Wish Upon A Dish: April 2012

April 30, 2012


Getting in the mood for our trip to Italy, I made an Affogato (drowned) which is a scoop of gelato with steaming espresso poured over and then topped with a rich Zambucca flavored whipped cream.

Yummy good. Would work well with a vanilla ice cream but I like a double coffee jolt and buy a coffee gelato.

Pin It

April 28, 2012

Homemade Roasted Garlic Cheese Potato Pierogi ♥ From my heart to my Dad's

At least 3x a year, I get a craving for kielbasa. I can only think that I love the spices and the pop of the skin as you take a bite.  More for my Father than me, I did a taste test on turkey kielbasa and once I found the one that most tasted like the pork variety I bought a big box store package and gave one to my dad. Now he always has one the freezer at all times.

I thought it would be nice to surprise him with homemade pirogi (Polish ravioli). This was my first time making pirogi, but won't be my last. The dough is super easy (done in the KitchenAide), I used my pasta rollers to roll the dough to the proper thickness (also with my KitchenAide) and used a 4" ring to cut out the rounds....
I invested in a $3.00 dumpling form maker and this made it 1-2-3 easy! Yay for me. Once I got everything prepped it took me 30 minutes to make 2 dozen.

I was raised Roman Catholic, but attended a Polish congregation, not Italian. I was surrounded with Polish food in every direction. Right next door, lived what I would say was the 'original' Martha. A huge family living on a teachers salary, she would bake pies, cakes and cookies, make her own applesauce (from the apples in our trees), and when I would babysit her kids, she always asked me over for dinner. She sewed all their clothes, hung them out to dry (no dryer on good days) and watched every penny spent.

I think I learned more about cooking from her than my own mother and this is were I get my love of pierogi (and stuffed cabbage).

It is hard for me to choose my favorite stuffing, so I just made one with everything. Filled with roasted garlic, potatoes, ricotta, sour cream and an egg yolk for richness, these HAD to be good.

A turkey kielbasa, a head of broccoli, some really good mustard and maybe a little dollop of creme fraiche. All I know is these are 'da bomb!!

Potato, Cheese and Roasted Garlic Pierogi
Makes two dozen

* 2 cups flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 large egg
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1/4 cup butter, cubed

Mix everything into a large bowl with a wooden spoon. On a board, sprinkled with bench flour, knead dough until it comes together. Roll out to an 1/8" thickness and cut 4" circles.

* 3 red potatoes
* 4 cloves garlic
* 1/4 cup sour cream
* 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
* 1 egg yolk
* salt & pepper

Peel and cube potatoes and steam, with the garlic cloves, for 25 minutes. Add to bowl with cheese and sour cream. Mix in egg yolk, salt & pepper.

With a small 1 ounce scoop, fill each circle with filling, crimp and set aside on a towel.
If the dough does not stick together, use water around the edges to seal.

Boil for 4 minutes in a pot of highly salted water (1 tablespoon per gallon). Remove to a buttered bowl.

Add more butter to a saute pan and fry the pierogi for 3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown.

I always serve mine with fried kielbasa slices and a vegetable (broccoli or carrots).

Review: Make these and freeze the other dozen, or give them to someone who has never had them, for a huge treat. Tradition is to serve boiled with sauteed onions but I like to add the kielbasa for a full meal.

Follow Me on Pinterest

April 23, 2012

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.....olé!!

We're coming down to the home stretch. My house passed inspection, my clothes are shrink-wrapped and awaiting their final destination and I can't stop hugging my kitty's. I threw away all the fresh dairy in my fridge (nothing worse then coming home to bad dairy), I have two meals left to make and I am running low on ingredients. I'd say I am ready to sail away.

We usually do at least a 9-10 day vacation because nowadays you spend two of those days traveling. Between the delays and lines at the airports or the traffic and pit stops on the road, you really only get 5 days of vacation when you do a week. This time, because we are sailing right from Bayonne, NJ, we start our vacation the very first day and being away for a full 15 days has it's drawbacks.

I am a type A personality.......

"The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving "workaholics" who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence."

After 7 days I want to go home. Well, I don't but I do. If I have something to entertain my mind, I can stretch those 7 days to 10 but that's about when I am "vacationed out" and am itching to go home.

