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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fabulous Fish and Chips with Tartar Sauce

Every once in a while I get a craving for fish and chips.  This time, I decided to make my own! They were everything I hoped for and more! Scrum-didely-umptious!! And an added bonus--they are baked, not fried!

The recipe called for salmon, which I think would be very tasty, but I was trying to get my husband to like fish, and the man at the seafood counter said flounder was the least fishy tasting fish.  So I tried the flounder.  I think cod or halibut would be great also!


I wished I had some of that news print paper to make them look professional!



Dredge the fish in flour, salt, and pepper.



Then immerse in frothy egg whites.



Then you coat the pieces in seasoned bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.



Lay those beauties on a pan and admire them for a second!



Lastly, you drizzle them with olive oil, and bake 'em in the oven!



Great crunch, great flavor! The flounder I purchased was really thin, but they still came out great! Personally I think it would be better with a thicker cut of fish. But I had bought mine frozen from Publix and I didn't know they were going to be so thin!



The "chips"......these are really easy! And yummy!





This tartar sauce is incredible! Beats any of the jarred varieties! It's so fresh and pairs perfectly with the fish!



PARMESAN FISH STICKS

1 (18-ounce) center-cut salmon fillet, about 9 by 4 inches, skinned
(or cod, flounder, halibut)
 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
   1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  3 egg whites
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Rinse the fish fillet and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the fish in half to make 2 fillets each about 4 by 4 1/2-inches in size. Starting on the longest edge, slice the fillets into 1/2-inch pieces. Lay the widest pieces, from the center, cut side down, and slice in half lengthways so all the pieces are equally about 1/2 by 1/2 by 4 1/2-inches in size.

Place the flour in a medium bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Place the egg whites in another bowl and beat until frothy, about 30 seconds. Combine the Parmesan and bread crumbs in a third bowl.

Coat the salmon pieces in the seasoned flour and pat to remove any excess flour. Dip the floured salmon in the egg whites and then into the Parmesan mixture, gently pressing the mixture into the fish. Place the breaded salmon pieces on a liberally oiled baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with the olive oil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.


"CHIPS"

2 potatoes
2 T. olive oil
salt
pepper
1/2 t. garlic, minced
rosemary, fresh or dried

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Scrub and slice potatoes in half, then each half into 3 or 4 wedges.  Toss in a bowl with oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary.  Place cut side down on greased baking sheet.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Turn over to other cut side and bake for 20 minutes longer, or until tender and lightly golden.


TARTAR SAUCE

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 T. small diced pickles or dill relish
1 T. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
splash of lemon juice
dash of hot sauce

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times until the pickles are finely chopped and all ingredients are well mixed, but not pureed.
(I probably pureed mine! It was still fabulous though!)


Monday, March 29, 2010

Crockpot Italian Chicken

If you were looking for something quick and easy, you just may have found what you were looking for!  And not only is it easy to prepare, its delicious too! 

A friend of mine recently mentioned to me, if I need a quick and easy meal, throw some chicken into the crockpot with some spagetti sauce and serve it over noodles. Well, I decided to give it a try! Here is my version:


Whole wheat linguine tossed in marinara sauce, topped with very tender chicken and topped with mozzarella and parmesan.




CROCKPOT ITALIAN CHICKEN


chicken
(I used tenderloins I bought on sale and froze)

Spagetti Sauce from a jar
(I used part Barilla and part Ragu)

Noodles
(I used whole wheat linguine)

crushed red pepper
italian seasoning
basil
oregano
pepper
Lawry's All Season
onion powder
garlic powder

mozzarella cheese, grated
parmesan cheese, grated

In a crockpot, pour some of the spagetti sauce in the bottom of dish.  Place chicken on top. Cover with sauce. Bake on low until cooked through. (I threw mine in frozen and after 5 hours they were done. They might have been done earlier, but I didn't check!)

Cook noodles according to package directions.  In a saucepan, heat up some more spagetti sauce and season with the above dried seasonings. Heat until bubbly.  Place a little sauce in a baking dish; remove chicken from crockpot and place over sauce in baking dish.  Cover with more sauce and grated cheeses.  Broil in the oven until cheese is melted. 

Toss cooked and drained pasta with some the seasoned sauce.  Serve chicken over pasta.  Grate more parmesan over chicken and sprinkle with parsely if desired.

Sound easy enough?  Crockpots are so wonderful! If you haven't used yours in a while, dust off the cobwebs and get slow cookin!  They really do make life a little easier!





