Pan-Fried Perch

I’m back! I took a break for finals, some “me” time, and orientation week. I did a lot of writing the last month and needed a break in my personal time.

A lot happened during this time, but I think the highlight was the AcroYoga workshop that I attended. I attended my first beginners AcroYoga workshop back in January and have been attending the bi-weekly classes over the summer. I was super excited when I got the opportunity to attend an intermediate workshop! The focus of the workshop was Star Pose, and we learned a lot of poses that lead up to it, including: stag, candlestick, folded leaf, and a few others.

For me, the most exciting part of the workshop was right at the moment this photo was snapped! (Thanks for capturing the moment Leena!) There, in the green tank top, is my FIRST EVER ever handstand.

Acro-Yoga Hanstand! Photo Credit to Super-Amazing Yoga Instructor Leena Miller -Cressman (http://instagram.com/p/dOBTerMKgY)

Handstands, unassisted, still freak me out a bit a lot. However, I’ve made a point of practicing them with my AcroYoga friends. They’re becoming less intimidating, and I’m more confident. Having spotters around makes the idea of falling much less scary as well.

The weekend after the workshop, I visited my Nana for dinner. I made some pan-fried perch fillets. She made the side dishes: long grain rice and yellow beans (her favourite vegetable).

Pan-Fried Perch

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds perch fillets  – approximate cost $20.00
  • 1 1/2 cups flour  – approximate cost $0.40
  • 2 tablespoons paprika  – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder  – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt  – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper  – approximate cost $0.10
  • Oil for frying (I used canola oil)  – approximate cost $1.00

Method

  1. Combine flour, paprika, baking powder, sea salt, and pepper in a large freezer-sized zipper bag.
  2. Shake well to mix ingredients.
  3. Add 2-3 perch fillets to the flour mix.
  4. Seal and shake until fish is well-coated with the flour mixture.
  5. Set fish on a plate.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 until all of the fish fillets are coated with the flour mixture.
  7. Preheat a frying pan adding about 1/4 inch oil in the bottom of the pan.
  8. Fry perch fillets — a few at a time so as not to overcrowd the pan — until golden.
  9. Flip and continue to fry until the other side turns a golden colour.
  10. Remove to a plate with paper towels (they will soak up any excess oil).
  11. Repeat steps 8-10 until all of the fish is cooked.
  12. Serve with your favourite side dishes and enjoy!

Makes 6 servings (approximate cost: $3.68 per serving).

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Trout with Caper and Butter Sauce and Roasted Balsamic Asparagus

Did you hear about the big storm that hit KW last Friday? I’ve never seen anything like it. The wind and rain was intense. The thunder and lightning actually worried me less than the former. It seems almost everyone in the city has their own story to share… and we’ve been sharing stories all week!

I was at Vincenzo’s, a local grocery store, when the storm hit. The winds were so strong that we could see and hear them shaking. My little brother was on a bus at the time. The bus had to pull over due to poor driving conditions. A tree was struck by lightning nearby and fell onto a hydro pole, which then fell on the bus! I’m happy to say that my brother and everyone else on the bus is ok. We exchanged text messages and a few photos — he was bored being stuck on the bust for almost an hour afterwards!

Trees and branches are still being cleared even today! Check out some images of the damage the storm caused:

I’m also happy to tell you that my garden made it through the storm! No planters were knocked over or damaged. My neighbourhood seems to have missed the worst of the storm.

I started my garden quite late this year. I didn’t plant anything until mid-June. I have two lovely tomato plants, a basil plant, chives, and mint. The tomatoes are from my aunt at Sun Root Organics (if you’re in Ontario, check out her blog and Facebook page). Despite planting the tomatoes later than I’d have liked, they’ve really taken off and are growing like crazy! I took the photos a few days ago, and the tomatoes are more plentiful already! The basil is from a vendor at the St. Jacob’s Market, and the chives and mint came back from last year. I have been using the chives in my cooking recently and can’t wait for some fresh basil and tomatoes!