The Nudge is a Type B.....
"The theory describes Type B individuals as perfect contrast to those with Type A personalities. People with Type B personalities are generally apathetic, patient, relaxed, easy-going, no sense of time schedule, having poor organization skills, and at times lacking an overriding sense of urgency. These individuals tend to be sensitive of other people's feelings."

He's ready to retire tomorrow.

I have packed 5 audio books, 3 food magazines, 1 book and a hand-held game.
He has 1 book (which I bought for him).

It is important to me to have my life planned at least on paper. Oh, I am flexible to change that plan at any time but I fell better knowing where I am trying to go. Pitiful but true, I want you to know I have already started a list of things to do when I get home.

It was important to me that I have just enough food to get me to Saturday morning.
So far I am doing OK. I did run out of coffee creamer but I remembered I had a container of Creamora in my pantry (too funny).

I do have chorizo, chicken, beans, the end of my roasted peppers and inspiration from a southwest ravioli dish I had the pleasure of eating recently. Dinner tonight.

Tomorrow will be Spaghetti alla Siciliana. Why? Well, I have a bag of green peppers I need to use, a handful of Kalamata olives from the salad bar, a can of Tonnato I will throw in for the Omega's and a cup of fire-roasted tomatoes sharing the second shelf with the peppers.

Bagels, cream cheese and a small frittata will take care of a half brick of Philly, the last of my eggs and any bits of cheese or vegetables I find hiding from me. A loaf of bread will head down to my freezer chest and the last of some dinner rolls will be made into bread crumbs.

When I walk out of my house on Sunday morning, the only thing I will worry about is trying to say good-bye to the kitty's who will probably be happy we are going away because they get to visit with their favorite pet sitter (who brings them treats).

Olé Chicken Fettuccine
Makes 4 servings

* 1 large boneless chicken breast
* 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
* 1/2 sweet onion, sliced
* 3 cloves garlic, sliced
* 1 link Mexican chorizo, skinned and diced
* 1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1/2 red pepper, sliced
* 1/4 green pepper, sliced
* 1 cup corn
* 1 1/2 cup chicken stock (or one can)
* 1 cup grated melting cheese (jack, cheddar, fontina)
* 1/4 cup media crema or creme fraiche
* 1 teaspoon Mexican spice blend (taco, fajita packets) or Adobo
* pepper to taste
* 1-12oz box fettuccine or pasta of choice

1. Set a large pot of highly salted water to boil.
2. Rub chicken breast with teaspoon oil and sprinkle with with Mexican spices. Roast in a 375° oven for 23-25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 teaspoon oil in non-stick pan and saute chorizo until it renders it's fat. Add onions, peppers and corn and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until you can smell it.
4. Add beans and chicken stock and simmer, uncovered until the liquid reduces to half.
5. Drain pasta and add to skillet, tossing to coat with sauce.
6. Add 3/4 of the cheese, the cream and toss again. Remove to a large serving bowl, sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
7. Slice chicken on the diagonal and place on top of pasta and garnish with herbs of choice.

Dinner is served!

Review: This dish was phenomenal. Make this the next time you want a WOW factor. Easy, one pot, 30 minute meal your family and guests will love. So much flavor in each bite.

Pin It

April 18, 2012

Asparagus in a Blanket

Well, we've all had pigs in a blanket, why not asparagus?

Every person I know cleans out their refrigerator before leaving for vacation.
There are a few things that I love and hate about this chore.

#1 - You find all sorts of plastic containers filled with indiscernible stuff.
#2 - You find all sorts of plastic containers with leftovers you forgot you even had in there.
#3 - You find all sorts of plastic containers with foods you forgot you bought and now you know you aren't going crazy.
#4 - You still hate throwing good food away so you have to make something with them.
#5 - Sometimes the "somethings" you cook end up in the garbage anyways.

So, I have surmised (as I get older and wiser)....to just throw the containers away without even opening them, this way you won't know what was in them and can't miss what you don't have.

This dish was actually planned, last nights concoction, however eatable, was not worth posting about.

I thought I would share an easy appetizer that took minutes to prepare, you don't have to know how to cook to make them and they are an easy finger food to serve buffet-style.

