Ascend does its best to make our residential treatment facilities feel like a home that’s safe, comforting, and inviting. One of the ways we do that is with the power of food. Our amazing chef, Chef Stephen, has been working in hospitality for over 20 years, crafting delicious recipes that everyone loves. Looking for proof? We’ve been getting plenty of requests from parents and clients for the recipes that Chef Stephen designs just for our houses. We’re more than happy to share some of his go-to recipes in this new bi-monthly portion of our blog. Check out this first dish he’s put together so that you can take a taste of Ascend with you after you’ve finished treatment!
A Few Words from the Chef
“Greetings! For those of you whose young people have been part of the Ascend program, it’s been our pleasure to take care of you. For those of you who may be looking into Ascend as a place for refuge and recovery, allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Stephen, more commonly referred to as “Chef Steve.” My craft has taken me across the world on a quest to discover some of the very best dishes and flavors. Well-versed in a wide variety of cuisines and food styles, my team of talented chefs and I strive to make wholesome, balanced, and authentic meals for every palate at the Ascend residential facilities.
Because of the demand from past clients for recipes and instructions for our most popular menu items, I’ve decided to start a thread that encourages families to try my recipes. Our recipe selection will be broad, as our clients and staff come from a wide variety of places. Come along on this journey as we try international, regional, and local favorites.”
Citrus Marinated Fish Filet with Roasted Veggies & Salad
For our first recipe, let’s try something simple. Feel free to use whatever version of ingredients, such as stock/broth or meat/vegetarian, you like.
Citrus Marinated Fish
- 1-2 Pounds Fish (No Bones Or Skin)
- 1 Lemon (Sliced)
- 1 Lime (Sliced)
- 1 Tspn. White Pepper
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
For this dish, you can use any type of light fleshed fish with a nice flakey texture, such as Snapper, Tilapia, Branzino, or Pacific Seabass. Chef Steve chose to use a local Pacific Snapper.
- Marinate the fish in olive oil with a teaspoon of white pepper, lemon slices, and lime slices.
- Cover and refrigerate the fish while you prepare the other ingredients.
- After you finish making the veggies, heat a nonstick frying pan with a little oil.
- Take the marinated fish and give it a light coat of flour.
- Cook off the fish, about 3 minutes on each side, until it’s nice and golden.
- Take a few of the lemon slices and place them in the same pan and let them brown up a little.
- Remove from the pan and plate with the sides.
One important tip to remember is to try your best not to add any of the citrus juice to the marinade. If you do, you’ll end up cooking the fish ceviche style. While delicious, that’s not our goal for today.
Cauliflower & Potatoes
- 1 Head Cauliflower (Cut Into Florets)
- 2-3 Russet Potatoes (Peeled & Diced)
- Olive Oil
- 1 Bunch Parsley (Chopped)
- To prepare one head of the cauliflower, all you need to do is trim it off the stalk, cut it into florets, toss it in some olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Lay it on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put it in a preheated oven at 350F for about 20-30 minutes or until the cauliflower edges start to brown and get tender.
- To prepare the potatoes, take 1-2 potatoes, peel them, dice them into 1/2-inch pieces and rinse them in cold water.
- Toss the potatoes with some chopped parsley, salt, white pepper, a little paprika, and olive oil.
- Lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put it in a preheated oven at 350 F for about 30-40 minutes or until they start to brown and get tender.
- The potatoes will develop a reddish-golden color and have a nice baked skin on them with a baked potato consistency in the middle.
Tomato & Cilantro Salad with Red Wine Vinegar and Olive Oil
- 2-3 Tomatoes (Sliced Into Wedges)
- 1 Cucumber (Peeled & Sliced)
- 1 Red Onion (Peeled & Sliced)
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- 1 Bunch Cilantro (Chopped)
- Wash your produce before you begin.
- Cut the tomatoes into wedges that are about 1/2 an inch thick.
- Peel and cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Cut each length into 1/4 inch half-moon-shaped slices.
- Peel and cut the ends off the red onion. Take each half and slice it into matchstick-sized pieces.
- Put all the vegetables into a bowl and add red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
- Toss together and let marinate in the fridge while the potatoes and cauliflower are cooking.
- When you’re ready to plate, chop a bunch of cilantro and toss it into the salad.
- Mix well and serve.
Plating is up to you, but remember that you eat with your eyes first, so you may want to create a beautiful display with the food you just worked so hard to prepare. Chef Steve took a small portion of cauliflower and potatoes and placed them at the center of the plate. He topped those roasted veggies with the fish and garnished the mountain with a few dots of Sriracha for color and spice. Finally, he put the salad in one corner to complete the dish.
Ready to try your own version of this recipe? Share your photos with us on social media and let us know how everything turned out!