     

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Roy's Famous Chocolate Souffle

I have one word to sum up this dessert: DIVINE!  You might be thinking a souffle sounds difficult to make.  Think again! This might be the easiest thing you have ever made! If you can crack an egg, well, you're in business!


Unfortunatly this is the only picture I have of the making of this dessert. :(  I somehow got side tracked and managed to snap this one photo before my fork took a dive into the warm, chocolately goodness of this souffle.  I think it knocked me into a chocolate coma.

The batter needs to refrigerate overnight, so plan ahead!


ROY'S FAMOUS CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 oz. semi sweet chocolate
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 T. cornstarch
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks



Melt butter and chocolate together in a double boiler. (I just used the microwave)


Combine sugar and cornstarch. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with yolks. Add chocolate mixture to sugar mixture; combine thoroughly. Add eggs and whisk just until smooth. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. You will need 4 small ramekins; cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom, then spray the sides generously. Scoop batter into molds so they are 2/3 full.

Bake on top rack of oven 20 minutes, or until sides are set but center is still undercooked. Remove from oven. Holding each mold with tongs or potholders, slip a metal spatula underneath and transfer to plate. Slip a butter knife between the parchment and the mold to loosen cake; slip off mold and peel off parchment.

Serve immediately. Makes 4 3-inch cakes

I used 4 oz. ramekins, and got 4 out of one recipe.  I cooked mine for about 18 minutes.  When I removed them from the oven, the souffle was puffed up and the top was crackled and looked cooked, but when lightly shaken, I could tell the center sort of jiggled.  I decided to leave them in the ramekins and serve with vanilla bean ice cream.  The ice cream is a must! They are very rich, and the ice cream sort of balances that richness!  I garnished with a fresh raspberry and a mint leaf.
 
Also, when you remove them from the oven, they will begin to deflate. Don't panic! This is normal :)
 
And, if you are wondering about Roy's, it is the name of a delicious restaurant!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Perfect Winter Salad


Salad doesn't have to be boring!  Bring lettuce to life with a succulent dressing, dried cherries, red onion, parmesan cheese, and pecans!  And if you want to make a meal out if it, add some seasoned grilled chicken!  This salad is so good it could almost be dessert!




My taste buds tell me this recipe is a winner!



I really enjoy romaine! It is so crispy and green!



I just love looking at a pile of greens!



In case you haven't used shallots, this is how I buy them. They are usually located near the onions.




PERFECT WINTER SALAD


1/4 cup reduced fat mayonaise
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 T. white wine vinegar
2 T. shallot, minced
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 pkg. (5oz.) spring mix (I just used 1 head of romaine)
2 medium tart apples, thinly sliced
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

In a small bowl, combine the first five ingredients; whisk in oil. Chill until serving

In a salad bowl, combine the salad greens, apples, cherries, pecans, onion, and cheese.  Just before serving drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.










Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mom's Oh So Fabulous Chicken


My mom created this for dinner one night 15 years ago.  I fell in love with it! Then I sort of forgot about it! I recently remembered and tried to replicate it! It came out just as delicious as I recalled!

It's tender, flavorful, and just FABULOUS!




The sauce contains three ingredients:  Miracle Whip, honey, and mustard.


Always use chicken tenderloins.  They never come out tough or dry like chicken breast can.

After seasoning the chicken on one side with Lawry's All Season and pepper, place seasoned side down in a hot pan with a little bit of oil. (I like Spectrum Organic Canola Oil.)  Season the top side and spread some of the sauce. Then cover and cook for several minutes or until the underside of chicken is golden.  What makes this chicken so moist is trapping in the heat!


Crunch up cornflakes and mix with a tish of melted butter.


After a a few minutes of cooking, flip chicken over. It should have some nice golden color.  Yes, my pan is a little crowded, but it worked!



Spread some more sauce on top.


Sprinkle on the cornflake mixture. Cover again and cook until chicken is no longer pink when you make a slice in the thickest part.


Try it and let me know what you think! 


OH SO FABULOUS CHICKEN

Sauce:

1 cup Miracle Whip
2 tsp. yellow mustard
2 T. honey

1 lb. chicken tenderloins
Lawry's All Season
pepper
1 T. oil

Topping:

3/4 cup cornflakes, crushed
 1/2 T. butter, melted

Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl until combined. In another bowl mix cornflakes and butter. Season one side of chicken with Lawry's and pepper.  Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.  Place chicken in pan seasoned side down. Season top side of chicken and spread with some half of the sauce.  Cook for several minutes covered until bottom side is golden.  Flip chicken over and spread on the rest of the sauce; sprinkle with cornflake mixture.  Cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through. 

