Category Archives: Surf

Wonton Soup

So… this happened yesterday:

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This winter is turning into that awkward friend who just won’t leave your house long after the party has ended. It just won’t take a hint! Look man, THE BEER IS GONE, THE HOUSE IS A MESS, JUST GO HOME SO I CAN SLEEP!  This is the LAST time I invite that guy.

Anyway it’s a good thing I have some of these handy:

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Those are frozen homemade wontons my friends. Mrs. Willtasting and I made a batch of them earlier this winter and I think they’re just what I need to forget this bizarro winter-in-April.

First, you’ll need some ground pork:

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Next some peeled, deveined shrimp. I got lazy and bought mine already peeled, but chances are you’ll find fresher and cheaper shrimp if it hasn’t been peeled. Your call, boss.

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Chop up the scrimps (or however you want to pronounce them) and add to the pork. Green onions come next.

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This is important, folks: the rice wine. This is also important: do not drink this.

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Sesame oil, egg, mix.

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Your wonton filling should look like the above picture… YUMMYYYYY. Everything should stick together, not crumble apart, almost like a dough. If it doesn’t look like that, slowly add more sesame oil and rice wine until it does.

Now, check it. This is how you fold your wontons:

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Wet one corner of the wonton skin, place about a half tablespoon of meat filling off center towards that corner, then fold over and pinch the edges together to make a triangle. Bring one of the smaller corners up to the larger corner and pinch together, then do the same with the other corner. That’s it! If you want to freeze some (which you most likely will, since this recipe makes A LOT of wontons), wipe a little oil over the surface of a large dish, place the wontons on the dish, and freeze in the freezer.  Once they are frozen you can keep them in zip lock bags and they will keep for 6 months.

To cook, just boil them in some chicken broth for about 10 minutes, or until the skin is tender and the wontons float to the surface.

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Serve with some green onions and thinly sliced fried egg, and quit beating around the bush and tell winter to go home already.

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WONTONS:

1 1/2 lbs ground pork
1/2 lbs shrimp
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (about 6 green onions, both white and green parts)
1/4 cup Shaoxing cooking rice wine
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 egg
1 tsp white pepper
2 packages of wonton skins

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well until the filling sticks together like a dough. To assemble wontons, place skin in one hand, wet the edges of one corner, place a half tablespoon of filling off-center towards that corner.  Fold skin in half, pinching edges together to form a triangle. Bring one side of the triangle up to the top corner, pinch together, then do the same with the other side. Or just look at the pictures up top because this is getting really hard to explain in writing.

SOUP:

2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup baby spinach, loosely packed
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 egg, beaten and fried into a thin crepe, then sliced thin.

To cook, boil 2 cups of chicken broth to boil, then add 12 wontons and boil for 10 minutes or until they float to the top. Put spinach in bowl and pour hot soup on top. Garnish with sliced green onions and egg.

Eat your winter blues away.

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Chili-Lime Tilapia – Black Beans – Brown Rice

Let’s be real here. Tilapia is boring. On its own, it’s really just a cheap, tasteless source of lean protein. If tilapia were a Simpsons character it would probably be Milhouse.  Or maybe Hans Moleman. Poor, poor tilapia.

But eating tilapia does have its pros.  Like I said, it’s cheap (I got over a pound for less than three dollars), lean, and it’s fish so it’s a good source of omega-3s (although most would agree that farm-raised fish tends to have less omega-3 fatty acids than wild caught). Tilapia also has decent texture and holds up well to pan frying or even grilling. Finally, but most importantly, tilapia is bland and doesn’t even taste fishy, so you can basically make it taste like whatever you want depending on how you season it.  It’s like a blank protein canvas for your palette! Yippee hooray!

So here’s what I’m gonna do.  We’re gonna go a little Tex-Mex with this dish, starting with my chili seasoning:

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We’re going 2:1:1:1:1 for the seasoning mix, starting with a 1/2 tsp of chili powder (then 1/4 tsp for everything else in case math isn’t your strong point). Add some beef, a little Mexican oregano, a pinch of cocoa powder, and a can of tomatoes, and baby, you got a chili going. But that’s for another day.

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Got some nice looking tilapia filets right here.

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Here’s a tip: season from a good height above your meat, this will allow for more even seasoning rather than splotches of heavily seasoned areas next to essentially bare meat.

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Searing is easy. Check out my post, why don’t you!

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Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid to let it steam while it’s searing. Uncover and squeeze lime on the filet and flip it over.

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Squeeze some more lime on the other side of the fish, cover again, and continue cooking.

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That’s pretty much it for the fish.  Let’s get the beans and rice going. All you need for this is a can of black beans, some chopped onion and jalapeño, some chicken broth, and a little cumin.

