Thursday, April 21, 2011

Baby Bok Choy + Lemon + Fish = Heaven!

Fresh, Quality Ingredients Make for Better Meals

Yesterday, I received my second delivery of the season from The Produce Box, a local Community Supported Agriculture group that provides a box of farm-fresh, local fruits and vegetables right to my door. To find a CSA near you, check out

I was pretty excited to see baby bok choy and scallions inside!

Fish with Lemon, Mushroom, and Baby Bok Choy

  • 2 bunches baby bok choy, trimmed, leaves separated
  • 2 scallions or spring onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 4" sections
  • 2 shiitake (or any other kind) mushrooms, halved if large
  • 2 servings of fish - tonight, I'm using flounder
  • coarse salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 thin lemon slices
  • 1 TB extra-virgin olive oil
  • parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Tear off 2 pieces of parchment paper, each just over a foot long. You'll need to fit half of the ingredients inside each... too big is better than too small!

On each piece, layer 1/2 the listed ingredients. Put the vegetables on the bottom, the fish (sprinkled with salt & pepper) in the middle, and the lemon on top. 

Drizzle 1/2 TB olive oil over each of the stacks of vegetables & fish. 

Folding:  Hold the long sides of one of the parchment paper pieces, and bring them together. Fold the ends together a few times to be sure no moisture can escape during the cooking process. Fold the short ends underneath the packet, and place the packet in a baking pan. Repeat process for the other parchment packet. 

Bake for about 12-15 minutes... Serve immediately. 

When you open each packet, the fish should be opaque (i.e. not transparent) throughout and flake easily. If it doesn't quite seem done, just fold the packet back together and give it a few more minutes in the oven. 

I served this dish by placing the packets directly on dinner plates, but you may find it's easier to just dump the contents out onto plates. 

 - - I'll add pictures soon!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

MENU Sun 1/2 to Sat 1/8 2011

A Winter Menu
New Recipes for the New Year

I received a subscription to Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine, so this week's menu features many new recipes from the Jan/Feb 2011 issue. Also, I received the most wonderful gift of Michael Ruhlman's Ratio, so hopefully my culinary skills and knowledge will increase as a result. Did you receive any fun kitchen related gifts this year? 

SUN 1/2 - Cold Weather Classic: Beef Stew.  I'm using Paula Deen's recipe, sort of. I had 3 or 4 cups of beef broth in the freezer (left over from my recent adventure making Boeuf Bourguignon), so I (a) replaced the water in the recipe with beef broth, and (b) left out many of the spices.
Serve with rolls and salad.
MON 1/3 - Asian Night: Potstickers!  I've never made them before, so wish me luck! I'm planning to use Alton Brown's recipe, served with Honey Soy Dipping Sauce. I also picked up a package of Thai Kitchen Pad Thai to try out.

TUE 1/4 - Italian Night: Calzones.  Pepperoni Calzones, Salad. Later in the week we're having another recipe that needs ricotta, so I'll separate out how much I need for that recipe & use the rest this night.

WED 1/5 - We Love Shrimp!  Spiced Shrimp with Ginger Rice and Peas (Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2011 p.70). I'll be using brown rice instead of white. I've actually run out of white rice, and I'm not buying more until I really need it. It's become our new default... and I'd rather brown be the default. Much healthier! 

Have you ever heard of a passive barrier? It's like what I'm doing with the rice. Oh, we could have white rice. But I'd have to stop at the store and pick some up. Or maybe I'll buy some and put it up on a high kitchen shelf. You're more likely to do the right thing if the wrong thing is that much harder to do... so put the TV remote on the other side of the room (instead of on the arm of the couch) and don't keep your phone right in your pocket. The Simple Dollar had a neat article about passive barriers, as did Get Rich Slowly (referenced in TSD's post).

THU 1/6 - More Seafood!  One of the easiest things you can do to eat healthier is to eat more fish. No, it doesn't count if you fry it! We're having Seared Fish with Beets and Broccoli (Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2011 p.76). Okay, I'm making it with just broccoli, no beets, but you get the idea.

FRI 1/7 - Canning Day.  I'm planning to can minestrone soup today - I'll keep some separate to have for dinner this night. Serve with ham steak and potatoes. 

Snack:  Strawberry Banana Smoothies.  While hunting around in the freezer, I found one last package of last year's strawberries - hooray! Just add some yoghurt, milk, banana, and honey, and you've got a smoothie. There's endless recipes online for smoothies. It's definitely the sort of thing you can play with - no exact recipe required. 

SAT 1/8 - 
Breakfast:  Ham and Egg Crepe Squares. I've made crepes before, but this time I'll be getting instruction from Ratio. Otherwise. the recipe is from Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2011 p. 56.
Dinner: Easy Night.  Parmesan Chicken with Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts (Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2011 p.76).

SUN 1/9 -
Lunch: Super-Easy Meal! I canned some chili a couple weeks ago, and I also have a bunch in the freezer. It's easy to make and freezes really well. I highly recommend making a big batch and freezing a bunch for future easy meals. 
Dinner: Eggstatic about Eggs! Potato-Leek Frittata (Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2011 p.41).

Happy Cooking!