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Swordfish with Island-Mediterranean Orzo

Hello Cooking Friends,

I was in the mood to clean out my freezer the other night, so I decided to make up some swordfish steaks I had sitting in there. I wasn’t sure about sides, but canned corn is always a winner for me, and so is orzo pasta mixtures. So voilà, that is what we’re cooking today. Or rather what I’m telling you about today that I cooked earlier this week. Details. Blech.

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Swordfish Dinner, mmmm!

For any of you that have not had the pleasure of trying swordfish, this is a very meaty fish. Think more like chicken or pork in the consistency and thickness of flavor. It is delicious, not overly fishy at all (compared to tuna especially), and incredibly easy to cook.

I pan-seared the swordfish for this recipe, so for those of you who have always wondered how to do that – here we go. For everyone else, well, you’re stuck with us too! Hang on and enjoy….

What you’ll need (plus 1 skillet or frying pan and a wooden spoon):

– 2 swordfish steaks (thawed completely, preferably overnight in the refrigerator)
– 2 teaspoons ground chipotle chile powder (like this), separated
– 1/8 cup Butter Infused Olive Oil
– 2 tablespoons Pineapple White Balsamic Vinegar, separated
– 1 tablespoons Blood Orange Olive Oil
– 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper, separated
– 3/4 cup uncooked Orzo Pasta
– 1 clove garlic (fresh), shelled and chopped into tiny pieces
– 1/2 cup frozen peaches, diced
– 13.5-oz can spinach, drained fully
– 1 + 1/3 cup water
– 1 can sweet crisp corn, drained
– 1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Into a skillet over low-medium heat, pour your Butter Olive Oil, 1 tbspn Pineapple Balsamic, 1 tspn Chipotle Chili Powder, and 1 tspn ground pepper. Stir well until fully combined. Once heated enough where the oil starts to bubble, add your swordfish steaks. I was cooking for 3 so I sliced my steaks in half, but you don’t need to do that.

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Searing swordfish....

Keep your skillet over low-medium heat for about 8 minutes. Every 2 minutes, flip your swordfish steaks. This will sear them evenly on both sides. After you’ve flipped them 4 times, reduce heat to the lowest possible, and flip once more for each side after 3 minutes of additional cooking. This allows for a total of 14 minutes of cooking, but promotes even searing and flavors on your steaks.

Warning: oil will splash while you’re flipping so be careful! Use a broad wooden spoon to flip easier and from more of a distance from hot oil.

Once you’ve finished cooking the steaks, remove to a plate to let sit. Keep the liquid in the pan, and keep the burner on low heat. Add 1 cup water to your pan, quickly, and stir the juices and water to keep the smoke to a minimum. Yes, that is experience trying to guide you away from my mistake. The stove fan may be needed above your oven for this for a few minutes!

Once you have your water added and stirred around, pour in your orzo pasta. This will not fully cover the pasta, but will more look like you’re soaking it. This is what you want. Up the heat to low-medium and let cook for 8 minutes or so, stirring every few minutes to keep pasta from sticking.

While you’re letting the pasta soak/cook, chop your garlic and peaches (in that order) and add to your pasta. Add in 1 tbspn Pineapple Balsamic, 1 tbspn Blood Orange Olive Oil, 1 tspn Chipotle powder, 1 tspn ground pepper, 1/3 cup water,  and your well-drained spinach. Mix well. Cook this for about 5 minutes, stirring every minute, until pasta is tender and garlic & peaches are softened. Remove from heat. Let sit for 3 minutes, stirring twice, to soak in the flavors.

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Making orzo pasta!

While you’re letting this sit, pour your canned corn into a microwave-safe bowl, add 1 tbspn butter, and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir.

Once this completes everything is ready to serve. You may need to microwave your swordfish steaks for 30-40 seconds, if they’ve started to cool a bit. I didn’t time it the best when I did it, but that quick nuke did the trick and didn’t sacrifice flavor at all!

Plate your orzo mixture and place your swordfish on top. Plate your corn next to this. Garnish if desired with a thawed peach or sprig of parsley, but you don’t have to do that.

Enjoy!

