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Grilled Snapper with Mango-Avocado Salsa

Serves 4

This recipe is derived from the one and only Gwyneth Paltrow however she uses halibut in her recipe but because I don’t care for halibut, I’ve substituted it with red snapper and I’ve also modified the cooking technique such that I use a grill pan rather than the BBQ.  I don’t own a gas BBQ, only a charcoal Weber, and although I love the taste, it’s just not as convenient for a simple recipe like this…hence why I use the grill pan!  This is a super easy recipe and quite healthy.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 medium ripe mango, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 6-ounce red snapper fillets
  • 4 lime wedges

Preparation

  • Gently combine the avocado, mango, tomatoes, basil, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a large mixing bowl. Season salsa to taste with salt and pepper and set aside at room temperature, gently tossing occasionally.
  • Place fish fillets in a 13x9x2″ glass baking dish. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoon lime juice over. Season fish with salt and pepper. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes, turning fish occasionally.
  • Prepare a grill pan on med-high heat. Grill fish until just opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plates. Spoon mango-avocado salsa over fish. Squeeze a lime wedge over each and serve.

 

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Chicken Paillard with Creamy Parmesan Dressing

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

Oh how I love Tyler Florence and all that he does!  I’ve made this recipe of his a couple of times now and each time my husband cleans his plate!  That’s always a good sign:)  It’s a pretty easy meal and one that doesn’t taste too heavy which is nice.  Perfect for a weekday night or for easy entertaining.  I think once you make this you’ll definitely go back to it as a trusty go-to recipe.

Ingredients

Chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or peanut oil

Dressing:

  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 clove garlic, pealed and smashed
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Salad:

  • 1 cup organic grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bag fresh baby arugala
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, boccancini, halved
  • Shaved Parmesan, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Directions

For the chicken:

Begin by pounding out the chicken breast gently between 2 pieces of plastic wrap.

Prepare a breading station with flour, whisked eggs and milk, and panko crumbs. Season all generously with salt and pepper. Coat the breasts in flour, egg then panko. Lay the coated breasts out on a flat tray and refrigerate to let the crust dry out (about 10 minutes) this will ensure there is less moisture and less chance your coating will break when frying.

Shallow fry the paillard in hot oil for approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side depending on how thick the breasts are. Drain well, season with salt and set aside when done.

For the dressing:

Put the anchovies, egg yolks, garlic, and lemon juice into a blender and process for 30 seconds until the mixture is smooth. With the blender running, pour the olive oil in slowly for the dressing to emulsify. Add water if the sauce is too thick.  Stir in the Parmesan, season with grinds of black pepper; set aside. (Refrigerate the dressing if you will not be using it right away.)

Prepare the salad by splitting the grape tomatoes in half through the middle lengthwise, mixing all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the dressing and toss the salad well.

To serve lay the warm, crispy chicken paillard on the base of the plate and top with the salad. Garnish with shaved parmesan cheese, a wedge of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.

Aria – Sydney, Australia

Our first meal in Sydney at Aria came highly recommended from locals which is always a good sign. Located near Circular Quay, the restaurant has an award winning unobstructed view of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  The decor and overall atmosphere didn’t strike me as anything I would write home about but again, the view alone was enough to blow me away.

And the food…amazing!  Gorgeous in presentation, everything you could expect and more in flavor…divine!  I have absolutely no complaints except that I ate too much:)

Amuse Bouche – Pumpkin soup with Thai flavors (this deserves a spot on their permanent menu)

Tomato – salad of ricotta, cucumber, basil and Kalamata olives with a white balsamic jelly

Raviolo – of scampi and spanner crab with green beans, créme fraiche and a black truffle dressing

John Dory – seared fillet with garlic and parsley clams, braised carrots and artichokes

Soufflé – twice cooked soufflé of caramelized onion spinach with spiced eggplant and a tomato and saffron sauce

Salad of peach, mozzarella, rocket and balsamic

Steamed broccolini with hazelnuts and lemon oil

Mango soufflé with coconut ice cream

North Bondi Italian Food – Sydney, Australia

Owned by the same people as Icebergs, North Bondi Italian Food (located in North Bondi:)), doesn’t take reservations and is very popular so you need to get there early to put your name in.  But it’s worth it!  The restaurant itself is lively, young and a fun place to end the day with drinks and yummy Italian food.  And let’s not forget about the view…stunning beach view, toned surfing bodies, sunset…doesn’t get much better than that!

To start we got the Beet Salad with goat cheese, spring onions, and beet juice…deilcious!  I’d love to recreate this at home for guests.  The beet juice drizzled on top was so pretty and accentuated the distinctive beet flavor that I love.  For my entrée, my eyes immediately caught the Spaghetti “Arrabbiata” Crab – cooked in a paper bag…what?!  Arrabbiata is one of my favorite Italian pastas and overall I was just curious.  I have before and after photos below of the presentation…clever.  It was interesting eating out of a bag but the flavors were there and I loved the addition of crab…yum!  I would definitely get this again.  My mom got the Pork Schnitzel which was incredible.  So tender and juicy.  The breading was crispy and not too heavy.  If you like schnitzel, this is a winner!

For sides we got the crispy garlic and rosemary potatoes…whoa…those were good!  And the steamed broccoli with garlic and chili.  I always have to have some green in my meal.  It wasn’t anything crazy but exactly what I wanted and very good.

Overall I really liked this spot and if I lived there I would go here often, assuming I could get in:)  I think this restaurant is perfect for many occasions and situations – birthday get togethers, girls night out, date night, etc.

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