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Grilling Halibut Sassy Side dishes Seafood Swordfish

Garam Masala Crusted Fish with Cucumber Mango Raita and Coconut Rice

Garam Masala Crusted Swordfish with Cucumber Mango Raita and Coconut Rice

Score! A beautiful day on a weekend in September… in Western Washington.  This can only mean one thing.  It’s flying weather.  O Happy Day!

Pretty Puffy Clouds at Jefferson Co. Airport, Port Townsend

As soon as the sun came up Ranger Craig and I were packing for a quick little day trip over to one of our favorite spots, Port Townsend, WA.  Fresh seafood, beautiful produce, my favorite espresso cafe and a little shopping to round out the day.

Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, WA

But… Ranger Craig was thinking more along the lines of a hike from Fort Worden into town and maybe a little kayaking or a visit to the wooden boat museum.  All really great ideas, yesiree bob.  But ya know,  I was ready for a little less action and a little more food shopping.

My little flying foodie, who's taller than her Mama!

Adventure Bound Bennett's

And of course, as soon as my youngest gal heard the word shopping, her adventure meter tipped the scale and she was in.

What a 13 year old will do to shop!

How much longer do I have to hike this beach?

Ok, so we compromised.  We hiked the long beach from the fort into town.  And conveniently for Ranger Craig, the wooden boat museum was on the way.

Finding a little happy in hiking

Kayaking sort of fell by the wayside, after the hour and half hike on the beach.  My hunky hiking guy had two hungry gals following him and he knew from experience that finding lunch should be next on our list of activities.  🙂

Halibut Fish and Chips

Seafood Stew with a splash of Gruyere

The Public House on Water Street was the perfect spot for lunch.  The halibut was so fresh and moist and delightfully beer battered with fresh herbs; served with Asian slaw and of course french fries.  I’d love to tell you I was a very health concious diner and didn’t eat my fries.  I ate every last one off my plate.

Ranger Craig had a seafood stew with white wine, garlic, fresh herbs and topped with a little Gruyere.  Suzie Q opted for her favorite, a grilled chicken burger which she ate in record time.  I think she was just a little hungry.

Flying Home

On the way home I had fish on the brain and more fish for dinner sounded divine.  I love swordfish and coconut and Ranger Craig loves sauce.   I’d been craving coconut rice and had a new sauce to test over fish.  I think dinner was just decided.

Tank, my Toto in disguise.

Although, I was so full from all those fries!  You’ll be glad to know, I hiked an hour with Tank the next day.  See… we can have our fries and eat them too. 🙂

Garam Masala Crusted Fish with Cucumber Mango Raita and Coconut Rice

Recipe adapted from multiple sources

Serves 2


For the Fish:

2 Swordfish or Mahi Mahi Steaks (halibut or Hawaiin Opah is also a great alternative) Buying fresh fish is the key to any delicious fish dish.  If the fish isn’t fresh, eat chicken.

1 tablespoon Garam Masala

Pinch of salt and Pepper

2 T high heat oil (I like pan searing in grapeseed oil)

For the Raita:

½ cup cucumber, finely diced

½ cup mango, finely diced

½ teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

Juice of ½ lime

Salt and pepper to taste


Mix together the cucumber, mango, cumin, yogurt and lime juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a skillet, heat the oil on medium high.  Season the two steaks on both sides with salt, pepper and garam masala.

For pan searing fish, use a well seasoned cast iron pan or ceramic coated pan.

Pan sear the fish for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

Serve warm with the cucumber mango raita and coconut rice.

Classic Coconut Rice

Serves 2-4


1 cup coconut milk

¾ cup basmati rice

½ cup water

1 T sugar

¼ t salt

1/4 cup raisins (optional)


Combine coconut milk, rice, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, then cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is tender.  Fluff with a fork and add the raisins if desired.  Cover and keep warm.

Halibut Kid Friendly Salmon Seafood Swordfish

Roasted Fresh Seasonal Fish with Herb Butter, Tomatoes and Garlic

Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to dinner in the Bennett house.  This doesn’t mean we like to sacrifice quality or flavor, it just means some days we need dinner in a jiffy.  

Fresh fish is fast.  It’s easily paired with fresh herbs and aromatics and it cooks quickly.  When my little gal isn’t in the mood for fish (which is often) I substitute with a thin chicken cutlet.  It can be prepared with the fish and be done just as quickly.  But make sure the chicken is a cutlet, or a chicken breast that has been pounded very thin.

