Spicy Fish Stew

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Before I start talking about food, I have a huge announcement to make. On Friday I found out I passed the California bar exam. :D :D :D

My life has been pretty excellent this last year. It’s been stressful, no doubt, but I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Anyway, this year I also started the Pantry Party. Pantry Party is a monthly round-up, where dishes are made from the ingredients in our pantries. Every month I give a theme. This month’s theme has been perfect for this crazy month (or really, this crazy year) I’ve been having. The theme? A recipe that can be made in 30 minutes or less!

The month is almost over – I hope more people join.

This was an easy dish. It was flavorful. And for a cold evening, it was great! PS – it was the first dish I made as a lawyer. This dish took me about 20 minutes to prepare.

pantry

Spicy Fish Stew

Ingredients
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb swai, cut into pieces
1 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp a spice mix from Bubba’s Texas Burger Shack (I got this from a past Foodie Pen Pals)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 can garbanzo beans

Directions

1. In a deep pot, heat the olive oil. Add the spice mix and the oregano and cook for 30 seconds. Add the onions, garbanzo beans, and garlic. Cover and cook over low-medium heat for 10 minutes.

2. Add 1/2 cup of water. Arrange the swai between the vegetables. Cover and cook for 7 minutes.

* serves 2
* this dish is being shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Not-Really-Nicoise-Salad

IMG_9295This month at Food ‘n Flix we watched A Good Year, a movie about a man who goes to France and something or other. This movie was hosted by Squirrel Head Manor.

Frankly, I wasn’t enamored with the movie. Really, I found it boring. I didn’t find any of the characters likable. I wasn’t inspired. I do still love participating though, even when my inspiration is lacking, so I decided to find some way to participate.

The gist of the movie is Max goes to France when he learns his deceased uncle has left his chateau to him. A plus about the movie is that the scenery and sets are beautiful – I did quite want to go to France (and live on a Vineyard no less.)

Anyway – this inspiration came from a part in the movie where Max was helping as a waiter at a French restaurant. An American tourist orders a salad “nee-swa-zay” with low-cal ranch dressing and some bacon bits sprinkled on top. Max then gets indignant and makes some remarks about fast food.

I decided to make the Salad Nee-Swa-Zay for that American tourist – though she probably still will hate it because I just couldn’t do ranch dressing on this salad.

A Good Year

I don’t think I can call this a Nicoise salad, because I sort of don’t have any Nicoise olives on it. That’s cheating, right? But if I’m making it for the American tourist, she probably wouldn’t want those olives – because I don’t like olives. And I even gave it some fresh bacon bits. I mean, I’m sure the tourist would have preferred the type out of a jar, but I can only sink to a certain level here.

So I have no idea what a Nicoise salad actually tastes like, but this not-really-Nicoise-salad was quite delicious with my heavy American hand.

Not-Really-Nicoise-Salad

Ingredients
3 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp onion, diced
2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon
10 small yellow potatoes, cubed
1 head lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 can tuna
4 oz green beans, trimmed

Directions

1. In a small bowl stir together the lime juice, olive oil, onion, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a small skillet, fry the bacon. Once fried, drain on paper towels. Set aside and let cool.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the potatoes. Boil until tender. Drain and set aside.

4. While the potatoes and bacon are cooking, toss the lettuce with 2 tbsp of the dressing made in step 1. Divide onto two plates. Divide the tuna between the two plates and place in a scoop on top of the lettuce.

5. Toss the tomatoes with 1 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

6. Toss the eggs with 1 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

7. Toss the potatoes with 2 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

8. In a pot, bring water to boil. Boil the green beans for 3 minutes. Drain and blanch, by running cold water over them for 30 seconds. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

9. Chop the bacon. Sprinkle on top of the salad. If any dressing remains, drizzle it over the salad.

* Besides this month’s Food ‘n Flix I’m sharing this salad with Wednesday Whatsits and Cast Party Wednesday

Fried Tilapia with Lemon Sauce

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I’ve been trying to make this fish dish for a few days, but thins kept getting in the way. There just kept being a reason I couldn’t cook or didn’t want to cook.  But I needed to make this dish for this month’s Pantry Party: FISH!

I decided to use the container of bread crumbs I had stuffed in the back of my cabinet to make a fried fish dish. Though I initially had followed a recipe, the dish evolved into its own creation when I actually realized I didn’t have the right ingredients to follow the recipe.