I found a bag of 8 asparagus spears in my crisper drawer and a package of filo defrosting for a desert recipe. I thought with the last of my porcini mustard I would make a nice appetizer to eat out on the patio . These were really good, so good in fact that The Nudge asked to take the ones we didn't eat to work for lunch.

Very easy, four ingredients, one pan.

Remove the filo from its plastic package and cover with a damp towel. If you do not cover them they will dry out in 3 seconds flat.......trust me, I know.

Lay a filo sheet on your work surface and paint with olive oil. Sprinkle with grated cheese, salt & pepper.
Fold the filo in half, brush with more olive oil, cheese, salt & pepper.
Wrap each spear as you would a burrito or an egg roll, ending with a final brush of olive oil to seal the seam.
Place on a parchment lined sheet pan (seam side down) in a 375° for 12-13 minutes until golden brown.

I served them at room temperature and they sat on the table for more than one hour remaining crisp, flaky and crunchy. A great snack with a cold glass of Chardonnay. You don't need a fancy, schmancy honey mustard, just buy a good quality store bought one or simply make you own with equal parts of brown mustard and honey with a touch of cream.

Pin It

April 17, 2012

Zucchini Monte Cristo #2

I had an idea to make stuffed zucchini, but not your traditional recipe that scoops out the center and adds
 back in a bread stuffing. Mine would be stuffed with a Monte Cristo filling of ham and Swiss cheese.

I made these for my family to critique on Easter.

What was the concensus?

They all agreed that they were good but (and there's the but)  there wasn't much zucchini flavor.

Back to the drawing board.
Yesterday I got the chance to make them again. Any special reason? Not really, it is something I made in my mind and now I want to translate them to paper.

This time, instead of small zucchini, I bought 2 very large zucchini and halved them crosswise and sliced them lengthwise on the wide setting of my V-slicer (about  3/8"), throwing the first and last one to the groundhog.

I also had the Deli guy slice the Swiss and ham thicker. Instead of crumb coating, I am using my no-fail francaise batter (found here). Using this batter instead of crumbs will allow the flavors to come through, it is cleaner and soaks up less oil. When you have a slippery surface (such as most vegetables) this batter sticks to them without dredging in flour first. Enough about the batter, on to the sauce.

I first saw this homemade mustard in Mario's Babbo cookbook and just had to make it. It is as tasty as it is unique, which inspired me to usw it in a grownup honey-mustard sauce. This sauce is the perfect compliment to this Monte Cristo.

Honey-Porcini Mustard Sauce
Adapted from The Babbo Cookbook

* 1/2 small red onion, minced
* 1 cup balsamic vinegar
* 2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
* 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

* 1/2 cup porcini mustard
* 1 cup heavy cream/light cream or almond milk
* 3 tablespoons honey
* Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Mustard: combine onion, vinegar and mushrooms in a small saucepan and simmer till halved.
2. Puree in processor and add mustard and oil to emulsify.
3. Sauce: combine 1/2 cup mustard with rest of ingredients and refrigerate till ready to serve.

This version was a winner. Two slices of zucchini with a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss cheese between, dipped into the batter, then shallow fried in olive oil. Serve hot while the cheese oozes out when you cut into them.....yum!!!

Pin It

April 14, 2012

Parsnip and Carrot Fritters with an Apple Butter Maple Cream Sauce

Ever eat parsnips?
Parsnips, being a root vegetable makes good fritters and I often add them to potato latkes for added sweetness. Roasted parsnips are sweeter then carrots and with the addition of chipotle powder makes them spicy sweet. I envisioned a sauce of goat cheese, maple syrup and banana powder for a sweet/tart sauce that accentuates the flavor of the fritter, but ended up with apple butter and a hint of maple syrup. Applesauce with fritters is a natural but not smooth, so I grabbed my jar of apple butter.

The parsnip is richer in vitamins and minerals than its close relative, the carrot. It is particularly rich in potassium. The parsnip is also a good source of dietary fiber. The Glycemic Load of parsnips is extremely low, and like carrots, is considered a resistant starch.

Parsnip and Carrot Fritters with an Apple Butter Maple Cream Sauce

* 1 1/2 tablespoons apple butter
* 1/4 cup fat free half and half
* 1 drop of maple syrup
* salt and pepper

* 4 parsnips, grated
* 1 carrot, grated
* 1/4 cup hi-maize cornmeal
* 1/4 cup high fiber flour
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon soda
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon Colemans mustard
* 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
* salt & pepper

Mix sauce ingredients in a small processor. Serve at room temperature.

