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Seafood

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

 

 

 

 

Halibut Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Seafood Shrimp

Brazilian Fish Stew (Moqueca)

Brazilian Fish Stew (Moqueca)

The day has arrived!  VRAI Magazine has launched!

I feel honored to have been asked to be a VRAI Magazine Food Contributor and beyond delighted to be a part of this spectacular team of professionals.  VRAI Magazine is a lifestyle magazine reinvented for true living. “Real bloggers, true stories, genuine conversations”.

Along with other fantastic articles, DIY projects, travel and fashion, you can find my newest recipe, Brazilian Fish Stew, also known as Moqueca, at VRAI Magazine.

Moqueca is a traditional seafood soup from Brazil.  Every Brazilian family has their own special recipe for this dish, as does every chef who creates it.  Typically, Moqueca is a slow cooked seafood soup.  However, I’ve created a lovely simple and quick version that is big in flavor but doesn’t take a lot of time.  So simple, I sometimes prepare this stew on a weeknight, skipping the shrimp and just adding in the white fish.

This light and enchanting spring soup is perfect for the season.  A base of coconut milk and seafood stock – it boasts huge flavor.  A lovely addition to your spring menu rotation.

Click HERE to download the recipe and all the other fantastic articles and recipes at VRAI Magazine.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

Karista

 

Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salmon Seafood

Salmon en Papillote

Salmon en Papillote

Hands down this is one of the simplest and freshest seafood recipes.  Requiring only a few fresh ingredients…  fresh salmon, fresh herbs, sliced shallots, garlic, lemon and anything else you’d like to throw in – wrap in parchment or foil and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Done!

This recipe was always a favorite in my seafood cooking classes.  The ease of preparation led most of my students to believe this lovely little dish might lack flavor, due to the method of cooking.  Wow! Were they surprised.  One student remarked he couldn’t believe the fragrance that came from opening the packet – and the flavor was just as intense and enchanting.

Salmon en Papillote before and after roasting

Salmon en Papillote Before and After Roasting

Layering flavor is key.  Beginning with one or two aromatics such as delicate shallots, sweet onions, garlic, thinly sliced leeks, spring onions or fennel and then topping with fresh herbs.  An entire handful if you like.  An assortment.  I adore chive and lemon thyme but rosemary also holds up well to the richness of salmon.  Whatever herbs you have on hand or fresh herbs that are growing in garden will be fantastic.  The last layer is citrus; lemon, lime, oranges, kumquats, and again, whatever you have on hand.  I adore the flavors of lemon and salmon together, so that’s what I’ve used in this recipe.

However you layer the flavor in this dish it will be beautifully delicious.  A speedy and enticing weeknight meal, but also a lovely meal to serve for dinner guests. Prep the packets in advance and then all you need to do is pop them in the oven or on the grill and dinner is served.

I like serving this dish during the spring and summer months with my Arugula and White Bean Salad, a traditional Caesar salad or grilled veggies.  And of course, I always pair this with my favorite white wine, DaVinci Pinot Grigio.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

Karista

Salmon en Papillote

If I’m using the grill as my cooking method I always prepare this in foil packets.  If I’m using the oven, I use parchment.  Unless of course I’ve run out of parchment because a certain teenage girl didn’t tell me she used the last of the parchment for her chocolate chip cookies. 😉

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 salmon filets

Kosher or sea salt

Fresh cracked black pepper

Grapeseed or Olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots (or more if you love shallots)

1 lemon zested and halved

4 – 3 inch stalks fresh rosemary

8-10 strands of fresh chive

4 – 3 inch stalks of fresh oregano

4 – 2-3 inch sprigs fresh thyme (I adore lemon thyme)

4 pieces of foil or parchment, about 12×12 inch square or large enough to enclose a salmon fillet.  Click here to learn how to fold the parchment.

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 375F.

Place the foil squares on a flat surface or counter.  Place a salmon fillet in the middle of each square.

Drizzle a little lemon juice over each fillet, and then drizzle with a little oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

On each fillet, layer the shallots, garlic, lemon zest and then top with the fresh herbs.  Top each with a slice of lemon.

Next, wrap the foil over the fish so it’s “tented” and seal the edges.  You want the salmon to steam inside the foil packet.

Depending on thickness, roast the fish packets for about 8-10 minutes or until the salmon is done to your preference.

When the fish is done, remove the fillets from the packets and transfer to plates.  Remove the herbs, leaving the shallots, lemon and garlic and pour any remaining juices from the foil over the fish.  Serve with lemon wedges and fresh chopped Italian parsley if desired.

Halibut Karista's Kitchen Seafood

Halibut Montalcino

halibut with fennel, orange and green olives

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.

It’s officially halibut season here in the Pacific Northwest.  One of my favorite spring milestones – when the halibut is fresh and sweet and beautifully abundant at the fish markets.   The texture is firm but flaky and moist when cooked; and the meat is sweet and mild.

Last year I developed this lovely little recipe for DaVinci Wine after my glorious visit to Tuscany.  It pairs perfectly with the DaVinci Pinot Grigio.

This is a fish dish that can be prepared quickly for a weeknight meal.  Just have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go and the dish will be done in less than 30 minutes.

