Crispy Fish in Flatbread

Quick Post: This meal was a hit! My picky daughter went as far as to call this “brilliant” (a word I have never heard her use – but I appreciated it), and asked if I could make this again for Thanksgiving! ¬†She’s six, so I let that slide ūüėČ I will post the flat bread recipe I used for this soon – that one is a keeper, too! Thanks for reading, enjoy!


Crispy Fish in Flatbread – adapted from No More To Go

For the Fish –

  • 1 pound tilapia fillets – split
  • Blackening seasoning to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, plus 1 TBSP water
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • Peanut oil, canola oil or a combination of the two

For the Tartar Sauce –¬†Mom Makes Original¬†

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 TBSP sweet dill pickle relish
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp true garlic powder
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp of lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried chives
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions –

1. Prepare the sauce by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate.
2. In small shallow dish (pie plate), lightly beat egg with 1 tablespoon water. In another dish, pour in panko and in another dish, the cornstarch.
3. Season the tilapia with the blackening seasoning and salt, then lightly coat the fish with cornstarch – gently pat the fish to remove excess.
4. Dip the tilapia into the egg mixture, and then place the fish in the panko, making sure the piece is evenly coated. Set aside onto a clean plate and continue with the rest of the fish pieces.
5. In a heavy skillet, add enough oil to come up the sides 1/8-1/4‚ÄĚ inch.¬†Heat the oil over medium high heat until it shimmers.¬†Test the oil by dropping a little panko in the pan. The oil is hot enough bubbles form around the panko.
10. Without overcrowding the pan, fry the fillet until golden, flipping once. Depending on the thickness of the fillets, these will cook in just a few minutes.
11. To serve, spread tartar on a flatbread, arrange tilapia, and other toppings of your choice.

Self-Rising Biscuits

The kids let us sleep in this morning, which was a happy surprise. However, it meant that it was nearly “brunch time” by the time we rolled out of bed. Everyone wanted breakfast and had their own ideas of what it should be. One wanted pancakes, the other expected French toast – another suggested outside options. In an effort to avoid that, I remembered this recipe, and that I had the all important eggs and¬†bacon! These biscuits came together quickly and were so easy to make. I cut the biscuits into squares to save time and avoid overworking the dough and piecing the scraps together to make more biscuits. ¬†We enjoyed these sandwich style, but my favorite way is with butter and apricot preserves ūüôā

I posted earlier this week about receiving a free bag of King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising flour, and I thought I should give my opinion of it. I am a loyal KAF customer and have at least 3 different types of flour from this brand; so, it comes as no surprise to me that I would love working with this ūüôā . Their website is full of recipes, and my family and friends favorite one so far is the fudge brownies! I also have several specialty items I have purchased through the online shop, and the quality is superior and I always get consistent results with my baked goods. What I appreciated even before I opened the bag was that it’s unbleached. I have yet to find another company that makes unbleached, self-rising flour – which leads to the other unique quality: aluminum free baking powder. Because it’s aluminum-free, there is no weird “tinny” flavor, so your baked goods will be light, fluffy and flavorful! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Up Next: Chocolate Cobbler

Easy Self-Rising Biscuits – from King Arthur Flour

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 425¬į.

2) Place the flour in a bowl. Work in the butter or shortening just until crumbs are the size of large peas.

3) Add 2/3 cup of the milk or buttermilk, and stir until the mixture holds together and leaves the sides of the bowl, adding more milk or buttermilk if needed.

4) Scoop the dough onto a well-floured surface, and fold it over on itself several times, using more flour as needed to prevent sticking.

5) Roll or pat the dough into a 5″ x 8 1/2″ rectangle about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick.

6) Cut biscuits with a sharp, round 2″ cutter, dipping the cutter into flour between cuts to reduce sticking. Or cut the rectangle into 12 small rectangular biscuits, which will allow you to skip the step of re-rolling and cutting scraps.

7) If you’ve used a round cutter, pat the scraps together, and cut additional biscuits.

8) Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 1″ between them for crisp biscuits. Arrange biscuits so they’re barely touching for soft-side biscuits. For higher-rising soft-side biscuits, place biscuits in an 8″ round pan.

9) Bake the biscuits for 10 to 14 minutes, or until they’re a light golden brown.

10) Remove them from the oven, and serve hot. Cool leftovers completely, wrap airtight, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage. To refresh room-temperature biscuits, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and bake in a preheated 350¬įF oven for 10 to 13 minutes, until heated through.

Yield: about 1 dozen 2″ biscuits.

Turkey Roast Dip with Gruyere

Quick Post: So, you don’t like turkey? Well, make this for the people in your life who do, and you’ll score major points!! This is seriously the best turkey meal I have eaten – it comes in second after my favorite Thanksgiving turkey recipe. I cannot put into words how amazing this is – I just accept it; and can’t wait for more people to try this. Using fresh herbs is so important because it’s where most of the flavor comes from. ¬†I used some homemade chicken stock – again, because there isn’t a whole lot going on in this, so use the best ingredients. Thanks for reading, enjoy!!

Turkey Roast Dip with Gruyere – adapted from Kelsey Nixon

for the turkey:

  • 3¬†tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1¬†tablespoon¬†fresh thyme¬†leaves, chopped
  • 1¬†tablespoon¬†chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1¬†large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2¬†cup chicken stock – preferably homemade
  • 3¬†tablespoons¬†Worcestershire sauce
  • 1¬†(3-pound) bone-in turkey breast
 for the sandwiches
  • 6¬†demi French baguettes, sliced in half (**I used a loaf of this**)
  • 3¬†tablespoons¬†unsalted butter, softened
  • Gruyere cheese
Directions:

For the turkey: In a small mixing bowl, mix together the softened butter and fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.Spread the chopped onions over the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour the chicken stock and Worcestershire sauce into the slow cooker. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper. Slather the turkey breast with herb butter, spreading half under the turkey skin. Place the turkey on top of the onions, breast side up. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, checking it after 4 hours to see if the internal temperature has reached 170 degree F. Once the turkey reaches 170 degrees F, remove it from the slow cooker, transfer to a cutting board, tent with aluminum foil and allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing. Reserve any juices from the slow cooker. After the breast has rested, remove the skin and slice very thinly using a sharp knife.

For the sandwich: Preheat the broiler. Brush each side of the sliced bread with the softened butter and place on a baking sheet, buttered side up. Top each buttered baguette with sliced cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts and begins to turn golden brown.

Carefully remove from the oven. Pile the sliced turkey on the bottom half of each sandwich before topping it with the cheesy top. Serve the turkey au jus left over in the slow cooker for dipping.

One Loaf Basic Bread and One Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl

I like when recipes offer variations like this one – it’s like two for the price of one ūüėČ ¬†It was just me and the kids this week as M was off checking out an IBM convention for work. When he’s away I like to take advantage of not worrying if he will like something I make or not. See – he doesn’t like onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, mustard or raisins. He says he’s not picky, and believe me I have met some picky eaters – but those foods he refuses are often main components to so many recipes! It really ruins meal planning for me at times. The kids and I love raisins and I don’t often get to make a loaf like this one. Besides, it had been a couple of months since last I made French toast.
These loaves came out nicely with a tight, but not dense crumb – perfect for hearty sandwiches, grilled cheese or toast. I will make this one again with my modifications. I can’t justify using all white flour in any of my loaves, and I find if I substitute one-third of the flour with white whole wheat, my family doesn’t complain ūüôā
Walter Sands’ Basic White Bread and Cinnamon-Swirl Variation – adapted from King Arthur Flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup Bakes’s Special dry milk (71 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 4 cups (500 grams) AP Flour
  • 2 cups (240 grams) white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt

cinnamon-raisin swirl – (I used half this amount)

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Directions: 

1) Pour the warm water into a mixing bowl. Add and let dissolve the sugar or honey and then the yeast.

