You know it is not the healthiest thing to serve, but everyone loves it – Fish Fry.  For years I’ve been frying away different white fish – Dover Sole, Pacific Cod, Tilapia, and Skai – and have finally perfected the recipe.  Eat this with something healthy like steam asparagus and a green salad (don’t forget your SaladSuccess shaker to make the dressing).  Since we are coming into spring, perhaps a strawberry and rhubarb cobbler to top off the meal.  The two tricks to this recipe are using baking powder and beer.  I’ve tried all beers from Coors Light to weird lagers that my husband has collected in the fridge and the result is similar – great beer batter.  Anyway, enjoy and don’t feel too guilty.  Use vegetable oil to fry to fish – it is lighter and less expensive than olive oil.

Best Beer Batter for Fish Fry Bonanza – Prep time: 5 minutes, cooking time: 15 minutes.  Makes enough batter for 2 lbs of fish.

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs or less of white fish such as cod, sole, tilapia, skai

½ cup flour

½ tbsp baking powder

1 – 2 lemons, grated for lemon zest, quarter the remaining lemon

½ cup beer

1 large – extra large egg

1 tsp (or less) Kosher salt

½ tsp freshly grounded pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Whisk in beer and egg until mixture is smooth.  Add fish and gently mix so that fish is covered with mixture.

In a large frying pan (medium high to high heat) pour enough oil to cover bottom by approximately ¼ inch.  When oil is really hot (add a couple droplets of water to oil and see if it sizzles and evaporates) carefully add pieces of fish.  Cook fish for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and serve with lemon quarters and tartar sauce (mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce or Dijon mustard couple finely chopped pickles or relish, salt & pepper).

Now SaladSuccess is not only providing the best salads and dressings to make with our SaladSuccess shaker, but now will provide the measurements if you only want to make enough dressing for one salad.

The bones of this recipe are from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa with changes to the proportions.  I love this combination on a bed of lettuce since there are so many calories in a single avocado.  Most grocery stores sell very unripe (hard as rock) avocados – I’m lucky that my local farmers market carries avocados.  Unless you have a specialty shop, often Costco avocados are ripe or will ripen in the next few days.

Ingredients for the SaladSuccess Shaker

  • Freshly squeezed lemon to the 1/3 orange line of SaladSuccess Shaker
  • Olive oil to the top orange line of SaladSuccess Shaker
  • 1 large spoonful of  Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients for a single salad dressing

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Salad

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 2 large red grapefruits
  • Mesclun lettuce or arugula

Just before serving, cut the avocados in quarters, remove the seeds, and peel off the skin. Cut each quarter into 2-3 slices. Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients and oss the avocado slices in the vinaigrette to prevent them from turning brown. Peel off the grapefruits slices (removing all the white pith), then strip the membranes to release the grapefruit sections.

Arrange the avocado slices around the edge of a large platter lined with mesclun lettuce or arugula. Arrange the grapefruit segments in the center. Spoon the remaining vinaigrette on top and serve.

Courtesy of Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa.

One of my most favorite children’s books is Farmer’s Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  When my children were young I use to read to them the entire series, and always looked forward to Farmer’s Boy, the story of Almanzo Wilder who grew up on a wealthy farm in upper New York State.  Not only did Almanzo have a wonderful childhood playing and raising animals, but he also had a ferocious appetite and the book goes in great details about his meals.  One that often comes to my mind is his love for fried onions and applies.

For years I thought that was an odd combination, until out of total cooking boredom, I decided to expand my dinner repertoire and start experimenting.  Yes, apples and onions go well together and so does fennel and pork.  Add a bit of Calvados (apple brandy – you can also substitute with brandy or cognac) and voila – a gourmet meal on the cheap.  Don’t forget a glass of wine with your meal and of, course a salad using the SaladSuccess shaker to make your dressing.

Pork Loin Roll with Apples, Onions, Fennel and Calvados – feeds 4-6:  Prep Time-20 minutes, Inactive Cooking Time – 1 to 1.5 hours

1 ½ – 2 lbs of pork loin (you can also use chops, shoulder etc)

6 cored and sliced apples – granny smith, pippin, mix of what’s in your fruit bin, just don’t use red delicious

2 sliced onions

2 cored and sliced fennel bulbs

1 shallot

½ cup of Calvados

½ cup of water

½ tsp of fine cinnamon – I use Costco’s Saigon Cinnamon or go to Penzey’s

½ tsp of freshly grounded nutmeg

Olive oil

Salt & Grounded Pepper to taste

In a BIG Dutch oven or cocotte (I’ve got 30 year old favorite from Le Creuset), pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Using a med-high heat, sear the pork on all sides, thus trapping in the juices – 1 to 3 minutes per side.  Add water & Calvados and cover firmly with a lid.  About 10 minutes later, add apples, onions, fennel, shallots, cinnamon, nutmeg and lightly salt and pepper.  Cover and wait 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low.  Cook for about 1 hour – 1 ½ hours.

Before serving, I’ll garnish the veggies with cranberries and perhaps some chopped nuts.  It adds a little color and texture to the meal.