Since the storm, it has cooled down enough to cook again! Hooray! I’m quite enjoying being back in the kitchen. 🙂

Trout with Caper and Butter Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pound steelhead trout fillet – approximate cost $8.50
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1/4 cup butter – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil – approximate cost $0.05
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 100 mL jar capers – approximate cost $2.00

Method

  1. Preheat a frying pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add butter and grapeseed oil.
  3. Heat until butter is melted.
  4. Add garlic.
  5. Cook until garlic is fragrant.
  6. Sprinkle salt over fish.
  7. Add fish (skin-side down if there is skin on the fillet).
  8. Cook until about 3/4 cooked.
  9. Turn the fish.
  10. Add capers.
  11. Cook until done.
  12. Remove from frying pan.
  13. Serve and enjoy!

Roasted Balsamic Asparagus

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds asparagus – approximate cost $4.50
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil – approximate cost $0.10
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar – approximate cost $0.50

Method

  1. Turn the oven to broil.
  2. Place the asparagus in a large roasting pan.
  3. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  5. Broil until the asparagus turns bright green.
  6. Flip the asparagus.
  7. Broil until the other side is bright green and the tips begin to brown.
  8. Remove from oven.
  9. Serve with trout and enjoy!

Note: These dishes take about the same amount of time to cook. I started the asparagus first then cooked the fish.

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $8.25 per serving).

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Leibster Blog Award and Panko-Crusted Sole Fillets

A big thank you to Jon from The Local Kitchener who nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award! If you haven’t yet, check out Jon’s blog. I’m not sure how Jon came across my blog, but I am glad he did! We’re just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from each other. He is the first food blogger that I’ve met (online only) in the same(ish) city. I’m thrilled to meet another blogger in the area!

liebster-award

The Liebster award is a fun way of highlighting smaller blogs within the blogging community. Leibster, I’m told, German word meaning “beloved, dearest, lovely, etc.”

Here are the rules of the Leibster award as I understand them. The blog/blogger nominated for the award…

  • Answers 11 questions posed by the nominator. (In my case, Jon has given me 7)
  • Nominates 11 other blogs (with 200 or fewer followers)
  • Creates their own new set of questions for the nominees.

Some set of rules call for 11 questions and nominations… other for 5.

My questions and responses

  1. How would you describe where you live without naming any places?
    1. Hi-tech university town with lots of Canadian geese.
  2. When was the last time you wrote a letter (a real one, you know, that you sent in the mail with a stamp)?
    1. Do cards with a short message count? If so, just yesterday! If not… probably 6 or 7 years ago. My childhood best friend and I exchanged letters for many years before switching to Facebook.
  3. What is your favorite non-English word?
    1. Okonomiyaki — It’s a Japanese cabbage-pancake type dish.
  4. What (if any) blogs did you follow before you started blogging?
    1. I followed quite a few. I know I followed Jeanette’s first blog — she now maintains This Dusty House. And I definitely followed, and still follow The Kitchn.   I follow many many more since I started blogging.
  5. Do dogs belong in the city?
    1. Yes. I love dogs. I couldn’t imagine a city without them! In fact, just last night, I stopped to pet 3 wonderful and friendly dogs while walking to the post office and back. It made my day so much brighter! I could get carried away answering this one, but I’ll stop here.
  6. Are there any books that you have lent to more than one person (and if so, what is it called)?
    1. No. I don’t often lend books. I tend to need them for school. I’m also quite particular about their condition. However, there are quite a few that I could recommend from my own collection. Stardust by Neil Gaiman, Sabriel by Garth Nix, Snowcrash by Neil Stephenson, The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, Menace by L.R. Wright, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling… and many many more! I’ve also got a huge list of books that I would like to read!
  7. Do you plan your meals in advance, or just “wing it”?
    1. A bit of both. I tend to plan, at most, a day ahead of time. We tend to have a full freezer with a good selection of meat and vegetables. If I remember, I’ll take food out of the freezer ahead of time. If not, it may mean a trip to the grocery store. It usually depends on how groggy I am in the morning! Often, I’ll have to make a quick trip to the grocery store to buy a few things I don’t have on hand.

