It's shockingly easy to cure fish for lox. Here, let me show you how! All you need is some salmon, salt, sugar, pepper, dill and vodka.Read More
Some hummus recipes call for too much tahini. Others try to too hard and call for red bell peppers or sun-dried tomatoes. I prefer to keep it simple: chickpeas and tahini, with lots of garlic and lemon juice.Read More
Living on a budget is hard enough. If you love gorging yourself with all kinds of food, it's even more difficult to keep that wallet shut. So, in order to balance it all out, I'm figuring out cheap meal plans. But I'm done eating like a college kid.Read More
Tuna tartare is one of those things that literally makes my mouth water upon thinking of it, and I never feel guilty about stuffing my face silly with the stuff. I like it with a little extra kick so I use prepared horseradish or at least a squirt of Sriracha.Read More
I'm always on the lookout for party food recipes, and it's an added bonus when the leftovers can be used for meals for the rest of the week. This tilapia ceviche is one of those dishes: your guests will eat bowls of it, and if you have any left over, you'll be blessed with a healthy, protein and vegetable-rich treat. It is, after all, made with fresh fish, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, bell peppers and cilantro. Savory and juicy, this ceviche is a substantial yet refreshing appetizer. I like the Marcela Valladolid recipe -- it's easy to follow and isn't too juicy. I've just simplified it even further.
Serves: 8 Prep time: 30 minutes
Ingredients: 2 pounds tilapia fillets (about 8 fillets), cut into small cubes 1 cup lime juice (from about 10 limes, or buy lime juice) 3 tomatoes, small cubed 1 cucumber, small cubed 1/2 medium-sized red onion, small cubed 1 green bell pepper, small cubed 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (about 1/3 of a bunch), finely chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 serrano chile, finely chopped (optional) 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced or cubed Tortilla chips (for serving, optional)
1. In a medium bowl, pour the lime juice over the cubed tilapia and mix gently to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until the fish is white and opaque, about 1 hour. (Or, you can start this recipe a day before, and leave this overnight.)
2. Remove fish from the refrigerator and drain the lime juice. Discard the juice. Mix in the tomato, cucumber, onion, bell pepper and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix in the chile, if using. If desired, mixed in the cubed avocado. Or, garnish the top with avocado slices.
3. Serve with tortilla chips or corn tostada.
My Notes What I did differently: Rather than measuring out the quantity of each vegetable, I figured it was easier to go with actual vegetables quantities. It doesn't need to be precise, and it's easy to grab and chop 3 tomatoes rather than measure our an exact cup or half-cup. I also added green bell peppers -- the added crunch and color makes it a perfect addition.
Aren't you supposed to cook fish?! Technically, by immersing the fish in lime juice, you are cooking it. More specifically, you're denaturing the proteins. So don't worry -- this tilapia is cooked thoroughly. Just make sure before adding the vegetables and seasonings that it's opaque and white all over.
Having a healthy breakfast is easier said than done. Let's face it: having a whole grain English muffin every morning quickly becomes a drag. Instead, try this sweet and tart breakfast smoothie. Inspired by Naked Juice's Green Machine, these Vitamix recipes, and a girlfriend of mine who makes her own variation of the drink, it has fruit and veggies, and doesn't taste nearly as strange as it may look. In fact, it tastes like apples and bananas with a citrus kick. Make a batch of four at a time, and store the leftover drink in your freezer. Thaw under refrigeration overnight for a ready-to-go breakfast that's well under 200 calories.
Serves: 2 (about 16 ounces) Prep time: About 5 minutes
Ingredients: 1 orange OR 2 clementines 1 Granny Smith apple 1 banana 1 cup kale (about 1.5 stalks) 3/4 cup water 1/2 cup ice (optional)
1. Prepare your fruit and vegetables: Peel the orange (or clementines), apple and banana. Core the apple. Roughly break up the fruits into segments (to make blending easier). Rip kale leaves off stalks. Add to blender. Add water and ice.
2. Blend on high until mixture is smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
My Notes: What if I don't add ice? I actually don't add ice to my smoothie. I start with cold fruit and kale, having stored it in the refrigerator, and I end up with a cool-to-room-temperature drink. I prefer it this way because it makes it easier to gulp down, which is important if you're on the go.