It’s also a dish that is easily adjusted to preference.  Maybe you prefer more fennel and less olives? Or maybe you prefer more orange zest and an added squeeze of orange juice.  However you prepare this dish, it will be fresh and flavorful and delight the palate.

Halibut Montalcino

Serves 2 (can be easily doubled)

Ingredients

¾ -1lb Halibut (thinner filet’s if you can find them as they are easier to pan sear), or your favorite firm white fish, cut into two pieces or 4 smaller pieces for ease of cooking.

Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon clarified butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil

1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1 orange, zested

1 medium clove garlic, finely minced

Handful of sliced green olives

2 tablespoons of mixed chopped Italian parsley and fresh thyme

¼ cup dry white wine (I used the DaVinci Pinot Grigio)

Directions

Season the halibut filet’s with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Heat a large non-stick or fish friendly skillet over medium high heat and add the butter and oil, combining the two as the butter melts.

When the butter/oil is hot but not smoking, add the halibut filets flesh side down.  Let the filets cook in the pan for about 5 minutes or until the flesh side down has formed a nice golden brown crust and comes off the pan easily.

Flip the fish to skin side down and finish cooking, turning the heat down to medium if needed.  Fish typically cooks 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.  This is true for most medium to thick fleshed fish such as halibut, salmon, swordfish, etc.

When the fish is done, transfer to a platter and keep warm.

Over medium to medium high heat, add the unsalted butter to the fish pan and let it melt.  Add the sliced fennel bulb and allow it to caramelize a bit, turning golden brown.  Just before the fennel is done, add the garlic and cook for one minute longer.

Stir in the ¼ cup of white wine and chopped fresh herbs.  Let the wine reduce by half and then add the orange zest and green olives.

Hold the skillet over the heat just until the mixture is warmed through, season the mixture with additional salt and pepper to taste and add one more pat of butter.  Let the butter melt and then divide the fennel mixture onto two plates.

Top the fennel mixture with a piece of halibut and garnish with additional chopped Italian parsley and orange zest.

Serve with a side of fresh pasta tossed in olive oil, crushed red pepper, garlic and parmesan and a glass of DaVinci Pinot Grigio.

 

Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Salmon Seafood

Nori Wrapped Salmon

Nori wrapped salmon with fresh herbs, dijon and wasabi

Working as a chef translates into many things.  Personal clients, catering, recipe development, food photography, prep chef, sometimes dishwasher/kitchen cleaner and cheese specialist (yep did that too).  I’ve had (and still have) several unique positions being a chef and it’s been an absolute blast.  I have to say however, one of my most favorite positions has been that of culinary instructor.

Over the last several years I taught culinary classes at one of our local culinary schools in Seattle.  I had the pleasure of meeting and working with the loveliest and most talented Chefs, Assistants and Nutritionists, as well as some amazing students.  One of the Nutritionists, Jennifer Adler, makes this exquisite and healthy recipe for her students and recommends it for her clients.  The ingredient list alone made my mouth water and I knew this bit of deliciousness had to make a regular rotation on my menu – for my family as well as my clients.

Nori wrapped salmon with fresh herbs, Dijon, and wasabi

Not only does this wrapped salmon make a lovely meal, I also prepare it in small bite size portions. These little bites make a simple and enticing starter for a brunch or evening dinner party.  Not only are they packed with flavor and good nutrition, they look like little pieces of art resting on a platter.

So if you aim to please some taste buds but you want to keep things on the light side – or you want to impress your guests, this is a perfect savory recipe.  For even more taste-bud enchantment I like to pair my Nori Wrapped Salmon with pickled ginger, coconut rice and sautéed Asian greens.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Nori Wrapped Salmon

Ingredients

1lb salmon fillet, cut into 2-4 pieces (have your fishmonger remove the skin if you like)

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs. I use thyme, basil, chive, oregano or mint, Italian parsley, garlic, salt and pepper

3 tablespoons quality Dijon mustard

Pinch of wasabi

4 sheets of Nori (usually found in the Asian food aisle in your local market)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Mix together the oil,  herbs, salt and pepper.  Rub the salmon with this mixture.

Mix together the mustard and wasabi.  Spread this mixture onto a square of nori, large enough to wrap your fillet.  Place the salmon piece on the edge of the nori and wrap.  Like a little package. The nori will stick to itself and the fish.

Place the wrapped fish in a slightly oiled baking dish or on a baking sheet.  Fish should cook for about 10 minutes to every inch of thickness.  However, with the nori wrap the cooking time could take a little longer.  I like my salmon under cooked just a bit so I usually stick to the 10 minutes per inch rule.

Remove the fish from the oven and serve with pickled ginger and coconut rice if desired.  If you want to dress up the wrapped salmon, I like to tie it in a blade of chive and serve.   Enjoy!

Recipe from Jennifer Adler, MS, CN

Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Pork Seafood vegetarian

Holiday Antipasti Platter

 

 

Antipasti platter with crostini, salumi, and cheese

Holiday Antipasti Platter with Assorted Cheese, Salumi and Crostini

While visiting Tuscany this past Autumn, almost every meal began with an antipasti; signifying the beginning of the meal.  It’s a first course served to create anticipation of the meal to come, as well as stimulate the appetite without filling the stomach. Much like the French hors d’oeuvres and Spanish tapas or the American appetizer, Antipasti sets the stage for the dinner meal.

