Friday, April 29, 2011

Jalapena Tilapia

I found this recipe in my recipe box and decided to try it.  There were not any dirrections, just the ingredients.  I looked-up a recipe for lemon butter and winged the rest.  You can try it like I did, or make up your own method of putting this recipe together. We liked it, but I think I would use more lemon butter next time.

Printable Recipe:

2 tilapia filets
1/2 cup flour
2 oz melted butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup diced jalapena
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic salt
4 oz. heavy cream
1/4 cup lemon butter
Serve over angel hair pasta and top with roma tomatoes and parsley
Method for Lemon Butter
This is the recipe that I found on food network for lemon butter
1 lemon, zested
2 lemons juiced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Splash of heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter
salt and pepper
Combine lemon zest, juice, wine, and shallot in a small saucepan. Cook over high heat until reduced by 1/2. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm. Whisk a little cream in the butter/wine mixture.  It will thicken to a nice consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate up to 1 day. Let come to room temperature before serving.
Method for tilapia and spinach sauce:
Salt, pepper, and flour two tilapia fillets on both sides.  I melted 2 oz of butter in a skillet and cooked the jalapena for about 1 min. Then I removed the jalapena and cooked the tilapia on both sides until browned. Remove the tilapia and keep warm in a 200 degree oven. Cook the angel hair pasta in boiling water for about 5-7 minutes.  In the butter that is left in the skillet that you cooked the tilapia, add 2 cups of spinach and jalapena. When the spinach has wilted, salt and pepper to taste, take off the heat.  Drain the pasta and add 1/2 cup of lemon butter to the pasta. Toss to incorporate.  To plate: Put a little pasta on the plate, add the spinach to the top and then top it all with roma tomatoes and parsley.  Place the fish to the side of the pasta and enjoy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jud's steak

I'm not sure, but I think this is the best steak I have ever had.  It is Thursday night and Jud made this awesome dinner for me.  I told him that I have fallen in love with Thursday nights.  I was in the bedroom reading and felt a tinge of guilt for not offering to help.  He said he owed me a few dinners.  He got his speach just right and the dinner was awesome.

Jud bought two 1/2 pound New York Strip steaks. They were prime cut. He only used salt and pepper on each side. He has tried marinading them before, but this time he made it very simple. He cooked them a total of 10 minutes on a very hot charcoal grill outdoors.  I tried to pin him down to how many minutes on each side, but he just said it was about 3 min. on each side and then flipped and cooked a couple of min. on each side again.  He cut into the one he was going to eat to make sure it was done.  I always tell him to let it rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting it, but he doesn't listen to me.  He took the one that he had cut and gave me the one that rested. I didn't try his, but mine was perfect.

Sesame green beans

 We had fresh green beans from our garden. If I counted the cost of these green beans, I probably wouldn't grow a garden, but I am a farm-girl at heart, and it would be so hard to give-up my garden. I really don't have enough sun to grow a good garden, but I keep trying.  My faternal grandmother was the real gardner in our family. She gave me the gift to love gardening, but I didn't get her green thumb. Oh how I wish that wishing would make it happen.
Printable Recipe:

Sesame Green Beans
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced, peeled fresh ginger or1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1. In a 5 quart saucepan, in 1 inch boiling water, heat beans to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 5-10 minutes, until beans are tender-crisp.
2. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, toast sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring and shaking pan frequently, until golden brown.
3. Drain beans, Whipe saucepan dry. Return beans to saucepan. Stir in soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger; heat through.
4. Sprinkle beans with toasted sesame seeds. Serve beans warm or cover and refrigerate to serve cold later.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes

It is Thursday evening and Jud made an amazing meal.  He made his famous catfish dinner using talapia. His recipe is on the website.  Green beans seasoned with deer sausage and onions.  Cooked to perfections.  But the hit was a new dish I found in my  April - Cooking Light Magazine.  Easy and delicious.