Enjoy and hugs………………………Nadine

INGREDIENTS – for a single salad or use the Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette in Salad Success container
1 minced shallot
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 heads Belgian endive, halved lengthwise, cored, and very thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
3 small fennel bulbs, halved lengthwise, cored, and very thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 large Fuji apple, halved lengthwise, cored, and very thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Whisk together shallot, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a wood, or glass salad bowl. While constantly whisking, add oil by pouring in a thin stream down the side of the bowl. Whisk until all oil is incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Add endive, fennel, and apple slices to the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Taste again and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve.

Courtesy from Chowhound, Recipe of the Day, 2/3/2010

pea-soup-finalThe holiday trimmings are all packed up, the deep fryer is clean and up on the high shelf of the pantry, and any sweet has been devoured.  Things are back to the dull roar of life, and the house seems lighter and breezy.  My wallet is also feeling lighter, but my butt is heavier.  So it is time to put a lid on all unnecessary spending and indulgences.  Fair well, oh luscious garlic mayonnaise, good bye cream puffs, au revoir pommes frites.  Hello 2010 and austerity.

Well, that is not exactly going to work well with me.  The reality is to find economic meals that are “planet-sustainable” (that’s my kids talking) and delicious.  Which brings me to soups: split pea soup in particular.

What I like about thick soups is that they can become an easy meal, especially if you have made the soup ahead of time and have freeze it.   With my split pea soup (which I turn into a concentrate by reducing the liquid) I have had enough soup for 11 -12 servings.  Delicious, filling and low in calories, it is a perfect lunch for me.  And if you don’t think that it, along with fruit and a beverage, will be enough to get you through the day, add a spoonful of oat bran and flaxseed just before serving and mix well.

HEAVENLY SPLIT PEA SOUP

1 ham bone or ham hock

2 packets of dried green peas – approx. 2 lbs.

1 onion sliced finely

3 peeled potatoes,  rough chopped or sliced

3 peeled and chopped carrots

6 cups of water

6 cups of chicken stock, bouillon or broth

Salt and Pepper to taste

Oat Bran and Flax seed optional

DIRECTIONS:  Prep – 10 minutes, Cooking Time 1 ½ hours

In a large pot add water, chicken stock, peas, ham, onions, carrots, and potatoes. Using a medium setting,  cover and boil for ½ hour, then reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour.  Before serving either use a potato masher (easy to clean) or an immersion stick blender just enough to mash up the potatoes, however leaving some texture.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  If you want more fiber, add 1 teaspoon of oat bran and fax seed. Serve hot with croutons or oyster crackers (unless you’re on a diet, like me).  Give the dog the ham bone or strip the hock of the fat and give Fido the remains.  Woof, woof!

pea-soup-1pea-soup-2

Keep soup on simmer for another hour.  Soap will get very thick.  Cool down and place thicken mixture in plastic container.  Refrigerate or freeze.  To make a bowlful of soup, get approx. 1 – ½ cups of refrigerated split pea mixture and mix in ½ cup (approx) of chicken broth, bouillon or stock.  Microwave for 2 ½ minutes. Again season to taste, and for more fiber, add oatbran and flaxseed.

Laurent Tourondel, the cooking sensation behind the BLT (Bistro Laurent Tourondel), developed this wonderful recipe for coleslaw. In October 2007, Bon Appétit magazine named him Restaurateur of the Year. This most recent award solidifies his place among the top in the culinary world, while further positioning his award-winning BLT restaurants as some of the nation’s best. Tourondel suggests using this dressing over thinly sliced Napa cabbage, red cabbage, carrots and red peppers.  To garnish, chop cilantro, mint leaves and I like to add some chopped peanuts.

INGREDIENTS

Smooth peanut butter

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

6 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

6 tablespoons water

6 tablespoons sugar

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoon Sriracha chile sauce

DIRECTIONS

Peanut butter to the ½ blue mark on the SaladSuccess shaker

Add lime juice, fish sauce, water, sugar, garlic and Sriracha.

Shake vigorously and serve over cabbage, carrots & red peppers

Garnish with cilantro mint leaves and chopped peanuts.

Adapted from Laurent Tourondel

Fran Gage is a wonderful food writer for Saveur and other publications.  Just recently I had the pleasure meeting her at the Aptos Farmers Market at Cabrillo College near Santa Cruz, CA.  Fran has just come out with a wonderful book called The New American Olive Oil which contains history, advice on choosing oils, profiles on the producers, and yes, wonderful recipes.  This vinaigrette recipe is from her book and has been adapted to the SaladSuccess shaker.  She suggests a salad of romaine hearts, apples or sliced pears, and chopped toasted pecans.  I personally like it using butter lettuce and walnuts.

INGREDIENTS

Extra-virgin olive oil

White wine or white balsamic vinegar

3 large spoonfuls of crumbled blue cheese

1 large spoonful of water

Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Olive Oil to the 3/4 blue marks on the SaladSuccess Shaker

Vinegar to the top of the blue vinegar line

Add blue cheese to shaker and mash with a fork to break down the crumbles

Shake vigorously in the SaladSuccess shaker

Add water

Shake vigorously again in the SaladSuccess shaker

Add salt and pepper to taste

Adapted from The New American Olive Oil by Fran Gage