As you’ll notice I’ve used fresh cherry tomatoes in this recipe.  No, they are not really in season.  However, I did spot these little beauties while browsing the produce section of my market and because they were organic and from our neighbors in Canada, I decided a little summer treat in winter would be refreshing.  You could substitute fresh cherry tomatoes for a high quality canned organic tomato.  I love Muir Glen organic whole tomatoes and they would be just as delicious in this recipe.

Bring a little sunshine to your table with fresh herbs, tomatoes, garlic and seasonal fresh fish.  Happy Cooking!

Serves 4


1 ½ lbs seasonal fresh white fish or salmon (Sole, Flounder, Cod or Halibut are delicious in this recipe)

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh basil, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

Dash of white wine or a squeeze of lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Extra virgin olive oil

For the Herb butter

½ cup butter, softened

1 tablespoon assorted chopped fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme or marjoram

Mix together and set aside


To roast the fish, season fish with a pinch salt and pepper, and a small dollop of the herb butter on each fillet.  Place the fish in a baking dish and into a 350F pre-heated oven. 

Let the fish cook for about 10 minutes per inch of thickness or until you see the firm white juices bubbling in or on the fish.  Thinner fillets will cook quickly so check after about 5 minutes. 

In a sauté pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil.  Add the garlic and tomatoes and sauté for a few minutes until the tomatoes are ever so slightly wilted.  Add the fresh chopped basil and Italian parsley and season with a splash of white wine or squeeze of lemon.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, plate the fish fillets and dollop with additional herb butter if desired.  Top with the tomatoes, garlic and fresh herbs.  Serve immediately.

This dish is delicious with a butter lettuce salad with mandarin oranges and Italian parsley vinaigrette.  You can find this recipe under salads in this blog.  Enjoy!

Grilling Halibut Seafood Swordfish

Petrale Sole with Mixed Olive and Citrus Relish

Looking in my pantry one afternoon, I realized I had quite the assortment of olives.  Kalamata olives, Greek stuffed olives, orange peel stuffed olives, black olives, large green olives and an olive and herb mix in vermouth.  I guess it’s no secret, I love olives.  But I really needed to make room in my pantry for a few other items, so I thought I’d better start dreaming up something yummy to prepare with delectable olives. 

One of my favorite olives to serve as an appetizer with cheese, artisan crackers and winter fruit is the orange peel stuffed olive.  Typically I can only find these olives around the holidays so when I find them I snatch several jars and save them for my olive cravings.  Citrus and olives seem to compliment each other beautifully.  Combined with a few other standout ingredients, a beautiful and tasty relish is created.

This delightful relish can be served over most grilled, pan seared, poached or roasted white fish.  It’s also delicious over grilled chicken breasts or roasted chicken.  Try the relish over garlic crostini for a fun and tasty starter to your family or holiday gathering.  You can also prepare the relish a day in advance.  Just bring it to room temperature before serving. 

Bright flavors and intense colors make this recipe a divine little fish dish.  Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!

Serves 3-4


1-1/2 lbs Petrale Sole (Cod, Halibut, Sea Bass, Swordfish or Flounder are all excellent substitutions)

Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Olive oil

1 cup mandarin oranges, coarsely chopped

1 cup black and green olives, diced (mixed Greek olives also work well in this relish)

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced or grated

¼ cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped, and a little extra for garnish

1 tablespoon dry sherry or white wine


Season the fish with salt, pepper and smoked paprika.  Set aside.

Toss together the oranges, olives, ginger, basil, dry sherry or wine and a dash of olive oil, then season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  Set aside at room temperature.  This relish can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated.  Bring to room temp before serving.

Prepare the fish either in the oven or stove top. 

To roast the fish in the oven, place the fish in a baking dish and drizzle the fish with olive oil and white wine.  Roast the fish on 375F until done.  Most fish will take 10 minutes of cooking per inch of thickness. 

To pan sear, add a little olive oil to a skillet and heat on medium heat.  Pan sear the fish until done and then transfer to a platter. 

Once the fish is done, plate the fish on individual plates or a platter and top with the mandarin and olive relish.  Serve immediately.

This dish is fabulous with a mixed green salad with citrus vinaigrette or roasted asparagus spears found under “sides” in this blog.

Grilling Halibut Seafood Swordfish

Fresh Seasonal Fish Topped With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic, Shallots, Lemon and Fresh Herbs

It’s that time of year when I suddenly realize all the beautiful fresh local tomatoes will soon be a distant memory until they arrive once again next summer.   I’m now in a full-fledged panic to use as many of those juicy tomatoes as I possibly can.  I may have a small revolt on my hands as tomatoes are showing up daily in all three meals at the Bennett house.

