Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You can take the Chef out of the kitchen but....

Its been quite a while since I posted anything on my blog. Health issues and some self pity prevented me from even wanting to cook or write. Thanks to some old friends from HS that I have reconnected with, and some awesome family members ( you know who you are CIL ), I think I'm back! LOL. The past couple of weeks I have been cooking alot. So far our summer has been pretty hot ( for NY ) so I am trying to stay out of the kitchen and outside at the grill as much as I can. You'd be suprised how much can be cooked on the grill. My prep work is done as early in the day as I can, with as little work as possible involved. One of my culinary instructors always said "prep" is 90% of the work. I truly believe that. Its the most time consuming and tedious work there is. Get it done and out of the way. Its what we call "Mise en place" which is the french term referring to having all the ingredients necessary for a dish, prepared and ready to combine up to the point of cooking. My mise en place is all ready for tonites dinner. We are having Talapia. Tilapia have very low levels of mercury, as they are fast-growing and short-lived with a primarily vegetarian diet, and thus do not accumulate mercury found in prey. Tilapia is a low total fat, low saturated fat, low calorie, low carbohydrate and low sodium protein source, as well as high in other vitamins and minerals. I will be coating the Talapia with an Japanese spice blend called Shichimi Togarashi which is a combination of red chili flakes, white sesame seeds, nori( seaweed ), dried mandarin orange peel, black hemp seeds, and white poppy seeds. It is also knows as 7 spice seasoning. It has a peppery citrus flavor that brings out the simple and clean flavors of the food used with it. I will cook the fish on the grill using a fish basket since the peices of talapia I have are a bit thin. Each peice of fish will get some of my Mango salsa which couldnt have been easier to make. It enhances the citrus flavor of the Togarashi spice and gives a coolness to the heat of the spice.

Mango Salsa

2 ripe mangoes diced small
1/2 small red onion diced
1/2 roasted red pepper small diced
1/2 jalepeno finely diced no seeds
Juice of 1 small lime
Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to taste. ( salt will bring out the sweetness of the mango)
mix all together and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

I use the mango salsa recipe for Fish and Chicken. I also substitute fruits...I love nectarines and peaches which give a great flavor to Pork(just add some fresh grated ginger) Be creative, try something you like! And remember......BITE ME!

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