should never explode the grain. So I highly suggest you adjust your cooking by what you see. The texture of a closed yet cooked quinoa in the mouth when you bite on it and it explodes… is simply the best. So don’t “pop” open the quinoa, and remember that the cooking time for white and red quinoa isn’t the same. So you should refrain from buying those 2 colors quinoa + rice mixes.

So enough bla bla… let’s cook.


 

Crunchy Salmon on a red quinoa, bean salad

Ingredients
The crunchy topping +salmon
  • 2 portions of salmon
  • 1 cup of leftover bread, (baguette) if it isn’t old, toast it first
  • 8-10 big leaves of sage
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt, pepper
The red quinoa  and bean salad
  • 400g canned white beans (in my case white alubias beans)
  • a few cherry tomatoes cut in squares
  • 150g of red quinoa
  • 2 hands of arugula or baby spinach leaves
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1tbs yellow mustard
  • 1tbs honey or maple syrup
  • salt, pepper
Directions
step 1 | The salmon
  1. Cut and clean your salmon pieces
  2. Had a tiny olive oil, salt, pepper
  3. Cook in oven for 25 min (big thick piece) (20 min if thin) at 180°C (359F).                  *start step 2
  4. In a mixer blend the bread, garlic, sage, a tsp. of extra-virgin olive oil and salt to a “big grain of sand” size.
  5. Add the crunch topping 5 minutes before the end.
Step 2 | The salad
  1. Prepare the salad, by cooking the quinoa (about 9min)
  2. Rinse the beans, drain and add to big bowl.
  3. Add the vinegar, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, mustard and honey to the beans.
  4. When the quinoa is ready, add to the bowl and mix it up.
  5. Add a few of the arugula or baby spinach, salt and pepper.
  6. Plate the fish on top of the salad.

 

Enjoy!