Printable Recipe:

1 pound asparagus, trimmed
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes -Jud didn't half them
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1. Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook 3 minutes. Stir in salt. Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper. Yield 4 servings.  I probably ate 3 of the servings.  Loved it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Boiled Shrimp

I have a great memory that comes back to me whenever I have boiled shrimp .  My mom and dad used to own a little place in Double Bayou with 3 of his brothers. (I think the name has changed since then). It was out of Anahuac.  The men would go out in the boat and use their seine to catch us shrimp for dinner.  They would take them out of the net and turn them over to the women. (Isn't that just like the men).  The women would put on a huge pot of water to boil and in 3 -5 minutes, we would have the freshest boiled shrimp you could possibly have.  My mom would take a huge bowl and fill it with ice.  Then she would put the shrimp on top.  We would clean our own shrimp and eat them with red sauce.  It probably isn't fair to Jud that I had this early training on cleaning shrimp, but all is fair in love and food.  I served it with a toss salad, but the shrimp were all we had at that famous meal in Double Bayou.  Oh, and don't forget the red sauce.

Printable Recipe:

Enough water in a large pot to boil the shrimp
1 pound shrimp--with the shells still on - (I used the easy peal from the grocery store)  My man does not have a boat or a seine.
I used some crab, crawfish, and shrimp boil. (It comes in a mesh bag that you throw in the water.
1 teaspoon red pepper
3 tablespoons salt
slices of lemon
I did not see that these additions added the spice that I wanted and my mom never added anything.  Maybe if I had boiled the water with the spices longer, I would have tasted the difference.
Red Sauce
prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie in Puff Pastry Shells

I had some left-over chicken from a baked chicken that I bought at the grocery store and decided to make these for dinner.  I like to keep these puff pastry shells in my freezer for such nights as tthat I don't know what to cook.

Printable Recipe:

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 bag of frozen mixed vegetables
puff pastry shells
1 chicken breast cooked and shredded
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the pastry shells according to package directions. Take out of the oven and set aside. Remove the top disc of pastry for later use.  In a medium size saucepan melt butter and add flour. Stir until well incorporated. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onions have softened. Add milk and stir until mixture is a thick consistency. Add salt, pepper, mixed vegetables and chicken.  Cook for about 3 min. to let the vegetables cook a little.  Divide the mixture evenly among the puff pastry shells. Place the round disc of pastry on top. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Zuppa Toscana - Soup

Jud and I have gotten hooked on this soup that we discovered at Olive Garden.  It is so good.  Once when Jud was on the internet I asked him to type in Zuppa Toscana and try to find the recipe. Up it popped.  Isn't the internet amazing.  We love this soup and now I can make it at home.  You must try this. It is awesome.

Printable Recipe:
1 pound ground Italian sausage (casings removed)
1 teaspoon crushed red peppers (the recipe calls for 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 large diced white onion
4 Tablespoons bacon pieces
2 teaspoons garlic
10 cups water
5 cubes of chicken bouillon (I used 4 cups of chicken stock and 6 cups of water with 3 bouillon cubes)
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
1/4 of a bunch of Kale (I used the whole bunch)  Dice it fine
1. Saute Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
2. In the same pan, saute bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 minutes or until the onions are soft.
3. Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
4. Add sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
5. Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
6. Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve. Delicious!

Baked Custard

I have a fond memory of my mom making what she called egg custard.  I used to get it at Luby's just to bring back the memory.  Now I can make them at home.  This is probably her recipe, but I recopied it and now I'm not sure.

Printable Recipe:

4 eggs - beaten lightly
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups hot milk
nutmet for the top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat all ingredients well and slowly add 3 cups of hot milk. Pour into 6 ramekins and sprinkle top with nutmeg. Place on a baking sheet in a hot water bath. (Pour hot water in the baking sheet so it will surround the custard) Bake 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chicken with Artichokes and Olives

As usual, I did this differently than the recipe.  I only had one large chicken breast, so I cubed it instead of cooking the cutlets. Same taste.    I served this over whole wheat spaghetti. Any pasta will work.
I got this recipe from a 2004 Cooking Light Cookbook

Printable Recipe:

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 (14oz) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1. Heat oli in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan, cook 5 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan, keep warm.
2. Combine wine, broth, mustard, and cornstarch. Add to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Brin to a boil, cook 1 minute. Stir in olives and artichokes, cook 1 minute. Spoon sauce over chicken, sprinkle with parsley.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spicy Chicken Soup

I was looking for a new soup recipe and found one in the Country Reporter Cookbook that I have had for years.  It was really good. I will definately make it again.  It was really easy.  Cathy Gray Lancaster is the one who submitted the recipe to Texas Country Reporter.