Nominees

(I wish I could list all the lovely blogs that I follow. I’ve done my best to adhere to the 200 followers or fewer rule. However, in some cases, this information was not available.)

In no particular order…

  1. A Corso in the Kitchen
  2. Ginger Bakes
  3. Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
  4. RV Life and Food
  5. Cookaholic Wife
  6. Cook Lisa Cook
  7. The Not So Desperate Chef Wife
  8. Cupcakes and Kale Chips
  9. The Ranch Wife Chronicles
  10. From My Sweet Heart
  11. Bark Time = Everything and Nothing

Questions for nominees

  1. What 3 words would you choose to describe yourself?
  2. Do you have a blogging mentor who has made a huge difference along the way?
  3. Have you met any of your blogging friends in real life?
  4. What inspires you to continue writing your blog?
  5. What is your favourite family recipe?
  6. Which of your own blog posts are you most proud of?
  7. What is your favourite type of food?
  8. What is your favourite pastime?
  9. Where would you most like to go for your dream vacation and why?
  10. What is your favourite genre of music?
  11. If someone made a film about your life, who would you want to play you?

And now… as if this post wasn’t long enough already… here’s a recipe! I’ve been hanging on to this one for a while. I made it a while back and served the fish with an Asian-Inspired Bean Sprout Salad with Citrus and Soy Dressing. It’s not a family recipe. I didn’t really have a story to go along with it. This seemed like a good opportunity to share it with you. (It was delicious and I couldn’t not share this with the world!)

Panko-Crusted Sole Fillets

Ingredients

  • 4 sole fillets – approximate cost $6.00
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/8 cup parmesan cheese – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and sea salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Rinse the fish in cold water.
  5. Place the fish in the panko mix.
  6. Cover with panko mix.
  7. Gently press the panko mix so it sticks to the fish fillet.
  8. Turn the fillet.
  9. Cover with panko mix.
  10. Gently press the panko mix so it sticks to the fish fillet.
  11. Move to a baking sheet.
  12. Bake until cooked through (about 15 minutes).
  13. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 4 servings (approximate cost: $1.91 per serving).

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Caribbean Coconut Crusted Salmon with Caribbean Salsa

Normally, I don’t follow dinner recipes very closely. Usually, once I decide what it is I want to eat, I find out what I have in the fridge and pantry then make something work. Sometimes, I’ll make a quick trip to the grocery store if I’m missing something essential, but usually not.

When I picked up the salmon, I didn’t really have a plan in mind for it. I was feeling uninspired when I got home. I didn’t feel like making our usual lemon, butter and dill salmon. I didn’t have sliced almonds to make dad’s recipe. So, I started searching the Internet for a few ideas. That’s when I came across the Caribbean Coconut Crusted Salmon and the Caribbean Salsa recipes from FoodNetwork.ca. This was just what I was looking for! Something different than the usual, yet interesting, and better yet, quick to prepare. Even more unusual, I liked everything about the recipes and didn’t feel compelled to change it drastically.

This salmon and salsa was an exception to our normal dinners. I bought the salmon, found the recipe, made a shopping list, made another trip to the grocery store, and followed the recipe (for the most part, I left out the salt and pepper in the crusted salmon and left the skin on the salmon). I bought fresh cilantro (when I would normally use dried) and fresh pineapple (instead of canned) as the recipes suggest. The place where I “cheated” was with the limes. I bought lime juice instead of squeezing limes.

Was this meal worth the extra money for fresh ingredients? Definitely! Would I make it again? For sure! However, Bryan and I both agreed to use half of a red onion instead of the whole onion next time.

Our only complaint? You need lots and lots of salsa to go with the fish. The fish is nothing to write home about on its own. But when paired with the salsa it is amazing!

Caribbean Coconut Crusted Salmon with Caribbean Salsa

Both the Caribbean Coconut Crusted Salmon and the Caribbean Salsa recipes are from FoodNetwork.ca (with slight modifications)

Ingredients

Salmon

  • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut – approximate cost $1.00
  • 5 salmon fillets, skin on – approximate cost $15.00

Salsa

  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, cubed – approximate cost $2.50 (purchased at a reduced price, the pineapple was very ripe)
  • 1 red onion, diced – approximate cost $1.10
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, minced – approximate cost $2.00
  • 1/4 cup olive oil – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1/4 cup lime juice – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I used sriracha) – approximate cost $0.05

Makes 5 servings (approximate cost: $4.58 per serving).