My changes though were great, This is a dish I’d cook again.

pantry

Fried Tilapia with Lemon Sauce

Ingredients
2 tilapia fillets, cut in half
3/4 cup beer
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp cornstarch, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, divided
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
vegetable oil for frying

Ingredients

1. In a shallow dish combine the beer, flour, 1/2 tbsp cornstarch, salt, garlic powder, and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper. ix together until you create a batter. In another shallow dish, spread with breadcrumbs.

2. Dip the fish in the batter. Once coated, dip in the breadcrumbs. Set fish aside.

3. In a cast iron skillet heat vegetable oil until hot. Add the fish and cook 4 minutes per side.

4. Remove and set on a wire rack.

5. In a small pot whisk together 1 tbsp water and the remaining cornstarch. Add the lemon, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and the remaining cayenne pepper. Whisk together. Put on low heat until it begins to thicken.

6. Spoon the sauce over the fish.

* serves 2
* Though made for Pantry Party, I’m sharing this dish with Mix It Up Monday

Faux Tom Yum Soup

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This month at Cooking Around the World we’re heading to Thailand. My google-fu suggested I make Tom Yum Soup. I agreed.

Now . . . I live in a very Asian area. I very easily could have gotten all the ingredients I needed to make this authentic. But I just don’t have money to be spending on ingredients I don’t use frequently. So I subbed and I skipped and I made a soup with too many noodles (oops!) But you know, it doesn’t matter. It still tasted delicious.

If you want the authentic recipe go to the source. If you want mine . . . well, it’s below.

Bloggers Around the World Logo

 

Faux Tom Yum Soup
(source)

Ingredients
1 package soba noodles
2 1/2 cups water
1 stalk lemongrass
1 tomato, chopped
12 shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
3 tbsp lime juice

Directions

1. Cook the noodles to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. In a pot bring the water to a boil. Add the lemongrass, tomato, shrimp, mushrooms, and chili garlic sauce. Boil until the shrimp is cooked all the way through. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice. Stir together.

3. Pour the broth over the noodles. Toss the noodles into the sauce.

* serves 2
* Besides Cooking Around The World, this is shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

 

Tempura Sushi Salad

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This month the movie at Food ‘n Flix was very different than the one I hosted last month. Instead of a French dystopian movie, this month’s movie is a documentary about a Japanese sushi chef. Camilla is our host this month, having picked this documentary with its beautiful shots of sushi.

If anyone knows sushi, it’s Jiro. But frankly, this movie didn’t inspire me to make sushi – it terrified me. I’ve never done it before, so I knew any attempt from me would be laughable. I can just see it. It’s embarrassing even in my head. Maybe one day I’ll try sushi, but then not document my failure, because who wants everyone to see that? Being that Jiro is a huge perfectionist, I think he would have appreciated my refrain from trying to participate in his art.

In the film, Yamamoto tells us that there are five attributes of a great chef:

1. Take your work seriously
2. Aspire to improve
3. Maintain cleanliness
4. Be a better leader than a collaborator
5. Be passionate about your work

I am not a cook. I am an amateur that cooks for myself and my boyfriend. I enjoy food, but I am no cook. But I find these attributes so important to employ in all fields of work, to be a good lawyer I’ll need many of those traits as well. The only that might not quite apply is 4, because I think leaders also need to collaborate, but those five attributes can be applied to more than just cooks.

Be passionate.

Anyway, because I did not feel inspired to make sushi, I took it and ran with it a bit. I decided I’d use all the things I love in sushi and make a salad. Though I actually really love raw tuna in my sushi (along with other raw fish,) I’m not sure of where I could get fish fresh enough to eat raw and I didn’t want to chance severe sickness. I instead made tempura with shrimp and green beans. Considering my favorite sushi roll is the spider roll (with fried soft shell crab, yumm!) making tempura for my sushi salad seemed appropriate.

FoodnFlix

Join us at Food ‘n Flix, get inspired, be passionate.

Tempura Sushi Salad

Ingredients
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tsp salt, divided
8 shrimp, peeled and deveined
a handful of green beans with the ends snapped off
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup ice water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 cup shortening, divided
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup cooked rice
2 carrots, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 sheet nori, cut into strips
1 avocado, diced

Directions

1. Marinate the shrimp in the white wine and 1/4 tsp of salt for 20 minutes.

2. Mix together flour, ice water, cornstarch, egg yolk, sugar, 1 tsp of the shortening, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Once well mixed, coat the shrimp and the green beans with the batter.

