Saturday, January 28, 2017

Baked Orange Roughy - Almondine Optional

Today I'm making a baked fish dish, which is healthy, easy and delicious. You can use any type of white fish. I'm using orange roughy, but you could as easily use cod, Lake Superior white fish or any good, white flaky fish. I like the roughy as it is a little thicker than some other fish, and so is not overwhelmed by the topping.

Julian's Baked Orange Roughy
 As you can see in the photo, the fish is topped with a butter seasoned bread crumb mixture. To make this fish 'almondine', I use the same recipe but add slivered almonds to the bread crumbs, as noted in the recipe below. If you are using frozen fillets, make sure they are thawed before use.

Ingredients (2 servings)

Ready for the Oven
2 portions white fish fillets, any variety
1/3 cup white wine

Crumb Topping
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons slivered almonds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried onion
pinch of paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Lightly oil a ceramic baking dish large enough to hold the fish fillets side by side. Place fish in the dish.

Combine breadcrumbs and seasoning. Stir in melted butter. Carefully spoon onto fish fillets.

Pour white wine around the fish. This keeps the fish moist and reduces fish odor while cooking.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and a thermometer reaches 150F or until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.

Julian's Baked Orange Roughy Plated

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloins

Pork tenderloins often come deceptively wrapped with two together in one package, making you think you have a piece of meat that is as big around as your arm. In reality of course, a pork tenderloin is not that large, so unless you want to serve medallions of pork, what are you to do?

Julian's Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloins
Today I'm making two pork tenderloins wrapped together with bacon and surrounded by a mild sauerkraut that everyone enjoys. The sauerkraut not only is flavored by the roasting meat, but also provides essential moisture in the roasting pan to keep your roast juicy.

2 pork tenderloins
Ready to wrap.
1 pound bacon
BBQ Rub (store bought or my recipe)
2 pound bag sauerkraut
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 sweet apple, thinly sliced
1 carrot, shredded/grated
1 sweet onion, roughly chopped
4 tablespoon brown sugar, plus a sprinkle

Pre-heat oven to 375F degrees.

Remove the pork tenderloins from their packaging and rinse and pat dry. Lay out the bacon on a cutting board set horizontally, with strips laid side by side along the widest side of the cutting board, from top to bottom. Set the first pork tenderloin into the center of the bacon. One end of the tenderloin is thicker than the other. Place the second tenderloin onto the bacon next to the other one, with the thickest end at the opposite end.

Sprinkle the pork tenderloins with the BBQ rub generously. Wrap the bacon around the tenderloins.

In a large bowl, mix together the sauerkraut, celery, apple, carrot and onion. Stir in the brown sugar. Carefully place the bacon wrapped tenderloins into a roasting pan, upside down, so that the open edge of the bacon is on the bottom. Surround the tenderloins with the sauerkraut mixture. Sprinkle a little more brown sugar on top of the bacon wrapped tenderloins.

Place the roast in the oven, uncovered, and let cook for 1 hour. The bacon should become crispy on the top. If it begins to brown too much, cover it. Stir the sauerkraut after 30 minutes. A meat thermometer should register 160F degrees when the roast is done. Let sit for 15 minutes prior to slicing and serving.

Excellent with a side of mashed potatoes!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Pizza Burgers

Sometimes in the winter here in the north, we just get hungry for a burger. As the grill is out of reach, because of the snow, that classic option is not available. So instead, I often make us what my mother called 'pizza burgers'.

Julian's Pizza Burger
They are essentially a burger made out of a meatloaf type blend, with pizza sauce and cheese. They do hit the spot. Because they are soft, they do not grill easily so a skillet is ideal for their preparation. As you may know if you read this blog, I make meatballs in large batches and freeze them. At the same time, I also make up some pizza burgers for the freezer. But for your convenience, below I provide you a recipe for fresh made. I prefer them with a mix of pork and beef, but you can use all beef.

Ingredients (makes 4 large burgers)
1 pound, lean ground beef and pork
1 egg, slightly beaten
dash A-1 steak sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
1 cloves minced garlic
               or teaspoon ground dry garlic
1 tablespoon dried onion
               or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh shallot
1 tablespoon dry chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
pinch of salt and a few fresh grinds of pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 can pizza sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella or mixed cheese
4 buns

Mix together all of the burger ingredients (on the above up to but not including the vegetable oil). When well blended, form into burger patties. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

In a non-stick skillet, heat the oil until hot and add the burgers. Fry on one side for 3-4 minutes until browned. Turn and brown the second side. Add the pizza sauce around the burgers and let them cook in the sauce for 10-15 minutes, until they are cooked through and the sauce is flavored by the meat drippings. Spoon the sauce over the burgers periodically. During the last few minutes of cooking, spoon on some sauce and top each burger with cheese. Cook covered a few minutes until cheese melts.

While the burgers are cooking in the sauce, lightly oil and toast the buns in a 350F oven for 5 minutes. Place the burgers on the toasted buns and serve.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Spicy Glazed Nuts with Pretzels - Great Cocktail Mix

This is a nice alternative to my Chex cocktail mix. It's spice and a touch sweet, but goes great with a cocktail.

Julian's Spicy Glazed Nuts with Pretzels
The original recipe was from food writer David Lebovitz. I doubled up the sauce and added the wasabi peas.  The recipe is pretty flexible so add what you like. Take care to not over bake the mix, as it will burn.

In the oven.
4 cups mixed raw nuts of your choice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons maple syrup
4 teaspoons chunky sea salt or kosher salt
4 cups small pretzels
1 cup wasabi coated dry peas

Spread the nuts on two baking sheets and roast in a 350F degree oven for 10 minutes, stirring once during roasting.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup.  Add the warm nuts, stirring until coated. Then mix in the pretzels and half the wasabi peas.

Spread the mixture back on the baking sheets and return to the oven for 12-15 minutes, stirring twice during cooking to keep them separated and roasted on all sides. Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheets, turning and separating the nuts and pretzels as they cool using a spatula. Add the remaining wasabi peas.

Once room temperature, store in an air tight container.