Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fish Fillet with Spinach & Tomato in Parchment - "Cooking for One"

Tonight's "cooking for one" recipe came to me on the checkout line in the supermarket.  While waiting on line, I picked up a copy of Bon Appetit and in it was an article on cooking in parchment.  Since I had just purchased  a fresh 6 oz. piece of Flute (a firm white fish), I went over in my head what fresh vegetables I had at home, picked a few fresh herbs from the garden on my way into the house, poured myself a glass of wine and I was cooking. Talk about low fat, moist, flavorful, and easy clean up, this recipe was perfect for dinner for one.  Calories calculated on MyFitnessPal app - 300 Calories per serving.  Some fresh fruit for dessert and I was totally satisfied.  Yes, I'm worth the effort.

Fish Fillet with Spinach & Tomato in Parchment - Serves One

6 oz fillet of Flute (or founder, cod, halibut)
2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach
1/2 chopped fresh tomato
3 kalamata olives chopped
1 tsp olive oil
3 lemon slices - thin
Fresh Chives chopped
1 tsp of white wine
12 X 14 sheet of parchment paper - folded and cut into a heart shape

Fold and cut your parchment into a heart shape.  Place your spinach, chopped tomato, olives, a squeeze of lemon, 1/2 tsp oil, salt and pepper on to half the parchment.  Place your cleaned and dried fillet on top.  Salt & pepper, drizzle with 1/2 tsp oil, 1 tsp of white wine, slices of lemon and snipped fresh chives on top.  Fold your parchment over top and seal by crimping the paper to form a seal.  Place on a sheet pan in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Be careful opening up parchment, steam is very hot.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cumin Lime Cold Slaw

  • I needed a spicy cold slaw to go with my pulled pork I made for a Memorial Day BBQ.  This recipe has the kick I was looking for.  Not making it with mayo kept it fresh and light, and the honey rounded out the tartness of the lime.  

  • 6 cups shredded green cabbage (1/2 large head)
  • 1 cup purple cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper julienned
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Frank's hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey

  • Slice cabbages, red pepper, red onion in a large bowl.  Whisk lime juice, cumin, garlic, honey, and hot sauce in a medium bowl.  Gradually whisk in oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  When ready to service, pour sauce over cabbage and toss to mix.  

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pulled Pork Recipe

Planning ahead for Memorial Weekend, I needed a recipe that would feed at least 10 people.  Pulled Pork is always a crowd-pleaser.  I found this recipe online last year and have cooked it several times and have tweaked it and made it my own.  What I love about this recipe is the pork is slowed roasted uncovered for 12-13 hours while you sleep in a low temperature oven of 225 degrees F.  It gets a rich, dark crust on the outside, but the pork inside remains melt in your mouth moist.  It literally falls off the bone and shreds  easily with two forks.  What more could you ask for?   Yes, some people might want to use a crock pot, but this recipes is all about the slow roasted crust that you could never achieve in a crock-pot.

Pulled Pork ready for a crowd!

Here is the plan:  Purchase your 7-8 lb. Boston Butt with bone-in, make your dry rub and brining liquid, and brine the pork in the a.m. for at least 8 hours.  Later in the evening before bed, take roast out of brine and dry it, rub in the dry rub (leaving 1/2 cup of rub aside), put it in the oven and go to bed.  When you get up in the morning (12 hours later if your lucky enough to get that much sleep) open the oven and check the temperature of the roast with a meat thermometer.  It should read 200 degrees.  Shut off the oven and let it rest for 2 hours.  When temp is down to 170 degrees, it's ready to be pulled.   I serve the pulled pork on buns with cold slaw and bbq sauce on the side.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Chicken over Spinach with Avocado, Tomato and Goat Cheese

Tonight's healthy dinner creation was delicious. The creaminess of the goat cheese and avocado melted in your mouth, while the sauteed spinach gave it that perfect bite.   I have been trying to eat my carbs during the day and leaving dinner for a protein and vegetables, and it has made a definite difference on my waistline.

The whole process of cooking dinner is very relaxing and enjoyable for me. Maybe the glass of wine helps too.  Even if I'm alone for dinner, I cook something worthy of myself. This whole meal took under 10 minutes to cook in one pan.

The avocado in this recipe was used for a purpose. A Pinterest post claimed that avocados can be frozen and I wanted to experiment.   Since a whole avocado has 276 calories and the recommended serving size is 1/4, it makes sense to freeze the remaining three portions in a zip lock bag (air removed) adding a little lemon juice to keep the color alive.   Next week when I'm looking something to put on a tartine for lunch, I'll check out my avocado experiment.

Chicken over Spinach with Avocado, Tomato and Goat Cheese

Serves One - 382 calories per serving*

1 chicken cutlet thinly pounded - 4 oz.
2 heaping handfuls of fresh spinach
1/2 of tomato thinly sliced
1 oz of goat cheese
1 garlic finely chopped
1/4 avocado sliced
1 tsp of olive oil
S&P, fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in a non-stick pan.  Add garlic and warm.  Remove garlic and cook chicken for two minutes on each side.  Remove chicken from pan and add spinach and garlic.  Saute spinach until wilted.  Remove and drain spinach and arrange on plate.  Spread goat cheese on the top of the chicken cutlet and layer over spinach.  Place a few thinly slices tomatoes on top of chicken, add avocado, S&P and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and enjoy.

*calories calculated using MyFitnessPal App

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An Afternoon Chat on Block Island

This was painted for this week's Daily Paintworks Challenge by Abbey Ryan, "The Yellow Challenge."  I took this picture last summer on Block Island, RI of three women chatting up a storm on the beach.  I surmised that they have been vacationing here for years and met on the beach and are catching up.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Jackie's 1988 F150

This oil painting ( 8"x8" on Gessobord) is a gift for my son's 25th birthday  It was his first truck when he turned 17 years old.  Jackie, being quite the thrill seeking teenager, had numerous adventures with the 1988 Ford F150.  One of my favorite stories is when he was a senior in high school, he put a plastic liner in the bed and filled it with hot water from both my house and neighbor's boilers and made it into a hot tub.  He slowly drove it to the homecoming football game and partied in the parking lot in his hot tub with all his friends.  The rest of the time he had a tufted red velvet couch in the back of the truck for lounging with his buddies and girlfriend. The truck also helped him get 2 inches of stitches in his head when his back flip off his tailgate failed.  Needless to say, he eventually went off the college, then to a job and his own house and left the truck in our driveway.  My 15 year old nephew just inherited the truck.  May he have as many adventures with it and give his mother as many gray hairs.   Happy Birthday Jackie!