Monday, March 29, 2010

Orange Fennel Snapper

I recently hung out with my friend, Leslie, who recently moved to San Francisco from Boston. She and I have similar goals to eat at some of the San Francisco top restaurants and great taste places. I aim to check out Chez Panisse and Zuni café. She has managed already to check out quite a few wonderful spots in the city. After almost seven years of living in San Francisco, I am fortunate to have dined at many, many of the must see places of the area.

Since our bank accounts are beginning to suffer, we decided to stay in and create something light and yet wholesome. This is a very easy recipe for quick, 15 minute meal. 

After a long day of work, I have to say, this was satisfying.

Orange Fennel Snapper

1 lb Pacific Snapper (wild)
1 mandarin orange
1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed in hand
2 tbsp capers
1 lemon
1/2 tbsp olive oil + olive oil spray can

1. Preheat the oven to 450C. Spray the 8 x 8 baking dish with olive oil. After de-boning the snapper, lay as a single layer in the dish. 
2. In a small bowl, prepare the marinade. Mix one squeezed mandarin orange and lemon with 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Pour the orange marinade over the snapper. Crush the fennel seeds and sprinkle over the fish. Then add 2 tbsp drained capers over the fish. Allow the fish to soak up the marinade.
4. Put the fish in the oven for 6-8 minutes. The fish will be completely white when cooked completely. 

The snapper is delicious with a side green salad or roasted asparagus. Enjoy!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Garlic Parmesan Biscuits

I recently visited my fiancé in Durham. He is a very handsome Californian man with Southern roots (and a taste for good, Southern food). He had been craving biscuits for a while. I surprised him, while I was there, with a cheesy, garlicky version of a whole grain biscuit recipe from Enlightened Cooking. If you are a bread lover, a garlic lover, or a cheese lover, you have to try these biscuits. They are so easy to make. Good luck trying to limit yourself to just one.

Garlic-Parmesan Biscuits
adapted from


3 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar or 1 packet of Splenda

2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried granulated garlic
3 cloves of roasted garlic, mashed
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese (grated)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup vanilla soymilk + 3/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (such as Dannon light) 

or 1 and 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk


1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, garlic powder, granulated garlic, and salt.

3. Cut in the butter with fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs. 
4. Mix the soymilk (or milk) with the yogurt and mashed garlic cloves. Let sit for 2 minutes at room temperature. 
5. Add the milk-yogurt mixture to the breadcrumb-like ingredients with the parmesan cheese. Stir with a fork until just moistened.
6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly 4 times (not more). 
7. Roll dough to a 3/4-inch thickness and cut with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter (or a large jar top). Save the ends of this dough. It can be used for pies, turn-overs, and more!
8. Place on a baking sheet. Bake 12-13 minutes or until golden. 

Makes 12-14 biscuits.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spicy Shrimp with Fettuccine and Bacon

As a break from everything, I love to cook. I decided to do a quick recipe to satisfy my cravings for something spicy and comforting, using fresh vegetables. I came up with this recipe for Spicy Shrimp with Bacon. I added fettuccine but I imagine having this over grits would be superb.

Spicy Shrimp with Fettuccine and Bacon


1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 tsp olive or canola oil
1 cup whole wheat fettuccine
1/2 cup cooked medium shrimp
4 strips of turkey bacon
crushed red pepper flakes
cayenne pepper
chopped parsley (optional)
dash of salt
dash of pepper
Parmesan reggiano cheese


1. Cook the turkey bacon on medium heat in a pan. When the turkey bacon is complete, remove from pan and set aside.
2. To a medium fry pan, add 1 tsp olive oil. When the olive oil is hot, add the garlic and sauté until lightly browned but not burned. Add the chopped vegetables.
3. Start boiling two cups of water in a small pot.
4. Sauté the vegetables until softened slightly. Add the serrano pepper (seeds, optional).
5. Add the shrimp and the seasonings to taste.
6. Add the bacon to the dish and reduce heat to a simmer.
7. Meanwhile, add the whole wheat fettuccine to the boiling water. 
Cook until the fettuccine floats (6-8 min) and is al dente. 
8. Drain the fettuccine and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Add the fettuccine to the shrimp and bacon. 
9. Toss together and serve with grated cheese and chopped parsley, to taste.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lemon-Nut Torte

I guess I have been in a baking mood lately. I was baking for Sunday dinner and turned to a very robust and delicious recipe, a lemon-almond torte, that I discovered in SELF magazine. 

I was also excited to also use a spring-form tart pan, that I received as a birthday present from my brother. The torte is a delicious use of almond meal with a citrus appeal. I also substituted barley flour for the cornmeal, since I didn't have this ingredient on hand. It was even lighter than the first time I made it so I highly recommend this substitution. I also used agave nectar but if you don't have it, use honey. 

If you are in the mood for a light dessert, very light on the carbs, this recipe is a must try. 

Lemon-Nut Torte
adapted from SELF magazine


  • Parchment paper (optional if use a spring-form pan)
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon almond flour (found at health food stores)
  • 1/3 cup barley flour or cornmeal
  • 4 large eggs, yolks and whites divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup agave nectar (or honey)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, or a mix)
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar


(1) Heat oven to 350°. Coat a 8" or 9" pan with cooking spray. 
(2) Combine 1/3 cup sugar and flours in a medium bowl. 
(3) Whip 1/3 cup sugar and egg yolks in another bowl with an electric mixer about 5 minutes. 
(4) Beat in zest, oil, lemon juice, and orange juice. Fold in dry ingredients. 
(5) Beat egg whites and salt in a third bowl with an electric mixer until frothy. Beat in remaining 1/3 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. (6) Fold 1/3 of egg-white mixture into batter. Fold in remaining egg white mixture in two parts, mixing well. 
(7) Pour batter into pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. 
(8) Remove from oven; cool. Remove cake from pan. 
(9) Prepare topping: Combine agave nectar, lemon juice, and vanilla in a bowl. Add berries; mix. Spoon topping on cake.
(Optional) Dust with powdered sugar and slice into eighths.

Enjoy...I couldn't have just one piece.