Fish parmesan (foreground), and French green beans with almonds

Fish parmesan (foreground), and French green beans with almonds

The fish and the vegetables can be good for 3 meals (or 2-3 people).  The fish is definitely plenty enough for 3 meals; but it could be a stretch for the vegetables on the third meal.

Lighting a couple of tea light candles is recommended to counteract all that garlicky aroma!

French green beans

  • 6 oz fresh French green beans
  • 1 oz almonds, slivered and toasted
  • 1 T freeze-dried minced garlic
  • 1 T Kikkoman low-sodium soy sauce
  • a dash of salt
  • a dash of pepper
  • 1 t olive oil

Boil enough water in medium heat to fully cover the green beans.

Put the green beans in boiling water for 40 seconds, or less depending on how crunch you want your green beans.

After 40 seconds, drain the hot water from the beans while the saucepan remains under cold running water.  Turn off the tap once the water in the pan is as cold as the running water.  If your running water is not as cold as water that has been put in the fridge, put some ice on the water.  Let stand for a minute.  Drain.  Put the beans in a spinner to dry them.  The drier, the better.

On a non-stick pan, toast the slivers of almonds in medium heat.  Set aside when done.

Put 1 teaspoon olive oil on the pan.

Once the oil is hot enough for sauteing, put the minced garlic.  Saute until golden brown.  If you have fresh garlic available, sliver the garlic instead of mincing for a more crunchy, garlicky taste.

Put the French beans with the garlic.  Toss for about 30 seconds, then, mix in the toasted almonds.

Season with the soy sauce, salt and ground pepper.  Saute for about 5 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

French green beans with toasted almonds and golden brown garlic

French green beans with toasted almonds and golden brown garlic

Fish Parmesan

  • 2 pieces orange roughy fillets, about 12 oz total
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 T Italian seasoning herbs
  • 1/2 cup ground Parmesan cheese
  • 1 t olive oil
  • salt, ground pepper, garlic powder (for sprinkling on the fish fillet)
  • additional olive oil to grease the baking tray

Pre-heat the oven to 425F.

Sprinkle the thawed fish fillets with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Mix well the olive oil with the panko bread crumbs.  Add the Parmesan cheese and the Italian seasoning herbs.

Roll the fish fillets on the crumbs-cheese mix until they are liberally covered.

Grease the baking tray with some olive oil or oil spray.

Sprinkle some crumbs-cheese mix exactly where you will place the fillets.  Lay the fillets on the baking tray.  If you still have crumbs-cheese mix left, just sprinkle it over the fillets

Bake for 10 minutes at 425F.  Bake an additional 10 minutes at 375F.

Orange roughy fillet with Italian-seasoned panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese

Orange roughy fillet with Italian-seasoned panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese

Citrus-Tea Vodka

Put ice cube in a big-bowled wine glass, like a Pinot Noir or Merlot glass.

Pour the vodka over the ice cubes.  Swirl vigorously for about 15-30 seconds.

Pour Izze Clementine; then, the Tea and Lemonade.  Either swirl or stir.

Fizzy clementine and tea vodka

Fizzy clementine and tea vodka

chicken 'n Brie wrap, carrots, and a glass of Criminally Insane Elf...AND JACK BAUER!

On the eve of the Spring Term: chicken 'n Brie wrap, carrots, and a coupla glasses of Criminally Bad Elf...AND JACK BAUER!

This is one of those Dinner(what-food’re-left-in-the-fridge).  For example, some arugula/lettuce, pickled cucumber/dill, sliced olives, capers, and/or red onions would definitely be welcome additions in this wrap.

Dressing

Whisk everything together with  a fork.  Add vinegar to reach desired consistency and taste.

Filling

  • 2 chicken breast halves, fillet
  • 1/2 t butter
  • 4 thin slices of Brie de Nangis

Melt the butter and swirl on skillet so that the skillet is just coated with butter and there isn’t any pool of butter left.

Place the chicken breast fillets on the skillet and cook .

When the chicken is almost done, place the tortillas on top of the chicken to warm the tortillas and to keep the chicken from getting too dried. Flip the tortillas as necessary.  Don’t remove the skillet from the turned-off stove when you’re done just yet.

