Stay the Course!
Summer is just around the corner and savvy gals, guys too, have indulged in spa mani-pedi soothers, and hair mask and face mask smoothers to exfoliate away the effects of a long winter. Now, it’s time to think about how to keep the glow going until Labor Day? One of the ways I’m going to do it is to concentrate on creating a healthy, nutritious, delicious, summer meal plan. Frutti de mare! Pesce! No matter how you say it, preparing and eating fresh fish is a fabulous way to keep the glow and go in your summer.
Meal idea 1, think whole fish. Nothing is more delicious than a whole stuffed fish sizzling on the grill. Best catches for the grill are branzino, red snapper or sea bass. It’s a little work.
First, purchase the fish sliced down the middle with the cavity cleaned. At home, place the whole fish in the sink and brush the scales off, discard the scales. Then fill the sink with a cool water, kosher salt bath. Wash the fish inside and out.
Next, line the kitchen counter with wax paper and lay the fish down on the paper bed. Fill the cavity with fresh parsley, crushed garlic and lemon slices. Then sprinkle grated cheese across the filling and drizzle with olive oil. Close the fish and brush the entire fish with olive oil.
Grill the fish over a moderately high grill flame until it begins to char. Turn and grill until the skin chars and the flesh is white throughout. Grilling time will depend on the size of the fish, but a medium size fish will take about 10 minutes on each side. Transfer the fish to a platter and drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Meal idea 2, who doesn’t like Paella? Looking for a lighter way to prepare Paella? Follow a basic Paella recipe and substitute Quinoa for the rice. It truly is delicious!
Soup to nuts, or should I say boat to table😊 menu for 6:
Raw Bar Appetizer:
Two-dozen little neck clams, washed well – place the clams on a medium heat grill, when the clams open completely transfer to a platter. Have waiting on the table a tray or caddy with bottles of Tabasco and generous lemon wedges.
Two-dozen fresh oysters, shucked – place the oysters on a platter, accompanied by red cocktail sauce and a vinegar dip (1/2 cup of white vinegar chopped red and white onions) place all ingredients in a jar up to three hours before serving. The mixture will be a lovely shade of light pink at serving time.
Fresh coleslaw (I like the vinegar variety), cucumber salad, and tri-color cherry tomatoes turned in olive oil and chopped basil.
Grilled branzino prepared as above.
Mesclun salad – lemon and olive oil dressing – drizzle lettuce with olive oil and squeeze the juice of one large lemon, toss.
Grilled asparagus – fresh asparagus, wash and sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt, grill until lightly charred, place on a platter sprinkle with olive oil, breadcrumbs and grated cheese, toss.
Complete the meal with crusty bread…. don’t forget the chilled white wine or chilled sparkling water with lemon.
Homemade sorbet – 4 cups fresh honeydew cubed (approximately 1 honeydew) freeze the cubes overnight. Place the frozen honeydew and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, ¼ cup honey, ¼ cup water pulse in a Cuisinart or blender. Place in a bowl and freeze for 1 hour. Serve immediately…. or serve market bought sorbet, but the homemade variety is awesome and no refined sugar!
Dessert wine and or expresso served with bakery biscotti round out dessert…. enjoy!