Note: Both the Caribbean Coconut Crusted Salmon and the Caribbean Salsa recipes are from FoodNetwork.ca (with slight modifications). I have listed the ingredients here to show the affordability of the meal. Please visit FoodNetwork.ca for the full recipes.

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Shrimp Stir-Fry with Cookin’ Greens and Spicy Sauce

Over the summer, I received coupons to try any products from the Cookin’ Greens line of frozen vegetables. I frequently forgot the coupons at home on shopping days. And I never quite felt like making a special trip to the store when the coupons stared at me from their spot on the fridge. Eventually, they expired. Unused. I was a bit disappointed that I never found the time to use the coupons.

Despite letting the coupons expire, I still wanted to give the product a try. On a recent trip to the grocery store, I picked up the Athlete’s Mix (collards, kale, spinach, red pepper, and white beans). I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to make at the time, But the mix looked very appealing!

The other night, I had some shrimp that needed to be used up. I suggested a pasta, but Bryan didn’t sound very enthusiastic about it, so we decided that I should make a stir-fry instead. This was the perfect opportunity to try the Cookin’ Greens, because we wanted a quick dinner without much fuss. No chopping required. It’s really a toss what you’ve got into the frying pan sort of dinner.

The stir-fry? Delicious (and healthy too)! I was very glad that I’d made enough for leftovers. This will definitely make a reappearance on my dinner table sometime soon! It would probably also go very well with chicken or tofu pieces.

Shrimp Stir-Fry with Spicy Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, beaten – approximate cost $0.70
  • 2 1/2 cups sticky rice, cooked – approximate cost $0.75
  • 16 pieces of shrimp – approximate cost $8.00
  • 2 cups Cookin’ Greens Athlete’s Mix – approximate cost $2.20
  • 1/4 onion, chopped – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 tablespoon cane sugar – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil – approximate cost $0.10

Method

  1. Cook sticky rice according to directions.
  2. Preheat a frying pan and 1/2 teaspoon of grapeseed oil.
  3. Add the onion and shrimp (I used uncooked shrimp with the shell on, a bit more finicky to eat, peeled shrimp will also work well).
  4. Preheat a second frying pan and 1/2 teaspoon of grapeseed oil.
  5. Add the beaten eggs to the hot frying pan.
  6. When egg begins to set, carefully flip it.
  7. Break egg into bite-sized pieces.
  8. Remove egg from frying pan.
  9. Add the ketchup, cane sugar, dark soy sauce and chili garlic sauce to the shrimp.
  10. Mix well to coat.
  11. Add the Cookin’ Greens.
  12. Mix well and cook until heated through.
  13. Divide rice into four portions.
  14. Add equal portions of shrimp and greens.
  15. Decorate with egg.
  16. Drizzle with sesame oil.
  17. Serve and enjoy!

Makes about 4 servings (approximate cost: $3.13 per serving).

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Spaghetti with Shrimp and Roasted Vegetables

While Bryan was home for a between school terms vacation, I found I needed to be a bit more creative with my leftovers. I’m used to there being two of us at each meal. Two people taking leftovers as lunches. Usually, leftovers don’t last more than a day or two. With him away, I found myself getting bored of the leftovers and wanting to make something new.

Instead, I reused the leftovers, presenting them as an entirely new dish. It made cooking for one a little less boring. Meal-time more interesting. And, of course, gave me something to talk about on this blog. (I was a bit worried that, with Bryan on vacation, I would run out of blog material.) I’m happy to say that, even with him away, I kept up (mostly) healthy eating habits and ate a home-cooked meal most evenings.

