Grilled Fish Tacos with Watermelon Pico de Gallo

Grilled Fish Tacos with Watermelon Pico de Gallo

Published in Our State Magazine July 2015

In a watermelon state of mind… here’s another oldie goldie I did for Our State Magazine a few years ago that never made it here to my blog!  A light and refreshing dish that is perfect for brunch, lunch or supper…

You can easily substitute shrimp, scallops or crab for the fish if preferred!  The pico is great over grilled chicken or fish too… 
Grab a cold beer and enjoy. 

This sweet and hot relish is the perfect topping for fresh North Carolina fish tacos. For the best texture, stir together just before serving.

Course: Appetizer, Brunch, Condiments, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American, Garden Goodies, Grilling, North Carolina Goodies, Summer Food
Keyword: fish tacos, watermelon, pico de gallo, seafood
Servings: 4
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 4 cups seedless watermelon, diced
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • juice of 1 lime, plus extra wedges to serve alongside

  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup ribbon cut romaine lettuce
  • for the fish tacos:

  • 1 1/2 cups boneless, skinless firm white fish
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • 8 8" corn tortillas
  • 1 cup Cojita cheese, crumbled
  1. Combine watermelon, mango, jalapeño, and onion in bowl. Stir in lime juice and cumin. Set aside.

  2. Preheat an outdoor grill, and lightly oil grill grate. Brush fish with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and a light dusting of cumin. Lay fillets on grill. Cook about 4 or 5 minutes per side until marked and cooked through. Place the fish into a bowl and break into bite-size pieces.

  3. Fold cilantro and shredded lettuce into the pico de gallo. Warm tortillas on the grill, then fill with fish. Top the tacos with pico, then scatter with crumbled cheese. Serve with lime wedges.

Key Lime Pie Pretzel Ice Cream Bites

Key Lime Pie Pretzel Ice Cream Sandwich Bites

Published in Carolina Country Magazine June 2018

Summertime… and the live’n is easy.  Or should be.  

Ice cream sandwiches should be a part of summer menus. And fuss free. And full of flavor. Like these!  The no-cook Key Lime Pie Ice Cream is quick to make and the sandwiches too. Perfect for when you “want just a little something sweet,” these baby sandwiches fit the bill on that one.  Enjoy just one… or a few!  These are especially good served for dessert with seafood meals… like little bites of Key Lime Pie, but better!

The crunch and saltiness of the pretzels hugging the creamy, sweet and tangy lime ice cream make a perfect pairing.  I do hope you will make some… great to have on hand for when folks drop by to sit on the porch, or while dip’n your toes in the pool too!
You might even grab one on the way to bed… ssshhh, I won’t tell.

Key Lime Pie Pretzel Ice Cream Sandwiches

Sometimes, “just a little something” to finish off a summertime meal is all that’s needed. Make these no-cook no-churn ice cream treats days ahead and just take out what’s needed.

Course: Dessert, Fun Food!, Snack, Sweet Treats
Cuisine: American, Summer Food
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 14 ounce can condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup fresh key lime juice*
  • 1 cup coarsely crumbled graham crackers
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 16 ounce bag pretzel “snaps” squares (Snyder’s)
  • Caramel Magic Shell® topping
  1. Beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Blend in milk and juice until well combined. Fold in crumbs, zest, salt and honey. Pour into container; cover and freeze overnight.

  2. To assemble: Remove ice cream from freezer for 10 minutes. Lay out pretzels and top each with about 1 tablespoon of ice cream; top with another pretzel. Freeze in covered container until serving time.

  3. Drizzle with magic shell and serve.

Recipe Notes

*Use “regular” (Persian) limes if Key limes not available

Everything’s HOT up ‘n here Bagels! Bye Bye Gluten & Carbs

Everything’s HOT up ‘n here Bagels! Gluten & Carb FREE

I’m addicted to everything bagel “dust.” I find myself putting it on most “everything!” Sometimes, I start with that, then create a recipe around it… instead of using it as a garnish at the end.  This gluten-free carb-free cheese bagel recipe is one of those recipes.  

Since I didn’t have a donut/bagel baking pan, my first chore was to get one.  After looking around and researching, these are what I ended up with!  Not one, but 3 in one package for a great price.

As for other recipe tidbits…Everything Bagel Seasoning Dust

I make my own bagel mix in bulk since I use so much of it, but you will find it readily available now in most grocery stores or at Savory Spice Shops in your area or online!  And if you need gluten free or cutting carbs, you’ll love this one too.  I enjoy them with a smear of fresh avocado with a little cilantro!

Give them a try and hop over to my facebook page and share your review!

Everything’s HOT up ‘n here Bagels! Gluten & Carb FREE


Everything's HOT up in here Bagels! gluten and carb FREE

Cheesy gluten and carb free bagels... with a kick of cayenne and a dusting of crispy everything bagel seasoning!

