Vietnamese-Style Wild Snapper Lettuce and Noodle Wraps

Gather the troops! This is a super fun meal to share and it’s quick and easy to make. Be sure to use Seafood Watch to find a best choice for snapper at your local grocery store or fish market. Enjoy! (P.S. This recipe was recently featured in Clean Eating Magazine!)

vietnamese-lettuce-wraps

Photo by Andrew Grinton

Yield: 4 servings

 

Dipping Sauce

¾ cup distilled white vinegar

3 tablespoons raw cane sugar

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (juice of 1 lime)

1 tablespoon fish sauce

½ thai chile, thinly sliced, or more to taste

 

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

 

Lettuce Wraps

8-ounces vermicelli noodles

12 red leaf lettuce leaves (6-ounces or ½ bunch)

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1 cup fresh thai basil leaves

8-ounces small carrots, (approximately 4 small carrots) peeled, cut in half widthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise

 

Add water to a large saucepan (enough to boil the noodles) and bring to a boil. Add noodles and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes until noodles are soft. Drain and rinse noodles under cold water and place in a bowl.

Arrange lettuce, herbs and carrots on a tray or plate.

 

Snapper

1 pound skinless snapper fillets (¾ to 1-inch thick), pin bones removed

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

 

Pat fish dry and season fish evenly on both sides with salt. Cut fish into 3-inch by 1-inch strips.

Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and add oil. Heat until hot and oil is shimmering, approximately 2 minutes.

Add fish strips, adding the thickest strips to the pan first, and let cook for 2½ minutes total, flipping the fish every 30 seconds. Fish will start to flake when done.

Transfer fish to a plate. Serve immediately.

Gather the family/friends around the table! To serve, place some noodles on a leaf of lettuce. Add some carrots, fish and fresh herbs. Roll or fold the lettuce to form a wrap or pocket. Spoon over some sauce (or dip the lettuce wrap in the sauce). Eat and repeat!

Note: If you are not up for making the wrap, you can always shred the lettuce on your plate and add the other wrap items on top and spoon over the sauce like a salad dressing.

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Halibut Ceviche with Tomato Gazpacho

Halibut Ceviche

Photo by Andrew Grinton

Strike this recipe while the tomatoes are overflowing at your local farmers market or in your very own backyard garden! (P.S. This recipe was recently featured in Clean Eating Magazine!)

 

Yield: 4 servings

Gazpacho

½ pound small cucumbers (Persian or Japanese) (approximately 2 cucumbers) peeled and chopped roughly

½ large red bell pepper (¼ pound), seeded and chopped roughly (reserve other half for ceviche)

2 pounds red tomatoes (approximately 7 medium tomatoes), cored and chopped roughly

1-ounce shallot (1 medium shallot), peeled and quartered

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

 

Add all the above ingredients to a blender, except the olive oil.

Blend until smooth. With blender on low, stream in the olive oil until combined.

Taste and adjust salt as needed.

Refrigerate until ceviche is ready to be served. Stir or re-blend briefly before serving.

 

Ceviche

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 small jalapeno (.75-ounces), seeded, deveined and diced small (1½ tablespoons)

1 pound skinless halibut, diced into ¼-inch cubes (Use Seafood Watch to select halibut)

½ large red bell pepper (¼ pound), seeded and diced small (½ cup) (reserved from gazpacho)

1 scallion, thinly sliced (¼ cup)

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 

Combine lemon juice, lime juice, salt and jalapeno in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Add halibut and mix thoroughly.

Using the back of a spoon, level the halibut off so it is pressed down in the liquid. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly atop the fish in the bowl.

Refrigerate for 8 minutes.

Remove plastic wrap and stir. Using the back of a spoon, re-level the halibut off so it is pressed down in the liquid. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly atop the fish in the bowl.

Refrigerate for an additional 8 minutes. The halibut should be opaque and white in color.

Drain the mixture in a colander and return it to the original small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and serve immediately.

To serve, pour 1¼ cups of the gazpacho in a shallow bowl. Then, mound ¾ cup of the halibut ceviche in the center of the bowl.