Spaghetti with Shrimp and Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

  • Handful of whole wheat spaghetti noodles – approximate cost $0.75
  • 12 shrimp – approximate cost $3.00
  • 1/4 large spanish onion, diced – approximate cost $0.30
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.10
  • 50 grams button mushrooms, sliced – approximate cost $0.40
  • 1/2 zucchinis, sliced – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1/4 green pepper, sliced – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1/4 red peppers, sliced – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1/4 orange pepper, sliced – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1/4 yellow pepper, sliced – approximate cost $0.25
  • 14 grape tomatoes – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1 teaspoons olive oil – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning – approximate cost $0.20

Method

  1. Roast the vegetables.
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
    3. Add the onion pieces and cook until softened.
    4. Add garlic and continue to cook until garlic is fragrant.
    5. Remove from heat and transfer to a large baking pan.
    6. Combine onion mixture, mushrooms, zucchini slices, sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme in the baking pan.
    7. Mix well.
    8. Bake vegetables for 7 minutes (or until  they begin to soften).
    9. Remove from oven and add the peppers and grape tomatoes.
    10. Mix well.
    11. Turn the oven temperature to broil.
    12. Return the vegetables to the oven.
    13. Cook for another 5-7 minutes (or until the vegetables begin to brown).
    14. Remove from oven.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package (while the vegetables are roasting).
  3. Cook the shrimp.
    1. Place shrimp in a baking dish.
    2. Bake until shrimp (shell) turns pink.
    3. Remove from oven and turn the shrimp.
    4. Return to oven.
    5. Bake until shrimp is cooked through.
  4. Assemble the pasta!
    1. Divide the pasta noodles between two serving bowls.
    2. Divide the roasted vegetables between the two serving bowls.
    3. Top each serving with shrimp
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $3.70 per serving).

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Trout with Almond Slices, Lemon, Butter, Parsley, Pepper, and Capers

Last week, we celebrated Nana’s birthday with a family dinner. I worked from home in the morning and spent the afternoon running around town picking up groceries from various places, shopping for a birthday gift, picking my brother up from his first day at a new job, then home to make dinner.

It was a busy day. I was glad to end the day with a good, home-cooked meal and some time with my family. It was a very typical visit at home: cook, dinner, dessert, walk the dogs, visit a while longer, then I headed home.

Because I had the afternoon off, I got to plan dinner. Nana had specifically requested fish, any kind, so dad asked me to pick up trout. I also stopped by Herrle’s, a farmer’s market just outside town and picked up a bunch of fresh, local vegetables (tomatoes, cucumber, romaine lettuce, and green beans). For dessert, I baked a confetti cake (my family’s favourite). I’ll admit, I took the easy way out with the cake. I used an Angel Food cake mix from a box added a few sprinkles to the batter and a package of Dream whip for the frosting. It was delicious nonetheless.

We all pitched in to bring dinner together.

I chopped tomatoes and cucumber for the salad. My brother and his girlfriend cleaned and trimmed the massive amount of green beans. Dad prepped and baked the fish. My step mother cooked the potatoes on the barbecue. My brother finished working with the green beans quickly, so he helped me tear the romaine lettuce for the salad, then he blanched the green beans.

Amazingly, even with five cooks in the kitchen, we managed to have everything ready at the same time and sat down to a lovely family dinner.

Who cooks when you attend a family dinner? Just one cook or does everyone pitch in?

Trout with Almond Slices, Lemon, Butter, Parsley, Pepper, and Capers

Dad’s recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 large trout fillets – approximate cost $25.00
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 cup almond slices – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.15
  • 1 teaspoon parsley – approximate cost $0.15
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted – approximate cost $1.25
  • Capers for serving (optional) – approximate cost $1.50

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse trout fillets with cold water.
  3. Lay fillets flat on a baking tray.
  4. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  5. Drizzle lemon juice and butter over the fish.
  6. Sprinkle fish with salt, pepper, parsley and almond slices.
  7. Bake until cooked through.
  8. Serve with capers and enjoy!

Makes 8 servings (approximate cost: $3.76 per serving).

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Halibut with Espellete Crust and Sultana Raisins from Relish Cooking Studio

This is the last post in the series from the Sustainable Seafood class. And what a class! If you missed the previous posts, check out the Fresh Fish ChowderArctic Char Meunière, and Steamed Mussels in Coconut Milk. Much like all the other recipes at the class, this one too was wonderful!

