A Foodie's Journey

Kitchen Adventures for Home Cooks

Archive for February 2010

Fish- A Cautionary Tale

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So Saturday night at our house is date night. We’re saving up for our wedding (which is a mere 8 months away!), so going out is becoming less of a thing for us. Lately, we’ve been doing “The North End at Our House”, making a big Italian dinner and sharing a bottle of wine. Delish, right? That was until a fateful Thursday night at the grocery store!

Normally, I’m not one for supermarket free samples. Well, that’s a lie. Usually, I eat the free sample, but it’s very rare that I buy the product, and even rarer that I actually make a dish with it. This was not the case with Whole Foods’ Panko, which you can find in the seafood department. I tried the Cod with sun dried tomato panko, and it was a party in my mouth. I told the woman that I had some mahi-mahi in the freezer, and she suggested that I use their spinach and chive panko. With that, I was on my way to a Saturday night date (without the North End, still with the wine- of course!). The sample used greek yogurt as a binder for the crumbs, which was great because I always have some on hand. But I’m not one for plain, and I felt like a plain greek yogurt would be, well, plain. I put my imagination to work, and here’s the recipe I came up with:

Herb- Panko Crusted Mahi-Mahi:

Ingredients

3/4 Pound Mahi Mahi Filets

1/4 Cup fat free greek yogurt

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard (I used Trader Joe’s Garlic Mustard Aoli)

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

3 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped fine

1/3 Cup Whole Foods Spinach-Chive Panko Bread-crumbs

Directions

1. In a small bowl, mix together salt, mustard, and greek yogurt. Set aside.

2. In a shallow dish, mix together the bread-crumbs and parsley

3. Pat fish dry with paper towels, brush with the greek yogurt mixture, then dredge in the bread-crumbs. Cook in nonstick skillet that’s been coated with cooking spray until cooked through, approximately 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your filets.

Easy enough, right? Here’s the cautionary tale: fish is fickle. If you are cooking it, you probably shouldn’t take a phone call. Especially a phone call from a close friend who lives across the country. I learned that this recipe does not reheat well, and should be eaten right away. Ryan and I agreed though, if we hadn’t tried to reheat it in the microwave, the flavor would have been perfect. C’est la vie!

We served it with my pan roasted brussels sprouts recipe. It’s one of my favorites:

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

1 Pound of Brussels Sprouts, ends trimmed, halved or quartered, depending on size

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Salt, to taste

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees. Place a cookie sheet in the oven while it is preheating.

2. Place all ingredients in a bowl. Toss to combine.

3. In a large nonstick skillet, sauté until slightly browned and about halfway cooked

4. Place the brussels sprouts on the preheated cookie sheet and roast until cooked, about 10 minutes longer.

NOTE: This recipe will be simpler if you own an oven safe pan. In that case, simply  sauté the sprouts in the pan, then place the pan in the hot oven. Hopefully someday soon, I will own such a pan. Until then, this method, while cumbersome, works well.

Both these recipes serve 2 people. Tomorrow: Valentine’s edition! Stay posted!

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Written by csquaredfoodnews

February 13, 2010 at 9:43 pm

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An Ode to Brookline Village

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One of my favorite ways to start a weekend is with a good cup of coffee. Two years ago, Ryan got me a Moka Espresso maker, which to his dismay, was my favorite gift that year (he had also gotten me some nice jewelry!). So needless to say, I take coffee very seriously. During the week, we make lattes with that same little Moka, but come Saturday morning, I want to go out. Usually, we go to Peets, because it’s close to our home in Coolidge Corner, but we’d been wanting to go to Kookoo cafe for some time now, and we finally went today. Kookoo was one of our regular haunts when Ryan lived in Brookline Village, but now that we’re in Coolidge Corner, we definitely don’t get there as much. It’s a shame too, because they have great pastries and even better coffee. The best part is that their bagels are from Iggy’s Bakery, and they’re chewy and crisp when toasted- not overgrown bread like other bagels in the Boston area.

A very delish morning for Ryan and me. More Saturdays should start with a cafe au lait and multiseed bagel with cream cheese.

Written by csquaredfoodnews

February 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm

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Midweek Check-In

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Hey foodies. Jeez, this has been a crazy week- busy at work, and now a snow day. There hasn’t been much time left for cooking.

Mondays are when Ryan has class, so I’m off the hook in the kitchen. There’s something very liberating about having one night where you can just make what’s easy and comforting. And for me- there’s nothing more comforting than a big bowl of pasta. My all time favorite pasta is white, with butter, salt, and pepper. Not a recipe for heart health, though tasty for sure.

