Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Flounder in Lemon and Wine Sauce

I know what you're thinking: why would you eat flounder?  That fish in The Little Mermaid is so cute.

My answer: That character is NOT a flounder.  That's just his name!  He's actually an Atlantic tang blue surgeonfish.

And now you're thinking that I'm crazy because I needed to look that up after consuming flounder to clear my conscience.  Except now I think it's one of those fish that's not sustainable or something.  *SIGH*

Regardless, this recipe is tasty.  And you don't have to use flounder.  I usually don't use recipes on display at the grocery store but this one looked legit.  It tastes kind of fancy and not too citrus-y.

 Flounder in Lemon and Wine Sauce


Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
  1.  Mix bread crumbs, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
  2.  Dredge fish fillets in the crumbs mixture, shake off any excess.
  3. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet large enough to accommodate 4 fillets in single layer.
  4. Add the flounder fillets to the skillet and saute them until done, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  5. Transfer the fish to a large serving plate, cover to keep warm.
  6. Add wine, garlic, lemon juice and orange juice to the pan, stir to mix for about 1 minute or until the sauce is thicken.
  7. Add green onion and butter and quickly remove from heat.
  8. Pour sauce over fish, garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately with steamed rice and your favorite steamed vegetable.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is awesome.  It has a high taste to effort ratio- wait, is that right?  Basically, it takes very little effort for a crowd-pleaser.  My favorite bbq sauce is Sweet Baby Ray's but you can use any kind.

I don't remember where I found the original recipe but this is a link to a similar one: BBQ Pulled Pork

The following is my recipe, as shared with friends.  Enjoy!

Pulled Pork

Pork shoulder/Boston butt or "rib ends" (approx 7-8 lbs, bone-in or bone removed, whatever fits in your slow cooker).  It should be a sizeable piece of meat
1 can/bottle of beer (any brand is fine)
Bottle of BBQ sauce (any brand is fine)

1. Clean the meat, cut off any excess fat
2. Season with salt and pepper (not a lot)
3. Place it in the slow cooker
4. Pour the can/bottle of beer over the meat- just make sure it doesn't overflow the slow cooker, the meat should not be totally submerged
5. Cook on low for 7-8 hours
6. The last half hour check the pork- it should be able to shred/pull with just a fork.  When it does, ladle out most of the beer/pork juice.  Add bbq sauce to the pork in the slow cooker, mix, and let it sit for the last 30 minutes.
7. Eat the pulled pork, serve with buns and extra bbq sauce

Note: If the pork doesn't shred near the end, rotate the meat a little (the bottom is probably cooked enough) and put the slow cooker on high for half an hour/hour. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mapo Tofu

I've had several versions of this and I think very few have disappointed me.   This recipe was pretty easy and was a good base for variation.  Thanks to No Recipes for printing a recipe!  (that seems pretty contradictory, but you'll like the site anyway)

Mapo Tofu

1 Tbs dark miso
2 Tbs Mirin or other sweet cooking wine
1 Tbs oyster sauce
2 tsp asian chili sauce (Tobanjan, Gochujang, Sriracha, etc)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp corn starch
1/4 cup water
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 Tbs ginger minced

1/2 lbs. ground meat (I use pork but you can use turkey, beef, or veggies like eggplant)
14oz package silken tofu cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 scallions sliced thin

Mix the first group of ingredients in a bowl to make the sauce. Adjust seasonings as you see fit.
Put a splash of oil in a hot saute pan and fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant.
Add the ground meat and break it up with a wooden spoon. When the meat is cooked, drain off any excess oil and add the sauce mixture.
Stir to combine, then add the tofu. If the sauce seems thick (or non-existent), add some water and cook until the tofu is heated through. If you’re using silken tofu, be careful not to mash up the tofu too much.
Stir in the scallions just before taking it off the heat and serve with white rice.

I make different versions of this sauce depending on what’s in the fridge and as always I encourage you to experiment with what you have. Some things I’ve tried include Szechwan pepper, chinese 5 spice powder, hoisin sauce, dengjang with varying amounts of chili sauce (I like it spicy). For vegetarians, you can leave out the meat, or include veggies like red bell peppers, onions, or eggplant.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Eggplant Parmigiana

I saw baby eggplants at Stew Leonard's and decided right there and then that we'd have eggplant parm this week.  There are lots of recipes with various methods and ingredients, but this one stood out.  I didn't have to salt the eggplants before, I got to use my indoor grill plate, and it was baked instead of fried.  Winner!

If I only learned one thing today this would be it: Don't use olive oil for indoor grilling.  The smoke point is pretty low and it set off the smoke alarms.  At least I know they work!

I served this with linguine and grilled asparagus (the actual culprit of the smokiness).  Thanks to No Special Effects for posting this recipe!

Eggplant Parmigiana
  • one large, fat eggplant
  • olive oil
  • a handful (100g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • a few sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves chopped
  • a handful of dried breadcrumbs

Preheat a grill on high until very hot (can't bear to keep your hand hovering over it for 10 seconds). Remove the stem from the eggplant and slice into 1/2-inch thick slices. Brush each slice on both sides very lightly (I stretched just a teaspoon of olive oil for the whole eggplant) with olive oil. Grill the slices until lightly charred, about a minute or so for each side. Set them aside on a tray.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). In a small ovenproof dish, spread a thin layer of marinara, followed by a thin sprinkling of Parmesan, then one layer of eggplant slices. Repeat building these layers (I was able to make 3 layers), then finish with a little marinara and a good sprinkle of Parmesan. In a small bowl, toss together the breadcrumbs, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and the chopped oregano until combined and sprinkle over the top of the dish. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and crispy on top.