Chef Yolanda Banks

Epicurean, Culinary Instructor & Cookbook Author

Acquire a taste for Fresh Fabulous

Bringing seasonal, healthy, global cuisine to your kitchen.

Fresh is Fabulous

I make delicious food that happens to be healthy... moderation over deprivation!

Seafood

Cedar Plank Salmon  
Plank cooking is a Native American technique thats been around for ages. It imparts a subtle smoky flavor to fish, meat, poultry, and vegetables.

Ingredients

1 large untreated cedar plank, soaked in water overnight to prevent burning
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh ginger
1 lime, juiced
4 6-ounce salmon fillets with skin on, or 1, 2-pound salmon fillet
kosher salt, to taste
1/2 tablespoon canola oil

Method

1. To soak plank, fill a large roasting pan with water. Add plank; weigh down with a heavy can or pot so that it stays submerged. If serving individual portions of salmon, use 4 separate planks.
2. Combine maple syrup through lime juice in a small bowl; whisking to combine. Pour marinade over salmon; and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Season salmon lightly with salt on both sides. (This will enhance the flavor of the marinade, but is optional.).
3. Heat grill to high heat. Allow grill to preheat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, drain plank and pat dry. Distribute canola oil evenly onto plank. Place fillet or fillets skin-side down onto plank. Put plank onto grill. If using a whole, 2-pound fillet, cook fish for 10-12 minutes. If using individual fillets, cook fish for 5-6 minutes. Salmon is best served medium. (Well-done salmon loses its flavor and makes for a very dry finished product.).

Notes

This recipe can also be made in the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place plank and salmon onto a large baking sheet. Cook as directed.

Servings
4

Source
Yolanda Banks


Ceviche “Red O”  
This ceviche was inspired by the amazing selection of ceviche at Red O, Rick Bayless’ newest restaurant in LA. The flavor combination is reminiscent of the coastal cuisine found in Veracruz. It has everything I look for in any dish. It’s tangy, salty, crunchy, light and delicious.

Ingredients

1 pound sashimi-quality white fish, such as halibut, snapper, or bass, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1/3 cup green olives, preferably Manzanillo, roughly chopped
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 cup jicama, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
homemade corn tortilla chips

Method

1.  In a large non-reactive (glass or stainless steel) bowl, combine fish, both juices and onions.  Allow the fish to “cook”, covered and refrigerated for at least 30 minutes to an hour for medium-rare, and up to 3 hours for well-done.
2.  Pour off most of the juice, then add all the remaining ingredients.  Mix well; taste and add salt to your liking.  You may not need much because the olives and sun-dried tomatoes are naturally salty.
3.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 2 hours.

Servings
6

Source
Yolanda Banks


Halibut with Tapenade  
You can use any meaty, firm white fish you’d like. This dish goes great with couscous.

Ingredients

4 6-ounce halibut fillets, skin removed
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons green olive tapenade
1 cup fennel, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons white wine
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
4 lemons, sliced

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Lightly season both sides of fish with salt and pepper.  Spread 1 tablespoon of tapenade onto one side of fillet; set aside.
3.  In a large shallow casserole, combine fennel through olive oil.  Lightly season with salt and pepper; mix well.
4.  Place lemon slices on top of vegetables and one piece of fish on each lemon.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Serve hot.

Servings
4

Source
Yolanda Banks


Halibut with Thai Pesto  
Ingredients

4 8-ounce halibut fillets, skin removed
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 cup pistachios, shelled
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch basil
4 lime leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

1. Season fish lightly on both sides with salt and pepper, set aside.
2. Puree all Thai Pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add salt and     pepper to taste.
3. Spread 2 tablespoons of pesto on each fillet. (Pesto-crusted fish can marinate in the     refrigerator up to 2 hours before cooking.)
4. Heat oven to 450degrees. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot.
5. Add oil to pan, add halibut pesto-crusted side down. Cook 3-4 minutes.
6. Turn fish and put in the oven to finish, about 3 minutes longer.
7. Serve immediately.

Notes

The Thai Pesto can be made in advance. Store up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, and 2 months in the freezer. Serve with coconut rice and steamed snap peas.

