Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Applying Cooking Techniques at Home
I was so inspired by the cooking demonstration at the University Club that I had to stop at the grocery store on the way home and pick up a couple of ingredients so that I could put my own spin on some of the recipes.

I had already planned on having tilapia fillets for dinner that night. However, after watching Chef Steve Mangan work his culinary magic, I decided to alter my plans slightly.

Here I have kosher salt, black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, individually frozen tilapia fillets, lemon, garlic, fresh thyme and red onion.

Following Chef Mangan's instructions, I have a simple marinade for my fish fillets.

Now on to my interpretations of a couple of the salsas from the cooking demo. First up is my twist on the Tomato and Fresh Ginger Salsa.
I gathered a yellow onion, rice vinegar, grape tomatoes, sugar, cucumber, ginger, scallion and a Serrano pepper. Funny sideline about the Serrano: I bought one at the grocery and it rang up at 4 cents. That's right: $0.04.

I cut the grape tomatoes into quarters and diced a bit of the cucumber and the yellow onion. I sliced some of the scallion and added that to the mix before mincing about 1/4 of the Serrano pepper and adding a dash of the rice vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar. I grated a bit of the frozen, peeled ginger and added that to the mix. Taste and adjust seasonings at this point.

Next up is the Chunky Watermelon Salsa.
I found a small wedge of watermelon for $0.98. I also have sugar, cucumber, lemon, the Serrano, scallion and fresh Italian parsley.
The watermelon and cucumber were chopped and the scallion sliced before being mixed with the remaining ingredients. Again, taste and adjust seasonings to suit.

The Tomato and Fresh Ginger Salsa.

The Chunky Watermelon Salsa.

Next up is my take on the Orange-Wild Rice Salad with Smoked Turkey.

First of all, the turkey in my recipe is not smoked, but simply sauteed in a bit of olive oil.

Disclaimer aside, the ingredients are Dijon mustard, Craisins, orange, kosher salt, black pepper, wild rice, a tea bag, celery, lemon and a turkey cutlet.

The turkey cutlet is cubed and sauteed until cooked through.

The orange is peeled and sliced before being quartered. The craisins, chopped celery and some chopped chives are ready for the other ingredients.

The wild rice is cooked according to package directions for one hour, or until the kernels have popped open. A tea bag is added to the water for flavor.

The vinaigrette is mixed together according to recipe directions and then added to the assembled salad. I just used some fresh orange juice for the vinaigrette, so to add some sweetness to the mix, I added a squeeze of honey.

And dinner is served.

The nutty goodness of the wild rice nicely complements the citrus tang of the orange and the tart bite of the craisins.

Since the tilapia fillets are so thin and delicate, they were sauteed in a pan rather than grilled. The salsas add just the right zip to the mild-flavored fish. My husband liked the fish so much that he had two servings.
This just goes to show you that you can take a good recipe and change it to suit your tastes and needs.


Rosie Hawthorne said...

I think Imonna have to try that.

How was the tea flavor in the rice?

Marilyn said...

Rosie, the flavor of the tea was there, but rather subtle. Just something in the background that lent flavor to the dish. The chef said that you could use any tea that you like, and I used a green tea with herbs since that is what I had on hand.

Hairball said...

It all looks so good, especially that wild rice salad!