Roasted Red and Golden Beets with Goat Cheese and Broken Vinaigrette
Wash and trim equal numbers of medium red and golden beets. Wrap each color seperately in foil (the red will "dye" the yellow ones if roasted together) with a few sprigs of fresh thyme, 2 course chopped garlic cloves, salt, pepper and a generous drizzle of olive oil over each beet. Roast at 350° F. for about an hour or until the tip of small knife slides in easily when the beet is pierced. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off each beet with your hands. Rinse your hands after cleaning each red beet to avoid staining your fingers. Set the beets aside to cool, remove the thyme sprigs and garlic from oil and beet juices in foil and reserve the oil for dressing. Both can be made a few days in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.
Meanwhile, bring mild, plain goat cheese to room temperature. Mash in snipped chives, salt, pepper, granulated garlic and, adding a little at a time, just enough cream, half and half or milk to make a smooth paste.
To assemble, slightly trim the beets on all four side to form a square. Slice each beet horizonally into three pieces. Place about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture on the bottom slice and spread to the edge. Top with the second slice and repeat with goat cheese. Top with the last slice and place a small dot of cheese in the center. Lightly press a baby leaf of a leafy green such as aruglua, mache or a small tangle of a micro green. Place beets on a plate, lined with baby greens if desired, and drizzle all with the beet juice/olive oil. Serve at room temperature. Note: if you assemble to far in advance, the red beets will color the cheese though it will not affect the flavor. If you wish to assemble a few hours early, use all golden beets, chill, bring to room temperature, top with a green and drizzle just before serving.
Here are 6 days of menus which I prepared while on holiday in Hawaii, staying in a condo which has a very convenient built in outdoor grill. As equipment is a little limited from what I have at home, it usually inspires some new recipe. Last year I devised the Asian Inspired Herb Sauce and this year it was the Coconut Lime and Ginger Panna Cotta:
Grilled Ono with Watercress Pesto Grilled Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes and Feta Cheese Roasted Beet and Watercress Salad Coconut Lime and Ginger Panna Cotta with Minted Pineapple and Papaya ♥ Grilled Ahi Tuna with Asian Inspired Herb Sauce Stir-fried Choi Sum Minted Tropical Fruit Salad ♥ Grilled Mong Chong with Asian Inspired Herb Sauce Grilled Eggplant Steamed Gingered Sugar Snap Peas Coconut Lime and Ginger Panna Cotta with Minted Pineapple and Papaya ♥ Grilled Shrimp, Eggplant, Red and Yellow Bell Peppers Asian Spicy Quick Pickled Cucumbers ♥ Grilled Mahi Mahi with Avgolemono Sauce Steamed Haricots Verts Roasted Beet and Watercress Salad with Feta Cheese ♥ Broiled Mahi Mahi Broiled Polenta Slices Topped with Okra and Tomato Stew Grilled Eggplant, Baby Multicolored Bell Peppers and Anaheim Chilies Coconut Lime and Ginger Panna Cotta with Minted Pineapple and Papaya
I have been cooking food in parchment paper for a very long time. It's easy and the clean up is a snap. I also find it a great company dish. I prefer a firm fleshed fish and the vegetables and spicing can be changed endlessly. I suggest not using broccoli as it's strong flavor overwhelms everything else. Otherwise, use your imagination. The important thing about this dish is to seal the paper with a tight over-fold so that the steam that forms inside the paper doesn't escape. For the dish pictured at the top of the page, the recipe follows:
Fish Baked in Parchment Ingredients are for a single packet
1 (6-8 oz.) halibut filet (any firm fleshed fish works well) salt and pepper to taste 1/4 tsp. toasted sesame oil 1/2 cup julienned carrots (or thinly sliced) 2 - 3 cleaned and sliced crimini mushrooms (or your favorite) 1/4 cup fresh or frozen green peas (don't thaw frozen peas) 1/4 tsp. minced fresh garlic 1 scallion, sliced thinly crosswise, using some of the green top leaves from 2 - 3 sprigs cilantro (or parsley) grated zest of 1/2 lime 2 tsp. of finely grated peeled fresh ginger 1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
Cut a large piece of parchment paper into a large heart shape. Grease the inside of the paper with the sesame oil. Place carrots on one side of paper next to the crease. Top with garlic, mushrooms and peas. Season with a little salt and pepper. Season both sides of fish with salt and pepper and place on top of vegetables. Scatter cilantro, lime zest, ginger and scallions over all. Drizzle lime juice over all. Cover fish and vegetables with the other side of paper and fold edges together starting at the rounded end, folding over about one inch at a time and moving around to the pointed end. At the end, twist the point to secure. Preheat oven to 450°. Place packet on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. As soon as the packet is "puffed" the fish is done. Serve in paper, cutting a "X" in the top of the paper to expose the fish and vegetables.
Lots of these ingredients can be changed to suit your taste and whatever fish is available. For example, use olive oil or softened butter to grease paper, lemon, grapefruit or orange juices and zest, basil (or any fresh herb you like with fish such as oregano, tarragon, dill, etc) and vegetables such as corn kernels, chilies, bell peppers, cauliflower, parboiled diced potato, thinly sliced or shaved fennel, bok choy cut in half lengthwise with thick core removed, spinach leaves,etc. Keep in mind that the packet only cooks for about 10 minutes so whatever vegetables you choose, the sturdier ones need to be cut small enough to cook in that amount of time. Otherwise, as you see, the choices are endless and the dish is delicious and healthy.