Citrus-Soy Glazed Salmon with Zucchini & Mushroom Couscous

Citrus-Soy Glazed Salmon with Zucchini & Mushroom Couscous

You may or may not be able to tell, but we eat quite a bit of seafood in the Roxie Ginger household. It goes back to our attempt to do at least one vegetarian, vegan and seafood dish per week, and while we don’t treat it as gospel, we make a genuine effort. 

As soon as the salmon was pulled out of the fridge and put on the counter, our newest addition – a cute (and precocious) black kitten named Booger – started a valiant crusade to try and get on the counter to sample some of the fishy goodness. Having fallen previously victim to the siren’s song that is salmon, I completely understood Booger’s motivation. It also meant we had to make haste and cook this quickly before he got his grubby paws on it.

Get it, paws? He’s a cat.

Don’t get it? Give pause and think on it for a bit.

Get it, pause? IT’S A HOMONYM OF PAWS.

Okay, I’m done here.

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Shrimp Summer Rolls

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For some reason, typing summer rolls brings the “Summer Lovin’” musical sequence from Grease into my head. Come to think of it, this summer really has seemed to happen so fast. While I will not lament its passing until it is officially behind us, the cooling temps and shorter sunlight hours are moving us into this direction of summer’s inevitable end, it seems.

You will not hear me protest its demise too much. I sit here though with a window open, and the day’s plans include removing the air conditioner from the window in the bedroom. It took a cardigan to participate in the past two nights roof shenanigans: playing Banagrams and out-Jaggering Davis at Mick Jagger impersonations. I have discovered that the key to Jaggerisms is pumping, not gyrating the hips. Elvis gyrates. Jagger pumps. Although, I have to admit, I come nowhere close to the holy grail of Jagger impressionism, Noel Fielding from The Mighty Boosh.

Back to summer rolls (…those summer niiiiights), you’ll have to get some rice paper roll wrappers from the Asian food section of a nice grocery, or happen to live in an area that just has those things at the normal grocery. You will use 1 for each roll you intend to make. I suggest 2 per person, and this recipe makes enough for 12 rolls. I suggest setting up a fairly structured mise en place before you even start making these – things can start to get a bit hairy if you’re in a cramped space.

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Thai Fish Cakes with Dipping Sauce

Thai Fish Cakes with Dipping Sauce

After a 5 long years at my current company, I’ve decided to accept a position at a new ad agency. I’m excited to try my hand at something new, and I took last week off as a bit of a post-work staycation.

Since I had some more time in my hands, I decided to revisit my resolution to eat more Southeastern Asia-inspired foods. Seeing as most take out places are far from super diet friendly, it had seemed like ages since we’d gotten some of our old favorites.

Finding this recipe seemed like it could be pretty easy weeknight fare, considering the use of canned tuna. While it is slightly more labor-intensive than originally planned, it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t see whipping these up after work.

Finally, as a caveat: I normally don’t fry things at home. After setting my kitchen cabinets ablaze whilst making home fries in high school, I’m a little gun-shy when it comes to oil frying.  Still, I decided it was time to face my fears; this recipe was just meant to be pan fried.

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Bacalao a la Vizcaina

Bacalao a la Vizcaina

Before moving away from Barcelona, the sweet ladies on my team gave me a book of tapas recipes as a going away present. Naturally, the book is written in Spanish, so it takes a fair amount of translation work on my part to figure out the recipes. I don’t think I always get it right, but it usually comes together in the end.

The book isn’t dedicated solely to Catalan tapas; all of Spain is represented, and this Basque classic has been tempting me from its pages for weeks. It has been calling to me like a salty sea siren (not a sea wife, mind you – shout out to my fellow Game of Thrones fans!), luring me in like centuries of sailors before me, and I decided to embrace the salt cod.

Davis and I entertain pretty frequently, and I wanted to shake up our Sunday supper menu a bit. As a good party hostess, I sent out a message before dinner stating that we would be eating something that might not suit everyone. Fortunately for me, everyone was stoked at the outcome – even the fish averse asked for seconds.

I won’t lie though – this is a labor-intensive meal that takes some forethought. You have to soak the fish for at least 8 hours, and change the water fairly often to make sure it’s not too terribly salty. It’s worth the effort, but a 30 minute meal this is not.

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Scallop and Parmesan Risotto with Shitake, Oyster and Baby Bella Mushrooms

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Risotto requires mothering and a watchful eye more than almost any other dish in the world. You stir, pour, stir, pour – wash, rinse, repeat. On a busy night after work, I usually don’t want to put in the effort for anything really complex. However, every now and then you have to go all out. This version of “all out” utilizes ingredients I tend to have on hand: lemon, chicken broth, butter, white wine, and Parmesan cheese. How about going “mostly out,” then.