2) When the yeast is bubbling, add the butter, 3 cups of flour, the dry milk, and salt. Mix together.

3) Stir in another 2 1/2 cups of flour, keeping the last 1/2 cup in reserve. Knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes, until it begins to behave as if it belongs together. Cover and let the dough rest while you clean and grease the mixing bowl.

4) Continue kneading for 3 or 4 more minutes, until the dough feels smooth and springy.

5) Place the bowl in the greased bowl, turn it over to coat both sides, and cover the bowl. Let it rise in a draft-free place until doubled, 1 to 2 hours. Deflate the dough, and divide it in half. For cinnamon-swirl bread, roll each piece of dough into a rough 9″ x 15″ rectangle. Spread each piece with half the melted butter, then sprinkle with half the raisins, sugar, and cinnamon. Starting with a short edge, roll into a cylinder. Place the loaves in the pans, seam-side down, and let rise and bake as directed at right., and place in greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ pans. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until the dough domes an inch above the rim of the pans.

6) After the dough has been rising for 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 350¬įF. When the loaves are sufficiently risen, bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until nicely browned and the center of the loaves reads 190¬įF when measured with an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and tip the breads out of their pans. Place on a rack to cool completely before slicing.

This is our favorite recipe for custard and I have been using it for years. I have tried others, but this is the best in my opinion. Dry out your bread slices overnight, or spread the pieces on a cooling rack placed on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. I soaked the raisins in hot water before I put them on the dough, but I didn’t have time to let them drain for very long. That’s why the loaf didn’t stay together at the top. All that steam built up underneath and created a big air bubble all the way through. Thankfully, it tastes better than it looks! Thanks for reading, enjoy ūüôā

Comeback Sauce

Quick Post: I pinned this awhile back and knew that I had to try it. There is a lot going on in this sauce, but it all works! I whipped this up the other afternoon to use on sandwiches instead of plain ‘ol mustard and mayo. It didn’t have much time to sit and meld, but that didn’t matter. The flavors worked together really well, and I’m positive that it’s only going to taste better with age. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Comeback Sauce – adapted from Syrup and Biscuits

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 ¬†cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil (*I used grapeseed oil)
  • juice of one lemon
Directions:

Mix all ingredients well and store in refrigerator overnight.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Sandwiches

Quick Post:¬† This was amazing! Panera Bread has nothing on homemade! This is so much cheaper than eating there, too ūüôā I will make this again and again. The baked ham and cheese sandwiches are a must for dipping. I used multi grain ciabatta bread, honey ham and baby swiss. Wrap each sandwich in foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. My picky daughter loved the simple sandwiches, but turned down the soup – more for me ūüėČ Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Broccoli Cheddar Soup – adapted from Simply Scratch
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons melted Butter, divided
  • 1 small Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 medium Carrot, julienned
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups Half-and-Half
  • 2 cups Vegetable Stock, plus more if needed
  • 1 bunch {12 ounces} Fresh Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/8 teaspoon Fresh Nutmeg, or more to taste
  • 8 ounces Good Sharp Cheddar Cheese, freshly grated
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Black Pepper, to taste¬†

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Drop the broccoli florets into the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the broccoli and place it into a large bowl of ice water. Once cooled, drain the broccoli and set aside.

Sauté the onions and carrots in two tablespoons of butter until soft but still firm. Remove and set aside.

Add the 1/4 cup of melted butter to the same pan. Add in the flour, stir constantly for 2-3 minutes. 

Slowly pour half-and-half and then the vegetable stock while still whisking. Add in nutmeg and stir. Cover and simmer {over medium-low} for 20 minutes.

Next, reduce heat to low and add in the onions, carrots and broccoli. Add more vegetable stock if you feel the soup is too thick. Stir and cover to simmer for another 20-25 minutes.

Lastly, use a potato masher to break up the broccoli florets to desired size. Add in half of the cheddar cheese. Season generously {to taste} with kosher salt and black pepper. 

