Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fish Cakes

I got a new cookbook the other day, Everyday Food Light by Martha Stewart.
There is a ton of tasty looking recipes in it. As soon as I saw this recipe I knew it was first up.

These little cakes are so awesome! Lots of flavour and really easy! We loved them and there is no doubt I will be making them again.

What you need,

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 pound of tilapia fillets (about 3)
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup mayo
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Fresh squeezed juice from 1 whole lemon
1 ½ tbsp. horseradish
1 tsp. old bay seasoning
¾ cup coarse cracker crumbs

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dry off the tilapia fillets with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Place them on the baking sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes until cooked through and they easily flake apart.
Let them cool completely. Once they are cool pat the fillets dry again with a paper towel and flake into small pieces.

In a large bowl combine the egg, mayo, parsley, lemon juice, old bay seasoning and horseradish. Fold in the fish and ¼ cup of the cracker crumbs. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the remaining cracker crumbs in a shallow dish. Using about ¼ cup of the fish mixture form into patties, I got 8 cakes. Gently press the cakes into the cracker crumbs to coat.

In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium high heat. Place as many cakes in the pan as you can without crowding, I got 4 in at a time. Cook for 4-6 minutes on each side until well browned and crisp.
Once the first batch is done remove from the pan and keep warm in the oven. Heat the second tablespoon of oil in the pan and cook the remaining cakes.

Serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.

You could use any flaky white fish you have on hand, cod or walleye would be great. 

I served mine with buttermilk mashed potatoes and garlic green beans. It was a lovely dinner!

Thanks Martha!


Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Light

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Penne with Goat Cheese, Kale and Olives (and Turkey if you want!)

My friend Brenda sent me this recipe. She knows I am a pasta fiend! She made it for dinner the other night and as soon as she had the first bite, she knew that I would love it! She was so totally right!

This dish has all my favourite things, pasta, goat cheese, kale, lemon, olives! Ummm hello!!

What you need,

1 pound penne
1 tsp. coarse salt
¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
¼ cup olive oil
2 large shallots, sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 ½ tsp. lemon zest
¼ cup white wine, or chicken stock
6-8 cups kale, cut into small chunks
6 oz. goat cheese
½ cup pitted, kalamata olives
4 tsp. lemon juice, basically the juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cup shredded or chopped leftover turkey or chicken, optional
1 cup grape tomatoes, or any small tomato, optional

Start by cooking the pasta according to the directions on the package. Reserve 1 ½ cups of the cooking water.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened and translucent, this will take about 3 minutes. Add in the lemon zest and wine, cook until the wine has evaporated, about 1 minute.  Stir in the kale and ¼ cup of the pasta water. Cook until the kale starts to wilt, about 3 or 4 minutes. Toss in the turkey or chicken and the tomatoes if you are using them and heat through. Add in the goat cheese and about 1 cup of the pasta water. Stir to make a creamy sauce, add more of the reserved pasta water to thin it out if you need to. 

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and stir until the pasta is coated in the sauce and most of the liquid has been absorbed and everything is nice and hot. Stir in the olives and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to your taste.

Serve with the grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

I know I have said it before, but for real people, this is my perfect food. I could eat some variation of this exact pasta dish every day. I love the fresh bright flavours, the crunch of the kale and the tang of the olives.
I want to marry this pasta!

Thanks B! You know me so well.


Recipe adapted from the one Brenda sent me, I think it is a Martha Stewart recipe.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

I tend to like my cookies soft and chewy. When I saw these cookies in an America’s Test Kitchen magazine I knew I would be stuffing them in my face before I could even read through the whole recipe!

They are VERY good, I flattened mine a little too much, and then the first batch got away from me and were a little crispier than I like but even still they have a great peanut buttery flavour and a great chewy texture!

What you need,

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup packed, light brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. dry roasted peanuts, chopped fine

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt together.
In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, granulated sugar, melted butter, egg and vanilla until smooth.
Stir in the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Cover the batter with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for a couple of hours until firm.

Scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Grease the flat bottom of a drinking glass and use it to press the cookie balls into and even ¾ inch thickness. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with a little of the chopped peanuts and press lightly to adhere.

Bake the cookies until puffed and edges are lightly browned, 12-14 minutes. Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Let the cookies cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

I wish I wouldn’t have overcooked mine, the edges were quite crunchy, but the centres were sure soft and chewy. I am going to make them again and watch them more carefully this time. I think my tiny oven is just too hot!

Either way they were delicious!
If you are looking for a little twist on your basic peanut butter cookie, give these a try!


Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen “Light and Healthy 2012”

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce

When I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to try it. I love pasta, especially stuffed cheesy pasta! It is a little labour intensive but totally worth the effort! 

Perfect for a Sunday night supper!

What you need,

For the meat sauce,

6 oz. lean ground beef
1 tbsp. soy sauce
3 cans diced tomatoes (14.5oz each)
1 onion, chopped fine
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

For the stuffed shells,

1 12oz box jumbo pasta shells
12 saltines, broken into pieces
2 ½ cups low fat cottage cheese, drain if too moist
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced

Start by making the pasta sauce. Pulse the beef and soy sauce together in a food processor until well combined, about 5 pulses. Transfer the meat to a small bowl. Add the cans of tomatoes to the food processor and pulse until coarsely ground, about 10 pulses.

Combine the oil and onion in a large sauté pan. Cover and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until soft, about 8-10mins. Stir in the beef mixture, breaking up the meat until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Add in the tomato paste, garlic and pepper flakes, cook until fragrant about 1 minute. Stir in the processed tomatoes and salt and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 25 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the basil.

Heat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling water cook the shells according to package instructions. Once they are cooked, drain them and place them on a clean, dry dish cloth to cool off a bit. Toss any broken ones.

In a clean food processor pulse the saltines until finely ground. Add the cottage cheese, 1 ½ cups of the mozzarella, the Parmesan cheese the basil and the garlic, plus a ½ tsp. of salt. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.
Transfer the mixture to a large zip top bag. Using scissors cut off 1 corner of the bag and pipe 2 tbsp. of filling into each shell.

Spread ½ the meat mixture on the bottom of a large baking dish. Arrange the filled shells on top. Then spoon the rest of the meat sauce over the stuffed shells. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until bubbling around the edges, about 35-40 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the remaining mozza cheese over the top and bake for another 5 minutes or so until the cheese is melted.

Let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe was so good! My in house taste tester loved it!
The meat sauce was perfect, so much flavour! I just may make it my go to meat sauce from now on!


Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen “Light and Healthy 2012”