Wish Upon A Dish: June 2017

June 28, 2017

Sicilian Cod with Fresh Garlic Tomato Sauce ♥ a lite, flavorful & easy one pot meal for two

Right about this time of year I get into a food funk. I ask the Nudge for ideas for dinner and all he can come up with is sausage & pepper sandwiches, chicken parm, carbonara and hamburgers.


I think it was time to seriously hit my favorite food sites and blogs for inspiration.

Food & Wine often posts themed slideshows and I save them on my iPad for times such as this.
This recipe was posted in this batch of More Healthy Fish Recipes.

I made this dinner in one pan and it was on the table in less than 45 mins.
While I usually make slight adjustments this time I followed the recipe verbatim.
It was delicious, healthy and so easy.
I always worry that by halving the ingredients to make a dinner for two sometimes won't work, this time it was spot on.

While the recipe called for halibut fillets, they just did not look as fresh as I would have liked for the price so I went with cod steaks thinking the skin would keep the meat intact and once cooked would peel easily away.
It did.

Since I had arborio rice on hand, that's what I used but any rice would be fine, really.
This is the kind of dish that I usually make when the Nudge is traveling and I want something quick and healthy.

Cod with Fresh Tomato Sauce
makes 2 servings (can be doubled)

* 3 tablespoons EVOO
* 3 large cloves garlic, minced
* pinch red pepper flakes
* 1 1/2pound tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 4 plums)
* pinch saffron threads
* 3 oregano sprigs, dried or fresh or, 1/4 teaspoon dried
* Salt & pepper to taste
* Zest of 1/2 an orange (1/2" strips), plus finely grated zest (for garnish)
* 2 large bay leaves
* 1 whole clove
* 1/2 cup arborio rice (or basmati and long grain)
* 2 4-ounce skinless cod or halibut fillets
* Chopped parsley, for garnish

1. In a large, deep skillet, bring 2 cups of unsalted water to a boil and add the zest, bay leaves, clove and rice. Cook for 15-18 minutes. Drain the rice, discarding the aromatics. Reserve in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil & salt & pepper to taste.
2. Wipe out skillet and heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and saffron to the garlic and cook over moderate heat until the tomatoes begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano and season with salt & pepper. Cook over low heat until the sauce is thickened and liquid is reduced, about 20 minutes. Discard the oregano.
3. Nestle the cod in the tomato sauce, cover and steam for 10 minutes, until fish starts to flake.
4. Divide rice into two bowls and place a piece of fish on top. Spoon the tomato mixture over the fish and garnish with the orange zest & parsley.

Serve & enjoy!

June 9, 2017

Steak & Potato Salad ♥ a cool version of a steakhouse dinner

Whenever I get back from vacation, I find that it is the best time to pull food from the freezer before filling up that empty fridge.
It so happened that when The Nudge grabbed a filet mignon to defrost, he did not realize there were two fillets in the same bag.
Not a problem, I would grill them both and use the second one to make a steak & potato salad for dinner during the week.

Potatoes made the vacation food purge as well as a half dozen eggs, blue cheese crumbles and a container of sour cream.
All I needed to purchase was lettuce, tomato and fresh horseradish.

I have to say that this was a pleasant delicious surprise after eating my daily garden salad for lunch everyday.
I kept it simple and the only thing I had to cook was the roasted potatoes and hard cooked eggs.
Next time I put steak on the menu I will remember to buy more than we normally eat so that I can make this salad again.

You are probably thinking that this salad doesn't sound all that impressive with the basic ingredients used, so why put this on my list of "must make again" meals?

It was the horseradish cream dressing that took it up a notch. I usually buy fresh horseradish root when we put fresh oysters and shrimp cocktail on the menu and I love it so but never get many other chances to cook with it. Probably why this salad made the cut.

If you do not eat much steak, I would suggest buying sliced roast beef from the deli man when it goes on sale. You can even by precooked hard boiled eggs, bagged salad & my supermarket sells roasted potato wedges. Really is an easy weeknight meal sure to impress.

Steak & Potato Salad with Horseradish Cream Dressing
makes 2 dinner & 1 lunch salad

* 1 (6oz) grilled filet mignon or 6oz deli roast beef
* 1 tomato, sliced
* 2 potatoes, 1" chunks
* vegetable oil
* 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
* 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
* 2-3 cups chopped lettuce, your favorite
* chopped chives or lettuce or basil

Coat potatoes with oil and roast for 45 minutes at 400°. Season with salt & pepper.

Horseradish Dressing:
* 1/4 cup sour cream
* 3 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish root, or prepared horseradish
* 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
* 1 teaspoon honey
* 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
* 1 teaspoon milk (if sauce is too thick)
* Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

 Mix ingredients with hand blender or small processor. Thin with milk if needed.