Fluffy whipped French omelets with the distinctive Gruyère cheese and fresh chopped heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella en carrozza (Tuscan cheese sandwiches) with fresh sliced tomatoes piled high and grilled fish and chicken with roasted cherry tomatoes, smashed garlic cloves, diced shallots, a squeeze of lemon and fresh herbs.  And I have more recipes yet to prepare!  I think the Bennett crew will be “oh so happy” when tomato season is over. 

I do love a good tomato.  The smell of a ripe tomato takes me back to my childhood when I would pick the sun warmed fruits off the vines in our little garden and sit in the grass to eat them.  No salt, pepper, herbs or mayo, just a juicy fresh picked off the vine tomato.  Tomatoes make delicious additions to most recipes; adds fresh flavor, a little zing, and one would have to admit, the color of a tomato is hard to duplicate. 

Sometimes the simplest of preparations are the best.  Simply roasting tomatoes with garlic and shallots, fresh herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and lemon makes for a tasty side dish or exquisite topping for most entrees of fish or chicken.  Serve with a fresh arugula salad drizzled with rice wine vinegar and olive oil. 

Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!

Serves 4


1 1/2 lbs seasonal fresh white fish (halibut, cod, rockfish, snapper, swordfish, mahi mahi) If the fish is fresh, it will taste delicious and hold up to roasting in the oven. 

2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

4 cloves garlic, smashed and lightly chopped

2 tablespoons diced shallots

1 lemon, zested and juiced

3 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (Oregano, Italian parsley, basil, rosemary or thyme)

Olive oil

Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper


Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

Mix together tomatoes, garlic, shallots, 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Toss with a drizzle of olive oil until lightly coated and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Pour the tomato mixture into a baking dish or foil lined cookie sheet and roast for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes are wilted and slightly toasty.  Remove from the oven and set aside.  

Drizzle the fish with a bit of lemon juice and olive oil, and then sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  Roast the fish until opaque in the center and flaky.  Fish roasting times vary according to thickness.  Start with 5-8 minutes and then check for doneness.  If it isn’t done, let it continue roasting, checking every 5 minutes. 

Once the fish is done, transfer to a platter.  Mix the tomatoes with lemon zest and remaining fresh herbs.  Top the fish with the tomatoes and herbs and serve immediately.

Grilling Sassy Side dishes Seafood Swordfish

Grilled Swordfish with Edamame Stir Fry

I found a lovely little recipe that calls for an edamame puree over a grilled Ahi tuna.  Sounds good doesn’t it?   Although, I was really in the mood for something more substantial with my grilled fish… more of an edamame stir fry rather than a puree.

Of course I didn’t have any fresh Ahi on hand, so I sent Ranger Craig to our local fish market.

He did not bring home the Ahi.  🙁   (This happens more often than not)

Like me, he caved.  Fresh swordfish had just arrived at the market and Ranger Craig decided the swordfish would make a most excellent dinner.  Ok, well… I can be flexible.   Edamame stir fry over grilled swordfish.  I have to say… it was seafood heaven!

Edamame makes a super side dish or topping for most meats and fish.  It can be steamed, pan sautéed, stir fried or roasted in the oven.  Most often I find this yummy veggie in the frozen food aisle.  My fave, Cascadian Farms, sells a delightfully fresh and organic edamame.

This recipe is so delicious, so fresh, and so quick.  My favorite way to make dinner. 🙂

Serves 4


4 Swordfish steaks (about 4-6 ounces each)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


1 1/2 – 2 cups frozen, or slightly thawed edamame (soy beans)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup chopped shallots

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Dash of sesame oil

1/4 cup veggie or chicken broth, reserved

1/4 cup chopped scallions, for garnish


Pre-heat the grill to 400F

Brush the sword fish with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper.

While the grill is pre-heating, melt the olive oil and butter in a saute pan over medium heat.  When the butter is melted and frothy, add the shallots and cook for a minute or two until the shallots are wilted.  Then add the edamame and garlic and toss with the wilted shallots.

Stir in the soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and dash of sesame oil.   If more liquid is needed, add the veggie or chicken broth.  Cover with a lid and let the edamame cook until crisp tender, about 5 minutes, or longer if you like softer edamame.

Take the lid off the pan and let the liquid cook out.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside and keep warm.

Swordfish can dry out quickly so plan to stick around the grill to adjust temperatures.  Place the swordfish on the grill and sear for one minute and then flip to the other side and sear.  Turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook until the swordfish is firm to the touch and cooked through.  You may need to grill the fish over indirect heat by turning off the burner directly under the fish, and leave the remaining burners on medium.  This will help keep the fish moist.

