Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mindful Eating

As I cook away for the many parties and events people are often amazed at the amount of love I pour into my food. You can just feel it from all of your senses. The part of my work that I love the most is connecting with people and sharing my thoughts and ideas of a more mindful approach to eating. It is not about dieting it about cultivating a lifestyle that allows you time with your friends and family, activity and eating for pleasure. Taking a moment at the market to really search out the freshest ingredients while cutting corners where you can. If you are grilling one night toss on some veggies for next days lunch. Grill your swordfish and serve it with a simple mixed green salad. Grill extra chicken to keep in the fridge. Keep your sauces, salsas and marinades simple or find good packaged ones! I make everything from scratch, when I am working. While cooking at home well, we all need help from time to time and there are some amazing products available! Mostly just take a few minutes to enjoy you family and friends and express love through the meals that you create.

Asian Marinade for Vegetables
This simple marinade works well with chicken or fish. Eggplant, summer squashes, asparagus, inions, beets, corn. Just to name a few.
Be creative and look for fun veggies to grill!

6 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 inches Ginger, finely chopped
1 bunch Mint leaves, chopped
1 bunch Cilantro, chopped
1bunch Basil, chopped
3 Green onions, sliced
2 Serrano chilies, finely chopped
1/2 cup Olive oil
1/2 cup Rice wine vinegar
Juice of 4 Limes and zest
1/4-cup Soy sauce
1/4 cup Honey
1-tablespoon Chili sauce

Remove and grate zest of limes and juice limes. Prepare 12 cups of vegetables for the grill. Combine ingredients and marinate for 2 hours rotating occasionally. Grill vegetables, brushing with marinade.

Shrimp on rosemary skewers
A very simple and amazing way to prepare shrimp. I have the biggest rosemary tree in my yard so I am always looking for ways to use it. Cutting 2 inch pieces of rosemary strip stem starting about 1" from top of stem. Using a very sharp knife cut points at the end of the stem. You will need about 25 for this recipe.

1/4 cup finely chopped garlic, mashed to a paste with 1 teaspoon coarse
3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves plus sprigs for garnish
4 tablespoons olive oil plus oil for brushing shrimp
2 pounds jumbo shrimp, cleaned with tails on

In a large bowl stir together garlic, minced rosemary, and 3 tablespoons oil and add shrimp. Marinate shrimp, covered and chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. Thread the shrimp with the rosemary skewer.
On an oiled grill or a stovetop grill arrange shrimp so that the rosemary skewers are away from the flame.
Grill 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges

Swordfish and Veggie skewer
1 large lemon
1 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup of Dijon Mustard
1/2-cup pinot gringo (or any light) vinegar
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 a teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1-pound swordfish
1 large red onion
16 mushrooms
2 yellow or green bell pepper
8 cherry tomatoes

In a small bowl juice the lemon and add 2 teaspoons add two teaspoons zest. Combine the oil, mustard, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and black and red pepper. Cut the swordfish into 24 equal pieces.
Cut onion in half and each half into quarters. Cut the bell pepper in half and de seeds it and cut into 16 pieces. Clean the mushrooms. Dividing equally and then alternating them, thread the swordfish with all the veggies ending with the cherry tomatoes on 8- 12-inch skewers. (Don’t forget if using wood they need to be soaked in water for about one hour. Brush with half the marinating mixture and let sit in the refridgerator for one hour. Prepare your grill. When it is ready, Brush the skewers with half the remaining marinade. Grill the skewers about 5 inches from the heat for five minutes. Turn over and grill about 5 more minutes until fish is lightly colored, firm to the touch, and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Serve at once.

Grilled swordfish in a Black bean Sauce
2- 15 oz cans of black beans
1-tablespoon peanut oil
1 red onion chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1-cup chicken or vegetable stock
Fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
6- 8 oz swordfish steaks
Peanut oil for brushing fish
In saucepan heat peanut oil and sauté onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook until softened stirring constantly. Add the black beans and stock stir over medium heat until thicken and sauce reduces about half. Puree with an emulsion blender. I like to leave it a little chunky. Cover while preparing the fish. Prepare grill. (These can be done on the stovetop grill o broiler as well.) Brush fish well with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill or broil until cooked through about five minutes per side.) If you made the sauce a head reheat. Place fish on a plate and spoon over sauce and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Pineapple Salsa
! /4 cup of olive oil
Juice of one lime
Juice of one lemon
4 tuna Steaks, 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick.
Prepare the grill. Mix the oil and lemons and lime in a small bowl and brush over the tuna generously. Grill the tuna steaks 5 inches over the heat for about 6 minutes per side until they are firm to the touch. (Many people like there tuna rare…that would be about 3 minutes per side. I personally, like all of my fish cook through. Not over cooked, but cooked through. Believe me I have taken much flack about this from chefs over the years, just another lesson for being true to your own tastes no matter what the “experts” say. Remove from grill and serve immediately with a generous amount of salsa.
Pineapple Salsa
1 medium sized pineapple
Juice of 2-3 limes
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup very finely slivered fresh ginger
1 white onion, cut into thin slivers
1 to 2 small red chilies, dried or fresh stemmed, seeded and cut into
Very thin slivers
1/2 cup coarsely cut cilantro

Peel pineapple, remove the "eyes,' then core. Slice and cut into
Thin, matchstick slivers. Add lime and lemon juices, sugar, salt
Ginger and onion. Taste for intensity of flavor; add additional
sugar and/or salt if needed. Add chile slivers very sparingly,
tasting until you reach the degree you prefer. (Caution: The heat
will intensify as the salsa stands.) Just before serving, stir in
cilantro. Best served within an hour or two of mixing.

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