This post should have something for everyone, from vegans to paleo followers, and everyone in between. (Swordfish, lobster, veggie burgers, banana boat s’mores with homemade marshmallows!)
I can’t get over how incredible this summer has been. This past week, friends from a semester in Costa Rica flew up to visit, and the four of us hung out for the first time in three years. I’m lucky enough to live near one of them, but the others came in from Hawaii and Miami (actually, from Europe then back to Miami!) It was so much fun and we all picked up where we left off – without living in the past.
We spent a night in Boston, then headed up to my friend’s lakehouse in New Hampshire. You could honestly go there for a couple hours and feel refreshed, so we were more than happy to spend a good chunk of time there.
For the chutney
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons finely minced ancho chile pepper (I used jalapenos from the garden instead)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 small, fresh pickling cucumbers, peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 1 pint (2 cups) wild Maine blueberries
- Cold water
In a small skillet, toast the cumin and ancho chile (or jalapeno) over high heat until fragrant. Set aside and allow to cool completely. Mix the cucumber, lime juice, parsley, cilantro, and cooled spices in a medium bowl. Puree half of the blueberries in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, adding just enough water to result in a runny consistency. You may not need any water at all, so puree without added water first, and add only if needed. Add the pureed blueberries to the cucumber mixture. Gently fold in the remaining blueberries, being careful not to mash them. Refrigerate until ready to use. The chutney is best eaten at room temperature over hot fish.
For the swordfish
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons hot paprika
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 fresh domestically harvested North American swordfish steaks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, butter, or ghee (instead of the book’s recommended canola oil)
I actually completely forgot about this section of the recipe, and just grilled the swordfish on a buttered pan on top of the grill. I don’t think I even added salt or pepper – maybe a little bit at the end – but it came out perfect after a few minutes on each side. As Linda explains in her cookbook, swordfish should be cooked through, but not dried out – and not rare either. I tested for firmness before pulling it off the grill, when it still had a teeny bit of give. She recommends testing the skin for doneness; when the skin easily removes from the fish, it’s done. Below is the rest of the recipe as she intended it to be.
Mix the cumin, paprika, sesame seeds, and black pepper on a rimmed baking sheet or piece of aluminum foil, spreading the mixture to thinly cover the surface. Place the swordfish steaks onto the spices, lift them, and turn them over to coat both sides of the fish. Rub the spices over the swordfish with your hands to evenly distribute, if needed.
Heat the olive oil, butter, or ghee in a large cast iron skillet over high heat until sizzling hot. Place the swordfish in the hot skillet and cook, turning once, about 3 minutes per side. Cooking time depends on thickness of the steak – ours took a bit longer. Serve with the chutney (at room temperature. We enjoyed ours with organic grilled corn (so important since most corn is sadly GMO now), sauteed kale, and homemade veggie burgers.
We also had delicious homemade veggie burgers, with zucchini, onions, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, quinoa and dijon mustard. The recipe is from Choosing Raw. I unfortunately don’t have any specific photos of these, but there’s a plate of them in the photo above. I may write more about them later, but head over to the link above for the recipe. The texture was perfect, and not dry and crumbly like other veggie burgers tend to be.
Banana Boats S’mores – as seen on Eat Boutique.
When I saw the photos for banana boats, something I had never heard of, I knew I’d have to make them at my friend’s camp. Having made marshmallows before, I couldn’t imagine not having homemade marshmallows again for this treat. Sounds intimidating, and I’ve heard a bit unnecessary, but that may be from people who haven’t experienced them yet. They’re so much more melty, delicious and fluffy than the store bought kind. Check out my blog post on homemade marshmallows (recipe from Smitten Kitchen) – I promise they’re really fun to make – but the banana boats would still be tasty with regular marshmallows.
All you need to do is slice a banana through the peel and fruit, lengthwise, and stuff with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap in tinfoil and place in the fire’s embers for about 6-10 minutes, depending on the heat. The marshmallow will cook rather quickly, but if you wait a few minutes after, the banana and chocolate will really melt, and oh my God it’s so good. We scooped ours up with ginger snaps and dreamed of the different messy combinations we could try next time, like a splash of rum on top, reminiscent of bananas foster, or a drizzle of honey or nut butters. Insanely good.
You can’t visit Maine without trying lobster, especially with it being so cheap now. On our last night, my friend’s family cooked up a big lobster dinner, straight from the boat. It was a lesson in anatomy, as my friend tackled her first fresh, Maine lobster. No explanation needed here, but it was a delicious way to wrap up our vacation before a reggae boat cruise in town.