Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Fresh Grilled Mahi Mahi and Baby Romaine in the Bahamas

I’ve written a few posts about my time in Exuma, Bahamas, and here is one more.  There were just so many great culinary as well as fishing experiences, one post just wouldn’t do it justice.

Mahi Mahi from Exuma BahamasI spent a day sport fishing with my friend Eric just off the coast of Exuma.  We went out with Captain Robert of Robert’s Island Adventures.  Fishing was a bit slow, with one broken line and one Barracuda in the first few hours.  The next line was mine, and I’m sure glad it was.  The drag started screaming and my fish was on.  I’ve caught some pretty good fighters in my time on the water, and this one ranks right up there in my fishing battles.  After about 5-6 minutes we saw the flash of a bull Dolphin (otherwise known as Mahi Mahi or Dorado).  It wasn’t done yet though, taking a few long runs away from the boat.  We finally got the fish in the boat, and it was a beauty.  My first ever Mahi Mahi, and it is one I’ll remember for a long time.

Not only was it a fantastic fight, it was one of the best meals we ate while on Exuma.  In addition to the Mahi Mahi, we enjoyed fresh Lobster from our adventures with Harris the day before as well as roasted potatoes, a grilled romaine salad and some freshly made guacamole and chips.  Delicious.

Grilled Mahi Mahi Recipe

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Lobster12 Mahi Mahi fillets (which is what we got out of the fish)
2 Cloves chopped fresh garlic
3 Limes juiced
4-5 Green onions chopped
1/4 Cup olive oil
1 Anaheim chili chopped
1/2 Cup chopped Cilantro
1/2 tbsp Cumin
1/2 Cup white wine
1/2 tbsp Salt

Mix all the ingredients together  and pour over the Mahi Mahi fillets in a glass baking dish or plastic bag and refrigerate for about an hour.  Remove fillets from marinade and grill over medium heat until just cooked through (about 3-4 minutes per side).  Do not overcook the fish or it will dry out.

Grilled Baby Romaine Salad Recipe

Grilled Baby Romaine SaladThe grilled Romaine salad was such a simple thing to prepare, but it is a nice change of pace from a simple cold salad.

4 Baby Romaine sliced in half
6 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
3/4 Cup balsamic vinegar simmered on the stove until reduced by half

Drizzle about 4 tbsp of olive oil over the baby Romaine halves and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill cut side down over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes or until the cut side has defined char marks and is starting to wilt just slightly.  Remove from the grill and drizzle the reduced balsamic vinegar and remaining olive oil over the top of the baby romaine.

Roasted Potatoes

Wonderful roasted potatoes

Fresh Guacamole

Fresh Guacamole








I’m sure I’ll have one or two more posts about our trip to Exuma, but this has to be one of my favorite meals, not only because it was delicious, but also because I caught the Mahi Mahi, which makes it even better.  Fishing in Exuma was an absolute blast, but cooking what we caught was just as much fun!

Some other posts about our trip to Exuma:

Fresh from the Sea in Exuma Bahamas
Yellowtail Snapper Recipe – Three Ways


Yellowtail Snapper Recipe – Three Ways

In February, I went with my family to Exuma, Bahamas.  We had lots of great experiences, and the memories of Exuma have come back to Minnesota with us in many forms, including the food.  We were fortunate to come back home with a cooler full of beautiful whole Yellowtail Snapper.  I wish I could say they are a part of my angling adventures, but we focused more on deep sea fishing.

Our last day on the island, I talked with Harris about bringing some fish home.  He is a local that spends lots of time on the water.  We spent a day with him catching lobster, conch and grouper and had an amazing shore lunch with him as well.  Harris said that he would see what he could do, and a bit later came back with two coolers full of beautiful Yellowtail Snapper (one for our family and another for the family we were traveling with).

I haven’t cooked whole fish in quite a while, probably since a trip to Mexico several years ago.  I’m not sure what exactly I was thinking fixing the Yellowtail three ways for my first attempt in a long time, but that’s what I did.

