Fish and Chips

Versão em português

Fish and Chips

I remember the very first thing I ate in England: a COLD pork pie, with a visible fat layer, together with a coffee that was also cold and yucky. To make things worse, it was expensive! To this day Sky, who was responsible for making that choice, is mocked! 😀

But there I also ate wonderful things, among them the famous fish and chips. The first time we ate that was at the only restaurant open after a long day of walking around. When we ordered a beer, the owner was almost insulted: we hadn’t realized that the restaurant was halal! To end the Sea Tertulias, I decided to make fish and chips – and had a good laugh when I realized Jaime Oliver’s recipe called for beer in the batter! 😀

You’ll need:

250 g white fish fillets, deboned – we used corvina
½ tsp salt
pepper and paprika
225 g flour
250 ml COLD beer
3 tsp baking powder
Potatoes to fry – I must confess I cheated and bought frozen fries. I know, I know.
About 1 liter of oil to deep-fry

Fish and Chips

Start by heating the oil. Place some beers in the freezer. When the oil is hot enough, start frying the French fries. While they’re frying….

Season the fish fillets with salt, pepper, and paprika. As we wanted finger food, I cut the fish into medium-sized chunks, but traditionally this dish is made by frying the entire fillet. Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder. Add the beer, which must be very cold, in parts. The batter should be thick, almost like a cream – if it’s too liquid, it’ll make a mess of your oil!

Dip the fish pieces in the batter, making sure they are fully covered. Deep fry them for about 4 minutes, or until they are golden. Here, I served with garlic and herb mayonnaise – and beer, of course!

Baked Coconut Shrimp

Versão em Português

Camarão Empanado Com Coco

Ooops, we skipped a week! With all the fuss of Gabi’s graduation party (which was last Thursday, but we also celebrated on Friday and Saturday!), there really was no time to post! To make it up to you guys, today we continue the Sea Tertulias with a very easy and different recipe, great for having friends over!

The first time I ate coconut shrimp was at the only Chinese buffet that we know in Uruguay – and to think that there’s one on every corner in Brazil! The most traditional version of this recipe is deep-fried, but I decided to make something a little healthier, and I thought it was better than the original!

You’ll need:

400 g deveined shrimp
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper – you can use paprika instead, if you prefer it less spicy
2 cups shredded coconut – I used regular shredded coconut, because that’s what I can find here. If you can find unsweetened flaked coconut, it’ll look a lot prettier! 🙂
3 egg whites

For the sauce:
Unsweetened orange marmalade

Camarão Empanado Com Coco

Did I mention how easy this recipe is?

Start by preparing your baking sheet: take a baking sheet and grease it with olive oil. End of the preparation! 😀

Spice the cornstarch with salt and cayenne pepper. Place the mixture on a plate and set aside. Quickly beat the egg whites with a fork and place on a separate plate. Set that aside as well. Place the coconut on a third plate and guess what? Set that aside too!

Now to the assembly: take one shrimp, dredge it on the cornstarch, then dip in the egg whites, then in the coconut. Place it on the baking sheet and repeat the process until you finish! As 400 g is quite a bit of shrimp, I recommend you do this process while watching a show or something! 😀

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 7 minutes. Then, flip the shrimp so they brown on the other side and bake for another 7 minutes.

While the shrimp are baking, make the sauce. In a small pan, place the marmalade and a couple Tbsp water, mixing on low heat until the marmalade is thinner. When it comes to a boil, turn off the stove, place the sauce in a nice little bowl, and serve!

Fish Tacos

Versão em Português

Tacos de Peixe

Sky loves Mexican food. I like it quite a bit, but he absolutely loves it. Every now and then, he’d say “we need to make fish tacos.” And I always thought that was kind of odd – aren’t tacos made with ground beef? 😀

This recipe is very easy. In fact, it is so simple that I considered not posting it at all – but it’s such a tasty combination and such an easy solution for a weekend lunch/dinner, that I thought it’d be a great addition to our Sea Tertulias!

For two hungry people, you’ll need:

For the fish:

400 g boneless fish filets – we used corvina, but choose whichever fish you prefer!

Salt, lemon, pepper, and paprika, for seasoning

To assemble:

Wheat tortillas

Sour cream

Salsa

Cherry tomatoes, halved

Red onions, cut in thin half-moon slices

Pineapple, cut in small chunks

Cilantro!

