Thursday, October 05, 2006

Playing Catch Up

Whew! It's been a busy couple of weeks, with almost no time to cook during the week. I've had crisis team meetings, school board meetings, an executive board meeting, representative council meeting, home tutoring for a girl with a broken leg, a meeting with chapter presidents from all over the county, and meetings with various teachers and administrators. But I was able to squeeze in SOME good cooking.

Monday night I cooked up some more of the barracuda fillets that are in the freezer, and made Pecan-Coconut Crusted Fish with Pineapple Salsa. The fish recipe is an adaptation of one I saw on recipezaar.com, but I sautéed the fish in a skillet instead of baking in an oven.

Pecan-Coconut Crusted Fish

½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne (red) pepper
½ cup finely chopped pecans
½ cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoon plain breadcrumbs
4 boneless fish fillets
1/4 c butter, canola oil, or olive oil

Combine salt, cayenne, pecans, coconut, and breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Dampen fish lightly, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, pressing mixture into fish. Heat butter or oil in a large skillet; sauté fish over medium heat until browned on both sides and fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with Pineapple Salsa.


On Tuesday night I threw together a 20-minute meal that I found in Cooking Light. I used one of those nice thick boneless pork chops from Costco, plus half a package of HIllshire Farms beef summer sausage. The sauerkraut was just store brand, but with the apples, onions, and beer, the flavor was just wonderful.

Quick Choucroute
from Cooking Light

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 pound boneless center-cut loin pork chops, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped Golden Delicious apple (about 1)
3/4 cup thinly sliced onion (about 1 medium)
1 bay leaf
1 (12-ounce) bottle light beer
2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1/2 pound low-fat smoked sausage, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Remove pork from pan, and keep warm.
Add apple, onion, and bay leaf to pan; cook 2 minutes or until onion is lightly browned. Add beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add sauerkraut and sausage; bring to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes. Return pork to pan; cover and cook 2 minutes or until pork is thoroughly heated. Discard bay leaf. Stir in parsley. Serve with horseradish and mustard.

Tonight's dinner was one of DH's favorites, since his mother used to make it for him all the time. The rolladen recipe was given to me when we lived in Walldorf (near Frankfurt), and I can buy the meat for it at the German market near my office. I sometimes serve this with rice, but it's much better with the potato dumplings (kartoffelknödel).

Rinderrolladen (Stuffed Beef Rolls)

4 pieces of very thin beef cut from a round steak, about 4" x 10" x 1/4"
salt and pepper
4 t prepared mustard, divided
4 slices bacon OR 4 T real bacon bits, divided
4 T dried parsley, divided
8 t finely chopped onion, divided
1 large dill pickle, quartered lengthwise OR 1 c pickled salad mix (I use Kruegermann's)
2 T oil
2 c water
1 T cornstarch dissolved in 2 T water

Lay out the four pieces of beef on a flat surface. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then spread each one with a teaspoon of mustard. Sprinkle each with bacon bits or lay a piece of bacon lengthwise on the meat. Next, sprinkle each piece of meat with a tablespoon of parsley and 2 teaspoons of onion. If you're using the whole pickle slice, lay it crosswise along the widest end of the meat. If you're using the pickle mix, put about a quarter cup of it on the widest end of the meat. Roll up the meat, widest end first, and then fasten the narrow end to the roll with a toothpick. (I used to go to the trouble of tying these with dental floss, but it took way too much time and effort. A toothpick works fine. You can see in the picture above that I used a blue toothpick!) Heat oil in a large skillet, and brown the meat rolls on all sides. Add water, cover, and simmer over low heat at least 30 minutes. Remove rolls to a serving platter or to plates, and add cornstarch-water mixture. Bring heat to medium-high and stir, about a minute or two, until gravy is thickened. Serve gravy over meat rolls with rice or dumplings.

Kartoffelknödel (Potato Dumplings)

2 T flour
2 large baking potatoes, peeled, boiled, and then riced
1 egg
1 t salt
dash nutmeg
dash white pepper
2 t beef or chicken bouillon granules (depending on whether you're serving these with beef or chicken)

Combine flour, riced potato, egg, salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add bouillon granules. Using hands, shape potato mixture into small (about 1 1/2") balls and drop into boiling water. Initially, they will sink to the bottom. Cook another 15 minutes (they will rise to the top). Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and serve. Makes about
16, or enough for 3-4 people.



1 comment:

Ruth said...

Cyndi, I've been remiss and haven't visited in a while. Life does rush by, doesn't it.

The pecan coated fish looks awesome. I've done something similar with tilapia but never tried barracuda. I'll definitely have to check it out.

Thanks for sharing.