28 March 2011

Herb-Breaded Tilapia

Some of Doug's favorite meals that I make are the easiest to prepare. For example, I could slave over a meal and pour my heart and soul into creating the most perfect meal for hours on end... or I could spend literally five minutes in the kitchen... and he would love it all the same. Hah! Go figure. Well, I'll share one of my little secrets with you: add lemon zest and fresh herbs to practically any protein and you'll be fine.

Herb-Breaded Tilapia
(Adapted from Elly)
Yield: 2 servings

2 Tilapia Fillets, seasons with salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. Flour
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 Lemon, divided (zested and set aside)
1/3 C. Bread Crumbs
2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
2 tsp. Fresh Thyme, chopped
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp. Parmesan, freshly grated

Season the tilapia with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off any excess flour that does not stick to the fish. Lightly beat an egg in a small bowl and mix in juice of half a lemon. In another dish, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, thyme, garlic powder, lemon zest from one lemon, and parmesan. Dip the floured tilapia first in the egg and then into the bread crumb mixture; coat evenly and press to adhere, if necessary. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once hot, add the tilapia. Cook for approximately 3-4 minutes per side or until the tilapia is cooked through and flakes with a fork. Cut the remaining half lemon into wedges and serve alongside tilapia.

27 March 2011

Chocolate Beignets

One of my bridesmaids, Molly, had us over for game night and served these chocolate beignets for dessert. I asked her for the recipe because they were so delicious and she said they were pretty easy to make! The light, flakiness of the pastry dough combined with the richness of the chocolate... ughhhh, heaven in your mouth! I brought one home so that I could take a picture of it in natural light the next day. I quickly decided that these can be enjoyed as an early morning breakfast treat as well! Thanks for the recipe, Mol!

Chocolate Beignets
(Molly's recipe)
Yield: 32 servings

2 Tbsp. Corn Syrup
1/2 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
4 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
2 Sheets Cold Puff Pastry Dough, thawed
1 Large Egg + 1 Tbsp. Water
1/2 C. Sugar

Combine corn syrup and cream in a microwave safe container. Heat in 30-second increments until boiling. Put chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot cream mixture on top. Stir chocolate until smooth, then chill, stirring often until firm (about 20 minutes).

Meanwhile, line baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll each pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut each square into 16 smaller squares and transfer to baking sheet. Combine egg and 1 Tbsp. water; lightly brush over pastry. Spoon 1 Tbsp. of the chocolate into the center of each square. Fold pastry over to make a triangle; repeat. Bake for 15 minutes. Dust powdered sugar over beignets and drizzle with any remaining chocolate (optional).

26 March 2011

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

I woke up this morning to SNOW! WHAATTTTT???! It is nearly April! I'm ready for this to be over and ready to plant some flowers and herbs. Springtime better come soon! Well, at least we have some nice soup to enjoy on this cold, cold day. I hate ordering chicken wild rice soup when I go out to restaurants because I know it is laden in cream and butter... a.k.a. fat. What I LOVE about this recipe is that it is made with mostly chicken broth and NOT heavy cream. You won't feel guilty eating each bite! Stay warm!

Chicken Wild Rice Soup
(Adapted from Doug's Mom)
Yield: 6 Servings

1/2 Stick of Unsalted Butter
1/2 Small White Onion, minced
1/2 C. Flour
2 1/2 C. Chicken Broth
2 C. Wild Rice, cooked
2 C. Chicken Breast, cooked and cubed
1/2 C. Carrots, finely shredded (easy to buy pre-shredded)
3 Tbsp. Slivered Almonds, chopped
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 (12 oz) Can Evaporated Skimmed Milk
2 Tbsp. Dry Sherry
Fresh Parsley or Chives, roughly chopped (for garnish)

Melt butter in a saucepan and saute onion until tender. Blend in flour and gradually stir in the broth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil; cook for one additional minute. Stir in wild rice, chicken, carrots, almonds, salt and pepper; simmer for 5 minutes. Blend in evaporated milk and sherry. Heat to desired temperature for serving. Garnish with herbs.

15 March 2011

Dad's Piña Coladas

With less than 100 days until the big day, we still have lots to do! My days are filled with a full time career, full time MBA classes, and full time wedding planning. Am I exhausted? Yes... to say the least! Good thing we went on a little family sailing vacation to the BVI. Here are just a few of some of our highlights:

Dad's Piña Coladas

2 oz. Bacardi Light Rum
2 oz. Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
2 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 C. Ice (or more to fill the blender)
3 Lime Wedges (with peel)
Splash of Myers' Dark Rum

Place all ingredients (except Myers' Dark Rum) in a blender and blend until smooth. The lime wedges give this a unique taste that I truly love. Garnish with a pineapple slice. A float of Myers' Dark Rum may be added for the adventurous. Adjust alcohol amounts according to the size of your blender and how many people you are serving. Enjoy!