Serve immediately with additional cheddar cheese.

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Yup – I’m using this again ūüėČ As we were eating this dinner, I started thinking of ways to use the rest of the pesto. It’s not a stretch as far as recipes go, but I already know the flavors will work together.

Verdict:¬†Yum! This sandwich was so good! It’s so full of flavor and it’s a new favorite in this house. The sun dried tomato pesto is so worth making. I still have an 8 ounce jar of this left, so I’m sure I will be posting a new recipe with it soon. I don’t want it to go to waste after all. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto –

For Marinating the Chicken:

  • 1 pound chicken breast cutlets
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt and pepper
For Assembling the Sandwiches:
  • Ciabatta rolls, split and brushed with olive oil
  • sun dried tomato pesto
  • goat cheese
  • garlic and herb cream cheese spread
  • organic spring mix
  • sliced tomatoes
Directions:
1. Place the chicken cutlets in a sealable container or a zip top bag. Mix all the ingredients and pour over top of chicken. Marinade for at least 30 minutes, but no more than a few hours (*depending on how thick your pieces are – or the acid will start to “cook” the meat).
2. Preheat your grill to medium-high and grill the chicken for about 4 minutes a side or until done. Place the bun halves oil side down to toast.
3. To assemble:¬†¬†On one half of the roll, slather on a good amount of the garlic and herb cheese spread and pile salad greens on top and then the grilled chicken on top of that and then tomato slices. Spread the sun dried tomato pesto on the top bun and place it on top of the sandwich ‚Äď enjoy!

Homemade Hot Pockets

Yum! These are worlds better than store bought Hot Pockets:) I made several different combinations for these and they all turned out to be really flavorful, cheesy and satisfying. I made a chicken, broccoli and cheese pocket, a pepperoni, sausage and cheese, and ham and cheddar cheese. Next time I think I’ll use a garlic and herb flavored dough to take the flavor up a few notches. We enjoyed the pizza pockets with what else – pizza sauce, drops of Frank’s Red Hot or green Tobasco. I had to stop myself from eating more of these – cheese and bread in combination are my weakness! The recipe below is really just a rough guideline for making these. They’re pretty fool-proof and don’t require any real measurements. I just made sure that I didn’t over-fill the dough. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Homemade Hot Pockets –

  • 4 ounce balls of pizza dough (*I made 9)
  • cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, Parmesan cheeses – odds and ends are great for these
  • pepperoni, ham, chicken sausage, and shredded chicken breast – cut into small pieces
  • steamed broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes – or whatever leftover cooked veggies you have

Directions –

Take one ball of dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface so that the long side is perpendicular to your body. It should have a rectangular shape and be only slightly thicker than paper thin. Add about about 1/4 cup of your filling over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border along the edges of the dough.

Pull the shorter ends toward each other and then pull the longer ends toward the middle. Seal the roll by pinching this last portion of dough against the roll. Smooth out with your fingers by gently pressing the seam. Place the pocket into onto the prepared baking sheet seam side down. If you’d like a crisper crust you can brush the tops with olive oil or egg wash. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.¬†Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 – 25 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuscan Chicken Sandwich

This sandwich was amazing – and I’m not ashamed to admit that! ūüėČ I was inspired by a sandwich that I love to order – something I have never done before. I like the idea of recreating and improving on a favorite meal and this was a successful first attempt. Thankfully the menu listed all ingredients that this sandwich requires so there was no guessing involved. I changed up some of the ingredients to accommodate¬†what I had in my fridge. I didn’t make the ciabatta rolls at home, but these are bakery fresh and full of ingredients I can pronounce. I also didn’t make the cream cheese spread, but I bought it at my favorite specialty food market where they make so much on site. It’s a garlic and herb cheese spread that has cream cheese, basil, parsley and garlic – so it’s easy enough to make if you chose to. It’s basically a Boursin cheese spread, but I checked the ingredients on that and it’s not made with fresh herbs or garlic – pass! It’s not worth 5 plus dollars in my opinion…The basil pesto mayonnaise was super easy to make especially because I had about a cup of this pesto in my freezer.