Servings
4

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Mojo Swordfish Skewers with Chimichurri  
The Chimichurri can be made up to one week in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Ingredients

1 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic
1/4 cup fresh mint, leaves only
1/4 cup fresh basil, leaves only
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
4 10-ounce swordfish steaks , cut into 2″ cubes
Chimichurri
2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper lakes
kosher salt, to taste

Method

1. Place orange juice through pepper into a blender; puree until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add grapeseed oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
2. Place swordfish chunks into a large Ziplock bag. Add half of marinade to bag, reserve the remaining marinade for another use. Swordfish can marinate in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before grilling.
3. Season swordfish lightly on all sides with salt and pepper. Using wooden skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes), thread one piece of swordfish onto end of each skewer. Heat grill to high.
4. Place skewers onto well-oiled grill. Cook for 3 minutes per side, for a total of 6 minutes, turning once.
5. For the Chimichurri: Place all ingredients into a small bowl, season with salt to taste. To serve: Place chimichurri into a small glass, place skewer into each glass with swordfish sitting in sauce.

Notes

This marinade goes well with fish, chicken, and pork.
Servings: 10

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Pan-Seared Striped Bass  
Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 6-ounce wild striped bass fillets, skin on, bones removed, rinsed, patted dry
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

1. Heat a saute pan to medium-high until hot, but not smoking. Once hot, add olive oil to the pan.
2. Generously season both sides of fish with salt and pepper. Place fish into the pan, skin side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes without disturbing, gently turn fish using a fish spatula. (Make sure skin is crisp before turning.).
3. Cook on the flesh side for another 2-3 minutes. Serve at once.
Servings: 2

Source
Yolanda Banks


Pecan Crusted Sea Bass  
Ingredients

1 cup pecans, finely ground
3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 6-ounce sea bass, skin and bones removed
cooking spray

Method

1. Combine pecans, parsley, oil, salt and pepper; mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
2. Season fish lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Coat the flesh side of fish with pecan mixture, dividing evenly among fish, pressing to adhere.
3. Fish can be coated with pecan mixture up to 3 hours in advance; cover and refrigerate.
4. Remove fish from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cook fish for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown and juices run clear.

Servings
4

Source
Yolanda Banks


Pescado a la Veracruzana  
Translation-fish in the style of Veracruz.

Ingredients

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
3 whole bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup green olives, preferably Manzanillo, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
3 whole pickled jalapenos, thinly sliced
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 6-ounce red snapper fillets, rinsed and dried

Method

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, cook for 3 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic; cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
2. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, parsley, 1/4 cup olives, 1 tablespoon capers, 1 tablespoon jalapenos; stirring to combine. (Reserve remaining olives, capers, and jalapenos for garnish.)
3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, uncovered, about 10 minutes. (Sauce can be made 1 day in advance. Reheat over low heat.)
4. Season fish lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Arrange fish on top of sauce, spooning sauce over fillets. Roast fish for 6-8 minutes depending on thickness of fillets.
5. To serve: Transfer fish to a serving platter, spoon sauce on top of fish. Garnish with remaining olives, capers, jalapenos, and fresh parsley.

Servings
4

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Prosciutto Wrapped Halibut with Pine Nut Gremolata  
Ingredients

4 6-ounce halibut fillets, skin removed
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 paper-thin slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pine Nut Gremolata
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Method

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly season halibut fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Place 1 slice of prosciutto on work surface. Place fish fillet onto center of prosciutto; fold over fish, covering all of the flesh. Repeat with remaining prosciutto and fillets; set aside. (You can refrigerate the fish at this point for up to 2 hours before cooking. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.)
2. Make the Gremolata before you begin to cook the fish. Pine Nut Gremolata: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Can be made up to 2 hours in advance.
3. Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat; add olive oil. Once hot, but not smoking, add prosciutto wrapped fish seam side down. Cook about 2 minutes, flip and transfer to oven to finish cooking.
4. Cook fish for an additional 5-6 minutes or until prosciutto is golden brown and fish is cooked through.
5. To serve, place fish onto center of the plate, top with a couple tablespoons of Gremolata and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Servings: 4

Source
Yolanda Banks


Red Curry Shrimp with Mung Bean Noodles  
You can use any noodle you like or even substitute Jasmine rice for the noodles.  I love Mung Bean noodles because you just cover them with hot water to make them pliable; no boiling required!

