Seared Scallops with Ajo Blanco

Rummaging through my freezer, desperately needing to make some sense of the mess it had become, I found the leftover Ajo Blanco I made. I decided to freeze what I had left of it for a rainy and day that day had arrived, although it wasn’t actually raining.

The first time I had Ajo Blanco it was with charred octopus so I thought it could also serve as a nice blanket for sea scallops to sit on.

*If you are using a frozen soup or sauce of any kind, once it’s defrosted pop it back into a blender or food processor to bring it back to it’s original consistency.

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Ingredients (Serves 2)

Ajo Blanco 

10 Sea scallops

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Kosher salt

Season both sides of the scallops with salt. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat until nearly smoking, 1½ to 2 minutes. Add  2 teaspoons of olive oil and the scallops and cook until golden brown, about 3½ minutes. Turn the scallops over and cook on the other side until golden brown, about 3½ minutes longer. Turn off the heat and set the pan aside.

Spoon 4 tablespoons of the ajo blanco in two shallow bowls or plates. top with  scallops, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

 

 

 

Tzatziki

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When I was younger, Trader Joe’s Tzatziki was a staple in my refrigerator. As I have gotten older and really learned my way around the kitchen, I found it’s much more delicious homemade. As most things are.

A creamy greek yogurt sauce with garlic and cucumber, its a great partner to a lot of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. Or to just dunk a warm piece of pita bread in.

I used this as a topping to some chicken shawarma pitas. Easy to make there is really no excuse to buy it, sorry Trader Joe’s.

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INGREDIENTS

3/4 English cucumber, peeled and grated

4 to 5 garlic cloves, peeled, finely minced

1 tbs lemon juice

2 tbs chopped fresh dill

1 tbs GOOD Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 cups Greek yogurt

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions

After the cucumber is grated allow to sit in a fine mesh strainer, sprinkle with a dusting of kosher salt and let sit, this will bring out the moisture in the cucumber.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt,  garlic, lemon juice and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Chill.

Squeeze as much liquid out of the cucumber as you can using cheese cloth, dish towel or aheavy duty paper towel. Add to the yogurt mixture and combine well. Chill until ready . Drizzle with olive oil before serving.

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Jamaican Jerk Shrimp with Mango Salsa

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Fun fact, did you know that mango skin is related to poison Ivy? I found out the hard way years ago after I developed a rash on my hands and face from devouring a case of mangoes. Maybe that isn’t such a fun fact.

It’s hard to beat a perfectly ripe and juicy mango. Delicious on their own but they are also perfect partners for seafood. Mango salsa cools the palate from the spice in this recipe. Save a batch of seasoning for a super easy weeknight meal and don’t be afraid to venture into another type of seafood, this would be good on salmon or a meaty white fish.

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*recipe adapted from MyRecipes

INGREDIENTS

1-2 mangos, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 red onion, diced

salt to taste (garlic salt is even better)

2 lbs large raw shrimp

2 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoon Jamaican Jerk spice mixture **recipe below**

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Combine the first 5 ingredients together and set aside.

Toss shrimp (tails on or off it’s your meal) with olive oil and spice mixture, mix to coat. Heat large skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. Add coconut oil, when hot add your shrimp. Cook 3 minutes per side or just until shrimp turn pink.

Serve on a bed of mango salsa. Coconut rice would be a wonderful team player.

**JAMAICAN JERK SPICE MIXTURE

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1/3 cup paprika

2 tablespoons ground allspice

4 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well, store in an air tight container.

 

 

 

Ajo Blanco

 

IMG_2919To say it’s been warm here in sunny San Diego is an understatement. In the words of my four year old, it’s been a “fiery furnace” outside. As the weather cooled down to a nice 78 degrees I flashed back to a memory of sitting along the ocean eating charred octopus. The octopus, perfectly cooked was sitting on a silky bed of Ajo Blanco. It was delicious, lick the plate delicious.

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Ajo Blanco, a popular cold Spanish soup is made with a base of bread, grapes, garlic, almonds and olive oil. Perfect for a hot summer day, beachside or not.

*Recipe from Bon Appetit

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 cups crustless day old white bread, cubed
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar plus more for serving
  •  black pepper
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted

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Combine apple, garlic, bread, grapes, blanched almonds, milk, and 2 cups water in a medium bowl; season with salt. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Transfer soup base to a blender and purée, adding water by tablespoonfuls if too thick, until smooth. With motor running, gradually add ¾ cup oil and 3 Tbsp. vinegar and blend until soup is smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired. Strain soup through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; cover and chill until very cold, about 2 hours.

Toast your sliced almonds in the oven or stovetop until golden brown, let cool.

Divide soup among bowls or bowl, drizzle olive oil and toasted almonds. Enjoy

 

The Wedge

Part of me was embarrassed to admit that I have never made a wedge salad before. But another part of me was like, ‘girl, you’ve been making a deconstructed wedge salad for years’…so I am good with this realization. Shane is a consistent orderer of the wedge salad, me, not so much. When I decided to make it, I really didn’t know what it truly consisted of, aside from Iceberg lettuce, blue cheese and bacon…really what else do you need?

After some minimally intense research, I found that I didn’t know the extent you could take the wedge salad to. Breadcrumbs, onions, tomatoes and it doesn’t end there. In reality you can add pretty much anything you want, eggs, avocados, chorizo, dried fruit, we could take this to a whole new level. However staying true to the wedge salad lovers, this is what I did and would do again and again.

*Salting the tomatoes drains excess water, saving your salad to have runny tomato juices throughout.

*Quick pickling the onions helps cut down the sharpness and allowing a more fresher flavor.

*I didn’t make my own blue cheese dressing, I always have some decent store bought in my fridge. Add a little milk to the pre-made dressing to lighten it up just a tad, this helps it spoon over the lettuce perfectly.

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Ingredients

2 small tomatoes, diced

Kosher salt

1 small red onion, minced

White wine vinegar, for soaking onion

4 ounces chopped bacon

2 ounces fresh bread crumbs (about 1/2 cup)

4 Tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

1 head iceberg lettuce, outer leaves discarded and quartered through core so that each quarter holds together

Directions

Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and add diced tomatoes. Sprinkle liberally with salt, and toss to combine. In a small bowl, add onion and pour enough vinegar on top to cover. Let tomatoes and onions stand while you prep the other ingredients.

In a small skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisped, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. You should have about 2 tablespoons rendered fat in the skillet. Add bread crumbs and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Arrange lettuce wedges on plates and spoon dressing on each. Drain quick-pickled onions and sprinkle all over salads, along with drained tomatoes, bacon, toasted bread crumbs and blue cheese.

Serve and enjoy.

*Recipe adapted from Serious Eats

Skinny Peanut Zoodles

I am pretty sure I can eat a spicy peanut sauce on anything, maybe even bathe in it. I used to make peanut noodles once a week for dinner just for myself. Now thanks to the spiralizer I can make them with veg and save myself the carbs.

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Ingredients

3 Zucchini or yellow squash sprialized

1 carrot sprialized

2 Tbsp Coconut oil

1 Onion, chopped

1 chopped Chilli or crushed red pepper

2 heaping Tbsp Peanut butter

1 can Coconut milk

splash of Fish sauce

 

Directions

Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan. Add your chopped chilli, chopped onion and fry until soft.

Add your peanut butter, followed by coconut milk and fish sauce. Stir until all combined and creamy on a low heat.

Add your zoodles and stir just until they are warmed through. Don’t over cook them, we don’t want them soft.

Serve with a spritz of lime just and cilantro. This would be good with soba or linguine noodles if you don’t want to bother with the veggie noodles.