Tag Archives: quickie

Quickies – Fish with Onion, Herbs and Butter

5 Jun

This week, I planned a few recipes from other bloggers.  The other night, we tried Malou’s Buttered Fish with Coriander, Nuts and Spring Onions.

DISCLAIMERS:

My husband had been working all day on a small property we own.  It was late.  He was tired and hungry.  I didn’t take great photos of the food and I didn’t stop to retake the photos because someone had been working on a ladder all day.  I have no idea why I thought it would be a good thing to take fish topped with green herbs and serve it with spinach on a green plate, but I wasn’t about to tell him he had to wait to eat it until I had replated it.  Check out the original post for better photos.

Secondly, let me say that I hate it when I give someone a recipe, he changes all of the ingredients, and then tells me that he didn’t like it.  I try very hard to make a recipe, as given, the first time, so I can have a sense of what it does.  In this case, I was convinced I needed to try Malou’s recipe, but didn’t have any cilantro (must have made it all into cilantro pesto!) and my scallions were in a terribly sorry state.  This dish is a really simple concept, though, so I figured messing with it a bit wouldn’t kill it.  In this case, no worries.  We loved it and I have something new for my Quickies repertoire.

So here’s the basic recipe:

  • Butter, softened
  • Nuts, chopped or ground
  • Fresh herbs, such as basil or cilantro, finely chopped
  • Very thinly sliced onion of some type (scallion, shallot, sweet onion).  If using sweet onion, I would also cut the slices into small pieces

Mix it together, slather it on the fish and bake at 350F until the fish is done.

I used cod fillets, basil, peanuts and very, very, very thinly sliced shallots.

I love that this proved the versatility of a few simple ingredients:  fish, butter, a fish-friendly herb, some nuts, and something oniony.  Not as heart-healthy as some dishes, but served with simple sides, not so bad, either. 

Quickie – Glazed Pork

29 May

I love this super-easy quick meal from Cooking Light magazine so much that I have a little container of the flour/spice mixture stored in my pantry.  A list of the remaining ingredients is taped to the top.  There is nothing to look up.  I just grab the little container of flour and spices and I’m ready to go.

Here is the recipe for Glazed Pork at myrecipes.com.  They suggest serving it with couscous cooked in chicken broth.  In a pinch, a package of Near East Toasted Pine Nut Couscous works great with this and cooks in less than the time it will take you to saute the pork.  I do this all the time, although my husband vastly prefers pearl couscous to this mix and my friend Karim would probably tell me that this stuff isn’t proper couscous anyway.  Shhhh, fellas!  This is about making weeknight dinners quick and easy, not about being authentic and perfect. 

Okay, back to dinner.  I’m going to heat three things:  1) water in my steamer pan for vegetables, 2) water for the couscous, according to package directions and 3) my saute pan.  This is going to go fast. 

The pork gets dredged in a flour and spice mixture and sauteed.  Once it has been cooked on both sides, you deglaze the pan with a mixture of orange juice and balsamic vinegar and then add raisins and capers.  It’s not strictly ‘correct’, but while I’m cooking the pork, I measure out all of the remaining ingredients, including the sugar, raisins and capers and just put it all in a small bowl so I can add it to the saute pan at the same time.

When I flip the pork, I put the vegetables in the hot steamer and drop the couscous mix into its pan.  Both of those items will be done in 5-8 minutes. 

As soon as the pork has cooked through, remove it to a plate and deglaze with the sauce mixture.  It just takes a couple of minutes for it to thicken and you can plate the other items while the sauce is finishing.  Spoon the sauce over the pork and we’re done here.  This would be great on chicken as well.  In that case, I might consider pounding the chicken breast a bit or butterflying it to make it a quick saute.  Note that I haven’t tried that, I just think it’s a good idea.

Note on Cousous Alternatives:  My husband liked this very much when I served it with miniature gnocchi once.  He said it was kind of like having it with spaetzle.  In combination with the flavors in the glaze, it made sense to his palate.  You can buy gnocchi in the Italian foods or pasta section of your grocery store.  (You can also make it and freeze it, but one thing at a time here.)  Gnocchi cooks similarly to pasta, but very, very quickly.

Quickies (sort of) – Beet Risotto

19 May

I love this recipe from Cooking Light magazine.  It’s technically not a Quickie because it takes more than 20 minutes to prepare, but that is because of 20 minutes of simmer time.  Given that it’s a nice vegetarian option and I can find something productive to do after work with 20 minutes of simmer time, I include it here.  It did get a negative review from someone who said the beets didn’t cook enough.  I do medium dice here, about the size of my pinkie fingernail and the beets are just fine with the recommended cooking time.

Beet Risotto with Greens

I also cheat (a bit) by using prepared minced ginger and substituting chopped frozen greens for the Swiss chard (in this case, I used collard greens because they were in stock at my local grocer.  I also didn’t mix in the goat cheese.  I prefer the cheese on top, where I get more variation in flavor from bite to bite and can appreciate the goat cheese for what it brings to the mix.  I also didn’t bother to toast the walnuts.

It does make quite a bit.  We made a half recipe for 2 people and have Loved Overs.  This would be a great recipe as a side, but just look at the quantities of ingredients and adjust accordingly or you’ll be eating this for weeks.  Not that it’s a bad idea…

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