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Seafood

Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Seafood Shrimp

Scallop and Bay Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas

Scallop and Bay Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas // Karista's Kitchen

I was playing around with tostada recipes the other day and I decided I needed ceviche to top my tostada shells.  I was hungry at that moment and it just sounded delicious.  This is often how my recipes happen.  I’m hungry and something sounds delicious so it’s created and posted.

I was set on my traditional halibut ceviche because I haven’t made it since the fall and the family keeps asking for it; but there was no halibut at the fish market.  So I grabbed the fresh smallish dry packed scallops, which are best in a recipe like this anyway, and some bay shrimp.  The small dry packed scallops, not to be confused with bay scallops, dwindle to nothing when they’re cooked.  It almost feels like a waste of time to pan sear the small ones, so I either poach them or use them in a ceviche.  I’m all about getting the most out of my ingredients.

Well this turned out to be a grand idea.  I diced the small scallops and cold poached them in fresh lime juice overnight.   Then I drained them and combined them with the bay shrimp, along with lots of additional lush ingredients.  I think what I love about this ceviche is it’s easily adapted to suit everyone’s favorite flavors.  I love traditional ceviche with tomatoes, white onions and cilantro but instead of diced jalapeño I like a dash of hot sauce and diced cucumber pairs so beautifully with the bay shrimp.  Of course it’s all laced with additional fresh lime juice and a salt to taste.

I smeared the tostadas with guacamole because it holds the ceviche onto the tostada.   Little pieces still roll off but at least most of it stays planted firmly on the guacamole.  Garnishing with crumbled goat cheese or salty Cotija cheese completed my tostadas and I couldn’t eat just one.

While I was photographing for this post, one of the tostadas broke – and darn it, I had to eat that one too.

These little lovelies were a hit with the family and perfect for a mid-week casual meal.  I have to admit however, these will be so much fun to serve on a warm summer day with Sangria and a locally brewed beer.

Wishing you all a very happy end of the week and weekend!

Loads of Love,

Karista

Scallop and Bay Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas

Serving Size: Serves about 4 as an entree or 6 as an appetizer

Scallop and Bay Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas

Ingredients

    For the Ceviche
  • 1lb small dry packed scallops, diced
  • 1/2 lb cooked bay shrimp (sometimes called shrimp meat)
  • Fresh squeezed lime juice (enough to cover the diced scallops and a little extra)
  • Handful fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • Dash of hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1-2 cups Guacamole (recipe follows)
  • Tostada shells (usually found in the market or you can fry small corn tortillas)
  • 1/2 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled or crumbled Goat cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Serve with lime wedges
    For the Guacamole
  • 2-3 ripe avocados
  • 1-2 roma tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Lime juice and salt to taste

Instructions

  • Place the diced scallops in a glass or non-reactive bowl. Cover with fresh lime juice and refrigerate overnight.
  • Drain the scallops and discard the lime juice. Place the scallops in a large bowl with the bay shrimp, diced tomatoes, diced onion, cilantro, cucumber, dash of hot sauce and a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice and pinch of salt. Toss gently until the ingredients are nicely blended. Taste for salt and lime juice, adding more to your tastes. I usually end up adding more to suit my tastes.
  • Let the ceviche sit while you prepare the guacamole.
  • With a fork, mash the avocado and then gently blend it with the tomatoes, onion and cilantro. Season with a squeeze of lime juice and salt to taste.
  • Spread the guacamole onto the tostadas and then top with the ceviche. Garnish with extra chopped cilantro and crumbled Cotija or Goat cheese. Serve with lime wedges and extra hot sauce.
  • Serve immediately.
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    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salmon Seafood

    Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers

    Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers // Karista's Kitchen

    Just when I think I’m tapped out and the creative well has gone dry, I stumble onto an interesting read or find a stack of old notebooks from years ago, brimming to the seams with ideas.  Some of the ideas are pretty darn clever and some not so good – which is why a few of those recipes never happened.

    It’s been an interesting and creative few weeks (along with a monster of a cold that hung on like the winter back East).  I relish creative moments.  I write and I write and I write.  I don’t erase anything no matter how silly or gross tasting it might appear at that moment.  Because when I eventually come back to it, sometimes it makes perfect sense.  Creativity is a crazy process.  Creativity feels like freedom to think outside a box, letting imagination change perspective at will.

    So, when new culinary companies approach me about their products, it’s one more opportunity to be creative.  I don’t promote too many food brands on this website but the few that I do promote must meet a few requirements. Does it identify with my food values? Would I serve it to my family?  Is it something my readers would enjoy?  Where and how is it made or grown or raised?

    When Verlasso Salmon first contacted me about using one of my salmon recipes I was intrigued, and honestly, a little skeptical.  As you know I’m not a fan of farm raised fish of any kind. Verlasso Salmon is the exception; because it’s an exceptional product.