The espellette pepper was also quite interesting. I hadn’t tried it before this class. It was very tasty and not overly spicy. It was also very pretty!

I think my favourite part of this recipe, however, is the raisins marinated in Earl Grey tea. They’re tasty as part of the dish or as a snack!

A big thank you once again to Chef Mark Brown for teaching the Sustainable Seafood class and for allowing me to post all of his recipes on this blog! Another big thank you to Relish Cooking Studio for offering the class in their lovely studio kitchen in Uptown Waterloo. Both classes that I’ve attended were fantastic experiences! Check out their list of upcoming classes if you’re interested in attending one!

Halibut with Espellete Crust and Sultana Raisins

Recipe by (and posted with permission from) Chef Mark Brown, demonstration at Relish Cooking Studio

Ingredients

  • 2 fillets of halibut (or pickerel), belly meat and skin removed – approximate cost $10.00
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, toasted – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds, toasted – approximate cost $1.00
  • 2 tablespoons espellette pepper – approximate cost $2.00
  • 1 tablespoon butter – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon paprika – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 bag earl grey tea – approximate cost $0.40
  • 1/2 cup sultana raisins – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1 cup water

Method

  1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and brew the earl grey tea.
  2. Add the raisins to the cup of tea and allow to marinate and cool to room temperature (at least 30 minutes).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. In a small pan, melt the butter,
  5. Gently sautée the espellette and paprika for 1 minute and remove from heat.
  6. In a medium bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and ground almond.
  7. Mix in the spiced butter.
  8. Season with salt.
  9. Pour the mixture onto a sheet pan and allow to cool.
  10. Gently coat the fish fillets with the espellette crust and reserve until ready to bake.
  11. Bake the crusted fish for approximately 7 minutes (or until just cooked through).
  12. Serve with the marinated raisins, and sautéed chantrelle mushrooms (oyster, crimini, and shiitake mushrooms sautéed with butter and terragon), or other roasted vegetables.

Makes 4 servings (approximate cost: $3.89 per serving).

Fresh Fish Chowder from Relish Cooking Studio

I was so nervous eating this fresh fish chowder. I have a lactose sensitivity (thank goodness it’s not an intolerance, I couldn’t give up my small amounts of whipped cream, cheese, etc.). It’s not that I can’t eat milk products, I just have to be careful and enjoy them in moderation. And, if I think there might be a problem, take preventative measures by ingesting a “dairy digestive supplement” before the meal. This meal calls for heavy whipping cream… so I took two. Because I wanted to enjoy both this dish and the rest of the meal.

Chef Mark offered to make a soup just for me with a tomato broth as the base. This would have made it lactose free. However, despite his generosity, I declined because I really wanted to taste the chowder recipe as it was meant to be.

If I make this recipe again at home (probably during the winter when we tend to enjoy more soups), I will try out the tomato broth and exclude the cream.

This part of the demo was especially fun, because not only did Chef Mark teach us how to choose fish from the store, he also taught us how to cut a whole fish into fillets. He even allowed someone from the audience to give it a try! (Unfortunately, I didn’t speak up fast enough to try, but I’m confident that, with the right knife, I wouldn’t do a terrible job filleting a fish!)

Have you made fish chowder at home? What kind of soup base do you enjoy? Cream? Tomato? Something else entirely?

Fresh Fish Chowder

Recipe by (and posted with permission from) Chef Mark Brown, demonstration at Relish Cooking Studio

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon butter – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 medium-sized yellow onions, chopped (about 2 cups) – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine – approximate cost $1.50
  • 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 1/2 cups clam juice – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 bay leaf – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper – approximate cost $0.05
  • 2 pounds firm white fish (such as sea bass), pin bones removed, fillets cut into 2-inch pieces – approximate cost $20.00
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy (or whipping) cream (so the brother won’t curdle, do not substitute milk) – approximate cost $2.00
  •  2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley – approximate cost $0.10

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add the wine.
  4. Cook uncovered until the wine reduces by half.
  5. Add the potatoes, clam juice, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  6. Bring to a simmer.
  7. Lower heat to medium setting.
  8. Cook, covered, until the potatoes are almost done (10-15 minutes).
  9. Lower heat to low setting.
  10. Add fish pieces and cream to the pot of potatoes.
  11. Cook over low heat, uncovered, until the fish is just cooked through (about 10 minutes).
  12. Mix in the parsley.
  13. Allow soup to rest for 30 minutes before serving (the flavours will improve).
  14. Serve with a side of fresh bread.

