{Things I Love} :: Summer 2016

My {Things I Love} list is back for Summer 2016 with some fun and interesting objets de desir, places, people, books, recipes, photography, food and drinks that I’m currently crushing on – not necessarily ordered in terms of my favorite – but are all worthy of a huge shoutout for their awesomeness in my opinion…until next time, Happy End of Summer, and Bon Appetit!

fresh fish cookbook

Fresh Fish Cookbook


Jennifer Trainer Thompson‘s new cookbook has gorgeous photography, amazing seafood recipes and great stories of her living along the New England coast, all the while demystifying how to cook fish simply and deliciously. You’ll find recipes for soups and chowders, shellfish, fish entrees, side dishes, desserts and beachy cocktails for your next Summer seaside feast.

Jennifer is the author of over 20 books, a self-professed hot sauce maker and chicken chaser, and author of the blog Jump Up and Kiss Me, where you can find more of her food stories and recipes.

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https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Fish-Fearless-Grilling-Shucking/dp/1612123376

coconut rose petal ice cream

Coconut and Rose Petal Ice Cream w/ Cardamom Crumble

Not only is this a beautiful Summer dessert, it’s vegan, made with coconut milk and vanilla, fresh rose petals and a cardamom and oats crumble topping.  A dream come true.

Linda Lomelinos of Call Me Cupcake Blog

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Ken & Cook NYC

It’s currently #NYCRestaurantWeek, and we all know what that means. Bingeing on some of the most delicious food and drinks in NYC, without guilt of course, at $42 per person for dinner and $29 per person for lunch including appetizers, entree and dessert. I recently visited Ken and Cook with a friend for dinner the other night and I had a glorious feast of Ahi Poke Tuna, Seafood Ceviche, Filet Mignon with Basil Pesto Mashed Potatoes with a Chocolate Lava Cake w/ Salted Caramel Ice Cream and Tiramisu for dessert. With unlimited Prosecco on the house, at that. The atmosphere was lovely, the staff super attentive and gracious. In a great location in SoHo on Kenmore Street at the best table in the house. Must try – 100% delicious!

http://www.kenandcook.com

nora luther

Nora Luther Food Photography

Being a food stylist and photographer myself, of course I’m obsessed with all things food photography. I discovered Art Director Nora Luther’s food photos from another food blog I visit frequently and was blown away by her photos of food literally flying in the air.  So creative and very cool way to present food in a unique way.

blackberry crostata

Blackberry Chocolate Italian Tart with Coffee Creme Fraiche

OK. I absolutely love fruit tarts in the Summer. But blackberries and chocolate in a whole grain coconut flour crust? Topped with coffee infused creme fraiche? And what a gorgeous presentation at that, by Valentina of Hortus food blog. yes, please. 

pereg flours

Pereg Gourmet Alternative Flours

We all know that gluten-free is all the rage, and Pereg Gourmet just launched a new line of alternative flours this year to give consumers more cooking and baking options for gluten-free diets. They have 6 new varieties including Almond flour, Banana flour, Buckwheat flour, Chickpea flour, Coconut flour and Farro flour. All are gluten free except for the Farro, and are 100% natural, non-dairy and certified kosher. I was fortunate enough to get some samples myself, so it’s time to experiment with some fun recipes for Fall – hmmm, I’m thinking pizza, tarts and pies, homemade pasta..let’s see what I can come up with – stay tuned!

fried chicken gravy poutine

Fried Chicken and Gravy Poutine

O.M.G. – 5 words: fried chicken. gravy. fries. cheese curds. BACON. #yum

http://realfoodbydad.com/fried-chicken-and-gravy-poutine/

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The Capital Grille #GenerousPour Summer Promo

My friends and I visited The Capital Grille the other night on 42nd St in NYC to take advantage of NY Restaurant Week (yes, once again!) and to partake in their #GenerousPour Summer promo. For only $28, were able to taste a variety of 3 whites and 3 reds, handpicked by The Capital Grille to accompany our dinner menu. We had the Clam Chowder (super good!), Dry Aged NY Strip and Grilled Shrimp, Beef Tournados, and Pan-Seared Salmon (all amazing!) with Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes (to. die. for.) and an amazing Creme Brûlée (my favorite!!) for dessert.

