Parmesan Tilapia With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I happened upon a recipe today for something that had roasted red peppers in it. Then my mind started to wander… what else can I do with roasted red peppers? Salad? Nope, too cold out. Sushi? Nope, too difficult for a Tuesday. Pasta? Maybe… I need more protein than that. AH! I’ll make a roasted red pepper sauce to go on whatever protein is on sale at the grocery store!

Something about roasted red peppers reminds me of being a very little girl. I know, not your average “little girl” food… but I have vivid memories of my mom making toasted bialys with slices of roasted red pepper, a little garlic powder, and shredded mozzarella cheese. This had such a distinctive smell, and it was SO delicious! I wanted a dinner that sort of tasted like that nostalgic breakfast, but since bialys are hard to come by, I went with a parmesan-crusted tilapia.

I swear, the sauce is a beautiful red color!

I swear, the sauce is a beautiful red color!

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Ingredients

1 jar roasted red peppers

1 clove garlic

1/4 c. chicken broth

1/4 c. fat free sour cream

Directions

In a small pot, puree the red peppers, garlic, and chicken broth into a smooth liquid. Heat through without boiling, then stir in sour cream.

Served on a bed of sauteed spinach

Served on a bed of sauteed spinach

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Ingredients

1 lb. tilapia fillets

1 egg, beaten

2 Tbsp. fat free milk

salt and pepper to taste

2/3 c. panko crumbs

1/4 c. shredded parmesean cheese

1 tbsp. oil

Directions

Mix the egg and milk in one dish, and the panko and parmesean cheese in another with the salt and pepper. Coat the fish with the egg mixture, then with the crumb mixture. Sautee in a large pan with the heated oil.

I served the fish on top of a bed of sauteed spinach, then topped the whole thing with a generous helping of the sauce. It was so fresh tasting! It had just the right flavor combination to completely throw me back to being a kid, but still “new”. This is definitely something that will be put into regular rotation… well, the sauce will be since thats the “new” thing!

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An Eating Out Victory!

Last night, Adam and I got taken out to dinner by his mom to Red Lobster. Not generally my favorite seafood place, but I’m a food snot.

red_lobsterI ordered grilled shrimp, scallops, and lobster, no oil, sauce on the side with a salad and baked potato. Quite a good decision, I thought! THEN, the basket came.
Now, most people know that the most dangerous/delicious thing at Red Lobster are the cheesy biscuits…in a basket. Usually, I’ll have one, maybe two of these amazing biscuits, and then all I can think about through the rest of my meal is “I want another biscuit!” Last night, I had NONE. ZERO. ZIP. NADA.

This is quite a victory for me!! We did end up sharing a dessert (apple crisp with ice cream!) but the “no biscuit” thing is HUGE!

Sorry for the lack of pictures, but the atmosphere just wasn’t right…

Be looking out for a cool, food-related, handmade giveaway in the next couple days!

Anniversary Dinner

Last night was Adam and my 4-year dating anniversary! Since this is the last year that this anniversary will “count” since we’ll be married by this time next year, we decided to go out and celebrate! We went to a local favorite restaurant, Davis Street Fishmarket, and got some truly amazing food! I’m not at the point yet where I’m cool with taking pictures of my food while we’re out, so you’ll have to just deal with my descriptions!

I started with a glass of Riesling, which was just what I needed after my long day. We then ordered soup. I got a lobster bisque that was topped with lobster meat and a mirepoix (celery, onion, and carrot) in the tiniest dice I’ve ever seen! Adam got a cajun soup with shrimp and bacon… both were fantastic!

One of the reasons we love this place is their sweet potato fries. They’re thin and crispy, and they come with a brown sugar dipping sauce. Needless to say, we ordered those as well!

For dinner, I got a macadamia-nut crusted mahi-mahi atop a sweet potato mash with a brown sugar glaze. The fish was FANTASTIC, though I have to say, my mashed sweet potatoes were better! Even Adam said the same thing! Adam got pan fried scallops with a cajun sauce and red beans and rice.

Then, of course, we got dessert. Originally we wanted the caramel bread pudding, but they were out of it. So instead, we got the bananas foster. It was vanilla ice cream rolled up in a HUGE crepe, then topped with the caramelly warm bananas and sauce. It tasted great, but there were whole cloves floating in the sauce that I managed to bite into… not too pleasant!

All in all, a great night…

Salmon-Basil Pasta

Since we don’t have any Thanksgiving leftovers to speak of, and we have yet to grocery shop, dinner tonight was a “make something with what we have in the house” kind of meal. I went through the cupboards and the freezer and came up with this simple and delicious dinner. Adam even went back for thirds! Please pardon the not-so-great and nondescript looking photo. This was not a photogenic dinner!

NOT a great photo!

NOT a great photo!

Simple Salmon-Basil Pasta

Ingredients

3 salmon filets (about 1 lb), cooked

1 tbsp. olive oil

6 or 8 frozen basil cubes or 1/2 tube basil paste or fresh chopped basil

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 lb angel hair pasta, cooked

1/4 c. Italian bread crumbs

Directions

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the cooked salmon filets and break into small bite sized chunks. Then add the basil, garlic, and cook about 1 minute. Add the pasta, stir well, then add the bread crumbs. Stir again and serve immediately, then top with parmesan cheese. This would be great with an add-in of any vegetable as well!

