Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sauteed Tilapia over Swiss Chard with Tarragon Butter

I made this the other night and was so happy with the result. Tilapia is such a mild white fish, and so easy to cook. This recipe is from Fine Cooking Magazine.
When I made it I tripled it for the five of us. The recipe below is for two people. And maybe it might just be made by two friends of mine, one who loves to cook and one who will love fish if she tries this!!!
1T olive oil; 2 cloves of minced garlic; 1 bunch of swiss chard, stems and ribs discarded and the leaves coarsley chopped, washed and dried; s&p; 5T butter; 2 tilapia filets (at least 6oz each); 1 shallot that has been chopped; 1T fresh lemon juice and 1.5T chopped fresh tarragon.
Heat your oil in a nice big non sticking pan over med/high heat. Add the garlic and cook until it smells heavenly, 30-45 seconds. Add a big bunch of the chopped chard and toss it so that it is coated in the oil. Continue adding the chard until it is all well coated and a little wilted. Add s&p and divide it on your plates. Then add 1T of butter to the pan and add your fish. Saute on both sides, total s/b 4-6 minutes. Place your fish on top of the chard. Now add the shallot to the pan and let it soften and then add the lemon juice and then take the pan off the heat. Add to it the final 4T of butter and tarragon, put it back on the heat and stir till the butter melts. Pour over your fish and chard and oh my, enjoy!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

Just when you think spring is here, the weather turns cool and rainy. And what a way to use up the extra two pounds of ground beef that you did not need for the spaghetti sauce you made on the weekend but took out of the freezer...
Browned some onion and garlic and add the cooked beef. To that add some flour, beef stock (or chicken because I have no beef) thyme and savoury, worcestershire sauce, frozen peas and s&p. Boil and mash some potatoes.
Place the meat in a baking dish and spread your mashed potatoes on top. Bake for 15-20 mins at 400. This is a welcome dinner after a day of school and sports!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chicken Fingers

More fun and easy food. This is not exactly chicken fingers, more like the best baked chicken you have ever tasted. I cut the boneless and skinless breasts in to long narrow pieces, just because. This recipe is actually one my mother in law gave me. She does not cut up the chicken, hers is the "grown up" version. Either way, it is so good.
Mustard Chicken
8 T unsalted butter; 2 T veg oil; 6 T dijon; 3 T minced shallots; 2 T fresh thyme or 1 t dry; 1 t pepper; 1 t crushed red pepper flakes; 8 boneless and skinless chicken breasts and 4 c fresh bread crumbs.
1. In bowl number one add 6 T butter oil, dijon, shallots, thyme and s&p. 2. In bowl number two add your bread crumbs. 3. Mix ingredients in bowl number one and dip your chicken pieces in it first and then dip in bowl number two which is full of bread crumbs. 3. Place chicken pieces in shallow pan and bake at 425 for 10-20, depending on the thickness of the chicken.
You can double and freeze half or even better is to make wraps with any leftovers for lunches the next day, always a help first thing in the morning!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mac and Cheese

Every so often you just have to make it. First of all, it is a pretty reliable dinner. Most of us like it. You should always double the recipe because this is definitely one of those meals that is easy to double. And my oh my it is a treat to find the second one in the freezer on a night when you really need it. It can be as healthy as you want it to be. I use whole wheat pasta pretty faithfully now, so even though it is still pasta I do have the satisfaction of knowing it is a little better for us. And I always use old cheddar because frankly it just tastes a lot better. As far as milk or cream goes, I use milk and a little butter and dijon mustard to make the sauce and then add the cheese. Make a green salad and you are ready.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fun Food

I made fajitas for the first time in ages. They are ridiculously easy, fun and healthy too. Grill chicken or steak, and slice it very thin. I also sauteed some sliced peppers and browned some onions. Throw some salsa in a bowl and some slivered iceberg lettuce in another bowl. Don't forget to grate some cheddar cheese too. Then heat up your tortilla wraps.
Once you have everything ready, just lay it out starting with the wraps, then meat/chicken, lettuce, peppers and onions. Lastly you can add the salsa and cheese and roll up. Hope they are a hit!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tandoori Chicken

This is actually a quick meal too. The key is to make the marinade first so that the chicken can sit in it for a little while, first thing in the morning or if you forget, when you come home before you make the rice.
Grab a mixing bowl and in to it add: 1c of plain yogurt; 2 T fresh lemon juice; 1 T minced fresh ginger; 2 t minced garlic; 1 t ground turmeric; 1/2 t ground coriander; 1/2 t ground cumin; 1/2 t garam marsala; s & p;
Add 8 skin on, bone-in chicken thighs to the above bowl and mix it all around. Cover and refrigerate while you heat your grill.
When the grill is hot, remove the chicken from marinade and place skin side down on the grill. Cover until skin is browned, 4mins approx. Flip the chicken and grill another 4mins. Cook until chicken is cooked through...should not take much longer.
This is great with jasmine rice and a, yes, green vegetable.

Friday, April 2, 2010


This is a funny mushroom because they look like sponges. But my oh my do they smell good when you make a risotto with them. I was taught how to make risotto by a very dear family friend who I had been told makes "the" best risotto in the world. While in town for a concert he came for dinner and then...lucky us...made us dinner! I was given a shopping list and could not wait to see him. The stories that accompanied the recipe were better than the food, but then, they usually always are. My son loves morels so I made the risotto tonight with morels instead of porcini's, it was good but was definitely lacking the italian and musical flare of my teacher.
Saute some onion in olive oil and add your arborio rice. I think I used about a cup and a half of rice and 2 or 3 table spoons of oil with one chopped onion. Pour boiling water over your dried mushrooms and let them steep. Heat a good three cups of chicken stock on the stove. Once the rice is well coated start to add the hot stock, 1/2c at a time. Constantly stirring. Rinse the mushrooms and chop BUT keep the liquid, it is gold! Do add it as well to your rice, it adds a lovely earthy flavour. Keep adding stock to your rice until it is cooked...and continue to stir...and then add the mushrooms, some peas and freshly grated parmesan. Divine!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easy "Spring" Pasta

I know it is pasta, this is definitely one of my try not to eat too much of's but, oh, sometimes it is just way too convenient. Especially when you have had flu go through your house and some are sick and some are on the other side...just easy. So here is my favourite spring pasta. Another recipe where I kind of "wing" it.
Boil your favourite short pasta, and just before it is ready add a bunch or however much you like of asparagus that you have cut up in to one inch pieces. Now, only cook for thirty seconds, seriously, there is nothing worse than mushy green veggies. Drain together in the colander. And then add, some good olive oil, lemon juice, lot's of ground black pepper and parmesan. Amounts totally vary, add more of what you like and less of what you do not...easy and good and fast...enjoy!