Friday, January 8, 2010

So about that eating healthy...

I flagged this recipe on The Food Network website from Sunny Anderson a few months ago and knew that when the husband and I wanted to indulge, this would be the meal. Fried fish... big, crusty sourdough rolls... cheesy, creamy pasta. Yum yum yum.

Tonight was the night to indulge! Next week we get into the full swing of healthy eating, gym going, and spin classes so it was the perfect evening to go for it.

The batter on the fish is so perfect (LOVE the cornmeal!) and the mac and cheese is sharp and delicious. The original recipe called for catfish but I used locally caught pollock, which is a nice, dense fish that holds up really well to frying. The mac & cheese also called for onion and while I loooove onion, the Mr. does not, so I sub in shallots whenever a recipe calls for an onion (which makes the onion taste more mild).


Crunchy Fish Sandwiches and Stove Top Mac & Cheese


Ingredients for Spicy Tarter Sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise 1 lemon, juiced
3 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons dill relish
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch ground pepper

Ingredients for Fish:

Oil, for frying
2 eggs
3 dashes hot sauce
2 teaspoons Old Bay
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 fish filets
4 sourdough sandwich rolls
4 tablespoons butter, softened

To make the Spicy Tartar Sauce:

Mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the Fish:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a deep 12-inch pan set over medium-high heat, add enough oil so it comes 1/3 of the way up the sides. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F.

In a wide-mouth bowl, whisk the eggs with the hot sauce, Old Bay and a pinch of salt. In a small paper bag, mix together the cornmeal, flour, cornstarch, and salt and pepper, to taste. Dredge the fish in egg mixture, then in the flour mixture. Gently shake off excess flour. Set aside and repeat with remaining flounder. Fry the fish in batches until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes each side, being careful to keep the temperature at 375 degrees F. Remove fish to a paper towel to drain and immediately season
with salt.

Slice the sandwich rolls in half, slather the cut sides with butter and season with salt. Arrange, cut side up, on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly golden, about 8 minutes. An alternate is to put them, buttered side down, on a griddle or under a broiler, and toast until golden. Set aside.

To assemble sandwiches, slather the rolls with the Spicy Tartar Sauce, top with fish, and serve.

Stove Top Mac & Cheese

2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, grated with juices retained
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces Colby Jack cheese, shredded
4 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded
1 pound baby shell pasta, cooked al dente

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots, including juices, and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, white pepper, paprika, and salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Cook for a few minutes to let the flavors bloom, and then slowly stir in the heavy cream. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Add the cheeses and stir until melted, then remove from heat. Stir in the pasta and toss until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm.

Hola! Mi llamo Mexican Chicken Meatloaf!

In my hunt for healthy recipes, I came across a meatloaf recipe that called for ground beef that caught my eye... I knew I could just sub in ground chicken for the beef and make it that much better. It turned out quite tasty and moist and it satisfied my love of Mexican flavors!


Mexican Chicken Meatloaf


1 lb. ground chicken
1 cup crushed Doritos
1 egg - beaten
1 packet taco seasoning

1 1/2 cups shredded colby/jack cheese - divided
1 1/2 cups salsa
- divided
1/2 can refried beans

Combine first 4 ingredients, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and 1 cup of the salsa.

Form mixture into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan.

Spread refried beans over the top of the meat loaf.

Drizzle remaining salsa over top.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 50 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Bake additional 5 minutes to melt the cheese.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

We spent our New Year's Eve between two parties and where there are parties, there are, of course, yummy snacks!

I chose to bring two types of Sweet Onion Tartletts to the first party and Beer Dip & Easy Goat Cheese Spreads to the second. Everything turned out really very tasty and I would make it all again in a heartbeat.

Sweet Onion Tartletts (Thanks to my girl Emily for the inspiration!!)

Top: Sweet Onion Tartletts with Blue Cheese, Bottom: Sweet Onion Tartletts with Baby Swiss Cheese

OnionTartlett1 OnionTartlett2


4 large red onions, peeled and sliced into half moons

1 stick of unsalted butter

6 packets of sweet & low

1 package of phyllo dough

salt & pepper to taste

2 tbsp melted butter

8 ounces shredded swiss

8 ounces blue cheese crumbles


In a large dutch oven, melt the stick of butter. Add onions and stir to coat with butter. Add sweet & low. Cover & let onions sweat out for 20-25 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the onions are soft & brown, season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove onions from heat. (At this point, you can choose to leave them as is, or stir in cheese. I took half of my onions and stirred in shredded swiss and left the other half plain, and once they were in the cups, then topped them with crumbled blue cheese)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut your phyllo dough into 2 inch
squares. Spray a mini muffin pan with Pam. Place 2 pieces of phyllo in the cup, pressing down. Use a small pastry brush and brush a small amount of melted butter onto the phyllo. Cover the butter coated phyllo with 1 more square of phyllo.

Fill each phyllo cup to the top with desired onion mixture. If you are going to top your onions with cheese, sprinkle the cheese on top of the onion filled phyllo cup.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned and bubbley!


Beer Dip (I adapted this recipe from one on a RI Nestie's fabulous recipe site and it will ABSOLUTELY become a recipe that I will make again)



16 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup beer
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese


In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and ranch dressing mix until smooth. Beat in cheese. With your mixer on low, pour in beer in a steady stream. Mix until well combined. Serve with pretzels.


Easy Goat Cheese Spreads (I bookmarked this recipe from the Pioneer Woman many moons ago and had been waiting for the perfect time to debut it! Nexttime I want to try poppy or sesame seeds... and the dill was by far my favorite!)



2 packages (11 Ounce) Fresh Goat Cheese

6 Tablespoons Fresh Dill (or More If Needed)

6 Tablespoons Paprika (or More If Needed)


Finely chop your fresh dill and spread it out a bit on a piece of saran wrap.

Carefully remove the goat cheese from the packaging and gently roll it over the fresh dill, coating it almost completely.

Pour some Paprika onto a second piece of saran wrap. Roll the second cylinder of goat cheese in the paprika until it is covered completely.

Carefully wrap each roll snugly in plastic wrap and chill until it’s time to serve. (The Paprika Goat Cheese will not do well if kept for longer than one to two hours so don’t make it too far in advance).

Serve with crostini or crackers.