Course: Appetizer, Breads & Cornbreads, Breakfast, Fun Food!
Cuisine: American, Carb Free, Gluten Free
Keyword: gluten free, carb free, bagel, everything bagel, cheese
Servings: 1 dozen bagels
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) grated melty cheese , cheddar, Swiss, provolone, mozz, etc.
  • 1 cup grated hard and dry cheese, Parm, asiago, Romano, gouda, Manchego, etc.
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives, optional
  • 1/4 cup everything bagel seasoning
  1. Preheat oven to 400.

  2. Lightly grease doughnut pan. (12)*

  3. Combine all ingredients except “everything” shake.  Stir until mixed well. Divide into doughnut
    pan and press down lightly with back of spoon. 
    Scatter each bagel with one teaspoons of the shake.

  4. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until puffy and lightly
    browned.  Let sit about 10 minutes in pan
    to “settle” before forking out to eat.

  5. Smear with cream cheese or guac… or whatever makes your mouth

Recipe Notes

*I brush with some of the garlic oil I make and keep on hand, but other oils or spraying will be fine.

Hoop Cheese Biscuits… ooey gooey and OMG! good.

Hoop Cheese Biscuits

Published in Our State Magazine October 2015

Seems like everywhere I turn these days, cheese biscuits are there.  Conversations about Cheddar Bo® Biscuits at Bojangles… and today, I get coupons in the mail for a FREE (free is good!) new Pimento Cheese Biscuit there.  I’m not a huge fan of pimento cheese (something that is illegal for a southern gal to admit) so I created my own that I do adore… and folks have paid me to make for them.  Meaning, that if ain’t too bad!  All these “in your face” coupons, facebook posts, billboards and such brought to mind a oldie goldie recipe I created for Our State magazine a few years ago… for a cheese feature.  

Yet again, I came here to repost it on my facebook page, and low and behold, I find that I never put it here!  So I had to set about fix’n that.  So y’all, if you want a biscuit… oozing with cheessssse, and so easy to make, you will definitely want to make up a batch of these biscuits right here.  But plan to eat as soon as they come out of the oven and cool only briefly (so the cheese won’t take the skin out of the top of your mouth).  I guaranTEE you will love ’em.
Once you do, snap a pic and come share over on facebook and tell us what you think! 

Hoop Cheese Biscuits

Muffin tin hoop cheese biscuits... a hunka cheese hidden inside a fluffy biscuit for the BEST surprise with your first bite!

Course: Breads & Cornbreads, Snack
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 2 cups biscuit mix
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1 stick cold butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pound hoop cheese
  • 4 tablespoon butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 425º.

  2. Grease a muffin tin. In a large bowl, combine biscuit mix, sugar, peppers, garlic powder, and chives. Grate butter into dry ingredients.

  3. Using fingers, incorporate to a crumbly consistency. Add buttermilk, a little at a time, until the batter is thick and creamy.

  4. Put 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture in each muffin cup. Pinch off ¾-inch chunks of cheese, and place in the center of the batter. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon of batter over each piece of cheese, pushing it around the edges to seal in cheese.

  5. Bake for about 12 minutes, until golden brown. Remove biscuits, and brush them with melted butter. Serve immediately.

Grilled Southwestern Romaine Salad with NC Shrimp

Grilled Southwestern Romaine with North Carolina Shrimp

Published in Carolina Country Magazine June 2018

Summertime and the live’n is easy… and cooking should be too! Throw this one together in a flash. It’s easy to tweak to suit your taste and use what you have on hand or is fresh and seasonal at your farmers’market.
Fire up the grill… supper’s ON!!

Grilled Southwestern Romaine with North Carolina Shrimp

Dressed up or down as you’d like, grilled romaine is as quick a side as you can fix … but watch it closely, it is ready in a flash!

Course: Dressings, Fun Food!, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, Grilling, North Carolina Goodies, Southwestern, Summer Food, Tailgating
Keyword: grilled salad, romaine, southwestern, north carolina shrimp
Author: Wendy Perry
  • 2 lbs. shrimp, peeled, deviened and washed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • skewers
  • 4 heads romaine lettuce, splint lengthwise
3-4 each...
  • ears corn, shucked
  • colorful peppers, cut in wedges
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • avocado, sliced
  • limes, cut in wedges
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 small can black olives, drained
  • 1 cup queso fresco crumbles
  • 1/2 cup vinegar based bbq sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons sour cream
  1. Whisk dressing ingredients together until blended and set aside.

  2. Toss shrimp with cumin, brown sugar and ¼ cup oil. Slide onto skewers. Grill over hot coals about 3–4 minutes on each side until done.

  3. Brush lettuce with ¼ cup oil. Grill 1–2 minutes on each side just to get a light char. Remove to serving platter.

  4. Brush corn and peppers with ¼ cup oil. Grill until corn is roasted and peppers are a bit charred. Remove and let cool. Cut corn from cob. Scatter toppings and shrimp about lettuce on platter.

  5. Serve with dressing.

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