Tacos de Peixe

As I said before, this recipe is super easy! Season the fish filets with salt, lemon, pepper, and paprika. Set it aside for 15-20 minutes, and then fry them in a hot skillet with a couple Tbsp of oil – no need to deep fry it! When the fish is fried, chop it into medium-sized chunks and reserve.

While the fish is frying, heat up the tortillas on another skillet – make sure it’s nice and hot, and you won’t need any more than 40 seconds on each side!

When the fish is fried and the tortillas are warm, it’s time to assemble it all. Place one tortilla on a plate. In the middle of it, put some pieces of fish, a little bit of sour cream, salsa, onions, cherry tomatoes, pineapple, and the cilantro. Fold the tortilla in half and serve! 🙂

Shrimp and Spinach Spaghetti

Versão em português

Macarrão com Camarão e Espinafre

Better late than never! I didn’t publish this recipe on Friday, as usual, but I had my reasons: I was travelling to my sister’s graduation party!

To start the Sea Tertulias, I decided to finally test one of the countless video recipes I had saved on Facebook – do you guys also save thousands of links there and never remember to check it? Is there a support group, “Facebook link-savers anonymous”? I need it! 😀

In any case, I’m glad I finally decided to check my saved links. This is one of those super-easy, one-pot, no-fuss recipes, but it’s sure to make an impression!

For two people, you’ll need:

½ package of pasta – I used spaghetti, but I think a thicker-cut, such as linguine, would have been nicer. Or if you really want to impress, use fresh pasta!
8 generous Tbsp butter
250 g fresh shrimp, deveined
200 g baby spinach – I didn’t have it, so I used normal spinach
2 garlic cloves – as always, I used more
¼ cup grated parmesan
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp oregano
Olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika

Macarrão com Camarão e Espinafre

Start by cooking the pasta, following the cooking time in the package. While it cooks, sort the other ingredients, because the process is QUICK. When the pasta is al dente, drain the water. In the same pan that you cooked the pasta, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and about 2 Tbsp butter. When the butter has melted, add the shrimp. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Fry the shrimp for about five minutes, stirring to ensure that they cook evenly. Add the garlic and fry for about a minute.

Macarrão com Camarão e Espinafre

Now it’s time to put in the spinach, stirring well until it wilts. Add the pasta, the remaining butter, oregano, parsley, and parmesan, stirring well until all the butter has melted.

Serve right away!

Goat Cheese Dip

Versão em Português

Patê de Queijo de Cabra

In Uruguay and in Brazil, we have a long weekend coming along: Carnival! Most people go out and celebrate, but we are just going to binge-watch Netflix and catch up with our reading! 😛

To finish the Dip Tertulias, I’ve chosen a very different recipe (adapted from Chef John’s) – when you read “goat cheese dip”, you might think of hours in the kitchen making something complicated, but all we need to do here is mix some ingredients in a big bowl! The easiest recipe in this series!

You’ll need:

200 g cream cheese
200 g mild goat cheese * − here, I used creamy goat cheese, but I’ve used hard cheese in the past. In that case, all you have to do is grate it coarsely.
1 clove of garlic − I used garlic flakes because it’s carnival! I was lazy!
¼ cup of chopped herbs – I used parsley and chives, but in the past I’ve used basil, dill… it’s a matter of taste (and of what’s in the fridge!)
Salt, pepper, and hot paprika to taste

* If your goat cheese is stronger-flavored, start by mixing just half of it. After the initial taste, you can decide if you want to add the rest!

Patê de Queijo de Cabra

* If your goat cheese is stronger-flavored, start by mixing just half of it. After the initial taste, you can decide if you want to add the rest!

The directions for this recipe are extremely appropriate for carnival: Place all ingredients in a bowl. With a silicone spatula, mix everything. Check that the seasoning is to your liking and that’s it! Done!

But hey, we can always fancy things up a bit! Place a large piece of plastic wrap on your counter. Put the dip on the plastic and shape it into a cylinder. Refrigerate for a couple of hours, until it’s nice and firm. To serve, remove the plastic (obviously!) and slice! 🙂

Tapenade

Versão em português

Tapenade

When I moved to Uruguay, one of the things I had to learn was to cook – no one can survive forever on pasta, cake, scrambled eggs, and tuna salad, right? (Seriously, that was basically all I could cook). I started by making simple, but different, things. One of those first recipes was tapenade, this French olive dip.

