Creamy Green Chile, Tomatillo, and Avocado Sauce

Earlier in the week I posted on Facebook about a dinner exceeding my expectations. This is that dinner. When I read the list of ingredients, poblano peppers, tomatillo, avocado, cilantro… OF COURSE I knew I would like the sauce. What’s not to love about all of those things? What I didn’t expect was standing over my food processor bowl with a spoon hoping that I could manage to leave enough sauce in it to actually serve for dinner. That’s how much I liked loved this stuff. (Notice in the photo I put sauce under AND over the chicken).

What makes this sauce even better is its versatility. I used it as a semi pasta sauce and served it with grilled chicken and a black bean and corn salad. Of course it could easily go over rice or just plain right on top of chicken. I also have plans in the near future to serve it over top of fish. I’m guessing it would also go perfectly grilled shrimp. The possibilities are endless. And I’m all about versatility in the kitchen.

Looking for more sauce recipes?

Tzatziki Sauce
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
Jack Daniels Sauce
Southwest Marinade and Sauce

 

Mexi-Corn

The family that worked for in San Diego had a dog, but not just a dog, a really cool dog. He knew all sorts of fun tricks and was generally really well behaved. Since we never had a dog when I was growing up, he was really the first dog that I got to spend an extended and consistent amount of time with. We got to be great friends and he really opened my eyes to the “dog world”.

Our favorite times together were when I would sing to him. (OK, his favorite times were actually probably more like when I would take him for a walk or feed him. But my favorite times were when I would sing.) His name was Max and one of the songs I would sing to him went a little like this, “Maxito Bombito from Max-ico. Likes to eat Max-a-roni and cheese and sometimes Max-ican.” Original lyrics, huh? Anyway, I couldn’t help but giggle when I was making this side dish. Totally reminded me of him. 🙂

Along with making me giggle, this corn was just the side dish I was looking for when making Enchilada Casserole. It’s light but still flavorful and ridiculously easy. I also love the pops of color it adds to the meal. And as it turns, it’s also really good when scooped up on a chip and eaten like salsa.  If you’re in a rut and looking for a new side dish to add to your rotation, give this a try!

 

 

Foil Baked Fish with Black Beans and Corn

I’ve been so inconsistent about posting food lately that I’m almost lost about how to even write this post! I really need to get myself back into the swing of things…

In the weeks leading up to “the big move” I pretty much gave up on trying to make and photograph food at dinner time. I was usually too tired after work to put the proper amount of effort into it, the lighting was terrible, and I just couldn’t get into it. It’s also kind of hard to get motivated to make a whole meal when it’s just you you’re cooking for.

On my own, I could happily eat noddles with a little olive oil, garlic, squeeze of lemon and boat load of cheese almost every night for dinner. But during the day (I had a break while the girls were in school) I had much more energy and of course was always looking for an excuse to do anything other than pack my apartment. So I found myself making a lot of my big meals for lunch.

This fish was one of those mid-day meals. I’ve got to tell you, it was one of the best lunches I’ve had in ages. It’s been over a month since I made it and I can still taste it when I think about it.

The chipotle adds a deep smokey flavor that balances out perfectly with the lightness from the citrus in the orange juice. Then there is the punch of cilantro and the little bit of butter makes everything melt together. It’s also great because it’s basically a one dish meal with easy preparation and clean up. Definitely something you should try. I used Tilapia because it was on sale at the grocery store, but pretty much any mild white fish will work. If you’re worried about it being too fishy, try using a fish like mahi mahi since it’s flavor is even milder.

Also, I found this recipe on Pink Parlsey and this week Josie shared a spin-off recipe using chick peas instead of black beans. Sounds interesting!

Foil Baked Fish with Black Beans and Corn
Ingredients
4 skinless white fish fillets (6 to 8 oz each), 1-inch thick
salt and pepper
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce or 1 tsp dry Chipotle chili powder
1 tsp grated orange zest
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups corn kernels, I used half frozen sweet corn and half frozen roasted corn (from Trader Joes)
1/2 red onion, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and adjust rack to lower middle position.

Pat the fish fillets dry and season lightly with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, use a fork to combine the softened butter, 1/2 of the chipotle pepper (or chili powder), orange zest, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and half of the garlic. Spread the butter mixture over the fish.

In a medium bowl, combine the black beans, corn, red onion, 2 tablespoons of cilantro, orange juice, remaining chipotle pepper (or chili powder), remaining garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.

Lay out 4 squares of aluminum foil and divide the bean mixture evenly between them. Place one fish fillet on top of the bean mixture on each sheet of foil. Fold the foil in half over the fish and then seal all of the open edges by folding the foil edges up and in.

Carefully move the foil packets to a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through. Carefully open the packets, sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve.

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, The Best Simple Recipes as seen on Pink Parsley

Pepper Jack and Cilantro Stuffed Swordfish

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First and foremost, a big huge thank you to everyone who pinned and shared Friday’s post. I figured people would dig the pumpkin and cinnamon (and of course, the rum) but the response well exceeded my expectations. I shared on Facebook that I am blown away by the positive response and that is still true. I blog because I love it and because I believe the way to the heart is through the stomach, so seeing such a positive response to a post I already love gives me the warm fuzzies. Thanks everyone! And hello to new readers!

Today’s post comes from a picture I stumbled on this weekend. It some how fell through the cracks after I uploaded the photos and it’s a real shame because it was one of my favorite grilled meals this summer. If you’re one of those people that thinks cilantro tastes like soap (how?? it’s so yummy!) then it’s probably not for you. If not, then hurry outside and make this before grilling season is over!

This recipe is perfect for people that are new to fish because swordfish is such a sturdy fish that it acts a lot like chicken. Plus the flavorful punch from the stuffing makes the fish taste even more subtle. Some may prefer a simpler preparation, and I can appreciate that, but I also have a hard time saying no to Pepper Jack cheese and cilantro!


Pepper Jack and Cilantro Stuffed Swordfish
(Adapted from We Are Not Martha)

Ingredients
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 oz. Pepper Jack cheese, grated
3 swordfish steaks, each about 1-inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Oil for preparing the grill grates
Lemon halves, optional

Directions
To the bowl of a food processor, add the garlic cloves and pulse for 10 seconds. Add the parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt and pulse again until herbs are finely chopped. With the motor running, stream the olive oil and process until emulsified. Remove a 1/4 cup of mixture and set aside for later use. To the bowl add the grated Pepper Jack cheese and process for 15 seconds (it will look kind of crumbly, and that’s ok).

Prepare a grill by lightly brushing the grates with oil and turning the flame to medium.

Prepare the swordfish steaks but slicing a horizontal pocket into the side of the fish. Sprinkle the outside with salt and pepper, then stuff each pocket with the Pepper Jack-Cilantro mixture. You can secure the pocket with a toothpick if you feel it is necessary.

Grill the swordfish for 4-5 minutes then, using a metal spatula, carefully flip to the other side. Brush each swordfish steak with the reserved cilantro mixture and grill for 4-5 minutes, or until the fish begins to easily flake. If you opt to use lemon halves, you can grill those for the final 4-5 minutes.

Serve immediately with any additional cilantro sauce. Goes well with Spanish rice.