Grilled Halibut with Orange Fennel Salad and Grilled Peaches

It’s still grill season! This recipe might look a bit long, bit it’s honestly super easy. Just throw together a salad and put peaches and fish on your grill and you’ve got a healthy dinner which will definitely impress! (Don’t forget to use Seafood Watch to choose the best halibut.) (P.S. You can watch me grill this on TV for a segment I did for Seattle Refined to educate people about the Seafood Watch App and how easy and impactful it is to choose sustainable seafood.)

LYON Halibut2

Yields: 4 servings

Orange Fennel Salad:

1 large orange, supremed*

3 small fennel bulbs (buy fennel bulbs with stalks and fronds still attached)

¼ cup picked fennel fronds (from the fennel bulbs)

Vinaigrette:

1 small shallot, diced small (2 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (from the supremed orange)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 

*Cut the ends off the orange. Next, cut the peel and pith off the orange. Then, segment the orange by cutting between the membranes. Discard any seeds, but reserve the juice for the vinaigrette. Set aside segmented orange pieces for the salad.

Cut off the bottom and the stalks of the fennel. Sit the fennel upright and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the core as needed. Lay each half flat on a cutting board and very thinly slice the fennel width-wise. You should have about 3 cups of thinly sliced fennel.

In a medium container with a tight fitting lid, combine the vinaigrette ingredients, close the lid tightly, and shake well to combine. Or, whisk to combine the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

Combine all ingredients (orange segments, fennel, fronds) plus the vinaigrette into a medium bowl and toss to mix.

 

Peaches:

4 yellow peaches, cut in half and pits removed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the grill

Preheat a grill to medium-high. Once hot, clean the grill, then, using tongs, lightly dip a cloth in olive oil oil and wipe to coat the grill rack.

Coat the peaches (all sides) with olive oil. Place peaches on the grill flesh side down. Cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook peaches skin side down for an additional 4 minutes. Remove from the grill and once cool enough to handle, cut each peach half into thirds. Set aside until ready to eat.

 

Halibut:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1½ pounds halibut, 1½ inches thick, skin on, cut into 4 equal pieces

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest of 3 lemons), grated on a Microplane, chopped finely (reserve the lemon for the salad)

¼ cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped finely

¼ cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped finely

¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped finely

 

Pat the halibut dry (all sides). Next, coat the halibut with the olive oil, then season the flesh side with salt and pepper. Finally, season the flesh side with the lemon zest and chopped herbs.

With the grill on medium-high, place the halibut on the grill skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes. Flip halibut and continue cooking until fish just begins to flake at the thickest point, approximately 1 minute. Remove fish from the grill.

To serve, evenly divide the salad onto plates, add some grilled peaches and top with the halibut fillets.

Herb Grilled Rockfish with Lemon Garlic Potatoes

Memorial Day is coming, so fire up that grill because this is one heck of a recipe and it’s using one of my favorite sustainable seafoods – rockfish! The resurgence of (West Coast) rockfish is the ultimate success story when it comes to sustainable seafood. You can read all about how local government and conservation groups brought this fishery back to life so we can now enjoy this delicious fish! Use Seafood Watch  (download the app on your smartphone) to locate the best choice for rockfish at your local grocery store / fish market and grill away! (P.S. You can watch me cook this on TV in a spot I did with Seattle Refined to educate people about the Seafood Watch App)

LYON RockfishLYON Raw PotatoesLYON Cooked Potatoes

Herb Grilled Rockfish with Lemon Garlic Potatoes

Yields: 4 servings

 

Lemon Garlic Potatoes:

1½ pounds peewee or small fingerling potatoes

6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

7 sprigs fresh thyme

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

5 ¼-inch slices of lemon (reserve leftover lemon for grilling)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the grill

 

Preheat a grill to medium-high. Once hot, clean the grill, then, using tongs, lightly dip a cloth in olive oil and wipe to coat the grill rack.

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and toss to combine. Place potatoes in the center of a large sheet of aluminum foil. Create a well sealed pouch ensuring that the potatoes are laying flat and not stacked on top of each other so they all cook evenly.

