Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Satay-Style Squid with Spicy Peanut Sauce

When we received fresh market squid as our CSF-share from Real Good Fish yesterday, we couldn't agree on how to use it. I wanted to make a Marinated Squid Salad; the boys wanted to grill it. So, we did both! And, about the title, I called this "satay-style" because I think satay requires a stick/skewer. I didn't skewer these, but you easily could.


  • 1/2 to 3/4 lb fresh market squid, cleaned (I used only the tubes for this recipe)
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 C coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari
  • 3 T mirin
  • 2 T minced fresh ginger or ginger paste
Peanut Sauce
  • 1 1/2 C organic creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 C organic coconut milk
  • 3 T water
  • 3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 T coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 1 T hot sauce  (feel free to add more if you prefer more heat)
  • 1 T minced fresh ginger or ginger paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
Peanut Sauce
In a small mixing bowl, blend all of the ingredients together until smooth. Adjust for heat, as needed. You may like yours more spicy.

Mix together the coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari, ginger, and mirin in a large bowl to make the marinade. Set aside.

Place squid tubes in a large pot. Cover them with water. Make sure they are submerged by at least 1" of water. Bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water boils, drain the squid.

Place the squid in the bowl with the marinade. Marinate the squid for, at least, 10 minutes at room temperature, turning once halfway through.

Preheat your grill or grill pan. Grill the squid for about 2 minutes on each side, weighing them down (I usually place a pot lid on top of them) to get the nice grill marks.

The squid will turn from translucent to opaque. Take care not to overcook as squid turns rubbery if grilled too long. Move the grilled squid to a serving plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with the peanut sauce.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Marinated Squid Salad

Our CSF (that's community supported fishery) pick-up days is one of my favorite dinner days of the week. We love Real Good Fish for the quality, the freshness, and the philosophy! Today, Real Good Fish delivered to all of its members fresh market squid that was pulled up yesterday. Talk about fresh...

I wanted to make something simple that really highlighted the squid. Since we couldn't agree, I made two recipes. This was the first.

  • 1/2 to 3/4 lb fresh market squid, cleaned
  • 1 C organic heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 C thinly sliced organic red onion
  • 3 T capers
  • 3 to 4 T olive oil
  • 1 to 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 to 2 T fresh parsley, minced

Place squid tubes and tentacles in a large pot. Cover them with water. Make sure they are submerged by at least 1" of water. Bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water boils, drain the squid. Once they are cool enough to handle, slice the tubes into rings. Place them in a large mixing bowl.

Add in the cherry tomatoes, sliced onions, and capers. Pour in the oil, lemon juice, and vinegar, starting with 3 T oil and 1 T each of the lemon juice and vinegar.

Fold in the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning before serving. If you prefer it more tart, you may need more balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. I did!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Codorniz en Mole Poblano (Quail in Mole Poblano)

Yesterday I went to a mole making class with a bunch of friends. Click for that post which includes the recipe for Mole Poblano

We has so much fun and ended up with lots of leftover sauce. So, for dinner tonight I decided to use some quail to make Codorniz en Mole Poblano (Quail in Mole Poblano). This is so easy and so tasty...thanks to the delicious sauce from our class.

Ingredients serves 4 

  • 4 semi-deboned quail (I order mine from D'Artagnan, they are approximately 4 ounces each)
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 t fresh parsley, minced
  • mole poblano

Place quail on a platter. While the grill or grill pan heats, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and parsey. Drizzle with olive oil. Warm the mole sauce in a small skillet and keep warm.

When the pan is hot. Place the quail flat and cook them for 4 to 6 minutes. Check on them once or twice to make sure that they are not browning too quickly. Spoon some mole sauce on them and flip them over. Cook on the other side for 4 to 6 minutes. If they are still not cooked through, flip and cook for another few minutes.

To serve, ladle 1/4 C of mole poblano on each plate. Set the grilled quail on top of the sauce. Serve with more sauce on the side. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Mole Making Class and Mole Poblano for #CooktheBooks

This round Debra of Eliot's Eats chose our August-September selection. Her announcement post is here...and her joint Cook the Books-Food'N'Flix announcement is here!

The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by F.G. Haghenbeck* is our current Cook the Books project. Submissions are due at the end of next month, for both groups, you have some time if you want to join the fun.

images from
On the Page...
I can probably pick out a Frida Kahlo painting; they're pretty distinctive. But I definitely can't say that I knew much about her life before I read this book. So, I was instantly intrigued by the premise of The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo.

