Saturday, April 30, 2011

Crispy Fish with Lemon Salsa

I am always looking for new ways to cook fish.
I try to include fish in my weekly menu but sometimes
I have trouble coming up with new recipes.

I read this recipe in a cook book by Donna Hay
I made a few changes to the original recipe.

Crispy fish with Lemon Salsa

6 oz snapper, ocean trout, salmon ( I used tilapia)
tbs vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour ( or more depending on size of fish)
salt and pepper
coconut, chilli, pepper mix (Elephant Pepper spice grinder)

Lemon Salsa
2 lemons, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 tbs superfine sugar
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbs capers, rinsed
salt and pepper to taste

On a plate mix the flour, salt, pepper and the grated coconut, chilli,
pepper mix. Coat the fish in this mixture.

Make the lemon salsa by combining the lemons, sugar, parsley, capers salt and pepper and set aside.

Pour oil in pan, turn up heat to medium high. Place fish in pan and cook on high about 3-4 minutes each side. Cook so the skin becomes crispy on both sides. Turn down heat and cook about 2 more minutes or until fish is cooked through.

I served the fish on a bed of arugula. Then I poured the lemon salsa on top.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad over Arugula

I really wasn't sure about the combination
of grapefruit and avocado. It just doesn't
sound right but how could I make a judgement when
I haven't tried the two fruits together. The only
way to make a decision about this combo ~ avocado
and grapefruit ~ was to give it a try.

My friend C from
made me think of this recipe when
she posted "Cooking to Combat Cancer".
Both avocado and grapefruit are cancer
fighting foods.
Avocados contain a powerful
antioxidant that contains free radicals in
the body and grapefruit contain monoterpenes,
which help prevent cancer by sweeping
carcinogens out of the body.

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad over Arugula
1 1/2 cups of Arugula
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 - 1/2 cup good olive oil
1-2 ripe Hass avocados
1 large red grapefruits
(taste the dressing and add more
of the ingredients based on what you like).

I would say the combination is good.
The salad is beautiful with the green and pink.
The dressing ties everything together.

Give it a try and see what you think.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nanaimo Bars

In the mood for something chocolate?
If so ~ I am sure these
Nanaimo Bars will make you happy.
They are filled with all sorts of
good stuff and they taste great.
They are very rich so when you serve
them you may want to cut them in small

Nanaimo Bars
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup chopped peanuts ( or any kind you like)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
(if you don't have custard powder you can used vanilla pudding)
3 tablespoons milk
4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon butter

1.Mix 1/2 cup butter or margarine, white sugar, cocoa, egg and vanilla in a heavy sauce pan or double boiler. Stir over low heat until mixture is of custard like consistency.

2.Combine graham crackers,nuts and add to the melted mixture. Mix well and pack into buttered baking dish.

3.Cream 1/4 cup butter, cream cheese, confectioners sugar, vanilla custard powder and milk. Beat until creamy and spread over melted base.

4.Refrigerate till hardened.

5.Melt semi-sweet chocolate with 1 tablespoon butter and pour over the top. Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens. Then cut into bars.

These Nanaimo Bars are yummy!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chicken with Roasted Coriander in a Coconut Curry Sauce

My husband really enjoys Indian Food and
every once in a while he will select
an Indian recipe that he will prepare
for dinner. I look forward to these meals
because he picks interesting recipes and
because he does the cooking. :)

This week he decided to make
Chicken with Roasted Corainder in a
Coconut Curry Sauce. The recipe
came from a cookbook by Madhur Jaffrey.

The dish was packed full of great flavors:
turmeric, fenugreek seeds, coriander, ginger
black mustard seeds and cayenne pepper.
He served the chicken over rice with Naan.
Dinner turned out great!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Blueberry Lemon Tart

I was very excited to host a dinner for
friends this weekend. It was so much fun!