Why kale? Kale is an underrated vegetable. It's really high in vitamins K, A and C, and is a good source of fiber, calcium and potassium. Plus, it contains sulforaphane, which is known to be a strong cancer-fighting ingredient.
Why Granny Smith apples? Eaten alone, kale has a strong, bitter taste. The bright tartness of the green apples tones down the bitterness, resulting in smooth, clean flavor.
I've actually had this recipe in my arsenal for a few months now, but I hesitated to post it here on DelishMegish. There are several steps involved as some ingredients are cooked and some are left raw. But I realized it's too good not to share. It's colorful, textural, substantial -- everything you need and want in a salad meant as an entree.
Serves: 1 Prep time: About 30 minutes
Ingredients: 4 ounces tuna steak 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 bay leaf 2 sprigs rosemary 1/2 - 3/4 head of Boston lettuce 2" cucumber, peeled and seeded, thinly sliced 2" celery stalk, thinly sliced 1/4 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 1/4 green bell pepper, thinly sliced 3-5 blanched green beans 3 fingerling potatoes 2 radishes, thinly sliced 4 olives, whole 2 anchovies 1 hardboiled egg, quartered long-ways
For the vinaigrette: 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/4 cup olive oil 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1. Poach tuna: Heat olive oil in a sauce pan, with bay leaf and rosemary. When very few bubbles form, add tuna and poach until fully cooked, about 10-15 minutes, over low heat.
2. Cook some of the vegetables: Fill a small sauce pan 3/4 with water. Add fingerling potatoes and turn heat to medium-high. Let water come to a low rolling boil, allowing the potatoes to cook through, about 15-20 minutes. When water starts boiling, add green beans to cook, about 3-5 minutes. Then add whole tomato, about 1-2 minutes.
3. Hard boil the egg: In a sauce pan, cover egg with water. Bring to boil. Reduce to low simmer for 11 minutes. Take out egg and place in cold water. When cooled, peel and slice lengthwise into quarters.
4. Wash the raw vegetables: Rinse the lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, celery and bell peppers. Pat dry with paper towel and set aside.
5. Make vinaigrette: Whisk together the red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. Add garlic. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking continuously.
6. Peel tomato and slice lengthwise into quarters. Slice fingerling potatoes in half. Trim green beans. Toss all into the vinaigrette. Toss lettuce as well.
7. Thinly slice (about 1/4") radishes, peeled and seeded cucumber, celery and bell peppers. Radishes should be left round. Cucumber and celery should be sliced width-wise. Bell peppers should be sliced into thin strips.
8. Mound lettuce in the center of plate. Arrange vegetables (tomato, fingerling potatoes, green beans, radishes, cucumber, celery, bell peppers, olives) and around it.
9. Gently break up the tuna and toss in vinaigrette. Put on top of lettuce. Criss cross anchovies on top.
My Notes Why cook only some of the vegetables? I think the potatoes are self-explanatory -- raw potatoes are gross. Plus, your body can't digest all that starch. Green beans, though safer than potatoes to eat raw, contain a toxin that causes gas or even nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. As for the tomatoes, it's mainly just French tradition to cook them quickly. Doing so also renders a bright, sweet flavor.
It's easy to grab a bottle of your favorite dressing or vinaigrette at the grocery but here's my problem: I so rarely make my own salad that the bottle goes bad before I finish it. A better solution? Try making your own vinaigrette. No doubt it's fresher and healthier (no added sugars and preservatives), but having a good recipe in your mental Rolodex of cooking knowledge is a must. My favorite 5-minute vinaigrette uses red wine vinegar, garlic and parsley. It's savory, salty and has just the right kick.
Ingredients 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or less, if desired) 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1-2 teaspoons fresh parsley, finely chopped 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped About 1/4 cup olive oil (or less, if desired) Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Finely chop the parsley and garlic cloves. Whisk in with red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. Slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking throughout. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
2. Add the vinaigrette to some mixed baby greens, your favorite salad, or use it in lieu of mustard or butter on your sandwich.
It's no big deal. I know. But this little snack came as an epiphany to me when I realized it was 5 o'clock and my friends were going to come over soon. I already had the salami, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper. All I needed was to run to the store to grab a package of basil and carton of mozzarella. I knew a common, no-cook appetizer is skewered grape tomatoes, mozzarella and basil -- but what if you swapped the tomato for salami? I wrapped some basil around a wedge of mozzarella, put a folded slice of salami on top and stuck the combination onto a toothpick. Tasty, but not quite right, that is, until I added the red wine vinegar and garlic...
