Archive for sauce

Northwest Fish & Chips

Posted in American, Seafood with tags , , , , , on September 19, 2011 by Cooking For Mark

The crispiest beer-battered fish you will ever taste. Simple, yet amazing! Use fresh pacific cod and good-quality beer. Pair with a slightly spicy tartar sauce and oven-baked rosemary fries tossed in a tangy dressing. Wash it down with your favorite pint.  Go ahead, give it a try.  You will not be disappointed.



  • 1 lb cod fish, cajun seasoning, salt, pepper
  • Batter: 1 1/2 c. flour, 1 can beer, cajun seasoning, lemon zest
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 c. Canola oil for frying
  1. Pat fish dry
  2. rub fish with cajun seasoning, salt and pepper
  3. Make batter (mix ingredients together)
  4. Place 1/2 c. flour on plate
  5. Cover fish with four, then drench in beer batter
  6. Fry in hot oil about 5 minutes total, until golden brown
  7. Place cooked fish on cooling rack (if you don’t have one, place oven rack on top of sink).  This is important! It will help keep the fish crisp without getting soggy!
Tartar Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1/4 c. mayo
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 1 pickled jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 tbsp thinly chopped shallot (or garlic, or both)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: Mix all together


  • Frozen steak fries
  • olive oil
  • dijon mustard
  • rosemary
  • salt
  • pepper
  • parmesan cheese (or romano or mozzarella)
  1. Bake fries according to directions. (Place on single layer so they get crispy)
  2. In a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients
  3. When fries are done, place fries in bowl and toss to coat

Tallarines Verdes, Dessert, and A Light Box!

Posted in South American with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Wow, where do I begin.  Let’s start with the light box. What is a light box, you might ask? Well, here is the beautiful light box Mark built for me….

It’s purpose? To provide a place to photograph food when natural lighting is unavailable.  I know, I am a huge nerd, but this thing is absolutely necessary here in Seattle.  I took the sun for granted this summer, as it was perfectly sunny and the sun didn’t set until 9:30 PM.  If you look back at my pictures almost all of them where taken outside, it was fantastic!! And now the sun has said goodbye only making slight appearances in the days it is not raining and not cloudy, but only between the hours of 1-3. That’s a two hour window 2-3 days a week!! Obviously, I have been unable to take pictures these last couple of weeks, which made me sulky and glossy eyed.  In an attempt to make me happy once again Mark took several trips to Home Depo and came up with my solution.  It’s no natural light, but it will definitively do. Now all I need is a fancy camera!

And now, for the main course: Peruvian Tallarines Verdes, or Pasta with a creamy spinach basil sauce….

It’s similar to pesto sauce, but it’s much creamier and milder. I blended the spinach and basil with coconut milk, walnuts, feta cheese, cream cheese and parmesan (if pistachios weren’t so expensive I would have replaced them with the walnuts).  I also added some beautiful ribbons of zucchini.  This was my first time tasting Tallarines Verdes and I loved it!

Tallarines Verdes (Adapted from…but i’m sure this one is better 😉 )

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot

Directions: Saute butter, garlic, and shallot and blend with following ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. coconut milk or evaporated milk
  • 1/4 c. feta cheese
  • 1/4 c. cream cheese (Note: you can replace both cheeses with 1/2 c. queso fresco)
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 entire bunch of spinach, thoroughly washed and dried
  • 1/2 – 1 c. fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Optional: 1 jalapeno, seeded

Directions: Place everything in blender and blend until creamy. Place in saucepan and slowly heat through, without letting it boil.

  • 1/2 package fettuccine, or pasta of your choice, cooked al dente
  • 2 large zucchinis, sliced lengthwise with vegetable peeler

Directions: When pasta is cooked, add a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking.  Place sliced zucchini in largo bowl and squirt a bit of lime and salt and pepper. Add hot noodles and cover with warm sauce. The heat of the noodles with slightly cook the zucchini.  You don’t want them too cooked though or else they will be limp. Serve and top with a bit of parmesan cheese. You can serve this as a main course, or as a side with grilled chicken or meat.

