baked


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

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.

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!

Baked, herbed chevre d'Argental, and ol' plain one on top of apple pie.  Warm, melty goodness.

Baked, herbed chevre d'Argental, and ol' plain one on top of apple pie.

7 grains of minced, freeze-dried garlic (approximately 1/2 of a clove)
a pinch of dried rosemary
olive oil
a wedge of chevre d’Argental, about 2 inches at its widest part

Insert the minced garlic into the cheese using fork tines to push them in one at a time.  Drizzle the cheese with olive oil; then, rub the oil all over it.  Coat the cheese with the dried rosemary.

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.  Bake for 5 minutes.

Bonus: At the same time, warm a slice of apple pie with a wedge of chevre d’Argental on top.

My first apple pie! Well, actually, my first pie. Period. I "married" 2 recipes because one has a shorter list of ingredients, while the other looked like it will result to a more flavorful pie filling.  My first apple pie! Well, actually, my first pie. Period. I "married" 2 recipes because one has a shorter list of ingredients, while the other looked like it will result to a more flavorful pie filling.

My first apple pie! Well, actually, my first pie. Period. I "married" 2 recipes because one has a shorter list of ingredients, while the other looked like it will result to a more flavorful pie filling.

The apples and oranges I bought the day before Christmas are starting to go and I’m loathe to throw them away.  I could see that my priority were the apples, so I decided to make an apple pie.  Because I also want to start on the oranges, I used one (1) orange instead of half a lemon.  Also, as I do not want to go out and get the ingredients required by the recipes I got off the ‘net, I substituted Eggo’s for the required brown and white sugar, and Hungry Jack’s pancake mix for the corn flour. I omitted nutmeg because, well, I don’t have any.  Despite these “liberties” I took, the pie came out quite well.  It looks great AND tastes great!

Here are the ingredients I used: (BTW, I use dining teaspoons/tablespoons for measuring)

2 green apples, cored, peeled, sliced thinly
4 red apples, cored, peeled, sliced thinly
1/3 teaspoon ginger powder
2 tablespoons cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons Eggo’s buttery syrup
juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup butter, unsalted, sweet, creamy
3 tablespoons Hungry Jack pancake mix
1 box (2 pieces of crusts inside) Pillsbury crust, 9″

1.  Mix the juice of one orange with the cinnamon powder, ginger powder, salt, and Eggo’s.  Beat lightly with a fork to mix them well.

2.  Drop teaspoonfuls to the layers of apples as they are sliced. Coat the apple slices well with the mixture. Let stand for about 5 minutes.  The original recipe called for 2 hours but I figured since it took me more than an hour to finish peeling, coring, slicing the apples, I could get away with 5 minutes.

3.  Line the pie baking plate with a crust.  Cut the other crust into strips for the top crust.

4.  Spoon the apple slices into the pie crust, making a bit of a mound in the process.  Make sure that the juice is strained from the apple. Put the strips of crust on top of the apple mound in a lattice pattern.  Chill it while the syrup is being prepared.

5.  Microwave the butter until just melted.  Mix in the pancake mix to form a paste; then, pour in the juice strained off the apple slices.  Whisk gently with a fork.  Once mixed to a smooth consistency, microwave the mixture for about a minute, then, pour slowly on top of the pie.  Make sure that the mixture does not run off or spill over the sides.

6.  Chill the pie while the oven is being preheated to 425F.

7.  Bake for 15 minutes at 425F.  Then, lower the temperature to 325F, and bake for another 35-45 minutes.

Simple baked apple wedges, a dish that even someone who after more than a year of devoted practice has not managed to do justice to Hungry Jack's.

Simple baked apple wedges, a dish that even someone who, after more than a year of devoted practice, has not managed to do justice to Hungry Jack's can do.

2 green apples

Make a paste of:

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
a pinch of ginger powder
1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons of maple syrup

Slice the 2 apples into 8 pieces each. Take out the core and stem.  Divide the cinnamon-maple syrup paste among the 16 slices of apples.  The paste goes onto the top part of the apples where the seeds/core used to be. Put them into a shallow baking dish, (I used a quiche dish) and bake for 20-25 minutes in 400 degrees.

That’s it.  A lot simpler and definitely more flavorful than the pancakes I have been living on the past year or so.

I paired this with a fruity 2007 Australian Merlot.