Serves: 8 skewers Prep time: 20 minutes
Ingredients 2-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or garlic paste) Salt and pepper, to taste 8 mozzarella balls, or 8 slices of mozzarella cut into 1/2 inch wedges 8 basil leaves 8 slices of salami 8 toothpicks or skewers
1. Whisk red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper in a bowl. Add mozzarella slices and put aside, to let the cheese marinate in the mixture, about 5-10 minutes.
2. Wrap one basil leaf around each slice of mozzarella. Put one folded slice of salami on top and push skewer or toothpick through.
3. Arrange skewers on a plate, drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil, and add a dash of freshly ground pepper.
How to fold the salami: Of course, you can fold the salami any way you prefer. I like to fold the round slice in half, then fold that in half so it somewhat resembles a triangle. I fold the point over, then fold the sides across to form a sort of square.
My Notes: Red wine vinegar vs. balsamic vinegar: The plain combination isn't bad. It's mellow, it's pure -- but it's plain. I first tried these skewers with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and garlic but it didn't taste quite right. I normally love the taste of balsamic vinegar but I found it to be overpowering in this recipe. I preferred the light tartness of red wine vinegar. It adds a rich, pungent element without drowning out the freshness of the basil and the heartiness of the salami.
Can I use a different deli meat? Certainly! I imagine this recipe would work perfectly with pepperoni. However, because mozzarella and basil are very Italian ingredients, I recommend using meats common of that culture to finish off this appetizer.
I’m actually not the biggest fan of mousse. It’s usually too chocolate-y or too bland, too soft or too sweet. Too something. But this recipe, taken straight from the Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis herself, has just the right consistency – and with a few of my own tweaks, just the right level of sweetness. It’s super easy and best of all, it doesn’t require any cooking.
Serves: about 10 Prep time: 20-25 minutes
Ingredients: 2 cups whole milk ricotta (or 1 15-ounce container) 3/4 cup of strawberry preserves or jam (can be substituted for your favorite preserves or jam) 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1. 1 cup of strawberries (or the same kind of fresh fruit as your jam) Either in a food processor or mixer, blend the room temperature ricotta cheese until it’s smooth and fluffy (usually about 30 seconds in a food processor, or 1 minute in the mixer). Add the jam and blend until combined, about several seconds until you get that nice, light pink color. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
If you’re like me and your kitchen appliances are both small and limited, you’ll probably need to wash and dry your mixer. You’re going to whip the cream, so you’ll want to make sure you have a clean mixer to make sure the cream becomes the right consistency.
2. Beat the cream on medium-high speed until thick, about 5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and crank up the speed. Blend until the cream holds stiff peaks, about 5-7 minutes longer.
3. Fold (or gently mix) the whipped cream into your ricotta-jam mixture in small batches.
4. Refrigerate 1 hour prior to serving. When ready, use an ice cream scoop to plop a generous portion onto your serving bowls. I use one hefty scoop per serving. Garnish with your fresh fruit and enjoy!
My notes: Mine vs. Giada’s. When I first whipped up this dessert, I followed Giada’s recipe down to the last measurement. While I was happy with the texture, I felt the end result was a bit too ricotta-y and not quite sweet enough. I like a little extra jam and powdered sugar.
Which jam? Giada’s original recipe actually calls for raspberry jam. I’ve also seen this made with blueberries! Feel free to use whichever preserves or jam you like – it’s probably a good idea (for your wallet!) to choose one that’s on sale. Just don’t use jelly! You want the full-bodied taste of real fruit, and that’s a taste you get only from preserves or jam.
Why whole milk ricotta? For a more calorie-friendly treat, you could go with skim milk ricotta. I just prefer using whole milk to get a richer flavor and that perfect mousse-y texture. Also, when you’re making recipes with so few ingredients, it’s important to make sure they’re good quality. Using fewer ingredients means you can’t hide the tastes of cheap items!
Why powdered sugar? Powdered sugar is much lighter than granulated, so it incorporates into the cream much more smoothly. It also gives the cream a tiny bit of weight that lets it puff up. That way, you get a fluffy whipped cream that’s perfectly smooth.