Mexican Style Fruit Salad with Broiled Fish – The Food Matters Project

This week, at the Food Matters Project, we are making this fruit and fish dish which sounded strange, to me.  I could not imagine a bed of fruit with fish on top and explained this way, it does not sound good.  These are the times, I am thankful, I don’t follow my instincts and skip the week and go ahead and make the week’s designated recipe.  I did only make one piece of salmon which was definitely a mistake.

Of course, when I went to cook, the fruit supply had diminished greatly, leaving me with mango and more mango and a few pears that I was saving, for a cake.  If you don’t tell, I will share with you what I did.  I opened a can of guava  and that with the mango and some cranberries and coconut, I made the fruit part of the dish.  This was supposed to have hot  chiles but hubby does not do well with anything hot.  I subbed in some Mexican chile powder, I just got – only a tiny bit.  The only other seasoning used was  basil and home-grown oregano.

Inspiration hit and after topping this fruit mixture with broiled salmon, I sprinkled some pistachios, on top, and they made quite a difference.  It rounded out this recipe beautifully.

Thanks, Sara from Food and Frederick for picking a dish, we really enjoy

ed, despite some hesitancy.  The recipe is found on  her blog and please do drop by The Food Matters Project and see what the other foodies have made.

Now for my confession.  It is hard to believe, we make such foolish mistakes.  When, I went to broil my fish, I decided to put it on a cookie sheet and my sheets always have parchment paper covering them, so I put this precious salmon, in the oven with the paper.   Yep, you can imagine what happens to paper at a high temperature with the flame burning down on it.  Fortunately, my husband walked in and smelled the burning paper and saved it.  I am sharing a picture.  I have certainly learned a lesson and if anyone out there would make such a silly goof, you can learn also.

This is linked to the Gallery of Favorites      Southern Fairy Tale

Salsa Bittman Style – The Food Matters Project

Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman

This week for the Food Matter Project, we had fun, experimenting with salsa.  The Five Quick Salsas for Chips, Dips, and Other Stuff can be found on  page 46 and was chosen by Alissa from Big Eats Little Kitchen.  Thanks to Alissa for a tasty treat.

I planned to use this on chicken, rather than as a dip or appetizer but made in the morning and tasted it and demolished it.  I also, rather than make it as pico de gallo, wanted a thick saucy salsa so I used the handy mini food processor to give it body.

I admit, it was so good, I dipped in corn cakes and loved every minute of cheesy goodness.  I actually, did not share.

Basic Salsa

  • 2 large ripe organic tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1/2 large white onion, chopped
  • 1  teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili powder
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 31 tablespoon lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Place in food processor and blend until smooth.

Serve as dip or with cheese.   I added a large blob of mozzarella and zapped it, in the microwave.  Delicious.

Mark Bittman gave alternative recipes which make up the 5 quick dips, Peach Salsa,  Green Apple-Cucumber, Tomatillo-Black Bean Salsa and Corn Salsa.

White Bean and (Asparagus) Avocado Soup

When no one in the family likes asparagus, what does a girl do,with all those wonderful recipes featuring asparagus?  I think, this may be the in-season for asparagus since it appears each time, I click on a recipe.

Here it is again,in our weekly recipe for The Food Matters Project, selected by Adrienne of Adrienne Eats, where you will find the recipe for White Bean and Asparagus Soup.  I may not love asparagus but I do admire this blog, which has its stress on healthy eating with delectable recipes.    Check out her Friday Favorites, bloggers of note.

Usually, I select some green vegetable replace the asparagus such as broccoli or spinach.  My darling husband had just brought me a box of avocados and a few of them were ripe and that is the moment, I knew this was going to be a White Bean and Avocado Soup and it did work well.  I did use regular sized tomatoes, rather than small ones.  We like the flavor it brings to soups.  Instead of chicken soup as a base, I used an organic vegetable broth.

With the cooler weather returning, I have been making soups, on a regular basis.  This fit right in. 

Thanks to Adrienne for a good pick.  Go on over to the Food Matters Project and see who else has participated and what they have come up with.   If you are a Mark Bittman fan, you just might want to join us in cooking his yummy recipes.

This is linked to Homemaker Monday    Real Food Wednesday      Tuesday Talent Show        Allergy Free Wednesday      Hearth and Soul

Soy Broth with Noodles

Mark Bittman has become my secret friend or at least, his books and recipes have done that. I have not been disappointed with any recipe, I have made because, he allows so much freedom to make each recipe your own.

Soy Broth with Noodles

The Minimalist: From a Simple Base, Endless Possibilities (March 25, 2009)   adapted

1/3 cup soy sauce, more to taste

1/3 cup ketchup or 3 tablespoons tomato paste and a pinch of sugar

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, more to taste

A few drops dark sesame oil (optional) (I used.)

A squirt of sriracha or other sauce, or a dried red chili to taste (optional)

1 scallion, chopped

1 pound egg noodles

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it.

In a smaller pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil.  Reduce heat so that it simmers, steadily.

Add to the smaller pot, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, sesame oil if using and sriracha or chili, along with a pinch of salt. Stir and let simmer.

Add egg noodles to large pot.  Cook according to package directions.

Taste broth and add more soy, salt, vinegar or heat as you like.

In the last three minutes, add scallions to broth.

Divide noodles into bowls and pour hot broth over all.

Yield: 4 servings.

Food Matters Project – Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables

The name of this recipe appealed to me, immediately, because I thought, it had no meat in it.  I was wrong.  It calls for a choice Italian sausage, bone-in pork chops, comfit duck legs or duck breasts.  No, no, Mr. Bittman – not for me and I don’t believe we missed anything without the meat. I like what Mark put into it – that is Mark Bittman, the author of Food Matters. I left out the meat and will ask, “Who needed it?”  This totally vegetable dish was filled with flavor and we cleaned our dishes.