In Tuscany, antipasti usually consists of assorted dry cured meats, olives, cheese, roasted peppers, Crostini, marinated artichokes and traditional Bruschetta.  For a special occasion or light lunch the traditional pappa al pomodoro, ribollita (a lovely cabbage and bread stew) and rosemary white beans might be served.

Antipasti is the perfect starter for holiday celebrations, special occasions, dinner parties or social events. Lovely nibbles to build excitement of the event.

Holiday Antipasti Platter

This my favorite assortment of antipasti, including two of my favorite crostini and a traditional bruschetta.  Many of these were served for lunch or before dinner while visiting Tuscany with the Storytellers.  A delicious combination that pairs beautifully with all the DaVinci wines.

I created this platter for DaVinci Wine and it can be found on their Facebook page. Just click HERE.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

Buon Appetito,

Karista

PS: Wishing everyone a very happy and safe New Years Eve!

 

Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Salmon Seafood

Smoked Salmon Wonton Tacos

Smoked salmon, napa cabbage, cilantro, cucumber, red onion with a spicy sauce in a wonton taco shell

Smoked Salmon Wonton Taco Appetizers

I admit, when Kelley, author of Mountain Mama Cooks, started Taco Tuesday I was completely jazzed.  Over the moon excited with anticipation for every new Taco Tuesday.  Soft or crunchy, corn or flour shells that hold a multitude of delicious meat or veggie fillings.  Every Tuesday would be a taco surprise! And for this taco loving gal… that was almost too much excitement.

So when Kelley asked if I’d like to guest post for Taco Tuesday… well, you can only guess my giddiness.

smoked salmon wonton tacos with napa cabbage, cucumber, cilantro, red onion and a spicy sriracha sauce

To read the full guest post and snag this delicious Smoked Salmon Wonton Taco recipe, head on over to Mountain Mama Cooks!

Sending you all lots of love and delicious wishes!

Karista

Karista's Kitchen Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood Shrimp vegetarian

Spicy Pomodoro with Creamy Polenta

spicy tomato sauce with pan seared shrimp over polenta

Spicy Pomodoro with Pan Seared Gulf Shrimp over Creamy Polenta

The Autumn fog has settled onto the valley landscape and created a halo of diffused light.  Intensifying the seasons colors and keeping just a little chill in the air.

This is the time of year I pull out the heavier throw blankets and roam the house in search of the warmer socks and slippers.  Most of them in various unmarked boxes since our move.

Even the dinner meals become spicier. Rich and flavorful tomato sauces lace the seasons dishes and create a welcome evening reprieve from the shorter and cooler days.

spicy tomato sauce with pan seared shrimp over polenta

Italian Inspired Spicy Pomodoro over Creamy Polenta

This beautiful dish was inspired not only by the season but by my recent visit to Italy.  While pouring through delicious pictures of the loveliest people, mouth-watering food and soul soothing landscape, I knew I needed a spicy pomodoro over creamy polenta this week; and shrimp would make a lovely addition.

If shrimp isn’t on your list of shellfish love, try serving this rich and satisfying sauce with roasted Autumn veggies.  It pairs well with roasted eggplant and zucchini as well as sautéed seasonal mushrooms.

Top with plenty of pecorino Toscana and you just might think you were dining in Italy.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Spicy Pomodoro with Creamy Polenta

Serves 4

Ingredients

¼ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch Arbosana)

½ cup finely chopped onion

2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced

Pinch or two of red pepper flakes  (I usually add about 1/4 teaspoon) (also a smoked chipotle powder is a fun substitution)

1  28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 – 2 teaspoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon sugar (if needed)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or ½ teaspoon dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a sauce pan over medium heat add the olive oil.  When the oil is hot add the onions to the pan and sauté until golden.

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté one minute longer.

Take the pan off the heat (or you’ll be splattered with crushed tomatoes) and stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and basil.  Put the pan back on the heat and then bring the sauce to a very slow simmer.  Let it cook for about 15-30 minutes.  The longer the sauce cooks the richer the flavor.

Stir in the sugar if the sauce is too “bright”.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with a little olive oil before serving.

Add pan seared or grilled shrimp directly to the sauce and let the shrimp swim in the sauce for a few minutes to absorb those delicious flavors and then serve over creamy polenta (recipe below).  Garnish with plenty of pecorino Toscana or parmesan.

Vegetarian:  Add roasted eggplant, red onions, zucchini, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and anything else you think would be delicious.  Garnish with lots of cheese!

Creamy Polenta

3 cups whole or 2% milk

2/3 cup quick cooking polenta

¼ cup grated Pecorino Toscana or Parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the milk in a 4-quart saucepan, stirring as you bring it to a boil. While stirring, add the polenta. Reduce the heat to low and continue to keep the polenta at a simmer for about 5 minutes. Once the polenta has thickened, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grated cheese. Lightly salt and pepper to taste.