Recipe Review: Seared Fish with Beet Salsa

I try to balance “cheat” days at my favorite bakery (Craftsman and Wolves) with some healthy dinners during the week.  One great source for recipes is the Recipes for Health series by Martha Rose Shulman in the New York Times.  The recent recipe for beet salsa is really easy and flavorful.  I roast the beets covered in foil for about an hour at 400F.  The roast beets are diced together with apple, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice.  The fresh salsa has bright flavors that go well over a simple pan-seared fish fillet such as tilapia.  Pair with some green beans for a healthy, flavorful meal.  The salsa keeps for a few days in the refrigerator and can be used to accompany other dishes; one delicious application was on top of omelettes.

Level of difficulty: easy

Time: about 1 1/2 hours, including 1 hour to roast the beets.

Deliciousness: great (3 of 5 stars)

Cost: about $10

Healthy: yes

Make again: yes

Link to recipe here.

Recipe Review: Chawan Mushi with Shrimp and Spring Peas, Herbed Pea Sauce (Spring is Here!)

Chawan Mushi with Shrimp, Spring Peas, Mushrooms

Chawan Mushi with Shrimp, Spring Peas, Mushrooms

Chawan Mushi is a Japanese steamed, savory egg custard made with dashi broth and eggs.  Bon Appetit April 2013 has a great recipe that adds fresh spring peas, shrimp, and shiitake mushrooms.  Spring peas are now in season, and are worth the extra work compared to frozen peas.  The peas, mushrooms, and shrimp are first individually steamed in a bamboo steamer.  The egg custard is made by mixing eggs with a dashi broth.  Dashi is a Japanese stock made from dried kombu (seaweed) and shaved bonito flakes that imparts a lot of umami.  Instant dashi granules are available in Japanese markets.  When the eggs and dashi mixture is steamed, it produces a very light, flavorful custard, punctuated by the shrimp and vegetables.  Great recipe!

Cost: about $5-10 (one needs to buy dashi granules) for six servings

Level of difficulty: not too difficult, but requires bamboo steamer and multiple steps of steaming peas, mushrooms, shrimp, and then the chawan mushi

Time: about 1 hour

Deliciousness: excellent (4 out of five stars)

Health: pretty healthy

Make again: definitely

Link to recipe here.

A good recipe in the accompanying feature on spring peas is the Herbed Pea Sauce.  It is simply blanched fresh peas, sauteed in butter with scallions, parsley, lemon zest, and chives.  It is a nice, easy accompaniment to meat or fish such as sauteed tilapia.   Link to Herbed Pea Sauce recipe here.

Sauteed Tilapia with Herbed Pea Sauce

Sauteed Tilapia with Herbed Pea Sauce

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