Archived entries for garlic scapes

So Fresh: Easy Tomato Salsa and Grilled Monkfish

At the beach a few weekends ago, we lounged around reading novels, attempted to even out our tan lines, and witnessed a terrific storm unfurl over the ocean. We trash-talked our way through some scrabble games and gobbled (and drank) our way through several decadent meals. In short, it was a pretty perfect vacation.

After a long morning walk down the shore, the worries of work and stresses of the city erased by the splashing of waves on my ankles, it felt so amazing to stretch out and relax in the salty air with some seltzer, a pile of tortilla chips, and a bowl of salsa. As we devoured it, I made a mental note. It was tasty—but couldn’t it be fresher? How hard could it be to throw together a homemade salsa with ripe summer tomatoes, cilantro from our balcony, some real corn and lime juice, without preservatives or even refrigeration to dull the flavors?

Not hard at all, it turns out. And, as you might suspect, delicious. File this one for when CSA tomatoes are piled on every horizontal surface of your kitchen, when you’ve eaten your fill of August’s corn, for when you just don’t know what to bring to a barbecue. You could throw in whatever you’ve got—sweet onions instead of shallots, yellow peppers for color, a can of black beans, or even a little mango or pineapple. Use it for dipping chips or veggies, for fish tacos or over carnitas, or throw it on some eggs for breakfast. (I used the leftovers to top a single-girl dinner of Whole Foods fat free refried beans—the kind that come with roasted chiles and lime—and placed a fried egg on top, and I gotta say, it was a great meal.)

The salsa was a vivid and flavorful topping for some quickly grilled monkfish I bought at the farmer’s market. I am pretty sure monkfish is NOT sustainable, but it was all that was left at the fish stand by the time I got there, and it worked well on the grill, rubbed with a little bit of smoked paprika. Halibut or cod would probably be just as tasty.

While you’re preheating the grill, I highly recommend you throw some garlic scapes on. They crisp up deliciously and taste like a cross between roasted garlic and green beans. We snacked on them (just picking the whole scape up with our fingers) while the fish cooked, and we could have eaten handfuls more.

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A Winner: Asian Marmalade Chicken

I can’t remember ever winning a contest or giveaway, so I was shocked when the lovely Marisa of Food in Jars alerted me that I was the winner of a huge container of her gorgeous blood orange marmalade. I’ve been enjoying spoonfuls of smeared on Sunday-morning bagels and homemade scones, drizzled on frozen yogurt and cornbread, but I wanted to include it in a savory dish, too.

The tangy marmalade perfumed a marinade that reminded me a bit of childhood (back when “Asian” recipes almost always included orange juice). I added a little fish sauce, thinking of the sweet chicken wings at Pok Pok restaurant, and spiked it with just enough Sriracha to warm it up. Orange, ginger, hoisin, and soy may be a retro/Americanized combination, but it proved so delicious that I’m glad I wrote down the measurements as I cooked.

I piled the chicken on top of some fresh steamed spinach and sauteed garlic scapes. Jasmine rice would also be nice on the side. If you can find scapes in your local farmer’s market, you should grab them—they’re also great grilled, a little like garlicky green beans. Plus, they’re kind of adorable.

And now, a peek into the dinner conversation of two nearly-weds enjoying a home-cooked meal and watching the sunset:

Maggie: This chicken is so good! Chicken on the bone is so much better than boneless.
Matt: Yeah, but it’s so much work.
Maggie: It wasn’t too bad…I just dumped it into a marinade and put it in the oven!
Matt: No, I mean it’s so much work to eat.

I thanked him for his tireless effort, and then I made him do the dishes.

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