Grilled Citrus Herb Yellowtail Snapper

The first version I made was a citrus herb stuffed Yellowtail Snapper grilled whole. This was a pretty simple preparation.  First, I made sure the Snapper was scaled and cleaned well, and cut a few slits in the sides to add in more flavor.  Once done, I stuffed them with the following mixture:

  • Orange slices cut thin
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Garlic, crushed and chopped
  • Green onion chopped fine
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil (about a tbsp)

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, let them sit for a few minutes to let the flavors combine.  Then stuff the cavity in the snapper full of the mixture and also rub the outside of the snapper with some of the liquid.  I took extra orange slices and wedged them into the slits in the fish as well to add extra flavor.

Grill on medium heat until cooked.  Mine took about 4 minutes per side, but I’m using smaller fish.

Grilled Habanero Salt Yellowtail Snapper

With this preparation, I cleaned the snapper in the same way as above.  Once clean, I used an absolutely fantastic combination that we were introduced to on Exuma.  It is as simple as it gets, but absolutely fantastic if you like a little heat:

  • 1 Cup of sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped Habanero pepper, seeds removed.  (use gloves so you don’t burn your skin)

Just mix those two ingredients together to incorporate the Habanero throughout the salt and store in a container for a few days to incorporate the flavor throughout the salt.  For the Yellowtail Snapper, I drizzled a bit of Olive Oil over the fish and then lightly rubbed the skin, slits and cavity of the fish with the mixture.

Grill on medium heat until cooked.  Mine took about 4 minutes per side, but I’m using smaller fish.

Salt Crusted Whole Yellowtail Snapper

The last preparation was something I’ve wanted to try for a long time.  I’ve seen it done on television, and it was time to give it a try.  This preparation involves completely crusting the whole fish inside a salt mixture and baking it until the salt has formed a hard crust, locking in all the great flavors while the fish cooks.  Since I hadn’t done it before, I looked at Yellowtail Snapper Baked in a Salt Crust recipe from Tyler Florence.  Like all of my kitchen adventures, I never follow a recipe exactly, but I had no idea how to do the salt crust, so I needed some guidance for that part.

Preheat oven to 350.

Before crusting the fish (same preparation as the previous two, but do not make slits in the skin), I stuffed the cavities full of the following mixture:

  • Thin sliced lemons
  • Fresh thyme
  • Green onion
  • Chopped sage (just a couple leaves)
  • Pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp of Olive Oil

For the crust: (taken directly from Tyler Florence)

  • 4 egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • (I doubled the batch because I was doing 3 smaller fish and it was about right)

In a clean mixing bowl, whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold in the salt to make a paste then fold in the remaining thyme leaves. Smear the salt paste over the entire fish and roast for 35 to 45 minutes. The egg whites will form a hard crust. Gently crack the shell with a spoon and lift off the salt crust.

What I learned is that it works well to made a bed of the salt mixture on the baking sheet, lay the fish on it and then cover the fish entirely.

The Verdict

All three of the preparations were very good.  My personal favorite was the most simple of the three, and that was the Habanero Salt Yellowtail Snapper.  The heat didn’t overpower the delicate fish, but imparted good flavor into the flesh.  I squeezed a bit of lime juice over it to finish it off and it was just delicious.

Second for me would be the Citrus Herb Yellowtail Snapper.  I really liked the flavor the orange brought to the fish.  It was light and refreshing.  There was a hint of cilantro as well, but I didn’t really pick up on the other flavors of the stuffing mixture.  I’ll do this one again for sure.

Last but definitely not least was the Salt Crusted Yellowtail Snapper.  It was delicious for sure, but I really don’t think that it was any better than the other two, and the preparation took more time and it was a bit more of a mess, so for that reason only, I’d say it was number three.  Another consideration might be that my Yellowtail Snapper are smaller than the one Tyler Florence used in his recipe, so maybe with a larger fish that has more meat, this might be a better way to go.  The crust really locked in the flavors and kept the fish tender and moist.

I have lots of Yellowtail Snapper left, so if you have a great recipe for them, I’d love to give it a try, let me know in the comments below.