    Not only is Verlasso Salmon the first and only farm raised Atlantic salmon to receive the “good alternative” buy ranking from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s seafood watch, the flavor and texture of Verlasso Salmon is almost identical to wild salmon.  I found the oil content balanced, the texture to be firm and less “mushy” than traditional farmed salmon and the taste every bit as flavorful as wild salmon.

    Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers // Karista's Kitchen

    Verlasso says “Verlasso’s driving force has been the call for a more responsible aquaculture worldwide. It guides all of our business efforts and continues to shape our approach for the long-term. We are taking the lead in establishing a new model for fish farming, one that’s always in balance with nature. It’s an evolutionary way of thinking about—and raising salmon.”

    You’re probably saying to yourself “Karista, you live in the Pacific Northwest, home of wild salmon. Why are you talking about Atlantic salmon?” Because you, my readers, subscribers and followers of social media, live all over North and South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.  I feel lucky to live in the land of Pacific Northwest Salmon.  I value this resource and I’d like to keep it flourishing.  So when companies like Verlasso embark on such a noble cause, I want you to know about it.

    For more information about Verlasso Salmon and their sustainable fish farming methods, along with additional salmon recipes, check out their website HERE.  

    In the meantime, I created these delicious and festive Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers for Verlasso Salmon and now I’m sharing them with you.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers

    8-10 Salmon Cakes

    Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers

    Ingredients

      For the Salmon Cakes
    • 1 lb Salmon
    • Salt and Pepper
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
    • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    • 1 teaspoon Thai roasted red chili paste
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1 egg, slightly whisked
    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 1 cup Panko style breadcrumbs
      For the Aioli:
    • ½ - ¾ cup good quality mayonnaise
    • 1 small clove garlic, minced
    • 1 lime zested
    • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
    • ¼ teaspoon wasabi paste, optional
      For the Cucumbers
    • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
    • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
    • Serve with slider buns and fresh arugula leaves

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
  • Place the salmon on a baking sheet or in a baking pan and brush with a little olive oil. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place the salmon in the oven and roast the salmon for about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness. When the salmon is done, remove from the oven and let it cool.
  • While the salmon is cooking, whisk together the ½ - ¾ cup mayonnaise with the finely chopped cilantro, lime zest and garlic. Set aside.
  • In a non-reactive bowl, add the sliced cucumbers and enough rice wine vinegar to cover the cucumbers. Let them sit and marinate for about 15 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
  • Once the salmon has cooled, shred the salmon, removing any bones and skin, and add it to a medium size bowl. Add the green onions, grated fresh ginger, Thai roasted red chili paste, lemon juice and about ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Mix with a fork until nicely incorporated.
  • Next, gently mix in the egg, mayonnaise and panko breadcrumbs until all the ingredients are nicely incorporated. Don’t over mix, just enough so the salmon will form into patties. If the salmon mix is too dry, add one additional tablespoon of mayonnaise.
  • Place the salmon mix in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to chill. This will help form the patties.
  • Divide the salmon mixture into 8-10 pieces and form patties.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil – enough to cover the bottom of the skillet.
  • When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the patties to the skillet. Let the salmon cakes cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side until dark golden brown, almost toasted in color. Adjust the heat lower if the salmon cakes get too dark too quickly.
  • Once the salmon cakes are done, place each salmon cake on a slider bun and serve with the cilantro lime aioli, marinated cucumbers and fresh arugula leaves. Enjoy!
  • Recipe by Chef Karista Bennett
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    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork Salmon Seafood Sweets

    Superbowl Sunday Recipe Ideas

    Superbowl Sunday Recipe Ideas // Karista's Kitchen

    Have you planned your Superbowl menu yet?  I should have done that weeks ago but I finally narrowed it down to a few selections.

    Slow Oven Baked Ribs // Karista's Kitchen

    I’m definitely serving Ranger Craig’s fave Slow Oven Baked Ribs.  These are moist, succulent and full of delicious flavor.  Not to mention, so easy to prepare!

    Asian Marinated Pork Sliders with Caramelized Onions and Spicy Mustard // Karista's Kitchen

    Superbowl Sliders

    My youngest gal and her teenage friends loves sliders, so I’m making the teen crew Asian Marinated Pork Sliders with Caramelized Onions and Spicy Mustard.  The marinated pork is so perfect for sliders but I often make this dish without buns and serve it over rice and steamed Bok Choy.

    Grilled Salmon Tacos with Chipotle Lime Crema and Cilantro Slaw

    My oldest gal and I are huge taco fans so I’m making my Salmon Tacos with Pineapple Cilantro Slaw.

    Will I be cooking all day?  Probably.  But as my daughter once said to her friends “my Mom loves to feed people. It makes her happy.”  And so it does. 🙂

    Peanut Butter Brownies // Karista's Kitchen

    My crew also loves to indulge in a little something sweet now and again; especially at Superbowl Sunday.  So I’m making these lovely little Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies for a quick sweet that doesn’t require a lot of fuss.

