Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Broiled Halibut with Ricotta-Pea puree

This is another food Network magazine recipe that I love! I made it last night and it was a hit and so easy to make.

3 small carrots
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 Tbsps extra vigin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
4 6-ounce center-cut skinless halibut fillets(I used orange roughy)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 10-ounce package frozen peas
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1-2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat the broiler. Line a broiler pan with foil and preeat 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss carrots and onions in olive oil and salt and pepper. Also brush fish on both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper, and sprinkle smoked paprika over both sides. Coat fish evenly with the paprika.

Carefully remove the pan from the oven, place the fish in the center and scatter the onion and carrots around. Broil until the fish is golden and just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave peas in a bowl with 1/4 cup water until just tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer the peas and liquid to a food processor and pulse with the ricotta, butter, and salt and pepper to taste, to make a slightly chunky puree. Divide the puree among plates and top with the fish, carrots, onion, and drizzle with pan juices.

Sweet potato and sweet pepper chicken

This is a classic recipe that Mom made up for me when she was helping after Rylynn was born and then after she left I just tried to recreate it and this is what I came up with. So it is not an exact recipe, but I make it all the time now and LOVE it!

Sweet Potato Puree

peel 2 medium-big sized sweet potatoes and chop into equal sized cubes. Place in a sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then cover pan and simmer until very tender. Drain juices into a bowl reserving the liquid. Mash the potatoes and stir in about 2 Tbsps of butter, 1 tsp of cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.


Pound 3-4 pieces of chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap until an inch thick. Meanwhile on a plate or in a large plastic bag combine 1/2 cup flour, 1 Tbsp Lawry's seasoning salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and 1 tsp, dried basil. Place chicken pieces on plate or shake in bag until well coated. Save extra flour mixture for sauce. In a large sautee pan heat 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat until bubbly but not browned. Add chicken pieces and sautee until browned and crisp(about 2 minutes on each side). Place on an oven safe plate and cover with tin foil to keep warm in a 250 degree oven.

Sweet pepper sauce:

Medium dice one onion, one yellow pepper, and one red pepper. Add to same sautee pan with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sautee until tender. Add 1 Tbsp butter and dump in the remaining flour mixture. Stir until the butter/flour mixture makes a coating on veggies. Stir in 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1 cup reserved sweet potato juices, and 1/2 cup white wine. Stir until smooth and bring to a boil. Turn it to a low boil and reduce by about half.

To serve, spread the sweet potato puree on the bottom of a plate, place chicken on top of sweet potatoes then serve sweet pepper sauce over all. Be liberal on the sauce cause it's so good! Serve the parsnips from the last recipe along side. Enjoy!

Delicious parsnips

I always serve parsnips with the sweet potato pepper chicken(next recipe), and recently I came across a parsnip recipe in my food network magazine that I love. It is super easy and so flavorful!

Slice 4-5 peeled parsnips and add to skillet with 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup white wine, 2 Tbsp of butter, the juice of 1 lemon, a few slices of ginger(or you can use a few shakes of dried), 1 bay leaf, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a drizzle of honey(about a Tbsp).

Partially cover and boil until liquid evaporates and parsnips are brown and carmely(about 20 minutes). Watch closely near the end to make sure the honey doesn't burn.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Creamy chocolate frosting

I got this from my friend's blog. Sounds amazing!

2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Melt the unsweetened chocolate (i melted it with a tsp of butter....seemed less prone to burning in the microwave that way). Mix with the sweetened condensed milk. Slowly add water, vanilla and instant pudding mix. Whip the cream and fold into chocolate mixture (We ended up whipping about 2 cups of cream and folded almost all of it into the chocolate mixture....just depends on how chocolaty you want the frosting). Frost immediately, refrigerate.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Basic Dinner Rolls/Cinnamon or Orange Rolls

Here's the secret, use the timer!
4 cups whole milk, warmed in the microwave for 3 min.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup yeast
Sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk, poured into your Bosch or kitchen aid or whatever bread maker you have. Sprinkle the sugar over it. Let sit for ten minutes.
Then turn on your machine to mix and add:
5 cups flour
4 eggs
Beat for five minutes. Let sit for 20 minutes.
Then add:
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 TB salt
7 cups flour
Mix and blend until smooth.
Add 1 square butter that has been left out of fridge to soften. Beat five minutes.
Let rise 30 minutes. Roll out by putting on counter. If the dough seems too thick, (a little too much flour) spread some oil on your counter top and then roll out in below manner. If the dough seems a little sticky, (a little too moist) then sprinkle the counter top with flour and flour your hands and pat the top with flour. Most of the time, I use flour. However, occasionally I use oil to roll them out if the dough seems a little too dense. From this point, use the dough to make dinner rolls, or cinnamon or orange rolls.

For crescent rolls, I use my canning jar lid to cut off a small amount then pat it into a rectangle with one end a little narrower than the other, and roll it around my index finger (floured) into a crescent roll shape. Start on the larger end and roll to the smaller. My grandmother made them that way. You can also roll out a circle and pie cut it and roll from the outside into the center.

If you make cinnamon rolls, roll out a giant rectangle and cut it into 3 long strips lengthwise after putting in the filling, roll up and let rise until double (about 45 minutes, but it depends on the temperature of your room, the time of year etc. so just when they are double in size) and cook @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Cinnamon Filling
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1 square butter
1/4 cup cinnamon
Melt and stir above and then add cream or milk about 3 TB. to mixture and stir.
Pour over rectangle of dough before cutting and rolling.

Oh, the easy way to cut your cinnamon rolls is to use dental floss or thread and hold it so that you can slide it under the roll and bring the ends over the top, cross over and pull and they are cut perfectly.

1 eight ounce cream cheese
1 square butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat until light and fluffy and spread on just slightly warm rolls.

Trust me - people will beg for more!