Tuscan Chicken Sandwich – inspired by Common Grounds Cafe

For the marinade:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded to an even thickness
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • Italian seasoning
  • kosher salt
For the Sandwich:
  • basil mayo
  • garlic and herb cheese spread
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • salad greens or baby spinach
  • baby swiss
  • 4 ciabatta rolls, brushed lightly with olive oil for toasting on the grill
Directions:
1. Place your pounded chicken in a zip top bag. Mix all the marinade ingredients together and pour over top the chicken. Mush the bag to disperse the marinade, place the bag in a container and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
2. Preheat your grill to 350 – 400 degrees. Grill the chicken for 7 to 8 minutes a side and at about 5 minutes before the chicken is cooked through, toast your ciabatta rolls if desired. Take the rolls and the chicken off the grill and place a piece of baby swiss on each chicken breast (my slices are super thin so they melt quickly).
3. On one half of the roll, slather on a good amount of the garlic and herb cheese spread and place a piece of chicken on top. On top of the chicken, top with salad greens and sun dried tomatoes. Spread the pesto mayo on the top bun and place it on top of the sandwich – enjoy!

Meatball Sandwiches

I haven’t made meatball subs since¬†December, and that recipe was really good. I do enjoy trying new recipes, and M mentioned that he’d like the meatballs to be smaller to make the subs easier to eat and less messy. These are baked in a mini muffin tin, so they’ll all be nice and uniform in size. The sauce couldn’t be easier – I basically ignored it for two hours and it just reduced down into a rich marinara. Be sure to keep the heat at low in case you’re anything like me and completely forget it for about 40 minutes! I went next door to share some granola with my neighbor and ended up talking for quite some time ūüėČ

Verdict: The sauce was great but the meatballs were lacking in flavor. The meatballs I made for the subs back in December were much more flavorful. These can be tweaked more to suit our tastes, but what made me want to try these in the first place was that they are baked.

Meatball Subs Рadapted from CookEatLove
Basic Tomato Sauce:
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 6-8 leaves fresh basil leaves
  • 3-6 cloves garlic roasted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • drizzle with olive oil, 5 tbs
  • finally, just before serving add 2 tbs of butter to bring layers of flavor to the sauce.
Directions:
1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add crushed tomatoes and raw quarted onions (big chunks). Add  basil, garlic, salt and pepper. When the garlic is done roasting add this as well.  Let the sauce come to a boil, lower heat to low and stir occasionally until desired thickness. Drizzle with olive oil part way through the simmering to taste (I usually simmer for a couple of hours).  Remove the big chunks of onion and just before serving add the butter.
Meatballs: (makes 30)
  • 1.25 pounds ground lean beef (roughly, does not have to be exact, just about those combinations)
  • 1 pound ground pork *see above note
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1¬† tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1/2 clove of minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (I used hamburger buns toasted in the oven then grated in the food processor)
  • lukewarm water just to moisten a little more

*bread crumbs for rolling the meatballs in before putting them in the muffin tray is optional – if you decide to, just make extra from the ones you used for the meat mixture

Pre-heat oven to 400.  Combine beef,  pork in a large bowl. Add eggs, cheese, basil, garlic and salt and pepper. Using your hands, blend ingredients together. Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add water, a bit at a time until the mixture is quite moist. Using your hands, shape the meatballs into rounds  and place the meatballs in individual, miniature muffin tin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

To Assemble:

*6-8 hoagie buns

*fresh mozzarella cheese

Finally, when you are assembling the meatball subs, use a nice crispier hoagie to absorb some of the tomato sauce.  I dig out a small well in the lower part of the bun to let the saucy meatballs sit. I placed mozzarella cheese in the bottom of the hollowed out rolls, place the meatballs on top and then add sauce and cheese . Sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese and then broil the sub so that the cheese is bubbly.  Finally eat.