3. Heat the shortening in a cast iron skillet or a wok. Once hot add the shrimp and the green beans, in batches, a few at a time. Cook the shrimp about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Flip and cook for about 3 more minutes on the other side. Continue until all the shrimp and green beans are fried. Let drain on a paper towel.

4. Put your salad together in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of rice in each bowl. Surround with the cucumber and carrot pieces. Top with half of the tempura per bowl. Top with avocado and nori.

(serve with soy sauce if you want some!)

* serves 2
* besides Food ‘n Flix, this dish is shared with #FoodieFriday & Foodie Friday

Tuna Casserole

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This month at Belleau’s Kitchen Dom moved away from cookbooks from the random recipe this month. To pick the Random Recipe this month, Dom instructed us to randomly pick a recipe from our cuttings, memories, and clippings. My mom has a whole stack of recipes scribbled down on pieces of paper, magazine clippings, and the like. But the closest I have to anything of this sort is a recipe box of recipes I made, enjoyed, and wrote down. I have too big of a problem cutting my magazines apart, so I wind up keeping the entire magazines.

Dom, you should do a random food magazine round up one month, because I have a ton of those.

Since I don’t really have any clippings, I went the “memory” route. I closed my eyes and pulled a recipe out of my bright red recipe box. I have no idea where this recipe came from, but I’d made it in the past and oh my god, so easy. For the minimal amount of effort this dish takes to make, it tastes delicious.

randomrecipes2

Tuna Casserole

Ingredients
2 cups dry pasta
1 can tuna, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
bread crumbs, as needed

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Boil water in a pot. Add the pasta and cook until al dente and drain. Mix the tuna, cream of mushroom soup, and cheese in with the pasta. Pour into a casserole dish and cover with bread crumbs as desired. Bake for 15 minutes.

* serves 2
* Besides Random Recipes, this dish has been shared with Tried and True Recipe Party, Weekend Cooking, & Strut Your Stuff Saturday

Fish Pie

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This month over at BakeBakeBake the challenge is British. Frankly, my experience with British food is very small. All I can think of is fish and chips. But a baked British dish? Google was required to find something to meet the challenge! Fish pie is a pie made with white fish. It is a traditional British dish. Upon googling I found Jamie Oliver’s Fish Pie recipe, using a combination of fish, shrimp, carrots, celery, lemon, tomato, spinach, and mashed potatoes.

I was skeptical, but clearly I had no reason to be. This dish was time consuming (until it went into the oven) but came out perfectly with a beautiful crispy potato topping.

Fish Pie

Ingredients
2 lbs white potatoes, cut into pieces
1 carrot, shredded
2 sticks celery, shredded
5 oz Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lemon
2 1/4 lbs tilapia, cut into pieces
4 oz shrimp, cleaned and peeled
olive oil
1 handful baby spinach
2 tomatoes, quartered

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 12 minutes. Once the potatoes are tender, mash together with several glugs of olive oil.

2. Place the grated carrot, celery, and cheese together in a baking dish. Zest the lemon into the baking dish. Cut the tilapia into bite size pieces. Mix the tilapia, shrimp, spinach, and tomatoes in with the grated vegetables.

3. Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the dish. Bake for 40 minutes.

* serves 6
* shared with Tasteful Tuesday Party, Tasty Tuesdays,  Tempt My Tummy, & Recipe Box 

Green Tea Soup

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This month at this blog’s monthly Pantry Party, the theme is soup! Essentially the goal is to look into your pantry and make a dish that meets the theme with at least one (or more!) things found in your pantry. This month I relied on two pantry items to make soup.

- Rice
- Green tea

I also now have a new addition to my pantry: nori.

I was skeptical of this dish when I first started. But I was intrigued by this recipe from Sunset magazine. The idea of my broth being green tea seemed so odd, but.. I had to try it! I ended up adding some soy sauce to the broth because I felt like it needed a salt element to it. The addition of the soy sauce was perfect. I was so full after this bowl of soup.

Don’t forget to enter this month’s soup themed Pantry Party! I’d love to see what other soups came out of pantries this month. Entries are due by the 28th.

