Friday, September 28, 2012

Couscous with Shrimp, Cilantro, Corn & Avocado

Perhaps it was my August hiatus that sparked a need in me to cook all freakin' week. While most of the week's recipes have already made it to the blog, this little gem has not. The original recipe was meatless, but I had some shrimp in the freezer that were calling so I threw them in. Remember to seed the serrano pepper if heat isn't your thing. Otherwise, enjoy!

Adapted From:

Serves 6-8


  • 3 cups of couscous uncooked
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 limes
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 4 ears of corn


To cook the couscous, bring the water to a boil. Add the couscous, cover and remove from heat. Meanwhile, in a large pan, toss the cashews on medium heat until golden. Set aside and when cool, chop into smaller pieces.

Toss the avocado into a bowl with the juice of one lime, mixing well and season with salt and pepper.

In a blender or food processor add the pepper, cilantro and juice from one lime. Blend until everything is well mixed and then add the olive oil and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a couple splashes of olive oil in the same pan used for the cashews. Coat the pan with olive oil and add the garlic and saute for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the corn kernels and cook together for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss with the cilantro-pepper sauce. Add the vegetables to the couscous, mixing well. Portion into bowls and top with avocado and a little cilantro if you have it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Feta & Basil Crusted Halibut with Wilted Spinach & Risotto

And we are back! After a two-month hiatus, I am back in the kitchen preparing new dishes worthy of blogging about. My summer sandwich assembly and barbecue routine just didn't make the EBF cut, so I set the blog aside until I could devote a little time to trying something new. 

A recent trip to Iceland has given me a new appreciation for all Scandinavian foods, so I was poking around Billingsgate Seafood Market yesterday looking for Gravlax and other Nordic delights. What I picked up instead was a nice piece of halibut, so I spent last night working with it. This is a recipe I would make again, especially for company. The entire meal took me about an hour to prepare from start to finish and is visually pleasing. The combined flavours are surprisingly bold and if you have guests that appreciate good fish, I would add this to you entertaining menu.


Serves 4


  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 3T plus 1T butter
  • 2-3 cups of water or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 100g aged cheddar, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Feta and Basil Halibut  

  • 4 T dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 100g crumbled feta
  • Handful of chopped basil
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Ground pepper
  • 4 pieces of halibut 
**I opted for fillets, but the recipe I followed used steaks

Wilted Spinach

  • 4 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 T butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Risotto

Simmer the stock in a pot to keep it warm (I used what I had left for stock and topped it up with water). Saute the onions in three tablespoons of melted butter in a large pot until they are soft, about five minutes. Add the rice and the wine, mixing well until the wine is absorbed by the rice. Add the stock, about a half-cup at a time, letting each portion be absorbed by the rice before more is added. This should take about twenty minutes. Test the rice to ensure it is cooked through, adding a little water if required to soften it further. Remove the risotto from the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of butter, the cheddar and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until all ingredients are well incorporated.

For the Halibut

Preheat oven to 400F. In a bowl, combine the feta, basil, breadcrumbs, olive oil and pepper. Place the fish in a well-oiled baking dish. Cover the fillets each with a tablespoon of the mustard. Coat the top of each fillet with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake uncovered for ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the thickness of the halibut. 

For the Spinach

Saute the minced garlic in the melted butter for about two minutes. Add the spinach, coating it with the butter and garlic mixture, cover it and remove it from the heat. Let stand for a minute before serving. Season with salt and pepper.