Thursday, September 30, 2010

Green Beans with Pine Nuts

Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables and I always love to find new ways to prepare them. These beans came fresh from the farmer's market and this garlic and pine nut treatment was just perfect. I've probably seen the last of the fresh green beans for this season, but I will look forward to re-creating this dish with frozen green beans all winter.

Luckily, it couldn't be simpler!

Wash and trim the green beans, then cook them in boiling water for about 5 minutes, until crisp tender.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the minced garlic

and the pine nuts

and saute for several minutes until golden and fragrant. Stir often so nothing burns! When the beans are tender, drain them, then add them to the garlic/pine nut mixture.

Stir well to coat all the green beans.

What a delightful way to get all your vitamins and minerals! Find more ideas at Cooking Thursday, Food on Fridays, Foodie Friday and Friday Food.

Green Beans with Pine Nuts

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped

Place the green beans in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes, or until tender.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and pine nuts, and saute until lightly browned. Drain the beans, and toss with the garlic and pine nuts to serve. Serves 4.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fish Tacos

For some time, I’ve wanted to re-create the fish tacos that I enjoy occasionally at a restaurant here in town. This recipe comes awfully close and although I may tweak it in the future, it provides a great starting point. And even if you don’t tweak it, these tacos are really delicious. The recipe at the end is “as is” – I’ll mention my proposed tweaks in the step by step directions.

This recipe is labor intensive, but it is not difficult. The first step is to cut the fish into chunks

and place into a glass dish. Cover with lime juice

and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. (Here’s what I might change: lots of chunks of fish are time consuming to fry. I would soak whole fish filets instead of chunks; fry the filets and then cut up afterwards.) The next step is to make the chipotle dressing. Combine the chipotle pepper

adobo sauce,


sour cream and milk in a food processor. Process until smooth and combined, then transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve the tacos.

Next, make the honey cumin glaze by combining the lime juice, honey,

oil and cumin

in a measuring cup. Whisk well until smooth

and all the ingredients are incorporated; set aside. Then, put the coleslaw in a bowl

and add the cilantro.

Set aside. When it’s time to fry the fish, set up the dipping “stations” – flour, egg, and panko. Put them close together for good efficiency!

Dip the fish in the flour,

then the egg,

then the panko.

Set each piece of fish aside on a plate until they’re all “dipped.”

When you’re ready to fry them, heat the oil in a large skillet until hot. Add the fish,

and cook for 2 minutes or until golden on the underside. Flip the fish over (a small fork works best for these chunks) and cook on the other side until coating is golden and the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and brush with the honey cumin glaze.

Add more oil to the skillet if necessary and fry the remaining fish. (Here’s another possible tweak: I think you could get good results by coating the fish and then baking at 400 or so for 10-15 minutes. That would certainly be healthier!)

If you’re using corn tortillas, fry them briefly on each side, or warm the flour tortillas in the microwave. Divide the coleslaw mixture among the tortillas, then drizzle with the chipotle dressing.

Top the coleslaw with the fish pieces

and drizzle with additional dressing.

Picture yourself along the boardwalk in a sunny Californian locale as you enjoy these delicious tacos!

Get more inspiration at Mouthwatering Mondays, Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays, Tuesdays at the Table and Tasty Tuesday.

Fish Tacos
1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into chunks
1/4 cup lime juice

1/3 cup lime juice
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. cumin

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
1 tsp. adobo sauce from chipotle peppers
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups panko crumbs
vegetable oil for frying

2 cups 3-color coleslaw blend
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
8 flour tortillas or 12 corn tortillas, warmed

Place the tilapia chunks in a flat dish and pour 1/4 cup lime juice over the fish. Cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

To make the chipotle dressing, place the mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, chili, adobo sauce and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.

Make the honey-cumin sauce by whisking together 1/3 cup lime juice, honey, vegetable oil, and ground cumin a small bowl. Set aside until needed.