Shred the parsnips carrots and onion on a hand grater. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and let rest for 30 minutes.

In a cast iron pan, treated with a release agent, spoon about 2 teaspoons (or a soup spoon) of batter into pan, flatten with back of spoon and fry on each side until browned. Spray pan between batches.

Review: These were surprising good. The Nudge gobbled down a whole plate of these, before he took a breath...lol. The kids will love the spiciness of the fritter with the sweet of the sauce. These would probably be good with lox, a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprig of dill.

Pin It

April 11, 2012

Creamy Artichoke Tart with a Polenta Crust - the third time better be a winner, I am tired of making this

This is my third attempt at making this dish.

While I did throw out the first attempt, the second one ended up on our dinner table to the realization that, that one also should have joined the first one.

I am a good cook, and I can follow directions. I loved the ingredient list, all things I like to eat, so why was this tart a disaster? Not sure but I was not giving up.

This time I am doing it my way. While the original recipe called for cornmeal or "polenta", she should have qualified it to quick cooking cornmeal or 'polenta'. I used instant this time and it came out perfect.

The filling was so unappealing that I also adjusted those ingredients and used Boursin instead of goat and no yogurt, just the two eggs.

I probably should have used frozen chokes or even fresh, because the jarred were too wet and had a sour element to them.
Someone who does not LOVE artichokes would not like this with jarred ones.
It is better served hot and I think this tart would benefit from a cooling overnight and reheating in a hot oven.

A nice addition to a brunch buffet or a light lunch served with a side salad.

Artichoke Tart
makes 1 - 8" tart
* 1/4 cup instant polenta
* 1 cup vegetable broth
* 1 cup water
* salt & pepper
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
* 1 egg
* Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

* 1 egg
* 1/3 cup Boursin cheese
* 6 fresh or frozen artichoke hearts, halved
* 1/2 cup provolone cheese, grated

1. Heat water, broth, salt & pepper in a stockpot until simmering.
2. Slowly pour (so it 'rains') the polenta into the liquid, whisking constantly until it starts to bubble. Switch to a wooden spoon and turn the heat to low.
3. Continue cooking for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and let it rest in the pan for 10 minutes, stirring 2-3 times more.
4. Add cheese, nutmeg and egg, stirring until thoroughly incorporated.
5. In a prepared tart pan, spoon the cornmeal into the pan work it up the sides and evenly across the bottom, about 3/4" thick.
6. Preheat oven to 375°.
7. Sprinkle the provolone evenly on the crust then arrange hearts around the edge of the tart and pour in the filling.
8. Bake for 25 minutes on the middle rack, turning halfway. After 25 minutes, move the pan to the top rack and bake an additional 7-9 minutes until the filling starts to brown. Remove and cool.


Pin It

April 9, 2012

Shrimp Scampi Gone Wild

Last week I cooked up a seafood feast, for one. I am making all those recipes The Nudge is not a fan of and I am going to enjoy every bite.

First up is Shrimp Scampi.

I like my shrimp crunchy around the edges and moist in the middle. I never get it the way I want in a restaurant. I have given up. I guess I will have to make my own.

Since I do not eat shrimp often, when I do, I am very picky.
First of all I buy local and my market has the most pitiful display of USA caught shrimp. The frozen ones were all from Asia and no matter how much my stomach calls out for shrimp, I buy USA (USA frozen counts).

I took my inspiration for crunchy coating from an Orange Chicken recipe I adore. The pieces of meat are coated in beaten egg whites, dusted with cornstarch and fried on very high heat for 1 minute, just enough to crunchify (yes, that's a word) the edges. Before they get overdone I remove them to a bowl and then stir it back into the sauce at the end to gently cook the interior.

I am sure that technique, usually used in a wok, is used with all the proteins in those Asian dishes we love so much. Why not take that technique and apply it to a well loved Italian recipe? After all, isn't Shrimp Scampi just a stirfry with olive oil, garlic and wine? Yes, it is doable and in as long as it takes to cook the pasta, the dish is done and on the table.