Craft You Later,
Beth

Island Chipotle Kotopitas

Hello Entertaining Friends,

I had done my post yesterday about a couple simple appetizers that I made this weekend for an event. I actually made a third appetizer, which wasn’t so simple. I am calling them Island Chipotle Kotopitas. Just because I can. Plus the name of the ingredients is way longer than I want the blog entry name to be. So there!

phyllo wonton appetizer dark chocolate chipotle mango strawberry havarti chicken

Island Chipotle Kotopitas

So the event we were doing will be outlined in tomorrow’s post, but it was a Charlotte Beer Babes event at the World of Beer Southend where we did an IPA Beer Tasting. I had asked the WOB-Southend ‘teacher’ for suggestions of food pairings and he suggested bold and spicy foods. Doing the Citrus Habañero Asparagus and BBQ Rumaki covered the spicy and bold, respectively.

However I am a sweets girl (contain your shock please), and I wanted to do something that was a dessert in addition. So I thought “Dark Chocolate Chipotle Sauce” in my head, and over twitter, and it was approved by the powers that be so then I decided I needed to come up with a dish that would work with that sauce. Which, by the way, I totally made up from the top of my head.

While at the grocery store, I was thinking about what could possibly go with the sauce, and thought mangoes and strawberries. Then I thought, “what about doing that with chicken, and making it a true appetizer that isn’t a dessert, but just has a sweet aspect?!?”. So I then had to go gather the perfect cheese, with the help of the deli counter ladies: Havarti. I think brie (not baked), provolone, swiss or vermont sharp white cheddar would all have gone equally well. I intend to experiment in future to test that theory, haha!

So then my dilemma was how to package this. I must have been channeling my friends big-time as I decided to use phyllo dough and make little chicken phyllo pies…also known as kotopitas, in Greek (see how I did that naming thing?!?! Yeah, I’m good like that. HA!).

So I am not going to lie. The whole phyllo dough thing is incredibly time intensive, and can be frustrating if you’re not careful. So if you want to try this recipe and not deal with what could be ‘unnecessary stress’, I would suggest spending the extra money and buying the pre-made phyllo dough mini shells from the frozen food section. However if you want to do more wonton-looking appetizers, or bigger potpie-like entrées, then you will need to grin and bear it with the phyllo dough.

This recipe yields:
50 wonton appetizers OR
50 mini pre-made shells OR
3 potpie-sized entrées

Recipe Times:
Filling: 40 minutes
PLUS
Shells (pre-bought): 1 minute, plus thawing time
OR
Hand Wrapped: 90 minutes, plus thawing time

Utensils Needed:
2 Sharp knives, 1 paring knife & 1 steak knife
2 cutting boards, 1 for raw chicken, 1 for fruit & phyllo dough
1 5-quart saucepan
1 small spatula, 1 large spatula, 1 wooden spoon
1 medium-sized mixing bowl
blender (I have my handy-dandy Magic Bullet Blender as always)
APPETIZERS: 2 11×7 pans in which to bake wonton/shells
ENTREES: 3 6″-diameter round aluminum pans (like this)

What Ingredients You Need:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, raw and sliced into chunks
2 teaspoons each Garden Veggie Mix & Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto Mix
2 tablespoons Butter Olive Oil (for chicken)
1 package frozen phyllo dough (you’ll only use 1 of the 2 packages, and only half of that!)
1/4 cup Butter Olive Oil (for phyllo dough if making your own)
OR ~50 mini phyllo shells (frozen, pre-made)
1 quart strawberries, rinsed
1 medium-sized mango
3 tablespoons Smuckers Hot Fudge Sauce
2 teaspoons Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon Blood Orange Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Ground Chipotle Chile Powder
4 pieces thin-deli-sliced Havarti Cheese

How To Make Everything:
1) Thaw your phyllo as instructed. Preheat oven to 350. Heat saucepan over medium heat.
2) Add the 2 tbspn butter olive oil, Garden Veggie and Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto mixes  to the saucepan, stirring until well-mixed. Add your sliced chicken (I did roughly 1″ pieces) and stir with a wooden spoon until fully cooked, about 12 minutes.

ground cooked chicken

Chicken after blender…

3) Remove from heat, drain and let cool. Once cool enough to touch, gradually add chicken to blender and process until almost a ground meat texture. Place in mixing bowl.

chopped mango

Chopped Mangoes…

4) Quarter mango around pit (be careful of slicing yourself here!), and then slice into 1/2-inch pieces without skin. It’s easier to quarter with skin on, then remove skin per section as you dice mango. Add to blender and pulse for 7 seconds, to make a thick purée. Add to mixing bowl using small spatula.

