Baking fish in parchment paper is a great way to seal in flavor using very little oil or butter. This closed cooking method intensifies the flavors because they are captured inside the parchment paper. This Halibut recipe is bursting with flavor from the sun-dried-tomatoes, spinach, fresh herbs and lemon. The scent of flavor is immediately released when the parchment is opened after baking. Pearl couscous is also referred to as Israeli couscous. Pearl Couscous is not a grain but is actually a pasta. It is made with wheat and semolina flour that is rolled in wet hands until tiny pearls are formed. The pearls are then toasted which gives it a nutty flavor that stands out in recipes.
Can I make this ahead of time?
The couscous can be made ahead of time so all you have to do is wrap the ingredients in the parchment paper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes before serving. It is a one dish meal because the recipe includes a protein, starch and vegetable. There is very little clean up as well because everything is baked together in the parchment paper. I like to serve the fish with the paper slightly open on the plate so you can see all the beautiful colors inside.
Can I use a different fish?
Yes, you can substitute another fish. Any firm white fish would work well such as cod or fluke. It’s best to choose a mild flavor fish that won’t overpower the couscous.
As a Chef there is nothing I like more than to peruse the aisles in a food store. I find that every store and neighborhood has its own unique character. When traveling, I especially love wandering in local markets to get a taste of the culture. People connect through food and I find that you can learn a lot about different cultures by studying the food they eat. I will pretty much eat anything, or at least try it, except for the time I went to a traditional Japanese restaurant with my Dad and he insisted on ordering the special called Namako even though he had no idea what it was in English. He promised it would be good and pushed the Chef to serve it to us even after he had tried to dissuade us. What we received was a beautiful plate with five raw sea slugs on it. I literally thought they were suctioned to the plate. Now, Namako is a delicacy in Japan but I had to say “no, thank you” and Dad was left on his own to eat those slugs as to not insult the Chef. So I guess the lesson here is to at least have an idea what you’re ordering before your order it. By the way, Dad to this day swears they were delicious….
I do love to experiment with different flavors and spices. If I see something I have never seen before I get excited thinking about how I can incorporate it into a recipe. My husband, Mark, often doesn’t understand how much time I can spend in a market but honestly I just really love it. There are so many different types of food that gives you an endless source of ingredients for new and exciting recipes. Of course they’re not all winners but there’s knowledge in failure too. So if a dish doesn’t turn out the way I want it to I just try again.
Having been cooped up in my apartment for a bit too long I decided to pay a visit to Eataly located on 23rd and Fifth in NYC. Upon entering the store I began to swoon over the beautiful displays of Italian cookies, pastries, cheeses and meats. I took my time and walked slowly through the store while the aromas and sights brought back many memories of my visits to Italy. I chatted with the lovely gentleman making fresh mozzarella as he handed me one that he knew was going to be perfect then I walked over to the woman making fresh pasta and I was immediately struck by the tiny cacio e pepe raviolini that had just been prepared. Hmmm, cacio e pepe stuffed inside of pasta? That sounded delicious and interesting. I decided that had to be dinner that night. A sauce prepared with diced chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, shallots and a touch of cream would be perfect with the cacio pepe pasta. The pepper and cheese would definitely shine through a recipe like this. This would be a perfect dinner: Antipasto platter; fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil; and the cacio pepe pasta. Oh and a big plate of their tomato focaccia to compliment the antipasto and dip into the pasta sauce.
There is nothing better than making a big dish of loaded nachos and sitting down in front of the TV to watch a good movie. These homemade nachos are made with homemade refried beans and a bunch of fresh, colorful ingredients. The combination of the cool tomatoes and avocado on top of the cheesy, bean and corn layered tortilla chips will definitely put a smile on your face.
I absolutely love making homemade Mexican food. I do admit that many of my dishes are Americanized Mexican recipes. Nachos are known as a Tex-Mex dish but in fact were invented in Piedras Negras, Mexico in 1943 by restaurateur Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya specifically for Americans. A group of military wives had come into his restaurant and Nacho had to quickly prepare a snack for them so he fried some tortillas and put cheese and jalapeño peppers on top. The dish was a big hit and became very popular. There are now endless varieties of nachos and really anything goes.
What else can I put in my nachos?
