I Eat, therefore, I Am: Panko-Breaded Salmon in Sweet Chili Sauce

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”― Julia Child

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Right on, Julia! Ms. Foodie loves Salmon, but is always looking for ways to “spice it up” so to speak. Only so much baked, broiled, and grilled Salmon one foodie can stand. So, this epiphany came to me today: Panko and Sweet Chili Sauce.

Trader Joe’s has a wonderful Sweet Chili Sauce that I have decided to buy in threes, because it’s not only great for dipping, but for cooking too. And the 10.1 oz. bottle gets used up fairly quick!

Ms. Foodie sliced her Pacific Salmon into quarter-inch strips, basted them in a mixture of egg and milk, with a bit of ground black pepper, salt, turmeric, and thyme, then lightly coated them with the Panko breading.

Be on your guard: Not all Panko is created equal: I recommend Trader Joe’s brand, or one from your local Asian market.  Panko should not taste like run-of-the-mill bread crumbs. There’s a lightness to the texture which balances out the weightiness of the fish.

Ms. Foodie then heated one to two tablespoons of Sesame Oil in a skillet until it was a bit smoky (Sesame is a wonderful oil for stir fry) and placed the breaded Salmon pieces in the oil, lightly browning on both sides; about 2-5 minutes.

Once the breaded Salmon was sufficiently colorful, I used about three-quarters (maybe 8 oz. give or take) of the Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili Sauce (you could use the whole bottle, depending on how much spice you like) and coated the pieces with it, poured some Sweet Peas (about a cup) on top, covered this, and turned the heat to a low simmer.

While the dish was marinating in heat, I put Jasmine Rice in the Rice Cooker–one of the best inventions ever created–I kid you not!

About 15 minutes into the simmer, I gently stirred the Salmon pieces to sufficiently let the Sweet Chili Sauce cover and coat every piece, as well as to spread the Sweet Peas throughout. Then, I chopped up two green onions, sprinkled them on top of the Salmon-Chili Sauce-Sweet Pea combo, covered it again, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes more. After that, I turned off the heat, and let the dish sit for about 5 minutes.

Once the Jasmine Rice was perfectly steamed, Ms. Foodie spooned it into a dish, and served the Sweet Chili infused Panko-breaded Salmon over it.

Ms. Foodie put her foot in this–Mr. Foodie’s second helping was the proof!

Quinoa Chili

Ms. Foodie decided to add a new twist to an old recipe. I gave my tried and true chili a bit of a facelift by adding some Quinoa, Fresh Tomato, Cilantro, Ginger, and Cinnamon!

Atop some warm homemade Cornbread and a dollop of Sour Cream, it’s the hit on this chilly Spring evening.

Creamy Salmon Soup with Lemon and Lime

Happy Valentine’s Day!

For our Valentine dinner, Ms. Foodie was searching for something different to make with some Salmon fillets than the typical grill or broil. We’ve been having some nippy nights in beautiful Los Angeles, so a soup or a stew seemed like the perfect choice.

But, my troll of the Internet rendered recipes that had too many ingredients, or that would just take too long–you know Ms. Foodie–I’m big on Kitchen Cabinet Cooking–using what’s in store. So in typical Foodie fashion, I came up with my own recipe!

I sauteed the Salmon in Olive Oil with Lemon and Lime Juice, using light, but flavorful spices like Thyme, Celery Salt, Parsley, and Rosemary. Once the Salmon was cooked, I removed the skin, and broke up the Salmon into chunks.

After melting 4 tablespoons of butter in a corner of the pot, I mixed that in with crushed Garlic, chopped Onion, Telecherry Pepper, diced Potatoes, Basil, and a bit more Celery Salt, Lemon and Lime.

Some more saute time to meld the flavors, and then the final piece: 12 ounces of Evaporated Milk and one cup Milk to make the creamy base.

Thirty minutes on low heat to cook the potatoes, and the deed was done!

My friend Brigette contributed to our meal with a crusty loaf of homemade bread–Ms. Foodie is feeling the love, all the way down to her tummy!

That’s Amore!

Ms. Foodie turned the kitchen into Little Italy this weekend.

I made two Lasagnas for a going away party. One vegan/gluten-free, the other traditional, loaded with lots of meat and cheese. For the vegan Lasagna, my go-to source was AllRecipes.com; of course, Ms. Foodie added her own magic, but appreciated the help, as I’m a carnivore at heart.

The traditional Lasagna is a recipe that I keep perfecting over time, and it just gets better and better. One day I’ll share it… maybe–heh! heh!

The magic touch for both Lasagnas–Kale–a super food  that is heartier and just as healthy as spinach. It’s highly versatile, and has becomes a regular staple in Ms. Foodie’s kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ms. Foodie also whipped up some Ground Chicken Marinara Sauce, and if I must say so myself, I put my foot in it!

Mr. Foodie agrees, as he forwent a fresh dinner for leftover Linguine with said Meat Sauce–I knew I married him for a reason…

 

What’s Brunchin’?

Ms. Foodie loves breakfast casseroles, and they’re so easy to make!

