Saturday, July 31, 2010

Almond Crusted Halibut Symphony

I've been trying to learn to like fish or at least be able to tolerate it. I tried making fish tacos with tilapia and just couldn't bring myself to eat more than a bite or two. Anthony was feeling like fish tonight so I suggested he try this recipe that I'd been meaning to make for quite a while now but couldn't bring myself to do it in case it turned out like my fish taco diaster. I was pleasantly surprised- the halibut had hardly any fish flavor. The dish was amazing- it tasted fabulous, looked fabulous and was an absolutely perfect dinner alongside garlic mashed potatoes and steamed green beans. It seems complex at first, but it was simple enough my husband was able to make it with hardly any help from myself. So if you're like me and don't eat fish, try this- it really has no fishy flavor!

Almond Crusted Halibut Symphony

Ingredients:

3 filets halibut
1 tablespoon butter

Buerre Blanc Sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cube butter cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
2 tablespoons minced shallots (I used chopped fresh chives)1teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Topping
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2/3 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in frying pan. Over medium heat, saute halibut filets for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown on one side. Flip over, cover with lid and turn off heat. Let halibut continue cooking in hot pan until golden brown on the other side.

Make buerre blanc: in small saucepan over medium heat combine water, vinegar, shallots (or fresh chopped chives), thyme and bay leaf. Boil until liquid has evaporated, remove bay leaf. Stir in cream and boil until liquid is reduced by half. Whisk in butter 1 piece at a time. Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper. Turn off heat but let sauce remain on stove to keep warm.

Topping: In a small bowl melt butter and stir in bread crumbs and almonds. In another small bowl beat egg.

Transfer halibut to a cookie sheet and turn oven to broil. Brush egg on top of filets and top with bread crumb topping. Broil for 2-3 minutes until golden brown- watch carefully because it will cook quickly.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Garden Pasta Salad

I typically don't eat pasta salads because they are mayo based and I am not a big fan of mayo. This pasta sald is so easy to make and is so delicious (not to mention healthy) and the feta cheese gives it such an yummy touch. I like to make it and eat it with the noodles still a bit warm for dinner and then as a cold salad the next day for lunch.

3 cups whole wheat rotini pasta cooked and drained
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup halved cherry (or sliced garden) tomatoes
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup fresh chopped zucchini and or yellow squash
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup chopped red onions (I am not a fan of raw onions so I usually leave out)

Cook pasta according to directions and drain. Slice all vegetables. Mix pasta, vegetables, zesty italian dressing (click here for dressing recipe) and cheese. Serve warm or cold.

*another healthy addition to this salad are garbanzo beans and frozen green peas, thawed

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Strawberry Chicken Salad

This is my favorite salad, it's almost like a dessert. So yummy! My friend Joann introduced me to it, and it's fabulous. I used Brianna's poppyseed dressing, but I actually think Joann's recipe for poppyseed dressing is better- it's more dessert-like and just heavenly. Go here for her recipe.

I grilled my chicken with montreal chicken seasoning, then added fresh strawberries, almonds, oranges and mixed with baby greens and poppyseed dressing. You can change up the fruits for a different taste- peaches would be yummy, it also tastes great without the chicken, but something about grilled chicken and strawberries is just amazing. Perfect summer dinner.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Indonesian Barley Pilaf

I got this recipe from Kashi and just modified it a bit for what I had on hand. It's quicky, healthy and delicious.

1 cup barley

2 cups water (or chicken broth)
1 cup whole peanuts
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoons cumin
3/4 cup raisins
1 large carrot julienned
1 cup red cabbage diced (optional- I didn't use)
pinch of salt
red bell pepper, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 tablespoons soy sauce (I usually pour it on until everything is light brown)
2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, grated
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you want it)

Cook barley in water according to directions (usually takes about 35-40 minutes). In large sauce pan saute garlic, onion and pepper in sesame oil (or other oil). Add remaining ingredients and simmer 2-3 minutes. Stir in barley and serve.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Devil's Food Cake

So I was really sick a week or so ago and couldn't eat a thing. I lost 5 pounds in 3 days and was feeling pretty miserable. Normally I would be ecstatic about losing 5 pounds but I had already lost all my pregnancy weight and purchased all new clothes. I typically LOVE shopping but after going from store to store and coming home empty handed (trying to find shorts in my size that come down to the knee) I finally went online and found a few pairs. But there are no others to choose from, no alternative options, I bought every style I could find. So when I put on my new shorts and they were too big for me, I freaked out. What's a girl to do? That's right...

My appetite was back- I scoured the cookbook to determine what I could binge on to gain back those few pounds. Then I saw the Devil's Food Cake book that I ordered, sitting on my shelf. The picture of the cake on the cover was irresistable. I figured making the recipe would inspire me to read it faster. It sure hit the spot! I haven't gained it all back, but it earned me a few pounds at least. The cake is good- but I really only eat cake for the frosting- and this frosting is heavenly! I had a little extra left over and I ate it by the spoonful. YUM. (You should know by now that I cannot decorate a cake to save my life, but I promise it tastes better than it looks!) This is my new "go to" chocolate frosting recipe! Try it, you'll like it.

Devil's Food Cake

1 cup sour milk (1 cup milk + 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice OR use 1 cup buttermilk)

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda

For sour milk, mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside for five minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except the water and baking soda. Mix until batter is smooth. Add the
soda to the boiling water (kids love this part because it bubbles). Add soda/water mixture to batter. Mix well—batter will be thin.

Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until middle is set.

If using round cake pans, grease pans very well and cut a round of wax paper to fit inside the bottom of the pans
to prevent cake from sticking when removed. Let cake cool five minutes in pans before turning out onto a wire rack.
 
Sandra’s Chocolicious Frosting

1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup baking cocoa
8 ounces cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter and shortening. Whisk in cocoa and stir until smooth. Let cool until it is cool enough to touch. Add cream cheese and mix thoroughly. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, mix well. will cover two 9" layers or a 9x13 cake.
*also tastes great with a spoon!
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