Place on the grill and cook for 20 minutes, shaking the bag every 5 minutes.

Remove from grill and open pouch carefully (hot!). Use a fork to test potatoes for doneness (fork should pierce through the potato easily). Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

 

Rockfish:

1½ pounds rockfish, pin bones removed, cut into 4 equal sized pieces

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the lemons

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest of 3 lemons), grated on a Microplane, chopped finely

¼ cup packed fresh Italian parlsey leaves, chopped finely

¼ cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped finely

¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped finely

2 lemons (plus the remaining lemon from the potato recipe), halved

 

Pat the rockfish dry (all sides). Next, coat the rockfish with olive oil (all sides), then season both sides with salt and pepper. Finally, season the fish (all sides) with the lemon zest and chopped herbs.

Rub the flesh side of the lemons with enough olive oil to coat.

With the grill on medium-high, place the lemons, flesh side down on the grill. Cook for approximately 4 minutes (this will time out perfectly while cooking the rockfish).

Place the rockfish on the grill. Cook until the edges of the fish begin to turn opaque, approximately 2 minutes. Flip rockfish and continue cooking for 1½ to 2 minutes, until fish just begins to flake at the thickest point.

Remove fish and lemons from the grill.

To serve, evenly divide the potatoes onto plates, top with the grilled rockfish and add a grilled lemon half to each plate.

Recipe: Spiced Catfish Tacos with Chipotle Crema and Pickled Shallots

Today I did a Facebook LIVE from the Clean Eating Magazine Facebook page and made my Sustainable Spiced Catfish Tacos with Chipotle Crema and Pickled Shallots. In case you missed the LIVE, you can still watch me cook (or cook alongside me) the tacos here:

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-1-43-40-pm

And for those of you who want the recipe, I’ve included it for your dining pleasure!

taco-lyon

Spiced Catfish Tacos with Chipotle Crema and Pickled Shallots
Yield: 8 tacos

Pickled Shallots
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ pound shallots, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices
½ cup + 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

Place shallots in a medium bowl.

Heat water, sugar and salt together in a small saucepan until sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour over shallots and add vinegar. Stir together.

Let sit until taco time!

Chipotle Crema:
¼ cup organic sour cream
1½ teaspoons adobo sauce
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Mix to combine ingredients together in a small bowl.

Catfish:
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound skinless catfish fillets (approximately 6 filets)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided.

In a small bowl, mix to combine the cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.

Pat catfish fillets dry with a paper towel. Season the fish on both sides evenly with the spice mix.

Place 1 tablespoon of butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Heat until the butter bubbles up, turns brown and perhaps even smokes, approximately 2 minutes. Swirl the pan so the butter coats the bottom of the pan.

Gently add three of the catfish fillets to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Remove fillets from pan and transfer to a paper towel lined sheet tray or plate. Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and repeat the process with the remaining fish. Flake the fish into bite-sized pieces.

Assembling the Taco:
8 corn tortillas, warmed through
2 avocados, pitted and sliced
½ cup shredded purple cabbage
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 limes, quartered

Smear a dollop of chipotle crema on a corn tortilla. Top with a few slices of avocado. Add some catfish, cabbage, pickled shallot and cilantro. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime. Eat. Repeat.

Not Too Spicy Green Papaya Salad

(Hey! Update to this post – you can watch me make this salad on my YouTube page. Thanks and now back to the blog…)

California drought friendly and delicious, this papaya salad is a refreshing, bright, crunchy, herbaceous and spicy (not too spicy!) dish, perfect for warm weather months.

Super Sous and I traveled to Vietnam in February, our first stop being Hanoi, the capital city in the North. Upon arrival, we immediately arranged a street food tour of the Old Quarter of Hanoi (where we were staying). Our wonderful guide, Tam, took us on a whirlwind food extravaganza through the streets, alleys and hidden corridors to eat some of the best food Hanoi has to offer. From classics like Bun Cha to Egg Coffee to Beef Pho we ate A LOT, probably hitting up 7 different street food vendors/restaurants within the 3 hours of wandering.

