Tag Archives: avocado

Del Mar Salt Cod Arepa

Good morning friends!!  So this past month I was asked to help CFE International in coming up with some new recipe ideas for their fantastic salt fish products!  For those not in the know…’Salt-Fish’ is traditionally known as Bacalao and is a way to preserve freshly caught fish popular in Puerto Rico, Spain, Portugal and much of the Caribbean.

So I decided to take a popular Baja-Mexican spin on it and toss the light and flakey fish with a spicy pico de gallo and serve it almost torta style with a quick soft and pillow like arepa!  We’re learning new cuisine all day in this one, huh? 😉

Now we had these as a fresh, light and healthy dinner but I think these would be great this coming summer as finger food appetizers at the pool or even serve the spicy cod filling along with tortilla chips are crackers as a dip with your cervezas!  Enjoy!

Here in Texas, you can find the Cristobal product in the frozen section at your local Brookshire Brothers, HEB, Fiesta, Food Town, H Mart, Kroger and Los Altos Ranch Market.  So I’d say it’s quite convenient!!

CFE International

 

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 lb salt cod, rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 habanero, minced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Arepa’s

  • 2 cups pre-cooked P.A.N white cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp salt

Garnish

  • Avocado slices
  • Lime Mayo (1 cup mayonnaise, juice of 1 lime, 1/2 tsp cumin, pinch of salt)

arepaPrep

This meal begins the night before..is it hard?  No.  Is it a must?  Oh yes…

Start by rinsing your salt cod under running water and place into a large bowl.  Fill with water to cover and top with plastic wrap.  Place in your refrigerator roughly 24 hours prior to preparing the dish.  You will want to change the water about 3 times during these 24 hours to rid all of the excess salt.

Party time!  Ok, place the soaked cod and enough water to cover in a stockpot over med-high heat and bring to a simmer on the stovetop.  Change the water and bring to a simmer 3-4 more times or until desired saltiness is achieved.

Place the now de-salted and cooked cod into a large bowl, shred with two forks and allow to cool.

Next, simply chop and dice up the tomatoes, onion, cilantro and hot peppers.  Add these to the cooled fish along with the juice of two limes and a pinch of salt.  Toss together, cover and place in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld.

On to the Arepas!

In another large bowl (meanwhile heat a cast-iron skillet to medium heat), stir the water and salt together until the salt dissolves.  Next pour in the cornmeal a little at a time, working with your fingers, to form a pliable dough.

Divide into 8 dough-balls and then pat into “hockey-puck” shapes.

In your heated pan, add the arepa dough (about 2-3 at a time) and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side for a golden brown.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.  *If not using a cast-iron or other non-stick pan, add about 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil to your hot pan and once cooked transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.

PAN

Slice in half (similar to an English muffin) and dollop a good amount of the lime-mayo on each side.  Spoon on a good amount of the tangy and spicy cod filling and top with a few slices of sliced avocado.  Bring that arepa together and chow down with a cold one my friends!!

ArepaFinish

IGCod

Albuquerque Turkey Melt

Now I must admit that I purposely buy the best in-house roasted turkey from our local deli just so I can eat these all year long.  However, this sandwich is best when it’s used as a fun way to use up that glorious left-over turkey!

Growing up we had the usual turkey day leftovers:  your basic plate, your basic turkey sandwich, turkey ala king, turkey soup…now they’re all quite delicious, I’ve just been there too many times for too many years and was ready for a flavorful change!  ..and here it is!

The Starting Lineup

  • Fresh carved turkey, homemade or deli
  • Texas toast bread
  • Swiss cheese, slices
  • Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • Avocados, sliced
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 can Hatch green chiles, hot
  • Mayonnaise
  • Parmesan cheese, fresh grated
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 4 Tbsp butter

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Grate the parmesan cheese and lay the cheese out on a baking sheet.  Beat the 4 eggs in a shallow dish. albqturk4.JPG

To assemble the sandwich, smear a good amount of mayonnaise on the 1 side of each piece of bread.  Next place on a slice of Swiss cheese, followed by the turkey, tomatoes, avocado slices, red onion and green chilies.  *You can also add another slice of cheese on the opposite side of the bread if you like it real ooey-gooey cheesy!

Next, heat the butter in a pan over medium heat.  Carefully dip the prepared sandwich into the egg mixture and place onto the grated parmesan cheese. Coat both sides of the dipped sandwich with the cheese.  Again, carefully, transfer the dipped and coated sandwich onto the heated pan and cook both sides till slightly browned.  Place each browned sandwich BACK onto the baking sheet and transfer these to the preheated oven.  *The oven will cook the dipped sandwich completely through and melt that cheese perfectly!

Bake the sandwiches for about 10 minutes.  Allow to rest for 2-3 minutes, cut on the bias and serve.  Enjoy!!!

albqturk3.JPG

 

Mexican Breakfast Bowls

I love Mexican food.  Seriously, truer words have never been spoken.   So, like every morning, I woke up craving just that!  Now instead of the usual breakfast burrito, the typical Texas breakfast taco or the fancier heuvos ranchero and chilaquiles, I thought “what about a taco salad??? But a breakfast version??!!”  Genius..Ill let you say it.  I know I did.

What’s also fun about this is it’s so customizable for everyone!   Say you’re hosting a brunch, you can make just about all of it in advance and warm when ready.  Set out the baked tortilla shells to fill with a multitude of different toppings!  Or even make healthy version with low-sodium black beans, scrambled egg whites, fresh sautéed veggies and salsa!  I could go on and on and on…

*I did not put exact amounts for the ingredients, as it depends how many bowls you are making.  I made 4 bowls with the below pictured ingredients.