The recipe I used to make (I can’t remember where I found it!) called for equal amounts of green and black olives, garlic, salt, pepper, and basil. I would simply place everything on the food processor, pulse it, and there: a tasty dip. When I decided that February would be Dip Tertulias, I knew tapenade was going to be one of them. So, I tried to find the “original, authentic, yadda yadda yadda” recipe – but of course I couldn’t find it!

There seem to be a lot of different recipes, each of them adding/omitting an ingredient. Confused, I had to resort to Wikipedia, where I learned that the recipe calls for olives, capers, anchovies, and garlic! I found this recipe on The Guardian and decided to make it – well, adapt it. It was much tastier than the one I used to make!

It doesn’t yield a whole lot, which is fine: it’s pretty strong, so a little goes a long way!

Tapenade

You’ll need:

½ cup of pitted black olives
2 Tbsp capers
2 anchovies, drained – we always have some, for Caesar salad dressing… or pizza. 😀
3 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp oregano/thyme – I used ½ Tbsp of each
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Olive oil, salt, and pepper, to taste – I skipped the salt, as the anchovies/capers were salty enough

Not only did I try a “more authentic” recipe, but I also tested the most traditional method: the mortar and pestle!

Coarsely chop the olives, capers, anchovies, and garlic. Place them in the mortar, add the herbs, and crush and grind everything until you get a paste that isn’t too chunky. Add roughly 2 Tbsp olive oil and use the pestle to mix it in. Season with salt and pepper.

OOOOR….. place everything on the food processor, pulsing until you get a somewhat chunky paste! 😀

White Bean Beet Dip

Versão em Português

Patê de Beterraba e Feijão Branco

While looking for recipes to eat with bread that were different (and, if possible, vegan), I stumbled upon this one. As I had already made a white bean dip and a beet dip, I had no doubt that putting them together would be a hit! 🙂

Apart from the bright look, what really drew me to trying this recipe was the fact that it called for roasted beets – let’s face it, this is the best way of preparing them! After I learned that, I never went back to just boiling them! As the original recipe was a little mild for my taste, I upped the spices a bit.

You’ll need:

1 can white beans, drained – as I don’t buy canned beans here, I used 1 ½ cup cooked white beans
2 large beets – I used 1 large and 2 medium
1 garlic clove – of course I used more than that (six)! 😀
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt, pepper, and paprika, to taste – I used smoked and mild paprika

Patê de Beterraba e Feijão Branco

Cut the beets in cubes – as my baking sheet was reasonably big, I chopped a few more to add to another meal! 🙂

GENEROUSLY spice the beets with olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika, tossing it all well so that all the little cubes are well coated. Place some garlic cloves over the beets and bake for approximately 40 minutes, until the beets are nice and soft.

When they come out of the oven, place them in the blender, together with the white beans and one or two Tbsp water, just to help blend everything. As my blender broke (#RIP) and I haven’t bought a new one yet, I used a handheld mixer. It took a while, but it worked!

Then all you have to do is chill in the fridge for a while, then serve with some toast/chips 😀

Red Onion Dip

Versão em português

On the first weekend of February, we have Super Bowl. On the last, carnival – which we will celebrate with a Netflix binge-watch. These things call for a little snack, don’t they? 😉

To begin our Dip Tertulias, I (slightly) adapted this recipe by Rita Lobo, a fantastic Brazilian TV chef, because I was out of yellow onions. 🙂 I’ve made the original recipe, but truth be told, it’s much better with red onions!

You’ll need:

350 g sour cream or crème fraîche

2 large red onions (or 4 medium), sliced as thinly as you can

4 Tbsp of olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt, pepper, and nutmeg, to taste

Start by slicing the onions. If you have a mandolin, here’s your chance to finally use it! 😀 As I don’t have one (yet), I used a very sharp knife to get the job done.

In a large skillet, heat two Tbsp olive oil on low heat and add the onions. Now it’s time to caramelize: stir the onions every now and then, until their texture changes considerably – they’ll be soft and the white part will be translucent. Here, this process took around 20 minutes. Rita Lobo said that “it’s no use turning up the heat: the onions will burn instead of caramelize,” so I obeyed!

