Well going over to Ryan’s parents house for dinner tonight somehow turned into yours truly cooking dinner for six in our tiny condo!!!! What was my reaction?? SO EXCITED!
I loooooove cooking for other people. I have looked forward to the day when I could finally entertain people at “my house” and tonight was the first time! I’ve never cooked dinner for Ryan’s family before and I’ve never cooked dinner for that many people before either! I’ll admit, things got a little hairy when I found out about this while laying by the pool around 2:30 this afternoon (oh wait, can you make dinner for everyone here tonight?) but we whipped into action very fast.
Ryan and I devised the menu, which was such:
Homemade ceviche with blue corn chips
Mediterranean baked grouper
Cuban garlic yucca
Salad with greek feta dressing (store bought organic dressing)
More vegan carrot cake!
And then I hopped in the car to go buy all the ingredients, except for the fish which was caught by Ryan yesterday! Ryan, being the amazing boyfriend he is, stayed home and cleaned the entire condo top to bottom while I shopped. 🙂
When I got home I marinated the HUGE grouper fillets in a mixture of:
- olive oil (bout a cup or so)
- lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
- big handful of chopped oregano
- big handful of chopped rosemary
- about 6 cloves garlic, minced on microplane
- pinch of sea salt and pepper
I couldn’t believe that all this came from just ONE fish. Ryan said it was one of the largest grouper he has ever seen or caught. He had to dive down to 70 feet below and swim into an underwater cave to get this big fellow! He got it RIGHT when he was officially running out of air in his tank and had to make a beeline to the surface. What can I say? My man is an underwater hunter! 😉
After it had marinated in the fridge for most of the afternoon (flipped occasionally), I topped each piece with storebought pesto, chopped sundried tomatoes, chopped kalamata olives and a sprinkle of feta cheese. Baked at 375 for about 30 minutes.
And then there was the YUCA! I have always loooved yuca at Cuban restaurants but never really knew how to prepare it myself. Well I called Margaret, the Cuban food guru, and told me her very authentic recipe that her Cuban mother-in-law prepares all the time. Basically you just buy two bags (16-ounces each) of frozen yuca (I bought Goya brand) and simmer it for about 1.5-2 hours until VERY tender. When its done, strain it, season it with sea salt & pepper and then pour over a half cup of extra virgin olive oil mixed with about three garlic cloves, grated on the microplane. Mix well to combine. Serves ~ 8
Neither one of us ever had made it before but it was very quick and easy…not to mention healthy & delicious!
- dice up fresh fish into small cubes, we used about 1.5 lbs of snapper. Be sure to use the freshest fish possible since you aren’t actually cooking it!
- Mix 1/2 cup fresh lime juice with the fish cubes. Set aside for about 15 minutes in the fridge to marinate.
- Mix another 1/4 cup lime juice + 1/2 cup clam juice in a large bowl with a big bunch of chopped cilantro, 2 diced serrano chilies, 1 chopped red onion, 2 diced tomatoes, pinch salt
- Add the fish and let marinate for about an hour or so before serving. The acidity in the lime juice actually “cooks” the fish—how amazingly cool is that??!