Roses.

Happy Monday y’all!
Today is my baby seester’s 23rd birthday and probably one of the first years that I am spending her birthday without her 🙁 I have also come to terms with the fact that I must be the worst seester in the world because I haven’t made her any birthday treats….yet, that is. This week expect birthday treats. Hopefully I can mail them to her 🙂

Last week I was craving protein, but instead of my usual go to chicken or turkey, I wanted fish. If you know me…this is highly unlikely. Especially since I once went on a fish binge…like salmon burgers, blackened tilapia, seared halibut all up in my mouth for months binge! Then of course I got sick of it. However, last week was the week I decided I was back on the fish train. Well…only certain types of fish. So, I headed out to the place where I knew I could get the freshest fish available…Rose’s Seafood.

 Rose’s is right down the street from my house, located directly on top of the bay…so you know their seafood is fresh. My parents have been taking seester and I to Rose’s since we were little girls. It is a family run business which is why I love to purchase from them. Not to mention, it’s local so you know where you are getting your seafood from. I hadn’t been to Rose’s in a year or so, but of course the second I arrived all my childhood memories came rushing back to me. I headed to the fish counter to pick out the best looking fish. Now, usually I would get me some red snapper but in this case, I would have to sell my arms and legs down the river to afford it. Soooo, I settled for a couple of pounds of fresh, beautiful, flounder.

I mean, seriously?
Who am I?

This fish was the most flavorful fish I have ever met.

Not to mention, super tender and flaky.

The fish has a buttery taste…without the butter 🙂 Oh, and I got creative with some spinach there. 
For sure melt in you mouth-ish.

Yes, I am describing fish as melt in your mouth.
Now I want some chocolate. 

Lawd hawwwlp me!
Baked Lemon Rosemary Flounder (GF/P):
Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh caught flounder, rinsed and patted dry
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 T. Dijon mustard
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, minced
1 large Meyer Lemon, thinly sliced
freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt, to taste
Instructions:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×11 in. baking dish with cooking spray. Place the fish in the baking dish.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the evoo and dijon.
3. Using a pastry brush, brush the flounder with the dijon mixture.
4. Sprinkle the flounder with chopped rosemary and place lemon slices evenly over the fillets. Season with salt and pepper. 
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the fish flakes in the thickest part.
Serves 4-6.
MANGIA!!!

Gone Fishing.

Now, I don’t normally get complaints about my cooking (although I welcome constructive criticism), however; I do get complaints FOR my cooking. My parents begin to come off with statements such as, “Oh, someone didn’t make any cookies today!?”…”And when are we having fish tacos again?” Well, excuse me for taking a breather for a second! Anyway, the point is, I would rather have people WANT me to cook, than not want me to cook. Ha ha. I guess cooking just comes with the territory. 
Anyway, my reply to the second question above was, “I will make fish tacos Monday night…you can guarantee it!’ Now, as a young child I really enjoyed fishing (even though it only occurred occasionally), and then I really enjoyed going down to the wholesale fish market on Saturday’s with my family (because it was like fishing…only without all of the work!). My fave fish of all time is red snapper, only because my dad is a master on the grill with the red snapper. Even though we have two beautiful grills outside, I can’t seem to figure out how to work them…this is the story of my life. 
So, I found a way to reinvent my “usual” fish tacos…
starting with some lovely red snapper.
 I rubbed those suckers with some spices and pan seared them 
don’t mess with my pan searing…I’ve got this down.

I can’t even begin to imagine fish tacos without salsa…it’s a crime.
Strawberry-Mango Salsa is where it’s at people!
 No excuses.