And now, for dessert: Lacquered Peach from The Cilantropist.

This delicious peach was baked in an apricot caramel glaze. The result is a soft, delicate sweet and juicy peach.  All of it’s peachy flavors are intensified…and when you pair the warm peach with ice cream…

Well it’s just heavenly!  I am sad to say Mark didn’t enjoy is as I did.  But to his defense, he said he wasn’t into “hot fruits”.  And to be fair, Mark is not really into desserts unless it has chocolate or it’s cheesecake.

But I posted this dessert specially for my Mom and Dad.  I know, without a doubt, they will absolutely love this dessert. Let me know if i’m right Mami (this is a test to see if she actually reads my posts).

Click here for the recipe

Going Green: Cauliflower Taquitos & Green Chili with Zesty Lime Sauce

Posted in Mexican with tags , , , , , on July 31, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

I realize I’ve posted a few avocado-based dishes this week, and I feel like I must explain. See I bought a big bag of avocados at the store because it was on sale for $2. I could not get over the deal I got so I went back and got another bag. Now I am left with a whole bunch of avocados and I am having a lot of fun experimenting with them. I’ve never really had the chance to do this since they are usually so expensive, but now is my chance. I only wish I had an ice cream maker so I could make avocado ice cream!

I won’t bore you with everything I use my lovely avocados for, but I will post my favorites. This is one of them: taquitos filled with cheese and a mixture of cauliflower avocado and lime. Serve this with a hearty & tangy green chili and you will get the best combination of flavors you could ask for.

Making everything at once was a little time-consuming, so I would recommend you make the lime sauce in advance, and maybe even the cauliflower mixture. Then all that would be left to do is make the chili and assemble and fry the taquitos. Frying things is my least favorite part of the cooking world, specially when the house is hot. But lucky for me I only had to fry up four of these for dinner. Thank god I don’t have a large family, or I would probably despise cooking. Growing up my mom would actually make a giant pyramid of taquitos every time. It was beyond reason but they always managed to be consumed. I remember she would ask me to keep an eye on them while she went to go “check” on something. This was her sneaky way to get a little break from all the hot frying. But I was sneaky too. I would just let them burn…and guess who wasn’t asked to look out for them anymore. Moi! But guess who had to eat burned taquitos…haha, no, not me. My mom was way too nice to us, more than we ever deserved.

And now, to the recipe:

Cauliflower Cheese & Lime Taquito Ingredients:

  • Corn tortillas
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • Zesty Lime Sauce, recipe below (about 1/3 c) (goes inside cauliflower mix)
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Pepper jack cheese, about 1/2 c.
  • Provolone cheese (or other)

Taquito Directions:

  • Steam cauliflower until soft. If you boil it, make sure there is no excess water.
  • Mix rest of ingredients together, minus the provolone cheese
  • Place tortillas in microwave inside plastic bag and heat for about 30 seconds
  • Place a piece of provolone cheese on tortilla. Top with cauliflower and roll into a taquito.
  • Place carefully in oil, making sure the tortilla does on unroll.
  • Fry until brown on both sides
  • Serve with veggie green chili.


Veggie Green Chili with Zesty Lime Sauce

Veggie Green Chili Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 1-2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 3 stocks celery, chopped in small pieces
  • 3 carrots, chopped small
  • 1 zucchini, chopped small
  • Salt, pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • About 2 c. vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained
  • About 2 c. green enchilada sauce
  • Garnish: Zesty lime sauce (below), fried tortilla strips, purple cabbage, cheese

Chili Directions:

  • Add onion to hot oil. Cook for about 2 mins. Add garlic and jalapeno, cook for 1 min. Add celery, carrots, zucchini and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano
  • Add veg/chicken stock, tomatoes, corn, beans and green enchilada sauce
  • Simmer in low/med heat for about 25 minutes
  • Turn heat down to low and simmer for another 30 minutes
  • If it gets too thick, add more enchilada sauce
  • Garnish with fried tortilla strips, zesty lime sauce, and cheese.