    Below is a list of these delicious recipes.  Click on the recipe title and it will take you to the recipe.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Smoked Salmon Wonton Tacos

    Lemon Cilantro Hummus

    Bleu Cheese Baked Potato Chips

    Southern Style Pork BBQ Sliders and Fennel Apple Slaw

    Seared Ahi Tuna Tacos 

    Retro Ham and Olive Bites

    Rogue Spruce Gin & Tonic

    Ingredients

      For one serving
    • Crushed ice
    • 2 - 3 ounces Rogue Spruce Gin
    • 4 - 5 ounces Tonic Water
    • Squeeze of fresh lime

    Instructions

  • Add crushed ice to an tumbler
  • Pour the Rogue Spruce gin over the ice
  • Next pour the tonic water over the ice
  • Give it a quick stir and squeeze of lime. Enjoy!
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    Karista's Kitchen Salmon Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood

    Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc over Salmon

    Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc over Salmon // Karista's Kitchen

    Today, I’m talking sauce! Ask anyone who has known me for a while and they will tell you I love to make sauce.  Sauce seems to elevate a meal and make it feel special.  It adds another layer of flavor and texture that engages the taste buds and keeps the recipe entertaining bite after bite.

    A sauce can be as simple or as complex as you like.   It can be intense with flavor or subtly infused.  Sauce is all about dressing up a dish and making it shine.

    Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc over Salmon // Karista's Kitchen

    Beurre Blanc is a classic French butter-based sauce. Translated it literally means “white butter”.  It’s considered an emulsion sauce and requires the butter to be chilled before using in order to keep the sauce from breaking. Now that I’ve mentioned this, don’t let the possibility of the sauce “breaking” deter you.

    Cooking (and sauce making) requires prep, patience and practice.  If you’ve never made this sauce before, just take your time.  I promise, before long you will be a sauce making pro.

    Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc  // Karista's Kitchen

    A basic Beurre Blanc requires white wine, white wine vinegar, shallots and cold butter. This Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc only requires Meyer lemon juice, shallots, cold butter and lemon zest. That’s it! A little salt to taste and your sauce is done.

    I prefer Meyer lemon versus conventional lemon in this sauce.  Meyer lemons have a sweeter flavor and are less acidic than regular lemons which creates a subtle and balanced citrus flavor in the sauce. For additional lemon flavor I add a teaspoon of lemon zest to the finished sauce.

    I’ve paired this sauce with pan seared salmon.  I think these two were made for each other.  The creamy butter sauce laced with lemon combined with the unique flavor of the salmon makes for a  delicious and beautiful dish.  This sauce is also exquisite drizzled over pan seared or grilled scallops and I’ve also been known to ladle this silky sauce on grilled oysters.

    Truly a beautiful sauce that will make you fall in love with seafood all over again.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc over Salmon

    Makes about 1 1/2 cups

    Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc over Salmon

    Some chefs leave the shallots in the sauce which is also fine. This, I call the "rustic" version. It also adds a bit more texture to the sauce.

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
    • 1 medium shallot, finely diced (about a tablespoon)
    • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced (about a stick and a half)
    • 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
    • Salt to taste
    • Chopped fresh chive for garnish

    Instructions

  • In a nonreactive saute pan over medium low heat, add the lemon juice and shallots Simmer until half the liquid has been reduced; it will feel almost dry or what is referred to as "au sec".
  • Take the pan off the heat and whisk in several pieces of diced butter (about a 1/4 of the butter). When it's nicely incorporated whisk in a few more pieces butter (another 1/4 of the butter). The sauce should begin to feel smooth.
  • Place the pan back over medium low heat and whisk in the remaining butter until the sauce is smooth.
  • Take the sauce off the heat and gently stir in the lemon zest and season to taste with salt.
  • Strain the sauce into a container and ladle over pan seared, roasted or grilled salmon.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh chive or little tender sprigs of fresh thyme.
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    Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salmon Seafood

    Arugula Chimichurri over Roasted Salmon and a Virtual Baby Shower

    Salmon with Arugula Chimichurri // Karista's Kitchen

    I remember when my oldest daughter was about four years old and we were hanging out on the living room floor, reading books and talking about how someday she would have a baby brother or sister.

    As we were chatting, she turned her rosy cheeked, sweet blue eyed, blonde head to me and said “Mom, how did you know to pick me?”  I was a little surprised by the question and I asked “what do you mean?” She replied “you know, how did you know you wanted ME?”  The question caught me by surprise and as I tried to recover I said “Well… Dad and I saw all the baby angels playing in heaven and that’s when we spotted you. We instantly fell in love and knew we wanted you for our baby.”

    Everyday Maven's Baby Celebration

     

    Now, I know some of you might think that’s one tall tale to tell a four year old, but honestly, that is what I came up with.  My heart was so warmed by the question, I wanted my answer to reflect how much we wanted her and how much we cherished our little sassy blonde girl.