pureed mango chicken

Puréed Mangoes with Chicken…

5) Remove stems from strawberries and quarter. Add to blender for 3 seconds just on a bare pulse to make a little softer. Add to mixing bowl using small spatula.

strawberry mango chicken

Pulsed Strawberries with Mango and Chicken…

6) In a small bowl, heat hot fudge sauce until just fluid, about 40 seconds. Add Dark Chocolate BV, Blood Orange EVOO, chipotle powder and hot fudge sauce to blender and mix (full speed) for 30 seconds until fully blended. This will distribute the chipotle evenly, as you’d not want to bite into chocolate and get a mouthful of nothing but chipotle!

dark chocolate chipotle sauce

Mixed Dark Chipotle Chocolate Sauce…

7) Once sauce is fully blended, add to mixing bowl using small spatula and stir until everything is mixed together evenly. This may take about 3 minutes. This will also end up looking slightly mush-like, but trust me that it will taste amazing!

dark chocolate chipotle sauce chicken mango strawberry

Island Chipotle Chicken Mixture…

8a) Shells: If using pre-made phyllo shells, once they are thawed according to instructions, continue to step 9a.
8b) Wontons: Once your phyllo dough is thawed, take 4 sheets of dough (these are super thin so this will not be very thick, just as a note) and place on your non-chicken cutting board. Using your 1/4 cup Butter EVOO (“butter” for this section), spread a very thin amount of “butter” over top layer of phyllo dough. Invert so that it’s facing the 2nd layer of phyllo. Flip the 4-pack over and repeat process for the opposite side. Cut into 6 squares. Repeat until have roughly 50 squares. Continue to step 9b.
8c) Potpie: Once your phyllo dough is thawed, take 6 sheets of dough, and place on your non-chicken cutting board. Using your 1/4 cup Butter EVOO (“butter” for this section), spread a very thin amount of “butter” over top layer of phyllo dough. Invert so that it’s facing the 2nd layer of phyllo. Flip the 6-pack over and repeat process for the opposite side. Repeat for other 2 ‘base shells’. Continue to step 9c.

phyllo dark chocolate chipotle sauce chicken mango strawberry wonton kotopita

Building Island Chipotle Kotopitas (Wonton sized)…

9a) Shells: Place your shells in the pans and add 3/4 teaspoon chicken mixture for each shell. Top each shell with enough Havarti cheese to just cover the chicken mixture, about 1/4-inch square. Continue to step 11.
9b) Wontons: Place each square in pan. Add 1 1/2 teaspoon chicken mixture to center of wonton. Top each wonton with about 1/2-inch square of Havarti cheese to just cover the chicken mixture. Fold the phyllo together (brush with a little “butter” if needed to make it stay) until closed at top. Continue to step 11.
9c) Potpie: Place the phyllo dough in round pan so fits like a pie crust (doesn’t have to cover all sides though!). Add 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture to each ‘base shell’. Top each with enough Havarti cheese to cover the chicken mixture, about 1 1/3 slices.
10) Potpie: Take 4 sheets of dough, fold in half, then in half again. Place on top of potpie filling. Add a little “butter” to top and then fold the ‘base shell’ over so that it is closed fully and stays closed. Repeat for other 2 ‘top shells’.

phyllo dark chocolate chipotle sauce chicken mango strawberry wonton kotopita

Buttered Island Chipotle Kotopitas (Wonton sized)…

11) Bake for 10 minutes for shells, 15 minutes for wontons, and 22 minutes for potpies.
12) Let cool, serve and enjoy! Best part, you can serve all of these in the very dishes that you’re baking them in, woohoo! Easy serve, easy clean-up!

phyllo dark chocolate chipotle sauce chicken mango strawberry wonton island chipotle kotopita

Buttered Island Chipotle Kotopitas (Wonton sized)…

Now, I know this all seems super complicated, however I will tell you that I made 22 of the wontons and 2 of the potpie-sized dishes in about 90 minutes, from start to finish.

I actually did the potpie idea because I was running out of time to get to the event on time, and figured that would serve as lunch and dinner for this week! Perfect and easy, just cover and put in the fridge, then reheat (microwave for 2 minutes, oven at 250 for 10 minutes) and enjoy!

So these really aren’t as complicated as they seem, I promise!

Craft You Later,
Beth

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