**Pico de Gallo: Diced tomato, white onion, jalapeño, cilantro, fresh lime juice and a pinch of salt.

The Starting Lineup

  • Flour tortillas
  • Breakfast sausage or chorizo
  • Refried beans
  • Russet potatoes, cubed
  • Eggs, scrambled
  • Cooking spray
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Salt & pepper

Garnish (optional)

  • Pico de gallo, homemade or store-bought **
  • Jalapeño slices
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Avocado slices
  • Hot sauce/Salsa 

To make perfect restaurant style breakfast potatoes/home fries:  Either bake the potato first OR quarter each potato and add to a large pot of salted water.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer.  Once just fork tender (not too soft here), remove from the pot and allow to cool slightly.  Once cool enough to touch, cube up!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place mason jars upside down on a baking sheet or large crumpled balls of foil, etc.  Microwave the tortillas for 30 seconds to make pliable and drape over the mason jar.  Lightly coat in cooking spray and sprinkle on the cumin and chili powder for a nice flavor and color!  Bake the tortillas for 8-10 minutes, watch closely as not to burn, but I like a few “charred” edges myself..rustic!  Allow to cool for a few minutes, pull off the jar and get ready to fill!

Meanwhile…..Heat a tbsp or two of vegetable or canola oil on medium heat in two separate pans.  In one, add the sausage.  Cook through and set aside.  (If I’m not using chorizo, I like to doctor up my breakfast sausage with Mexican seasonings)>

In the other pan, add the par-cooked, cubed potatoes in an even layer.  Let them cook people!  Do not keep stirring around, this allows them to build that golden brown restaurant crust on them!  After so many minutes, flip to get the other sides of the potatoes nice and crispy! 

Once the potatoes and sausage are about finished, beat the eggs with a bit of milk, salt & pepper.  Cook, scrambled, with a tbsp of butter.

Assembly time!  Super simple here folks…take your baked tortilla bowl and fill away!    I like to go this route:  beans, potatoes, sausage and then eggs!  Top with some fresh pico de gallo, avocado slices, jalapeño slices and a few dashes of hot sauce!  Enjoy!! 

Baja Fish Tacos (w/ Cilantro Slaw & Avocado Cream Sauce)

There’s not a thing I miss more from my days in San Diego than some baja-style fish tacos!!  Now don’t get me wrong, I love just about every taco I can get my hands on, but that fresh fish flavor and crisp acidic slaw may just have my heart…

My recipe below is sure to put you in the mood for the sound of the ocean…or maybe just a bit of Sublime on the stereo and a shot of tequila in the meantime ! 😉

**Gluten Free

The Starting Lineup

Fish Tacos

  • Corn tortillas (homemade or store bought, warmed)
  • 1.5 lbs Mahi-Mahi fillets
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp each: garlic powder, onion powder and paprika 
  • Canola oil (to fill 1/4 up a pan/not fully cover the fish)

Cilantro Slaw

  • 1 bag shredded cabbage (sometimes I don’t use this entire bag for this, fyi)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup Red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • Juice of 1 ripe lime
  • 1/4 cup mayonaisse (to taste)
  • 2 tsp Apple cider vinegar (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Avocado Cream Sauce

  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and skinned
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and rough chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Pinch of salt
  • **if too thick, slowly add in 1/4-1/2 cup of water and blend

Let us begin this fiesta!!  Here I like to start with the Cilantro Slaw, followed by the sauce, so that the flavors meld together well..

Slaw

 This is super simple friends!  Start by rinsing the veggies and then get to a slicin’ and a dicin’!  

In a large bowl, combine all of the ‘Cilantro Slaw‘ ingredients and toss together.  Make sure to give it a taste test for seasoning, etc and then cover with plastic wrap.  Set aside in the refridgerator and we’re on to our sauce! 

   Sauce

 Begin by taking out your blender and prepping the cilantro and jalapeño.  

Now just like the above slaw, add all of the ‘Avocado Cream Sauce‘ ingredients to your blender and pulse till smooth.  If it’s too thick for your liking/hard to blend (always is for me..) then slowly add in a little bit of water at a time till the creamy, smooth consisitancy is achieved! 

   Pour into an airtight container and set aside in the refridgerator till dinner time.  **If you have a squeeze bottle (kind of like those old school ketchup and mustard bottles), those work great!

Fish Tacos

 Bring a saute pan with the canola oil up to temp (350 degrees-about medium heat).

In a shallow dish sprinkle the over the Mahi-Mahi.

In another shallow dish, add in the rice flour (along with the cumin, cayenne, salt, garlic & onion powder and paprika).  Whisk together.

 Finally, dredge each fish piece in the rice flour, shaking off any excess and transfer to a plate.  Once all your seasoned fish has been dredged, gently lay 2-3 pieces at a time into the hot oil.  **Do not overcrowd the pan..it would then ‘steam’, oil temp would drop and you can kiss your crunchy fish buh-bye! 

 Allow each side to cook appx 2 minutes, until a golden brown and transfer to a paper towel lined plate while you finish the rest. 

 **Meanwhile, I am making corn tortillas and keeping them warm.  For store-bought, still place each tortilla onto a HOT NON-oiled pan for about 20 seconds or so each side to slightly char and keep warm. 

  Assembly time!!!  Place a crunchy piece of mahi-mahi onto each warmed, corn tortilla.  Next top with a good helping of the Cilantro Slaw and a healthy drizzle of the Avocado Cream Sauce…and in true “me” fashion, I always add a few thinly sliced jalapeños for added kick!  Mmmmm…enjoy!!  **margarita optional 😉 

 

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