The menu was Italian, of course.
For appetizers I made Stuffed Cherry
Tomatoes (the recipe is on blog) and
Italian Bread with Basil Pesto.
Dinner was Sausage or Cheese Stuffed Shells
and salad.
For dessert I made both a Chocolate Nanaimo Bars
and a Blueberry Lemon Tart.

I believe that the Blueberry Lemon Tart was
a huge hit. This tart is a nice dessert because
it is both delicious and pretty.

The original recipe is from the
Food Network by Tyler Florence.
I decided on a few minor changes when I made
this recipe. Instead of adding a 1 1/2 cups
of flour for the pastry I added 1 cup flour
and 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs.
I also added 3/4 of a cup of lemon juice
instead of the whole cup after reading the online

Blueberry Lemon Tart

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( Add one cup flour
and exchange the 1/2 cup flour for graham cracker crumbs)
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, in chunks
1 large egg, separated
2 tablespoons ice water, plus 1 teaspoon


4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice ( a little less than a cup)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 lemon, zested
Pinch kosher salt
1 pint blueberries

To make the pastry, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the dough resembles cornmeal. Add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse again until the dough pulls together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Roll the dough up onto the pin and lay it inside a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough into the edges of the pan and fold the excess dough inside to reinforce the rim. Cover the tart pan with plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator for another 30 minutes to rest.

To bake the shell, heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and prick the bottom of the dough with a fork. Cover the shell with a piece of parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 teaspoon water and brush it onto the bottom and sides of the tart shell; set aside to cool.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, cream, zest, and salt. Add the blueberries to the cooled tart shell and pour the filling over the blueberries. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The curd should jiggle slightly when done. Cool to room temperature, remove from the tart ring, and serve.

You are definately going to want to make this dessert ~ trust me!

Blueberry Lemon Tart

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tandoori Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Relaxing with a Taco dinner and movie.

Tandoori Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 cup packed fresh cilantro
4 cloves garlic
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup corn
Chicken Thighs 8-10
Vegetable oil, for oiling grill pan/grate
Tortillas, warmed

Place chicken in a large bowl. Place the yogurt,
cilantro, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, salt
in a blender and pulse until all the ingredients combine.
Pour the marinade over the chicken,
cover, and refrigerate for a few hours.

Remove chicken from marinade and place in a skillet.
Cook for 7-10 minutes browning the skin.

Let chicken cool a little. Pull chicken from bone
and cut into small pieces. Stir in the corn.

Serve the Chicken Tandoori Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa
1 1/2 cup finely chopped pineapple
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chicken and Broccoli Gratin

Sometimes you just need comfort food.
For me "comfort food" tends to be dishes
that contain cheese ~ they always make me
feel better. Even though I consider this dish
comfort food it does contain a vegetable that is
very good for you - broccoli.

Broccoli contains a high amount of vitamin C which helps
fights off the common cold. The potassium in broccoli
helps to lower high blood pressure. This little green
vegetable is also rich in fiber. With all this goodness
I should really make an effort to eat more broccoli.

Chicken and Broccoli Gratin
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
11/2 lb. broccoli
2 leeks
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 bay leaf
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 cup panko
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp ground sage
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat an oven to 350ºF.

Cut the broccoli into small florets. Add the broccoli to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Don't overcook the broccoli. You want to leave it crunchy because it is going to cook again later. Put the broccoli into an ice bath to cool it down quickly. Then drain.

Sprinkle the thyme, sage, salt and pepper over the chicken. Cook the chicken in a little oil. Remove the chicken from the pan and cut it into bit size pieces. Set aside. Wash, dice and saute the leeks in a little bit of oil.

Melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until well blended, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the leeks and bay leaf and simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Add the Gruyère, stirring until the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper. Gently mix in the broccoli and chicken. Pour this mixture into a baking dish and spread it in an even layer.

In a bowl mix together the panko, Parmigiano-Reggiano and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the panko mixture over the mixture. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake until the gratin is golden and bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

I hope you enjoy this fantastic Chicken and Broccoli Gratin.