The titular secret book, containing recipes for offerings on the Day of the Dead, was found among her personal effects at  her childhood home, La Casa Azul. The book mysteriously vanished the day it was supposed to be exhibited.

This is just one of the many things that vexed me. Did this book actually exist? Did it actually disappear? Were these her actual recipes?? While it appears that this is a biographical work, it is labeled as "a novel." So, where do facts cease and literary license begin? I really have no clue and I found that doubt and confusion clouding my enjoyment of the book.

As in many novels from that part of the world, I'm thinking of Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel or The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, there is an overt mysticism and a tangible connection between the spirit world and this world. For example, Frida regularly interacts with Death and the Messenger; her suicide attempt is even twarted by a woman who has been dead for many years.

Frida's identity could not easily be articulated. Artist, yes. Communist revolutionary, yes. Wife, yes. Lover, yes. I have to admit that her series of affairs, both heterosexual and homosexual, were a bit off-putting to me. And the explicitness of the sex scenes were also written in a decidedly juvenile manner. I want to say it's more a product of a poor translation more than poor writing. But I can't be certain. What I can say is that if even half of the stories are true, she led a colorful life with her volatility and her passions.

On My Plate...
While I didn't love the book itself, I immensely enjoyed the recipes in the book. Whether they were her actual recipes, or not, they sounded delicious. And out of pure serendipity, during the month when this book was assigned for Cook the Books, I attended a mole cooking class with several of our friends. This is the recipe we learned and not one of the ones included in the book. But I thought it was still timely and wanted to share it.

Mole. Apparently, it just means sauce - a sauce made with chiles. And Cesario Ruiz of My Mom's Mole who was teaching the class likened it to curry. "It's a like a Mexican curry. You know, every cook has a different way of making it and each curry tastes different," Ruiz said. "And you can taste the time, love, and passion in each one."

In that sense, I think this is a perfect recipe to share in a month that we're reading a book with a passionate protagonist who often made mole for her family and lovers.

When Jenn and I look the class ourselves, several months ago, we made a mole negro. This time around, we made a mole poblano which honors the Puebla de los Angeles in Mexico. The mole involved many, many steps that all included frying different ingredients in lard. "More lard!" one of the kids would holler over the the din of the hood fan. One of the kids quipped, "I think making mole is about love, passion, and lard."

Indeed, if you're squeamish about lard, this recipe is not for you. Cesario broke the recipe into groups of ingredients. He said that it would take him mom about three days to complete a recipe like this. With modern kitchen equipment, we were able to do it in about three hours.

makes 6 to 8 C of mole so you'll have lots and lots of leftovers for other dishes

Group 1
  • 7 to 8 pounds of pork, cut into large chunks
  • water
  • 1 carrot, chopped into large pieces
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 8 peppercorns
Group 2
  • 10 dried peppers (we used a mixture of pasilla and ancho peppers)
Group 3
  • 3 ounces raw almonds
  • 2 ounces raw pumpkin seeds
  • 8 T raw sesame seeds
  • 3 t minced garlic
Group 4
  • 4 cloves
  • 12 coriander seeds
  • 1/2" cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces
  • 1 star anise, broke into small pieces
  • 1 T pepper seeds, reserved from Group 2 chiles
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 2 T raisins
Group 5
  • 1-1/2 tablets Mexican chocolate
  • 3 small corn tortillas
  • 1 piece bread
  • 3 fresh tomatillos
Group 6
  • salt, as needed
  • lard, as needed (don't be shy!)


Group 1
Fill a large stockpot with water and bring it to a simmer. In a large, flat-bottom pan or skillet melt lard. 

Sear the pork pieces on all sides and carefully drop them into the water.

Heat the pan with another bit of lard. Cook the onions and carrots until they have a nice, golden color. Stir in the garlic and peppercorns. Saute for a few more minutes and add them to the pork stock. Once the stock has boiled for at least 30 minutes, taste and add salt as needed.

Using gloves, clean the peppers by removing the stems and seeds.

Save the seeds as they will be used later.

Melt more lard in the skillet and saute the peppers. They are delicate and you just needs them warmed in the lard.

