Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cod with citrus & honey sauce

The other night we had fish. Cod fillets actually. I had two packages of them in the freezer and not much of an idea of what to do with them. I generally tend to slather on some butter, sprinkle with pepper, a few drops of lemon juice and bake it...  There sat the bottle of honey, next to the one lemon we had and a couple of limes. Why not make a sweet & sour type sauce? So I did. 

2 limes
1 lemon
about 1-2 tablespoons of honey (no, I didn't measure it)
2 packages of frozen Cod fillets
pepper to taste (optional)

Put the fillets in cold water in the sink to thaw.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees or as instructed on the fillet packaging. 
Cut the lemon and limes in half, squeeze the juice from them into a small bowl.
Add the honey as you stir with a fork to combine. 
You can add in the pepper if you choose.

When the fillets are thawed, place them in a baking dish. I used a 7x9 dish. Pour the lemon, lime, honey juice/sauce over the fillets.  There should be plenty to cover some of the fillets. Bake for 9-11 minutes or as instructed on the fillet packaging.

I made green beans to go along with the cod and on the back of the cod packaging there was another recipe suggestion (which I wrote down and will share because it sounds good and I want to try it!) that also suggested serving with green beans. 

Quick, simple and the juice/sauce? Gave the cod a delightful kick.

***Edited to add-> I brought the last two fillets to work for lunch. They had been sitting in the citrus honey sauce all night and morning.  All I can say is WOW! Much better than it was night before!  If you can, let the fillets sit in the marinade for a few hours or even overnight before baking. ***

Friday, July 15, 2011

Muy Bueno!

One last dish with the shrimp and I will find something else for a while. We had recently 'found' a restaurant nearby a tack shop we used to go to a lot, over the Christmas holiday a few years back. It's also conveniently located near one of the equine clinics....

They had sour cream enchiladas with either shrimp or chicken. I had them on a few different occasions. Both were equally as good. Then the restaurant changed hands and was back under old ownership. One visit and the food was just not as good. Completely lost all the appeal and flavor. I was on a mission to find a way to make my own enchiladas.

Which I did on All Recipes.

Sour Cream Enchiladas

  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 12 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (3 ounce) can chopped green chilies, undrained
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken breast into skillet and cook and stir until no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes. Divide chicken, 1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese, and onions evenly among the tortillas then roll up each tortilla and place seam side down in a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  3. Heat the cream of chicken soup and green chilies in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sour cream. Continue stirring until heated though, about 10 min. Pour sauce over tortillas and sprinkle remaining Cheddar cheese on top. Bake in the preheated oven until sauce is bubbling and the Cheddar cheese is melted, about 25 minutes.               

As usual we made some adjustments-

Doubled everything but the chicken and cheese
1 package of precooked shrimp, thawed and cut in half
1 lb of pepper jack cheese, grated
a fair amount of lemon zest

The shrimp & pepper jack makes up one part of the enchiladas, chicken & cheddar the other. The color of the cheese helps determine which enchiladas you are eating if someone doesn't like chicken or shrimp... (See the first pic above) These freeze well and making a few pans of enchiladas for another day or even a party, is not a problem.

First one made it out of the pan...

The picture on the website shows black olives, but I didn't see them in the ingredients. I'm sure you can add them if you like. 

on the plate...

I also use a flat pan to warm the tortillas making them more 'flexible' when rolling. Also spooning in a thin layer of sauce before putting enchiladas in the pan, helps keep them from sticking later on.   If using corn tortillas, you can layer them like lasagna noodles. Some parts of Mexico- this is how they make their enchiladas. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

He sells sea shells,

Down by the seashore...

I recently found a recipe that I have to admit is Divine. It is something that I will make again and again because the first time around? It tasted like something you would order in an expensive five star restaurant. It was THAT GOOD!  Even my picky teen aged daughter who doesn't think she likes shrimp- ate this and asked for seconds. This was one of the other recipes I had bought the shrimp for.

Kevin's Sea Shells

I read all of the reviews, the way people had tweaked it for their own tastes, decided how I would tweak it for my family's and gave it a try.  I am Soooooo glad I did! The flavors stood alone as well as blending together, complimenting the others beautifully.

  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 36 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream  (*note here- 16 oz carton = two cups)
  • 1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese  (*8 oz pkg if buying it pre-shredded/grated)


  1. Fill a pot with water, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the shrimp in the simmering water until they turn pink and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the shrimp, and cut in half; mix the shrimp, sour cream, and Swiss cheese in a bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x12-inch baking dish.
  3. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the pasta shells, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 13 minutes. Gently remove the shells with a slotted spoon. Stuff 18 shells with about 1 1/2 tablespoon of the shrimp mixture, place them in the prepared baking dish, then cover each stuffed shell with another shell to enclose the filling.
  4. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir the mushrooms and green onions until the mushrooms give up their juice, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour, white wine, salt, pepper, and half-and-half cream. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and smooth. Pour the sauce over the stuffed shells. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese has melted and begun to brown and the sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes.

