Swordfish, Bok Choi-Mushroom Puree, and Pineapple Salsa

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For my food challenge tonight, Joe brought me swordfish steaks, pineapple, lemon, bok choi, mushrooms, and asparagus. He told me he brought me options, but I decided to brave it and make something that including every ingredient!

I started with a pineapple salsa. I didn’t have all of usual ingredients on hand, but made it work with red onion, lime, green pepper, a banana pepper, and pineapple. P.S. A pineapple corer – has to be one of the coolest inventions ever.

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Next, I boiled the mushrooms, bok choi, and asparagus for about 5 minutes. I just wanted to soften the mushrooms and bok choi. I put the asparagus into an ice bath to blanch it. Blanching helps to get a bright green color to make the dishes pop a little more.

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I threw the bok choi, mushrooms, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons of butter into the blender and turned it into a puree. I sauteed the asparagus in chipotle olive oil from Stuarto’s to reheat them and give them a little flavor.

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I used the grill pan coated in olive oil to get a sear on the swordfish steaks and cook them. You typically want swordfish to be a little rare in the middle (click here for more tips on cooking swordfish), but I was a little nervous about the fish quality we were getting. So, I cooked it a little longer than I would for higher quality fish (about 5 minutes on each side).

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To plate it, I rested the fish on the puree, finished it with a little lemon juice, added pineapple salsa and asparagus!

image(188)It was good! I would have liked a real grill for the swordfish though.  It has to be relatively healthy, right? I had a lot of the bok choi-mushroom mixture leftover, so I’d like to turn that into some type of a vegetarian soup. Hmmm, there may be a flexitarian post sometime in the near future…

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Back to Cooking…Finally!

The past month has been a little hectic! I’ve been in the process of moving, so I’ve been transitioning in a lot of areas of my life…including the kitchen! Unfortunately, I was kitchenless for that time period, which also means that I was blog postless. Blog postless? Apparently, I don’t just cook, I make up words too…

Now, I have a kitchen, but I don’t have all of my supplies unpacked and put away. To squelch my cooking cravings I just worked with what I had to make something quick and easy.

First, I sauteed thinly sliced chicken breasts until slightly browned.

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I shredded the chicken and added a can of black beans, 5 tablespoons of salsa, 1.5 tablespoons of lime juice, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder for a little kick. I let this simmer for about 15 minutes.

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While the mixture simmered, I cut the top out of two large bell peppers.

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I stuffed each pepper with the chicken mixture and topped it with shredded cheddar cheese.

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I baked it for about 20 minutes wrapped in foil and another 5 minutes uncovered.

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I liked that the filling was protein filled and tasty. It didn’t include carb loaded fillers like rice or bread crumbs. The addition of the lime juice prevented it for getting too dried out while baking. When I make these again I would like to make my own salsa using my recipe from a previous post called Mexican Monday.

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I’m looking forward to getting back to my normal challenges next week!

Tropical Pork Ribs

What a great Tuesday! All final grades were submitted AND I got to have a food challenge. Normally, cooking a stress reliever for me, but tonight I considered it a celbratory dinner. Joe brought pork ribs, ginger root, and bok choy. He told me that I had an hour and a half and I was not allowed to make a stir fry.

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Our weather recently dropped from 70 to 32 degrees – brrrr! So, I wanted to get back to thinking tropical. I had a can of pineapple rings in my cabinet that I’d been itching to use, so that was the first thing I grabbed. I used the pineapple juice and soy sauce to make a marinade for the pork. I refrigerated it in the marinade for 30 minutes. I put this into the oven at 350 degrees and set a timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I turned the pork, spooned the juices over it again, and cooked it for another 25 minutes.

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While the pork baked, I started a tropical salsa. I used half of a grated ginger root, a few red onion wedges, 1/4 of a cup of frozen edamame that I keep in my refrigerator for a family favorite salad, 4 pineapple rings, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice.

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I used the food processor to turn this into salsa.

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Next, I roughly chopped the bok choy and sauteed it in olive oil. I wasn’t really sure what else to do with it. As I write this blog, I found recipes for braised bok choy or bok choy chicken soup.

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The final step while the pork baked was to grill the remaining pineapple slices. Use high heat to get a nice sear and grill marks on the slices.

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Here is the finished plate!

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There was something missing from the salsa, I just can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’ll keep experimenting. Overall, it gets two, no make that four, thumbs up! It was easy and flavorful!