Pico De Gallo

1.5 large tomatoes finely diced
1/4 red onion finely diced
1/2 jalapeño finely diced
1-2 large cloves garlic pasted (or grated in zester)
Juice of half of lime
Juice of half of lemon
1/4 tsp salt
2 pinches pepper
1/4 tsp sugar
cilantro chopped to taste

In medium bowl combine red onion, jalapeño, diced tomato, cilantro, lime juice, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic paste, and sugar. Gently toss together and refrigerate until serving.

Grilled chicken tacos

4-5 pieces boneless skinless chicken
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tsp Tapatio
2 Tsp Adobo seasoning
1 lime juiced
1 Tsp pepper
1/4 Tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in bowl and allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Preheat grill to medium low. Grill chicken for 6 minutes per side and remove when juice runs clear. Chop up and serve with pico de gallo and avocados.

Asian glaze sea bass cooked in paper

2 portions sea bass
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch scallions, cut into 3-inch pieces
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
3 to 4-inch knob ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
6 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Rip off 2 pieces of parchment to form packets each about 12-inches long. Season fish with salt and pepper. Place a piece of parchment in a shallow dish then in the center of the paper stack 1/2 of the scallions and mushrooms, layer with slices of ginger and garlic and top with fish. Combine the brown sugar, vinegar and tamari and pour 1/2 of the sauce over fish. Fold over the top of the parchment then roll the sides in to form a sealed pouch tie with cooking twine. Arrange the pouches on a baking sheet and roast in hot oven 12 to 14 minutes or until fish is a white color and slightly flaky.


Garden green chicken sandwiches

Yeild 2 big ole sammichs!
4 pieces boneless skinless
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup cilantro chopped
2 scallions thin sliced
2 Limes juiced + peel of 1/2 lime
1 lemon juiced
3 tsp Tapatio
1 Cup monteray jack cheese shredded
2 avocados chopped
2 tsp sugar
1/2 small red onion finely chopped
2.5 large tomatoes 1 diced, 1/2 sliced
1/2 jalapeño seeded and finely chopped
1 large clove garlic pasted**
2 ciabatta rolls toasted
4 tbsp mayo
2 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 tsp pepper

Combine juice of 1 lime & lime peel, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, olive oil, tapatio, scallions and 1/2 of cilantro. Reserve 1/3 marinade in bowl. Cover chicken with remaining 2/3 marinade and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Avocado pico de gallo
In medium bowl combine avocado, red onion, jalapeño, diced tomato, remaining cilantro, remaining lime juice, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, garlic paste, and sugar. Gently toss together and refrigerate until serving.

Preheat grill to medium low and cook chicken until juices run clear. Halve rolls and dig out centers (for maximum stuffing abilities), and toast on top shelf of grill (or outer edge of charcoal grill). Place cheese on both sides of bread and place back on grill to melt. Add mayo and sliced tomatoes. Remove chicken and slice it into 1" pieces, place half of chicken on each sandwich. Drizzle remaining marinade over chicken. Top with pico de gallo and serve. Serve with chips to scoop up pieces that fall.

**Garlic paste
Finely chop garlic. Add 1 tsp salt (kosher or sea coarse salt works best). Lay knife over garlic and press down while pulling over the garlic as if to scrape it across the board. The coarse salt acts like sand paper and grinds it. Repeat until garlic is fine and mashed. This is a great technique for sauces where the garlic will be raw because you won't get large pieces of raw spicy garlic. Now, if you don't feel like you can do this, you can cheat and use a garlic press or a zester. I don't believe that if you are making a good loving dinner you should cheat and take the easy way out so I never NEVER use the zester or garlic press. But, for a beginner it is quick and easy. My thought is, if your taking the damn time to slice all this other shit, make your own garlic paste, it will taste better.


Balsamic potatoes and leaks

4 Large white potatoes chopped 1/4 inch thick
3 medium size leaks sliced 1/4 inch thick and rinsed well
1 Large shallot sliced thin
2 Cups fresh spinach roughly chopped
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 Tsp salt
1 Tsp pepper
1 Cup water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter

In large skillet over medium high heat add olive oil and butter. Add potatoes, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cover and sauté until potatoes begin to brown. Remove lid and pour in 1/4 cup of water and cover again to steam. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Open and add shallot, leak and spinach. Add another 1/4 cup water, cover and continue cooking.** When potatoes are soft and spinach has wilted add both vinegars and 1/4 cup water. Turn heat to high, allow vinegars to reduce. Remove from heat and serve.

