Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stepping Out In Deliciousness

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I don't often really step out and develop my own 100% new recipes. Most of the time I tweak and play with the original recipes I have from various sources. However, tonight I am proud to say that both of these recipes are my originals!

(pause for applause and cheering)

Ok, so I did get ideas on this dinner from a variety of areas: previous recipes, common sense and random Food Network-related recipes. I picked and chose from the pieces that have worked really well and put together our meal for tonight. Including prep this meal took maybe 30-40 minutes. The thing that took the longest was just boiling the potatoes.

I hope you try out my originals - I'm freakishly proud of these simple and tasty bites!

Pan-Fried Crispy Cod w/ Browned Butter Balsamic Glaze

- 4 cod fillets (any firm white fish will work)
- Salt and pepper
- Paprika
- Flour
- 6 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. olive oil


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Salt and pepper both sides of the cod fillets generously. Add the paprika to about 1 cup of the flour in a shallow pan as well as a generous pinch of salt and pepper (I used a pie plate) and dredge the fillets in the flour. Be sure to shake off the excess flour after coating before laying the fillets in the hot pan.

2. These fillets cook quickly - only about 3-4 minutes on each side. You're looking for a nice even brown color, a slight crisp. Once your fillets are cooked, plate them and cover them with tented aluminum foil to rest while you make the balsamic sauce.

3. Drain off any leftover oil from the pan, then cook the butter in the pan over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble and turn brown. Add in the balsamic - be careful not to spatter - and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn down the heat to simmer and stir frequently until the mixture thickens and reduces to a loose syrupy texture.

Plate up the fish and drizzle the balsamic browned butter glaze on top. I served it with my Smashed Potato Bake (recipe below) and sauteed green beans.

Smashed Potato Bake

- 4 large russet potatoes (average one potato per person you are serving)
- 1/4 cup milk or cream
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1/8 cup parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt (sour cream would work too)
- Salt and pepper
- Dried parsley
- Panko breadcrumbs


The key to a great mash is to generously salt the water the potatoes cook in. Slice your potatoes (I never peel mine - we love skins!) into uniform pieces and add them to a large pot. Peel 3-4 good sized cloves of garlic and add them to the pot too. Fill the pot with cold water and sprinkle generously with salt...I'm talking briny seawater type of flavor! Bring the pot up to a boil and let the potatoes cook until they are fork-tender.

2. When the potatoes are ready, drain them and return them to the pot (off the heat), smash them with a large fork (or a potato masher if you're luckier than I am and have one!) and add in the butter, milk, yogurt, cheese and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

3. Spread the potato mixture in a baking dish and sprinkle the top with the Panko and parsley. Bake uncovered for about 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees until the top has browned up nicely.

Proceed to eat an insane amount of this deliciously starchy side-dish and push away from the table with a slight groan in search of elastic-waist pants. Wait about 2 hours before attempting to move.

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