    Salmon with Arugula Chimichurri

    She clung to those words for years to come and when our second daughter arrived, my sassy little gal said to her Dad, “I guess this is the one you picked?”

    As you know, I have two sassy gals now and they are the food for my soul.  Motherhood and parenting have been a wild ride and I wouldn’t trade a minute.

    My Two Sassy Gals on Mother's Day 2014

    My Two Sassy Gals on Mother’s Day 2014

    I’m truly honored to have been asked to participate in my sweet friend’s virtual baby shower.  Alyssa, of Everyday Maven, her handsome husband and their adorable little boy will soon know the joy of welcoming a new baby boy to their family.

    Several years ago, I met Alyssa at a blog conference in Seattle – while noshing on the most divine appetizers.  I liked her immediately.  A breath of fresh air, exuding a warm and genuine personality, Alyssa is a most beautiful and lovely lady.

    I’m happy to say, we’ve been friends ever since.

    Alyssa writes the delicious food blog Everyday Maven and has published two fantastic e-Books.  Her recipes are drool worthy and written with good health and nutrition in mind. I think one of my favorite Everyday Maven recipes has to be the Cabbage Rolls.  And of course her guest post for my blog, Karista’s Kitchen,  gluten free Banana Chip Cookies.

    Today, several other bloggers and myself are hosting a virtual baby shower for Alyssa.  A plethora of delicious recipes to celebrate but also recipes to prepare during the first few months after the new baby’s arrival.  Recipes to comfort and nourish with ease of preparation for a quick meal or leisurely weekend.  Although as we know, there is nothing “leisurely” about a new baby in the house; just lots of love and smiles and hopefully, soon to be restful nights.

    Congratulations Alyssa and family!

    Here is a list of Alyssa’s Virtual Baby Shower Recipes, lovingly prepared by some fabulous food bloggers!

    Breakfast 

    Fried Egg Topped Curried Sweet Potatoes from A Beautiful Bite

    Chocolate Orange Protein Smoothie from The Lemon Bowl

    Spaghetti Squash Hash from Eats Well With Others

    Lunch 

    Hearty Garbanzo Soup from Sweet Life Bake

    Pumpkin White Bean Soup from Blue Kale Road

    Dinner

    Slow Cooker Red Wine Pot Roast from Jeanette’s Healthy Living

    Slow Cooker Beef and Bacon Stew from Girlichef

    Lemon Pepper Chicken with Arugala from Virtually Homemade

    Roast Chicken Ratatouille from An Edible Mosaic

    Snack

    Spiced Honey Nut and Seed Snack Mix from Fake Food Free

    Charred Brussel Sprout, Bacon, and Toasted Sesame Guacamole from Baker by Nature

    Quick and Easy Cucumber Bites, Three Ways from Hip Foodie Mom

    Arugula Chimichurri over Roasted Salmon

    About 1 1/2 cups

    Arugula Chimichurri over Roasted Salmon

    Ingredients

    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 1 cup fresh baby arugula leaves, packed
    • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
    • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon of sugar
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
    • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

    Instructions

  • In a food processor or blender, add all the ingredients and blend until ingredients are pureed into a smooth sauce. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve over pan seared or grilled halibut and serve with wild rice pilaf, white rice and/or roasted veggies.
  • For a step by step pictorial on how to pan sear salmon, click here
  • Notes

    I love serving this Arugula Chimichurri with roasted salmon, but it's also fabulous with pan seared or grilled scallops and makes a tasty dipping sauce for grilled or poached shrimp.

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    DaVinci Wine Recipes Halibut Karista's Kitchen Seafood

    White Fish Florentine with DaVinci Pinot Grigio

    Halibut Florentine from Karista's Kitchen

     

    This White Fish Florentine is a lush and flavorful dish inspired by my visit to Tuscany with DaVinci Wine a few years ago.  

    Spinach is used in all sorts of Tuscan dishes and it’s also prevalent in many coastal seafood recipes like my Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Dover Sole.  I love the simple list of ingredients combined with fresh white fish, which is typically easy to find year round.   This gorgeous recipe makes for a fuss free weeknight meal or an elegant meal for entertaining.

    Living here in the Pacific Northwest, I use several different types of white fish for this recipe, depending on the season.  I adore this dish when halibut is in season or when I can snag a gorgeous piece of black or ling cod.

    I like to enjoy the fresh and enticing flavors of this White Fish Florentine paired with a bottle of DaVinci Pinot Grigio. Perfection!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    White Fish Florentine with DaVinci Pinot Grigio

    Serving Size: 4

    White Fish Florentine with DaVinci Pinot Grigio

    A great way to use all that fishing trip fish stocked in the freezer or the spinach you froze from summer. Substitute with fresh winter greens instead of spinach and spike with your favorite spices rather than the Dijon.