Watch the chicken carefully and try not to overcook.  Tenderloins usually cook pretty quickly!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake

It's getting to be that time of year! Strawberry season! Well, it's not quite here yet in SC, but Florida strawberries are widely available!


This shortcake recipe has really good old fashioned flavor!  Topped with sweetened strawberries and whipped cream, not only does it look beautiful, but it satisfies that nagging sweet tooth also!  And with lots of vitamin c rich strawberries, you can practically call it health food! :)




This is what it should look like after butter is mixed in.



Add eggs, milk and vanilla and mix until ingredients are combined.



Spread in a greased pan. I like to use metal over glass for cakes. They just cook better!



Fresh out of the oven.  This is when you can smell the goodness!



Gorgeous berries! Not quite as good as when they are locally picked, but a decent substitute!



Dice or mash the berries and sweeten to taste with sugar.



Build it up anyway you like!


STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
splash of vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

strawberries, sliced and sweetened
heavy cream, whipped and sweetened

Mix first four ingredients.  Mix in butter with electric hand mixer until blended and mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Add eggs; top with milk and vanilla.  Mix until moistened and ingredients are combined.  Put in greased 8x8 pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and toothpick inserted near middle comes out clean.  Serve warm with berries and whipped cream.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy, cheesy, delicious pasta!  Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food!  I have made several different recipes which call for regular cheeses and they always come out dry and not creamy enough.  When I found this one, I was leary of the Velveeta in it. (I don't care for processed cheese!) But I figured that the Velveeta would probably make it nice and creamy. So I decided to give it a try. And I am so glad I did!  I guess everything is okay in moderation!
 


Macaroni and Cheese

4 cups elbow noodles
4 T. butter
1 small onion, diced
2 T. flour
4 cups milk
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 lb. Velveeta cheese
Ritz crackers, crushed

Cook noodles as directed on package.  Drain and put in a 9x13 inch pan.  Melt butter in pan over medium heat.  Add onion and saute for several minutes.  Add the flour and mix until smooth.  Add milk, salt, and pepper.  Stir until boiling (this could take 15-20 minutes--be careful not to burn).  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Cut cheese into chunks and stir in until smooth.  Add elbow noodles and mix together.  Pour into pan and top with crushed crackers.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.  Serve immediately.

I halved this recipe and it easily fed four adults with some leftover.  I rate this recipe 4.5 stars.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sour Cream Twists

Soft, cinnamony, delicious creations that melt in your mouth!  These are soo fabulous served warm with a cup of coffee!  They are very light in comparison with a cinnamon roll dough.


I thought a pink glaze would look pretty so I added a tiny bit of Wilton's Gel Coloring in Rose Petal to create the pink.



The recipe says to drizzle on glaze when twists are warm. I did just that and the glaze sorts of melts on as you see above.



I wanted a more pronounced pink glaze look, so I drizzled the rest of the twists when they were cooled.



This is a double batch. 



Place a few on a plate, pour a cup of coffee and sit down for a break!



SOUR CREAM TWISTS



2  cups sour cream
2 pkgs. dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 cup warm water
6 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
6 cups flour


Heat sour cream to lukewarm.  Dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar.  Stir in sour cream, butter, salt, soda, beaten eggs, and 2 cups flour.  Beat well.  Add the rest of the flour; dough should be sticky.  Turn dough onto floured board, knead 5-10 minutes.  Place dough in greased bowl, grease top of dough.  Cover and let rise until doubled; at least one hour.  Divide dough in half.  Roll each piece of dough into an oblong shape approximately 8" wide.  Spread with 1/4 cup butter, 2/3 cup white sugar, and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Fold each section of dough in half and cut into 1" strips.  Twist each strip as you place it on a large greased cookie sheet.  This recipe will make two pans.  Cover twists and let rise until light; about one hour.  Bake for 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees and frost while warm.

GLAZE TOPPING

3 cups powdered sugar
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, softened
3-4 T. hot water

Beat well and frost twists. Top immediately with nuts or sprinkles.


In case you haven't noticed, I LOVE working with yeast!  (Thanks Mom for taking the time to teach me!)  But I know not everyone does.  Post me a comment if you would like me to do a detailed tutorial on making successful yeast doughs!


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