There are many items you can add to this nacho recipe:
Buy a rotisserie chicken and pull the meat apart and add it in between the layers of cheese and beans
Brown ground beef in a pan and add a touch of cumin and chili pepper before adding to nachos
Zucchini, yellow squash, spinach, kale would also all be delicious
Seared Honey and Soy Marinated Salmon with Avocado, Rice, Nori and Salmon Roe
Living in New York City I am blessed to have some amazing Japanese restaurants around. My family loves crunchy salmon teriyaki rolls so I wanted to come up with an entree that would blend all the ingredients that they love. The result is this deconstructed salmon roll. I call it deconstructed because the ingredients are not tightly rolled in the seaweed but are rather placed on top of each other. I highly recommend warming the avocado but is not mandatory. The warm rice, salmon and avocado work perfectly when combined with the cool salmon roe. The crispy panko adds the perfect crunch to the dish.
So I know this recipe is a little more advanced but I am confident that all my amazing cooking friends out there will be able to prepare it and I promise that it is worth it. I wrote the recipe out in the order in which you should prepare it to help you with timing. This meal should be ready in about an hour.
What should I serve the Honey-Soy Salmon with?
I like to serve the salmon with garlic-sesame broccoli on the side (recipe below). I am happy to answer any questions you have if you need advice. Let me know how it turns out. Share your pics on instagram tag @itsjennsview or #itsjennsview
A hearty soup is so perfect to prepare in the Fall and Winter months. This Tuscan White Bean soup has kale added to it so it is delicious and super healthy and packed with vitamins. I know that often when you think about making soup you imagine hours at the stove but this soup is very easy to prepare and can be ready in one hour. I use canned Cannellini beans so that I do not need to soak the beans for hours before starting to make the soup. I also use frozen chopped organic kale that I always keep in my freezer. You can absolutely use dry beans and soak them as directed and you can use fresh kale if you prefer. I wanted to simplify the recipe so that you had most of the ingredients already in your kitchen ready to go when you decide to make soup. In the Winter months I like to keep some vegetables like spinach and kale in my freezer so I always have the ability to throw together a soup, pasta or omelette if I get hungry and don’t feel like going out in the cold. You can buy packaged vegetables or buy fresh and freeze your own. Every Fall I buy ears of fresh corn at the farmer’s market and cut the kernels off and freeze small pre-portioned bags. The corn can be used all winter long and is perfect for sautéing with butter or adding to stews, pasta or salads.
I use chicken broth in this recipe and prosciutto but you can leave out the prosciutto and use vegetable broth if you would like to keep the soup vegetarian and vegan. The key to making the soup creamy and delicious is to puree one can of beans with 2 cups of the broth before adding the rest of the beans. So one can is pureed with some of the simmering broth and put back into the soup and then the other can of beans is drained and added whole to the soup. The result is a heartier soup with an ample amount of whole Cannellini beans. Please be careful during this step because broth will be hot.
After you add the beans it is time to add the kale. The soup is almost done at this point so you should taste it to see if you need to add more salt and pepper.
Can I Make This Soup Ahead of Time?
Yes! You can keep this soup for 5 days in your refrigerator. You can also freeze the soup if you want it to last longer. I do not like keeping soup frozen for more than 2 months so remember to write the date on the container before putting it in the freezer. This is a good habit anytime you put leftovers in the freezer or refrigerator.
What Should I Serve The Tuscan White Bean Soup With?
Serve this soup with a good amount of fresh grated Parmigiana Reggiano on top, some crusty Italian bread, a simple salad and you have a delicious, easy meal.
with spinach, Roasted Peppers and Smoked Mozzarella
I love creating recipes that are vegetarian and taste great. There are so many plant based options around so it’s really a lot of fun to combine them. This recipe does use mozzarella so it is not vegan but you can definitely leave out the mozzarella and it would be still be delicious.
Can I make the mushrooms ahead of time?
Yes, you can fry the mushrooms ahead of time and layer the spinach and peppers on top. Cover them with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and leave them out at room temperature. Top with sliced smoked mozzarella just before you are ready to put the mushrooms in the oven. After frying the mushrooms they will need another 10 minutes in the oven to finish cooking and to melt the smoked mozzarella.
I used large portobello mushrooms in this recipe but you can also use the smaller ones. The small portobello mushrooms will be easier to fry. You can serve this dish as an appetizer or entree, for lunch or for dinner. The mushrooms are quite meaty and are definitely filling enough as a main dish. The colors are so beautiful together which makes the dish just as pleasing to look at as to eat. I always feel that people eat with their eyes so it is so nice to serve food that looks good and tastes great. Serve the mushrooms on a platter or put them on a bun and serve as a vegetarian burger. Jenn’s View special sauce recipe would be a delicious addition on top of the mushroom burger.