Spread a teaspoon of the mayo mixture on the center of the tortilla.

Lay a slice of cheese on the mayo spread.   Then, a fillet of chicken. Spread more mayo on top of the chicken, then, another slice of cheese, and some more mayo.  Roll the tortilla to make your wrap.  Place the wraps on the still-warm skillet (heat has already been turned OFF).

Have a sides of carrot sticks with the leftover mayo mixture.

Wrap:  2 10-inch wheat tortilla

Beer: Criminally Bad Elf

no more than 1 1/2 inches thick.

The shrimp, spinach, and roasted tomato fritata. Just the way I like my fritatas: no more than 1 1/2 inches thick.

Roasted tomatoes (adapted from The Perfect Pantry)

  • 2 tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • for each half: 1/4 t of freeze-dried, minced garlic; a pinch of rosemary, thyme, and parsley
  • salt, ground pepper, and olive oil for drizzling

Pre-heat oven to 200F.  Don’t go higher that 225, if you must. Trust me… after 5 hours, I got impatient and increased the heat to 275F and within a couple of minutes I heard the oil spattering/boiling, so I decreased the temperature back to 200F pronto.

Oil a baking tray.

Lay the tomato halves face up on the baking tray.

Press the garlic lightly on the tomato halves’ faces.

Sprinkle each half with the rosemary, thyme, and parsley.

Drizzle with salt, ground black pepper, and olive oil.

Put in the oven and roast for 12 hours.  Check occasionally.

Before they go into the oven

This is how they looked before they went into the oven; ...

...after 5 hours under 200F;...

...after 5 hours under 200F;...

...and here they are after 12 hours. Juicy, fragrant, and well worth the wait.

...and when done after 12 hours. Juicy, fragrant, and well worth the wait.

La Bella Fritata

  • 16 pieces medium shrimp, about 5 ounces; de-veined; each shrimp cut into 4-5 pieces across
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 16-ounce (454g) carton of Crystal Farms All Whites; equivalent to whites of 8 eggs
  • 3 cups of chopped spinach
  • 1 T freeze-dried chives
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 roasted tomato-halves, sliced lengthwise and including the juice

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Melt 1 T butter in a skillet at low-medium heat.

Once the butter starts to get frothy, up the heat to medium and put the shrimp in the skillet.

When the shrimp is almost cooked, put the spinach and the tomatoes in the skillet. Toss well.

When the spinach is uniformly wilted, transfer the mixture onto a plate.  Add the chives. Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Melt the remaining 1 T butter in an oven-proof, nonstick skillet in medium heat.  Make sure to swirl the melted butter and coat the side of the skillet well.

Pour the eggs into the skillet. Turn down the heat slightly. Turn the dial to about 7-8 o’clock from the 6 o’clock that is medium heat.

Wait until the sides of the egg whites just start to firm, i.e., the egg whites are just turning cloudy-white and slightly opaque in some parts.  Then, spoon the shrimp and vegetables mixture on top of the egg white.  Spoon some egg white on top of the shrimp and vegetables just enough to coat them.

Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.

Eat while still warm, or at room temperature.  When it has cooled to room temperature, it goes well with a dipping sauce of

  • 1T Kikkoman soy sauce,
  • 1 T lemon juice (DeLallo Lemon Juice plus), and
  • a pinch of sea salt.

Wine: Voignier.

Baked chicken and rice paprika

Baked chicken and rice paprika

1 can (26 ounces) cream of mushroom soup, condensed
26 ounces water
4 ounces wild rice, 1 box of Private Selection’s all natural wild rice
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/2 t minced garlic, freeze dried
1/2 t chopped onion, dried
8 boneless chicken breast fillets, without skin; about 1 1/2 lbs
paprika, cayenne pepper, onion, garlic, and black pepper for sprinkling on the chicken fillets

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.

In a 4-quart shallow baking dish mix soup, water, rice, paprika, cayenne pepper, onion, garlic, and black pepper.

Place chicken on top of rice mixture.

Sprinkle the chicken with additional paprika, cayenne pepper, onion, garlic, and black pepper.

