Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Eats

We don't have a dining room table yet. It's supposed to arrive next week, but even after it gets here it'll be a while before we have chairs. We also don't have a kitchen table yet, because I wanted to wait until our kitchen floor is in before buying one. Same goes with kitchen chairs. So where have we been eating?

A) On the couch/coffee table, typically in front of The West Wing (oh yes, Project Liberal Porn is still going... we're on Season 6)

B) Outside

As much as I made fun of our '70s-era blue boat of a backyard when we bought this house, I have to admit that we've been sort of loving it. The color is still heinous, but the structure does have its benefits. One of those is plentiful seating, even outside of our patio furniture. Eating out there is a natural choice these days, with the only downside being that my legs currently have 23 mosquito bites on them (I'm going to look so hot at a wedding on Saturday... so hot).

The other night we put together a dinner that was so fresh and summery and delicious - despite the fact that the fish was cooked inside - that I thought I'd share it here. It's been awhile since I posted a recipe, after all. To make up for it... here's three!

Grilled Cajun Corn and Pan-Seared Mahi Mahi with Cilantro Chimichurri

Grilled Cajun Corn
Adapted from Weber's Big Book of Grilling
  • 4 ears fresh sweet corn in their husks
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Your favorite Cajun spice blend, homemade or packaged (I like keeping a fresh mix of Emeril's "Essence" around)
Soak the ears of corn in cold water for at least 30 minutes. If necessary, use a weight to keep the ears submerged. Drain.
Meanwhile, make the butter: In a small bowl mix together the spice blend and the butter with a fork.
Pull back the husks of each ear of corn, leaving them attached at the stem. Remove and discard the corn silk.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of the seasoned butter evenly over the kernels of each ear. Fold the husks back over the kernels and use string or a thin strip of husk to tie them at the top.
Grill the corn over direct medium heat until the kernels are tender, 25 to 30 minutes, turning three or four times during grilling time. For an extra smoky flavor, allow the ears to brown. Eat off the husks or cut the corn off with a knife.

Pan-Seared Mahi Mahi
Adapted from Wegman's
  • 4 fresh wild-caught mahi mahi fillets
  • salt, pepper, and flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Season fish with salt and pepper. Dust both sides with pan-searing flour; pat off excess.  
Heat olive oil in pan on medium-high until oil faintly smokes; add fish. Turn over when fish changes color one-quarter of way up and seared side has turned paper-bag brown, 3 min. 
Reduce heat to medium. Cook about 4 min, until internal temp reaches 120 degrees. Check by inserting thermometer halfway into thickest part of fish.
Add basting oil and butter to pan; swirl. Baste with spoon, 1-3 min, until internal temp reaches 130 degrees. 
Transfer fish to clean platter; let rest at least 2 min. Top with Cilantro Chimichurri, or other yummy sauce, or none at all!

Cilantro Chimichurri
I double-triple-quadruple love this stuff. A week ago we ate it over grilled veggies and meat in fajitas. The other night, fish. Don't like cilantro? Use your favorite herb instead. Parsley chimichurri makes a mean burger topping. Mint chimichurri would be out of control on top of fresh-grilled lamb. The recipe is from Mark Bittman.
  • 2 cups loosely-packed fresh cilantro leaves (or other herb)
  • salt
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Combine the cilantro, a pinch of salt, the garlic, and the oil in a food processor or blender. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container if necessary. Add the lime juice and blend for a second; add a little water if necessary to think the mixture, then puree.
Taste and adjust the seasoning , the serve or cover and refrigerate for up to a couple of days.


    1. These recipes sound delicious! So light and summery. I adore Chimmichuri lately.

      Also pleased to hear that PLP is coming along well. I'm in season 5 myself. I'm missing Sorkin's influence in the scripting for sure.

    2. ooh! sean came home with two ears of corn last night (i have no idea) and that recipe sounds perfect!

    3. oooh that looks divine! I definitely need to try out that corn and chimichurri!

    4. Corn and Cilantro are my husband's two favorite ingredients. I made a cilantro curry for our flounder the other night and it was a hit. I need to try this recipe next!

    5. So excited to say "I told you so" about your boat deck!


    6. Hooray Project Liberal Porn! I got introduced to your blog by my best friend in real life, the NewlywedNextDoor (http://www.newlywedsnextdoor.com/) because my husband and I are moving to DC and are both "liberal types" as she so graciously put it. We did the WW start to finish too when we inherited the entire series while in Peace Corps and finished it in a couple of months. LOVED IT.


    C'mon, make my day...

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