My favorite wines were the Provenance Sauvignon Blanc from Napa CA, and the Beaulieu Vineyards Tapestry Cabernet (a bordeaux blend), also from Napa. We managed to stay for a few hours with full bellies and lots of generously poured vino and escaped for less than $100 each, including tip. Now that’s a delicious steal.

http://www.thecapitalgrille.com/events/the-generous-pour-wine-tasting

peach burrata salad

Peach Burrata Salad

This fresh summer salad is the perfect recipe for a light lunch or side dish for dinner. The saltiness of the prosciutto with the subtle heat of the red onion and the creaminess of the burrata is a seriously magical combination. And it’s stunning to look at too, is it not? I’m thinking a side of sparkling rose would just top it off beautifully.

http://www.designlovefest.com/2016/08/peach-and-burrata-salad/

french country cooking cookbook

French Country Cooking Cookbook

Another lovely cookbook from one of my favorite food bloggers, Mimi Thorisson of Manger. Filled with gorgeous as ever French styling and recipes and photos that will make your mouth water and wish you too were living in the countryside of France. Available Oct 25, and for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online…can’t wait to get my hands on it!

lobster tails

Lobster Tails with Mojo de Ajo & Grilled Corn Salsa

I love anything grilled, and this recipe absolutely screams Summer. Grilled lobster tails with garlic, chipotle, cilantro and lime marinade and a side of grilled corn salsa with more spicy flavors like jalapeño, onions, and basil. Sounds divine. Must make tonight.

http://www.upcloseandtasty.com/blog/2014/july/lobster-tails-with-grilled-corn-salsa

caprese mac and cheese

4 Cheese Caprese Mac and Cheese

O.M.G. Pasta. Heirloom tomatoes and basil. All baked into a bubbly pot with 4 melty cheeses – cheddar, havarti, mozzarella and brie. Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest does it again. Gorgeous and delicious as always.

 

Spiced Moroccan Burgers with Green Harissa, Feta and Mint over Grilled Pita

Spiced Moroccan Burgers with Green Harissa, Feta and Mint

If you haven’t tried Moroccan Harissa before, listen up. It’s a lovely pepper sauce blend made with chili peppers, bell peppers, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt. That’s it. And it’s totally delicious.

Mina Green Harissa


Harissa is a staple of Tunisian and Moroccan cuisine, and it is the central condiment in kitchens in North Africa used as a spread, a dip or drizzled on top of nearly any dish. Versatile as it is, you can pair it with lamb or pork, fish, chicken or beef as a marinade or base for a Moroccan tagine dish. Drizzle some over couscous and grilled vegetables, or use it as a dressing for potatoes or dip some grilled flatbread or pita in it.

Mina Harissa

I first tried Mina Harissa Pepper Sauce last year when I met owner and creator Mina from Casablanca Foods at the Just Food Conference, and fell in love. They were giving away samples of their red pepper Harissa sauce that came in three different styles (Mild, Medium and Spicy). It had just the right amount of heat, and tons of flavor from the chilies, bell peppers and garlic.

Sun-dried tomatoes, feta and mint

They now have a new flavor made with green chilies and green peppers that is equally delicious with a medium spicy heat and tangy flavor. I was lucky enough to sample some of this new green goodness sauce and created a tasty, fun recipe to go with it – Spiced Moroccan Burgers with Green Harissa, Feta and Mint over Grilled Pita. The burgers are mildly spiced with cumin, ancho chile, onion, garlic and mint, then served over grilled pita and topped with the green harissa sauce, crumbly fresh feta, chopped fresh mint and sun dried tomatoes. They’re super easy to make, and super flavorful with the delicious blend of spices, fresh herbs and ingredients. Enjoy!

Learn more about Mina Harissa

Shop for Mina Harissa products online at Abe’s Market or Amazon.com

Spiced Moroccan Burgers with Green Harissa, Feta and Mint

Ingredients

  • SPICED MOROCCAN BURGERS
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup mint, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic herb infused oil, for basting
  • 1/2 cup Mina Harissa Green Harissa Pepper Sauce
  • 2-4 sun dried tomatoes, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped for garnish
  • Dash of smoked paprika, for garnish
  • GRILLED PITA BREAD
  • 2-4 pieces of pita or flatbread
  • 1-2 tablespoon garlic herb infused oil
  • Sea Salt, for garnish
  • Smoked paprika, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef or lamb with the next 8 ingredients (through minced garlic).
  3. Gently knead the meat mixture together until ingredients are combined, and make 4-6 burger patties in the shape of an oval, brush burger patties with herb infused oil and set aside.
  4. To make the grilled pita bread: drizzle a tablespoon of herb infused oil on to both sides of the pitas and grill for a few minutes on each side until lightly browned and grill marks appear. Cook each pita separately (depending on the size of your grill pan).
  5. Remove pita from pan and sprinkle with sea salt and smoked paprika, cover with foil to keep warm while burgers are cooking.
  6. Add the burger patties to the heated grill pan, and cook approximately 4 minutes on each side (for medium) until grill marks appear and they are cooked according to your liking.
  7. To serve, place a piece of pita bread on each plate (either whole or broken into two pieces) and place burgers on top of the pita (or in the pita if you prefer).
  8. Top burgers with sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, green harissa sauce, fresh chopped mint, a dash of smoked paprika, additional salt and pepper if desired, to taste.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/04/08/spiced-moroccan-burgers-with-green-harissa-feta-and-mint-over-grilled-pita/

Spiced Moroccan Burgers with Green Harissa, Feta and Mint over Grilled Pita Bread

All recipes, photographs, copy and content on this post and website are copyrighted © 2010-2013 by Kristen Hess/The Artful Gourmet. Please do not use, share or distribute this content in any way without expressed permission from me first. I received a bottle of Mina Harissa Green Harissa Sauce for product sampling. All opinions expressed are my own and this is not a paid advertisement.

