Friday, September 28, 2012

Week 9: Macadamia and coconut crusted fish

I've had this recipe for a while cut out of the Chicago Tribune food section.  Even though I don't like coconut I thought this sounded good.  I have to admit it was just OK.  It was fairly bland without the pineapple relish.  Brian didn't like it because of the hint of coconut flavor.  I wonder if it would be better with chicken because chicken has more flavor?  Or maybe you need a more flavorful fish?  N2 ate it because they were forced to eat it.  I probably won't try this again with fish.  I do have a bag of coconut and half a bag of macadamia nuts left.  Not sure what to do with them!

Macadamia and Coconut Crusted Fish

tilapia fillets (I used 3 from Costco)
1/2 cup dry roasted macadamia nuts, finely chopped (I put them in the food processor)
1/2 cup panko bread crbums
1/4 cup flaked or shredded unsweetened coconut (I couldn't find this so I used regular sweetened coconut)
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (can use cilantro or chives if you prefer)
1/4 tsp ginger
2 egg whites (I used 1 whole egg and 1 egg white)
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven t 450.  Make sure fish is thawed and pat dry.  Mix chopped nuts, panko, coconut, herbs, ginger, salt and pepper.  Put egg whites in another shallow dish and beat lightly with a fork.  Dip fish into egg whites and then into breadcrumb mixture.  Meanwhile heat oil in an oven safe skillet.  Add fish to pan.  Cook on each side until golden brown about 2 minutes per side.  Put in oven and cook until fish is done.  Mine took about 10 minutes maybe since it was still frozen.  Serve with pineapple relish.

Pineapple Relish

1 cup finely diced fresh pineapple chunks
1/4 seedless cucumber, finely diced (I used a regular cucumber and scooped out the seeds)
2 tbsp finely diced red onion
2-3 tbsp chopped parsley (you can use chives or cilantro)
1/2 tsp fresh lime juice (I used the juice of one lime)
drizzle of sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all in a small bowl.  Let stand about 20 minutes before serving.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Week 8: Ranch Chicken

I wasn't too sure about this challenge as I don't like Ranch dressing.  But I found a recipe that just uses a ranch dressing packets so I thought I would try that.  I was surprised that I liked this recipe!  Brian really liked it!  My kids did not like it but they don't like much of anything these days.  I did find that if I just ate the crust it tasted like Ranch potato chips which I did not like but as long as I ate it with the chicken, I liked it.

Ranch Chicken

1 cup Corn Flakes
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp melted margarine (the original recipe said 1 cube, I had no idea how much that was!)
1 packet ranch dressing mix
chicken breasts (the original recipe says this is for 6-8 chicken breasts, I used chicken tenders and it made about 8 chicken tenders-you might need to increase the margarine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet.  Spray the cooling rack with cooking spray.  Mix Parm, corn flakes and ranch dressing mix.  Dip chicken in melted margarine and then dip in corn flake mix.  Coat well. Place on cooling rack.  Bake for 40 minutes or so or until chicken is done.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Week 7: Zucchini and Rice Skillet

I wanted to try this zucchini dish as well even though I already made 2 different dishes for the zucchini challenge.  This was really good and very much like the Santa Fe chicken dish I make.  I think I like this one better though!  The addition of the fire roasted tomato is so yummy!  My kids ate this but only because we fed it to them.  They did eat it as leftovers the following day wrapped in a tortilla.  They gobbled that up!

Zucchini and Rice Skillet

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium zucchini, cut in quarters lengthwise and sliced
1/2 medium green pepper, diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic (I accidentally used this can for another dish, so I used a can of fire roasted tomatoes and threw in 3 cloves of garlic)
3/4 cup water
1 cup minute rice
leftover rotisserie chicken (or cooked chicken)-as much as you want (I used about a breast)
shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a big chef's pan.  Cook zucchini and bell pepper (and garlic if you add garlic instead of using the fire roasted tomatoes with garlic).  Cook until slightly soft-about 5 minutes.  Add in the beans, fire roasted tomatoes and water.  I threw in the chicken at this time too to give it time to heat since the chicken was cold.  Heat until boiling.  Then add the rice, cover and remove from heat.  Let sit for about 8 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Serve with cheese.

I added more water (about 1 1/4 cup instead of 3/4 cup) thinking I would need more water with adding chicken.  That was probably too much water.  I had to heat it on the stove to let some water evaporate.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Week 7: Zucchini Cakes

I know I skipped week 6 but I haven't made anything with broccoli slaw that changed the ingredient.  I normally just use it raw and put it in my salads.

I actually made Zucchini Tater Tots first but didn't like them very much.  I think the onion needed to be cooked first or use less onion.  I also changed the ingredient by using half zucchini and half potato.  I froze the rest of the zucchini and potato thinking I would make them again but we'll see!

I made Zucchini cakes the other day when Brian wasn't home and N2 threw them up.  I thought they were good.  I have some leftover and I'm not sure how good they are left over.  They were nice and crisp and had good flavor.  I pretty much followed the recipe exactly except I used fresh garlic instead of minced.

Zucchini Cakes

Whole zucchini
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped finely, or minced
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (I used grated)
2 eggs
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil

Cut off the top and bottom of the zucchini.  Grate the zucchini using the large holes of the box grater.  Combine all ingredients, minus the oil.  Combine.  Heat oil in a skillet until hot.  Take large spoonfuls of the zucchini mixture and drop in the pan.  Flatten slightly.  Cook 2-3 minutes on each side until the cakes are golden brown on each side.  Drain them on a paper towel.