Thursday, September 18, 2008

Light Fall's too darn hot!

With the weather so blistering hot it is challenging for me to create my fall and winter menus. Here are some fall fish dishes that are really wonderful and yet light enough to enjoy even in the warmest of Indian summers. Cajun salmon with the spicy Chipotle Squash and sweet mango salsa is a wonderful blend of late summer/early autumn. Cioppino is a light Italian fish stew amazing with crusty bread and a green salad. Pistachio crusted Chilean Sea bass is a great recipe wonderful with halibut or mahi Mahi as well. I did not like clams because no matter how much I scrubbed then they were always sandy, but I got a great tip. Rinse them off in cold water to get rid of the gunk. While keeping them submerged place a stainless steel spoon over them and stream water continuously for ten minutes. The combination of the water and the stainless creates an electrical current that causes the clams to spit out any sand.

Cajun Salmon with Chipotle Squash and Mango Salsa
1 Large Butternut Squash
1 Small Can of Chipotles
2 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted
1/4-Teaspoon Chili Powder
1/4-Teaspoon Salt
1/4-Cup Cream
Pinch Salt
4 6 oz - Fillets of Salmon
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1-Teaspoon Cayenne
1-Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1-Teaspoon Dried Thyme
2 Teaspoons Paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Brush the cut sides with a little olive oil and place cut side down on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Roast squash in oven until easily pierced with a fork. About 30 minutes. Scoop out the cooked squash into a food processor. Add 2 chipotle pepper, 2 tablespoons of butter, chili powder, salt, and cream. Puree until a smooth consistency. Mean while rinse off each portion of salmon and pat dry. Mix all the spices together in a bowl. Brush both sides of each fillet with butter. Sprinkle a little Cajun spices onto each side and lightly press the spices against the fish. Heat a heavy skillet until it is smoking hot. Place the fillets in the skillet. Cook for 1 - 2 minutes and turn the fillets over. Cook until the salmon is firm and cooked through (about 5 minutes).
T Spread a portion of the Chipotle Squash Puree onto each plate. Put the Cajun salmon fillet on top of squash and top with mango salsa.

Mango Salsa
2 mangos
Juice of 2-3 limes
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup very finely slivered fresh ginger
1 red onion, cut into thin slivers
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 to 2 small jalapeno, minced
1/2 cup coarsely cut cilantro
Pinch salt, to pop the flavors

Mix lime and lemon juices, salt, ginger and onion. Add jalapeno. Toss together mangos, onions and red pepper. Mix with lime mixture Just before serving, stir in cilantro. Best served within an hour or two of mixing.


3 Cups tomato juice
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
1 sprig marjoram, chopped
1 sprig oregano, chopped
½ pound fresh fish (flounder, haddock, perch), boned and cut into 1" pieces
½ cup red wine
6 Clams in the shell, scrubbed clean
1-pound shrimp, in the shell
4- Tablespoons Ptarmigan cheese, freshly grated
6 parsley sprigs, chopped
8 lemon wedges

Place tomato juice in a pot and bring to a simmer. Add onion, celery, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, garlic, and fish to the pot and simmer, covered, for an hour to thicken broth. Add the wine, shrimp, and clams and heat to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the shrimp just turn pink. Serve in heated bowls, topped with cheese, a wedge of lemon, and parsley.

Pistachio crusted Chilean Sea bass
1 lb. Chilean Sea bass
1-cup ground pistachios
1 cup Panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped

2 shallots chopped
1 stalk lemon grass, chopped
3-garlic clove, chopped
1 stick butter, softened
1 bay leaf
1 Table. Whole white peppercorns
2 cups white wine
1-cup cream

Brush fish with Dijon mustard and coat with herbs, Panko and Pistachios mixture. Bake at 375*F. for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile put shallots, garlic, wine, peppercorns, lemon stalk and bay leaf in a medium sauce pan. Reduce slowly to a syrupy consistency. Strain through a fine sieve.
Add cream and reduce a little more. Whisk in the butter a little at a time over low heat until all the butter is used. Sauce should be creamy.

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