Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stuffed White Fish Rolls

Since my Man rekindled his love for fishing, we started eating a lot more white fish - before we ate it once a month at best. After I tasted the fish that he catches, I realized that the best fish is a fresh wild-caught fish. Second best fish is the one that you caught and froze by yourself the same day. And then goes anything else, meaning whatever you can find in your local store. Of course, my rambling shouldn't stop you from buying fish in the store - not everybody has the opportunity to go fishing or gets excited about spending all day on a boat or a pier, juggling fishing poles and dealing with the stinky, slimy bait. Besides this hobby also requires a lot of patience which I don't have. But I still feel a part of the fishing team, because I am the one who cooks the catch. Usually I stick to a simple egg wash with some flour or breadcrumbs for coating the fillets, but sometimes I feel more adventurous. One day I plan to make this particular dish with the catch that my Man brings. The fish turns out moist with a piquant combination of veggies and shrimp inside and authentic Indian flavors outside.
I experimented with different kinds of white fish for this dish (e.g. sole, pacific basa), and I can tell you that any type goes as long as it is a fillet with no bones. If you choose bigger fish (like pacific basa), go for a smaller fillet, because it's going to be tough to roll up, and the roll is going to be too thick. 
This dish is perfect for a family dinner or as one of the main courses at a big event.


6 fillets white fish
½ cup shrimp, cooked
½ medium bell pepper, cubed
½ cup zucchini, cubed
¼ cup white parts of spring onions, chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Brushing paste 
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 cup tandoori paste
½ tbsp thyme
1 rosemary sprig

Preheat the oven to 400°F/ 200°C. 

Wash the fillets and pat dry with a paper towel. Season the fish with salt on both sides. Mix together shrimp, bell pepper, zucchini, spring onions and Worcestershire sauce. Add salt and pepper. Spoon the filling on the end of each fillet and roll it up. Secure the fillets with toothpicks or thread, if necessary. Put the rolls in a baking dish seam side down.
For your brushing paste, mix together lemon juice, tandoori paste and thyme. Brush the top and sides of each roll with the mixture. Put a sprig of rosemary on top of the rolls and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake it in the oven for 30 minutes. Your rolls are ready to be served.  To give the fillets a nice golden hue and a thin crust, remove the foil and place them back to cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve hot with mashed potatoes, rice or salad.


I was writing this post sitting on a beautiful Goleta beach in Santa Barbara, while my Man was fishing from the pier. I just wanted to share some relaxing and exciting moments of the trip with you:)

The guy fishing next to us caught a shark! This was the first time I've ever seen a shark so close!

You are probably thinking:"Ok, a picture of the ocean, nothing special". But if you look closely, you'll see something in the middle....  and this something is a Whale!:)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sesame Salmon Appetizer

These sesame salmon hors d’oeuvres are super easy to make and will add a touch of vibrant color to your table.  For a salty and bold flavor, opt for the salted salmon as a base for the recipe. If you are looking to add a mild flavor appetizer to your dinner table, choose the sashimi-style salmon - it has a subtle scent of orange and the dish is so delicate that it melts in your mouth.

Preparing salmon:
Sashimi - style salmon:

1 lb fresh salmon fillet
a little bit over ½ cup sugar
a little bit over ½ cup salt
1 orange, sliced

Wash salmon in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Mix salt and sugar in a glass pan big enough to fit the fillet. Dip salmon in a mixture making sure all sides are covered with salt and sugar. Take the fillet out and shake the mixture off. Cover the salmon with orange slices and put it in a covered glass container in a fridge for 1 hour.
Discard the orange and skin the fillet.

Salted salmon:

Make salted salmon according to this recipe.