    Ingredients

    • 1lb fresh spinach (or 1 large pkg frozen organic chopped spinach)
    • Olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream (for a saucier dish add ½ cup cream)
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest and a few squeezes of lemon
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 ½ – 2 lbs fresh fish (Cod, Ling Cod, Halibut, Snapper, Sole, if using snapper try to remove the bones prior to cooking)
    • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
    • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
    • Serve with fresh lemon wedges

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
  • In a sauté pan over medium heat, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil and add the fresh spinach, in batches if you need. Sauté just until the spinach is wilted and transfer to a dish. Continue until all the spinach has been sautéed. Let the spinach cool a bit and then squeeze all the excess liquid from the spinach. Coarsely chop the sautéed spinach and set aside.
  • Or, if using frozen spinach, thaw and squeeze out all the excess liquid.
  • In the same sauté pan over medium heat, add another tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the shallots and garlic for one minute or until fragrant. Next, stir in the heavy cream, Dijon mustard and lemon zest. Take the pan off the heat and fold in the chopped spinach until combined with the sauce. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish, just enough so the fish won’t stick. Season each piece of fish with salt and pepper and place the fish in the baking dish in a single layer.
  • Spread the spinach mixture evenly over the fish. Then squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the spinach and fish. Mix together the bread crumbs and grated parmesan and then sprinkle on top of the spinach.
  • Place the fish into the oven and roast for about 10-15 minutes or until the fish is flaky and done. Typically you can cook fish about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness, however, because we’ve layered with spinach and breadcrumbs cooking time may be longer.
  • When the fish is done, remove from the oven and serve with fresh lemon wedges.
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    This dish is inspired by my visit to Tuscany with the 2013 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Experience and adapted from many versions of Fish Florentine.  I dined on something similar and I was so impressed with the simple but flavorful meal I had to re-create it for this website. Enjoy! 

    Karista's Kitchen Salmon Seafood Tips and Techniques VRAI Magazine

    How To Pan Sear Fish with a Quick Pan Sauce

    How to pan sear salmon with a quick pan sauce

    One of the questions I hear most is “how do I pan sear fish and make a quick sauce?”.  Pan seared fish with a quick pan sauce is one of the easiest meals to make.  And, it can be on the table in less than 20 minutes.  There is a method to this quick dish, which is why I’ve created a pictorial with step by step instructions for my September food article at VRAI Magazine.

    If you’ve ever wanted to know how to achieve the perfect pan seared fish head on over to VRAI Magazine to snag this delicious pictorial.  And while you’re there, don’t forget to browse the collection of deliciousness created by our Co-Founder Kristin Hoffman of Baker Bettie, Lifestyle Editor, Sheri Silver as well as our enchanting food contributors.  VRAI Magazine Food is the perfect resource for your Fall and Holiday recipes.

    Coming soon to Karista’s Kitchen…  I’ll be posting a Peruvian Stir Fry called Lomo Saltado and an apple dessert you won’t want to miss!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

     

     

    Halibut Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salmon Seafood Shrimp

    Grilled Salmon Tacos with Chipotle Lime Crema and Fresh Cilantro Slaw

    Grilled Salmon Tacos with Chipotle Lime Crema and Cilantro Slaw

    I wish I could tell you this is a new recipe.  It’s not.  Actually it’s a revision, maybe adaption is a better word.  Most likely due to changes in my palate as well as changes in my culinary style.   I’ve been making assorted fish tacos for years.  Assembling the little lovelies differently each time.  Allowing my playful culinary visions to shine through.   I posted the original recipe way back in 2010, when I used my little point and shoot Canon to take food photos.  A hearty little silver blue camera that did the job for a while.

    But then I started getting fussy about my food pictures.  I read somewhere that chef’s are the worst food photographers.  At first glance I took offense to that statement.  But it couldn’t have been more true, especially way back in the day when I started this website.  For me, It’s always been about the food.  The explosion of flavor that happens when something delectable hits the palate.  But somewhere in the mix, I realized a great photo was a true representation of my masterpiece.  And it should look as good as the food tastes.  Not to mention, the old photo made me cringe.  Literally, it kept me up at night.

    This is a lovely dish that certainly deserves a lovely photo.  And it’s a lovely dish that can be prepared so many different ways.  Grilled or Roasted Salmon (or any fresh fish you have on hand), spicy or sweet crema, spicy or sweet slaw, with our without pineapple and/or mango.  And if you love avocado as much as I do, toss a slice on top of your taco to complete this lush recipe.

    I’ve included some fun options for these tacos in the recipe below.  Different ideas to season, additional options for the slaw and the crema… or as my family likes to say “the sauce”.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Grilled Salmon Tacos with Chipotle Lime Crema and Fresh Cilantro Slaw

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    For the Salmon

    1 1/2 lbs fresh salmon filets

    Olive oil

    ½  teaspoon chili powder

    ½ teaspoon ground cumin

    ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

    ½ teaspoon dried oregano

    1 teaspoon salt

    ½ teaspoon black pepper

    Options:  Instead of using my fish spice mixture, feel free to use your favorite spicy fish taco seasoning or Emerils Essence Seasoning also makes a delish option for these tacos. 

