Tilapia DeJonghe

Tilapia DeJonghe
(a twist on the traditional Shrimp DeJonghe)
adapted from THIS recipe

2 lbs tilapia fillets
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups fresh bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Lightly grease an 11x 13 inch casserole dish.
Place tilapia evenly in the casserole dish. Pour wine over the tilapia.
Mix together butter, garlic, cayenne pepper, paprika, parsley and bread crumbs.
Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over the shrimp. Refrigerate now if desired.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until tilapia is firm and topping is golden brown. Serve immediately.

Pork Schnitzel & Creamy Mushroom Topping

I made the following for my Oktoberfest event. You can read and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Robert’s Pork Schnitzel & Creamy Mushroom Topping
recipe HERE

6 thin, boneless “breakfast” pork chops
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced garlic1 12-ounce jar roasted chicken gravy
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Flatten each pork chop lightly with a flat meat mallet or heavy skillet into a uniform thinness. Place the flour on a plate or in a glass baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Place the eggs in a baking dish or pie plate. Place the seasoned bread crumbs in another baking dish or glass pie plate and stir in the sage. Dip a pork chop into the flour, coating both sides and shaking off excess. Next, dip into the egg, coating well, then into the seasoned bread crumbs. Place on a plate and continue until all 6 chops are breaded.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add 3 of the pork chops and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn and brown on other side, cooking until done, about 2 minutes more. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and brown remaining chops, adding them to the plate and setting aside when they are done.

Add the mushrooms and garlic to the hot skillet. Season with salt and pepper and saute over medium-high heat until the mushrooms are golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken gravy and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Place the pork chops on a platter and top with the sauce.

Don’t Be a Dip…

I’m a snacker and love snack food & snack portions. One of my fave snacks are dips (preferably involving cheese) with something crunchy. However these days I’ve been trying healthier alternatives to our favorite foods without sacrificing flavor.

Rather than whipping up a spinach & artichoke dip to munch on for lunch, I decided to throw a little spin on it by using a healthier version of the dip to create a more substantial and healthier meal. So for lunch today, I made Spinach & Artichoke Chicken adapting this recipe for Spinach & Artichoke Dip. Rather than using as a traditional dip, I topped boneless, skinless chicken breasts with it and served it with a sauteed yellow squash, zucchini, mushrooms and tomato.


Here’s my recipe for Spinach & Artichoke Chicken:

1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
1 1/2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts
6 ounces low fat cream cheese
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Breadcrumb Topping:
1/4 panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Boil spinach and artichokes in 1 cup of water until tender and drain. Discard liquid.
Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft.
Stir in rest of ingredients and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350.
On a baking sheet, place chicken and season with salt & pepper to taste.
Top each chicken breast with the spinach & artichoke mixture.
Combine the ingredients for the breadcrumb topping and sprinkle over the spinach & artichoke mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear.

The Nutty Tilapia…

If there is a recipe that I’ve been so delayed in making, it’s this one. Something always came up – dinner out, errands, laziness… But finally, tonight’s dinner will be the long awaited Macadamia Nut Crusted Tilapia. The last time I had prepared this was for my birthday luau about 3 months ago. We loved it back then that we wanted to make it again. This time, I served it with sesame bok choy and king oyster mushrooms. It’s light, flavorful and great for hot summer nights.

Here’s my recipe for Macadamia Nut Crusted Tilapia:
4 frozen tilapia fillets
1-2 eggs
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup crushed macadamia nuts
1/2 panko breadcrumbs
salt & pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk eggs with water for egg wash.
In a shallow baking pan, combine the nuts, breadcrumbs, salt & pepper.
Dip each tilapia fillet in the eggwash and dredge in the nut/breadcrumb mixture until fully coated.
Plate coated fish on a plate and chill for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Place coated fish on a light greased baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Here’s my recipe for Baby Bok Choy & King Oyster Mushroom Saute:

3-4 baby bok choy bunches
1 1/2 cups king oyster mushrooms (or any kind of mushroom)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons sesame oil

Heat large skillet or wok over high heat.
Meanwhile, prep your veggies by cutting bottoms of the bok choy and rinsing any debris between the stalks. Cut off the green tops and set aside.
For the mushrooms, slice them and if you prefer, remove stems.
When skilley or wok is hot, add oil to coat the bottom.
Add garlic, ginger and bok choy bottoms (not the green leafy tops!).
Stir until stalks are softened; then add mushrooms.
Stir until mushrooms start to brown and soften.
Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce and salt & pepper to taste.
Stir and then add bok choy greens.
Remove from heat, add sesame oil and toss until greens wilt.

*I’m also submitting this dish to the Original Recipes blogging event hosted by Lore of Culinarty. This is one of my fave blogging events each month because it showcases the creativity of so many bloggers. Check out the round up mid month!

