Monday, January 16, 2012
My husband says he's a hunter. Well, I've been waiting for him to get invited to go deer hunting (he's been asked a couple of times but due to work, he's unable to go. Which this is an official "shout-out" to all my friends to please continue to ask their husbands to call Tim. If it gets him out of the house for 1 - however many days, I'm just a happier person.) so that I can restock my freezer. This weekend, I decided to go through both my freezer and pantry, challenging myself to use everything before I went to the store. If I can clean out the freezer, then I will have more room for venison. At least that's my hope. I realized one thing... I have only 2 pounds of venison left but ample amounts of rice and dried beans. Good grief. I could feed a third world country. I'm either losing my memory or I've become obsessive over both. So, last night I fixed dinner using both, plus some Mahi Mahi I had recently frozen. Everything turned out great except I had leftover beans. To freeze or not to freeze? Next recipe forthcoming.
4 6oz filets Mahi Mahi
1 tsp (each) Kosher salt, pepper, chili powder
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf
1 jalapeno, slit cut down length of pepper
1/2 cup water
2 cups brown rice, cooked to package directions
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup queso fresco
Lime for garnish
Season Mahi Mahi with spice mix, coating both sides. Heat a medium skillet for about 1 minute. Place fish in pan and sear, about 3 minutes, then flip. Sear for additional 2-3 minutes and remove from skillet. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, place beans in medium saucepan. Add onion, garlic, bay leaf, cumin and jalapeno. Add 1/2 cup water and mix well over medium heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
Spoon rice on plate and top with beans and fish. Garnish with avocado, queso fresco and a squeeze of lime.
*I used dried beans, soaked/brined over night, then slow cooked using the ingredients above.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Today marks the anniversary that my beloved grandmother, Nana, passed away. I thought about posting a Christmas or New Year's recipe, but figured January 5th would be a good way to start off the year. Nana was my best friend. A day doesn't go by that I don't think of her. Each day that I cook I wonder what she would think of my final product. I can only imagine what she would have thought over my cheesecakes that nearly burned down my house. I have such fond memories of her. She is one of the reasons I began to have a passion for cooking as well as learning to drive sitting on phone books. She was, without a doubt, one of the best cooks on the planet. I only wish I could bake like she did. As a little girl, I would help in the kitchen, any way I could, just to be near her. We cried over onions and coughed over pillows of powdered sugar all the while making every moment together count. I spent endless summers working at her grocery store learning to make cheese balls, packaging meat and playing in the freezer. She would work for hours on end and then come home and prepare an amazing meal. Just being outside with the smells of wonderful Jewish cooking would permeate the neighborhood. I can remember when I prepared my first Cornish game hens, which she loved, using an elaborate recipe. I cooked all day and once we sat down for dinner, she couldn't stop with the compliments. She even did so after pulling out the plastic bag in the carcass that was filled with the neck, liver and gizzards. That's a true grandmother. That was my Nana. With every chop of my knife and every meal that I serve, she's there. Always. And I never forget to remove that plastic bag.
1 12 oz package of extra wide noodles, cooked to package instructions
2 tbs butter
1 cup cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375. Grease, with Pam, a 9x13 baking dish. Add 2 tbs butter and place in oven to melt. Meanwhile, mix cottage cheese, eggs, milk, pepper and salt in a medium bowl. Add prepared noodles combine, mixing well. Remove baking dish from oven (with gloves!) and add noodle mixture. Place back into oven, uncovered, and bake for 45 minutes. Serve hot. Great with a salad, pot roast or roasted chicken.