Place the cooked peppers in a jar and pour in enough pork stock to cover the peppers. Every 15 minutes or so, turn the peppers in the stock, making sure they stay submerged.

Melt 1 T lard in a skillet and toast the nuts, toasting each type individually. When they are all golden brown, place them in the bowl. Toast the sesame seeds until they begin to pop. Place those in the bowl with the nuts, too.

Melt 1 T large in the skillet and toast the spices. I started with the cinnamon sticks, star anise, clove, chili pepper seeds, and ended with the oregano and the raisins. Once toasted, place them in the bowl with the nuts and seeds.

Toast the tortillas and bread in the skillet and set aside.

Peel and rinse the tomatillos.

In a large blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients into one large bowl - the peppers, the nuts, the spices, the tomatillos, the bread, and the tortillas.

Adding in stock, as needed, purée everything until the consistency you want.

In a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, pour in the purée. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the chocolate until melted.

Adjust seasoning as needed. One of the teams used more chocolate because they wanted it more sweet. Another team's mole had a nuttier flavor. And the third team added quite a bit of cayenne for a mole with great kick!

The evening of our class, we feasted with rice steamed in the pork stock, pork from the stock, and the moles. All three of the moles were different. One was more sweet, one was more nutty, and the last was the most spicy. All were made with time, love, and passion. What fun to taste the versions side by side!

Have you ever made mole? What kind did you make? I look forward to exploring more of the moles in the book.

Up Next...
Simona of briciole will be hosting the October-November Cook the Books. We'll be reading Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots by Jessica Soffer.*

*This blog currently has a partnership with in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to and search for the item of your choice.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Watermelon Chabis Crostini #CrazyIngredientChallenge

I love the idea behind the Crazy Ingredient Challenge (CIC). In the CIC, we are assigned two ingredients to cook and create. This month, Kelly of Passion Kneaded is hosting. So, here goes...

August's Crazy Ingredient Challenge = goat cheese and watermelon

Chabis is a French cheese made with goat milk. It has a delicate flavor and is really just a pillow of fresh goat cheese.

I decided to make an easy appetizer with a smear of chabis topped with cubes of sweet watermelon and earthy roasted beets.

To stay with the pink thing  I had going on, I added tiny pink rose petals and poured a Vinho Verde Rosé.


  • baguette, sliced and toasted
  • chabis
  • 1/2 C cubed watermelon
  • 1/2 C cubed roasted beets (here's how to roast beets)
  • 1 T fresh basil, finely sliced
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • organic rose petals, optional

Place watermelon and beets in a small mixing bowl. Fold in the basil. Add 1 T olive oil and toss to coat. Smear the chabis on the toasted baguette slices. Lay the bread on a serving platter. Spoon the watermelon-beet mixture over the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scatter rose petals over the top. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

To Saint-Émilion with Plum & Mustard-Glazed Pork Chops #Winophiles

Welcome to the August event for The French Winophiles, a wine-swilling, food-loving group coordinated by Christy of Confessions of a Culinary Diva. We've made it around France. And by clicking on the following regions you can read my recipe post that includes the #winophiles round-up as well. So far, we've traveled - by tabletop and goblet - to the Loire Valley, Corsicathe SouthwestLanguedoc-Roussillon, Côtes du Rhône, Bordeaux, Champagne, BurgundyAlsace, and Médoc.

Now that we've made the rounds, we're revisiting regions with a little more specificity. So, today, the crew is heading to the Saint-Émilion/Saint-Émilion Satelites.

The Conversation
Join us for a live Twitter Chat Saturday, August 20th at 11 am EST/8 am PCT. You may join in the revelry by following hashtag #winophiles.

Here's where we're headed next: September 17th - Graves and Entre-Deux-Mers. Join us for our upcoming events by emailing your post title to Christy at or Jill at  A Vôtre Santé!
from Corney & Barrow's website
To Saint-Émilion...
Saint-Émilion is located less than 25 miles northeast of Bordeaux - between Libourne and Castillon-la-Bataille. And its wine-making history goes back to as early as the 2nd century when the Romans planted vineyards in the region. By the 4th century Ausonius, the Latin poet, was extolling the virtues of the vines.

Saint-Émilion was named after the monk Émilion who settled in a hermitage carved into the rock there in the 8th century. It was his order of monks who began the commercial wine production in the area.