** Bottom of pan will appear dirty and full of potato, you want it this way so you can deglaze with waters and vinegar and pick up the good flavor from the bottom of the pan.

Garlic scallops with spicy mayo dip

20 Fresh scallops
7 Cloves garlic sliced
2 Pinches pepper
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp pepper

1 Cup mayo
1.5 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 Tsp hot sauce
1 Tsp Chili powder
1 Pinch Cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp Lemon juice

1 Hour before serving scallops combine all ingredients for mayo sauce and mix well. Store in fridge to allow flavors to combine. Serve chilled.

Wash scallops in cold water, carefully, they will tear, they are soft. In large bowl GENTLY toss scallops with olive oil, garlic and pepper. Let sit for up to 10 minutes outside of fridge or 2 hours in fridge. Heat non stick sauté pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon butter* and 1 tablespoon olive oil from marinade. When butter and oil combine GENTLY place scallops flat side down. Cook until scallops caramelize on the bottom and begin to brown about 1/8 inch down the side. GENTLY flip scallop and repeat on second side. Add reserved garlic and oil from marinade at this point. Do not add it sooner you will burn your garlic. You want the center to still appear clear while the flat sides are caramelized. Remove from heat and serve immediately with sauce.

*Your butter and oil might brown, this is fine.

(See that center one there on the left, thats what happens if you aren't GENTLE with your scallops, they tear)


A fresh summer market inspired dinner

This weekend I went to the Reno farmers market (On California street for you locals). I browsed around for some dinner items. It was opening day so the selection was limited since most stuff isn't all the way in season. I came home with, fresh spinach pasta, a roasted bell pepper sauce, fresh caught halibut, white corn, strawberries, raspberries, cherries and salsa. Tonight I decided to make a meal that was inspired by my purchases. The only items I purchased at the store were asparagus, garlic and Parmesan. I made this great dinner, and had fresh berries for desert and all of it supported local farmers, and was great quality. I plan to visit the farmers markets around town every Saturday, so expect more great meals like this. Both recipes will follow this post. Enjoy. And remember, sometimes you have to let the produce that is available decide what you eat. It can be more fun and exciting that way. I had never cooked halibut before and I could have easily gone to a store and bought salmon or some other fist I was familiar with but this is what the fish guy was offering so I thought why not. I hope my ideas inspire you to visit your local market and create some magic in your own kitchen.

(The rosemary and lemon thyme were grown in my own garden, but still, they weren't purchased at a store)

(There will be a much broader selection to come, citrus, fruits, garlics, lettuces and a wide array of veggies, lets get creative people).

Grilled citrus halibut with fire roasted bell pepper sauce

2 Pieces fresh halibut
6 cloves garlic chopped
5 tbsp olive oil
1 orange juiced
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch salt
2 large sprigs rosemary
2 large sprigs thyme

Cooking spray

1.5 cups fresh roasted bell pepper pesto (mine was purchased a a farmers market)

Preheat grill to medium low. Combine oil, garlic, orange juice, salt and pepper. Cover fish with marinade and place in fridge for up to 1 hour. Spray grill liberally with cooking spray (watch for flame ups). Place fish presentation side down reserving garlic and marinade. Place one sprig of rosemary and thyme on each piece of fish. Grill for 4 minutes remove herbs and place directly on grill. Flip fish and top with remaining garlic and marinade. Grill for 4 more minutes, or until desired doneness. Heat up bell pepper pesto and place on plate. Place fish on top of pesto and serve.

Grilled white corn on the cob

3-4 Corn on the cobs

Preheat grill to medium low. Peel back top halves of corn and remove silks. Fold husk back over corn and soak entire piece of corn in water for 15 minutes. Place corn on grill for 20 minutes. Turn after 10 minutes. The outside will burn but the inside will stay soft and perfect. Remove from heat and use an oven mitt to hold the stem end of the corn. Peel off husks and if you want snap the entire stem and husk off. Roll in butter, serve and enjoy!