Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pan seared Tilapia with a Lemon Butter Sauce

Back to our normal routine after a busy holiday season. Back to school, back to work, and in my case a new job! I still work at the school, but I have also taken on a new adventure! A food adventure of course!
Ecoroo is a "green" gourmet catering company. We use natural products, local when in season, we recycle or use recyclable products. Our French chef has worked in numerous high end restaurants in Paris and New York City, and brings catering to a new level, one of its kind on the Cape.

Now to our busy nights! After all the excesses of December, a light fish dinner was just what I needed! And the kids loved it too!

Pan seared Tilapia with a Lemon Butter Sauce
(serves 4)
5 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), cut in pieces
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 lbs Tilapia fillets (depending on their size, about 2 per person)
1 cup of flour
First prepare the sauce:
Saute the garlic in a medium sauce pan with the olive oil, until soft. Add the wine and simmer until reduced, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, simmer to reduce again, about 10 more minutes. Add the lemon zest. Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, and whisk until melted. Add the lemon juice and set aside. You can keep it warm on the stove with the heat on minimum.
Flour the fish fillets. Heat 1 Tbsp of Olive oil in a non stick pan and saute the fish, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Serve hot with the sauce and some wild rice.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bell Peppers Stuffed with a Cauliflower Puree

What goes through your head when you hear Cauliflower? Eww!!!
I know, it is nobody's favorite vegetable! That was before though!
Bob just made some for us last weekend and even the kids loved it!! Bob served it as a side dish for a Roasted Leg of Lamb.

Bell Peppers Stuffed with a Cauliflower Puree

2 heads of Cauliflower
1 16-oz cartons of good quality Chicken Stock
1 whole Boursin Cheese
1/4 cup of milk
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg

3 yellow bell peppers
3 red bell peppers

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Panko Breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Steam the cauliflower in the chicken broth until soft but not mushy. Transfer half of the cauliflower to food processor with half the butter, half the Boursin, half the milk and half the nutmeg. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Repeat with the rest of the cauliflower.

Cut the peppers in half, clean and pat dry. Set aside.

In saute pan, melt 2 Tbsp butter. Add the Dijon mustard, then the Panko Bread crumbs. Let cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the Parmesan and the parsley.

Fill the peppers with the cauliflower mixture and top with the breadcrumb mix.

Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes and serve hot.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Spicy Crab Cakes

2008 left with a bang here on Cape Cod!
8 inches of snow and a New Year Day with record low temperatures! But who's complaining? Certainly not me! I love snow and the cold temperatures do not scare me. Too cold to go outside, maybe, but nice if you plan to do nothing but read or watch a couple of old movies and have a soaring fire in the fireplace.

New year's Eve was a lot of fun! We spent it with our friends the Wunders and played Guitar Hero with the kids!

And of course we cooked and ate, and drank Champagne!

Bob made some Crab Cakes that were the best I have had so far! And it is my first recipe for you in 2009!
Happy New Year!!!!

Spicy Crab Cakes

2 Tbsp butter
1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 stick celery, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1 pinch of salt
Cayenne Pepper, to taste
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 Lb lump crab meat, picked over for shells
1/4 cup scallions, green parts only, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 Tbsp mustard
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)

1/2 cup mayonnaise (try to make your own, it is so much better!!!)
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste

Old bay seasonings, to taste
1/4 cup of flour

2 eggs for egg wash
1 Tbsp water
1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and bell peppers; season with salt and Cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the crab meat, green onion, Parmesan, parsley, mustard and lemon juice.

In another bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Worcestershire and hot pepper sauce.

Add the vegetables to the crab bowl and mix to blend. Add the mayonnaise mix and 3/4 cup of the Panko breadcrumbs.

Divide the crab mixture into 10 equal portions and form into 1-inch thick patties.

In a shallow bowl, combine the flour and Old Bay. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and the water. In a third bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs with some Old Bay.

Dredge the crab patties in the seasoned flour, tapping off excess, then in the egg wash and finally in the seasoned breadcrumbs, coating evenly.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil. Gently lay the cakes, 3 or 4 at a time, and fry until lightly golden, about 4 minutes on each side.

Drain on paper towels and serve with a mixed salad. Drizzle with Chipole Ranch Dressing and a bit of lemon juice!

Cakes can be made ahead and reheated in the oven at 350F for about 15 minutes.