Monday, June 17, 2013

Greek marlin

Marlin! Not just a professional baseball team it seems. We had some marlin steaks the other night and before I could figure out how to cook it, I had to figure out what "it" was. This saltwater white fish is similar to swordfish, just sliiightly tougher. It's best served grilled or fried but in an attempt to keep things a tad healthier, I found a recipe that involved baking. As a general rule of thumb, baking time is 10 minutes per inch thickness (so 5 minutes/side for a 1 inch thick piece). Don't overcook or you'll end up with a dry, tasteless, sad little fishy! I tweaked this Greek marlin recipe (found here) to make my own delicious concoction.

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tomatoes, cubed
  • 4 oz chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic, divided
  • 1 tbsp feta cheese
  • 2 (6 oz) Marlin steaks

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 tbsp garlic in a medium pot, over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, stir in the tomatoes, basil, and lime juice. Just before the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low. Toss in feta cheese about a minute before serving.
  3. In a small pot, melt the remaining butter, and mix in remaining garlic.
  4. Arrange the marlin steaks in a baking pan, and drizzle with the butter and garlic mixture from the small pot.
  5. Bake the fish for 7 minutes in the preheated oven. Turn fish, and continue baking 7 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork. Spoon the tomato mixture over the fish to serve. 
fresh veggies 
stewing sauce
buttery garlicky tomatoey goodness
marlin steaks
serve with your favourite veggies

This fish was so flaky and tender, and the greek topping was perfect - light and flavourful, with a hint of saltiness from the feta. Next time I'd add black olives to the mix and make it a full-on greek style...Opa!

Happy Monday!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Indian-spiced potato salad

A quick post about an easy, tasty, spicy little salad I found in the Fresh Juice magazine. I'm always looking for new non-lettuce based salads to make in bulk so I don't have to worry about lunch in the morning. I often find potato salad recipes use cream and mayo (read: fat) as a taste enhancer, but the mix of spices in this one gives off bold flavours while still remaining super healthy. 

What you need: 
  • 2 lb small red potatoes, cut into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can (540 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro/parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste
For the vinaigrette:
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt, ground coriander, curry powder, and pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
What to do:
  1. Toss together potatoes, oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in single layer on foil-rimmed baking sheet. Roast in centre of 425F/220C oven, stirring once, for about 30 minutes or until tender and golden, then transfer to a bowl to cool. 
  2. For the Vinaigrette, whisk together vinegar, mustard, garlic, ginger, cumin, salt, coriander, curry powder and pepper. In a thin stream, gradually whisk in oil. 
  3. Toss half of the vinaigrette with the now-cooled potatoes. Stir in chickpeas, green onions and cilantro. Toss in remaining vinaigrette just before serving, or to taste.

lil tators
green onions (bad breath city)
curry, coriander, cumin, ginger powder
mix it up
I added a can of peas because why not?
Hint: Pair it along side a spice-rubbed pork or chicken dish to really impress at a backyard summer BBQ.

Happy Friday!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Gusto 101

Holy macaroni you need to get over to Gusto 101 asap if you haven't already had that pleasure. A few gals and I went for brunch yesterday pre-matinee musical. It usually takes a lot for an italian restaurant to truly impress me (blame my nonna's incredible cooking), but I can honestly say that Gusto 101 blew me away. Don't come here looking for the grand slam breaky - this isn't your mom and pop shop, nor is it a greasy spoon. Chef Daniel Mezzolo has carefully crafted a menu to epitomize an italian brunch, if brunch were in fact, a thing that italians did. Be ready for cornetto (italian croissants), fine cheeses (Taleggio!), and lots of uovo's (eggs). And obviously there's an entire pizza and pasta section if you so desire.
image via toronto life
I really loved how the bold italian flavours were seamlessly incorporated into traditional western breakfast menu items. Adding ricotta and blueberries created a sweet and savoury pancake dish that left us casually grappling for the last bite. At first glance the Eggs in Purgatorino (mine) seemed like an overly-saucey egg dish, but the smoky provolone and salty olives balanced the tomato fresca perfectly - pair that mixture between two pieces of artisan bread and I'm really not sure it can get much better. Aside from superb food, the venue itself is pretty cool - restored from an old auto garage, Gusto has a whopping 90-seater indoor rooftop patio AS WELL as one streetside. yay!
Ricotta pancakes with blueberry compote ($13.95)
Eggs in Camicia - poached eggs on brioche, with spinach, crispy prosciutto, and sliced fontina cheese  ( $12.50)
Eggs in Purgatorino - spicy tomatoes, gaeta olives, smoked provolone, basil, and tuscan bread ($12.95)
Omelette - with prosciutto, prosciutto cotto and smoked mozzarella ($12.50)
Not pictured above - the most delicious Mojito's I have tasted in a very long while. Kudos to the bartender for knowing how to effectively muddle mint. While the menu itself was nowhere near overpriced for the quality and quantity of food (absurdly rare for a king street hot spot), the speciality cocktails were the same price as my meal. I was feeling pretty happy afterwards though, so perhaps they were doubles? Unsure. You tell me.

Happy Monday!

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