Making appetizers: 

Sesame seeds
Black olives, pitted and sliced

Cut the salted salmon fillet in cubes. Heat the frying pan on a medium heat setting and cook sesame seeds for 1-2 minutes constantly stirring. Roll each cube in sesame seeds. Adjust the amount of seeds according to your taste. Place an olive slice on top of each hors d’oeuvre and secure with a skewer.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Crepes (Blintzes)


I am always excited to share the dishes that are so versatile that you can make them for any occasion. I find that crepes are one of those extremely multipurpose foods. They are like a blank canvas – you can turn them into anything from wonderful desserts to amazing savory appetizers.

To serve them as appetizers you need to choose a filling and secure it inside the crepe. There are many ways to do so:
  • Tubes: put the filling on one end and roll it up like you would an enchilada
  • Squares: put the filling in the middle and close the four sides like the top of the box
  • Triangles: put the filling in the middle and fold it over twice
There are numerous ideas for fillings and I am a big fan of the following: ham and cheese, salted salmon, ricotta cheese with spinach, mashed potatoes with mushrooms and etc. Here is a quick filling recipe to try: cook chicken, mushrooms and onion according to this recipe, add some cheese and you have a great savory filling for a crepe.

To serve them as a dessert you can go a total “Jackson Pollock” on them:) Sprinkle them with powdered sugar, “drip paint” some chocolate syrup or berry sauce and you have a simple and delicious dessert (or work of art if you wish:). Another great way to finish a nice dinner is to have a couple of warm crepes with a scoop of ice cream and some cut berries or banana on the side.

Crepes can be prepared in advance and stored in a fridge for 2 days or in a freezer for 2 months. 
Crepes are great when you have a big event coming or just want to make something special and fun for your family!

2 cups milk
3 eggs
a little over 1 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar (2 tbsp for sweet crepes)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil + some for greasing the pan
1/4 stick butter
½ potato, peeled (for greasing the pan)

Making the batter:
In a bowl combine eggs, salt and sugar and blend well. Add 1 cup of milk to the mixture and blend again. Add the flour to the bowl and whisk until the batter is smooth. Pour in the rest of the milk and whisk again. Stir in the oil and let the batter settle for 15 minutes.

Put the butter in a small bowl and microwave it until it is melted. Set it on the side with a brush. Prepare a plate to put cooked crepes on. Pour some oil in a bowl and keep a potato in it – use the potato to grease the pan (you can also use a piece of paper towel folded several times to grease the surface, but I find that the potato takes the perfect amount of oil and you don’t burn your fingers). Lightly grease a pancake pan and heat it until it is very hot. Keep the heat setting on high. Scoop half of the ladle of the batter and pour it in the center of the pan. Swirl the pan to cover it evenly with batter. Cook until the ends of the crepe become crispy and light brown (40-45 sec). Pick it up with spatula and turn it to cook the other side. Once it’s ready, move it to the plate and brush with melted butter. Continue to make the rest of the crepes. Serve hot.

Makes 12-13 crepes.

  • Grease the pan every time before pouring batter
  • Brush the crepes with butter as soon as they are out from the pan 
  • Do not use electric mixer to make the batter – use a whisk
  • Experiment with the amount of batter you put on the pan – it all depends on the size of the pan


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Elegant Chicken and Mushroom Appetizer

I could not wait to write about this particular dish! On top of being incredibly delicious, there is something remarkably elegant and sophisticated about this appetizer. Every time I eat it I picture myself having a meal in a Parisian café listening to soft jazz (something like Sous Le Ciel de Paris by Duo Gadjo:) and enjoying every bit of it!
This chicken and mushroom dish will make it seem like you have spent the whole day in the kitchen without you having to do so. A simple sauce combined with cheese gives this appetizer a very rich taste. Mushrooms and chicken are distinctive, and the top of the dish is soft and gooey. It is quite filling compared to other appetizers, so make less servings per person than you would normally do.


½ lb white mushrooms, sliced or shredded
1 half breast/meat of 3 drumsticks, cooked and shredded or cut in small pieces
½ onion, chopped
½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated
cooking oil

200 gr sour cream
1 tbsp butter
½ tbsp plain flour

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook onion over moderate heat until it is soft and translucent (5 minutes). Transfer onion to a plate. Change the heat setting to a medium. Cook mushrooms in the same pan until ready (appr. 5 minutes).  Add them to your plate with onions.

