This meal represents 3 important food elements to me: the crunchy (slaw), the salty (olives with the fish) and a vehicle for a sauce (the couscous with it's monster ability to absorb the amazing broth of the fish). The tilapia and slaw are two things I make a lot but the couscous is truly a new experiment that I created just for this. I am suddenly in lust with Sofrito so I had to incorporate that with some of my other favorite flavors and I chose couscous (you could sub brown or white rice) because it soaks up so well (like I said vehicle for sauce).
You can finish all these dishes in 30 minutes for sure. I did while pausing to take pictures. Here is the order I'd suggest: Chop everything first - the cabbage, cilantro and jalepeno for the slaw, extra cilantro for the couscous and the onion for the fish. That's all the major prep. Get out a large skillet, medium saucepan and a medium mixing bowl. Now you are ready to have a kick ass thirty minutes of cooking fun! Get the onions started for the fish, assemble the slaw and let it stand, finish the tilapia and make the couscous last. Wow, that was fun, even better than the time I made the game winning free throw against the West Middle School Warriors or the time I met Tommy Tune (I really did meet him). Good luck and enjoy!
1/2 small green cabbage (shredded)
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 red or green jalepeno (seeds removed and finely diced)
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. vinegar (white, rice wine, balsamic, anything)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt (I like kosher or sea salt for this, this is a minimum, you may need more)
Dash garlic or onion powder
Here's what you do: Wash and dry the cabbage (save the other half for a stir-fry). Shred it on the largest cutting edge of a box grater or just chop it into thin strips (not longer than two inches). Place the cabbage in a bowl, layer on the cilantro and jalepeno, sprinkle on ALL remaining ingredients. Toss and let it hang out for a bit either on the counter or in the fridge. Taste it and see if it needs more vinegar or sugar. I sometimes use ½ packet of Splenda instead of sugar and leave out the oil if I'm really trying to be good. This goes really well with Asian food too, you can sub 1 teaspoon sesame oil in and chopped peanuts or sesame seeds.
Date Night Tilapia
(this gets it's name from the fact that I often order a dish like this at a place my husband and I frequent on our "dates")
1 lb Tilapia (fresh or frozen fillets)
2-3 tbsp. sliced green olives with pimentos
1-2 tbsp. diced pickled jalapeno (or leave them as slices)
2 tbsp. capers
1 cup diced sweet onion (white or yellow is fine too)
2 cups chicken broth (or one 15 ounce can)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1-2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper and paprika
lime wedges (garnish)
Okay, sauté the onions on medium in a large skillet with a lid (or use a big plate or platter if you don't have a lid) for a minute or two in 1 tbsp. of oil, add the oregano and garlic powder. Stir around, then add the capers, jalapenos and olives. Increase the heat to medium high, add broth and fish and cover. Cook for about 3-4 minutes (5-6 if the fish is frozen when you put it in) until the fish is white throughout. Serve with a sprinkle of paprika, drizzle of olive oil, dash of salt and lime juice. This is also great with some thinly sliced carrot or diced tomatoes. The real clincher is the Mexican oregano - if you can’t find it, email me and I’ll send you some. Seriously I will. You can substitute regular dried oregano but use a little less.
Sofrito and Black Bean Couscous
1 can black beans - 15 ounce (drained and rinsed)
3 tbsp. Sofrito (you can buy it frozen or find it in the ethnic food aisle)
1 c. water
1 tsp. chicken boullion (optional)
1 c. whole wheat couscous
salt to taste
3 tbsp. chopped cilantro (bit more if you like, I like)
In a sauce pan (with a lid) heat the olive oil on medium. Add the Sofrito and stir until it starts to get stickier but don't cook it too long just until the consistency changes a bit and the aroma releases. Add the black beans and stir around to marry the Sofrito flavors to the beans. If you like, add a teaspoon of boullion or soup base, incorporate it and add the water. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the couscous, stir, cover and turn off the heat. Don't open the lid for 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous, add the cilantro and taste to see if it needs more salt (between the Sofrito and boullion it shouldn't need much).
Tagged with: IMBB24 + 30Minutes
Sometimes I fall in love with an ingredient before I even try it. This is evident in my relationship with Sofrito. Sofrito is a "Latino" but I guess I'd call it Puerto Rican seasoning. It has peppers and onions and garlic and cilantro and other wonderful things in it. I found myself watching this woman on PBS, her name is Daisy, cooking EVERTHING with Sofrito. She made her own and had it in a jar. It was so beautiful, wet and sensual looking and everything she made with it was so sexy. I fell in love with Sofrito and I had never had it, used it or tasted it. If this sounds weird to you think about when someone describes a paradise of a place to you, a cabin in the woods or a hidden water fall or an island or mountain they explored, you may never go there but you fall in love with it, right? And how about those movie stars we all lust after, we don't know them but they look and sound so beautiful they must be perfect for us, they would make us happier than our our boring husbands or wives or parents. So I fell in love with Sofrito and I never really planned to make it or cook with it, just admire it from a distance.
