Before you get to the food, let me just say: Happy Halloween!!
I have a thing about sammies (or, to use the lay term, “sandwiches”). I hate making them at home because they’re always disappointing, but I am almost always craving one. Why is it that Thundercloud makes a better turkey sandwich than I do? And as far as gyros and pitas go, I stink.
Over the weekend I was watching an embarrassing amount of Comedy Central and there were several commercials for a nasty-looking Taco Bell flatbread sandwich thing. And I knew I wanted one. But not from Taco Bell, obviously. I do not wish that intestinal pain on anyone.
But I endeavored to make a delicious sandwich for myself, inspired by the flatbread and inspired by the fish in my freezer that needed eating. I started by cutting Bobby Flay’s Flatbread recipe in half and baking that up. It tasted great, but it was kind of dense. I think my yeast didn’t develop enough.
Then, I thawed the fish and channeled my inner Mediterranean (non-existant) and came up with a super delicious, healthful marinade to bake the fish in and threw together some other ingredients to put on the sandwich.
The result was a super messy yet super yummy sammie that I will be recreating soon!
Tilapia Flatbread Sandwich (serves 2)
2 pieces flatbread (store-bought or homemade)
2 filets tilapia, thawed
2 T tomato sauce
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp oregano
2-3 T plain yogurt
1/4 small onion, grated (use a microplane!)
salt & pepper
In a baking dish, season fish with olive oil, salt, pepper, mustard seed, and oregano. Cover fish filets on both sides with spices and spread tomato sauce on top. Bake at 375* for 10 minutes and allow to cool slightly. While fish is cooling, mix together yogurt and grated onion and spread on flatbread. Top the sandwich with any veggies you want (I used some leftover steamed asparagus — awesome). Place fish on top of spread and any veggies and fold the bread over. Enjoy!
I love fish. I grew up in an area known as “Tidewater” in Virginia, so as you can probably guess there was a lot of seafood. My mother is not particularly fond of the stuff, but I can’t get enough fish! The only problem is the smell. I never cook fish in my apartment simply because of the smell!
But I braved the scent when I was inspired to make a Thai fish dish. I believe this dish is traditionally made with salmon, but I’m a graduate student and it saved me serious money to swap tilapia for salmon! But I think the tilapia was perfect since it flakes so nicely. It made a great texture and really absorbed the flavors.
This dish requires very few ingredients, which I am very into these days. If you haven’t noticed, lately I’ve been making dishes with very minimal ingredients and I’m loving the simplicity of flavors!
If you don’t normally cook with these ingredients, coconut milk and sriracha sauce can easily be found in the Asian section of your grocery store. I bought a small bottle of sriracha since I don’t use it at home a lot!
Red Curry Fish (serves 2-3)
2-3 filets of tilapia or other white fish, depending on size
1 cup light coconut milk
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pinch salt & pepper
1-2 T sriracha sauce (spicy — add to taste!)
1 cup frozen sugar snap peas
In a mixing bowl, combine coconut milk, salt, pepper, garlic, and sriracha sauce. Marinate the fish (defrost it if it was frozen!) for 10-15 minutes in the coconut milk mixture. Heat up a large skillet (cast iron if you have it!) to medium-high heat. Pour in the coconut milk mixture and the sugar snap peas. Watch carefully and turn the heat down to medium when the liquid starts to bubble. Stir gently; the fish will start to turn white and flake off as you stir but you don’t want to break it too much (6-7 minutes). Once all of the fish has gone from translucent to white and the sauce has thickened a little, cut the heat off and let it sit for another minute to thicken. Serve hot with some rice and enjoy!
Lately I haven’t been feeling super creative in the kitchen, but I have been trying a lot of recipes from the interwebs… mainly from bloggers or popular magazines.
So, I’ve decided to start a “recipe shout-out” chain of posts where I’ll occasionally share a successful, delicious dish that I’ve found elsewhere so that you too can share in the love.
Today’s shout-out goes to Cooking Light’s Fresh Salmon Cilantro Burgers which I made for my friend Mary the other night. I had been craving salmon and, while still expensive, it was cheaper to buy my own fresh salmon and make my own burgers than to buy the pre-made ones from the seafood counter at my grocer. One suggestion: add 1 egg white to the salmon mixture — it wasn’t forming patties for me with just the bread crumbs.
I definitely recommend these burgers, they were delicious! I did make the cilanto mayonnaise (and topped it with fresh avocado slices!) but when I enjoyed the leftovers, I did it with hoisin sauce and hot sauce. Truly wonderful! They’re great without a bun, too!
In January, I was told that my Aunt Nell passed away. She’s not really my aunt. In fact, I don’t know her relation to me, no matter how many times my grandma has explained it to me. All I know is that she lived in my hometown, was a fairly close relative, and she constantly called me by my mother’s name. She was kind, sweet, and fiercely independent. She contributed such recipes to my life as apple pie and sour cream pound cake.
I was feeling a little homesick and flipping through the family cookbook when I stumbled upon a picture of Aunt Nell and realized that I have been meaning to make her crab cakes and think of her since I got the news of her passing. As Rahul and I wandered the grocery store in debate of what to make, it seemed clear: Aunt Nell’s Crab Cakes.
These crab cakes are loved by all who cross their path. They aren’t filled with breading and unnecessary stuff. They are crab cakes in their most natural form and I am obsessed with them.
Please, for my sake and for Aunt Nell’s sake, treat yourself to this meal. It was a delicious way to remember someone dear to my heart and enjoy a food that truly reminds me of growing up in the Tidewater of Virginia.
Aunt Nell’s Crab Cakes (makes 8 )
16 oz jumbo lump crab
1/3 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup flour plus extra
salt & pepper
Pick through the crab meat to make sure it does not have any stray shells. In a mixing bowl, combine crab, evaporated milk, eggs, and the salt and pepper until well combined. Stir gently so as not to break up the crab too much. Add in the flour slowly, mixing gently until the mixture begins to hold together lightly. You may need to use more or less flour, depending on the moisture in your crab. Using a cast iron or heavy skillet, coat the cooking surface liberally with oil. Heat on medium to medium high until the oil is glistening and sizzles when you drop water into it. Be careful with hot oil! Form the crab mixture into loose patties and carefully place into the hot oil. Cook each cake for 3-4 minutes, then flip and let cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove to a paper towel to absorb excess grease. The cakes should be brown and crisp, but not over fried. Remember: the crab is cooked already so don’t overcook! Serve with lemon slices as crab cakes or on a roll as a crab cake sandwich!