Laugh, Social Sundays

Social Sundays – Roasted Macadamia Halibut, Crispy Quinoa Avocado Salad, and Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Mini Meringues!

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Today is Social Sunday — I hope you are as excited about it as I am.  This week I lightened it up a bit because of all the fiestas you may have attended this weekend — but, that doesn’t mean this menu lacks pizzazz!  The ingredients are straight forward and the preparation is rather simple, just follow my step-by-step instructions to this fabulous meal.

The Roasted Macadamia Halibut is super juicy because you cook it quickly on top of a bed of fresh lemons.  As for the crust, well – it tastes like the islands.  I think it will definitely remind you of one of your best vacations ever.

Crispy Quinoa Avocado Salad is perfect with the halibut because of the exciting combinations of ingredients.  Crispy quinoa is something that is popping up everywhere in salads, sprinkled on proteins and even desserts.  This roasted ancient grain adds a nice crunch and makes an outstanding substitution for traditional croutons in salads.  In this salad, I added a little pink grapefruit for a hit of citrus, which goes nicely with the creamy avocado – what a sublime combination.

As for dessert, Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Mini Meringues.  If you’ve never had a meringue before, it is a crunchy delicate dessert made out of egg whites.  I added cocoa powder and mini chocolate chips to the batter for a decadent twist to the meringue.  On top, a dollop of whipped cream and fresh blackberries to add to the magic – it tastes like heaven.  This dessert doesn’t take much time to prepare, it spends most of the time in the oven, so prepare it a few hours ahead of your fish, and everything will come out perfectly.  Remember, timing is everything!  Don’t forget to call some friends……Happy Social Sundays!

Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Mini Meringues 

Ingredients

4 ounces egg whites

1 cup granulated sugar + 3 tablespoons divided

1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter

3 tablespoons cocoa powder, I use Valhrona

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 pints blackberries

(Makes 6 Mini  Meringues)

To Prepare:

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  In a stand mixer or large bowl, add the egg whites and beat on high until frothy, about 2 minutes.  Add in 1 cup of sugar, cream of tarter, cocoa powder and vinegar, beat on high for 4 minutes.  Fold in the mini chocolate chips by hand.

2.  Spoon the meringue batter onto a silpat or parchment lined sheet pan. Make a slight indent in the top of each.  Bake for 1 hour in the oven.  Turn off heat and leave in the oven for 1 more hour.

3.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.  Whip the cream, 3 tablespoons sugar and vanilla until soft peaks, about 3 minutes.  Spoon whipped cream and berries on top.  Enjoy!

Crispy Quinoa Avocado Salad 

Ingredients

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1 head red leaf lettuce, washed and sliced

1 avocado, sliced

1 pink grapefruit, segmented

Vinaigrette

1/2 shallot, minced

1 teaspoon coarse Dijon mustard

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons agave nectar

1/2 cup olive oil

pinch of salt & pepper

(Serves 4)

To Prepare:

1. Preheat the broiler.  Place the cooked quinoa on a sheet pan and let cool for 15 minutes.  Place the sheet pan under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, keeping your eye on the quinoa.  Cook until toasty brown, you may need to add another minute or so.

2.  Place the cut lettuce in the bottom of a bowl.  Add the slices of avocado and grapefruit on top.

3.  In a jar, add all the vinaigrette ingredients and shake, until well combined.  Add the cooled crispy quinoa to the salad and drizzle the vinaigrette over the top.  Enjoy!

Roasted Macadamia Halibut 

Ingredients

1 pound fresh halibut filet, skinned & deboned – about 1-inch thick

1 lemon

1/3 cup macadamia nuts

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

arugula, optional

(Serves 4)

To Prepare:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Unwrap the halibut and slice the lemons.  On a sheet pan, lay the lemons in a rectangle, place the halibut on top.

2.  Put the macadamia nuts, Parmesan, salt & pepper into a food processor and pulse, until coarse crumbs.  Pat the crumbs on top of the fish.

3.  Roast the fish in the oven for 15 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown.  If your fish in thicker than 1-inch, add a couple more minutes of cooking time.  Remove from the oven and place on a bed of arugula, slice and serve, enjoy!

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