I can't remember the last time I ate Scampi. I get so wrapped up in blogging about "NEW" recipes, I neglect the old standards. Think about it, all that garlic and wine, what's not to love? It's the perfect foil for that crunchy shrimp that I just have to have.

I think I got lucky Neptune was listening and sent a shipment of U16 fresh USA shrimp to my market just for me (and no, I am not interested in any bridge).

Shrimp Scampi
Courtesy Emeril Lagasse with slight adjustments by me
Serves: 4 to 6

* 2 pounds fresh caught USA shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1 egg white, beaten to soft peaks
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Olive oil
* 1 small onion, sliced thinly
* 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
* 1 lemon, juiced
* 1/2 cup white wine
* 1/2 cup fish stock, clam broth or seafood base
* 2 tablespoons cold butter
* 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
* Lemon slices, for garnish


1. Season the shrimp thoroughly with salt and pepper. Mix the egg white with the shrimp and then transfer to a storage bag that holds the cornstarch. Seal the bag and shake until all the shrimp is coated.
2. Heat a large saute pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add enough oil to lightly coat the pan. Add the shrimp and quickly saute, stirring constantly (or flipping) until just starting to turn pink, but not cooked through, and the edges are slightly browned.
3. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onions and saute just until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add the lemon juice, white wine, and stock, and reduce by 2/3, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp back to the pan and swirl in the butter. Finish with the parsley and check for seasoning. Garnish with lemon slices and serve over rice or angel hair pasta.

Review: This was exactly what I wanted in a shrimp dish. Extreme flavor, perfectly cooked crispy shrimp and done in 30 minutes. I added 6 asparagus spears to the pan right after I add the shrimp back in. I am going to have to make this more often.

Pin It

April 5, 2012

Artichokes and a Memory of the Little Rascals

Best way to celebrate Spring is with artichokes. Whether you simply steam them and serve with Hollandaise sauce or stuff and bake them, any way you eat them is a win-win nutrition bonus.

The Artichoke is a low-calorie, nutrient-rich vegetable. According to the USDA, one medium Artichoke is an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, and a good source of folate and magnesium.

Artichokes also are a natural source of antioxidants.
Non-starchy vegetables, such as Artichokes, are vital to your diabetes meal plan. Pat yourself on the back if you eat them — they contain important nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plus, they contain few calories and carbohydrates. The American Diabetes Association recommends you eat at least two to three servings of non-starchy vegetables every day.

Count 1/2 cup cooked Artichokes or 1/2 of a medium Artichoke as one non-starchy vegetable exchange (serving).

If you need inspiration to include artichokes in your diet, these dishes will certainly provide a place to start.

This Spinach Artichoke Lasagna dish sends that favorite dip in a new direction. This will become a traditional Easter Brunch dish at your house.

Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells adds some protein to an easy preparation of stuffed shells.

Hearts of Gold and Fritters were two terrific appetizers I brought to last years Easter table. A little more work, but well worth it.

Don't buy those expensive small jars of marinated hearts when you can buy a warehouse sized jar of plain artichoke hearts and make your own for a fraction of the price. These Marinated Artichoke Hearts are easy to make and will stay in the refrigerator for weeks. I always have a large jar of these in my fridge.

Looking for a quick pasta and seafood dish, either shrimp or Scallops in Artichoke Sauce will hit the spot.

Shrimp Saganaki is a little different but no less tasty and healthy with Feta and Vegetables reminiscent of a Specialty Greek dish.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter and Passover.

Pin It

April 4, 2012

A Wild, Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

Last time I made this soup I used a package of long grain and wild rice mix. This time I am upping the ante and changing the long grain rice to brown rice and adding dried Shiitakes to the Baby Bellas. Double the whole grains and double the mushroom flavor.

Easy soup with such a great flavor. When they say mushrooms have a meaty texture, this soup was never more evident of that. If you want even more mushroom flavor, grind the dried mushrooms in a spice grinder and add that to the broth. Didn't know you could make mushroom powder? I buy it by the bag (that and tomato powder) and add to omelets, soups and pasta dishes. Also great in a pizza dough. I don't blog about it because I do not like to post recipes which include hard to find ingredients. It is worth it if you choose to buy them and tightly covered, it keeps forever.

Back to the soup.....