Ingredients

2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
1 2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and smashed
4 cloves fresh garlic, smashed
1 stalk lemongrass, smashed
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 14-ounce cans light coconut milk
1 can water
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Agave nectar
1/2 lime, juiced
2 cups snap peas, strings removed
1 large red bell pepper, julienned
2 cups mung bean sprouts, rinsed and dried
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Method

1.  Heat a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Once hot, but not smoking, add oil, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass.  Cook, stirring for about a minute or until fragrant.  Add curry paste; stirring constantly for 30 seconds.  (You don’t want to burn it or it will become bitter.
2.  De-glaze the pan with the fish sauce; stirring to break up any brown bits accumulated in the pan.  (The smell will be very intense, but will mellow once the remaining ingredients are added.).
3.  Add the coconut milk, can of water, vinegar, Agave, and lime juice; bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 10 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Increase heat to medium-high.  Add snap peas, bell pepper, and sprouts; cook for 5 minutes.
4.  Add shrimp; cook for another 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.  Stir in green onions and cilantro.  Serve on top of noodles.

Notes

You can find red and green curry paste in the Asian aisle of any grocery store.  If like it extra spicy, swap out the red for the green.  It’s basically a blend of red or green chilies, ginger, garlic, and spices.

Servings
8

Source
Yolanda Banks


Seared Halibut with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce  
Shrimp complements the sausage and broccolini beautifully, so feel free to add it. Serve with French Bread.

Ingredients

3 roasted red peppers, drained
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon paprika, toasted
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 6-ounce halibut, skin removed
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Method

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 450degrees.
2. In a blender, combine red pepper, vinegar, honey, lime juice, water, paprika, and 2 T. oil;     process until smooth. Add more water to thin the sauce, if necessary. Season with salt and     pepper, to taste.
3. Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Place a large, non-stick, oven-safe skillet     over medium-high heat. Heat until hot, but not smoking. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of     oil.
4. Carefully place fish in the skillet, and cook for 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Flip and     transfer pan to the oven. Roast for 4-6 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through (use     the tip of a paring knife to check doneness).
5. Transfer fish to a warm plate, spoon 1 tablespoon of sauce onto and around fish. Sprinkle     with chopped parsley.

Notes

Any leftover sauce will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks. You can serve it with chicken or pork, or thin and use as a dressing for salad or veggies.

Servings
4

Source
Yolanda Banks


Seared Scallops with Pine Nut Gremolata  
Ingredients

Pine Nut Gremolata
1 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 large sea scallops, dry-pack, muscular tissue removed
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

Method

1. For the Pine Nut Gremolata: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary; set aside.
2. Remove scallops from the refrigerator 30 minutes in advance. Right before cooking, season scallops with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil; add 6 scallops. Sear for 2 minutes without disturbing. Turn and cook for an additional 1 minute or until just opaque in the center.
4. To serve: Place 3 scallops in the center of each plate. Divide gremolata evenly among scallops, making sure not to completely cover. Serve at once.

Servings
4

Source
Yolanda Banks


Shrimp Fried Brown Rice  
Sambal is an Asian chile paste that can be found at specialty groceries or Asian markets. If you can’t find sambal, feel free to use hot sauce to add some heat to the dish.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons canola oil
3 large eggs, lightly scrambled
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup red bell peppers, finely chopped
1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped
1 pound shrimp , peeled and deveined
1 cup mung bean sprouts
4 cups brown rice, cooked, cold
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sambal olek
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

1. Heat a large saucepan or wok over medium-high heat, add oil.
2. Add eggs, stirring to scramble. Cook eggs for a couple of minutes for soft-scrambled eggs;     transfer to a plate.
3. Add garlic, ginger, carrots, red peppers, and green onions to the pan; stirring frequently.     Cook for 3-5 minutes or until vegetables have softened slightly.
4. Add shrimp, stirring quickly for 1 minute. Add mung beans, rice, soy sauce, sambal and     return eggs to the pan. Stir constantly until rice is hot.
5. Taste and more soy sauce or salt to taste.

Source
Yolanda Banks

Smoked Salmon Benedict w/ Smoked Paprika Hollandaise  
A hollandaise is an emulsion of egg yolks and clarified butter and is usually seasoned with lemon juice. It is one of the five mother sauces.