In a bowl, mix the sour cream with the remaining olive oil, the lemon juice, and the seasonings. Set aside.
When the onions are nicely caramelized, set aside a small portion for garnish, and chop the rest REEEALLY thinly. Add the chopped onions to the seasoned sour cream. Cover and chill in the fridge. Serve with crackers or sliced carrots and cucumbers.

This is a good recipe for a game night (here, Cards Against Humanity), because it is not only tasty, but can also be made the day before!

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Versão em português

Rolinhos Primavera Vietnamitas

A friend of mine has an Asian-inspired closed-door restaurant here in Punta. When I went there for the first time, I saw “spring rolls” on the menu and I ordered it, thinking I’d get the Chinese fried version. Instead, he brought pockets of raw vegetables. I tried them, skeptically, but I loved it! Very fresh and light!

To end our Summer Tertulias, I decided to make that recipe. It isn’t hard, but it takes a while to roll everything. It’s totally worth it, though, and they last a few days in the fridge – a healthy snack option. They are very versatile: you can fill them however you want. I made the vegan version, but you can add boiled shrimp, for example.

The rice paper used for these spring rolls can be found in health/Asian stores. Here in Uruguay, I found them on the gluten-free section of the supermarket (the celiac population here is surprisingly big: we had a gluten-free section before it was cool 😀 ).

The quantities listed here are simply a suggestion – adjust however you like!

1 packet of rice paper wraps

1 cucumber, julienned – I still haven’t mastered the cut, though…

1 carrot, julienned

1/3 green bell pepper, julienned

1/3 red bell pepper, julienned

1/3 yellow bell pepper, julienned

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 packet of bean sprouts – alfalfa sprouts work nicely too, but I didn’t find them in the market! 😀

Mint leaves

Lettuce

Sauce

4 Tbsp soy sauce – traditionally, fish sauce is used, but then the recipe is no longer vegan. I tested both and they are equally good.

1 Tbsp sugar

Juice of half a lemon

2 garlic cloves

1 cup of water

Rolinhos Primavera Vietnamitas

Start by prepping all the vegetables.

Then, set up your workstation: the veggies, the sprouts, the mint, the rice paper, a deep plate with water (to soften the rice paper), a clean dish towel, and a plate to place the finished rolls.

Place one wrap on the plate with water and let it sit for a minute. It will be quite soft! Carefully, remove the wrap from the plate and place it over your towel, trying to keep it from curling. The first few times it may be a little troublesome, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time!

Place the filling on the center of the wrap, being careful not to overfill. Fold the bottom part of the wrap over the filling, fold both sides into the center, making an envelope, and fold the top part over, closing the roll. Repeat until you run out of wraps or filling! 😀

Mix the sauce ingredients and serve!

Watermelon-Mint Agua Fresca

Versão em português

Agua Fresca

For the third recipe of the Summer Tertulias, I decided to make the first drink of the blog! 🙂 While researching “summer recipes” on Pinterest, I came across “agua fresca,” a very refreshing Mexican drink – the middle point between juice and flavored water 😀

Among the several options of agua fresca, I decided on this Epicurious version, which has an interesting detail: homemade mint syrup. I had never made syrup before, and was surprised at how easy it is! The coolest thing is that you can use the same syrup to make pineapple agua fresca!

For a big pitcher of agua fresca, you’ll need:

5 cups of watermelon, seeded – I used half a medium-sized watermelon and decided that was 5 cups 😀 For the pineapple version, I used roughly 2 cups of fresh pineapple, chopped.

1/4 cup of lemon juice

A LOT OF ICE (I used two trays)

For the mint syrup:

1/4 cup mint leaves

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

Agua Fresca

In a small saucepan, place all the ingredients of the syrup and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and let it chill completely.

While the syrup cools down, remove the seeds of the watermelon and chop it. When I was done chopping, I remembered I had a pineapple that needed to be used as well. As I had doubled the syrup recipe, I decided to make pineapple agua fresca – the method was exactly the same, but I only used 2 cups of chopped pineapple.

Place the watermelon, the lemon juice, and the mint syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the contents directly over the pitcher. Add two cups of water, mix well, and add plenty of ice. Serve ice cold!

Freezer: Place the agua fresca in a popsicle mold and freeze – it will be a hit! 🙂