Monthly Archives: October 2012

Halibut Meunière

The first time I ate halibut was about five years ago in Las Vegas when my two girlfriends and I agreed to go to dinner with some guys from New York we knew who were in Vegas the same week. The restaurant of choice was a fancy high-end steakhouse in Mandalay Bay with a wall of wine and an expensive menu. As I sat down at our beautiful table, I nearly went into a panic when I looked at the menu. Not because of the prices but because of the choices. At the time, I’d recently begun eating chicken but the only chicken dish on the menu was a bone-in half-chicken, which wasn’t an option for me. I didn’t eat lobster or lamb or fois gras or bone marrow so I didn’t have many options. I was just about to settle on a sad dinner of two sides – green beans and mashed potatoes – when my friends encouraged me to try the halibut. “It’s not a fishy fish”, they said. Reluctantly, I tried it. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Since then, I haven’t had halibut much because it isn’t the cheapest fish in the ocean. So when I saw halibut was on sale at my grocery store, I was excited to make Halibut Meunière.

Fresh halibut is sprinkled with a little salt, pepper and flour and cooked in butter until opaque and flakey. A fragrant sauce of browned butter and lemon juice is drizzled over the top along with a dusting of fresh parsley which allows the fish to be perfectly and simply complimented. Considering one of my favorite dishes as a kid was frozen breaded fish sticks smothered in melted butter, bottled lemon juice and dried parsley, this dish is a significant upgrade. Since I’m pretty sure that the dish I ate in Vegas was 3 or 4 times what it costs to make this dish, I don’t feel guilty splurging a little bit once in a while to enjoy it. Sorry, chicken, but I’ll choose halibut over you anyday.

The ingredients:

Pat fish dry, and sprinkle both sides with black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle with flour.

Melt 1 1/2 teaspoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add fish to pan, and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Carefully turn fish over; cook 4 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove fish from pan; set aside, and keep warm.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to pan, and cook 1 minute or until lightly browned, swirling pan to melt butter evenly and prevent burning. Remove pan from heat; stir in juice.

Drizzle juice mixture over fish. Sprinkle fish with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Happy October everyone!  October to me begs for two things: pumpkin anything and warm, bubbly soup.  Oh, and Halloween candy.  But…I’ve been trying to eat better lately and the key to doing that is to bring my lunch to work each day, stay away from fast food (and candy) and plan my snacks (hello fruit).  One of the easiest foods for me to make when I’m trying to eat healthy is soup.  It’s usually low in calories, filled with veggies, packed with flavor and easy to bring for lunch.  Not to mention that it’s usually a quick, one-pot meal.  I made this Chicken and Vegetable Soup over the weekend which is a perfect grab-and-go lunchtime option.  Made with rotisserie or pre-cooked chicken, the soup comes together in a flash and packs a flavor punch.

Fire-roasted tomatoes are the key to this soup which is mixed with broth, carrots, onions and green beans.  Chicken and quick-cooking orzo bulk up this soup which would also be great with spinach or mushrooms.  The vegetables are quickly sauteed (I added the green beans too early by accident) and become sweet which still retain their crisp and crunchy texture helping to make this soup hearty and filling.  The orzo will plump up a little bit more as the soup sits so don’t worry if it doesn’t look like it’s not quite done.  It will be perfect when you are ready to sit down and eat it.  Paired with some fruit and baby carrots, this will be my lunch for the rest of the week.  And I’m looking forward to it.

The ingredients:

Add oil to a Dutch oven heated over medium-high heat.   Swirl to coat and add onion, carrot, garlic, salt, black pepper and thyme sprig; sauté 4 minutes.

Add broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil.

Add pasta and beans; cook 5 minutes.

Stir in chicken, and sprinkle with cheese. Discard thyme.

Top with additional cheese if you prefer.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Perdue® Short Cuts®

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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