We like this cassoulet and I would be happy to make this again.  It was filled with veggies, which we love and the combination was one, both hubby and I enjoy. I pretty much followed the recipe but I turned it, into a  soup by adding some organic vegetable broth and water.  It was rich and delicious.

 The Food Matters Project can be found here and we hope any Bittman fans  will join right in.  Cooking Bittman is interesting and tasty.  You can also find the cooks and where to find their latest creaThe Food Matters Cookbooktions on The Food Matters site.

In the future we will be cooking up the following recipes as follows:

April 9, 2012: Fish Nuggets Braised in Rhubarb Sauce (page 454),

April 16, 2012: No-Work Mostly Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (page 533) and Topping Pizza, the Food Matters Way (p

April 23, 2012: Real Whole Wheat Bread (page 539) or Mostly Whole Wheat Baguettes (page age 535),

542) April 30, 2012: Roasted Asparagus and White Bean Soup (page 110) May 7, 2012: 

Five Quick Salsas for Chips, Dips, and Other Stuff (page 46 May 14, 2012: Bruschetta, Rethought (page 51),

Don’t theysound good?

This is linked to Savory Sunday       What Makes you Say Mmmm?     Hearth and Soul    Savory Sunday

Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce – The Food Matters Project

Cover of "Food Matters: A Guide to Consci...

Cover via Amazon

This is my second recipe as a member of the The Food Matters Project.  Last week, I just did not have enough time to track down my ingredients but this week, normalcy returns and I managed to get everything although, I was one orange short.  I had no vision what this would like or taste like and I admit, I was happily surprised.  I am not sure why I am surprised since Marc Bittman has not steered me wrong and I trust in his recipes, especially with the choices he suggests.

Dominica of Wine Food Love chose Mark Bittman’s Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce. You can find the recipe at  Wine Food Love.

I made this dish and served it on soba noodles which was a good mix.  Alternatives are rice or quinoa and I think all three would be yummy.  I followed this recipe almost exactly.  I was short that orange so I did not have as much zest and I added some juice from the container to the fresh orange juice to make enough for cooking.  The citrus flavor turned out to come through clearly and we like that.  The honey gave it very slight sweet taste and all the flavors blended beautifully.  This is a winning recipe.

To see what others did with this recipe, check out the Food Matters Project.

This is linked to Cast Party Wednesday   

Baked Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Figs and Blue Cheese – The Food Matters Project

I have been a big fan of Mark Bittman for a number of years.  I particularly like his ability to convey to the cook many ways to make the same recipe.  This attitude was great for me tonight when I thought I was baking the above recipe, only to find that I could not get most of the ingredients.

I have not seen gluten-free rigatoni so I subbed in penne.  Although, I am sure, kosher blue cheese is available, I have not seen it locally.  We are not fans of figs so I subbed apples which were great.  Finally and unbelievably, the local stores were out of brussels sprouts.  I called my daughter and asked her to look around and she also could not locate any.

I guess, I proved that you can  change the ingredients and come out with a facsimile of the original.

I feel particularly bad because this is the first time, I cooked with the foodies of The Food Matters Project.  This group is cooking their way through Mark Bittman’s, The Food Matters.   If you are interested, get the book and join us.

Marcia from Twenty by Sixty chose the  Baked Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Figs, and Blue Cheese (page 221), in The Food Matters.   You will find the recipe on her blog.

Marcia shares her hesitation selecting this recipe which about describes my initial reaction.  Figs? Blue Cheese? Pasta? and Brussels Sprouts?  They just shouldn’t go together but I gather they did and did so beautifully.

My combination of broccoli, Monterey Jack, Apples and Penne also worked although I didn’t believe it.  The almonds seemed to disappear into the dish and it was not until the end that I found one. This is unique but trusting Mark Bittman helps.  I had to believe the recipe was good.

Check out the other cooks at The Food Matters Project.

Vegetable Pancakes with Salmon – Mark Bittman

I was browsing through recipes that interested me and hit upon Bittman’s vegetable pancakes.   I am always interested in Mark Bittman’s recipes.  I find the flexibility he gives to almost any recipe makes cooking a joy.  Since, I tend to change recipes, as a matter of habit, he is giving permission and ideas as to how to do just that.  He is also down to earth in  his approach to cooking and I need that.

These looked great and I thought of them as a side to the salmon until a light bulb went on and I decided to add the baked salmon into the pancakes.

Vegetable Pancakes, adapted from Mark Bittman


About 1 1/2 pounds grated vegetables, peeled first if necessary (3 cups packed), and squeezed dry

1/2 small onion

4 potatoes

1 carrot

1 zucchini

1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted

1 slice salmon, cut into small pieces

1 egg

1/4 cup corn meal

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive or vegetable oil or butter for greasing the pan

  1. Grate the vegetable or vegetables with the grating disk of a food processor. (I love my food processor.)
  2. Squeeze out the liquid.  Save for soups or other dishes.
  3. Mix together the vegetables, onion, egg, salmon and 1/4 cup of  the corn meal.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a little more flour if the mixture isn’t holding together.
  5. Put oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. When the oil is hot, drop in spoonfuls of the batter, using a fork to spread the vegetables into an even layer, press down a bit. Work in batches to prevent overcrowding.
  7.  Cook, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.  (I used my cookie scoop to get the same size pancakes.)

This is linked to Turning the Table Thursdays    Side Dish Saturdays