Makes 6 servings (approximate cost: $4.68 per serving).

Arctic Char Meunière from Relish Cooking Studio

Last week I told you about the Steamed Mussels in Coconut Milk. In fact, the day I posted the recipe I came across a fantastic deal on mussels and made the recipe for dinner. This was the first time that Bryan had the opportunity to taste this recipe. He loved it! It’s something I will likely make again soon. Because it’s tasty. Also because there’s a heat wave and I don’t want to turn on the oven. I went so far as to say it was my favourite recipe from the class. When I said that it was my favourite recipe, I had forgotten about this next recipe for Arctic Char Meunière, which is also fantastic and shares the title of favourite recipe from the Sustainable Seafood class.

Meunière can be made with almost any fish. The ingredients are the same, but the cooking time of the fish will vary. I’ve made this recipe twice at home now. Once with Boston Bluefish (I later found out this is more commonly known as Pollock, which is high in Omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury, making it a very healthy option) and another time with Haddock (another fish that tends to be very low in mercury).

I’ve found the recipe is easiest to prepare if you can find a fillet of fish that is very thick and still has the skin on. If the fillet is thick, it is easier to tell when it needs to be flipped and when it is cooked through. Having the skin left on keeps the fish from falling apart in the frying pan.

There’s still two more fantastic seafood recipes coming your way over the next week.

As a side note, Loki had her first play-date with a puppy. I’m very excited about this because, even though they didn’t really play much, the interaction was a positive one. There was no cowering, growling, hissing, or scratching. Although the puppy barked at Loki a few times trying to get her to play. Loki doesn’t know this yet, but one day she will have a puppy brother or sister.

Arctic Char Meunière

Recipe by (and posted with permission from) Chef Mark Brown, demonstration at Relish Cooking Studio

Ingredients

Fish

  • 6 fillets of arctic char, about 4 ounces each, skin on – approximate cost $12.00
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1/2 cup salted butter – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1/4 cup chopped seaweed (optional) – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest – approximate cost $0.10

Potatoes

  • 6 purple potatoes (or any other small potato, purple gives the dish more colour) – approximate cost $2.50
  • 1 sprig of thyme – approximate cost $0.25
  • 3 cloves garlic – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 teaspoon salted butter – approximate cost $0.15

Green Beans

  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed – approximate cost $2.00
  • 1 teaspoon salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional) – approximate cost $1.00
  • Water

Method

  1. Prepare the potatoes.
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. Wrap potatoes, a sprig of thyme, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of butter in foil.
    3. Bake in the oven until just tender (about 35 minutes).
  2. Prepare the green beans.
    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt.
    2. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
    3. Blanch the green beans in the boiling salted water.
    4. When the beans are just beginning to soften, remove from the boiling water and place in ice bath to stop the cooking.
  3. Prepare the fish.
    1. Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.
    2. Dredge the fish with flour.
    3. Shake off the excess flour.
    4. Sear the fish, skin side down, until evenly browned and crisp (cooked about 3/4 of the way through).
    5. Flip the fish and finish cooking through completely.
    6. Remove fish to a paper towel.
    7. Using the same pan, add the remainder of the half cup of butter.
    8. Cook over medium-low heat until the butter begins to brown.
    9. Add the lemon zest and seaweed (optional) to the butter and swirl in the pan for added flavour.
  4. Sautée the purple potatoes and green beans in a separate pan.
  5. Place a portion of fish, potatoes, and green beans on each plate.
  6. Spoon the brown butter sauce over each serving.
  7. Sprinkle with a few slivered almonds.
  8. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings (approximate cost: $3.65 per serving).

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