    For the Chipotle Lime Crema

    ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (you may want to begin with 1/4 teaspoon, taste, and then add more if you like)

    1 cup crème Fraiche or sour cream

    zest of 1 lime

    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    1 teaspoon sugar

    Options: substitute mayonnaise for the sour cream and Sriracha or hot sauce for the chipotle chili powder. 

    For the Cilantro Slaw

    2 cups shredded fresh cabbage

    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

    ½ cup mayonnaise

    2  tablespoons sugar

    1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

    Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

    Options:  add diced fresh pineapple, mango or papaya to the slaw. If you don’t like cilantro, substitute with sliced green onions.

    Garnish

    Your favorite salsa or pico de gallo

    8 – 10 corn tortillas, steamed or warmed (I either warm them over my grill, gas stove top or in the microwave.

    Fresh sliced Avocado (optional)

    Lime wedges

    Directions

    Heat the grill to 400F. Brush the grill racks with oil.

    Mix together the chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper.  Rub the salmon with oil and then sprinkle liberally with the spice mixture.

    When the grill is hot, place the salmon flesh side down on the grill. Let the salmon sear and cook for about 4 minutes, and then carefully flip the fish with a wide spatula and grill another 4 minutes, or a little longer for salmon that is cooked through.  If the salmon doesn’t want to flip, it’s probably not ready.  Just let it sit for another minute or two, turning the heat down if needed.  Rule of thumb: fish should cook 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.

    Transfer the cooked salmon to a platter to cool.

    While the salmon is cooling, whisk together the creme fraiche, chipotle chili powder, lime zest, lime juice and sugar. Season to taste with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Set aside.

    Wisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, cider vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Toss the dressing with the shredded cabbage and cilantro.

    Flake the grilled salmon, removing any bones. Fill the steamed tortillas with the grilled salmon, top with chipotle lime crema, your favorite salsa or pico de gallo, and the shredded cabbage with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and fresh avocado slices. Enjoy!

     

     

    Appetizers Halibut Karista's Kitchen Salad Seafood VRAI Magazine

    Peruvian Ceviche with Patacones

    Peruvian Ceviche with Patacones // Karista's Kitchen Perfect for a summer evening!

    The vibrant and colorful foods of South America beg to be tasted, savored and celebrated.  South America provides a garden of gorgeous and unique regional produce, oceans of seafood, tropical fruits that remind us of sunshine and summer; and spicy flavors that feel festive and indulgent.

    Peruvian Ceviche with Patacones // Karista's Kitchen

    I’m so excited about the newest issue of VRAI Magazine!  Head on over to snag this fantastic summer recipe, Peruvian Ceviche with Patacones; and while you’re there, stay a while and browse.  VRAI Magazine is evolving and I’m so proud to be working with the most amazing and talented team.

    Check out the “Getting to Know” page to find out more about all the amazing and talented people behind this fabulous magazine.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

     

    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Seafood

    Thai Green Curry Steamed Mussels

    Thai Green Curry Steamed Mussels // Karista's Kitchen

    I can’t think of any dish that feels more comforting to me than a big ‘ole bowl of steamers.  Whether it be clams or mussels, my enjoyment level that comes from a big bowl of steamers placed in front of me at the table is mountainous.  Living on both coasts of the U.S. has made a seafood lover out of me.  And with that seafood love comes my deep affection for these lovely shellfish.

    I remember my first encounter with mussels.  Living on the East coast years ago, we frequented a little seafood restaurant in Newport, Rhode Island called The Black Pearl.  There, I dined on the most succulent of mussels bathed in white wine, garlic and fresh herbs.  From that moment, I became a huge fan of steamed shellfish whether they be bathed in wine, beer, broth, with chorizo or homemade sausage, fresh herbs, onions and garlic… no matter, I’ll eat them.

    Thai Green Curry Steamed Mussels // Karista's Kitchen

    To mix it up a bit I thought why not steam these little lovelies in curry?  And just as I was toying with the thought, Ranger Craig and I dined at a fabulous restaurant in Bend, Oregon which served Steamed Mussels in Thai Curry.  This absolutely proves the point – if it’s a good idea, someone, somewhere, has already thought of it.

    So now I’m passing along this dish to you.  Whether it be spring, summer, fall or winter, this dish seems to compliment any season.  Be sure to serve with a bowl of rice to add to the curry when you’ve polished off the mussels.  Or crusty garlic crostini to dip into the curry is also quite divine.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Thai Green Curry Steamed Mussels

    Just a quick note.  When I purchase fresh mussels at my market or fish market they are bagged and tied.  When you get home, untie the bag, place the open bag of mussels in a bowl and set the bowl in your refrigerator.  It’s best to use the mussels the same day they are purchased, however, they are fine if used the very next day.