I’m off for the night to relax, watch movies, and possibly indulge in some dark chocolate… yum!

Only One Word…

Yep. One word to describe tonight’s dinner.

That word?

SUSHI!

I was so excited when Adam told me that we were meeting a couple friends for a sushi dinner, mostly because it’s been a good month since we last had sushi, and we used to get it EVERY WEEK! The place we went, Hanabi, is a small place that I happened upon accidentally about a year and a half ago. My friend and I were driving around, killing time before a meeting, and decided we really wanted sushi. Like a beacon, this sign appeared in front of us (ok, not really), and we tried it. We’ve been regulars ever since! This is our second regular place, as our first regular place is where we got engaged!

We got a yummy appetizer called “karokke”, which were pretty much panko-battered mashed potato cakes. We dipped them in a barbecue-like sauce. Then came the sushi which we shared…

  • L.A. Roll: a riceless roll with spicy tuna, real crab, avocado, and cucumber
  • Dragon roll: a shrimp tempura and avocado roll topped with eel, avocado, and tempura crunchies
  • 2 pieces “kani nigiri”, a bed of rice topped with shredded real crab, wrapped in seaweed
  • 2 rice bowls, a literal 2″ in diameter bowl made of rice filled with a spicy shrimp salad.

We finished the meal with mochi balls, which come for free at the end of the meal. They were cut into 4 pieces each, and we each got 2 bites…perfect!

On the way home, we decided to stop for hot cocoa at Starbucks as a treat. Perfect end to a perfect day…

Blogger note: I can’t promise that I’ll have a new entry tomorrow, as we’re going to be traveling to northwest Indiana for the day, but I promise a great post with lots of cooking on Friday!

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m thankful for all of you!

Cornmeal is my friend…

A culturally mixed dinner

A culturally mixed dinner

What a delicious dinner I made today! I had just over a pound of beautiful tilapia filets, and while tilapia isn’t the most politically correct or environmentally friendly fish, I do really love it. I had to cook them today, or else they’d have to be frozen, and I really don’t love frozen and then thawed fish.

Since I did cajun-style blackened tilapia last week, I wanted to do something a bit different tonight. I had recently bought fresh cornmeal, and I wanted to explore a new Penzey’s spice that is in my over-crowded spice cabinet. I also really really really wanted some polenta, another thing thats just fantastic with fresh cornmeal! In this one meal, while very culturally mixed, I completed both my goals! A new spice, polenta, AND a vegetable! Since Beadie told me that I had to start taking pictures of my dinners, I tried that today. It came out pretty well! Thanks for the suggestion!

Here’s the tilapia recipe:

Spicy Cornmeal Tilapia

Ingredients

1 lb. tilapia filets

1/2 c. cornmeal

1/2 c. flour

2 Tbsp. Penzey’s Southwest Seasoning

1/2 c. skim milk

2-3 tsp. olive oil

Directions

Pour the skim milk into a shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish, mix together the cornmeal, flour, and Southwest seasoning. In a fry pan, heat the oil. Designate one hand your “wet” hand and one your “dry” hand. With the “wet” hand, coat the tilapia with milk. Transfer to the dish of cornmeal mixture. With the “dry” hand, evenly coat the fish with the mixture. Place the fish in the pan, coat the remaining fish, and cook about 4 min. on either side. Serve alone, or (as my fiance likes) on an Arnold’s sandwich thin with some mayo.

My side dishes were simple. Steamed green beans, cooked in the microwave for about 2 minutes gave my meal some color. The polenta was simple and delicious!

Mozzerella Polenta Cakes

Ingredients (for one serving)

1/4 c. cornmeal

1 c. water

1/8 c. mozzarella

1 tsp. olive oil.

Directions

Mix the cornmeal and water together in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high about 2 minutes, then remove and stir in the mozzarella. It should be sticky and form almost a ball. Heat the olive oil in a small pan, then place polenta in the pan and press to form a patty. Cook until brown and turn.

So, in all, my dinner was 3 cultures: “Southwest” tilapia, Italian polenta, and French green beans. Ok, the green beans were a stretch, but it sounded good. Tomorrow, the cornmeal extravaganza continues, when some of my Mexican students bring in homemade tamales for my class to celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). They’re beyond excited to share their culture with their class!

Happy Friday all!!


Cajun Tilapia

I had every intent of making cornmeal-crusted tilapia tonight, but I just did NOT want to deal with the egg wash/cornmeal mess, so instead, I went with the simple.

I took 1 lb tilapia filets, and lightly dusted them with my Penzey’s Cajun Style Seasoning and sauteed them in a pan with some garlic and olive oil. They took about 6 minutes to cook, and while they were cooking, I microwaved steamed some French green beans. Then, much to my glee, I realized that I had some leftover mashed potatoes from our wedding tasting on Saturday! Adam and I split one of the scoops of them, and it was a fantastically satisfying dinner.

I finished off with a sugar-free fat-free Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom ice cream bar. These totally take the edge off my sweet tooth!