Today we're going to get saucy. [Ed. note: OH YEAH.] Not that kind of saucy. Simmer down, BF.
What is coulis? A coulis is a sauce made from puréed and strained vegetables or fruits. I personally prefer a very smooth sauce, so I strain it after blending. You don't need to do this. Notice the top photo with scallops, I strained that sauce. The bottom photo with halibut I did not. Notice the difference in texture. It's delicious either way.
Around this time of year many of my friends have an abundance of bell peppers in their gardens. So much so, they're giving them away as fast as they can.
This Moveable-Feast-original yellow bell pepper coulis is one of my favorite dishes to make because it's easy to prepare, healthy (fat free) and very versatile. I can make a big batch at the beginning of the week (it keeps well in the fridge for days) and use it for three or four different meals, throughout. The sauce works well as a base for chicken, shrimp, scallops, halibut, any fish, pork, black bean cakes, mushroom meatballs, crispy tofu, anything. You can even serve it as soup.
Made the halibut meal (below) for the BF and he loved it. Made the scallop meal (above) as a special dinner for a friend celebrating her recent Life Coach certification, and her mother. Whether the meal was for two (former) or four (latter), the process was simple.
The zucchini roses might seem a bit labor intensive, but honestly they're not, and they add a distinctive flair to the dish. Enjoy this one while the bell peppers are still in season!
Number of servings: 4
Yellow Bell Pepper Coulis
Yellow Bell Pepper Coulis
NOTE: I have cooked a batch of Trader Joe's frozen scallops (defrosted), and fresh scallops from my favorite excellent local fish monger, and everyone liked Trader Joe's the best.
Me: It smells like fish.
BF: It's fish. Isn't it supposed to smell like fish?
Me: No, it's supposed to smell clean like the ocean.
Every single time we go to a seafood restaurant or pass a grocery store fish case, the same Abbott and Costello routine ensues. It's too funny. Seriously though, this recipe only has a few ingredients, so make sure your fish is good quality and smells fresh (like the ocean).
A few changes were made to James Peterson's original recipe (mainly increased the amount of sherry and herbs and I strained the liquid), otherwise it's perfect. Here is what he says about this dish: "A 5-ingredient, 20-minute technique to make any white fish shine – bonus: it makes its own buttery, boozy sauce, without deglazing or reducing. So go to your local fishmonger or sign up for a CSF. Don't blindly buy halibut or sea bass or whatever a recipe calls for – ask your trusty fishperson what's in season, what came in fresh that day. Any firm-fleshed, non-oily white fish will work – sole, cod, bass, rockfish, or any white fish that's not too delicate (so skip scrawny fillets like flounder)."
Would also encourage you to use a good quality dry or very dry sherry. I have recently upgraded to Hartley & Gibson's Fino Very Dry Sherry, and it made a significant difference in the taste of the final dish.
For folks who don't have a fondness for fish, I have found that this dish is a great "gateway" into appreciating the taste of fish. So clean and light.
One of my clients orders this dish every single week, and I usually buy extra to make it a week night dinner option with the BF, since it's so easy to prepare. [Ed. note: #winning]
Adapted from: James Peterson, Food 52
Number of servings: 4-6
I'm a movie-aholic, and The Usual Suspects is a perennial favorite–one that never gets stale. Few films stand up to repeat viewings; I typically don't see a movie more than once, even if it’s a favorite. Every time Fenster says something unintelligible, can't help but lose it.
I’m the same way with food. I don’t like leftovers, with the exception of tacos. For some reason, Don and I can willingly eat tacos several nights in a row and not tire of it. [Ed. Note: Go figure.]
Let me introduce you to the roasted salmon taco. Not only is this super healthy, it only takes 30 minutes to prepare, and you will not tire of it (promise).
The recipe is from Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten (love that woman). The tacos have a bold flavor with the tender spiced salmon, beautifully contrasted by the tangy slaw and kicky creamy avocado. Everything is fresh and simple and perfect for a weeknight meal. This might be a tad spicy for little kids, or those sensitive to heat, so adjust the chipotle chile powder accordingly.
Adapted from: Cooking for Jeffrey, by Ina Garten
Number of Servings: 6 (2 tacos per person)
For the slaw
For the salmon
We’ve been in a heat wave this week and the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven, stove or grill. On these hot days, a shrewd dinner choice is a poke (it's POH-keh, by the way) bowl. Poke bowls are basically deconstructed sushi and restaurants sporting the dish seem to be popping up everywhere, which makes sense as they are incredibly healthy. However, you can easily make poke at home and the process lends itself well to a “make your own bowl” party, where everyone can assemble their own bowls as desired.
I switched out regular rice for the root vegetable kohlrabi (see photo at bottom) to keep the dish low carb (jicama and daikon radish also work beautifully) and make it a no-cook meal. However, if we're having guests, rice will make an appearance as well. Japanese short-grain sushi rice is traditionally the base of the poke bowl, but it can be made with white or brown. I have also used wild green salad mix as the base–one of my favorites is store bought seaweed salad.
This versatile dish begs to be customized. I have listed the ingredients I love below, but feel free to make it your own with ingredients you enjoy and have a "cool" party!
Number of servings: 4
Kohlrabi “Rice” or Regular Rice
The root vegetable kohlrabi, which you can find in any good produce section.
Hi! Welcome to my first blog post, and thank you for stumbling onto this page.
I am an Oregon-girl (and a U of O grad, Go Ducks!) who has cooked for my own family for decades, but decided to apply it as a self-employed trade into the teeth of the 2008-09 financial crisis. A layoff from a corporate job in the sleep-education field gave me the opportunity to experiment with different culinary techniques in the kitchen, and subsequently create and execute meal plans for friends.
As Silicon Valley slowly recovered, I formally launched the Moveable Feast personal-chef service, and have enjoyed serving the bay area's mid-peninsula ever since. Besides the many families I have had the pleasure of cooking for, my clients have included executives from Apple, Facebook, Google, YouTube and, up north, Boeing.
Here you will find all sorts of recipes from healthy to comfort food to indulgent desserts. I cook seasonally and with as much local ingredients as possible. I develop all the recipes on this site myself along with the photography and food styling.
With the help of my partner-in-crime Don Zulaica (who has written/edited everything from medical-device marketing to local newspapers, national music magazines and entertainment web sites), this blog will share delicious recipes and experiences from the past decade, document the continuing journey, and hopefully give you a few ideas for dishes to try out in your own kitchen.
Hope you're having a wonderful 4th-of-July holiday!
Crispy Salmon with Strawberry Salsa
Of all of the posts at the Moveable Feast Facebook page, and the upwards of two dozen salmon preparations, this gets the most requests for its recipe. It's also one of the more popular seasonal dishes from my summer menus.
Sweet strawberries and basil might seem an unusual pairing with salmon, but coupled with the kick of red onion and/or serrano pepper, balance out the entree nicely.
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.