Almond-Crusted Tilapia on Bed of Leeks

Yes, please believe this will be the godliest fish you will ever taste.  I’m not the biggest fish fan out there but I do enjoy a mild-tasting fillet every once in a while.  Tilapia is definitely my favorite kind of fish and I ended up buying a big bag of fillets at the store, not quite sure what to do with them.  I found this recipe, changed it a bit, and this was the result.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Almond-Crusted Tilapia:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon pepper (I used Mrs. Dash)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder (or garlic salt)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tilapia fillets
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
  • a couple springs of fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon

    Garnishes

Leeks:

  • 1 leek
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash your leek, cut into fourths (length-wise) and chop into long strips.
  2. Soak in a pot of water with a tablespoon of salt (or as much salt as it takes for the water to “taste like the ocean”) for 2 hours; set aside.

    Juilenned leeks soaking in salt water

  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Beat the egg with the lemon pepper and garlic powder until blended; set aside.
  5. Stir together ground almonds with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish until combined; set aside.

    Flour, egg, and almond crust

  6. Dust the tilapia fillets with flour, and shake off excess. Dip the tilapia in egg, then press into the almond mixture.

    Before baking

  7. Lay fillets on a greased baking sheet and put in the oven uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. While fillets are in the oven, heat up the 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat and add the leeks, sauteing them for around 3-5 minutes, or until limp.  Place the leeks on a serving dish and arrange them so they lie flat.
  9. Place fillets on top of the leeks.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese on top of the fillets,  garnish with chopped fresh parsley and a lemon wedge (squeezing some lemon juice on the fillets is a must – it really brings out the flavor).

    The final product! Yum

    I served the fish with steamed carrots and yellow squash with wild rice cooked with chicken stock.  It was a delectable meal and easy to make!  Also, for dessert I blended frozen bananas and a 1/2 cup of chai, put it in the freezer and served it as an ice cream/sorbet.

Original recipe found here.

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Published in: on April 13, 2010 at 10:48 am  Comments (1)  
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Spiced Pear Scones

I divulge a recipe I have been hoarding since high school.  I like to call it “the secret family scone recipe” but really it’s your standard recipe that creates the best tasting scones of your life as long as you know which flavors to add.  Feel privileged to have knowledge of this recipe – it took a lot of effort for me to let it go into epic internet.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 skinned and chopped ripe pear
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied orange rind (optional) (can substitute with 1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Find an old, soft, battered pear and peal the skin off.  Remove the core and slice the pear into small pieces.

    Grungy old pears I have laying around in my kitchen

    Pears after skinned and chopped

  3. Rub butter and egg into dry ingredients.
  4. Add milk slowly and stir until the dough becomes soft without appearing extremely wet – use only as much as you need.
  5. Add chopped pears and candied orange rind and mix.

    Sampling the batter is not recommended - you will be disappointed. Better to wait for the final product

  6. Form batter into 12 mounds, place on greased baking sheet.

    Make it into a scone-shaped blob

  7. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until scones turn golden brown.

    Should be golden-colored

    It may be comparable to food porn but you know you want to eat it

I went a little buckwild with the spices and added additional cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg.  A little more flavor can’t hurt – especially if you aren’t using candied orange rind.

Published in: on March 7, 2010 at 12:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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Zucchini Cake Parmesan

There is something nice about being able to convert random ingredients into a tasty patty.  Here is a recipe that can be used as an appetizer or a vegetarian meal that is so full of flavor your guests will surely think, “now this is one daaaaank patty.”

Ingredients:

Zucchini cakes ingredients:

  • 1  large zucchini grated, excess water removed
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • chopped basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 roasted cloves of garlic
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil

Sauce ingredients:

  • 1/2 jar of tomato sauce
  • 1/4 freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Shredding the zucchini

  2. Remove excess water from zucchini by putting the grated zucchini onto paper towels and patting dry.

    Drying the zucchini

  3. Combine all ingredients except the oil in a bowl and mix.  The best way to mix the ingredients thoroughly is to use your hands.  Use hands to form mixture into cakes to preferred size.

    Ingredients ready to be mixed

    "You got to get weird with it."

    These are more like zucchini burgers - it's got mad girth

  4. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Once heated, add patties and cook until golden.  About 3-4 minutes per side.

    Cakes in the frying pan - beautiful colors

  5. Place patties in Pyrex dish and cover in tomato sauce.  Sprinkle cheese and Italian seasoning on top of the sauce.
  6. Put dish into oven for 30-40 minutes uncovered.

    Baked Zucchini Cake Parmesan ready to eat

This dish is so easy and delicious there is no excuse not to make it.  Even if you aren’t a fan of zucchini and are skeptical of the flavor, try it!  It’s dankness in a sauced patty.

Original recipe found here.

Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 12:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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Jankey Turkey and Stars Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 cans of chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 chopped medium carrots
  • 3 chopped celery stalks
  • 1 chopped onion (or leeks)
  • chopped leftover turkey (or chicken)
  • 3/4 cup star-shaped noodles
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except the noodles into a crock pot.
  2. Put setting on high.
  3. After an hour add noodles.
  4. The cook time for the soup should be approximately 2-2 /12 hours.
This recipe is really easy and a good way to use leftover turkey.  Any of the vegetables can be substituted for something different such as leeks instead of an onion.

The soup in the crock pot

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 7:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bavarian Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

Dough Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound cubed unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • optional: food dye, almond extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Pour flour into a large mixing bowl. Combine the butter into the flour either by using a butter knife or your finger tips into rub the butter into the flour until it looks crumbly.
  3. Stir in the sugar and then add the egg yolk and salt and mix to combine.
  4. Knead mixture lightly with your hands to form a soft dough and shape into a ball. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  5. When dough is firm, remove from fridge and carefully roll out on heavily floured surface.
  6. Roll to about 1/2 cm thick. Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes and place on a lined or greased baking tray.
  7. Bake for about 5-6 minutes, or until they are just turning golden on the edges. Diligently watch the cookies while they are in the oven – within seconds the cookies could come out burnt.
  8. Very carefully move the cookies onto a cooling rack.
  9. Beat egg white in a medium mixing bowl and gradually add the icing sugar. Beat until the mixture smooth and white – add more icing sugar if it is too watery or add water if it is too thick. Add food coloring or almond extract if desired.
  10. After the cookies are room temperature, use a spoon to spread the icing onto the cookies.  The icing dries fast so if you want to use sprinkles or other decorations do so immediately after applying icing.  I used gold sprinkles and chopped candied orange peel!
Everyone’s favorite cookies were the ones with almond flavored icing and candied orange peel.

1st tray of cookies!

Cookie with almond flavored icing and gold sprinkles

Valentine's day heart with red, vanilla icing

Cookie with almond flavored icing and chopped candied orange peel

Original recipe found here.

Banana Chai Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup no fat cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup brewed chai
  • 1 tea bag of chai

Directions:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl mix sugar, cream cheese, and eggs until light and fluffy. Mix mashed bananas and brewed chai into cream cheese mixture. Add flours, salt, and baking powder – mix until smooth.
  2. Empty a bag of chai tea into the mixture and stir.
  3. Pour mixture into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 60 minutes. Cool on rack. Remove from pan after 10 minutes.

This recipe is delicious, low fat, easy, and daaaank.  The bread is not like your typical banana bread because it comes out more bread-like than cake-like.

This is the outside of the finished product

Inside of the loaf

Original recipe can be found here.

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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