Friday, February 24, 2012

Healthy and Quick: Fish Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Brown Rice

For those of you who may not know, I am in my dietetic internship right now. I have three rotations, Food Service Systems Management (10 weeks), Medical Nutrition Therapy (10 weeks), and Community Nutrition (7 weeks). I just finished my sixth week of the FSSM rotation and I have had some wonderful experiences so far! I taught the nutrition portion of a diabetes seminar on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week. I am also in the middle of planning a themed meal for the cafeteria in St. Joseph Hospital, where I am interning for the first two rotations. I get to do everything from planning the menu, to choosing the recipes, to ordering the food (waaaay more complicated to order an accurate number of portion sizes for 200 people), to briefing the staff, to carrying out the plan on the day of!

Anyway, all that to say, I've had a lot of interesting shift times because I have been shadowing everyone in the kitchen, from AM Cook (4:30 am-1 pm) to Tray Passer (7 am-5:30 pm) to PM Lead (12-8:30 pm). And sometimes I don't have very much time or energy (or neither) to make dinner. This meal is great for when you want a healthy dinner on the table in less than an hour.

Ryan commented that this curry was too sweet...but I'll tell you that's because I was trying to reduce the sodium and cut out some salt.'s up to you how much you want to put in. We also added crushed red pepper at the table.

Fish Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Brown Rice
adapted from Anja's Food 4 Thought

1 cup brown rice

1 lb white fish, chopped into chunks
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tomato, finely chopped
2 sweet potatoes
3/4 tsp turmeric
2 cups low- or nonfat coconut milk

cilantro for garnish

Marinate the fish in the chili powder, salt, and lemon juice.

Cook the rice according to the package directions.

Peel and chop sweet potatoes.

While rice is cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pot (the one the curry will end up in). Fry the fish over medium heat for about 7-10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from pot.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the pot. Heat slightly and add the garlic. Add the tomato, sweet potatoes, turmeric, and salt to taste. (See...this is where my taste did not equal Ryan's.) Stir in the coconut milk and keep stirring until boiling. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the fish and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

By this time, the rice should be done! Serve with rice and cilantro.

By the way, kudos to Ryan for buying a new awesome flash and taking pictures for me when I get frustrated about not getting the result I want.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Coconut Shrimp with Mango Mint Dipping Sauce

Now I'm going to warn you right away...I'm not going to share the exact recipe for this. 

After reading a discussion about blogger plagiarism and consulting my own conscience, I decided not to copy recipes that are in a cookbook, not even if I include the name of the cookbook and author. If my source is online and free to all, then I will copy the recipe and link back to the original page. But I don't want to steal the results of someone's hard work from them. I will give the process and my opinion, but not the exact recipe. However, if I change the recipe significantly, I will write it out. 

This may motivate me to develop my own recipes more often! But, unfortunately, when I do that, I usually don't make note of what I do and can't repeat it. Honestly, though, a food blogger who mostly posts recipes straight from someone else needs to learn how to experiment a little more and stop showing off their ability to follow a recipe. I'm talking to myself here. :)

Anyway, this was one of our favorite meals recently. Ryan and I teamed up in the preparation process...I made the shrimp and he made the sauce. The recipe came from Small Bites by Jennifer Joyce.

The end result was delicious, but coating the shrimp took forever. I dipped each of them in four ingredients...salt and pepper, corn starch, egg white, and coconut.

The rest is pretty simple...just fry 'em in some oil in a wok!

The sauce was basically a bunch of fantastic ingredients (including mango, mint, cilantro, limes, chili pepper, etc.) whirled in a processor until smooth.

Combine the two and magical things happen!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tangerine Crème Brûlée and Mexican Chocolate Cookies

Cliché alert.

I am way behind on posts!

And I have a huge stash of photos just waiting to be exposed (pun intended) to you.

Stay tuned for Coconut Shrimp with Mango Lime Sauce, Miso Chicken, Black-Eyed Pea Patties with Beer-Braised Turnip Greens, and Spinach, Lentil and Bacon Stew. I've gotta crank 'em out because I have lots more exciting things on the menu for this week.

The deal is...I have to make exciting dinners because I've been packing my lunch for the past four weeks and let's face it...I'm running out of ideas. And at 5 in the morning I can somehow decide that I can last an entire 8 hours on coffee, oatmeal and an apple. Not really working out for me.

Yes, I am currently interning in a hospital kitchen. Yes, there is a cafeteria full of wonderful things every day. But when it comes to feeding myself, I get stingy with my moolah.

Anyway, on to some delicious recipes!

This first recipe is entirely from Tartelette. To view the original post, please click here.

I copied the recipe here because I used two of her posts to make it and this just makes it easier for you.

"Tangerine Crème Brûlée Tartelettes

Kitchen Notes: The dough recipe was enough for four 4 inch fluted tartelettes and four 3 inch straight edged tartelettes, so I would say it makes between 6 to 8 tartelettes depending on your molds. You can replace the tangerine with orange or grapefruit, and leave the Grand Marnier out.

For the cocoa cardamom sable dough:
1 stick (115 gr) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (93 gr) powdered sugar
1 large egg
1 1 /2 cups (188gr) flour
1 tablespoon (10 gr) natural cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon (2gr) ground cardamom
pinch of salt

In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the flour, cocoa, cardamom and salt and mix briefly to incorporate. Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Do not work the dough while in the mixer or it will toughen up. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between the sheets of plastic. You will have extra dough that you can save for another use in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen, well wrapped for up to 3 months. Cut out 8 rounds two inches larger than your pastry rings. Fit the dough inside the rings with your fingertips and trim the edges with a sharp knife. Line the rings with small squares of parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Let cool."