Printable Recipe:

1- 2 1/2-3 pound broiler or fryer
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine-I think I only added 1/2 a stick of butter. I'm not sure it is needed. I'll probably try it next time w/o adding any butter.
1 quart boiling water
1 large potato, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
2-17oz cans cream-style corn
1-15oz can tomatoes, undrained
1-10oz can tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Combine chicken, salt, butter, and boiling water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from broth; let cook and remove meat from bones. Add potatoes and onion to broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook vegetables until tender. Add chicken and remaining ingredients. Simmer 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serves 8.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Asparagus with Parmesan vinaigrette

I forgot to 1/3 the dressing, so it had too much dressing. I know, I didn't have to use it all, but I did. Now that you know.  You shouldn't do what I did.  It will be much better.

3 pounds asparagus
1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 oz proscuitto or cooked ham, chopped (about 1/4 cup) 
As you can see in the picture, I did not use the prosciutto or ham.
1. Hold base of each asparagus stalk firmly and ben stalk; end will break off at spot where it becomes too tough to eat. Discard ends; trim scales if stalks are gritty.
2. In a deep 12" skillet with 1 " of boiling water, heat asparagus to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5-10 minutes, just until tender; drain well.
3. In 13" X 9" glass baking dish, prepare vinaigrette; With wire whisk or fork, mix oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
4. Add asparagus to vinaigrette; turn to coat. Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate, turning occasionally, 2 hours. To serve, spoon asparagus and vinaigrette onto serving platter. Sprinkle with prosciutto and remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.

Coconut Cream Pie

I found the recipe for coconut cream pie in the Express New several years ago. Jud's favorite pie is coconut cream and I have made many variations of this pie.  Once I found this recipe and tried it, I threw away all the other recipes. Now, this is the only one I make.

Printable Recipe:

Ingredients for filling:
2 cups milk
3 eggs, separated (whites for meringue)
1/2 cup sugar \
4 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cup coconut, shredded
Ingredients for meringue
3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt

Use a prebaked pie shell and fill with cooled filling.  I use a double boiler and add milk, egg yolks, sugar, and flour.  Stir constantly over medium heat until thickened.  Take off heat and add vanilla and coconut.  While filling is cooling, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar and a pinch of salt. 

Pour filling into the prebaked pie shell and add meringue on top.  Put ina 359 degree oven and bake until meringue is slightly browned.  If you desire, you can add a sprinkle of coconut to the top of the meringue before you bake it.

Pecan Crusted Tilapia

I forgot to take a picture of this dish, but it was really really good and you should definitely try it if you like fish.  Recipe comes from Cooking Light's 2004 Cookbook

Printable Recipe:

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 (6oz) tilapia or snapper fillets
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
4 lemon wedges
1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a shallow dish. Combine buttermilok and hot sauce in a shallow dish. Dredge 1 fillet in flour. Dip in buttermilk mixture; dredge in bread crumb mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining fillets, flour, buttermilk mixture, and breadcrumb mixture.
2. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 fillets; cook 3 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and fillets. Serve with lemon wedges. Yield: 4 servings

Coca Cola Pork Chops

We love the coca Cola Roast, so I thought this would probably be good too.  It is fun to try new recipes. I can usually look at a recipe and tell if I am going to like it.  Anything with barbecue sauce is going to be good with Jud.  He loves anything barbecued.
I cut the recipe in 1/2.  The recipe came from Fine Fighter Fare Cookbook and the recipe is by Brandy Forrest.

8 pork chops
1 cup BBQ sauce
1 cup coca-cola
1/4 cup brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chops in pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix BBQ sauce and cola in medium bowl, pour over chops. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake uncovered for 1 hour.