Ingredients

Smoked Paprika Hollandaise
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika, the best quality Spanish paprika you can find
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
4 English muffins, buttered, toasted
8 ounces smoked salmon, sliced paper thin
8 large eggs, poached

Method

1. To make the hollandaise. Place egg yolks, water, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and paprika in a blender; puree until smooth. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the hot, melted butter; stir in parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a small saucepan set over low heat to keep warm. If it thickens, thin it out with a little water.
2. To assemble the Benedicts, place 2 pieces of muffin onto a plate, top with salmon. Add a poached egg to each muffin, top with hollandaise. Serve immediately.

Notes

Hollandaise is usually made over a double boiler, which requires a lot of finesse. The blender version is fool-proof.

Servings
6

Source
Yolanda Banks


Steamed Chinese-Style Tilapia  
Ingredients

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and julienned
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
4 6-ounce Tilapia fillets
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

1.  In a small bowl, combine soy sauce through sesame oil.  Arrange the fish in a shallow dish, pour the soy mixture over fish, coating both sides.  Let the fish marinate for no longer than 30 minutes, refrigerated.
2.  While the fish marinates, arrange a bamboo steamer or baking rack in a wide, deep pan.  Add enough water to reach just below the steamer or rack.  Put a plate, such as a glass pie plate, at least 1 inch smaller in diameter than the steamer or rack; bring to a boil.
3.  Place the fish along with the marinade over the fish.  Steam the fish, covered, for 6-8 minutes.  Transfer fish to a platter, top with green onions and cilantro; serve immediately.

Servings
6

Source
Yolanda Banks


Steelhead Trout with Stir-Fry Vegetables  
Ingredients

4 teaspoons grapeseed oil, divided
4 6-ounce Steelhead Trout skin-on fillets, pinbones removed, rinsed and dried
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons yuzu vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Stir-Fry
2 cups shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 bunch Bok Choy, root removed, thinly sliced
2 cups mung bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
1 large red bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
4 wedges lime

Method

1.  Brush each filet with 1/2 teaspoon grapeseed oil.  Season with salt and pepper on both sides; cover with plastic and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine water through cornstarch; mix well and set aside.
3.  Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking.  Add the remaining oil and mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 3 minutes or until the are lightly browned.  Transfer to a plate; set aside.
4.  Add Bok Choy to the pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook until the Bok Choy has wilted, about 6 minutes.  Add sprouts and bell pepper.  Re-season with salt and pepper; cook an additional 4 minutes.
5.  Add garlic and ginger; cook until fragrant.  Return mushrooms to the pan, pour sauce over the vegetables.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook for 3 minutes or until sauce has thickened.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
6.  Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once it begins to smoke, add fish skin side down, pressing each filet with a spatula to crisp the skin.  Cook fish for 5 minutes on the skin side.  Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
7.  To serve:  Spoon stir-fried vegetables onto the center of a plate.  Top with fish, skin side up.  Sprinkle cilantro onto each filet and squeeze lime wedge over each.  Serve at once.

Servings
4

Source
Yolanda Banks


Whole Roasted Striped Bass  
Ingredients

1 whole 3-4 pound striped bass, head & tail intact, gutted, scaled, rinsed
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 large lemons, thinly sliced, divided
1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, whole with stems plus 2 tablespoons chopped
2 large fennel bulbs, sliced
1 1/2 pounds small fingerling potatoes, small New Potatoes will work great too

Method

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Meanwhile prep the fish. Cut 2-inch slits to the bone, every 2-inches, on both sides of the fish. Season fish throughly inside and out with salt and pepper. Place parsley and 4 lemon slices inside the cavity of the fish.
2. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil onto a baking sheet, place fish onto the oiled sheet. Drizzle another tablespoon of oil on top of the fish. Spread remaining lemons around the fish; set aside.
3. On another baking sheet toss potatoes and fennel with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast potatoes and fish at the same time. Cook potatoes and fennel for about 20 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Roast fish for about 25 minutes or until opaque inside and skin is crispy.
4. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon parsley over fish and toss 1 tablespoon parsley with potatoes and fennel. Serve fish on top of roasted potatoes and fennel; surround fish with roasted lemons.

Servings
6

Source
Yolanda Banks

Peach Tart Tatin
Salmon-Nicoise
Fig & Goat Cheese Crostini
Fish-Tacos

Chef Yolanda's Latest Creations

 

 
 
previous next