Grilled Sea Bass

I adore fish, but am picky about it.  Luckily, Frank is a master of grilling all kinds of fish and his sea bass is rave-worthy.  And since he usually takes a beating on the blog, I thought I would prove to you all that he does have redeeming qualities, one of which is his ability to grill.

We were at the Whole Foods last weekend, deciding what to cook for dinner and ran across these beautiful sea bass fillets on sale.  The good thing about sea bass fillets are that they are thicker chunks that flatter grouper or tilapia or other types of white fish and therefore don’t flake off or fall apart on the grill as easily.

This preparation was beyond simple and the fish turned out so tender and juicy — just fabulous.  Serve with some roasted asparagus or a salad and new potatoes and a crisp white wine.

Grilled Sea Bass

  • 2 sea bass fillets
  • greek seasoning
  • olive oil
  • cooking spray

Preheat grill to high heat.  Spray down a grill basket or other type of grill grate with cooking spray and place on grill to get hot.  Season sea bass with greek seasoning (we like Cavenders) and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Grill for about 7 minutes on each side, careful to only turn them once, if you can help it.  The result is a nice crisp top and bottom and tender meat on the inside.

fresh ingredients for springtime!

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Roasted Asparagus

 Frank actually hates asparagus, but I love them and have avoided them through 4 years of marriage.  But last night, to spice up a dull Monday and just be overtly rebellious in general, I decided to risk it all and cook asparagus with our grilled pork chops and lake rice.

I know you’re all thinking, what a terrible wife, I make him eat vegetables, but I did.  I admit it.  And guess what?  He really liked them…enough to where he said I could even make them again!  I love nothing more than victory, especially when I’m right.  Enjoy these simple, healthy, colorful veggies with just about any kind of entree or main dish.  They are just starting to peak, too…asparagus is at its best in the Spring.

Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 bushel of asparagus (look for brightly colored, tightly packed at the tips)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • salt
  • 1/2 fresh lemon

Preheat oven to 400.  Take the asparagus, wash and break them off at the ends.  BEGINNERS TIP:  asparagus will naturally break at a certain point near the bottom, if you slightly bend it to snap off the bottom.  It’s kinda fun.

Place the asparagus on an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet and drizzle the olive oil over them, rolling them around to coat them well.  Salt them to taste and then roast at 400 for about 10 minutes.  Don’t leave them in too long or they will char and shrivel up (not good). 

Right before serving, squeeze a half of a fresh lemon over them and serve immediately.

Chocolate-covered strawberries

Happy Valentines Day!  I make these every year for Frank, super-cheap and his favorite V-day treat.  These are a no-brainer, so delicious and a perfect dessert option for a big dinner party or just a weeknight.  All you need are stawberries and chocolate chips.  Plus, they store and save really well.

Chocolate-covered strawberries

  • 1 lb fresh strawberries, washed and dried
  • 1 bag of semi-sweet chocoalte chips
  • parchment paper

In a small saucepan on the lowest heat setting, melt the chocolate chips, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  Once melted, dip the strawberries into the chocolate, twisting on the way out to keep the chocolate from dripping.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Refrigerate for an hour or until the chocolate hardens. 

*If you like white chocolate, you can melt a little of it in the small way and use a fork to drizzle melted white chocolate over the chocolate-covered strawberries for some extra pizazz.

Roast Chicken with Tangerines

We had a quiet Saturday night this past weekend and I decided to roast a chicken.  It’s actually a very economical way to cook chicken and not that hard.  It’s also a good opportunity to use that roasting pan that you got as a wedding gift and have been too intimidated to use.  A chicken is a lot less daunting too, than a turkey.  One day, I’ll post about my turkey-cooking experience, but not today.  It involved a small little fire, Pearl Jam and a fairly serious meltdown, but this chicken was a breeze.   Try this for Thanksgiving if a turkey seems a bridge too far.  It’s from this month’s Food & Wine and you can’t mess it up (which isn’t always the case with Food & Wine).

Roast Chicken with Tangerines

  • 1 6 lb roasting chicken
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6 rosemary sprigs
  • 3 tangerines, washed and halved
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine*
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 3/4 chicken stock or low-sodium broth

Preheat oven to 425.  Set the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and stuff the cavity with the garlic, rosemary, and 4 of the tangerine halves.  Remember to remove the gross bag of gizzards and other nastiness.  Tie the legs together.  BEGINNERS TIP:  have someone else cross the legs over each other and tie them at the ankle.  You can use regular string, just cut the access so it won’t catch fire/burn.  Juice the other two tangerine halves.  Rub the oil over the chicken, coating him good.  Pour the wine and tangerine juice over the bird.  Drizzle on the honey and season with a good amount of salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken for 20 minutes.  Add 1 cup of the broth to the pan, cover the pan with foil and reduce oven temp to 375.  Roast for another 40 minutes.  Add the remaining 3/4 cup broth to the pan, cover and continue cooking for 50 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in an inner thigh registers 165.  BEGINNERS TIP:  the red plastic piece sticking out of the chicken is a thermometer — it will pop out of the bird when ready.  See photo below.

Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

*We used a Heron Chardonnay for the wine that the recipe calls for and then drank the rest.  Chardonnay, though admittedly not my favorite, tasted great with the fruit and honey glaze on the chicken.

action shot!