"For the tangerine cream:
2/3 cup (120gr) sugar
3 eggs
6 egg yolks
3 tablespoons (30gr) all purpose flour
1 stick butter (115gr), melted and cooled
2/3 cup (160ml) tangerine juice
grated zest of 2 tangerines
2 tablespoons (20gr) Grand Marnier (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, whole eggs and egg yolks until pale. Add the flour and butter and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in the tangerine juice and zest. Place the mixture in a saucepan over medium low heat and cook until thickened about 5-8 minutes, stirring constantly without letting it boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Grand Marnier if using. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the cream to prevent it from forming a crust while cooling. Let cool to room temperature.

To assemble:
tart shells
tangerine cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1/4 cup packed brown sugar for the brulee crust
tangerine slices and candied tangerine zest (use the recipe for candied kumquats, using tangerine zest instead)

Divide the cream evenly among the shells and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Top each tartelette with about 1 tablespoon of the sugar mixed and using a blow torch, caramelize the top of the tarts to create a sugar crust. If you do not have a blowtorch, set the tarts on a sheet pan under the broiler and broil them until golden, watching carefully to monitor that the edges don't burn.
Decorate with segments and zest of tangerines.

Candied Kumquats:1/2 cup (125ml) water
1 cup (100gr) sugar
2 tablespoons (40gr) light corn or glucose syrup
1 pint fresh kumquats, washed, patted dry, and cut in 1/8 inch thin slices

In a heavy saucepan, combine the water, sugar and corn or glucose syrup and bring to a boil over high heat. Let the mixture reach 234F. Add the kumquats, being careful not to overcrowd your pan and let the fruit become translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the fruit with a slotted spoon and place it, separating the slices, on a piece of parchment paper or silpat. Use as desired."

My notes: Her sugar mixture for the topping did not work well for me. So I used raw sugar instead. In fact, the tartelette in my photos is the only one that turned out. The others were ruined because I did not bake them long enough and so they did not come out of the pans easily. So, while baking beans are helpful, I would recommend taking them out of the tart shells for the last 3-5 minutes of baking or until the shells are done. Also, the candied tangerine turned out extremely hard and chewy. Not sure what happened there...perhaps it cooked too long.

Next up...Spiced Chocolate Sugar Cookies! These are from the book A Year in Chocolate, by Jacques Torres. One of my friends and I made these together and we were thrilled with how they turned out! I like to call them Mexican Chocolate Cookies, because that more accurately describes them, in my mind.

Makes about 4 dozen

1.75 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ancho chile powder ( I didn't have this so I used regular, but I'm sure ancho chile powder would be better!!)
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/4 cup light corn syrup (I know. Disappointing. But we went with it.)
1 cup (about 6 oz) chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment and set aside.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, chile powder, and salt. (We didn't sift.) Set aside. in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the batter on low speed to soften. (I don't have a stand mixer, but since I was making it with another person, one of us acted as the stand mixer.) Add the brown sugar, raise the speed the medium, and beat until well blended. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and corn syrup and beat until blended. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture, and beat for about 3 minutes, or until a stiff dough forms. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the chopped chocolate.

Spread the granulated sugar on a small plate. To shape the cookies, scoop up a nugget of the dough, form it into a 1-inch ball between your palms, and roll the ball in the sugar to coat evenly. (OK, we didn't do this either because the dough was so soft. We just dropped them on the sheets using teaspoons and then sprinkled sugar over them.) Leave about 2 inches between cookies.

Bake for about 12 minutes, or until puffed and the tops are cracked. Remove and let cool on the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes, then transfer to the racks and cool completely.

This recipe was amazing and I will definitely make these again.'s finally time to get ready for my Valentine's date with my hubby tonight!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pappardelle with Veal Meatballs

The anniversary of this little blog came and went yesterday. There's something addictive about the melancholy yet celebratory nature of anniversaries. Ryan and I celebrate as many as we can. Two-year engagement anniversary coming up on February 6th. First date anniversary. First kiss anniversary. Wedding anniversary...obviously. :)

Anyway, in honor of this blog's one-year anniversary I made pappardelle again. I wanted to recreate a recipe I fell in love with quite a few years ago at a local restaurant, Portofino. The Veal Marsala Meatballs with Tagliatelle is to die for.

Here is what I did to the best of my ability without a recipe:

Pappardelle with Veal Meatballs
Makes 3 large portions or 4 medium portions

12 oz ground veal
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of fresh ground black pepper
pinch of kosher salt
1-2 tsp olive oil
1-2 tsp butter
10 oz pappardelle pasta
3 roasted red pepper slices from a jar, one minced and two sliced
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup red wine
shaved parmesan

Combine the veal, rosemary, garlic, pepper, salt, and minced red pepper in a bowl. Form into balls about 1.5" in diameter. Heat a large skillet with a small drizzle of olive oil. (Be careful to not let it smoke, as this destructs the flavors of the oil. Use canola oil if need be, as it has a higher smoke point.) Cook the meatballs in batches, about 2 minutes per side. (I was already roasting broccoli at 425 degrees, so I put the meatballs into a dish and into the oven for about 5 minutes to complete the cooking process. You can do this, or cook through in the pan.) Remove from the pan and keep warm.

Using the same skillet, add a small pat of butter, about a tsp or two. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes, until translucent. Add the sliced red peppers and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula to get up all of the meat bits. Reduce for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to the package's directions.

Put pasta in skillet and toss to combine. Serve with the meatballs and shaved parmesan.