Grilled Pineapple and Red Pepper Salsa

14 07 2014

This is a super tasty and refreshing salsa, perfect to enjoy with friends and fam on a hot summer day! I know my fam gobbled it up at a picnic we had this past weekend! Bobby Flay’s grilled pineapple relish was my inspiration for this appetizer, well that, and all the pretty produce in my fridge. Don’t be afraid to play around with the fruit and veggies in this….it’s great to use what you have on hand!

Grilled Pineapple and Red Pepper Salsa

The following makes around 3 cups (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 cups grilled pineapple, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and stem removed, grilled and chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2-3 medium radishes, chopped
  • 1/4 bunch of green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 3-4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar (use more or less to your liking)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp hot sauce (use more or less depending how spicy you want the salsa, I used a habanero hot sauce which is very spicy, so a little went a long way)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Tortilla chips, great with blue corn!

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Drizzle pineapple and red pepper with a little olive oil. Grill covered, until char marks start to form, a few minutes on all sides. Remove from the grill to a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle. Once cooled, chop pineapple and pepper. I grilled a whole cored pineapple and used what I thought would be enough in the salsa and saved the rest for another meal. You can adjust the amount of pineapple used in this salsa based on your preference.

Combine chopped pineapple, pepper, radishes, green onions and cilantro. Add the lime zest and juice, vinegar and hot sauce and stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning. I like the acid as it is, but if it’s too much you can add a little more hot sauce or add some olive oil. Season with salt to taste.

Store covered in the fridge until ready to serve. This salsa can be made a day in advance. Serve with multi-grain or blue corn tortilla chips.

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Mini Crab Cakes With Mango Chutney and Cilantro-Avocado Sauce

16 06 2014

I recently started a supper club with a group of close friends of ours, and this past weekend we headed to the beaches of OBX! Well not literally, but with an awesome spread of sea-side food it felt like we did!

My contribution included these awesome baked mini crab cakes, with a delicious creamy sauce and tangy chutney! Try not to be overwhelmed with how long this recipe is. There are several parts, which honestly have a lot of ingredients, and there’s a good amount of chopping to be done. But it’ll be worth it, especially if you’re out to impress your friends and fam because these are superbly delicious! My only regret is not having made extras!

Mini Crab Cakes (2)

The following makes 16 crab cakes (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat, Ina Garten and Emeril Lagasse):

For the crab cakes:

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small diced red onion (3/4 cup)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups small diced celery (4 stalks)
  • 1 small diced red bell pepper (1/2 cup)
  • 1 small diced yellow bell pepper (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 can (16 oz) wild caught crab meat or 1/2 pound lump crabmeat, drained and check that there aren’t any shells
  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs or panko
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, celery, peppers, parsley, hot sauce, Worcestershire, Old Bay and salt. Mix to combine and cook until the veggies are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, break up the lump crabmeat into small pieces and toss with the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard and eggs. Add the cooled veggies mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350.
  4. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out small portions of the crab mixture (to make mini crab cakes) and place on non-stick baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Increase the heat to 450 and bake for another 5-10 minutes to help get a golden crust.

For the Mango Salsa (makes about 1 and 1/2 cups):

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped poblano peppers
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  1. Combine mango, poblano, peppers, onion and garlic in a bowl and mix. Add vinegar, cilantro and salt and stir well.
  2. Refrigerate in an air-tight container with a lid until you’re ready to serve.
For the Cilantro-Avocado Sauce (makes about 2 cups):
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 lime zested
  • 1 lime juiced (about 4-5 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce
  1. Combine everything in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

 To serve:

  • Using your squeeze bottle full of sauce, squeeze some of the sauce onto a large serving plate (or in individual cups like shown above). Top with one crab cake if plating individually, then top with some of the mango salsa.




Cod With Roasted Pineapple-Black Bean Salsa

12 02 2014

I didn’t make it to the grocery store this past weekend, so meal-planning this week is all about using up my pantry/freezer, etc. I just so happen to have a little pineapple leftover from another meal, a can of black beans and some frozen cod.  Sound strange? Believe it or not, it’s delicious….and super simple!

