What’s for Dinner? Charmoula-Rubbed Mahi-Mahi Never Said Anyone

Charmoula-Rubbed Mahi-Mahi and Shallot Bulgur. Courtesy of Bon Appetit

Looking for a fast, healthy and tasty weeknight meal? This is it, and don’t be put off by the unfamiliar spice concoction. Charmoula-rubbed Mahi-Mahi  is easy peasy, especially when paired with Shallot Bulgur. You must be thinking that I am on a spice-rub kick. ‘Tis true. This recipe, likes others from the so-called cleanse, took me out of my cooking comfort zone, requiring the use of unusual spices and various healthy, whole grains…like bulgur! How exciting – I had not prepared bulgur before, so it was great to discover another high-fiber whole grain, easy to prepare and even Hubs-approved. Sara Dickerman pairs the Mahi Mahi with a sliced orange salad. Visually, it is a treat (see below), but really not worth the effort. It makes the whole meal more complicated to prepare, and I suggest skipping it in lieu of a sliced orange for garnish.

Charmoula-Rubbed Mahi-Mahi

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, or parsley (I used parsley since I had it on hand)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika, sweet or smoked
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 4 6-oz. mahi-mahi fillets


  • Stir together cilantro or parsley, oil, cumin, paprika, salt, lime juice, garlic, and 1 Tbsp. water (alternatively, pulse ingredients in a food processor for a smoother texture and a slightly more intense herbal flavor). Rub mixture onto the mahi-mahi fillets and chill for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 425°. Place marinated fish on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until fish is just opaque in center, 10–15 minutes.

Read More http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2013/01/charmoula-rubbed-mahi-mahi#ixzz2LdItTwnO

Toss the Canned Cranberry – 4 Ingredients you MUST buy for Thanksgiving

We are T minus 1 week until Turkey Time. And while the turkey won’t pass these lips, all the sides and condiments do. One of my favorites is homemade Fresh Cranberry Relish. The relish is the most beautiful ruby color you’ve ever seen.  Put the 4 ingredients below on your shopping list and plan on making this a day or 2 in advance.  I promise you, you will never buy canned or fresh store bought (for $10!!) ever again if you try this recipe.

Fresh Cranberry Relish

Use Bonne Maman peach preserves and you won’t be sorry

  1. 1 package fresh cranberries
  2. 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (squeeze your own, or buy freshly squeezed)
  3. zest of 1 navel orange
  4. 1/2 jar peach preserves (I like Bonne Maman)

Rinse cranberries. Place in a pot with the orange juice, zest and preserves. Simmer, just until cranberries pop open, stirring occasionally. Should take 20 – 25 minutes.

Cool and serve, or store.  Serve in glass bowl for maximum effect at the dining table. Can be prepared 1- 2 days before Thanksgiving.

We picked up this recipe several years from our local supermarket Guido’s, in Great Barrington, and have been hooked ever since.

Please comment on what condiments, cranberry or otherwise, you serve at Thanksgiving.

Verdict on Whole, Roasted Snapper: Easy weeknight meal

Ready to serve: Roasted Red Snapper

Well, folks, the Whole Roasted Snapper was indeed an easy weeknight meal. As long as you don’t count the minutes lost to anxiety, it took about 7 minutes prep time in total. I spent 5 minutes prepping the ingredients (slice lemons, smash garlic, wash herbs) and then dressing the fish (rub with olive oil and salt, stuff with lemon slices, herbs and garlic).  It took another 2 minutes to open the bottle of white wine, then pour a glass onto the fish and a glass for myself.  In fact, my little helper Sam even enjoyed assisting in the prep and documentation (hence the nickname “Nemo” for the snapper).

Gone in seconds: Crispy Baked “Potato Chips”

I removed the head and tails and main skeleton at the kitchen countertop, serving quasi-fillets for dinner. The fish was quite juicy and tender, and probably would have benefited from even a few minutes less in the oven. I will update my recipe accordingly. And needless to say, these crispy, baked, “potato chips” were also a hit. Clean plates all around.

Now, time to focus on Thanksgiving planning. We are T minus 1 week.

Whole, Roasted Snapper: Easy weeknight meal or disaster in the making?

As much as I enjoy eating whole fish, I almost never make it at home. My few attempts have been on the grill during the summer (with Hubs’s grilling skills), which led me to the sentiment above: easy-peasy weeknight dinner, or disaster in the making?


When I stopped by the fish counter this morning, I had every intention of buying white fish fillets, but nothing looked great or reasonably priced, and then the whole red snapper caught my eye. Why not? I’d roast it simply in the oven with some fresh herbs, lemon, garlic and olive oil. Easy, right? And to hedge my bets, I also picked up salad and a few russet potatoes to prepare as a side dish. If the fish elicits any moans, the crispy, roasted potatoes will neutralize them.

