Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Red Snapper Mojito - Low Cal, High Taste

Pacific Princess Executive Chef Antonio Cortese won top honors in the "Heart Healthy" category of the Sixth Annual Bacardi Bartender & Chef Cruise Competition for his Red Snapper Mojito. The Princess Cruises chef graciously shared his recipe and here it is, just in time for our New Year's resolutions.

Red Snapper Mojito
Serves 4
Marinade
1 tsp. brown sugar
2 TBS. lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste

8 oz. red snapper filet, skinless and boneless, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

In a medium bowl whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, olive oil, mint leaves and salt. Add red snapper pieces and toss lightly to coat evenly with the marinade. Set aside in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Garnish
1 mango, not overly ripe, peeled and cut in small, thin strips.
1 avocado, quartered, peeled with stone removed.
Whole mint leaves
Place mango strips in the bottom of 4 serving glasses. Thinly slice avocados lengthwise. Place three slices along the inside of each glass, overlapping slightly to form a fan shape.

Mojito
1 TBSP. whole mint leaves
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 lime, thinly sliced crosswise in half moon shapes.
3 TBS. Bacardi Superior Puerto Rican rum
1 cup crushed ice
In a small bowl, place whole mint leaves, brown sugar and lime slices. Muddle the mixture with the back of a spoon. Add rum and ice. Mix quickly to combine. Pour, straining out ice, over marinated red snapper. Divide mixture evenly between prepared serving glasses. Garn ish with whole mint leaves and serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Prize-winning Shrimp Recipe

Pam Gordon
Pam Gordon of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, whipped up the winning dish in the 2011 Wild Caught Georgia Shrimp Contest.

Eagle Island Lodge
Sponsored by Private Islands of Georgia owner/developer Capt. Andy Hill, the dish is full of flavor and easy to prepare. Just what you want whether vacationing on a private island or looking for dinnertime inspiration at home.

Tangy Honeyed Shrimp


1 1/2 lbs. large shrimp
2 TBS. peanut oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. peeled, minced ginger root
1 10 oz. can chicken broth
1 TBS. cornstarch
2 TBS. honey
2 TBS. catsup
1 TBS. white vinegar
1 TBS. rice wine or dry sherry
1 TBS. soy sauce
1/8 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1 TBS. sesame oil
2 green onions, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 tsp. cilantro, chopped

Remove shell and de-vein shrimp; drain on paper towels. Pour peanut oil into preheated wok, coating sides, and heat on high form 1 minute. Add shrimp, garlic and ginger root. Cook, stirring constantly, until shrimp turn pink, about 8 minutes.

Combine broth and next 7 ingredients, stirring until smooth. Add to shrimp mixture and stir constantly. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute. Stir in sesame oil, green onions and cilantro, cooking until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Cookies German Style

Cookies are as much a part of Christmas fare as candy canes, fruit cake and eggnog and no one seems to do it quite like the Germans. Thanks to the German Tourist Office and fellow traveler Kristi Casey Sanders, here are some traditional German cookie recipes.

N├╝rnberger Lebkuchen
4 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups unpeeled almonds, coarsely grated
1/3 cup candied orange peel, finely chopped
1 lemon, grated for peel, juice reserved
1/4 whole nutmeg, grated
Confectioner's sugar
rose water if you can find it
edible baking paper

Beat eggs and sugar until they have the consistency of thick cream. To this gradually add almonds, candied orange peel, lemon peel and nutmeg. Place wafers on baking sheet and spoon dough onto paper. Dough should be about 1/2" high. Smooth dough with a knife dipped into rose water. Bake in a pre-heated 325-350° oven for 10-15 minutes or until bread-like. Remove cookies and let cool. Meanwhile, mix Confectioner's sugar with lemon juice to form a paste. Frost cookies.

Cinnamon Stars or Zimtsterne
2 1/4 cups whole almonds (a little over 1 lb.)
5 egg whites
2 cups Confectioner's sugar, sifted
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon Kirschwasser (cherry Schnapps)
star pattern cookie cutter

Scald almonds with boiling water, remove their skins and let cool. Grind finely. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in Confectioner's sugar and set aside 1 cup of the egg and sugar mixture. Fold in ground almonds, cinnamon and the Kirschwasser, then quickly form a dough. Let the dough rest covered for one hour in the refrigerator.

Cover a work surface with sugar and roll out the chilled dough to 1/2-inch thick. Cut out stars. Cover each star evenly with the reserved egg and sugar mixture, place on an ungreased cookie sheet and let the uncooked cookies dry overnight at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 425° F and bake for 5 minutes. Check the cookies often while baking so the top stays white and the insides remain soft.

Vanilla Crescents or Vanillekipferl
3 1/2 TBS. unpeeled almonds
3-1/2 TBS. hazelnuts
1-1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon sugar
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup, plus 6 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small pieces
2 egg yolks
5 packets vanilla sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar.

Pour boiling water over the almonds, remove the skins and finely chop. Finely chop the hazelnuts. Sift the flour onto a large wooden board. Make a well in the flour and add the almonds, hazelnuts, sugar, salt, butter and egg yolks. Knead dough until it is smooth and pliable, but do not over knead.

Wrap the dough in aluminum foil and let rest for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Divide the dough and form into several pencil-thick rolls. Cut the rolls into 2-inch lengths and bend into crescent shapes. Place on cookie sheets and bake on middle rack until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Stir the vanilla sugar and powdered sugar together in a shallow bowl. Carefully dip the still warm crescent cookies in the sugar.

Tip: to store the cookies so they won't break, stack them lengthwise between wax paper in a cookie tin.

Friday, December 2, 2011

You asked, Ashford Answered with Recipe


Ashford Castle, County Mayo, Ireland


Reader Pat from visited Ashford Castle, fell in love with the chef's Connemara Smoked Salmon with Lime Jam and Cream Cheese and seeing another Ashford recipe on Food Afar asked if I could possibly get this one. I contacted Suzanne Meyers at Geoffrey Weill, Ashford's PR firm, and voila! here it is.

The first trick is to find a good substitute for organic salmon smoked in the Connemara Smoke House. Second is to prepare the jam and cream cheese. After that it's a snap.

Ashford Castle Connemara Smoked Salmon, Lime Jam and Cream Cheese
Note: Taste to fine tune flavors; measurements have been translated from metrics.

Lime Jam
20 portions

3 1/3 cups skinless lime
1 1/4 cup sugar
60 lime segments (6 limes)

Cook skinless limes with sugar - sugar may caramelize a bit at the beginning - gently for about 10 minutes.

Strain and chill. Store chilled, labelled and dated. Shelf life: 5 days for chilled jam, 3 days for segments.

Lime Jam Cream Cheese

2 cups (generous) medium fat cream cheese
4 1/2 TBS lime jam

Combine the two ingredients. Store chilled, labeled and dated. Shelf life: chilled 7 days.

To plate:
3 slices brown soda bread
2 scant TBS lime jam cream cheese
3-4 oz. organic smoked salmon
3 lime segments
 lime jam

Spread lime jam cream cheese on bread. Layer each bread slice generously with thinly sliced smoked salmon, topping with one lime segment per slice.

Serve a little lime jam in a side dish.

Try not to ooh and aah with your mouth open.

Thanks, Pat, for bringing this delicious-sounding combination to my attention. If anyone else yearns to recreate flavors from their travels, email the name of the dish and where you had it and I'll see what I can do.