Italy has Pisa … Costa Rica has ceviche

Earlier this summer I went to Costa Rica on vacation. It was amazing. I highly recommend it. We zip lined, went deep sea fishing, white water rafting, rode horses through a river…. lots of exciting, adventurous stuff. We played, we relaxed and we ate quite well. A LOT of fish. We practically cleaned out the ocean on this trip – between the amount that we caught and how much we ate.

One of my favorites? The leaning tower of ceviche that I had for lunch (or breakfast) at the pool almost everyday. ceviche

There’s a layer of mango chunks; then mahi mahi with cilantro, onion and red pepper; then avocado – with a plantain on top. Isn’t it just pretty? Yum. And oh, so fresh.

I really want to try to recreate it. I found this recipe that is similar and uses scallops. I think I could give it a few tweaks to make it more like the tower. Not making any promises on the presentation though.

I’ll let you know how it goes….


Fish with a Kick

Here’s a southwestern seasoning to use on white fish if you want a little kick. I’ll sprinkle it on tilapia and bake it in the oven, or you can pan fry it on the stove too. It’s a good, quick, dinner-for-one meal. You could even make the seasoning in advance so you have it ready to go on a night that you just want to throw something together fast. I did this last night with cilantro-lime rice and the Mexican Explosion. Perfect combo!

For the rice, just make long grain white rice following to the directions on the package. Then when it’s almost done cooking, add some chopped cilantro, squeeze in some lime juice and stir. Easy. And so much better than a package!

And for the fish…

Here’s what you need:
(Recipe serves 4)

1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (add more if you want more kick)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lime

Here’s what you do:

Prehead oven to 450 degrees. Mix the garlic powder, chili powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Squeeze lime juice over both sides of the fish. Sprinkle seasoning evenly over both sides of the fish. Spread 1 tbsp olive oil on baking sheet. Place fish on sheet. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the filets. Bake 7-9 minutes or until fish is opaque and flaky.

Whole Foods’ Web site has lots of tips for preparing and cooking fish, plus nutritional highlights for different types of seafood.


Shrimp Thanksgiving

I picked out this recipe because it had a short cook time (read 5 min.) completely overlooking the chopping … and that I had bought unpeeled shrimp. Oops. It’s a lot of chopping, I’m not gonna lie – especially because I added extra zucchini and squash. And I was trying to throw it together before heading out at 8 p.m.; so I had to move fast. Chopping, peeling, halving – all over the kitchen – I felt like amateur Iron Chef, but without the people who clean up after you. Cooking it was really pretty easy though. And it was delicious! Definitely worth all that peeling…

Here’s what you need:
(recipe serves 6)

¼ cup olive oil
Garlic, finely chopped (about 6 large cloves)
3 tbsp. oregano, finely chopped
2 pounds shrimp – uncooked, peeled
¾ pound zucchini, chopped
¾ pound red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup basil, chopped
salt & pepper

Here’s what you do:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat
Add garlic and oregano and cook for 30 seconds
Add shrimp, zucchini (and any other veggies you want) and cook 3-5 minutes
Add tomato, chopped basil, salt and pepper
Cook until shrimp are opaque in the center – about 1 minute more

I put it over pasta (whole grain spaghetti noodles) … just cooked and strained the noodles, then squeezed half a lemon over them, added a little olive oil, threw in some basil, and sprinkled on parmesan cheese. I bet couscous or orzo would be good with it too.

Tastes like summer. 🙂

I need to start cooking with a camera. Next time…