Wish Upon A Dish

July 24, 2014

Tempura Fried Fish Flatbread Taco ♥ Say that 5x fast

I love the thought of a taco. Lots of condiments loaded on some kind of protein, wrapped in a tortilla.
They always look great in the pictures, on a plate.
I would love to see a video of someone actually eating a taco where all that goodness wrapped in a tortilla, stays in the tortilla and not fall on the plate.

Let's be honest here. Tacos are messy to eat.
For kids that means fun, for me that means eating a taco requires a fork. So I got to thinking.

Why not take all that wonderful food and pile it on a flat bread. Yes, I could fry a tortilla and make a tostado but I wanted the soft that a tortilla provides.

Right now, I am having a love affair with na'an bread and since it was a dinner for one, proved to be the perfect size. Now, what to top that with?
I was thinking crunchy, crisp pieces of cod, topped with a spicy corn salsa, a creamy lime crema and spicy guacamole. I did buy shredded cabbage but changed my mind at the last moment and made a slaw on the side.

This had to be the best combination of foods I have ever eaten. You can be sure I will be making this many times from now on.
Fresh corn has been available for about 1 week now and no, not from Jersey, yet. We have another month before I go crazy for local cobs, but the ones in my market are surprising hefty and very sweet.

If you can not get fresh corn, frozen is the way to go. I have a very simple recipe for my corn salsa and after you fry the fish, toss the oil and saute the corn. This is probably one of the easiest dinners to pull together and if you don't fry, just bake or grill the fish. I use less than an inch of oil in a nonstick pan and shallow fry thin slices of cod using a commercial tempura mix. It is a light coating that stays crisp for as long as it takes to finish dinner.

Since we do not eat guacamole as often as most, I buy the boxed Wholly Guacamole individual packets, which come in a box of 4 or they now sell them in the big box name brand stores. They keep for a good long time and now I don't waste any. Buy the spicy, it is wonderful!!

Spicy Corn Salsa
makes 1 cup
* 1 ear corn, kernels removed
* 2 slices of red onion, minced
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 2 teaspoons taco seasonings
* 2 tablespoons Tomatillo Salsa Verde
* 6 plum tomatoes, diced
* 1 squirt Agave
* Salt & pepper to taste
* Hot sauce, optional

1. Saute all ingredients until all the liquid has evaporated.

Lime Crema
makes 1/3 cup
* 1/4 cup light sour cream or Greek yogurt
* 1 tablespoon Agave or honey
* Juice of 1 lime
* Salt & pepper to taste

1. Whisk all the ingredients until smooth.

Fried Fish
makes about 20 pieces
* 8oz Alaska cod, sliced thin (the frozen steaks work the best)
* 1 cup Tempura mix
* Mexican beer
* AP flour
* 2 teaspoons Taco seasonings

1. Whisk the spices with the tempura mix and then pour 1/4 cup beer into the dry mix. Whisk adding additional beer until the mixture is the consistency of paint.
2. Dip the cod into the AP flour, then into the tempura batter, coating completely.
3. In a skillet with 2-inches of searingly hot vegetable oil, fry the cod without crowding the pan, making sure they do not stick together. Flip over, continue frying until GB&D and remove to a wire rack set in a sheet pan that is warming in a low oven.
4. Salt & pepper while they are still hot.

Now, I must remind you , this filling also works in a traditional tortilla and because there is not much "juice" you might just end up with a clean plate!!

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July 23, 2014

Cruise to Bermuda ♥ Random Bites

A few random pics that were left on the cutting floor.

This is the dockyard in Bayonne New Jersey. Years ago the cruise ships left from the Hudson River docks on the west side of Manhattan. When the cruise industry exploded, the same could not be said for available docks. New York just would not pay the expense to build new ones.
The last one taken was from the Intrepid (the aircraft carrier turned museum).

While you don't sail pass Lady Liberty (it is further south), you get to cruise under the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge,  a double-decked suspension bridge in the U.S. state of New York that connects the New York City boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn. 

