Tag Archives: Fish

Where the Magic Happens

In true MTV cribs fashion, I’m going to let you in on where the magic happens…But not that kind of magic.  After all, a Bite-Sized lady doesn’t kiss and tell…My kind of magic is made in the kitchen.  And magic, is exactly what’s on the menu today.  Magic Sauce get its name because, well it’s really magical.  It has the ability to transform something boring into some seriously divine.  Think Fairy Godmother, but edible.  One day you’re Cinderella, the next day you are a princess.  And by you, I mean your food.

This sauce is great for dipping, think crunchy bread.  It’s also great for eggs, potatoes, shellfish, chicken, steak and vegetables.  Really, it’s good for anything and everything.  Which is why it’s magical.  The recipe makes about ½ a cup of Magic Sauce.  But the way I use it, and the way you are sure to use it, it’s best to double the recipe right away.  The sauce, like a fine wine, also gets better with age.  So, make a batch, or two, and let the magic happen.

Magic Sauce
Ingredients
½ cup of good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 medium cloves of garlic, smashed into a paste
1 well-crumbled bay leaf
pinch of red pepper flakes
¼  teaspoon + fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions
Gently warm the olive oil over medium-low heat in a skillet or pan, until it is just hot. When hot remove from heat.

While the oil is heating, lightly pound the rosemary, thyme, and oregano in a mortar and pestle.  If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can chop all of the ingredients together.

Stir the paprika, garlic, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and salt into the oil. Then add the bruised herbs and lemon juice.

You can use this now, but know – the oil just gets better as it ages over a few days. Keep it in a refrigerator for up to a week/ten days-ish. It thickens up when cold, so if you need it in a liquid state, place it in the sun or in a warm place for a few minutes.

Recipe from: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/magic-sauce-recipe.html

101cookbooks.com is a great collection of recipes and beautiful food photography.   If you are ever looking for inspiration, make sure to visit this site!

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Is this New York or Seattle?

It seems we have gotten a break from the rain this morning…but according to weather.com, we are looking at more rain this afternoon.  You know what Seth Meyers would say to this…Really?   Really, rain gods.  We get it; you are good at your job.  Now, really, take a leave of absence…go on vacation…do something, just get out of New York, really!

Spare me the lecture on how we need rain, blah blah blah.  I know the benefits of rain, but it has seriously been raining cats and dogs for months now.  I feel like I’m on the set of The Killing, which by the way, is a great new show on AMC that takes place in, you guessed it, Seattle.

On the bright side, because there is always a bright side with this Bite-Sized Blonde, the world is green again.  Let’s face it, green equals good.  As a new shade brightens our city, I am also using it to brighten my kitchen.  Peas have a bad reputation, and one that is quite undeserved if I do say so myself.  So, I am giving my peas a makeover with a hint of mint and a splash of love to accompany a delicious filet of halibut.

Halibut with Pea Puree (Serves 2)

Ingredients
Halibut
Two 6-ounce filets of halibut
2 tbsp. dry white wine
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper

Pea Puree
½ cup of peas
5 mint leaves
1 small shallot, minced
2 tbsp. water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mushrooms
1 cup of assorted mushrooms
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. water
½ tsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper

Directions
Season the halibut with salt and pepper. Place the fish in a hot skillet with olive oil, skin side down. Move the fish around immediately after placing it in the skillet to make sure that it does not stick. After 3 minutes, add the white wine and cover the pan. In a small pan, sweat the shallots. Add the peas and cook until they are heated through, no more, no less! If you leave them in the pan too long, they will discolor. Once the peas are cooked, add the mixture to a blender with the mint leaves and water. Blend until smooth.  Add more water if you need to; the mixture should be smooth.  Season with salt and pepper. In another small pan, add the mushrooms,  water and butter. Partially cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and they have absorbed all the liquid. Add the pea puree to the plate first. Then, place the halibut on the puree and top with the mushrooms. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a slice of lemon.  Serve, enjoy, and wait for the compliments to roll in.

Spring into Your Beach Body

We finally got our first real taste of spring this week…minus the intermission of isolated thunderstorms yesterday, of course.  The flowers are blooming and the trees are budding, which can only mean one thing…summer will be here before you know it! If you are anything like this Bite-Sized Blonde, you love summer.  If this was a video blog, a shot of the lake at camp would be panning out on your screen right now while reveille played in the background.   Yes, I just went there.  I love camp.

Whether you love summer because of the great memories you made at camp as a child, or the great memories you are making now as an adult on the beaches of the Hamptons and Fire Island, the power of summer is undeniable.  So, excitement is not only natural right now, it’s expected…unless of course you have been slacking at the gym this winter.  I would be lying if I said I’ve been a gym junkie all winter long.  Hey, a girls’ gotta live a little. But now, I am in full-on summer prep mode.  As a true Foodie, I don’t exactly believe in diets.  Would you tell Picasso to only paint in oils or Amare Stoudemire to only make lay-ups?  Of course not! So, you can’t tell a Foodie to only eat low cal foods.  It’s just wrong.  (I’m sure there is a clever analogy in there somewhere). 
 
To get bikini ready, I pray to the gods of spin class and Physique 57.  If you don’t know about Physique, you should check it out.  It’s the most, rewarding and painful experience you can have in NYC.   And spinning is the best way to work up a sweat at the gym.   But I’m told exercise alone won’t cut it.  So, when I am in summer mode, I opt for lighter meals every once in a while so I can still enjoy my guilty pleasures, which right now is a carton of vanilla ice cream.  Thank you Haagen Dazs.

Lighter doesn’t have to equal less flavor.  Sacrificing flavor for calories is like wearing a designer knock-off.  It looks similar, but you know it’s just not the same.  And would you really be caught dead in a knock-off? I didn’t think so.

My go-to “Summer is So Damn Close I can Taste it” meal is Steamed Cod with Ginger and Scallions.  This dish is so packed with flavor, you don’t even realize it’s a light meal. 

Steamed Cod with Ginger and Scallions (serves 4)
Ingredients
3 tbsp. rice vinegar (unseasoned)
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. finely grated peeled fresh ginger*
4 skinless cod filets (about 1 ½ pounds)
6 scallions, chopped
 
Directions
In a large skillet with a tight lid, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and scallions.  Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper.  Place the fish in the skillet and bring the liquid to a boil.  Once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.  Cover and cook until the fish is almost opaque, which should be about 6-8 minutes. 
 
*Ginger can be tricky to peel because it is so misshapen.  An easy way to peel ginger is to actually forgo the peeler altogether! Use the back of a spoon to peel the skin away; it helps with all the nooks and crannies! Once the ginger is peeled, grate 2 tbsps. If you have extra ginger left over, freeze it!! You can actually grate frozen ginger into your meals in the future when a recipe calls for it.