Posts tagged fish

Why aren’t you eating Mahi-Mahi?

Mahi-mahi bag pic

I’ve found when I prepare tilapia my kids are hungry again about an hour after dinner–they’re tasty, but not particularly hearty. Our new favorite fish is mahi-mahi. The meaty fish is mild, flaky and filling. I buy mine frozen in individually wrapped packets in a three-pound bag from Costco for around $20.

 

Here’s a simple way to prepare mahi-mahi:

  1. Thaw the individual fish pieces.
  2. Pat the fish dry before sauting.
  3. Generously sprinkle the fish with salt, pepper, paprika, and rosemary.
  4. Add 1/2 tbsp. olive oil to a heavy-bottomed skillet and bring to medium-high heat. Don’t move the fish! Let them keep cooking until you see the fish begin to change color on the edges and just up the sides–about 3 minutes.
  5. Time for flipping! Turn the fish over and reduce the heat to medium and cook about 3 more minutes.

To serve: Mahi-mahi loves sweetness. I made a simple topping of chopped tomatoes, onions, lemon juice, fresh chopped cilantro and basil and a few other things I had on hand. If you have mangoes, toss those in, too. I drizzled the fish with a balsamic glaze. Pair with rice, pasta, or salad.

sauteed mahi mahi pic

 

 

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How fish helped my kids eat spinach

Photo credit: the Kitchn

Photo credit: the Kitchn

I get pretty creative when it comes to getting my kids to try new foods, but this idea came right from my tween.

 

Here’s the deal: I’m a spinach lover, and my youngest kids…well, not yet. I’m working on it. I recycle my spinach containers as giveaways when I take treats to friends or into my kids’ classes. My kids found my stash of extras and discovered another use for them–as fish “aquariums.”

 

My kids tend to spend every waking moment once the weather gets warmer fishing in a nearby creek. They’ve discovered that my spinach containers make the perfect holders for their catch.

 

So my tween made the connection that when we eat more spinach there are more containers for fish. Lately, my tween has started eating spinach without complaint. Coincidence? Well, I’m still thanking the fish for my tween’s new-found interest in greens.

Fish in spinach: Don’t worry the fish are always released back to the creek.

Fish in spinach: Don’t worry the fish are always released back to the creek.

Screen Shot 2013-05-20 at 10.43.19 PM

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Q&A with The Fly Trap’s Kara McMillian

The Fly Trap's Red Chile Salmon Burger

A creamy combo of cheddar, smoked Gouda, and Blue cheeses mixed in with the trademark elbow macaroni, then topped with caramelized onions. Is your mouth watering yet? That’s the description of The Fly Trap’s 3 Cheese and Mac. I’ve had friends go in and order this dish planning on eating about a third of it at the diner and then snacking on the rest for a week afterwards.

Located in Ferndale, The Fly Trap’s notoriety for serving classic dishes alongside funky favorites like Asian pho bowls and tofu fried rice have made it not only a hit among locals, but even the Food Network has featured its fixins’ on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (that’s where I first heard about it).

Kara McMillian and her brother Sean McClanaghan, are the co-owners of the popular dining spot. Kara’s husband, Gavin, is the brain (and head chef!) behind the eclectic, mouth-watering menu. Here, she spills on her favorite ingredients—and her go-to dish when she dines at work.

What three ingredients do you always keep stocked in your pantry?

I love cooking with spice. Big flavors are what set us apart. That’s our biggest complaint when we have new guests come to the restaurant–we like to add a little spice to our dishes. At home we always have Sambal Oelek, which is a Vietnamese red chili paste, on hand. Olive oil. Locally made tofu.

Your favorite meal?

My favorite meal on the menu is the fried rice. We use short grain brown rice, tons of roasted eggplant and red pepper; shiitake, cremini and oyster mushrooms; carrots; sugar snap peas; fresh spinach; and a splash of chili paste. It’s so good with lots of veggies and whole grain rice. Mmmm. It’s something that I like to have to take home with me.

We all have a favorite indulgence, for a foodie like you it must be something spectacular?

I recently took up making desserts. I used recipes from Baked, which is from a bakery in New York City. Their brownies are absolutely spectacular. I get requests for pans and more pans. The key is there’s the smallest amount of espresso powder in the brownies and that turns the corner with the flavor—they are super rich.

What’s one of your worst cooking mistakes?

I made a whole batch of cookies once and let people eat them without trying them myself. They had way too much flour and baking soda in them.

There are so many great Michigan-made food products, what is your pick?

Tofu. We buy our tofu from Michigan Soy Products in Royal Oak. It’s a really good product. We also get fresh fruit and fresh-squeezed juices from the Western Market right here in Ferndale.

What do you suggest for first-timers to The Fly Trap? What menu item should they make sure to try?

There are two categories of first timers. For a real crowd-pleaser, I would suggest the Charmoula Chicken, which is a North African spiced chicken breast, jack cheese, caramelized onion on grilled sourdough with a lemon, garlic aioli. But for those who are a little more adventurous, I’d recommended the Vietnamese pho bowl, which is a really brothy, spicy dish that has your choice of tofu or chicken, rice and tons of veggies. On a cold day, it’s really heartwarming.

If you’d like to get a taste of The Fly Trap at home, McMillian graciously shared her recipe the Red Chili Salmon burger.

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The Fly Trap’s Red Chile Salmon Burgers

Recipe for Red Chile Salmon Burger

provided by Kara McMillian


Makes 8, 6 oz. Patties

3lbs. Salmon Meat

1 Tablespoon Sambal Oelek

1 Tablespoon Black Sesame Seeds

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

1 Cup Chopped Green Onion

Grind all of the above in a food processor.  Sautee in skillet, or char-grill, in 1 Tablespoon Olive oil over medium heat, flipping once until desired temperature. Enjoy!

The Fly Trap’s Red Chile Salmon Burger
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