Monday, June 28, 2010

South of the Border Sea Food


I've had a red pepper sitting on the counter for a while. It became shriveled and somewhat dry, but smelled so wonderful that I knew I had to find something wonderful to make with it. Yesterday, after the corn was cooked, I thought it would be a shame to waste a well heated grill and smoldering charcoal, so I began looking for other things to cook. My mind settled on the pepper.

I sliced it up and wrapped it in a foil packet with olive oil. After a while on the grill, the pepper was perfectly roasted and re-hydrated by the oil. It smelled wonderful.

I put the packet in the refrigerator, determined to find something wonderful to make it into. I started thinking of making fish for tonight's dinner, and I thought of the lime and avocados I had sitting in the produce drawer.

Today, I measured out some quinoa and chicken stock into a saucepan and let it soak while I chopped a shallot, and saute├ęd it with some mushrooms. I added the shallot an mushrooms to the pan and used the Magic Bullet® to puree the pepper with the olive oil from inside the foil packet. Into the pan I stirred the roasted pepper pulp and set the whole thing to boiling.

While the quinoa cooked up, I rinsed out the Bullet's cup and added cilantro, the fruit from half an avocado, juice from a small lime and a small amount of oil too keep everything smooth. When all that was blended up into a nice paste, I used a basting brush to paint it onto the top of some orange roughy fillets which were beginning to sear in a large everyday pan. When they were white almost all the way through, I turn them over and added the avocado paste to the other side. I cooked them until the runoff began to brown in the pan and the quinoa was red and fluffy.

The flavor combination was amazing! I saw my Grandma later that night and had her taste the leftovers. She is not a mushroom fan (texture), and so she ate around them in the quinoa, but even she agreed that they added to the overall flavor. My dad thoroughly enjoyed the quinoa, which he regularly mocks as a weird food, but never complains about the taste. :)

The bite of lime in the fish was offset by the creamy texture of the avocado, and together they made for quite a dance of flavor on the tongue.

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