Executive Chef Scott Linquist of Dos Caminos restaurant serves up some light recipes for spring:
• Lobster Guacamole
2 large ripe avocados
2 teaspoons diced onions
2 tablespoons diced jalapenos or Serrano chilies
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons diced tomato
½ teaspoon salt
1 lime juiced
1 whole 1-pound lobster or 4 ounces lobster meat (steam, cool and pick meat from lobster and rough chop)
1. In a medium sized bowl add 1 teaspoon onions, 1 tablespoon chilies, tablespoon cilantro and ½ teaspoon salt. With the back of a spoon mash all ingredients against the bottom of the bowl. 2. Add the 2 avocados (which need to be peeled and seeded) and mash the avocados mixing with the ingredients in the bowl.
3. Add remaining teaspoon onions, tablespoon cilantro, tablespoon chilies, tablespoon tomatoes, limejuice and lobster meat. Gently fold ingredients together. Japanese pickled ginger works well for a garnish.
4. Serve with crisp corn tortilla chips
• Tomatillo and Lime Marinated Shrimp Ceviche with Corn and Avocado Salsa and Ancho Chili Dusted Popcorn
Ingredients for the shrimp:
18 large shrimp in the shell
4 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
4 quarts water
4 tablespoons salt
Method to poach shrimp:
1. In a large saucepot add water and all other flavoring ingredients including the lemon cut in half. Bring water to a boil and add shrimp and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until shrimp are just done.
2. Add 2-dozen ice cubes to the pot and allow time to cool.
3. Peel and de-vein shrimp and cut in lengthwise along the curve of the back. Reserve chilled for later.
Ingredients for the marinade:
6 medium tomatillos, peeled
2 jalapenos, stemmed and cut in half lengthwise
1 medium sized onion, peeled and quartered
½ cup of cilantro leaves
¼ cup fresh limejuice
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoon salt
Method for marinade preparation:
1. In a medium saucepot add tomatillos, jalapenos and onion and cover with water and 2 tablespoons salt. Bring liquid to a boil, turn off the burner and allow to cool in the liquid.
2. Once cool drain water and puree in a blender with cilantro leaves and lime juice and while the blender is on slowly add olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt to taste.
Ingredients for corn and avocado salsa:
4 ears fresh corn, steamed and cut from the cobb
1 medium red onion, minced
2 serrano chilies sliced thin
1 large ripe haas avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons lime juice
salt to taste
1. Mix corn, onions, chilies, avocado, lime juice and salt and fold lightly.
2. To plate: In a mixing bowl add shrimp and coat lightly with tomatillo marinade and season with salt. In small chilled serving bowls add 1 ounce of the tomatillo marinade to coat the bottom off the bowl. Arrange shrimp in a circle head to tail, 2 and 2 stacked on top of each other. Spoon corn and avocado salsa on top of the shrimp. Garnish with ancho-dusted popcorn, cilantro leaves and chopped scallions.
• Baja-Style Mahi Mahi Tacos
Baja is famous for its beer-battered fried fish tacos. For a healthier, but equally delicious version of this classic dish, the fish in these tacos is simply grilled and served inside a tortilla. There is tempting contrast of textures and tastes, with crunchy cucumber slaw, creamy chipotle mayonnesa, warm tortillas and smoky grilled fish.
(Serves 6 )
Ingredients for the citrus-cucumber relish:
3 kirby or pickling cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into thin strips
3 roma tomatoes, cored and cut into thin strips
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into thin strips
1 cup shredded white cabbage
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 serrano chili, seeded, if desired, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed limejuice
1 tablespoon salt
Ingredients for the fish:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 canned chipotle in adobo
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed limejuice
2 pounds mahi mahi steaks, cut into four-inch wide strips
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and mashed
12 corn or flour tortilla
1. Combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, cabbage, cilantro and chili in a non-reactive bowl. Blend the orange, grapefruit, and lime juices together and pour over the vegetables. Add the salt and toss to blend well. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
2. Combine the mayonnaise, chipotle chili, and lime juice in the jar of an electric blender and purée until smooth. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.
3. Preheat a gas or electric grill or turn the broiler on. Position the grill rack about 4 inches from the heat. Grill the mahi mahi for 4 minutes on each side, turning once, or until just cooked through.
4. Mash the avocado in a small bowl. Quickly warm the tortillas on the grill and spread each one with a little of the mashed avocado.
5. Place one piece of fish on each tortilla, garnish with a little of the cucumber-citrus relish, and drizzle each taco with a scant tablespoon of the chipotle mayonnaise. Fold the tortillas in half. Place two tacos on each plate and serve warm.
• White Sangria with Fresh Strawberries, Mango and Mint
2 bottles dry, white wine (Spanish whites work well such as Albarino or Rueda, and Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio will work also — try not to use wines that are too heavily-oaked such as California Chardonnay)
1 large ripe mango
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 bunch fresh mint
4 ounces brandy or rum (Grand Marnier or other citrus brandy work best)
1 can lemon lime soda or club soda
plenty of ice