Green Tea Soup
(source)

Ingredients
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 sheet nori, cut into strips
1 green onion, chopped
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 lb swai (or other white fish), cut into 2 fillets
4 green tea tea bags
4 tsp soy sauce

Directions

1. In a rice cooker, cook the rice with 1/4 tsp of salt according to the rice cooker instructions.

2. Preheat the broiler. Rub your broiler pan with oil. Put your fish on the broiler pan and turn the fish over on the pan to get oil on both sides. Sprinkle remaining salt on the fish. Broil 3-4 inches away from the broiler until cooked through (when the fish flakes), about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

3. Bring 4 cups of water to boil, either in a pot or a teapot. Once boiling add the tea bags and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove the bags and stir in the soy sauce.

4. To pull your dish together, put 1 cup of rice into each bowl. Place a fish fillet on top of the rice. Pour half of the broth into each bowl. Garnish with green onions and nori.

* serves 2
* Besides Pantry Party, this recipe is shared with Food of the Month Club, Souper Sundays, Tasteful Tuesday Party, Recipe Box, Tasty Tuesdays, & Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Tuna and Rice Patties

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Fried patties may not be the most healthy things to be eating when I’m trying to eat healthy, but I felt like I could justify it with the salad on the side (of arugula, spinach, pine nuts, tomato, and dressing.) My goal for the year 2013 is to try to have vegetables with every dinner. I’ve been really bad about loading up on carbs. So.. I’m trying to minimize it. Excuse all the dressing. I’m new at this!

The addition of the sun-dried tomatoes in the patties added a great dynamic. The original recipe called for canned salmon, but since I had canned tuna in my house I substituted that instead. I love tuna, so no complaints.

The rest of these patties are going to be served on a ciabatta roll for breakfast tomorrow.

Tuna and Rice Patties

Ingredients
2-5 oz can white albacore tuna
1 1/2 cup rice, cooked
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomato, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup breadcrumbs for coating
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Directions

1. In a small pan saute the onion and sun-dried tomato until the onions are tender. Let cool.

2. Combine the tuna, rice, the onion mixture, egg, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, and Worcestershire sauce into a bowl. Mix with your hands until well combined.

3. Heat the oil in a medium sized frying pan.

4. Form the patties and coat them in breadcrumbs.

5. Cook the patties on medium heat, 7 minutes per side or until golden brown.

* serves 4, 3 patties per serving
* Shared with Foodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend Potluck, & Freedom Fridays

Fried Rice Two Ways

 

Since Monday this week was a holiday, I had time to make dinner and didn’t need to rely on the slow cooker. But just because Monday allowed enough time to make dinner, Tuesday still did not. Because of this, I knew I needed to make enough dinner Monday to have on Tuesday and also to change the dish up a bit so I could have it two ways.

Clearly I’m not very good at keeping up with challenges I keep for myself (as you can see my 52 Week Around the World Challenge) ended short, but at least through this semester there should be a dish a week that I make two ways just because my schedule sort of forces it.

This fried rice made use of the crystallized ginger Rose sent me a few months ago in my Foodie Pen Pal box. Because it was cut up very fine, it wasn’t overpowering but to get a piece of that sweet ginger was excellent in the rice.

 

Day 2 got a bowl of fried rice soup, which was an easy way to make the dish into something else. In retrospect though, it could have used more broth.

Day 1: Fried Rice
Day 2: Fried Rice Soup

Fried Rice

Ingredients
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups shrimp, shelled, deveined, and cut into pieces
1 10-oz package frozen peas
3 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp white wine
2 tbsp crystallized ginger, finely chopped
4 tsp toasted sesame oil

DAY 2 EXTRA INGREDIENTS
1 cup chicken broth

Directions

1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until medium. Combine the eggs and pour into the skillet. Cook, stirring, until scrambled, about 1 minute. Break into small pieces and transfer to a bowl.

2. Add another tbsp of oil. Add the onion and the garlic to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and peas. Cook until the shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the eggs.

3. Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in the skillet of medium-high heat until hot. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy.

4. Stir together the soy sauce, white wine, ginger, and sesame oil. Add to the skillet along with the egg. Cook until heated through.

5. DAY 1 INSTRUCTIONS: Serve as is.
DAY 2 INSTRUCTIONS: Heat the chicken broth and the rice in a large pot until simmering. When warm, serve.

* makes 4 servings of rice (DAY 1 & DAY 2 each make 2 portions)
DAY 1 CALORIES: 498 calories per serving
DAY 2 CALORIES: 503 calories per serving