Monday, June 22, 2009

Fishy...Fishy...Yummy Dishy

So, a fellow blogger with an unusually similar name, recently posted a "reminder recipe". What is a "reminder recipe" you ask? Well, although it was definitely an original recipe of hers, it reminded me how much I love that particular dish and that I hadn't made it for some time. Fish tacos. If you haven't had them, now is the time to try them. Check out her recipe for Coconut Almond Crusted Talapia here My recipe is a bit different-I bet the almonds lend a great nutty taste, but have a nut allergy so I don't cook with them. Now, I love the addition of panko bread crumbs that her recipe suggested, in the past I had used corn meal. She also has a slaw recipe instead of plain cabbage, as well as a pico de gallo.
I served the finished fish on corn tortillas with shredded cabbage and cilantro. I topped it off with Costco's mango salsa. Yes, I said I used a pre-prepared product, It's not often but I do. And I like this product.
The side dish is a super yummy bean dish, I call Ranch Beans. If you have the time to soak dried beans, That's my preferred method, but there is an easier method at the bottom of the recipe.
So, thanks Reeni, for reminding me how much I love fish tacos. I hope that others will enjoy our recipes!

1 pound Halibut
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Cut the halibut int pieces. Beat the eggs and dredge the halibut in it. In a pie dish, combine the coconut, panko, and curry powder. Salt pepper the fish and dredge again in the coconut mixture. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until tender and flaky.

5 cups water1 pound dried pinto beans, picked over, rinsed
1 12-ounce bottle of dark beer
1 cup chopped onion
4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2-3 Bay leaves
salt to taste
chili powder to taste
1 jalapeño chili, seeded, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chilies
1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine 5 cups water and next 7 ingredients in heavy large pot. Gently simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until beans are tender and liquid is reduced enough to cover beans by 1 inch, adding more water if necessary and stirring occasionally, about 2 1/2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)
Garnish beans with cotija cheese, chopped tomato and cilantro.

Use 4 cans of beans. In a pan sauté the bacon, garlic, and onion until cooked through. Add the beans and warm through. Next add the spices and beer. Cover and bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove cover and top with cheese. Bake an additional 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Garnish with tomatoes and cilantro and serve.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

You asked for it......

A few weeks ago, one of my few readers, asked if I had a good recipe for BBQ pork sandwiches as well as a rhubarb crisp. Sometime last year I posted one of my favorite recipes for a pork sandwich, but it is apple roasted instead of BBQ. It is here if you would like to check it out Pork Chops and Apple Sauce . is a great recipe for BBQ sandwiches, the rhubarb crisp will come next week. I hope you enjoy.

Simple Pork Sandwiches

3 pounds pork shoulder
salt and pepper
2 tablespoon dried garlic
1onion sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon garlic
¼ teaspoon red pepper
1 bottle chili sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
I asked my husband...."do you want the good bun or the other one."

He responded.."they both look good to me."

"surely you jest," I said

"What makes one good and one bad?" He asked

"I didn't say one was is just better than the I guess you don't care which one it is so you can have a regular bun." I replied

"No, I want the good bun", he quickly said

"I thought so." :)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Any pork will do, I try and use pork that doesn't have as much fat...makes it easier in the end when you break it up, so that you don't have to cut all the fat off. Place the pork in a heavy pan and add sliced onions and peppers.

Season generously with salt and pepper.
I like to season with dried garlic as well. Fresh garlic will do as well.
bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Then cover with aluminum foil and reduce oven heat to 250 degrees. Cook for an hour and a half. Remove from oven and let cool for twenty minutes until meat is cool enough to handle. You can shred the pork, or I like to chop it up.

Next, I add all of the remaining ingredients. I just add it all to the meat and mix it well, but if you want to, you can mix it in a bowl first and then pour it over the meat. Cover the meat again and return to the oven at 350 degrees again for 30 minutes. You can cook the meat, onion and peppers in a crock pot during the day if you want and then add the remaining ingredients at the end ( I would suggest combining the ingredients in a saucepan and bringing it to a bubble just want to be sure to cook the sugar.) I like this method best because the meat gets browned and that adds a lot of flavor, but I understand the need for crock potting food by others.

If you don't have home-made chili sauce, I like this brand, It is called "Homade", and it's pretty good in a pinch :) So, once it's cooked, scoop it up and put it on the bun of your choice.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What's in Your Fridge?

This is actually a picture of Julia Child's refrigerator which now stands in the Smithsonian.

Many years back, Oprah had a show where Julia Child opened up her fridge to the world. One might have expected a stock full fridge full of amazing items. But no, the fridge was quite bare, there was a baguette, eggs, peanut butter, water and beer. It happens to all of us. When we open up the fridge and realize that there really is nothing to prepare for dinner. I have to say, that some of my finer moments have risen from this quandary. I love the challenge. I love to see if I can not only prepare a meal, but one my family will eat. I love the show "Chopped" on the Food Network. The show features four chefs who prepare a starter, entree, and dessert. But the catch is that they have to use the items provided in a little black basket. Usually the majority of the items have some taste relation, but there is always a wild card item that just doesn't go with the rest. After each of the three categories one chef is "chopped". So, I found myself in a similar situation, because truly, I didn't have much more in my kitchen than the following items.
So the mystery ingredients were:
2 pounds frozen halibut, potato flakes*, milk, leftover Alfredo sauce (recipe below), blueberry yogurt, key limes, Dijon, coconut milk, plum jam, broccoli, and pasta.
*Potato flakes-yes I had potato flakes...I know, very unlike me. One of my dear friends told me that there was this certain brand that she swore by and gave me some to try. they were awful just as I expected...I thought I would never find a purpose for poatato flakes (except as fake snow) until this recipe.

Speedy Alfredo
8 Tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cream
1 cup Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute until tender. Add heavy cream and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

So I took the halibut and cut it into strips and soaked it in milk, seasoned it with salt and pepper, then rolled it in the potato flakes.

Next I grilled them on the stove top on a griddle I lightly coated with vegetable oil.
I then mixed yogurt, coconut milk, Dijon, curry powder, turmeric, and a few squeezes of key lime together. Don't do this...It tasted awful!

so back to the drawing board. I had a bottle of homemade plum jam so I put it in the saucepan with a bit of Dijon and a splash of vinegar and cooked it for a few minutes.

In the meantime, I cooked up the pasta (al dente) and added a few handfuls of steamed broccoli. I mixed in the Alfredo sauce and called it good. I finished off the fish with a sqeeze of key lime juice and topped it with the plum sauce.

So, this is what it looked like. It tasted pretty good, the plum sauce was a fantastic sauce for the typically bland halibut. And the family did enjoy it. But don't worry I did go to the store the next day, so I have plenty of great recipes to come.