When the fish is done, squeeze a little lemon on each steak, top with edamame and chopped scallions.  Serve immediately.

This dish is lovely with steamed white jasmine or sticky rice.

Grilling Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood Swordfish

Grilled Swordfish Topped With a Coconut, Lemongrass and Ginger Sauce

There are moments when I believe I must eat, drink and sleep “food”.  I wake up most mornings thinking about the next delicious dinner creation, contemplating ideas during most of my day, and mentally assembling those ideas into what I hope will be a winning combination.   

Once I’ve created the tasty dish, I spend precious moments trying to capture the true essence of the sumptuous food.  Much to my husbands dismay,  when he finally gets his beautiful plate of food it’s usually cooled and needs to be reheated.  I can’t tell you how many times my family has been sitting at the dinner table and I’m somewhere outside snapping photos of our meal.  My little gal will tell you if you eat dinner at our house you need to grab your plate and get your food before Mom grabs the camera. 

Fish really does taste best served right off the grill, stove top or from the oven. Especially when it’s lightly covered in this fragrant, flavorful sauce.  Once the sauce has been lightly ladled over the fish, top it with diced fresh pineapple and cilantro.  It’s tropical, fresh, and tastes like vacation!

Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life.  Happy Cooking!

Serves 4


1 ½ – 2 lbs Fresh Swordfish or Mahi Mahi (I think it would also be yummy over halibut)

Olive oil

1 3 inch stalk fresh lemongrass, lightly smashed (if you can’t find lemongrass, substitute with ½ teaspoon lemon zest)

2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger

1 15oz can whole Coconut milk

½ cup flaked coconut, toasted

¼ cup fresh cilantro, torn or coarsely chopped

1 ½ cups fresh pineapple, small diced

1 lime

Salt and pepper to taste


To make the sauce: Add the coconut milk, lemongrass and grated ginger to a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Let the milk reduce by half, until it’s thickened and creamy.

Add a 2 tablespoons toasted coconut and a teaspoon of fresh cilantro.  Continue to simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes longer.  Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Gently toss together the remaining cilantro and fresh pineapple, adding a squeeze of fresh lime. 

For the Fish: Pre-heat the grill to 400F. 

Brush the fish with olive oil and then dust with salt and pepper.  When you are ready to grill your fish, soak a paper towel with veggie oil.  Using grilling tongs, rub the oiled paper towels over the grill grates. 

Place the fish on the grill, turning down the heat to medium so it doesn’t burn.  Flip the fish only once, or it will fall apart.  Cook until desired doneness.  Transfer the fish to individual plates or a platter.  Squeeze with fresh lime.

To Serve:  Ladle a little sauce over the fish and then top with the fresh cilantro and pineapple.  Sprinkle with toasted coconut and enjoy!

Grilling Halibut Kid Friendly Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood Swordfish

Grilled Mahi Mahi With a Savory Strawberry Salsa

Recently Ranger Craig and I found ourselves without teenagers for a few weeks and decided to take off on our own summer adventure while our girls were away.  Of course my idea of summer adventure is somewhat different from Ranger Craig’s.  That being said, I was a good sport and decided I needed to increase my level of adventure and jump right in, literally. 

I adore nature, the outdoors and all things ocean, so it seemed scuba diving would be a perfect place to begin.  As you’ll notice in a photo I’ve included in this post, it wasn’t always smooth sailing.  You will detect a bit of fear on my face even through all the scuba diving equipment heaped on my body and my face.  Feel free to howl with laughter because that’s what I did when I saw the picture.  I eventually conquered my fear of the underwater world and enjoyed the spectacular beauty. 

While learning to scuba dive, Ranger Craig and I had the opportunity to explore the beautiful island of Maui.  We found some of the most wonderful little cafes and deli’s off the main tourists streets that serve some of the best seafood I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting.  Thanks to our fabulous scuba Instructor, Stan, one of our favorite places for lunch (and a few dinners) was Eskimo Candy Fish Market and Cafe.  The fish tacos were prepared with Ono, a fish found in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands, and batter fried fish and chips prepared with Opah or Mahi Mahi.  The batter was a delicious blend of Island spices and coconut in a smooth beer batter.  Honestly, I’ve never tasted a beer batter so flavorful!

Most of the grilled fish were served with an array of tropical fruits and Island spices or coconut reduction sauces that made me want to lick my plate!   Of course now that I’m home and cooking in my kitchen I’ve been working to re-create some of these delicious dishes. 