Cod With Roasted Pineapple-Black Bean Salsa

Cod With Roasted Pineapple-Black Bean Salsa

The following serves 2 (adapted from Everyday With Rachel Ray):

  • 3 slices (1/2 inch thick) pineapple
  • 2 cod filets
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp, plus 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 oz mild diced green chilies (half of a small can)
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Preheat the broiler to high. Arrange pineapple on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes, flipping once. Let pineapple cool, then chop.

Season filets with salt and pepper; rub with 1/2 Tbsp oil. Arrange the filets on the same foil-lined baking sheet you used for the pineapple and drizzle with 1 tsp lime juice. Broil until opaque and flaky and slightly browned on top, 10 to 12 minutes.

While the fish bakes, warm a drizzle of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and cook onion for a few minutes. Add the chiles, a dusting of cayenne and the beans. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the beans are warmed through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then toss with pineapple, cilantro and remaining 2 Tbsp lime juice and 1 Tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the cod topped with the pineapple-black bean salsa. Serve over brown rice or with an arugula salad (as pictured here) to round out the meal. You could also serve this in tortillas for taco night!





Corn and Black Bean Salsa

8 07 2012

I usually keep all the makings for this appetizer / dip on hand to bring to last-minute gatherings. It’s a great go-to when you’re in a hurry and don’t want to show up empty-handed. The original recipe came from Guy Fieri, but I always improvise based on what I have – that’s why I love versatile dishes like these!

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

The following serves 6-8:

  • 1 bag (16 oz) frozen corn
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup diced cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • Small red bell pepper, diced
  • Juice from 2-4 limes
  • 2-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch or two of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • Tortilla chips for dipping

Cook corn according to the package. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine black beans, diced tomatoes, onion and pepper.

In another bowl make the dressing. I felt like I needed more than what the original recipe called for, so I doubled the dressing. That’s why I list a range of measurements above. Start with the smallest amount of each and double if you feel necessary. To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil, lime juice, cumin, cayenne and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the corn to the large bowl with the other ingredients and toss with the dressing until everything is well coated. Next, toss in the chopped cilantr0. Store covered, in the fridge until ready to eat. Serve with tortilla chips.





Sautéed Chicken with Nectarine Salsa over Buttered Noodles

7 08 2011

I like getting creative when I find a recipe I want to try but don’t necessarily have all the ingredients – like the Grilled Peach Salsa recipe that inspired this dish. The recipe called for peaches, jalapeno, cilantro and mint. I didn’t have any of those things, but these ingredients jazzed This Girl up to use what I did have…nectarines, Hungarian hot peppers and parsley! I just let my creativity flow and created a deliciously sweet and savory meal that I think you’ll equally enjoy!

Sautéed Chicken with Nectarine Salsa over Buttered Noodles

For the chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Paprika
  • Olive oil

Dust both sides of chicken with Kosher salt, cumin, coriander and paprika – enough to coat and season the chicken. Sauté in some olive oil (a turn or two of the pan) over medium-high heat. You’re looking for the chicken to firm up and brown, about 5-6 minutes per side.

While the chicken is cooking, work on the salsa:

  • 1 nectarine, halved, pitted and quartered
  • Half a small red onion, diced
  • 1 large Hungarian hot pepper or small jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • Zest of half a lime
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Sauté onion and peppers in a little olive oil over medium heat until they become soft. Zest half a lime in the pan and toss in the nectarine slices and 1 Tbsp butter. Cook a few minutes until the fruit begins to brown, then toss in about 1/2 Tbsp chopped parsley and juice of half the lime. Sprinkle with a pinch of Kosher salt. Let sit under ready to serve.

I had some leftover cooked pasta that I heated up with a little butter and lime juice. I served the chicken over the buttered noodles, topped with the salsa. At the end I finished everything with the remaining lime juice and 1/2 Tbsp chopped parsley. This would also be good over rice or has a salad over romaine lettuce.