I used the frozen cooked shrimp- saved time. Thaw under cold water and cut in half.
Skipped the mushrooms- I just don't like them. Instead I used fresh spinach, rinsed, chopped it up and added it before pouring the sauce on. It gave it some color, another added flavor and is my serving of veggies. Broccoli would work too.
I also skipped putting a shell on top and instead, I loaded them up and made twice as much. There was plenty of 'stuffing' and sauce for all of it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vietnamese Salad Rolls

I found this recipe on the Gourmet Slueth website recently and since I love the lettuce wraps at PF Changs, I figured why not give it a whirl?  There are of course recipes online for their lettuce wraps and I have one of them printed out of course... But the appeal for me with these? They looked light, COOL! (which can be a bouns in our heat) and tasty as well as being something NEW!

I have been in a slump lately, getting tired of the same old food, dished up over and over.  I have been looking for new things to try, different things and if it is simple to make, cheap, goes a long way and easy- I'm definately in!

A couple of weeks ago I bought the frozen shrimp for a couple of other recipes, and a few other things that cross over into other dishes as well. That's the beauty of some of these recipes and kind of why I chose them. You can buy one thing that you use in three or four different dishes. Definately keeping the cost down, use the stuff up before it goes bad and the dish as well as the flavors are diverse. 

Here is the recipe from GS- for those who choose not to go over and have a peek or for some reason can't.

8 ounces fresh raw medium shrimp, deveined and tails removed
8 large round rice paper wrappers
8 ounce package rice vermicelli noodles, cooked according to instructions
1 large carrot, julienned thinly
3 tablespoons thai basil, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
4 leaves romaine lettuce, chopped
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
½ cup San-J Thai Peanut Sauce


Prepare vermicelli, set aside.

Prepare all vegetables and place on a tray for easy assembly of the rolls.

In a small saucepan, poach the shrimp until pink throughout. Drain and cool.

Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise and set aside.

Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip one wrapper in the warm water for 10 seconds to soften. Drain the wrapper of excess water and place in flat on a cutting board.

In a row across the center of the wrapper, place 2 shrimp halves, a handful of vermicelli, carrots, basil, mint, cilantro, and lettuce, leaving about 2 inches uncovered on each side. Top with 1/8th of the chopped peanuts. Fold the uncovered sides inward, then tightly roll the wrapper. Repeat with the remaining rolls to make 8 rolls total.

Heat the San-J Thai Peanut Sauce, if desired, by placing the sauce in a microwaveable bowl and heat on medium for 1 minute.

As with any recipe there are variations to be made. I skipped the carrots- didn't have any this time. I forgot to add the basil, left the mint as a side to add if you like and skipped the peanut sauce. I also skipped the rice paper wrapper (couldn't find any) and used a head of lettuce in it's place- obvious in the picture...  Instead I threw in some green onions since they were handy (on the window sill) and used soy sauce.  
I also chopped everything up before cooking the noodles. Chopping it all up was the most time consuming part of the dish, but we all know- good things come to those who wait and this is definately one of those things worth the effort and waiting for!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Green Olive Burgers

Since it is the eve of the Fourth of July weekend, I figured this would be a good time to put this one up.

A couple of years ago on the radio, they were talking about a hamburger contest. The winner was a unanimous decision by the judges. Their burger had a unique flavor that made it stand out above the rest. The judges loved it but couldn't quite pin down what it was that set this one apart from the others.  So they asked the contestant what exactly they had put in their burgers?

Diced green olives.

Simple as that. About a half small jar of olives will go far enough on a 3 lb chub of ground beef to make 6 or 7 hefty burgers. 

Admittedly, I don't like green olives. You won't find me munching on a jar of them on any given day. They are for the most part-safe from being eaten in our house.  Their counterpart, the black olives? Better have a can for each of us and step back... They don't stand a chance!

I remember I used to eat green olives. My Dad used to like them too. He and I would eat them like no tomorrow. One day that changed for me and forget it. I lost the appeal for their flavor. Hearing they were the secret ingredient though, I knew their taste and thought about it. Who knows, it might be good?

*I forgot the cheese*

I tried it once before and Oh my. They are good.  The green olives give the burger enough of a funky kick to put it over the top in my book too. So for the low price of a jar of cheap green olives, slice their little bad selves up and mix them in with the meat this weekend. You may just be surprised. The olives aren't just for your martini's.