I might as well tell you have freaking delicious this dish is…the red snapper is perfectly seasoned with cumin and chili powder! Oh, and the pan searing locks in the moisture on this fish, giving it a buttery flavor and melt in your mouth texture with each bite!
 The Strawberry-Mango Salsa is seriously the icing on the cake…speaks for itself.
I also used one of my go-to slaw recipes for the tacos, but make this dish your own, go crazy! Hell, even choose your own tortilla to wrap these babies in! 
Just include margaritas. Always include margaritas.
Pan-Seared Red Snapper Tacos with Strawberry-Mango Salsa:
Ingredients:
1 pound of fresh snapper, cut into fours (I had my fish guy do this), skin removed
cumin
chili powder
salt and pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
2 large mangoes, peeled and diced
1/2 c. fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 of a red onion, finely chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeds discarded and roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper, to taste
your choice of tortilla
Instructions:
1. Season both sides of each piece of snapper with the cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.
2. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, add a couple of drizzles of the evoo.
3. Lay the fish down in the pan and cook, about four minutes on each side. I did this in batches. 
4. Once the fish is finished cooking, set the fish aside on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to rest.
5. To make the salsa, combine the first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the lime juice and mix well, coating the salsa evenly. 
6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, adjust seasoning to your liking. Chill until ready to use, or place the fish in a tortilla and spoon the salsa directly over the fish. 
Serves 4. 
MANGIA!!! 

Sebastian the Crab.

When I was a young girl, I identified crabs with one thing and one thing only…Sebastian the crab, you know…the little red crab with the Jamaican accent from The Little Mermaid. Wait was he a crab? And did he have a Jamaican accent? Let’s just go with yes. Anyway, I was totally Ariel and all I wanted to do was grow a fin and swim with my crab buddies like Sebastian. I would even sing “Under the Sea” in my bubble bath at the top of my lungs…I still do this, only with different songs. Ha! 
As I grew older I learned that you could actually eat crabs, which made me kind of sad for little guys like Sebastian, but once I had my first bite of crab…of course, it was dipped in melted butter, I was SOLD! However, I have this peeve about edible things with shells…I would rather not do all the work to get this tiny piece of meat. Thankfully, we have people who crack those crabs open for us so that we can have all the crab meat that we want. 
That is where crab cakes come into play. Now, I have had my fair share of crab cakes during my life time, some so caked up with filler that they are unidentifiable, and then there are those crab cakes where you can actually taste the crab meat, so flavorful, it just melts in your mouth. 
These are those kind of crab cakes. 
Seriously, bursting with flavor from the parsley and cilantro, with a spicy kick from the Dijon, and what do ya know? 
They are healthy.
Oh, and to top them off…a Jalapeno Chimichurri Salsa.
 
Because I just love the word Chimichurri.
No big deal.
Special thanks to my uncle B-rad for supplying the crab meat!
Is it Friday yet? These would pair wonderfully with a margarita!
Spicy Dijon Crab Cakes with Jalapeno Chimichurri Sauce (GF):
Ingredients:
For the crab cakes:
1 pound (16 oz.) of fresh crab meat 
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 c. fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 c. celery, finely diced
3 T. non-fat Greek yogurt
3 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. almond flour (add more if the cakes are holding together)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the chimichurri:
4 cloves of garlic
1 large jalapeno pepper, discarded of seeds
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 bunch of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 t. salt
Instructions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients (except salt and pepper) for the crab cakes, using your hands, until everything comes together into a large ball. Taste test, add salt and pepper as needed.
3. Form patties with the crab mixture. Place each patty on the prepared baking sheet. 
4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until slightly firm. 
5. Bake for 16-18 minutes, flipping half way through so that each side is lightly golden brown. Optional: Skip the oven, put 2 tablespoons of evoo in a non-stick skillet on the oven over medium heat, brown the crab cakes for 2-3 minutes on each side. 
6. For the chimichurri, pulse the garlic and jalapeno on high until chopped. Add the cilantro, parsley, vinegar, evoo, and salt. Pulse until herbs are finely chopped and the sauce is smooth.
7. Serve the crab cakes over a bed of the sauce, or drizzle with the sauce…or hell, both is fine with me!
Makes 11-12 crab cakes and about 3/4 c. sauce.
MANGIA!!!