In my head, I had figured out the ingredients, but I did a little research to double check cooking temperature and times. I will loosely follow this recipe from Anne Burrell.

Whole Roasted Red Snapper

1 (2 pound) fish, such as snapper or bass, scaled, gutted and gills removed
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 lemon slices
2 fresh bay leaves
1 bundle assorted fresh herbs, such as thyme, oregano, marjoram and parsley, plus some extra to lay the fish on while baking
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cups dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Using a sharp paring knife, make 3 diagonal slices about 1/2-inch deep on each side of the fish. Salt and olive oil the fish generously.  Season the inside of the fish with salt and olive oil. Place 4 lemon slices, the bay leaves, a bundle of the mixed herbs and 2 of the garlic cloves inside the body cavity.

Ready for the oven: Red Snapper dressed with lemon, herbs, and garlic

Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil and arrange the remaining assorted herbs, lemon slices and garlic in the center of the tray and lay the fish on top.

Fold the aluminum foil up around the sides of the fish to create a sort of baking dish. Add the white wine and place in the preheated oven and roast until the fish is just cooked through, about 30 to 35 20-25 minutes.

Remove from oven, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Fillet your fish tableside or at the kitchen counter. Drizzle fillets with olive oil and additional salt and pepper as needed. Happy Eating.

Will report out tomorrow: easy peasy or weeknight disaster. Stay tuned

Monday Night Dinner: A Day Late, but Still Worth Talking About

I made an easy-peasy salmon recipe last night that’s definitely worth sharing. It’s from Cooking Light  – Salmon with Roasted Tomatoes. Minimal prep time, and delicious outcome. The only con is that you do have to use your oven, which can be a downer on a summer night.

From Cooking Light: Salmon with Roasted Tomatoes

What I love about this recipe is that you don’t even have to halve the tomatoes. Wash and dry them, toss with some olive oil, garlic cloves, thyme and salt and pepper. Done! The recipe tells you to mince the garlic, but I simplified it further by leaving the garlic cloves whole and smashing them. I also added a quartered hothouse tomato simply because I had it on hand. All tomatoes and garlic were from my CSA Pick-up on Saturday. This week’s tomatoes are done and done.

Tomatoes Ready to Roast

I do like roasted tomatoes. Check out another great roasted tomato recipe here.

And here’s my final product:

Final product: Salmon with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Monday, Monday – What’s for Dinner?

I always feel like I have to eat virtuously early in the week as things do start to slide downhill as the weekend approaches. Tonight I’ll make another favorite, particularly in warm weather – Seared Tuna with Shallot Gremolata. This is an easy and tasty recipe from a Williams Sonoma cookbook called “Weeknight Fresh + Fast” by Kristine Kidd. This recipe will take no more than 15 minutes from start to finish, not including the time to purchase fresh tuna steaks. Props to my dear friend Lauren for giving me this book as a gift last year.

As an aside, this is a great cookbook that takes a unique approach to categorizing recipes. All recipes are bucketed by season and feature seasonal ingredients.This recipe is ironically in the “Winter” section, but seasonality is linked to location, right?  It’s the citrus used in the recipe that places it in the “Winter” section, but since lemons and oranges never grow in NY without extraordinary efforts, I have no qualms about making this in July. Plus, I’ll use a few ingredients from my CSA pick up and garden.

Tuna with Shallot Gremolata recipe adapted  by me from Weeknight Fresh + Fast. Serves 2

  • 2 tuna steaks, about 6 ounces each (sushi grade tuna preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds (use a mortar and pestle)
  • 1 lemon
  • few tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley (from my herb garden)
  • 1 small minced shallot (from CSA Pick-up)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Instructions: Mix together mustard seeds and fennel seeds and press into both sides of tuna steaks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper

Prepare gremolata: zest lemon in a bowl and add chopped parsley and shallot. Add a drizzle of olive oil to moisten the mixture. Gremolata done.

Prepare tuna steaks: Lightly coat a nonstick pan or cast iron pan with olive oil and heat over medium  to medium-high heat. Once hot, add the tuna steaks and cook 2-3 min per side depending on thickness of steak. I like to leave it very rare, or pink, in the middle. Sprinkle with gremolata and serve immediately


You will have gremolata left over. Consider this a bonus – save it in the fridge and use it on other grilled dishes. It will stay for a few days.

On the side: You can serve this with any starch, or a light salad of fennel, red onion slices and orange slices. I love the fennel salad, but hubs never touches it, so I’m not bothering tonight.

We will have steamed haricot verts with a mustard vinaigrette and grilled bread rubbed with garlic and a hint of tomato (pan con tomate for you Spanish foodies)