Monday, January 19, 2009

Down home dinner

Hi there!
Here's what we had for dinner tonight: breaded tilapia, black eyed pea salad, collards and herb bread. Here are the recipes so you too can have this for dinner!

For starters I thought I'd share a quick cost saving tip: make your own breadcrumbs. Bake bread that's getting a little old at 400 degrees for just a few minutes. Grind the toast in your food processor with whatever herbs you like. This time I made Italian breadcrumbs by including parsley, basil and oregano. Saves you from having to buy breadcrumbs and saves you from throwing away old bread!

Now with your handy breadcrumbs you can make this recipe for crunchy baked tilapia!

Crunchy Baked Tilapia
Baste the fillets with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dredge the fish in your tasty homemade breadcrumbs and bake in a greased pan at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until firm and flaky.

Black Eyed Pea Salad
Combine 1 tsp sugar and 1/4 cup rice vinegar (alter to taste, more sugar if you don't like it too tart). Finely chop one tomato and 1/2 onion and combine with one drained can of black eyed peas. Combine with vinegar dressing and season with salt/pepper, 1 tsp cilantro, 1 tsp parsley. Let marinate for at least an hour.

Herb Bread
3ish cups flour
1 packet dry active yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tbs shortening
herbs of your choice
Combine 1 packet dry active yeast with 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 2 tsp salt in a large bowl. In a small saucepan warm: 1 cup milk, 2 tbs sugar and 2 tbs shortening. Heat until just warm (115ish degrees). Pour the heated mixture into the large bowl. Add 1 egg. Add 2 tsp celery seed, 2 tsp basil, 2 tsp sage (or the herbs of your choice). Beat on medium for three minutes. Add additional 1 1/2 to 2 cups flour, just enough to make a moderately soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth, about five minutes. Place in greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough and place in greased loaf pan or large pie pan. Recover and let rise until about double in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.

See my previous entry if you want instructions on collards. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Unpublished Year in Review

Hi there!
In honor of the passage of 2008 I'm posting an assortment of things that never quite made it on to this blog last year. Also, I'm resolving to get back on the posting wagon, so check back frequently for updates. Here ya go!

Chickpea Dip with Crostini
1 can chickpeas
2 TBS roasted garlic (add more or less, depending on how much you love garlic)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Olive oil
1 loaf french bread
Salt and peppers

Combine the first four ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley. For the crostini, simply slice the bread, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake a 350 degrees until crunchy.

Quick Collard Greens
Collards (or any type of green)
Sliced smokey bacon
Chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper

Fry your bacon in a pan large enough to accommodate your collards. Add the onion while the bacon is crisping. Make sure your greens are washed and sliced. Once the onions are tender, add the greens and enough chicken broth to nearly cover them. Put on a lid and let them simmer until tender.

Campfire Chili
1 (or 2) can chili beans
1 can red beans
1 can corn
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
Ground beef/turkey/or nothing at all
Cayenne pepper
Chili pepper
Onion powder
Salt and pepper

Brown meat and onions, add rest of ingredients. Season to taste. Let it hang out over hot coals, not open flame. Yum!

Cabbage, chopped finely
Onion, chopped
Toppings (Shrimp, bacon, fried eggs, green onions, just about anything)
Okonomiyaki sauce (I know this isn't authentic but I use a mixture of: Worcestershire sauce, mayo, ketchup, and a dash of soy sauce)

First of all, let me apologize for the lack of measurements, I made these many months ago and I always wing the batter. Just think of it like making pancakes, the batter should be nearly the same consistency. Anywho, make your batter (eggs, milk, flour) and combine it with the cabbage and onion. Throw your toppings onto a hot, greased griddle and allow to cook briefly. Next, ladle your cabbage/dough mixture onto your toppings. Let it cook on medium for a few minutes, flip and cook some more. Serve the oknomiyaki sauce or mayonnaise or both, and a sprinkling of chives. A Joe favorite, he likes his with a fried egg on top.

And last, I leave you with a current look at the garden. We've got savoy cabbage, broccoli, carrots, celery, collard greens and snow peas. The broccoli is coming in nicely and the cabbage is getting close. Yum!

Happy New Year, folks!