    Serves 2 for an entrée or 4 for a starter

    Ingredients

    2lbs fresh mussels, scrubbed and rinsed in cold water and little “beards”s pinched off.  Don’t add any mussels that are open or broken.  If you squeeze the mussel shut and it opens again, it’s not any good.  It’s rare I can find the smaller mussels, but if you find them, snag them.  They are sweeter and less briny than the larger mussels.

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    2 tablespoons green curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste)

    1 can organic coconut milk (don’t use the “light” coconut milk)

    2-3 lime leaves (now easily found in the fresh herb section of most markets)

    1 stalk lemongrass, split lengthwise (also found in the herb section of most markets)

    1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce

    1-2 cloves garlic, smashed

    1 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced

    1/2 small red hot pepper or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (if you don’t like spicy food omit the pepper)

    Squeeze of fresh lime

    Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro or sliced green onions

    Directions

    In a large pasta or soup pot (you can also use a large skillet but I prefer a large pot), heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the green curry paste.  Let the paste warm and mix with the oil for about 30 seconds or so.

    Then add the coconut milk, lime leaves, lemongrass, Asian fish sauce, smashed garlic, fresh ginger slices and red pepper if using.  Stir to combine and simmer on medium to medium low for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The coconut milk will thicken a bit.

    Turn the heat up to medium high and add the mussels.  Cover with a tight lid and let them cook for a few minutes, or until all the mussels are open and opaque.

    Give them a toss in the curry and then pour into a large serving bowl.  Garnish with lots of fresh chopped cilantro or green onion.

    Serve with rice to eat with the curry when all the mussels are gone.  Or some toasty garlic bread for dipping.

    Recipe inspired by my Thai Green Curry Steamers in Bend, Oregon

     

     

    Karista's Kitchen Salad Seafood

    Seared Ahi Tuna Tacos with DaVinci Chianti

    Seared Ahi Tuna Tacos with Radish and Cucmber Salad and DaVinci Chianti

    By choosing to click and read this blog post, you confirm you are of legal drinking age in the country where this site is accessed.

    “DaVinci wine is created in a magical place.  Tuscany; a treat for the eyes as well as the palate.  The air smells of sweet, sun ripened grapes and fresh herbs –  all muddled with the earthy scent of mineral rich soil”.

    These were the first words I wrote the day I arrived at the Casale Leonardo da Vinci Villa in Vinci, Italy last fall.

    Never have I been so enamored with a landscape; and enchanted by the people who inhabit it.

    Seared Ahi Tuna Tacos with Radish and Cucumber Salad and DaVinci Chianti

    On a warm summer day last August, 2013, my daughter and I had loaded the last of our belongings into the car.  I walked back down the little gravel path and stood in the entry doorway, giving my home once last glance – then closing and locking it one last time.  We were moving to Oregon.  Bittersweet.  Trying to hold back the tears as we looked back at the house we had called home for 12 years.  My daughter, being a brave soul, reassured her Mom that it would be ok. “We aren’t moving that far away” she said.  I smiled.

    Then I said, “this is the beginning of a new adventure”.

    And it was.

    Just as we crossed the Washington Oregon border my phone rang.  Thankfully, my teenage daughter was driving so I answered the call.   A lovely lady announced to me that I had been selected the 2013 Culinary Arts DaVinci Wine Storyteller.  I remember asking the lovely lady to repeat what she had said.  The only words that would escape my lips was “really?” “I never win anything!” And then of course, thanking her profusely for delivering the most fantastic news.

    This time I really was in tears.  So excited, so honored to have been selected to represent the culinary arts for DaVinci Wine Storyteller Experience 2013.

    DaVinci Chianti with Radish Cucumber Salad 4

    Radish Cucumber Greens with Spicy Crema and DaVinci Chianti

    It was a grand adventure.  Looking back and reading my second journal entry I recall the swells of emotion. “The beauty of Tuscany mirrors the beauty of its people and its food”. “A culture rich with history and laced with passion. A passion that transcends all boundaries and flows effortlessly onto the family table”.

    The 2014 Storyteller Experience is under way and DaVinci Wine is once again looking for the best storytellers in culinary arts, photography, writing, fine arts and more.  Bloggers and creative storytellers of all kinds can now apply.   Grab a pen, warm up the typing fingers, “Like” the DaVinci Facebook page and go fill out the application.  The deadline is May 31, 2014.   Twelve finalists will be chosen and then voted on by DaVinci Wine Facebook fans to ultimately select the final four winners.

    I’m excited just thinking about it! If you’d like to apply, click HERE.  Be sure to check out the winners from years past by clicking HERE!