This one is chock full of Ground Turkey and Kale, accompanied by Onions, Mushrooms, Garlic and breadcrumbs. Some Cumin, Black Pepper, and Cilantro, along with fresh Basil, Thyme and Oregano added just the right savory flavor, then I filled it with six eggs mixed up with sour cream and sprinked on some Sharp Cheddar Cheese. We love our cow!

But you can easily healthy it up with 2% milk or a non-dairy base. You can also substitute egg whites or a vegan-friendly alternative. Potatoes are a good thickener.

And it makes great leftovers!

 

Kickin’ Turkey Tacos

So Ms. Foodie is still hot to trot… for spicy foods, that is!

This recipe is more in line with Southwestern, than Mexican cooking, with a Foodie twist, of course. I started by sauteing Mushrooms, Kale, Green Onions and Garlic in Chicken stock to create a nice flavor base. Then I crumbled Ground Turkey into the mixture, and seasoned it with Cayenne, Chili Powder, Sea Salt, Cumin, Coriander, Cilantro, Thyme, Basil and a bit of Lemon Juice.

I let that simmer along for 30 minutes or so, while I chopped up Vine-ripened Tomatoes and Avocado for topping.

 

 

 

 

 

Surrounded by warm flour tortillas, with Trader-Joe’s Three-Cheese Blend, Sour Cream, and their wicked Fire-Roasted Salsa to complete the package–all I can say is… Smokin’!

Hot Wings for a Hot Day

Yeah, it’s really hot, but Ms. Foodie was in the mood for Buffalo Hot Wings. There’s a recipe on AllRecipes.com that I just love, and it doesn’t require turning on an oven. Praise the Lord, and pass the chicken wings!

One of the teachers at my Yoga studio brought in some Summer squash from her garden, so I chopped this up and sauteed it, along with Kale, Mushrooms, andVine-Ripened Tomatoes, in Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.

A cool meal makes the weather more bearable!

Yummy Catfish Tacos

So Ms. Foodie wishes she were in Monterey, but couldn’t swing it this year; so I tried a dish reminiscent of the Pier and seafood.

I cut Catfish fillets into little chunks, coated them with an egg mixture spiced with Coriander, Chili Powder, Cayenne, Thyme and Cilantro; then covered the nuggets with Panko breading.

This was my first fry with Coconut Oil, and I must say, I like it! It is light, barely discernible, and doesn’t overheat. Can’t wait to pop some popcorn with it.

I served up my nuggets in a flour tortilla (but you can use corn if you like), and freshly harvested chopped tomatoes, avocados, Trader Joe’s Three-Cheese Blend, and a dollop of sour cream and Pineapple Salsa–Tasty!

Adventures with Coconut Milk…

It’s always an adventure when I’m in the kitchen! Ms. Foodie had a senior moment (yes, I’m near that age…) and tried to drink Coconut Milk, assuming it was the same as Coconut Water. Hmm…. right. I’m sure you know how well that went.

So what else does one do but find a recipe in which to use it? Coconut Milk doesn’ t have a long shelf-life once opened; so I combed the Internet to find a recipe to my liking.

The closest I came to this was a Brazilian Chicken with Coconut recipe on AllRecipes.com, but in Ms. Foodie fashion, I followed the parts I wanted and modified the rest.

I wasn’t interested in the overabundance of heat, so I kept the Cayenne and skipped the Jalapenos. I also wanted to lower the acidity, thus, the Tomatoes were discarded. Then I increased the Tumeric, Cumin, Coriander and Cayenne to two teaspoons, and added in equal parts of Cilantro. This wonderful potpourri of spices was used to coat the Chicken Breasts (I used six), which were then cooked in Olive Oil.

Finally, the recipe calls for sauteing chopped Onions, Garlic, Ginger, and Tomatoes (which I eliminated), in Olive Oil, combine the Coconut Milk with these, and pour this mix over the Chicken. This dish is way too flavorful to waste dipping sauce over it–Ms. Foodie prefers her chicken saturated. So, I placed the chicken pieces on top of the Onions, Garlic, and Ginger, then poured the Coconut Milk over everything.

I also had some Green Beans in the store, so I chopped those up and sprinkled them on top of the mix.

After simmering for 15 minutes (no longer, otherwise the cream separates from the water and it’s not pretty), my Coconut Milk dish was served up over Basmati Rice.

Any ideas for a name for this Patootie modification?

What’s for Dinner?: Cheesy Catfish Chowder!

Ms. Foodie wanted something quick and dirty for dinner, that didn’t involve turning on a stove. AllRecipes.com came to rescue!

This Cheesy Catfish Chowder was so simple, and didn’t require anything fancy in terms of ingredients–I already had most everything in the store.

Being Ms. Foodie, I did my variations and substitutions: Water Chestnuts to replace the crunch of the Celery, and cooling spices like Tarragon, Cilantro and Thyme, to supplement the Celery Salt and Pepper. I also substituted the Cheddar with Colby-Jack and Provolone.

In less than an hour, dinner is served, along with some crusty French Bread and a glass of Tolosa Chardonnay.

Mmmmm….