Luckily for us living in the northeast, scallops are relatively inexpensive this time of year, and Whole Foods carries packs of mixed mushrooms so you aren’t stuck buying a bunch of each kind for a recipe.

So I bought and I stirred, and I poured, and I stirred some more until I got a bowl full of absolute majesty. A word of advice, since this is a very active recipe, I would suggest getting everything prepped and ready before you start cooking the risotto. Therefore, when you’re at the end of the recipe cooking mushrooms, scallops AND still stirring the risotto, you’re not feeling overwhelmed.

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Chili Balsamic Glazed Shrimp with Pasta and Arugula

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After all these seafood-heavy posts, it feels like this is RG’s own personal version of shark week. It’s not my fault that everywhere I turn lately, there’s a glut of affordable, quality seafood in our neighborhood and that might have a lot to do with it. For today’s dish, I wanted to try and do something a little Thai inspired. We don’t eat nearly as much Thai food as I would like due to Davis’ and I’s food allergies, so this is something I want to try and change in our personal kitchen.

Let me warn you, the pictures might look like there is heat in this dish… and well yeah, there is. We love our food spicy and this dish had me sweating. Homemade chili oil tends to do that; you could even follow steps 1 & 2 of this dish for a fiery oil base to cook most anything, if you wanted.

While they might not pack too much heat, my love of red peppers is second to none, so I include them everywhere I can. I think this dish is a bit of a mish mash between sweet and spicy, but it’s one that I can’t wait to make again.

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Cedar Smoked Bass with Broccoli Rabe & Chard

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After watching a somewhat disappointing Barcelona football match, Davis and I made our way on an errand run where we inadvertently ended up with way more amazing striped bass than we expected from a great local grocery. $40 will apparently buy you quite a lot of fish. I’m not really at that level of super ballerdom in my life, so we had to share the maritime bounty. At this point, I had no other recourse other than to call up a couple of friends for an impromptu get together. Really, you don’t want my problems.

For Christmas, my auntie had given me some cedar grilling papers and I’ve been waiting for the perfect chance to use them. It’s not exactly outdoor grilling weather, so we went with the oven after soaking the papers in water and wine. The papers provide such a subtle flavor that they need to be paired with a mild fish, and the rest of the meal should also be kept simple and bright as to not over power the flavor.

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Mustard Roasted Potatoes with Smoked Salmon & a Poached Egg

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Brunch – is there another word that evokes such delectable promise? Technically, it’s different from its lesser-known and more-awkwardly-pronounced first cousin “brinner,” by only by the time of day in which it is eaten. Still, I think we’d all agree that brunch is an event all of its own. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not knocking on brinner by any stretch of the imagination. Cholesterol be damned, I love eggs.

This is something I thought of when, in typical Roxie Ginger fashion, I had several ingredients that didn’t seem to go together and needed to figure out a way to make them mesh. Davis being the outspoken mustard hater that he is, it’s hard to sneak the condiment in. Topping that off with smoked salmon – another less than lauded ingredient in our house – and I figured this one would be a tough sell. Luckily though, we had company over for an impromptu movie night and this turned to be a quick, hearty winning dish. Maybe I’m a bigger brinner fan than I thought.

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Pan-Seared Scallops with Four Sauces and Roasted Zucchini with Blue Cheese

I would say that I normally stick to less than fancy fare, but this is one of the most fun dishes that I’ve ever made. Sure, it’s a bit showy, but you gotta be decadent sometimes or life can get a bit boring. We ate these tasty little morsels standing up in our kitchen tapas style, interchanging the sauces on the scallops as we went with zucchini as palate cleansers. Still, either dish would be quite nice as a starter for a dinner party; they’re both able to stand up on their own just fine.

The roasted zucchini with blue cheese was put after each scallop to help completely wipe the flavor of the previous sauce before moving onto the next. Especially with the spicier sauces, the flavorful cheese cut the heat. Since Davis and I like our food spicy, we were partial to the Habanero Lime and Jalapeno Cilantro, respectively. However, the Creamy Lemon with Green Onion and Pistachio Crumble stood up to the test. All and all, this is a dish that could give a person a little culinary hubris.

Not going to lie, this might be the fanciest thing I’ve ever made.

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Cod with Dill Potatoes

At work this week, I was tooling around the interweb looking at food blogs for “dinnerspiration,” and I stumbled across an incredible photo from Sweet Amandine. To me, this picture embodied exactly the kind of dish you want to make during the summer. I called the photo to mind later in the week when we had a cod filet to use for our weekly fish dish.

Simple flavors always feel the most effective for me, and since cod is pretty delicate I didn’t want to completely overtake the flavor of the fish. I decided that all I wanted to top the fish with was some lemon slices and use roasted tomatoes as a side, and the result was a wonderfully simple, delicious dish.

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