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Butter-Almond-Crusted Fishwiches

17 Jun

2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons pickle relish
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespooon vegetable oil
1/2 head small cabbageor 1/2 pound shredded slaw mix
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
Flour, for coating
2 eggs, beaten
4 fillets tilapia
3 tablespoons butter
Juice of 1 lemon
8 slices good-quality white bread or split rolls of choice, toasted
Salt-and-vinegar or black-pepper potato chips
1. In a medium bowl, whisk the mustard, relish and honey. Whisk in 1/4 cup oil. Add the cabbage and season with salt and pepper; toss.

2. Using a food processor, grind the almonds. Stir in the breadcrumbs and thyme. Place in a shallow bowl. Place the flour and beaten eggs in 2 other shallow bowls. Halve the tilapia fillets crosswise, making 8 small pieces of fish. Pat the fish dry and season with a little salt. Dip the fish first in the flour, then in the beaten egg, then in the breadcrumb mixture.

3. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the butter to melt. Add the coated fish and cook, turning once, until brown and crisp, 3 minutes per side. Douse the fish with the lemon juice. Stack 2 pieces of fish and a big pile of the slaw on the toast. Halve the sammies and serve with the potato chips.

-Rachel Ray

I’ve been searching high and low for a fish sandwich that can even begin to compare to the delightful tilapia sandwich at Hopleaf in Andersonville.   While this recipe could use a little tweaking here and there (how to get the breading just a little crispier!), it certainly holds its own.  So while I apologize for subjecting you to the ingratiatingly annoying term “fishwich”, I simply had to share.  Is it obvious I’m excited about this?

I have already made a few substitutions including the use of olive oil (and less of it) in the slaw sauce, serving the sandwich on a sliced baguette rather than white bread and I like to splurge on waffle fries, preferable with a tasty aioli sauce (though I’ve still never mastered aioli either – damn you, Hopleaf!).  Nonetheless, the ground almonds are absolutely genius.  They add a mild sweetness, similar to marinating the fish in milk but without the sloppy, soggy mess that can create.  The sweetness of the fish is balanced by the slightly acidic sauce to create the perfect fish sandwich at home.  It’d be a shame not to serve this with a tasty, lighter IPA such as Dales Pale Ale which I recently tried in Denver (a new personal favorite).

Vegetarian Country Captain

26 Jan

  • 1  tablespoon  canola oil
  • 1 1/2  cups  finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2  cups  diced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour
  • 1  tablespoon  curry powder
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  cups  organic vegetable broth
  • 2  tablespoons  mango chutney
  • 2  tablespoons  whipping cream
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 3  cups  cauliflower florets
  • 2  cups  frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)
  • 3  cups  hot cooked long-grain white rice
  • 1/4  cup  dried currants
  • 1/4  cup  sliced almonds, toasted
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Sliced green onions (optional)


1. Heat a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add chopped onion, and cook for 7 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add apple; cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add flour, curry, and garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 2 minutes or until slightly thick. Stir in chutney, cream, and salt. Add cauliflower and edamame; cook for 8 minutes or until cauliflower is tender, stirring occasionally.

Serve over rice, and top with currants and almonds. Garnish with cilantro and green onions, if desired.

Jeanne Kelley, Cooking Light, January 2011

This was the first I’d ever heard of Country Captain, but I love curry dishes so I had to try it.  According to Sam Sifton, Culture Editor at The New York Times, Country Captain is rumored to have originated in the Southeastern coastal region, carried across the Atlantic by spice traders back in the 17th or 18th century.  It was later popularized by Franklin D. Roosevelt who is said to have been a big fan.  The dish typically consists of pan-fried chicken and peppers in a curry sauce and is served over rice.

My guess is that the Southern die-hards would scoff at this vegetarian adaptation and I might agree that a chicken version would make for a more well-rounded and generally satisfying dish.  Nonetheless, I thought this was a nice go-to for weeknight, low-key cooking and it packs a major veggie punch which nobody can complain about in the Midwest, mid January.   I’m also always happy to find a new one-pot dinner idea.  I served the Country Captain over jasmine rice with almonds, cilantro, green onions and a dab of Greek yogurt.  I might also recommend adding a touch of cayenne pepper as it simmers to spice it up a little.

Sifton, Sam.  Demystifying Demystifying Country Captain, the one-dish wonder of the coastal South.  The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/magazine/25food-t-000.html

Fettuccine with Mushrooms and Hazelnuts

21 Jan
  • 1  (9-ounce) package refrigerated fresh fettuccine
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1/4  cup  chopped blanched hazelnuts
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 4  garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3  (4-ounce) packages presliced exotic mushroom blend
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  teaspoons  chopped fresh sage
  • 2  ounces  Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved
  • 2  tablespoons  finely chopped chives

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid.

2. While water for pasta comes to a boil, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add hazelnuts to pan; sauté for 3 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Add oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add garlic and mushrooms to pan; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Sauté mushroom mixture for 5 minutes; stir in sage. Add pasta, reserved cooking liquid, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan; toss well to combine. Remove from heat; top with cheese, toasted hazelnuts, and chives.

Cooking Light, January 2011

I made this recipe exactly as called for except I used finely chopped green onions instead of chives because that’s what I had on-hand and I used 70% portabella and 30% white button mushrooms because that’s what Trader Joes had on-hand.  I was weary of this recipe when I initially read the ingredient list, but the flavors could not complement on another better.  The mushrooms and hazelnuts give this pasta a savory, earthy flavor and the sage and Parmesan add a piney, floral finish, the combination of which reminded me of a stroll through the woods on a breezy, sunny spring day.  It is pure heaven and – I would guess – a vegetarian’s delight with its hearty, earthy flavors.

This is, however, not the pasta for those who like super saucy pasta dishes.  It is an oil-based sauce and Tom didn’t love it because he said it was too “dry”.

Just a tip – If you can’t find blanched hazelnuts, it is actually very easy to do it yourself.  Simply roast the nuts on a baking pan for about 10 minutes.  Give them a few minutes to cool and then rub several nuts at a time (yeah, yeah, that’s what she said) inside a paper towel.  The skins will fall right off.   It is important to use blanched hazelnuts rather than raw as the raw nuts will have a different flavor and texture.

Serve with additional shaved Parmesan – Perfect!

Ricotta, Gorgonzola and Honey Spread

29 Dec

1 15-oz. carton whole milk ricotta cheese

6 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

1/2 tsp. snipped fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme, crushed

1/4 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary or 1/8 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed

1 Tbsp. honey

36 toasted baguette slices

Sliced apples, fresh thyme, and/or toasted chopped walnuts

Honey

1. Place ricotta in a large mixing bowl.  beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Stir in Gorgonzola, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon rosemary until combined.  Fold in 1 tablespoon honey until just combined.  Spoon mixture into a serving bowl.  Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours.

2. To serve, spread on baguette slice and top with apple slices, thyme and/or walnuts.  Drizzle with honey.

Makes 36 appetizer servings.

Better Homes and Gardens, December 2010

I made this one for Christmas and it was perfect for just such an occasion.  Rosemary and Thyme have both always reminded me of the smell of pine trees and everyone kept saying they tasted just like Christmas.  Perfect!  The honey works to soften up the otherwise coarse cheeses and helped create a creamy finish.  Total genius.