I purchased some fresh Mahi Mahi from our local Gemini Fish Market this weekend and intended to create a decadent tropical salsa of sorts.  However, as I walked through the produce aisle, the deep red fresh Northwest strawberries were calling my name .  The salsa was going to have to include the beautiful strawberries.  I must admit, the salsa turned out beautiful and delicious and a fabulous compliment to the grilled Mahi Mahi.  This salsa would also taste wonderful over a grilled swordfish or Halibut.  I’ve added a few “options” to create variations of this salsa to utilize your regions fresh summer produce. 

And a “shout out” to the extremely patient and experienced dive Instructors at B&B Scuba in Kehei on Maui!  Thanks Stan for the quality scuba instructions and your recommendation of Eskimo Candy, our new favorite place in Maui!  You guys are the best!  (Along with the quality scuba instruction, photos are compliments of B&B Scuba! Check them out when you visit Maui.)

Enjoy this delicious taste of summer and check back often for new South Pacific inspired fish recipes.  Keep dinner simple… enjoy the flavors of life.  Happy Cooking!

Serves 4


4 Mahi Mahi filets or steaks, about 6 ounces each (you can substitute with Swordfish or Halibut)

Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Olive oil

1 large lime, zested and juiced

1 cup diced strawberries

1/3 cup diced yellow or orange bell pepper

1/2 cup diced sweet onion such as Walla Walla

1 jalapeno, diced (can substitute with 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chive

1/4 cup toasted coconut (optional)

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (optional)

1/2 cup diced pineapple (optional)


Preheat the grill to 400F.

In a baking dish or large platter drizzle the fish with olive oil and half the lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper on both sides. 

In a medium bowl gently toss together the strawberries, bell pepper, sweet onion, jalapeno, lime zest, cilantro, chive and remaining lime juice.  If you are adding the optional ingredients go ahead and add them now.

Place the fish on the grill and sear on both sides.  Turn the heat down and grill the fish to desired doneness.  I like my fish cooked through but not well done so keep a good eye on the grill while the fish is cooking.  Mahi Mahi and Swordfish will take a little longer to cook than Halibut.

When the fish is done, transfer to individual plates or a platter and top with a few tablespoons of salsa.  Garnish with additional cilantro or chive.

This dish is fabulous served with grilled sweet potatoes, fresh grilled summer veggies or a salad of fresh greens with a light and simple vinaigrette.

Grilling Kid Friendly Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood Swordfish

Grilled Fish Topped with a Garlic Lemon Sauce

In the interest of family harmony, I decided to bring this delicious but simple little recipe back to the dinner table tonight.

Ranger Craig has been a super good sport testing all my new recipes, however, he’s recently requested I prepare a few of my older recipes which happen to be his favorites.  Well, of course I couldn’t say no to my favorite recipe tester.

This is one of those perfect summer sauce recipes that compliments most grilled fish.  I really like this sauce over grilled swordfish or grilled tuna.  Similar to the Italian Bagna Cauda sauce used as a dip for crudite, this sauce includes fresh lemon, as it brightens the delicious flavors of the anchovy and garlic.   It’s so simple you almost feel as if you’re missing an ingredient.  It couldn’t be easier or more delicious.  Flavorful enough to serve to dinner guests, but simple enough for a weeknight meal.

It’s also versatile (would I have it any other way?).  If your family doesn’t care for fish, this sauce is delicious served over grilled, roasted or pan seared chicken breasts.  Add a variety of different chopped herbs such as oregano, thyme and a pinch of chopped fresh rosemary and you have one spectacular sauce.

Keep dinner simple… and enjoy the flavors of life!  Happy Cooking!

Serves 3-4


1 1/2 lbs swordfish or tuna

1 tablespoon Anchovy paste

3 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup good extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley


In a blender or food processor, add the anchovy paste, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper.  Blend until smooth.  Taste for seasoning.

Drizzle about a third of the sauce over the fish and coat well.  Let the fish marinade for a few minutes while the grill pre-heats to about 375F.  Grill the fish on each side for about 3-5 minutes depending on thickness and preference.  I like my tuna and swordfish a little more well done, however, some prefer tuna just quickly seared.

When the fish is done transfer to a platter and drizzle with additional sauce and sprinkle with fresh herbs.  Garnish with lemon wedges.

I love this fish served with a salad of fresh greens or little sweet red tomatoes and baby arugula tossed in a bit of the garlic lemon sauce and seasoned to taste.   Also delicious with roasted broccolini or asparagus.