Making the sauce:
Heat the pan over moderate heat and add flour. Stir it constantly for a couple of minutes until it changes the color from white to beige. Add the butter and melt it by constantly mixing it with the flour. Add sour cream and salt to the pan and cook the sauce for 5 minutes stirring occasionally so it doesn’t get burned. Add chicken, mushrooms and onion to the pan and mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Cook the mixture for 5 more minutes stirring it occasionally. Remove the pan from the stove top.  Take 1/3 of the prepared cheese and mix it in.

Preheat the oven to 350°F/ 180°C. Divide the mixture equally between the ramekins. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is all melted. Put under the broiler for 5-10 minutes for browning the cheese. Serve it hot.

Makes 4 servings


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Homestyle Chicken Enchiladas

The story behind this recipe is kind of amusing:) One day I was talking to my mother-in-law:
I: I have all this chicken meat left from the soup. I don’t know what to make with it.
She: Just make enchiladas.
I: I’ve never made them in my life!
She: Oh it’s so simple – you just cut the chicken, mix in the beans, little bit of sour cream, little bit of sauce, cilantro. Roll it up in a tortilla and that’s it. Oh and don’t forget a lot of cheese! Very easy!

It didn’t sound easy to me at all – where are the measurements?:-) But I just went with it and through experimenting with quantities I came to this recipe that both my Man and I love. These enchiladas have a chewy shell and a creamy filling inside with soft chunks of chicken and beans. Try making them and let me know what you think!


1 half of chicken breast or 200-300 gr of any chicken meat, cooked
1 can (30oz) of refried beans 
¾ cup of shredded cheese (I make a mix of Monterey Jack, Mild Cheddar and Mozzarella) + some on top
29 oz green or red enchilada sauce (I use SunVista brand)
sour cream
cilantro, finely chopped
flour or corn tortillas
a pinch of salt
a pinch of pepper 
Preheat the oven to 350°F/ 180°C.
Cut the chicken meat in small pieces or shred it using 2 forks. In a large bowl mix chicken, cheese, refried beans, cilantro, 2 tbsp of sour cream and ½ cup of sauce. Add salt and pepper. Place tortillas in the microwave for 15 seconds to soften them up. Spoon the filling on one end or the center of the tortilla and roll it up. Pour approximately ½-1 cup of the sauce in the baking dish to cover the bottom evenly. Place the enchilada in the dish. Fill and roll the remaining tortillas and place them in a single layer in the dish. Pour the remaining sauce over them. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Take the cover off and leave for another 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream on the side.

Makes 8-10 flour enchiladas and twice as many corn enchiladas.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pasta and Shrimp Dish

We all are constantly looking for simple dinner meal recipes that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. We want to come home and make a nutritious meal for our loved ones that will look and taste amazing, and the cooking process will not sap the last drops of energy we have left at the end of a busy day.
Whether you are making dinner for your family or you have guests coming, this pasta dish would be a great choice. It is quick to prepare and sure to please everyone. When the weather is nice, bring it out on the patio and enjoy with a glass of your favorite wine!

½ lb pasta any kind
1 lb (20/25 count) fresh/frozen shrimp
1 can (28 oz) of diced tomatoes
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
parsley/cilantro, finely or roughly chopped

If you are using fresh shrimp, peel and devein it. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil over medium to high heat. Add shrimp and cook until lightly browned on both sides. Do not overcook it because it will have a rubbery texture and lose a lot of its natural flavor. Remove the shrimp from the pan. Put the heat to a medium setting and add tomatoes and garlic to the pan, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens (12-15 minutes). Meanwhile cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
Add the shrimp and strained pasta to the sauce and mix. The dish is ready to be served. Garnish with parsley or cilantro, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.


  • Add red pepper flakes to spice up the dish