Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

You may find that these foods tend toward protein and away from carbohydrates - this is due to diabetic issues, so I try to only sparingly use carbs, and good ones at that. Of course, sometimes I forget....

Feel free to drop me a line with any suggestions or just to let me know what you think. Thanks!

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I want to thank you for the time that you spend here, and hope that you can find useful things here.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Citris Tilapia with Wild Rice/Mushroom Combo and Steamed Vegetables

Really tasty but far too healthy!

1 lb. tilapia fillets (4-5)
juice from one large orange
zest of the entire orange, separated into two portions
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried cilantro (can use basil)
1/2 tsp. tarragon
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup wild rice
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup chopped wild mushrooms
assorted uncooked vegetables

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Roll the orange around on the counter under pressure to loosen the inner membranes and release the juice inside. Zest the entire orange, reserving it in two equal halves. Oh, and if you don't have a Microplane, get one. No other grater, 'zester' or other tool works this well! After zesting the orange, squeeze out all the juice you can, and discard the hull. Here you see a half-zested orange and the collected zest so far:

Bring rice and chicken stock to a boil, cover and reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes, or following the package instructions, or until just under done.

Put the OJ, half of the zest, butter, red pepper flakes. cilantro and tarragon in a bowl; heat in microwave for 20 seconds at a time until butter melts.

Rinse fish and pat dry; lightly spray the oven-proof baking dish with Pam to prevent sticking and then lay the fish in the baking dish.

Season to taste with fresh ground pepper and sea salt. Whisk the orange sauce well, and pour evenly over fish, and immediately put it in the oven.

Steam vegetables until just done, do not overcook.

Set the timer for 7 minutes so you can start checking on the fish. It needs to bake for 7-10 - check every minute - until fish reaches 150°F on an accurate instant-read thermometer. Here it is all cooked:

When the rice is just about done, add the chopped mushrooms to the rice and mix well; cover and turn off heat.

Plate the cooked fish, vegetables and rice. Distribute remaining orange zest over cooked fish. Drizzle remaining sauce in cooking dish over vegetables. Serve. Prepare to wish you had made more. See picture at the beginning...

Makes 4 servings.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Remember Me!

Well, the lady of the house is off this weekend to attend a women-only retreat, so I had to make something tasty so she'd remember to come back! Just kidding, she'll probably come back... but it WAS tasty. Very low carb for us types needing that.

2 Rib-eye steaks, bone-in
extra virgin olive oil
cracked pepper
kosher salt
1 lb. cremini mushrooms
1 medium onion
2 Poblano peppers

Advance Preparation
Remove the steaks form the packaging and pat dry. Using your hands, apply a very light coat of oil to the steaks, followed by some fresh half-cracked black pepper and kosher salt. Apply liberally to both sides. Leave uncovered in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours to evaporate some of the moisture and concentrate the meat's flavor - sort of mini dry aging.

Start a nice charcoal fire in your Weber grill, or other animal cooking device. Let it burn down until the coals are about half nice gray ash, about 20-30 minutes.

Slice the mushrooms about 1/4" thick. In a large dry non-stick skillet (preferably cast iron), brown a single layer of the mushrooms over medium low heat without crowding them. Stir frequently, making sure to get both sides. You want to be toasting them and drying them out, not burning them.

While you are doing this, top and remove seeds and cores from peppers. Cut the peppers and onion up into pieces about 2" by 3/4" or so in size. Using very little oil, saute them in a separate pan from the mushrooms. You can easily control a very light oil application by using PAM or the like to spray them rather than pouring oil into the pan. Saute the vegetables over medium low until the onions become translucent.

Now get your steaks on the fire. Depending on thickness, they won't take long, so you can't just forget them out there.

Once nicely cooked (to about 130°), load them up and bring them in. Lightly cover them with a sheet of foil to rest for 10 minutes or so, to let them cook a bit more and redistribute the juices. Don't skip this step!

As soon as the mushrooms are browned and have reduced in size by almost half, the flavor has really concentrated and they are ready to mix into the onion/pepper mix. Stir it all together, adding a bit more oil (or use the PAM trick) just so they are barely coated.

Once these veggies are about as yummy as they'll get and you can't keep away any longer, plate up the steaks and veggies. Salt and pepper the veggies if you desire, and dig in!