Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia

Tilapia is the type of fish that by itself, doesn't really have a lot of flavor. It will take on the flavor of the seasoning you place on it, and is a really nice accompanying fish to more dominant ingredients. If you're not into fishy fish, it really is a good option. Or if you're trying to get picky eaters on board with increasing their weekly fish intake.

This dish is a pretty basic marinade and if you're looking for something quick, mildly flavored and simple, it's a good fit. But for me, I need a bit more oomph. Give this light recipe a shot and you be the judge. I served it with a side of squash and zucchini from the farmer's market.

Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia (serves 4)

  • 4 (6-oz.) tilapia filets
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 TB lime juice
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • cooking spray
Arrange fish in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Combine orange juice and next 9 ingredients (through garlic); pour over fish. Let stand 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat broiler and prep your side dish.

Sprinkle fish with paprika; broil 15 minutes. Serve.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fettuccine Alfredo with Asparagus

I am finally back in the kitchen and committed to cooking regularly again, not only to provide myself with tasty lunches to take to work, but also to get a grip on relying too readily on picking up something to go on my way home from work.

As I mentioned in recent posts, I've been traveling a good bit and this has put me not only behind on cooking, but also far behind on my magazine perusals for new recipes. I follow a few blogs for recipes as well as my monthly Cooking Light subscription but it had been weeks since I'd given any of those a look. So this first recipe as I find my way back to cooking again is a simple, light version of fettuccine alfredo, which relies on a lighter cream sauce and the addition of vegetables to flesh out the flavor. This was quite good and relatively guilt-free.

Fettuccine Alfredo with Asparagus (serves 3-4)


  • 8 oz. uncooked fettuccine
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1 TB vodka or water
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 oz. 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 1.5 oz. grated Parmesan cheese, about 6 TB
  • 1 TB chopped fresh chives  

  • Directions:

    Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander over a bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water. I find the best way to do this is to position a bowl directly below the colander.

    Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add asparagus, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; sauté 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat. Add rind and juice; toss. Keep warm.

    Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add vodka and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add cream cheese, stirring until smooth. Stir in milk, Parmesan cheese, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Be sure to stir this consistently at a steady temperature to avoid clumping. Stir in reserved pasta water, pasta, and asparagus; toss to coat noodles.

    Sprinkle with chives and serve. I enjoyed this with a fresh tomato salad.

    Monday, October 13, 2014

    When did it become mid-October? A September San Diego Recap

    As I wrote in my last entry, I have been doing a fair amount of traveling and eating out, both locally and in other parts of the country. In September I took a trip to San Diego to visit a friend, who knew that he needed to bring it when it came to good food recommendations. Between him and others I knew out on the left coast, I was not disappointed.

    Some time has passed and my memory isn't what it used to be, so what I can tell you about San Diego is this. 1) The fish is ridiculous. Fish tacos. Sushi. You name it,it is truly better there than anywhere I've eaten on the east coast. 2) I will eat brussel sprouts when they are cooked well. It helps when there is bacon and cheese involved, but I've eaten them before that way and never enjoyed them as much as I did at the place I ate them in San Diego.

    So here's a quick run down of the places I'd recommend you check out when you're in San Diego as well as some food porn to whet your appetite.

    South Beach Bar & Grille - This place was recommended by several people for their tacos (pictured in the second photo on the right). I had the mahi mahi and the lobster and just two of these bad boys were enough to fill me up and washed down with a great beer. This is located in Ocean Beach closer to where I was staying and not far from beach. 

    Harney Sushi - Hands down some of the best sushi I've ever had. Granted, I have yet to travel to Japan...but if you find yourself in San Diego, head over to the Old City and check this place out. Fabio was a great sushi chef and his recommendations were spot on. From salmon belly to sweet shrimp to the famed tater tot roll, we ate through a ridiculous amount of sushi. Not to mention the edamame sampler and chilled bottle of sake. Go here and get there early, because there's usually a wait.

    Bo-Beau Kitchen Bar -  This French restaurant boasts a great cocktail and wine list and what I can consider a small miracle in the preparation of brussel sprouts that I not only ate, but enjoyed. AND they gave me the recipe on how to make them. They were expertly cooked with pancetta, parmesan, and balsamic...and while I enjoyed many other dishes that night,these are the ones that stuck with me. And one of these days, I'll attempt to cook them.

    So if you find yourself out on the left coast, check out any one of these spots for a quick bite and if you're like me, so many bites that you'll pass out from a food coma shortly thereafter. Guilty as charged.