For added mushroom flavor, save the wild rice cooking liquid to soak the mushrooms in.

Wild Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
Makes 4 servings

* 1/2 cup dried wild mushrooms
* 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
* 1/3 cup wild rice
* 2 cups broth
* 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
* 1 cup fat-free half and half
* 2 tablespoons sherry
* 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 bay leaf
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leave
* 2 tablespoons butter, divided
* 1 tablespoon flour
* 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

1. Heat broth in a small saucepan and cook wild rice, covered on low, for about 50 minutes or until they bloom.
2. Add dried mushrooms to wild rice and remove from heat and soak for 20 minutes. Drain through sieve, reserving liquid.
3. Saute onion, garlic and button mushrooms in butter. Add sherry and simmer to evaporate.
4. Add strained broth, bay leaf, thyme leaves, wild rice and chopped soaked mushrooms. Add additional 2 cups of broth.
5. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add half and half, and salt & pepper to taste.
6. In a small bowl, mix flour with butter and pour into soup. Bring to a bubble and add grated cheese. Check for seasonings and remove bay leaf.

I garnished with seasoned rye crumbs and grated some additional Parmesan on top before serving.


Pin It

April 2, 2012

Creamy Baked Cod

I am opening up a new label today and pegging it "Kitchen Sink Meals".

Growing up there was a fast food restaurant called Fat Mikes out on the highway. We called it Chubby's. His Pizza Burgers where to die for but better than that was his Kitchen Sink Hero. A huge hot hero sandwich with everything but the Kitchen Sink in it. Boy, that sandwich was really good. Every week it changed and was only served on Friday nights. After hitting the clubs we would head over to Chubby's and order us a Kitchen Sink.

Anything he had leftover from the week that was still in his cooler, went into that hot hero.....
You never knew what you were gonna get until you took a bite. Oh to be young again. What fun!!

I know everyone that blogs has a version of this, some calling it Clean out the Fridge Monday, Sunday Night Special (soup, sammy, casserole, etc.) but I have settled on 'Kitchen Sink'.

First dish so aptly named is a gratin of cod, crab meat, peas, Mornay sauce and Swiss cheese.
Really no recipe, you split everything up into 4 gratin dishes (in my case two) or one large casserole pan and bake in the oven till it bubbles.

Leaving for the weekend to visit my Dad, I did not want to come home to spoiled food, so on Thursday, this is what we had for dinner.

Inspiration for this dish came from Jacques Pépin. He made a similar seafood bake with leeks and mushrooms (that man is obsessed with mushrooms).

I had a cod fillet in the freezer, so I made a brine and it defrosted in there (half sugar/salt).
I made a basic bechamel sauce, adding some white wine and Swiss cheese. A handful of peas in each gratin pan and topped with seasoned rye crumbs.
I baked it in the oven until the top browned and dinner was served. So easy, so tasty, so healthy.

Creamy Baked Cod
makes 2 gratins (can be doubled or tripled easily)

* 2- 6 ounce white fish fillets sprinkled with salt, pepper and cajun or Old Bay seasoning
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 tablespoon flour
* 1 tablespoon white wine
* 1 cup skim milk (I buy the heart healthy type)
* 1/2 cup crab meat
* 1 tablespoon Parmesan
* 1 tablespoon finely grated Swiss
* 1/2 cup frozen peas
* 2 tablespoons seasoned rye crumbs (recipe follows)

1. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add flour to make a roux. Cook for one minute, whisking constantly.
2. Add in wine and milk. Whisk until smooth and let it bubble for 1-2 minutes. Add crab meat.
3. Let cool and spoon over fish. Sauce should be very thick (can be prepared ahead up to this point).
4. Preheat oven to 375°. Add peas to gratins and sprinkle a tablespoon of crumbs on each.
5. Bake 15 minutes or until the top is browned.

Seasoned Fresh Breadcrumbs
* 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs processed to a large crumb, not finely processed
* 1 tablespoon olive oil + butter
* 1 crushed, large garlic clove
* Salt & pepper
* Italian Seasonings
* 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan

1. Heat butter and oil in non-stick fry pan. Add garlic cloves and sauté until it starts to brown. Remove.
2. Add breadcrumbs and saute until the start to brown, about 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Off heat, add salt, pepper, seasonings and cheese.

Pin It