Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Herbed Tilapia with Tomatoes and Jalapenos over Chive Mashed Potatoes

Baked Tilapia:
2 tilapia filets
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Lemon pepper seasoning
2 Tbsp minced fresh herbs (cilantro, flat leaf Italian parsley, Rosemary)
about 5 cherry tomatoes, halved (I used baby heirloom tomatoes)
1 jalapeno, sliced (seeds removed)

Mashed potatoes:
3 medium red skinned potatoes, cubed
2-3 tsp butter
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (you can also use milk, cream or sour cream instead)
season with salt and pepper
1/2 Tbsp minced fresh chives

Start with potatoes, by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay two sheets of parchment paper on a flat surface. Place a filet of fish on each sheet. Drizzle with EVOO, season with lemon pepper and salt. Sprinkle with herbs. Top with tomato halves and jalapenos.

Fold and crimp the top of the paper closed. Then repeat for the sides. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until fish is no longer transparent.

Once potatoes are cooked, drain. Add butter and yogurt to pot. Return potatoes to pot and mash together. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in chives. Add more yogurt if potatoes need more moisture.

To serve, open parchment paper packs, plate fish over mashed potatoes. Pour over extra juices.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Poblanos Stuffed with Turkey, Rice & Veggies

My friend who’s from Mexico surprised us with a fancy dinner called Chiles en Nogada, traditional in the south of Mexico.

With my mind and stomach on chiles, and some left over rice pilaf, I decided to make my own stuffed chiles dish, filled with ground meat, rice and veggies. I used this as another opportunity to sneak in as many veggies as possible. My hubby called me the ‘kale ninja’.

4 Poblano chiles
1 cup of cooked basmati rice (cooked in chicken broth)
¾ lb ground turkey
2 celery ribs, diced
1 large carrot, diced
½ small onion, diced
1 cup fresh kale, chopped
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
½ can of corn
½ can kidney beans
Salt and pepper, to taste
Few dashes of Tabasco sauce
Grated Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese

Prepare each pepper by cutting across the top near the stem and down the middle of one side. Remove veins and seeds. On the grill over fire, or under a broiler, char all sides of the peppers until blackened and bubbly, turning until all sides are charred. When ready, place in a bag or covered dish and let steam. Then peel skin from the peppers and set aside.

In a large sauce pan over med-high heat, cook ground turkey until almost cooked all the way through. Add veggies, herbs, garlic, corn and kidney beans; cook until veggies are tender and turkey is no longer pink. Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco, to taste. Mix rice with turkey and veggies.

Using a large spoon, stuff each chile with the filling. Please stuffed chiles in a casserole dish and top with shredded cheese. Place under a broiler and cook until cheese is melted and starts to bubble and turn brown.

Serve with black beans and sliced avocado.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Grilled Corn with Herb and Lemon Butter

One of my favorite summer treats!

2 ears of corn
2 slices of butter
½ cup fresh herbs, minced (I used cilantro, parsley, chives and basil)
Zest from one lemon
Salt and Pepper

Husk ears of corn and remove silky strands. Over high heat, grill corn for 5-9 minutes, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides. Place two sheets of aluminum on the counter. Place an ear of corn on each sheet. Rub with butter, sprinkle with herbs and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap corn and let flavors infuse for 5-10 minutes.

Cut corn off husk or enjoy right off the cob.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sausages with Greens & Beans and Grilled Garlic Bread

I fell in love with Italian Greens & Beans at our Italian friend’s family dinner and have been making it ever since. Here’s my spin on the dish. This dish is healthy, tasty, cheap and quick… and my hubby loves it!

Greens & Beans:
1 large bunch of kale, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled into ribbons
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
½ cup broth
2 crushed garlic cloves
Red pepper flakes (Amount depends on how spicy you like it. I usually do 1 tsp.)
1 can cannellini or white kidney beans
Salt & pepper, to taste

Grilled Garlic Toast:
Rustic, crusty bread, sliced (I used a crusty sourdough loaf)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Garlic cloves
Sea salt

Sausages…your favorite kind!

In a large pan, heat EVOO over med-high heat. Add kale and carrots; sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add broth, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, pepper flakes and cannellini beans. Mix together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside until ready to eat.

While the sausages are grilling, brush one side of each slice of bread with EVOO. Grill bread on both sides. Once bread is toasty, rub oiled side with garlic cloves. Sprinkle with salt.

Serve greens and beans with grilled sausages and sprinkle everything with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Note: I know traditional Italian greens and beans don't have carrots, but I like to sneak in as many veggies in every dish whenever possible.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Palačinky - Czech Crepes

My mom used to make Palačinky, Czech crepes, for us when we were little. We would help by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl and my mom would fry the crepes, impressing us with her flipping skills. Then we would take turns spreading the jam and rolling the Palačinky. We enjoyed these both warm and cold the next day.

2 eggs
3 Tbsp sugar
2 cups milk
2 cups flour
Pinch of salt
Oil (for frying)

Your favorite jam
Powder sugar

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, milk, flour and salt. Over medium high heat, add 1 tsp oil and spread over frying pan. Pour a thin layer of batter and spread over pan by tilting and rotating pan. Crepes should be very thin, almost transparent. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Spread with jam, roll up and keep warm until served. Dust with powder sugar before eating.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Shrimp, Zucchini & Spinach Crepes

2 eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups flour
Pinch of salt
Oil (for frying)

1 small zucchini, diced
2 cups of fresh chopped spinach
¼ cup pine nuts
½ lb raw shrimp, deveined and tails removed
1 large clove of garlic, minced
Gruyere cheese, shredded

Alfredo sauce

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, flour and salt. Over medium high heat, add 1 tsp oil and spread over frying pan. Pour a thin layer of batter and spread over pan by tilting and rotating pan. Crepes should be very thin, almost transparent. Fry on both sides until golden brown; set aside.

Over medium high heat, heat oil in a frying pan. Add zucchini and spinach; sauté for 3-4 minutes until tender; add to a bowl. Add pine nuts to the frying pan and toss until browned. Add to bowl with zucchini and spinach. Lastly, add shrimp and garlic to pan. Sauté until shrimp are pink. Remove from pan immediately and add to bowl.

To assemble, fill each crepe with vegetable and shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with Gruyere cheese and roll. Repeat. Drizzle with Alfredo sauce.

·         Add sundried tomatoes
·         Replace shrimp for chicken