But I was visiting this great little fruit and vegetable market in Andersonville, they had a lot of wondeful Latino ingredients that the "ethnic" food aisle in Dominick's doesn't carry, I got some hepazote (I'm not sure how to spell it), some beautiful crumbly farmer cheese and in the freezer I spotted this container of Sofrito. Holy cow, there it was, like seeing John Malkovich in a coffee shop. I had to go for it. I really did encounter John Malkovich in a coffee shop with my friend Megan and we stared at him for an uncomfortable amount of time and then I very elegantly went up to him and slipped him a flyer to our improv show. Possibly what I thought was the bravest thing I had ever done and now I think, wow, what a DORK I was (I was 31, god, embarrassing). My run in with the Sofrito went much better, I bought it, brought it home and looked at it longingly in my freezer for a while until I decided to defrost it and force myself to cook with it. I was sure I'd be dissapointed but this stuff is fragrent and wonderful and versatile. I created a shrimp dish with it and then for a 30 minute meal I'm working on came up with a Sofrito and Black Bean Whole Wheat Couscous. Look for a container of it and try it or make it yourself. You'll fall in love and it will be for real, not like in People magazine.
6 tbsp. pre-made Sofrito
1/3 cup chicken broth or water
1/2 lb. tail on shrimp (raw or defrosted)
3-4 tbsp. sliced green olives
3-4 tbsp. chopped cilantro
lemon wedge (optional)
In a skillet or large sauce pan heat 2 teaspoons olive oil (or use cooking spray if you like), add the sofrito and cook until bubbling and starting to thicken and get sticky. Add the broth, and shrimp (if raw cook until opaque, if defrosted heat through for about 30 seconds then remove from heat). Remove from heat, add the olives and cilantro. Serve over rice.
1 pint heavy cream (very cold)
1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons super fine sugar
Use a metal bowl and chill it in the freezer for a bit before you get to work on this. Whip the cream on high until very soft peaks form (using a hand or standing mixer). Add the cocoa, and sugar and using mixer on low/medium incorporate it (I suggested a range of sugar and cocoa because you need to make this to the sweetness you like, so taste it along the way). Add the vanilla and whip on high until the peaks form again, careful not to over whip this or you'll have chocolate butter (I've done it, no sweat, that's why I always buy two pints of cream when I make whipped cream.
I found this CRAZY pan at the Unique Thrift store by my place. I go there pretty much every Monday because that day
everything is half off. I am a cheap person, and I am proud of that fact. This mold was $1.20. It has the little feet to rest it upside down but I love hanging the cake on a bottle to cool (usually a liquor bottle, what does that say about me?). Oh you've never heard of hanging a cake upside down to cool? Oh you don't believe me? Oh you think that the cake would fall out of the pan? Step OFF! It's true the most fun part of making an Angel Food cake whether you use a mix or make it from scratch (both are delicious) is if you have a pan (like this one) with a hole in the center you can hang it upside down to cool (long loaf pans also cool upside down but just use their little feet, not as exciting I assure you). Oh you still don't believe me? You don't grease the pan so I swear it will stick and not fall, it needs to cool that way because it's mostly egg whites and will collapse into itself if you cool it the regular way. I served this with the obvious berries and more on side, chocolate sauce for drizzling and whipped cream, OUCH it was good!
I’m from Auburn, NY in Central New York (State). It’s the Canada of New York, we aren’t “New Yorkers” with Brooklyn accents we sound more like we are from the Mid-West. Manhattan and down state may have beautiful museums and ballets and operas and very expensive restaurants and Chinatown and little Italy, but we have WINGS. Buffalo wings and wing sauce are very important to us. A lot of Central and Western NY puts wing sauce on their pizza and blue cheese dressing too (it’s delicious try it). Luckily my husband (from Kansas City, MO) also has a love affair with Buffalo wings. But seeing as we are trying to be good and get down to our fighting weights having regular wings in kind of bad. I’ve come up with a salad that gets the wing flavor across and is super filling but very healthful. You could also just have the chicken and dip and celery and carrots and not salad, what ever get you through the ballgame.
2 cups salad greens
6-8 grape tomatoes
¼ c. chopped celery and carrot (I used shaved carrots in this picture)
2 tablespoons Blue Cheese Dressing (I substituted Ranch in this because I’m in love withTrader Joe’s stupid (I mean amazing!) low fat Ranch dressing)
Sprinkle of blackening or Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper
1 chicken breast poached and chopped (or use chopped left over chicken)
3 tablespoons “Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce” by Durkee (if you don’t have this substitute some hot sauce but not Tabasco, the thicker more vinegary kind)
For the chicken I used a frozen breast straight from the freezer. I browned it in a skillet with some cooking spray on both sides then added about 1 cup chicken broth or water and bouillon. Let the broth come to a boil and then put a lid on the skillet and poach the chicken until no longer pink about 10 minutes. Chop up the cooked chicken and toss it with the wing sauce. Assemble the rest of the salad; pour over the dressing sprinkle on salt and pepper and Cajun seasoning. Top it all with the chicken.