Monday, February 22, 2010

Orange Roughy in a Mushroom Sauce

For our first Valentine's Day as a married couple we decided to stay at home and cook together. It turned out to be really fun despite the size of our kitchen. Believe it or not I have never made fish before so I decided to give it a try. We attempted to find Halibut to make but it was nowhere to be found so we found this great recipe for Orange Roughy. It was easy and delicious! There are some changes I have made when posting this recipe because there was WAY too much pepper. I don't really know if I am "chef" enough to change a recipe but I feel pretty confident about this one. One thing we did find out AFTER we purchased the fish is that Orange Roughy is close to being on the endangered species list. SO with that said maybe wait to make this one until the Orange Roughy has made a come back...unless you feel okay with eating an almost endangered species!

Orange Roughy in a Mushroom Sauce
Adapted from
3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 1/4 cups finely chopped onions
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon pepper
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
salt to taste
12 ounces plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 pounds orange roughy fillets (2 large fillets)
3 tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs
paprika to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Coat with cooking spray.
2. In a medium saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat, cook and stir the mushrooms and onions about 4 minutes. Season with lemon peper, Italian seasoning, and salt. Remove from heat, and allow to cool about 10 minutes (you could also put in the refridgerator for 5-10 minutes to help cool). Blend well in the yogurt and parmesan cheese.
3. Arrange each orange roughy fillet in the prepared baking pan over about 3-4 tablespoons of the musroom mixture. Top the fillets with the remaining mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
4. Bake 30 minutes or until the fish is easily flaked with a fork. Season with paprika and serve.

We grilled some asparagus to go along with our fish.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Cowboy Stew

Thanks Brit for keeping me accountable for our weekly recipes. Since I missed a week here or there, I am trying to catch up which in returns mean more simple recipes! This recipe even though it only takes about 15 minutes to make and is super easy is also very filling and satisfying. It's warm, perfect for winter days. And since there is able to be a huge cold front this is the perfect choice. I must credit Susan (the most amazing cook ever!), my bible study teacher, as she is the one to create this recipe.

Cowboy Stew
2 lbs ground beef
1 onion chopped
48 oz ranch style beans
2 cans minestrone soup (Progressive is a good choice)
1 can rotel tomatoes (you choose how spicy or not spicy you want your stew to be)

Brown meat with onions. Once browned add other ingredients. Serve hot. The End...that's all you's worth trying!

This recipe is so easy I don't really have any helpful tips.


Chocolate Chip Tiramisu Cheesecake

For my hubby's birthday I told him to pick out a cake..any cake he wanted me to make. He saw this as an opportunity to broaden my cooking horizons and requested a Tiramisu Cheesecake. I have always been very intimidated by the idea of making cheesecake. I mean The Cheescake Factory has set a pretty high standard and I'm good with letting them do all the cheesecake baking! So...I fought the urge to call in an order and found a recipe. I will say some of the ingredients can be hard to find. Luckily we have a Central Market in Fort Worth that had everything I needed! I woke up early Saturday morning to start my little cheesecake adventure. First thing I had to do was use our food processesor...which I had to dust off since I have NEVER used it before. Don't worry that I spent 30 minutes reading the manuel and watching the "How To" DVD just to figure out how to put the darn blade on! Anyways, it turns out that cheesecake really isn't too difficult to make...especially if you know how to use your food processor. It didn't neccesarily taste like tiramisu however was very good. It has a hint of espresso in the crust which makes it a little tiramisuish. All that to say if you love chocolate, cheesecake, and coffee you will LOVE this dessert. Thank you Rachael Ray for this one and Happy Birthday Tim!

Chocolate Chip Tiramisu Cheesecake
Adapted from Rachel Ray
One 7-ounce package crisp Italian-Stye ladyfingers, coarsley chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup marscapone cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room termperature
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon cooking oil (any kind)
Boiling water

1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with foil and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Using a food processor, grind the ladyfingers into fine crumbs. Add a hand full of chocolate chips and grind into the ladyfingers. Add the melted butter and instant espresso and pulse until well blended. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press to form a crust halfway up the side of the pan. Bake until set, 8 to 10 minutes; let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
3. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar at high speed until smooth. Beat in the mascarpone, vanilla and salt. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips.
4. Set the springform pan in a roasting pan. Pour the mascarpone-chocolate chip mixture into the baked crust, then place the roasting pan in the oven. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the top is golden and the center is set but still jiggly, about 1 hour. Let cool in the roasting pan for 15 minutes then transfer to rack to cool completely (don't remove from springform pan). Refrigerate for 6 hours or up to 2 days. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan. In a small microwave safe bowl melt the remaining chocolate chips plus one teaspoon oil, stirring until smooth. Transfer the chocolate into a resealable plastic bag. Snip the corner of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the cake.

Things I learned:
- placing the cheescake in boiling water while baking prevents it from cracking. My oven of course is so small a roasting pan won't fit in it so I just put a casserole dish in the rack under the cheesecake with boiling water which seemed to work
- instant espresso and instant coffee are not the same thing
- if you can't find ladyfingers at the grocery store, try a bakery
- if you mix cream cheese on too low of speed is the cream cheese gets stuck in the metal whisks
- Cheesecake really isn't too hard to make!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Homemade Lasagna

So after watching the documentary, Food Incorporated, I have decided to attempt to make as much of our food from SCRATCH if possible. If you want to know why, you will have to rent the movie because, honestly, I could have a blog just about eating natural and organic! So with that said I thought I would try to make homemade lasagna (I love the Stouffer's brand, but really who knows what all they put in it) Allow yourself about 2 hours to make this dish unless you have a husband that will assist you in the kitchen which then it cuts the work down to an 1 1/2 hours. *this recipe is adapted from the Junior League of Houston cookbook Peacemeals. Awesome cookbook, I highly recommend it.

1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (I used the dried ground up kind, trust me use the real stuff)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, sliced (not really sure what that meant but i just sliced it into thin slices and it turned out fine)
28 ounces canned Italian whole peeled tomatoes (Because I like to follow the rules of the book, I didn't drain the tomatoes since they didn't mention it, but the next time I make this I definitely will as the lasagna was a little too juicy)
6 ounces canned tomato paste
3/4 cup water
4 to 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped (again use the real stuff)
2 tablespoons sugar (Next time I will use just a little bit less sugar as it was fairly sweet)
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
9 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1-1 1/2 pound meat (we used turkey)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

What I wish I had known: using non or low-fat cheese will drastically reduce the flavor.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, egg, and oregano in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Heat the olive oil in a medium heavy saucepan over medium-low heat and saute the onions and garlic for 8 to 10 minutes. Mix in the tomatoes, tomato paste, water and basil. Blend the ingredients with a potato masher or hand blender until chunky. Mix in the sugar; season with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.Rise the lasagna noodles with cold water and drain again. Lightly oil a 9x13 inch baking pan. To assemble the lasagna, spoon 1 cup of the pasta sauce over the bottom of the pan. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over the sauce. Top the noodles with 1 cup of the sauce, followed by half of the meat, 1/2 cup of the feta and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella. Layer 3 more noodles, followed by 1 cup of the sauce, the remaining meat, all of the reserved ricotta mixture, 1/3 cup of the feta and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella. Layer the remaining noodles, sauce, feta, and mozzarella. Cover the lasagna loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking. Allow the lasagna to rest for 10 minutes before serving.