While waiting for the early diners to leave the room and give the staff a chance to reset the tables, we would head outside to see the sunset. This was halfway to Bermuda, in the Atlantic Ocean at 8:15pm.

It was the first time I have ever seen this ocean look like glass. The Mediterranean wasn't even this calm.
We were left speechless.I have to say, the weather was perfect the whole trip, which always makes for a great cruise.

If you book an excursion on a catamaran, this is one of two that you will sail on. When they pulled back into dock, they were all singing and laughing. A good time is always had on these snorkeling excursions.
A must do!

This is Front Street in the capitol of Hamilton. One of the only places left that they drive on the left side of the street. Reminds me of Duval Street, Key West. Shopping, eating and strolling. Was pretty empty the first day we arrived in Bermuda. The second day was packed. Another good tip, don't wait till the second day on land to roam the streets. Everyone with all their strollers, cameras and beach bags are out and about and every place will be packed.

We ate at Flanagan's Pub, one of the oldest Irish Pub's in Bermuda. Very friendly staff and once again, it is expensive in Bermuda. Be prepared to spend over $10.00 for an appetizer. Best to share, they do serve large portions. I ended up leaving half my lunch on the table.

On the way back downstairs, after hitting the head, there was this little local joint where everyone was watching the FIFA Cup. This was the scene at every bar on the island. If you got there before the World Cup started, you could get a front row TV seat, after that, you might as well be the Queen because you would take your life into your hands if you asked to wedge into the bar.....

Bermuda is shaped like a crab with the claws facing north. This was actually the north Atlantic Ocean-side of the island. The blue of the water stretched out for miles. Even nicer than the Caribbean Ocean.

The back of the ship, where when you return there is pizza and snacks and a trio that provides music. It is amazing that as many people sail on each ship, there always seems to be a spot that you can relax and not feel congested. Our favorite spot on each cruise where we would always grab a drink before heading to our room to get ready for the night. Our way of quietly saying good-bye to each port of call and savoring the memories.

And this, was a little guy that I left in my camera. An island owl, fairly large little peep, it just sat by itself checking out the steady stream of people as they walked by.

Hope you enjoyed a few of our Bermuda pictures.
Would I go again? Probably not. There are a few favorites that I love to return to, but Bermuda, like the owl, did not make the cut.

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July 22, 2014

Whiskey BBQ Sauce ♥ Cooking with Spirits - Recipe Redux Challenge July 2014

On my Fortieth Birthday I threw myself a huge pool party in the backyard of my In-Laws house.
Everyone we knew was invited.
College buddies, work buddies, family and all the kids. The place was hopping.

One thing I wanted to do was to give the adults something to participate in besides watching their kids in the pool and the yard just wasn't big enough for a wiffle ball game.
I did what I knew best, I hosted a BBQ Sauce contest. The winner got a full set of engraved BBQ tools, second place got a monogrammed BBQ apron and third place got a mitt and towel set.

Since I am a theme party planner, I choose Kansas City BBQ for the food and the drink. The Nudge scouted two barrels, had them cut in half, made a grill top to fit each one and his college buddy who was a caterer, gave a gift of 80 pounds of ribs. We also had hamburgers, smoked redfish, corn, potatoes, chicken, pork shoulder and, if I remember correctly, a bucket of BBQ'd shrimp.

It was wonderful. We had three judges and they took their job seriously. They tasted each one, eating a piece of bread after each and then ate a rib with the sauce.

My sauce came in second place, I still have the apron and use it all the time. Everyone cried fix, because my mom was a judge but the sauces were not labeled and the bowls were all identical, so no one, even us, knew who's was who's. We had about 10 entries, which I thought was a good turnout. When the judging was completed, everyone could try them on their food.
This was the 2nd place winning sauce.

Whiskey BBQ Sauce
makes about 2 cups

* 2 tbsp. butter
* 1/2 cup minced onion
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 3/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
* 1/2 cup whiskey
* 1/2 cup ketchup
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 cup cider vinegar
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
* 1 teaspoon smoked Hawaiian sea salt
* 1 teaspoon pepper

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove cover and increase heat. Cook for 5 minutes more to thicken slightly.

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