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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi

That's right, I ventured into making a fish dish! And let me tell you, it was DEEEELICIOUS!! My MIL just left for Sweden for a 3 weeks and I wanted to make her a nice farewell dinner. I was feeling adventurous, we had some frozen Mahi Mahi from Costco and I started searching for yummy Mahi Mahi recipes. Like usual, was the winner and I found a great Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi recipe. It was really simple and I modified it a bit since I'm still an amateur cook. ;p 

1-1/2 ounces macadamia nuts (I crushed them and used about 1/2 a bag)
2-1/2 ounces plain bread crumbs
4 (6 ounce) mahi mahi fillets
2-1/2 ounces butter
1-1/2 ounces shallots, diced (diced about 1 shallot)
2-2/3 cups chicken stock (used chicken broth - 1 can)
2-1/2 ounces pineapple, rough chopped (1 jar of tropical fruit with pineapple & papaya - in the produce section next to the fresh cut fruit) 
1-1/2 ounces papaya, rough chopped
2 ounces mango, rough chopped (I used 1 mango)
2 teaspoons shredded coconut (instead of messing with coconut, I got 1 can of coconut milk and used 1/2 a can)
1-1/4 habanero peppers, seeded (I'm not a spicy person, so I used crushed red peppers for a little kick)
1 egg 

  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • white sugar to taste (didn't use sugar, used the fruit juice from the jar and coconut milk)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

2. In a food processor or blender, pulse together macadamia nuts and breadcrumbs until finely ground. Pour nut mixture onto a plate, and coat fish fillets on both sides. I used an egg to make sure the the bread crumbs and nuts stuck to the fish...and I didn't use a blender or food processor. I crushed the nuts with a hammer and then mixed them with the bread crumbs...ha! 

3. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry fillets on both sides until nuts are golden brown. Remove to a baking pan.

4. Add shallots to skillet, and cook until translucent. Stir in chicken broth. Mix in pineapple, papaya, mango, coconut milk, and crushed red peppers. Simmer until sauce is thick, about 30 minutes. Strain to remove peppers, fruit, and shallots. Reserve sauce in a pan over low heat. I added about 3 tablespoons of corn starch to make the sauce a little thicker. It doesn't need to be pasty, but it doesn't need to be watery between is perfect. I also kept the fruit relish to put on the rice. 

5. Bake mahi mahi in preheated oven about 10 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. Remove fish, and lightly coat with sauce. 

I made this dish with sautéed green beans and long grain white rice. For the green beans, I cut up white onion and threw in a little butter with the green beans and seasoned them with lawry's seasoning. They were yum-tastic! 

Dessert - I made Fat Free Chocolate Pudding! 

No ka oi! 

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stuffed Tomatoes

When the men are away... my mom and I like to get together and eat foods that we normally don't get to enjoy. This usually includes cheese/crackers, capers, tomatoes... Both Russ and Papa are not fans of these types of foods.... especially for dinner. It's like... "Where's the Meat" ?! haha.... anyway, we decided to make stuffed tomatoes. I found these really firm, huge tomatoes at Pavillions that were perfect for stuffing.

1 diced portobello mushroom


1/2 chopped onion

pinch rosemary

pinch thyme

2-4 Big, firm tomatoes (beefsteak)

1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1 handful mixed baby greens

Italian or Vinaigrette dressing

In a medium bowl, combine the mushrooms with the olive oil, onion, rosemary, and thyme; let sit for about 10 minutes.

Remove the mushrooms from the marinade and place in small skillet with EVOO until slightly softened and browned, about 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325° F. Using a sharp knife, slice the tops off the tomatoes; you need them later so don't discard them. Using a melon baller or spoon, scoop out the insides. (You can save the insides for a sauce or another salad.) Set aside. Place the tomatoes into a 1-inch baking pan, with their tops placed on top. Bake until the skins start to wrinkle, about 15 minutes.

When the tomatoes are finished, remove the tops and stuff with alternate layers of the mushroom mixture and the cheese. Place the tomatoes back into the oven (without the tops) just until the cheese starts to melt, about 5 minutes.

Top each tomato with a bit of the mixed baby greens and a drizzle of the dressing. Cover with the tomato tops, and serve.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Free Fall Soup

So summer is over.. well, here it is anyway. The weather is quite nippy and everyone is trying to salvage their vegetable gardens before their tomatoes, zucchinis and pumpkins all get frostbite. This means FREE veggies for me!! I love how everyone senses my love for garden grown food and so feels happy to donate the extras. This soup is very very tasty and healthy!
serves 5
2 zucchini chopped in bite sized pieces
4 juicy tomatoes, chopped
1 orange (or whatever color) bell pepper, chopped
1 chopped onion
2 Tbsp EVOO
4 cups chicken broth (or vege broth)
1 cup water
a few tbsp leftover spaghetti sauce (or tomato paste with 3 cloves crushed garlic)
2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
some leftover cooked noodles.. or uncooked
parmesan and swiss cheese for garnish
1. In a large pot, brown onion until golden in some EVOO. Then add the zucchini, paprika, red pepper flakes, basil, and oregano and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes, and pasta sauce and stir around. Add the chicken broth and let simmer until the zucchini is translucent. If you are using uncooked pasta, go ahead and put it in now, if not, go to step 3.
3. Add the beans and decide if the liquid level is to your liking. I added 1 cup of water. Taste and adjust the salt/pepper seasoning.
4. Add the cooked pasta and let heat through. Serve hot with fresh ground pepper and grated cheese on top!

I can't get enough of this healthy soup! Of course, you could just throw it all into the crockpot and it would work too if you add the pasta at the end.
The only negative remark I got was, "What? No Meat?"
If you add some cooked ground turkey or ground beef, this can become a "manly" soup. Eric didn't mind the no meat after a few bites though!