Beet it – Roasted Beet and Sweet Potato Recipe

Joining a CSA this year has really opened my eyes to lots of great vegetables that I wouldn’t normally buy in the store.  Not that I don’t

What a beautiful beet salad

like them, but I find myself caught in the rut of the standard veggies like broccoli, green beans, etc.  One of the great veggies that came recently was a beautiful bunch of beets.  Ever since a great meal I had in Nashville several months ago, which included a fantastic beet salad, I’ve been thinking about doing more with beets, so when they showed up in my weekly basket, it was time to give them a try.  Here is my beet recipe, which my whole family loved.

Roasted Beets and Sweet Potato Recipe

This dish was simple to prepare and tasted fantastic.  I encourage all of you to give this beet recipe a try.  You won’t be disappointed.


4 Beets, peeled and chopped

2 Sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

Several sprigs of rosemary, chopped

Walnut Oil

It’s really simple.  peel the beets and sweet potatoes and chop them into about 3/4 inch cubes.  Size doesn’t really matter (yea, that’s what they all say) just a uniform size so they all cook evenly.  Drizzle the beets and sweet potatoes with walnut oil and toss evenly.  Lay the beets and sweet potatoes evenly in a glass baking dish.  Top with the chopped rosemary and put in the oven on about 375 degrees.  About every 10-15 minutes stir the beets and sweet potatoes so they cook evenly.  Done when tender with a fork.  About 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the veggies.

What beautiful color is waiting inside a beet

I found the walnut oil gives the dish a great nutty flavor that adds another dimension to the dish.  Once they are cooked through, the sweetness of the beets and sweet potatoes mixed with the nutty flavor of the walnut oil and the fragrance of the rosemary makes this a winner!  My kids even loved this one.  Hope you enjoy this simple, yet delicious beet recipe.

Next time someone says Beet It, now you know how.  Enjoy!

Delicious Venison Quesadilla

I’m a hunter, and lots of people ask me what I do with my venison.  I often hear that it is dry, gamey, or just not good.  That’s completely wrong in my opinion.  One of my favorite ways to cook up the venison roasts is like this:

1.  Build a flavorful stock.  I use lots of veggies as well as herbs, seasonings and a beef bone if I have one.  It is not against the rules to cheat and use bullion cubes.

2.  Place the roast(s) in a tall baking dish with a lid and completely cover with the stock.

3.  Place it in the oven over low heat (about 275) for 5-6 hours.

4.  Remove from oven and put the roasts on a cutting board to cool.

5.  Shred the venison (it will fall apart), and place it back in the stock and bake again with the lid on for another 30 minutes.

Once you have done this, you can use the shredded venison in all sorts of dishes.  I used it on sandwiches, on pizza and in quesadillas.  One thing that I did this last time is used lots of extra stock, and when I removed the roasts to shred them, I pulled out a bunch of the stock and reduced it down with a rue and made a fantastic thick gravy to go with it.  Delicious!

The other great part is that it freezes well.  I cook up 2-3 roasts and then put meal size portions in ziploc baggies and freeze it until needed.  Be sure to include a bit of the stock to keep it moist.

Venison Quesadilla


1 Tortillas
Shredded Sharp Cheddar
Cream Cheese
Shredded Venison
Seasoned Sour Cream
Olive oil

Heat a pan on the stove top with a bit of olive oil.  Spread a bit of cream cheese on the tortilla, and then place the shredded venison meat and some shredded cheddar on half of the tortilla.  Fold the tortilla in half and place in the pan with olive oil over medium heat.  After cooking for about 2-3 minutes, flip the quesadilla and cook another 2-3 minutes.  (Tortilla should be golden brown)

From there you can do what you want with it.  I seasoned some sour cream with red pepper and garlic.  I also made a quick easy fresh salsa with tomato, onion, corn and celery for a bit of crunch, and added some olive oil, red pepper flake and lime.  It was delicious.

So next time someone says “How do I cook venison?” you can tell them about this.  It’s fantastic!

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