Chili-Rubbed Tilapia

This recipe is super easy. It’s “fast food” at home. I buy tilapia fillets that are individually wrapped and frozen which makes this dish even more convenient.

If you are using frozen fish, put it in the refrigerator to defrost. Do this several hours before you plan to cook it. You can also defrost the fish in a bowl of tap water.

(click to enlarge)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Tilapia fillets, or Pacific sole or other firm white fish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or butter, or olive oil butter mix
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Mix spices together well. Put all of it on a plate. Coat the tilapia fillets in the spice mixture.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or stainless steel frying pan over medium heat.

Add the fish. Cook just until opaque in the center, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn fish over halfway through cooking.

Serve fish with fresh lemon juice squeezed on top.

Yum!

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Oven Roasted Chicken

I think I have been saying on all the recipes I’ve posted that each one is my favorite. Well, it’s true. And this oven roasted chicken is no exception.

Should I tell you how crispy the skin gets? Or how the blend of spices come together so that you taste each one separately yet at the same time? Or how I could go on and on?

You really should try this one! Maybe this picture will convince you:

Cooked on the stove top along with caramelized onions.

The original recipe says to cook this in the oven. But I’ve found that it can also be cooked on the stove top and be just as delish.

Ingredients

12 chicken wings OR 2 chicken breasts OR 4 chicken drumsticks
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1.5 Tbs olive oil
3 T water

Directions

Heat your oven to 450 F.

Pat chicken dry.

Mix spices together in a bowl. Stir in the olive oil. Rub spice mixture over chicken. If using drumsticks, rub spice mixture under the skin of the chicken.

Over med-high temp, heat 1 Tbs oil in a cast iron skillet (or any heavy pan that is oven proof) until oil is hot but not smoking.

Brown chicken on both sides, about 5 minutes.

Remove skillet from stove top and place in middle of oven. Roast chicken about 16 – 18 minutes for wings or chicken breast, and 20-25 minutes for drumsticks. Keep the skin side up so that it becomes crispy, or turn often.

Transfer chicken to a plate when done.

Optional: Return skillet to the stove top. Handle will be hot so use a pot holder. Add water to the pan and deglaze over high heat, scraping up brown bits. Pour pan juices over chicken.

If you want to make this on the stove top, then do not place the chicken in the oven but keep it on the stove.

After you have browned the chicken, turn it back over to the original side.

Then place a lid on the pan. Cook 10 minutes adjusting the heat down to medium if needed but the heat needs to be sort of med-high-ish. Then turn chicken over again. Cook 10 minutes more (drumsticks 5 to 10 minutes longer). Check for done-ness.

Remove the lid during the last 5 minutes of cooking so skin will crisp up.

Recipe source HERE.

Cilantro Chicken

Cilantro chicken! It’s super easy and very flavorful! It’s another smacker!

Ingredients

4 chicken thighs
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 C chopped onion
3 cloves garlic minced
1 large bunch cilantro with large stems removed, smaller ones are okay
4 C chicken stock
2 C chopped vegetables (carrots, potatoes, peas)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Peel and chop onion and garlic. Set aside.

Wash and dry the cilantro. Remove large stem pieces. Set aside.

Melt butter with oil in large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic to sauce pan. Cook over medium-low heat until soft and translucent.

Add chicken,  cumin, chicken stock, and cilantro. Bring to a light boil. Turn down heat and simmer until chicken is almost done.

While chicken is cooking, peel potatoes and cut into wedges. Wash carrots well and slice into ¼” slices.

After chicken has been cooking for about 15-20 minutes, add the vegetables to the pot. Simmer until all is done.

Add salt and pepper to taste. I personally do not like pepper in this dish.

Remove from heat when chicken and vegetables are done.

Server over rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a squish of fresh lime.

Sometimes I cook this dish where the only vegetable I add is green peas.

Enjoy! I certainly did!

Chef Marcus Samuelsson shares Ramadhan recipes from Africa

World-famous Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s 2006 cookbook, The Soul of a New Cuisine, was inspired by his travels in Africa during Ramadhan.

–Across Africa, one of the things you notice is that there isn’t the distinction between breakfast and dinner foods that we have in Europe and America. Often, breakfast will simply be leftovers from the night before—for instance, a stew made from the previous meal’s meat, served over a starch and mopped up with pieces of bread. This is particularly true during Ramadan, when both meals need to be hearty enough to get you through the day. There will also be a lot of liquids to keep people hydrated during the long fast—juices, teas, and fruits such as mango and pineapple.–

Samuelsson has made some of the recipes from that 2006 book available on Epicurious:
——-

Marcus Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia but adopted by a Swedish family when he was three years old. He became famous at 25 while working a haute Swedish restaurant in NYC.

Oven-Baked Chilaquiles

Here is a recipe I know you will love. It his called chilaquiles (chee-lah-KEE-lehs). It’s a traditional Mexican dish.  There are many variations on the recipe. Once you learn the basics of it, don’t be afraid to experiment.