Comforting Italian…

I think I mentioned before how my husband isn’t much of a pasta guy. However I do like pasta and well, he’ll eat what’s for lunch or dinner regardless. So today, I was considering chicken parmagiana… breaded & fried, slathered with sauce and topped with gooey cheese. But with my recent efforts of getting back to shape, I wanted to lighten up where I can.

Taking the idea of stuffed chicken and combining it with the idea of lasagna rolls, I concocted these Chicken Parmigiana Rolls. You can easily make these in advance and freeze for future meals. They are also baked, not fried making it a bit healthier. I served this with pasta and a homemade chunky vegetable wine sauce.

Here is my recipe for Chicken Parmigiana Rolls:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
1 cup pasta sauce
4 basil leaves
2 slices of mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup flour
1 egg, scrambled
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

Open up the butterflied chicken breasts and cut in 2 equal pieces.
With a meat pallet, pound each piece of chicken flat to form a paillard.
On each piece of chicken, spread a tablespoon of pasta sauce.
Top sauce with a 1/2 slice of mozzarella cheese, sprinkle of parmesan cheese and 1 basil leaf.
Carefully take one side of the chicken and begin rolling it into a chicken roll. Secure chicken roll with a toothpick to stay intact.
Dredge chicken roll in flour.
Dip chicken roll in the scrambled egg.
Combine the italian season, salt, pepper and panko breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl.
Coat the chicken roll with the seasoned breadcrumbs.
Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
Place on a baking dish and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
You can choose to top the chicken rolls with sauce and cheese if you’d like.

*I’m also submitting this to the Presto Pasta Nights blogging event done by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. Katie of Thyme for Cooking is hosting it this week! Check out the upcoming pasta dishes they feature each week!*

Meatless Meanderings

So thanks to my husband, I have been eating very little meat (pork, beef, poultry) and so I’m finding contentment in meatless meals. One classic is macaroni and cheese. We all have a recipe for it, whether it comes from a blue box, made with a roux or even picked up at the store. Ironically, on Food Network the other night, there was a Macaroni & Cheese competition!

I cracked open one of my America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks and decided to try one of their recipes out. It came out wonderfully, especially with my twist on adding french fried onions! In fact, I’m submitting this to the Thursday Night Smackdown blogging event in July. It’s a great event that encourages folks to use recipes from cookbooks and magazines, rather than those available online. Check it out and submit a recipe too! Here is the recipe for Stove top Macaroni & Cheese, from Here in America’s Test Kitchen, pages 158-160:

What We Wanted: A rich, creamy casserole with plenty of cheese flavor, properly cooked noodles, and a flawlessly smooth sauce.

What We Learned: Don’t use a flour-thickened bechamel or baked custard for this dish. For the best texture and flavor, make macaroni and cheese on the stovetop (not in the oven) and use evaporated milk in the sauce. For some crunch, sprinkle with toasted buttered breadcrumbs just before serving.
Toasted Bread Crumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (I used panko bread crumbs)
pinch of salt
french fried onions

Creamy Macaroni & Cheese
2 large eggs
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
1/2 lb elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 oz sharp cheddar, American, or Monterey Jack cheeses, grated (about 3 cups)

1. FOR THE BREAD CRUMBS: Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat until foam subsides. Add bread crumbs; cooks, tossing to coat with butter, until crumbs just begin to color., about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt; set aside.

2. FOR THE MACARONI & CHEESE: Mix eggs, 1 cup evaporated milk, pepper sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and mustard mixture in a small bowl; set aside.

3. Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts water to a boil in large heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and macaroni; cook until almost tender but still a little firm to the bite. Drain and return to pan over low heat. Add butter; toss to melt.

4. Pour egg mixture over buttered noodles along with three-quarters of cheese; stir until thoroughly combined and the cheese starts to melt. Gradually add remaining milk and cheese, stirring constantly, until mixture is hot and creamy, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, topped with toasted breadcrumbs.

VARIATION: “Baked Macaroni & Cheese” – This dish is for those who prefer their macaroni and cheese served out of a baking dish. Smooth and creamy like the stove top version, this version is broiled just long enough to brown the crumb topping and french fried onions.

Follow the recipe for Stove top Macaroni & Cheese, pouring cooked macaroni and cheese into a 9 inch square gratin dish. Spread crumbs and french fried onions evenly over top. Broil until crumbs turn deep brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Let stand to set a bit, about 5 minutes, and serve immediately.

Cilantro Turkey Meatballs

Here are the recipes for the appetizers I’m serving up 2 hours prior to the Thanksgiving buffet dinner. I figured I’d post the recipes now before the kitchen chaos begins…

Cilantro Turkey Meatballs

1 pound lean ground turkey
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt olive oil
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 cloves minced garlic

Preheat oven to 375.
In a bowl, combine all the above ingredients.
Combine thoroughly without over handling.
Shape into gold sized meatballs.
Place meatballs on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until juices run clear.