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Indian Coral Lentils REMIX!

I found some coral colored lentils here which I now consider my favorite lentil to use in my dad's Indian lentil recipe!
The coral color doesn't stay, and they become beige-yellow when cooked, but they do have lots of flavor! Since I can't find yellow split peas here, this is a perfect substitute. They cook quicker than brown lentils and they kind of explode, but that's what they're supposed to do. I added more chili powder and turmeric into the recipe, and this is how it comes out... just delicious every time.
I'm working on finding okra to make another one of my dad's great indian vegetarian recipes. Why isn't okra that common here?

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Steph's Apple Pie

So what are you supposed to do when a coworker gives you a ton of apples off her tree and you'll never be able to down them all before they start going bad? Make apple pie!!!
This is a different type than the American version. Both are good, but I'm pretty sure this one is easier. The picture doesn't do it justice at all. My bro and inlaws scarfed it down before I got a slice picture.
3-4 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into thin wedges
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup of sugar (and more to taste)
1/2 tsp cinammon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 raw pie crust
1. Unroll your pie crust and poke it with a fork. Lay it in the tin and put it in the oven at 350°F for 5-7 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, wisk your egg yolks (mine are extra orange because I used fresh duck and hen eggs) and then wisk in the cream, sugar and spices. Do a finger taste test.. add more sugar if needed, but seriously, I don't like it too sweet.
3. Take out your pie crust and arrange your apple wedges so that it looks pretty. Pour your mixture over your apples. The liquid level shouldn't be too high. You want to see your apples halfway poking out.
4. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until it looks just about right.

I didn't actually follow a recipe to make this. I did it at 11pm while drinking beer with my bro and winged the measurements and cooking time. It came out perfectly! My MIL is now upset that I compete with her in the pie making department!

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Thai Green Curry

I finally finally finally got my hands on some GREEN Thai curry paste (thanks papa!!!). I love making Thai curry because I change it up every time depending on what I have on hand.
I'm just going to re-post my recipe because it kind of changed...
- 1 can coconut milk or coconut cream
- 1 T soy sauce
- 2 T green chili paste (use less if you are a spice wuss)
- 1 T fish sauce
- 2 inch chunk of ginger, grated
- 1 lb pork in chunks (or 6 skinless chicken thighs)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers in big chunks (at the end)
- 2 zucchinis in big chunks
- 1 cup pumpkin (I swear when I have it, I put it in everything)
- 1 to 2 chopped tomatoes
salt to taste
lime wedges
chopped cilantro
fresh ground pepper
red pepper flakes
1. Mix the coconut cream, chili paste, fish sauce, soy sauce and ginger in the bottom of your crock pot.
2. Add the meat and coat it with your mixture.
3. Put all your chopped veggies (except the bell pepper) on top without mixing them into the sauce.. they will nicely steam without desintegrating and cook on low for 6 hours. Add the bell pepper 1 hour before serving
4. Serve over rice with chopped cilantro, fresh g and a squeeze of lemon or lime.
I mixed chicken thighs and pork chunks. This last picture is pork chunks.
Always a hit!

* remove the soy and fish sauce (high in sodium), and this is fight food

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Leek Pumpkin Soup

I meant for this soup to be more orange, but I guess that's what I get for putting leeks in there. It still tasted delicious, though... although I put less than half of my pumpkin in there, so it was not very pumpkin-y. I used the last of it... and I might be ready to pick a new one. I love this vegetable!
I've made this with zucchini in place of pumpkin, too!
3 cups raw pumpkin (or however much you have)
2 leeks, washed and chopped
5 medium potatoes, peeled
1 cup beer (there I go pouring beer into my food again.. what's wrong with me?)
2 smashed garlic cloves
1 cube vegetable broth (or chicken)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp walnut oil (I just felt like experimenting, but just use EVOO)
salt to taste
red pepper flakes
some water
1. Sautee your leek in the oil (in a large pot or pressure cooker)
2. Add potatoes, pepper, chili powder and stir around.
3. Add the pumpkin, beer and vegetable cube and then add some water so there are still vegetables sticking out.
4. If you are using a pressure cooker, close it and count 10 minutes from when it starts to make noises. If not, simmer until potatoes are tender (30 minutes or more?) If using a crock pot, don't add much water.
5. Mix with an immersible blender, stir in heavy cream, and salt to taste.
6. Serve with some shredded cheese fresh ground pepper, and red pepper flakes on top.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

BevMo's Wine Cake

Here is a simple but yummy recipe from the Cargo Vault! This time it's compliments of my Mom, Beverly-aka BevMo. It's a delicious yellow cake with an adult beverage twist!

BevMo's Infamous Wine Cake

Fine fixins:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 large box of vanilla pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup cooking sherry wine (usually found near the vinegar at the store)
3/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Small details:
Preheat oven to 350
Grease a 10in bunt pan with butter/margarine and sprinkle with all purpose flower so its "Non stick."

Add cake mix, pudding mix, and nutmeg in large mixing bowl, followed by the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix on low to medium until the batter is creamy-not lumpy!
Pour cake batter into greased bunt pan and place in oven for 45-50 minutes (aka my oven 60!) Set the timer and stick a fork or toothpick in it at 45 mins to see if it's cooked all the way through.

When it's a yummy golden brown color and fully cooked, remove from oven and let it cool for 40-60 minutes, depending on how much time u have! (The longer the better)
Once cooled, give the edges a little swirl with a knife to make sure its not stuck to the pan, then flip the bunt cake over on to your serving dish, sprinkle with powdered sugar and ENJOY!!!
Note: If the cake is not cool enough you run the risk of it not popping out of the bunt pan smoothly- AND the powdered sugar will melt.

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