...*a glimse into the daily life of a chef*...

...this blog is a place for me to record and reflect the passion that i put into my everyday life.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

SaLsa or Relish if it pleases you

...so tonight i at work i made a watermelon "salsa" that was knock your socks off good, but it wasn't traditional in any way, or even mexican...it was asian! but you could have served it up on a torilla chip or veggie chip or just passed me a spoon. it was fresh, light, refreshing, and lip smacking good, go back for seconds good. But i was really thinking it would make a GREAT relish for a fish taco!!! maybe catfish tacos with a sambal slaw and watermelon relish....anyone wanna try that, because i do!!!

Asian Watermelon Relish
2 c. small diced seedless watermelon
1 red pepper, small dice
1/2 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
8 basil leaves, chopped
3 T toasted sesame oil
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 T sugar
1 T lime juice

First mix the vinaigrette in the bottom of the bowl and then add your veggies/fruit. Let this marinate for at least an hour before serving, and pour off some of the extra liquid before serving. 

...so if i was to make fish tacos to go with this salsa here is what i would do (don't get me wrong, if you just want to put this on a piece of grilled fish or even serve with a tempura battered fish or shrimp, no one would complain!)

preparing fish for tacos----->
1) use tilapia or another white fish, even catfish
cut into chunks

2) sprinkle with salt and coat the fish in cornstarch 
(this will give it a nice crispy outside without heavy breading)

3) preheat oil in a deep pan 
(probably whatever you use to make soup)

4) carefully drop fish in, one piece at a time, when oil is hot and cook to golden brown
(you will know oil is hot when: drop something in it and it begins to bubble like its frying)

5) remove fish with a slotted spoon and 
put in a paper towel nest, 
sprinkle with salt

things to prepare before frying fish-
 ....make sure you have everything ready to go before you fry the fish because it is not easy to keep the fish warm! you want to be able to start eating when it is done.

make your slaw---> i like to use a simple slaw, just thinly slice your cabbage or use the bag stuff, some chopped green ones, shredded carrots, and for the dressing i use equal parts mayo and sour cream, black pepper, and sambal or sriracha (this is a thai chile paste that is red and comes in a clear plastic bottle with a green top, it is nice and spicy with an asian flavor, a home staple for me!) and then a squeeze of lime and season with salt

To make fish tacos i prefer corn tortillas, but you have to buy good ones, real ones, i use el milagro....(nothing made by taco bell) make sure you heat the up on the grill or over a burned to char them just a tad...or just heat them in the microwave...

then serve them up... picture this, a nice warm corn tortilla, a couple pieces of fried fish, spicy slaw, and watermelon relish....my mouth is watering!

OThEr "SaLSas"---------------------->
Pineapple Salsa
 Diced pineapple, tomato, red pepper, red onion, and cilantro
squeeze of fresh lime and salt

(you can use whatever ratio of the ingredients you like, that is the nice thing about salsa as long as you know the flavor profile you can make the parts just as you like them!!!)

Corn Salsa
corn (fresh, canned, or frozen), diced tomato, red onion, green onion, and cilantro
squeeze of lime, cumin, and salt

(*** you can add jalapeno to any of the above to add some heat***)

Cucumber Salsa
Diced cucmuber (seeded), jicama*, red onion, mango, and carrot
mix together with lime juice and tamezula or valentina (a mexican hot sauce that is a little sweet...if you can't find it the only subsitute i have found is the packets of taco bell hot sauce with a little added sugar, i prefer to use agave nectar) 
This is a great salso for fish as well, i know it all sounds weird, but then you mix it up it will blow you away!!!

*jicama- it is a vegetable that has a flavor of an apple mixed with a potato...it is a great this to add crunch or to use as a dipper....you can dice it up and add it to lots of dips, like a cold spinach dip!

....i believe i am having spring fever as the warm weather begins to emerge because my food is already shifting towards summer fair...but they are some of my favorite foods...but i eat them year round!!! happy fresh, light eating!

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