To bread the fish, place the flour, eggs, and panko crumbs in three separate shallow dishes. Season the fish with salt and pepper to taste. Dip the fish pieces first in the four, coating evenly, and shaking off any excess. Dip next in the eggs, and last in the panko crumbs, patting the pieces to help the breadcrumbs hold. Set the fish aside on a plate.

Pour several Tbsp. vegetable oil into a skillet and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the fish to the skillet and cook, turning until all sides are golden brown and flesh is easily flaked with a fork. Drain on paper towels.

Brush the fish with the honey-cumin sauce.

Mix the coleslaw and cilantro together in a bowl then divide among the tortillas. Drizzle with chipotle dressing and top with fish. Drizzle with additional dressing.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Poppy Seed Bread

This is a great breakfast/brunch loaf – studded with poppyseeds and a hint of almond - you will find it difficult to eat just one slice. I brought it to work for a meeting, and people became quickly addicted to this morning treat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar

and cream together until well combined. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Then add the egg whites, almond extract and applesauce.

Beat together until well combined. This may appear curdled - if you bake with applesauce regularly, you will recognize this. But if you don’t, don’t be alarmed, it’s ok!

In a small bowl, combine the flour, poppy seeds,

baking powder and salt. Gradually add this to the sugar mixture.

Spread into a greased loaf pan

and bake for 40-45 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and milk

and whisk, whisk, whisk until it is of spreading consistency. Drizzle over the bread.


Find more recipes at Foodie Friday, Friday Food and Food on Friday.

Poppy Seed Bread
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
4 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. almond extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 to 3 tsp. milk

In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the egg whites, applesauce and vanilla (mixture will appear curdled). Combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.

Spread into a 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

For glaze, in a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and enough milk to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over bread. Serves 12.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

These cupcakes are worthy of any celebration - even if it's just celebrating a day that ends with "y!" I made these to take on a babysitting jaunt and they were a huge hit; each child ate at least TWO after dinner! Children and adults alike will enjoy these, especially when they're frosted with chocolate frosting.

Start by combining the shortening, brown sugar

and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl.

Cream together until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each one. With the second egg, add the vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar.

Alternate adding the flour mixture

and the milk to the peanut butter mixture.

Beat until smooth and creamy - the texture will be beautifully silky!

Fill paper lined muffin cups (24) with the batter and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and the cake springs back slightly from the pan.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove the cupcakes from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack. These are delicious unadorned, but decadent with chocolate frosting. I used the creamy brownie frosting.

Want more cupcakes? Visit a Themed Baker's Sunday.

Find more great recipes at Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday and Tuesdays at the Table.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
Creamy Brownie Frosting or your favorite frosting

In a large bowl, cream together the brown sugar, shortening and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Spoon into the paper-lined muffin cups.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top of the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frost with chocolate frosting, if desired. Makes 24.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Blackberry Cake

This is a delicious way to use some of your summertime blackberry harvest. This is similar to a spice cake with blackberries and is versatile; this cake could either be dessert, if you serve it with some vanilla ice cream, or a coffee cake.

This cake comes together really quickly – simply beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add eggs, one at a time and beat well after adding each one.

Next, add the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon,

mace and nutmeg

and beat just until combined. Now mix in the vinegar and apple juice.

Fold in the blackberries.

Pour the batter into a greased 8 inch pan

and bake for 35-40 minutes. Let cool in the pan.

You can sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar and garnish with additional blackberries if you like. Or you can just eat it like snack cake, unadorned but completely delicious.

Find more ideas at A Themed Baker's Sunday, Friday Food, Food on Fridays and Foodie Friday.

Blackberry Cake

3 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. mace
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/3 cup apple juice
1 1/4 cups fresh blackberries

In large bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.

Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, mace and nutmeg. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir to combine. Mix in the vinegar and juice. Fold in the blackberries.

Pour batter into an 8" greased baking pan and bake at 325 for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pan. To serve, cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with additional blackberries. Serves 9.
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