Filed under: Fish, Main Course | Tags: aioli, Baguette, Catfish, chipotle, Cornmeal, pescetarian
I have to make a confession: I was not a very good wife in my last post. I said after a weekend of indulgence that we needed a healthy meal to kick off the week. Well, when I said we, I really meant my husband and my children would be eating a healthy meal. You see, I was leaving my family for the evening to attend a Pampered Chef party. If you haven’t heard of the Pampered Chef catalogue and line, it’s cookware, bake ware, and kitchen utensils that are totally
unnecessary and any foodie would happily spend too much money on. It was nice to get out of the house, socialize with some lovely ladies, and buy kitchen stuff.
So after a night out, I was feeling a bit guilty that I made my family stay home and eat soup (to be fair, it was good!) and I was out tasting recipes from Pampered Chef. The next night, I would make it up to my dear hubby.
One of our favorite places in the world isNew Orleans. My husband and I took a trip there before having kids and it was one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on. We spent the whole time listening to Jazz, walking the French Quarter, eating around the clock, and of course, drinking (also around the clock.) I was determined to try every restaurant’s version of gumbo, jambalaya, fried catfish, red beans and rice. And we loved every bite and every minute.
I’d wanted to make something reminiscent of our time in NOLA lately, but some of the ingredients used in Cajun cooking can be hard to come by here. A short time ago, I was shopping and saw a bag of frozen catfish fillets and Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning (all in the same store, in the same trip, I might add) so I grabbed them and waited until the right time to bust this meal out. As I fried off the catfish, my guilt about the previous night disappeared with each batch of crunchy and golden fish nuggets, as I knew “E” was going to love it; and he did!
CatfishPo’ Boys with Chipotle Aioli
2 lbs catfish fillets cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cups flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups cornmeal
1/4 cup Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning, divided
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup mayonnaise (or miracle whip for those of use that hate mayo)
1/4 cup chipotle hot sauce (or more or less to taste)
1 loaf crusty French bread
1 head lettuce leaves removed
Lemon wedges, optional
To make the catfish: set up a battering station by lining up a shallow bowl with the flour, one for the eggs, and one for the cornmeal. Add the Cajun seasoning to the flour and cornmeal and mix to combine. Heat the oil to 350 degrees, and while the oil warms, batter the fish. First into the flour, shaking off the excess; then into the egg, again shaking off the excess; then into the cornmeal, coating evenly. Once all of the fish has been breaded, fry in batches. and Drain on paper towels. The catfish can be kept warm by placing it in the oven at 200 degrees on a wire rack after draining on paper towels.
While the catfish fries, combine the mayo and chipotle sauce and set aside.
To assemble the sandwiches, split the French loaf and add lettuce, and catfish. Drizzle with aioli and serve with lemon wedges.
Filed under: Fish, Main Course, Pasta & Rice | Tags: Cheese, Lemon, Pasta, pescetarian, Scallop, Wine
So remember my husband was recently gone on a trip? You know, when I made him Oxtail Ragu as a welcome home? Well I really shouldn’t have because while he was gone, he ate amazing food, probably better than what will ever come out of my kitchen. The night he came home, my hubby told me all about the multi-course meal he had from this little hole-in-the-wall. Seafood trays, fresh pastas and sauces, and plenty of wine to wash it all down. Yeah, that’s right, he was in Italy….without me….but it was for work, so I guess that’s a viable excuse for leaving me out.
But he knew I would be jealous that I missed out (yes, I was but I’m slowly getting over it) so he brought home some loot-pasta and a variety of cheeses. He knows me well. I’ve spent the last week thinking of what I wanted to make with my pasta and cheese. I decided a light sauce and a little seafood would be great. We could really taste the flavor of the pasta, and I used the peppery cheese which added a nice kick.
Since we waited until the kiddos were in bed to eat (I couldn’t stand to let my picky kids push a plate of this away telling me they don’t like it without trying it) I had to quickly snap some pictures in my dark kitchen before we devoured it. I debated posting this one, as the photos aren’t very clear, but I thought only other foodies would appreciate this almost as much as I did.
Lemony Bay Scallop Penne
1 Package Penne
2 lbs Bay Scallops, patted dry
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon white wine
1 cup white wine
1 cup milk (I used 2% because that’s what we had, but for a more rich taste, you could use whole milk or even whipping cream)
2 tablespoons cheese (I used the peppered cheese pictured, which tasted like a combination of sharp cheddar and parmesan)
Basil, for garnish
Salt/pepper to taste
Boil the penne in salted water until al-dente. Drain and rinse
While the penne cooks, salt and pepper the scallops. Heat olive oil over medium high heat and brown the scallops on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside. Wipe pan clean.
Add the butter to the scallops pan. Melt and add the onions and sauté until tender. Add garlic and lemon zest and sauté 2 more minutes, or until fragrant. Add flour and cook 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the white wine and lemon juice until sauce is smooth. Simmer 5 minutes. Add the milk and cheese and stir until cheese melts. Add the scallops back to the sauce and cook 2-3 minutes or until scallops are cooked through. Toss sauce with the pasta. Salt/pepper to taste. Top with fresh basil and serve.
Filed under: Appetizers, Snacks | Tags: pescetarian, Pineapple, shrimp, Spring roll
I bought some fresh, pre-sliced pineapple a few days ago and this morning when I opened the fruit and vegetable drawer, I noticed that it was about 12 hours away from starting to go bad. I didn’t feel like spending an hour looking up pineapple recipes because I still had a ton of other things to get to around the house (laundry, you will be the death of me!) I just grabbed what I could out of the refrigerator and freezer, and tried to pull this together. I assembled the spring rolls in the morning and while the kids napped, I “fried” them off. Let me say, that was a bad idea. I knew tossing the shrimp with the vinegar would make the shrimp mushy, but somehow I thought by putting them in the freezer I would thwart the cooking process. Well, my lesson has been learned, and that’s not the case. I should have fried them off right away. I have to say, mushy shrimp aside, these were good, however, when I took a bite, I realized something was missing….soy sauce! Oh well, it’s been a busy week and I was a little out of it. Next time, if I add a tablespoon or so of soy, and cook these right away, they would be great!
Pineapple and Shrimp Spring Rolls
1 cup crushed pineapple
1 cup cooked shrimp, cubed
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 small green chili (seeds removed unless you like it REALLY spicy)
1 tablespoon green onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
1 egg, beaten
1 package spring roll wrappers (I actually used lumpia wrappers because that’s what I had, but either will do)
Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, vegetable oil, and ginger. Add cabbage, carrots, chili, and onion to the liquid and marinate for 30 minutes. Add shrimp and pineapple to the vegetables.
To assemble the spring rolls: Place vegetable and shrimp mixture on the top 1/3 of a spring roll wrapper. Brush all of the sides with the egg wash. Fold in the long sides, then roll up the filling in the wrapper (sorry for the bad description on how to roll these up, but if you know how to roll burritos, same idea.) Brush the outside with the egg wash. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers.
Place wrappers in an oil-less deep fryer (if you don’t have one, you can fry these in oil or bake them at 350) and fry until golden brown, about 8 minutes.
Serve with sweet chili dipping sauce.