Our third stop for the night was at a spot that served the best Papaya Salad we have ever had. At first, Super Sous and I were a little nervous about this dish as papaya salads we have eaten in Thai restaurants have been extremely spicy, but this salad was the perfect blend and balance of sweet, sour and spice. It was then that Super Sous and I fell in love with the Vietnamese papaya salad and despite our best efforts to not overeat and pace ourselves that evening, we couldn’t resist finishing off the whole salad.

Tam NL SS

Me, Tam – our street food tour guide – and Super Sous

Upon returning to California, we created our own version which comes pretty close to our experience. A note about the green papaya – you can find these in an Asian grocery store. (Sometimes they even have it pre-shredded in bags – score!) To shred yourself, cut in half, peel the section you want to use and shred using a citrus zester (photo below), a “noodler” (the instrument that makes zucchini noodles) a food processor (with the shredding attachment) or a box grater.

Citrus Zester

Citrus Zester

Now, a note about drought friendly recipes: Super Sous and I started the project of creating drought friendly recipes as a way for all of us around the country to help conserve California’s water. What I love about this recipe is the use of Virginia peanuts. They are so good! (It wouldn’t at all have anything to do with me being a Native Virginian…) Peanuts are a groundnut and therefore do not grow like almonds or walnuts in large orchards that require a lot of watering. Peanuts are a good source of protein and with their low water footprint, are a great alternative to almonds. According to the Water Footprint Organization, it takes 381 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of peanuts, whereas almonds require 6 times that amount. So, yay for peanuts!

green papaya salad

Green Papaya Salad

Yields: 2 servings

 

Dressing:

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

2 teaspoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

¾ teaspoon freshly grated ginger, grated on a microplane

½ teaspoon freshly grated garlic, grated on a microplane

2 teaspoons minced lemongrass

¼ Bird’s eye aka Thai chili, finely chopped

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

 

Salad:

2 cups packed shredded green papaya

¼ cup grated carrot (1 medium carrot)

½ cup thinly sliced green beans, sliced on a bias (8 beans)

3 tablespoons whole toasted peanuts

½ cup quartered grape tomatoes (7 tomatoes)

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

¼ cup fresh Thai basil leaves

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

 

Combine dressing ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and let sit for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so the sugar dissolves.

Add papaya, carrot and green beans to dressing and massage ingredients together with your hands for approximately 30 seconds, to meld all flavors and allow dressing to permeate papaya.

Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Divide onto plates and serve.

Alaskan True Cod Taco with Pickled Radish and Radish Top Salsa

Another in the series of Drought Friendly Recipes.

In our last post, Super Sous and I wrote about food waste and gave two recipes utilizing radishes and radish tops. Today’s taco puts those two recipes to great use in this flavorful recipe that’s not only easy to prepare and delicious, but beautiful. Just look at those colors! Bonus – it’s not only a drought friendly recipe, but it’s a sustainable seafood dish. Boom!

First – make the Pickled Radish and Radish Top Salsa. Then, bring on the tacos…

Radish Top and Red Pepper Salsa

Radish Top Salsa

pickeld radish

Pickled Radish

Cod Taco Close

Taco Up Close and Personal!

Cod Taco Full

Colorful Taco!

Cod Taco Hand

Alaskan True Cod Taco with Pickled Radish and Radish Top Red Pepper Salsa

Yield: 6 tacos

Cod:

1 pound wild Alaskan true cod, 1-inch thick

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

Pat the fish dry and season all over with salt and pepper.

Place a medium non stick sauté pan over medium heat and add oil.

Let heat for 2 minutes until oil is very hot.

Add fish and let cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. You will know the fish is done when the flesh becomes opaque and begins to flake.

Remove fish from pan and transfer to a plate. Flake the fish with a fork or fingers into bite-sized pieces. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Assembling the Taco:

6 Corn tortillas, warmed through

2 avocados, pitted and sliced thinly

½ cup shredded purple cabbage

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

Place a cabbage on the tortilla, followed by avocado slices, fish, pickled radish and top with salsa. Sprinkle cilantro leaves and serve.