Though much smaller than the Médoc, Saint-Émilion is one of the principal red wine-making areas in Bordeaux. As with other appellations on the Gironde (an estuary where the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers collide), the primary grape varietals are Merlot and Cabernet Franc; Cabernet Sauvignon is used by some.

What Everyone Else is Pouring...

In My Glass...
I decided to go with a Merlot from Saint-Émilion made by Château de Bellevue. While there are obvious exceptions to this rule, I find Merlots generally softer and fleshier than Cabernet and with fewer tannins.

This one - grown in the clay and limestone soils of the right bank of the Garonne River - boasted deep, silky berry tones.

On My Plate...
When I uncorked the bottle, a 2011 vintage, I was reminded of a ripe plum galette with a lemon-zested crust. While I could have actually created that pairing, I opted to go with an entree that highlighted both the plum notes and the slight zing.

  • 4-5 bone-in pork chops
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 8 to 10 t plum jam (here's a recipe)
  • 8 to 10 t spicy brown mustard
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 organic onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • fresh plum, sliced for garnish

Place your pork chops on a platter and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a pan. 

Place the pork chops in the pan and spoon 1 t plum jam and 1 t mustard on top of each. 

Smear the jam and mustard together and smooth to the edge of the chop. Let the chop sear and cook for about 5 minutes until nicely browned.

Flip the chop over and repeat the process with the jam and mustard. Cook until cooked through, approximately 5 minutes. Remove the chops from the pan to rest.

While the meat rests, saute your onions till softened and translucent. I use the same pan so that it has some of the jam and mustard flavors in it. 

To serve, place a heap of onions on a plate. Lay the meat on top of the onions. Spoon any leftover sauce in the pan over the top and garnish with a few fresh plum slices. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Spiced Rockfish Burgers with Collard Slaw #FishFridayFoodies

Remember that we kicked off Fish Friday Foodies earlier this year. It's a group of seafood-loving bloggers, coordinated by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm. We share fish and seafood recipes on the third Friday of the month. 

This month, Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen is hosting. Here was her challenge to the group: "Let's create some tasty fish and seafood burger recipes to throw on the grill since summer is in full swing (Well, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere)! They don't have to be cooked on the grill. Large burgers or sliders are fine. Please be sure to feature chopped/minced/ground fish or seafood here (by hand or in the food processor), NOT whole fillets."

The only seafood burger I've ever made was this one (above) - salmon patties with homemade cuttlefish buns. But I'm always up for an adventure and a culinary challenge!

I had considered a shrimp burger but noticed that several of the bloggers had planned shrimp burgers already; I wanted to do something different. At the fish market, I found fresh, wild-caught rockfish and decided to go with that.


Rockfish Burger
  • 1-1/2 pounds rockfish fillets
  • 1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T capers
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t minced lemongrass
  • 1 t minced ginger
  • pinch of dried Thai chilis (optional)
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 2 T gluten-free tamari
  • 2 T gluten-free flour blend
  • butter for cooking

  • 1⁄2 C rice wine vinegar
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1⁄2 t minced lemongrass
  • 1⁄2 t minced ginger
  • 1 T gluten-free tamari
  • 1⁄2 small head green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 T fresh parsley, minced
  • 6 leaves collard greens, stemmed and chiffonaded

To Serve

  • collard greens for garnish
  • thinly sliced red onions
  • capers
  • avocado, peeled and sliced
  • mango, peeled and sliced
  • cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • fresh parsley, finely minced
  • smoked paprika
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper


Make the coleslaw: Whisk vinegar, sugar, oil, lemongrass, ginger, and tamari together in a large bowl; add parsley, collards greens, and cabbage. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Rockfish Burger
Remove any bones from the fillets. Using a chef's knife, chop the fish until it resembles pea-sized chunks. Combine all ingredients - except butter - in medium bowl, mixing well. Once everything is combined nicely, form into 1" thick patties. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add rockfish patties. Cook until just firm to touch and brown and crusty, approximately 3 minutes on each side.

To Serve
In a small mixing bowl, toss the parsley and cucumber together. Slice the avocado and mango.

Lay collard greens on your serving plate. Place a mound of slaw in the middle of the leaf. Lay the cooked rockfish burger on top of the the slaw. Garnish with red onions and capers. Arrange cucumber, avocado, and mango slices around the burger. Sprinkle the mango with smoked paprika. Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

All the Fish Burgers...

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