If you think your family won’t like this, you will have to trust me when I tell you they will love it! I served this to guests one time for dinner. During the meal, there was very little conversation but plenty of clinking, scraping, and a whole lot of smacking!

The basis of this dish is corn tortillas. I posted a recipe for home made ones HERE: Wheat free tortillas

If you’re not up to the task  of making your own tortillas, then buy the already made kind, or use tortilla chips. I’ve included recipes for both.

Here is a photo of what the dish looks like. My guests and I ate ours before we could snap pictures. This happens over and over again. So I linked to the one where the recipe is found.

(Image linked in from website)

Ingredients

  • 32 tortillas (serves 6-8)
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1½ cups shredded chicken
  • 2½ cups oil
  • Slices of onion
  • 2 jar Salsa Verde

Directions

  • Cut tortillas into 1-inch squares or strips. I use a pizza cutter for this.
  • Fry pieces in oil and butter mix until they are slightly crispy –they cook up pretty quickly. You won’t need a lot of oil for this. Remove from pan.
  • Add onions and saute for about 2 minutes.
  • Put a layer of fried tortillas in a baking dish. Then pour over one jar of salsa verde (or any other sauce). Spread shredded chicken over that.
  • Make a second layer the same way — tortillas, salsa verde, and chicken.
  • Sprinkle grated cheese on top, enough to completely cover the dish.
  • Bake for 10 minutes
  • Garnish with onion slices, or chopped cilantro.

Yield, 6-8 servings
Recipe source

Option #1 — Chilaquiles de Huevos
This version is for breakfast. It uses eggs instead of chicken (HERE)

Option #2 — Chicken with Chilaquiles Chips and Salsa Verde
This recipe uses tortilla chips instead of tortillas (HERE)

Asian Meatballs & Rice Noodles

Skip the wheat-based pasta and go for the rice ones instead. It’s much healthier.

I buy (wheat free) rice sticks & rice noodles from my local Asian market. Here’s a photo of Asian meatballs with rice noodles that I regularly serve. My version of this meatball is below this yummy photo!

Asian Meatballs

  • 1/4 cup milk  (I made milk from powdered milk)
    1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs  (I use gluten free cornbread)
    1-1/2 pounds ground turkey, with dark meat  (breast meat makes this too dry)
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1/2 cup canned sliced water chestnuts, rinsed, drained, and finely chopped (use the food processor)
    1 tablespoon finely minced ginger root (can sub 1 teaspoon ginger powder)
    1/2 teaspoon salt (do not add if using beef bullion)
    1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus
    1/4 cup sprigs
    1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
    2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil  (I used olive oil)
    2 teaspoons beef bullion powder or the amount of beef bullion cubes to make 2 cups liquid broth

Make Meatballs

  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 500°F.
  • Pour milk over bread crumbs in a large bowl and stir until liquid is absorbed.
  • Add remaining ingredients to the bread/milk mixture. Mix with your hands until well combined. Do not over mix.
  • Test your mixture. Cook a tiny meatball in the microwave or stove top as a taste test to make sure there is not too much or enough salt, spices, etc.
  • Shape 3 tablespoons meat mixture at a time into a balls. Place 1/2 inch apart in a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish. If using a metal baking dish, add minutes to the baking time.
  • Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup sprigs cilantro
    4 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil (I used olive oil)
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    2 tablespoons water
    2 teaspoons sugar

Make the Dipping Sauce

  • Add lime juice, water, sugar, soy sauce, and oil to a small bowl.
  • Stir until sugar is dissolved.

To Serve

  • Remove meatballs to dishes. I put my meatballs atop cooked rice noodles.
  • Stir sauce well. Serve meatballs with cilantro and sauce drizzled on top.

Serves 4

Asian Meatballs With Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce

Adapted from Gourmet (May 2007)

Servings:   Makes 4 (main course) servings.

1/4 cup milk  (I used 1%)
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs  (I used Panko)
1-1/2 pounds ground turkey, with dark meat  (Don’t use breast meat, it will be too dry)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup canned sliced water chestnuts, rinsed, drained, and finely chopped ( did it in my food processor)
1 Tablespoon finely minced ginger root
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus
1/4 cup sprigs
5 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sugar
Accompaniment: steamed white rice

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 500°F.

Pour milk over bread crumbs in a large bowl and stir until liquid is absorbed. Add ground meat, egg, water chestnuts, salt, chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons oil and mix with your hands until combined well. Shape 3 tablespoons meat mixture into a ball and transfer to a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish. Make more meatballs with remaining mixture, arranging meatballs about 1/2 inch apart in baking dish. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together lime juice, water, sugar, remaining 4 tablespoons soy sauce, and remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a bowl until sugar is dissolved.

Transfer meatballs to a serving dish. Stir sauce, then drizzle meatballs with 1 tablespoon sauce and sprinkle with cilantro sprigs.

Serve meatballs with remaining sauce.
Makes 4 (main course) servings.

Note:  I always make a tiny meatball and boil or microwave it, to check if the seasonings are right. I wound up adding a little more salt to the meat mixture before I formed the rest of the meatballs.