    The lovely folks from DaVinci Wine, who I adore, have asked me to share my Storyteller Experience and how I now create a little “Chianti at Home”.  Over the next few months, I will be pairing the DaVinci Chianti, Chianti Reserva and Pinot Grigio with recipes I serve at my family table.  Lush, enticing and mouthwatering recipes that pair perfectly with DaVinci Chianti here at Home.

    Chianti at Home with Seared Ahi Tuna Tacos and DaVinci Chianti

    The first of the “Chianti at Home” recipes is this flavorful and festive Seared Ahi Tuna Tacos.  Simply prepared and laced with fresh and spicy flavors of the season.  Although this is  technically a “seafood” taco, the delicate but firm and meaty texture of the Ahi tuna pairs beautifully with the DaVinci Chianti.

    The subtle fruit notes and smooth texture of the Chianti compliments the fresh and spicy flavors of the radish and cucumber greens and crema, as well as the firm and meaty texture of the seared Ahi tuna.  If you’re looking for a complimentary white wine to pair with the tacos, the DaVinci Wine Pinot Grigio also beautifully compliments this lovely dish..  Flavors that balance, entice the palate and compliment DaVinci Wines.

    Celebrate the Spring and Summer seasons by bringing a little Chianti to your Home!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    *This is a sponsored post by the lovely folks at DaVinci Wine

                                                                                                                                                         

    Seared Ahi Tuna Tacos with Radish Cucumber Greens and Spicy Crema

    Serves 4 (can easily be doubled for guests)

    Ingredients

    1 ½ lbs Ahi tuna fillets, sushi grade (remove the tuna from the frig 15 minutes prior to cooking. This will allow the skillet to stay hot and quickly sear the tuna)

    Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

    ½ teaspoon dried oregano

    ½ teaspoon ground cumin

    ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

    2 tablespoons ghee/clarified butter (or another high heat oil)

    For the Greens and Spicy Crema

    2 medium radishes, thinly sliced

    1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced

    2 cups (or more if you’d like an extra side salad) mixed seasonal greens

    ½ crumbled Cotija cheese

    ¼ cup cilantro leaves (optional)

    ½ cup good quality mayonnaise

    2 tablespoons lime juice

    1 teaspoon sugar or any other natural alternative (not honey however, as honey is more of a flavoring rather than a sweetener)

    Dash of chipotle powder or Sriracha (both are delicious, however the chipotle powder gives a smoky flavor)

    2 limes, quartered

    Corn tortillas

    Directions

    In a small bowl mix together the dried oregano, ground cumin and paprika.  Season the tuna with salt and pepper and then rub the herb/spice mixture on both sides of the tuna fillets.

    Next, heat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat.  (A cast iron skillet works well for this recipe)  Add a few tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter) or any other high heat oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, place one tuna fillet in the skillet and let it brown.  About two minutes on each side.  You want both sides golden brown with a pink center.

    Remove the tuna fillet and set it on a cutting board.  Repeat the process with the remaining tuna fillets.

    Once the tuna is done, slice against the grain so the tuna doesn’t fall apart.  Set aside and prepare the greens.

    Toss together the radishes, cucumber, mixed greens and cilantro leaves.  Season with a little salt and pepper and squeeze of lime juice.

    Whisk together the mayonnaise, lime juice, sugar and chipotle powder or Sriracha.

    Warm the tortillas in a steamer or wrap them in foil and warm them in the oven making sure they don’t dry out.  If you have a microwave, corn tortillas warm nicely in about 10 seconds in a microwave.

    To assemble:

    Place the radish and cucumber greens in the bottom of a tortilla and then top with a slice or two of Ahi tuna.  Drizzle with the spicy crema and garnish with cotija cheese.  Repeat the process and place the tacos on a large platter with the quartered limes to serve.

    Serve with your favorite homemade salsa, guacamole, tortilla chips – and DaVinci Chianti.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Appetizers Beef Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salad Sassy Side dishes Seafood Soup

    Cinco de Mayo Recipe Round-up!

    8 Cinco de Mayo recipes from Karista's Kitchen

    There is nothing more delicious than a blog post filled with Mexican and South American inspired recipes.  The rich, bold and spicy flavors remind me summer is on the horizon and it makes this chef delirious with anticipation.  Outdoor grilling, fresh local summer produce, casual dining, flip flops or barefoot; it positively makes me giddy just thinking about it.

    Cinco de Mayo is Monday, May 5th and to celebrate,  I’ve got a fabulous line up of festive recipes.   So sit back, relax, fire up that grill, shake up a tasty cocktail and enjoy the deliciousness of the season.

     

    Spicy Cabbage Salad

    The Dreamiest Chocoflan

    Slow Braised Barbacoa with Cucumber Avocado Salsa

    Spicy Black Bean Soup with Lime Crema and Avocado

    Roasted Chicken Tacos with Spicy Avocado Crema

    Enchiladas Poblano with Spanish Rice Cakes

    Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

    Smoked Salmon Wonton Tacos

     

    Happy Cinco de Mayo!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista