citrus-marinated beef fajitas

I very quickly get annoyed by Tiffani Thiessen and her fatuous repartee with her B-list celebrity friends on Dinner at Tiffani’s. She does, however, often have some really good recipes.

fajitasOne recipe that caught my attention was her Citrus-Marinated Beef Fajitas. I got around to making the dish recently and was quite pleased. Well, I sort of made it.

I followed the recipe for the marinade pretty closely. I bought three-fajitasquarters of a pound of flap meet at the service meat counter and I marinated it for close to eight hours. I pretty much ignored the instructions on the fajita mixture. I grilled the flap meat on the grill outside and threw on a green bell pepper from the garden. That was it.

However, as always with tacos and fajitas, we had olives, chopped green pepper, and shredded cheddar for our toppings. I indulged myself and got some guacamole. The taste of the marinade was absolutely marvelous, and with our toppings it made for a really nice dinner.


cod cooked in corn husks

corn husk codI have had my Halibut Cooked in Corn Husks recipe for quite some time. It comes from the charming Marcela Valladolid on her old Mexican Made Easy program on the Food Network.

I made it again recently, but I used cod instead of halibut. Halibut can be very expensive, and the marinade is quite strong. Halibut has its own distinct taste and texture, and the marinade corn husk codoverwhelms that. Rather than cooking the fish on the stove top, I cooked it in the oven at 325° for 40 minutes.

Be sure to put a lime wedge on the plate! It is essential to getting the proper taste. I served a Mexican rice blend on the side and had butter lettuce from the garden with a homemade vinaigrette dressing.

The result made for a very tasty dinner that was inexpensive and not a lot of work.

grilled mahi-mahi with Thai coconut sauce

I was looking for a grilled mahi-mahi recipe to fix on a recent Saturday. Terry and I definitely wanted to have fish that day, and it was going to be hot, so we knew that we wanted to grill. It had been a while since we had fixed mahi-mahi and it is a fish that we both will eat. (While I love halibut Terry eats it only rarely.)

mahi-mahiI have been adding a lot of grilling recipes to my database since we bought our grill, and have set up custom searches for the various kinds of seafood for which I have recipes. The recipe I selected, however, was one that I have had for a number of years: Grilled Mahi-mahi with Thai Coconut Sauce.

I made the recipe pretty much as specified and it turned out better than expected. It was very tasty and had something of a kick to it. Terry gave it her highest endorsement, “You can make this again.”

spicy chile grilled chicken

This recipe has been in my database since 2010. Spicy Chile Grilled Chicken appeared in the July 2010 issue of Coastal Living. The use of the “e” in chile grates on me somewhat, but it is acceptable in some circles. In fact it is an issue that continues to be debated. There is an interesting article in the Los Angeles Times from back in November 2000 on the subject.

spicy chile grilled chickenForget about the spelling, however. Let’s talk about the recipe. I had a boneless chicken breast in the freezer that I wanted to grill so I opened up my recipe database and found this. It calls for a whole chicken, but it worked just as well on the breasts. I used a red chili (snicker) because that is what my local Sprouts had on hand. I marinated it for a full eight hours.

It turned out great. I served it with a packaged rice pilaf mix.

shrimp cocktail

shrimp cocktailA number of years ago, before we moved down here, we came down to visit and my brother and sister-in-law took us up the hill to Idyllwild where we had lunch at Cafe Aroma. Terry had a shrimp cocktail that consisted of pesto, horseradish, and cocktail sauce. She enjoyed it so much that she has been making our shrimp cocktail that way ever since.

Originally she layered it as they did at Cafe Aroma. But eventually she created three sections so that all three sauces were available right there on top. The last time she made it I bought a loaf of garlic bread at Sprouts and heated it up on the grill.

It made for a really nice Sunday dinner.

grilled shrimp with Romesco sauce

One of the Food Network programs that I have set up for series recoding is Valerie’s Home Cooking. If you remember Valerie Bertinelli from One Day at a Time, which ran from 1975 to 1984, she is every bit as cute and charming today as she was back then. A much younger me had quite the crush on Valerie, or at least her character Barbara Cooper. The me of today loves watching Valerie share her cooking skills and learning new recipes from her.

shrimp with Romesco sauceOne recipe that she demonstrated was Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Romesco Sauce. I saved the recipe to my database and tried it on a recent Saturday. The Romesco sauce comes from the Catalonia area of Spain and is based on roasted red peppers. I made it generally according to Valerie’s instructions, although I used pine nuts instead of almonds since I had pine nuts on hand and no almonds. I tossed the shrimp as directed and grilled them on our outdoor gas grill. I served a garlic-butter rice mix on the side.

The Romesco sauce made the meal. It was absolutely delicious. Terry gave it her highest praise, which is “We can make this again.”

Not only that, there was plenty of sauce left over, which I later used on grilled chicken.

shrimp on the grill

lemon-cumin chicken with pesto

One of the things that I like about Giada’s recipes is that she is serious about the spices and seasonings. I don’t have to add anything; she has it handled.

lemon cumin chickenI have had her recipe for lemon-cumin chicken in my database for a while. I tried it on a recent Saturday and it was a success. I prepared the marinade as specified and I let the chicken marinate for close to five hours. I bought the thin-sliced chicken breasts at the full-service meat counter of our local grocery store. I cooked the chicken on our outdoor gas grill.

I had never made pesto before. The task seemed daunting. I have watched enough cooking shows that I really should have gotten it that pesto isn’t that hard. But it just never sank in. This recipe called for pesto, however, so I decided to tackle it. It was really very easy and came out quite tasty. I substituted pine nuts for walnuts because that was what I had on hand. Otherwise I followed Giada’s instructions.

On the side I served Farmhouse Herb and Butter rice mix and I had our home-grown romaine lettuce with my homemade vinaigrette blend.

It was a dinner that worked out very well.