Cover and bake at 375°F for 3 1/2 hours.  Stir every 30 minutes.  If the dish gets too thick before the rice is cooked, just add hot water.

Beer pairing: Rising Moon – Molson Coors  Brewing’s spring ale – is an unfiltered, amber wheat ale.

I thought I should already use the leftover fresh feta from Christmas eve; the oranges I bought around the same time which have started to show -just like my skin- “age spots”; and the (a-month-ago-they-were-fresh) eggs I have.

I kept the feta cheese from going bad by thoroughly washing it under cold running water they day after I bought it.  Then, I cubed it.  I put them cubes in a shallow food keeper and poured Bertolli’s EVOO over them until they were 1/4-inch covered.  A mason jar should have been more ideal, but one learns to make do etc etc…

Orange-vinegar salad dressing:

juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon paprika + 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (the seeds will be grounded when everything is put in a blender); this is supposed to be 2 T cumin
dash of salt
dash of ground pepper
3 T balsamic vinegar (Manicardi Room 21)
1 cup olive oil (Murray’s Private Stock Spanish Olive Oil)

Put everything in a blender and blend well.

Salad

1 4-serving lettuce and carrots pre-washed
4 boiled eggs, sliced
2 cups feta cheese, crumbled

Runny St. Marcellin straight from the oven.

Runny St. Marcellin, straight from the oven.

A pot of St. Marcellin cheese is just what the doctor ordered for a laaaazy winter-day repast.

I was too impatient to wait for it to get to room temperature, so I popped it directly from the vegetable crisper to the oven.  St. Marcellin is good warm and super runny or just as it is and runny-ish.  I got the best of all possible worlds: I had the stuff left from the wrappers cold from the fridge with just my index finger (be one with one’s food, I say!); warm with just my index fingers (it was dripping too much from the crackers and I didn’t have any baguette), and room temperature with some crackers.

That's a crock of cheese!

That's a crock of cheese!

The last glass in the bottle of Merlot I opened a week ago went very well indeed with this wicked crock pot.

Lemon-mustard tuna

Lemon-mustard tuna

I know.  That’s too lemon-y; but, that’s frequently how cooking for one goes for me.  Since the tuna recipe calls for juice from half a lemon and lemon zest, and the broccoli recipe calls for half a lemon and lemon zest also, I figured that I might as well pair them so I don’t waste the lemon.

Lemon-mustard tuna

juice from 1/2 lemon
2 t Dijon mustard
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil (Bertolli EVOO)
1 t freeze-dried, minced garlic
1 tsp lemon zest
2 pcs tuna steak

Mix well the lemon juice, lemon zest, soy sauce, garlic, mustard, and olive oil.

Pierce the tuna. Put them in a shallow baking dish, like a quiche dish.  Pour the lemon mixture over the fish.  Coat them well and spoon marinade into the tuna slices’ crevices.  Put aside for at least 20 minutes.  Turn the steaks after about 10 minutes, spooning marinade into the crevices again.

Meanwhile, prepare the lemon-butter broccoli and baby carrots:

6 oz broccoli and baby carrots, Premium Selection pre-washed mixed vegetables
3 T butter
1 tsp lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
a dash of salt
a dash of pepper
1 tsp freeze-dried minced garlic (fresh would have been great but I don’t buy fresh, so…)

Preheat the oven to 500F.

Toss the vegetables with salt and pepper.  Spread the broccoli in one layer on a cookie sheet.  Roast in the preheated oven for 6 minutes; then, turn them and put the baby carrots on the sheet in one layer.  Roast a further 6 minutes.

In a saucepan, melt the butter in low-medium heat, then toss in the garlic and the lemon zest. Mix this onto the lemon juice in a small bowl.

Transfer the vegetables on a plate.  Pour the lemon-butter mix on them and toss.

Lemon-butter broccoli

Lemon-butter broccoli and baby carrots

Now, the tuna:  turn the fish one more time and bake uncovered  for 20 minutes at 400F, and then, broil for 5 minutes. Turn and baste with the sauce halfway through baking.

Presto! Dinner for one tonight and a tasty lunch for tomorrow!

I had a glass of the open Voignier with this.  Not that bad a pairing.  For dessert: 4 pieces Chips Ahoy! chewies!