Zesty Lime Sauce

Zesty Lime Sauce

  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 1/2 tbsp mayo
  • Juice of 1/2 – 1 lime, to taste
  • Handful of cilantro
  • 1-2 Serrano peppers, to taste
  • 1/2  avocado (add more if you want it thicker)
  • 1 big clove garlic
  • Salt + pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Zesty Lime Sauce Directions: Blend everything in food processor or blender until smooth. Taste and adjust to your liking. Refrigerate until ready to use.

White Wine Clam Linguini

Posted in Italian, Seafood with tags , , , , , on July 26, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

I saw the movie Ratatouille on TV last night. I adore that movie. I specially like when the food critic explains to Linguini his passion for food: “I don’t like food, I love it. And if I don’t love it, I don’t swallow!” I should have taken the critics advice and not swallowed this evil, bad clam.

I always wanted to make clams. They look so appetizing to me. The first time I saw this dish was in the island of Ischia, Italy on a beachfront restaurant Mark took me to. I can’t remember what I ordered that day, but I do remember what the people next to me ordered. It was a big bowl of linguini with bright red grape tomatoes, topped with clams still intact to their shells. It looked absolutely wonderful. 5 years later I still had not tasted clams…until last week when I made this recipe.

Maybe I didn’t cook the clams right, or maybe I got some bad clams, but it was a terrible experience for me. When the clams were cooked I decided to take a quick taste and picked out the smallest one out of the bunch. It was chewy, but not bad. A few minutes later I had my second one. This clam was much different, and one I will always regret eating.  I still want to gag when I think about it’s thick creamy center that was clinging to the back of my tongue, as if I had eaten a clam filled with shortening. I tried washing it away with water, to no avail. I can’t imagine people liking clams if that is truly what they taste like, which leads me to believe that maybe that was just one bad clam. Dinner time commenced was ended without Mark nor I having the strength to taste another one. It will take one extremely appetizing clam cooked by an acclaimed chef to get me to try again. Once we picked out the clams we had some fantastic spaghetti, thank god! (I know, I said it was linguini…but I lied. Spaghetti and clams just does not sound good…).

A much better seafood substitution would be shrimps. Yum! So below you will find the recipe for White Wine Shrimp Linguini (or spaghetti).

Wine Sauce Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 shallots, minced (or 1/2 onion)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt + pepper
  • 1 lime + zest
  • 1/2-1 c. dry sherry or any dry white wine

Additional Ingredients:

  • Linguini or spaghetti
  • Shrimps (or clams if you are brave)
  • Kalamata olives (or a combination of green and black olives)
  • Capers (found in olive section)
  • Italian flat-leaf parsley


  1. Add about 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp butter to pan. Add shallots and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add sherry or wine. Zest lime or lemon and add to the wine. Add 1/2 of lemon juice, and let simmer for about 10 minutes. (If you want to add clams, add to wine sauce and cover. In about 10 minutes they will have opened).
  2. Meanwhile, boil pasta until just under al dente (about 7 minutes…it will continue to cook in the sauce).
  3. Add shrimps to sauce once it was simmered, and cook for about 2 minutes on each side.

4.  Add the pasta into the white sauce. Add the rest of the lime juice. Add the kalamata olives, the capers and the parsley.

Serve with bread…

And a side of caesar salad.

NOTE: if you want to make the clams, clean them first by placing in a bowl of cold water and a tbsp of vinegar for about an hour. This will get rid of a lot of the sand inside the clams.

Creamy Gorgonzola Marsala Gnocchi with Portobello Mushrooms

Posted in Italian with tags , , , , , on July 21, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Remember my bottle of Marsala wine post? (If you don’t, click here). When I wrote that post I had only tried the gorgonzola marsala ravioli made with wanton wrappers. This weekend I made the same sauce but added gnocchi and portobello mushrooms…delicious!  It was super fast to make and super good. So give it a try!

If you want to make the gnocchi by hand, check out these video. I have made gnocchi from scratch once and it turned out pretty good. It’s a little time consuming but it’s not too difficult.

  1. Ricotta Gnocchi
  2. Potato Gnocchi