Saturday, March 24, 2007

Yummy goodness from the Gulf

Greg's mom brought us a treat this morning - fresh shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico. I cooked it up right away, just a few minutes ago. Doesn't it look tasty? I love shrimp - boiled shrimp, shrimp scampi, shrimp salad, fried shrimp, butterflied shrimp, shrimp toast - I sound like Bubba from Forrest Gump, don't I? :o)
I never got to have shrimp when I was a kid, since it really was pretty expensive here in the middle of the U.S. On those rare occasions, it was heavily breaded and deep fried - most of the succulent flavor lost, but I liked the texture and the fact that it was a rare treat.
Then Greg and I made Red Lobster our "special place" for celebratory meals. We at there when we became engaged, when we found out Nick was on the way, and for various anniversaries. No more breaded shrimp - I discovered scampi and was hooked!
My dad loved shrimp, too. I didn't realize this until he was sick and bedridden. I was with him one afternoon when a TV commercial for Red Lobster came on, and he said he would love to go there for the "all you can eat" shrimp feast. Obviously that wasn't in our realm of possibility, but I had some Sam's Club shrimp at home in the freezer. A few days later, I brought some from home and made him scampi. His house smelled of garlic the entire evening, but he feasted and we were happy he ate a good meal.
This particular pile of goodness will be for salads. It was boiled in a mixture of water, a splash of white wine, one lemon, and some celery salt. I'll leave some whole , and the rest will be chopped and mixed with celery and mayo for sandwiches - and that's what I'm having for lunch!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tilapia Amandine

This recipe originally called for catfish, but neither Greg nor I like catfish, so I substituted tilapia fillets. The recipe came from the February 07 issue of Eating Well magazine, a subscription to which I got as a Christmas present. I am really enjoying it. You'll see more recipes from this magazine in the future. :o)
Last night was the second time I've made this recipe, so I knew it would go over well. I'm trying to serve fish at least once a week, and keep beef to once a week. Some weeks that works better than others.
I served this with couscous cooked in chicken broth, and French cut green beans.

Catfish Amandine

1 Tbs. plus 1 1/2 tsp evoo, divided

1 Tbs. butter

1/4 cup sliced almonds

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 C low-fat milk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/3 C flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 pound catfish, divided into four portions

2 Tbs. lemon juice

1 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

Heat 1 Tbs. oil and the butter in a small saucepan, over med. heat. Add almonds and garlic and cook until they just start to turn brown. Set aside.

Combine milk and egg in a shallow dish; combine flour, salt, and cayenne in another shallow dish. Dip fish in milk mixture, then in flour mixture. Shake off excess flour.

Heat remaining oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add fish and cook until lightly browned and opaque in the center, 4-6 minutes each side.

Return the pan with garlic-almond sauce to heat. Add lemon juice and heat through, 1-2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the fish, sprinkle with parsely, and serve.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Pear Bread

At first glance this bread might not seem too dangerous. It's made from everyday ingredients, nothing unusual. Except. It is SO tasty, you may not be able to stop eating it. :o)
I had 3 pears in the bowl on the counter - thought maybe if they were easily accessible, Greg would grab one on his way out the door in the mornings, and actually eat some fruit. Guess they weren't obvious enough, because they were soon too ripe for "grab 'n go", so I dug out the recipe for pear bread.
I think this came from Paula Rodewald, a past girlfriend of my dad's. She's a great cook, and sells her baked goods at the street market in York during the summer.
I made this and shared it at work last night. It was a hit. Now I'll share the recipe with you:

Pear Bread
1/2 C applesauce (I use natural, unsweetened)
1/2 C oil
2 C sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 C peeled, diced pears
1 C chopped pecans (optional, but nuts always make it better!)
2 tsp vanilla
3 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (I used 1/4 tsp - I don't care for a strong nutmeg flavor)

Mix applesauce, oil, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Add pears and nuts. Mix flour w/ baking soda, salt, and spices; add to pear mixture and stir just til combined.
Bake in two loaf pans at 350 F for one hour. I used French bread pans, so they only took about 50 minutes.

Let cool before slicing - if you can! Enjoy!