Thai Sea Bass in Banana Leaves

Thai Sea Bass in Banana Leaves
Thai Sea Bass in Banana Leaves

This is a lovely Thai dish, not only in taste but in presentation. I made this with some good friends of mine in Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend on their Big Green Egg grill. If you haven’t seen one of these things – its totally cool and easy to use. And it’s BIG. And GREEN. And looks like and EGG. It’s actually a ceramic grill and smoker that reaches temperatures up to 700 degrees F and has the ability to grill, smoke or steam everything on the planet in about 15-20 minutes. Very cool. Anyways, we decided to make this Thai Sea Bass in Banana Leaves recipe from their Big Green Egg Cookbook and took a trip over to the Dekalb Farmer’s Market (which is also totally awesome if you haven’t been there – you must!). We picked up some fresh Sea Bass steaks (you can also use fillets), herbs, red curry paste, and banana leaves (which actually come frozen and need to be defrosted and cut down to size first before using).

Banana leaves are often used in Thai cooking to wrap around fish and add subtle flavor to whatever food they surround. This recipe was surprisingly easy to make and had wonderful tasty Asian flavors from the fresh herbs (basil, mint, cilantro, ginger and garlic and Thai chile) and lime. The red curry sauce is also easy to make by adding some paste to coconut milk and chicken stock and letting it simmer down while you grill/steam the fish in the banana leaves on the Big Green Egg. You just lay down a strip of the herb mixture, top it with some fish and lime slices, drizzle a little bit of oil, salt and pepper and then wrap the fish up in the leaves into cute little packets and throw them on the Big Green Egg (or any covered grill will do). After about 15-20 minutes you just unwrap the little packets, and top the fish with the curry sauce and serve with a side of lemony buttered green beans and fresh corn on the cob to go with it. Fresh, healthy and delicious.

Ingredients


1 (15 ounce) can coconut milk
1 teaspoon red curry paste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup firmly packed chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup firmly packed chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup firmly packed chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup crushed garlic
1 thinly sliced red jalapeno or serrano pepper
4 banana leaves (cut to 12 inches square)
4 (6 to 7 ounce) sea bass fillets or steaks
1 lime, cut into 8 thin slices
2 tablespoons canola oil or spray
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Big Green Egg
Big Green Egg

Preheat the EGG (or grill) to 350 degrees F.

Sea Bass and lime
Sea Bass and lime

Prep fish and lime and set aside to begin making coconut curry.

Red Curry Coconut Sauce
Red Curry Coconut Sauce

To make the sauce, combine the coconut milk, curry paste and chicken stock in a small saucepan. Simmer on the stovetop over medium heat for 10 minutes, then keep warm.

Chopped Herbs
Chopped Herbs

Combine all the herbs (basil, mint, cilantro, ginger, garlic and chile) in a medium bowl and mix well.

Banana Leaves
Banana Leaves

Lay the banana leaves out flat,

Sea Bass & Herbs on Leaves
Sea Bass & Herbs on Leaves

and place 3 to 4 tablespoons of the herb mixture on the center of each leaf and top each mound of herbs with fish.

Fish, Herbs and Lime on Leaves
Fish, Herbs and Lime on Leaves

Top each packet with 2 lime slices and 1/2 teaspoon canola oil (or some oil spray).

Folding Banana Leaf Packets
Folding Banana Leaf Packets

Season with salt and pepper and begin folding packets by folding the sides of the leaf inward, then fold the top and bottom over and tucking the ends under (kinda like making a banana leaf fish burrito!!).

Folded Leaves ready for the grill
Folded Leaves ready for the grill

Secure each packet with butcher’s twine and brush or spray more oil on the outside of the leaves.

Grilled Banana Leaves
Grilled Banana Leaves

Place the leaves directly on the EGG porcelain-coated grid (or regular grill if using) and close the lid. Grill for 7 to 8 minutes per side, until the interior of the fish is opaque (unwrap a package and insert a knife into the fish to test). Transfer the fish to individual plates, remove the twine, open the top, and spoon the curry sauce over the fish. Serve while hot and with a side of buttery lemon green beans and fresh corn on the cob. For wine pairing, serve with a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.

Serves 4.

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Get more great recipes for the Big Green Egg

Check out the Big Green Egg Cookbook

 

 

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