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Heat some oil, saute the onions and jalapeño, add a tsp of cumin, then add some broth and the beans. Simmer, stir, and occasionally mash the beans until it’s thickened and the onions are soft (about 10 minutes).

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As for the rice, all I did was cook some brown rice in a rice cooker with chicken broth instead of water, and about half a cup of diced onion.  Easy. Serve the rice and beans with the fish, garnish with avocado and some kickass salsa. Qué Rico!

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Chili Lime Tilapia with Black Beans and Brown Rice

RICE:

1 cup brown rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped Spanish onion

METHOD 1: Rinse the brown rice and drain. Throw all ingredients into a rice cooker and press “Start.” Boom. Done.

METHOD 2: Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a tbsp of olive oil and saute the onions. Once the onions are translucent, add the brown rice and coat with the oil and onions.  Add the broth, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer until rice is fluffy and tender, about 45 minutes.

BLACK BEANS:

1 15-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chicken broth1/4 cup chopped onions
1 jalapeño, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
Olive oil

Heat a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, add 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Saute the onion until translucent, add the cumin and saute a little more. Add the jalapeño, chicken broth, and beans. Cook and stir, mashing the beans occasionally, until onions are soft and the whole thing is thickened. That’s it.

TILAPIA:

1 lb tilapia filets
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 lime, cut into quarters
Olive oil

Coat the tilapia filets with about 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Combine chili powder cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and kosher salt in a small dish. Season the tilapia filets well on both sides with the spice mixture and let marinate for an hour.

Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and coat the pan. Add the tilapia to the hot pan (it should sizzle as soon as you put it on). Immediately cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for about 90 seconds. Remove the lid, and the edges of the top of the tilapia should start to look cooked. Squeeze one quarter of the lime on the top of the filets, flip the filets, cover, and continue cooking for another 90 seconds.

Remove the lid again, squeeze another quarter of lime over the filets, and remove from heat. Serve with the rice and beans, garnish with salsa, avocado, and cilantro.

(beans and rice based off of bon appetit’s recipe)

GAME PLAN:

Here’s the order you should do everything so it’s all done in about an hour. You can do it!

1. Start with seasoning the fish
2. Start the rice
3. While rice is cooking, make the beans
4. Once the rice and beans are done, cook the fish quickly and serve everything warm.

beer pairing recommendation: Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. But really, what wouldn’t go well with this beer?

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Whole Roasted Porgy (Scup) with Root Vegetables

So I recently went on a fishing trip out in Buzzards Bay, RI. I wasn’t super successful… after 8 hours of fishing I only had 2 porgy (aka scup) and a little baby bluefish to show for it. I also caught a couple sea bass but they were too small to keep. Boo. Oh well. Let’s cook!
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Most of the work for this recipe is in the prep.  After I cleaned and scaled the fish (tutorial to come, hopefully), all you really need to do is season and prep the fish for roasting. Here are my babies cleaned, fins cut off, and scaled:

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When you “score” a fish that means you cut into the flesh of the fish in the thickest parts of the meat to allow for even cooking. Fish will overcook and dry out like you wouldn’t believe so this is important to get nice, tender fish throughout, rather than fish jerky on the sides and sashimi in the middle. Cut at an angle towards the head, kind of like cutting another gill into the flesh. Try not to get all the way to the bone. Depending on how big the fish is, you may need 2 or 3 scores.

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(Adapted from Cookstr)
Ingredients:
2 12-in porgies, cleaned, scaled, and scored
1 lb fingerling potatoes
3 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large Spanish onion, cut into large 1-inch chunks
1 lemon, sliced thin
6-7 sprigs thyme
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
olive oil
salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place potatoes, carrots, onions, 4 sprigs of thyme and garlic into a roasting pan and coat liberally with the olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and pop the whole thing into the oven for 30 minutes. The vegetables take a lot longer to cook than the fish, so they need a head start.

While the veggies cook, drizzle olive oil all over the fish and season with salt and pepper, both sides, inside the cavity and in the scored flesh. Break apart the remaining sprigs of thyme and tuck them into the scored flesh and into the cavity. Place a couple slices of lemon into the cavity as well.  After 30 minutes, take the veggies out of the oven.

Increase the oven heat to 425 degrees.

Arrange the fish on top of the veggies so they aren’t touching each other. Place a few more lemon slices on top of the fish and pop the whole thing back in the oven. Roast for another 20 minutes or until the flesh is completely opaque when cut with a knife. Cooking time will vary based on the size of the fish. Generally a 1-2 pound fish will take 20-30 min to cook.

Serve with fresh pesto and olive tapenade if you’re fancy pants.

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goodwilltasting beer pairing suggestion: Stone Saison Du Buff

Note: you may be wondering what happened to the little baby bluefish. I dredged that little guy in flour, seasoned with plenty of S&P, and fried it up in a good amount of oil. He was small but delicious!

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