For Monday’s simple pasta, I just used a serving or so of Ronzoni’s Smart Taste pasta, which I like a lot. It reminds me of white pasta, but it’s higher in fiber and calcium, which I appreciate. I cooked it in salted water (delish- the secret to perfect pasta, but a little bit of a splurge for me!), and topped with a little sage-infused olive oil. You know you’re a foodie when you have homeade sage infused oil laying around for purposes such as this. I garnished with a little salt, pepper, and fresh sage.

For dessert, I had one of my new favorites from the grocery store- Wallaby Organic Yogurt. I’ve been really into greek yogurt lately, but Wallaby could change my allegiance to the Australian kind. It’s smooth and creamy, but in a way that’s totally natural, not like that nasty yoplait stuff. It’s sweeter than what I’d usually select for a yogurt, so I try to keep it to dessert time. I was a big fan of the bartlett pear flavor, and the “DownUnder Thunder” fruit on the bottom is great. The packaging is also really cool- clear plastic, so that you can see the delineation between yogurt and fruit.

That’s all for now food nation. I’m exhausted, and it’s time to hit the sack! And go grab that Wallaby yogurt! For those of you in the Northeast, it’s on sale at Stop and Shop.

Written by csquaredfoodnews

February 10, 2010 at 10:20 pm

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The Beginning

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Thanks to the magic of RedBox, I recently saw the movie “Julie and Julia”. I have no aspirations to cook all of Julia Child’s recipes (truthfully, although I enjoy watching her, I’ve never made a single one of her recipes). Instead, I’m hoping that this blog will offer an insight into my life, through my creative inspiration- food.

I can’t promise that every recipe will be perfect, but I can promise some adventure along the way!

Written by csquaredfoodnews

February 7, 2010 at 11:51 pm

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Superbowl Turkey Chili

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I love football. I love the strategy of it, I love the energy of it, I love how every play is like art. Don’t tell me they’re just guys hitting each other- there’s so much more science to it than that! This isn’t a blog about football though, so you’ll have to check out CBS’s superbowl coverage for sports news.

Even though the Patriots aren’t in the big game, I still need to celebrate a little- especially since this is the first year I’m cheering for an NFC team! So I decided to make my famous turkey chili. I’ve never written the recipe down in full, and I believe that a person’s chili is a deeply personal thing, so that the recipe is done completely to taste. Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn’t. This one was a definite hit! I’d been surfing the CookingLight website, and I came  across a chili recipe that used beer as the liquid component in order to cut back on sodium. I thought it was an interesting concept, and decided to integrate it in my recipe.  The other thing I tried this time was an Indian technique that I saw on Sara’s Weeknight Meals (Airs on PBS), which was blooming spices in oil. I think the combination was a welcome one, and although I omitted two of my usual ingredients in this batch (barbecue sauce and garlic powder), I’ve added them here, because I don’t think that the chili was the same without them.


Turkey Chili

93% Lean Ground Turkey Meat

1 Bottle/ Can of light beer

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Barbecue Sauce

1 Large Onion, Diced

4 Cloves Garlic, Diced or Pressed through a Garlic Press

1 Teaspoon Salt

3- 14.5 Ounce Cans of Diced Tomatoes (Preferably No Salt Added), undrained

1 14.5 Ounce Can Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes, No Salt Added (I Prefer Muir Glen), undrained

2- 14.5 Ounce Cans Pinto Beans, Drained and Rinsed (Preferably No Salt Added)

1 14.5 Ounce Can Cannelini Beans, Drained and Rinsed (Preferably No Salt Added)

1 14.5 Ounce Can Kidney Beans, Drained and Rinsed (Preferably No Salt Added)

Spice Mixture:

2 Tablespoons Cumin

Generous Amount Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

2 Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper

Garlic Powder to Taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about five minutes, add the garlic and cook for thirty seconds more
  2. Add the spice mixture to the onions and garlic, sauté for a minute longer, then add the turkey meat to the pot, breaking apart the meat with the back of a spoon. Cook completely. Then add salt.
  3. Once the turkey is cooked, add the beer and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, along with the beans and barbecue sauce.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 35-40 minutes. Top with cilantro-lime crema (recipe follows) and serve with tortilla chips

Cilantro- Lime Crema

8 ounce container light sour cream

1 Bunch Cilantro, chopped finely (approximately 2/3 cup)

Zest of 1 lime

Juice of 1 lime

Instructions

  1. Place sour cream, cilantro, zest, and juice in a blender. Blend until uniformly colored. Let rest 20 minutes for the flavor to set

Serve on top of chili.

Written by csquaredfoodnews

February 7, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized