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No Fry Fish and Chips

I began a pretty intense workout regiment about a month ago. The idea was to get my butt off the couch and get my body summer ready. I didn’t need to lose any weight, but I was completely out of shape. All definition that I once had from playing sports and working out was gone, and I started feeling tired all the time, eating out a lot; I was pretty lazy.

So, Marc and I started a workout program, pretty basic; weight training, cardio, yoga, etc. We also cut back on the fatty foods we were eating so much of. With the cut back of certain foods I have found it difficult to make meals that make my taste buds jump for joy. I drool over CakeSpy and pray we never get bakeries like these within walking distance because I will be doomed. I can no longer look at Pioneer Woman, her love of butter sends me into sensory overload. Let’s face it, not everyone can convince their taste buds that flax seed and raw food is the way to go.

In my quest for finding delicious, healthy foods I have found a new love for fish, and not the kind of fish my mom used to get where I had to pick bones out of my mouth as I was eating. Sorry mom, but that was gross. This is the grocery store fish. I know not the freshest fish in the world, but it’s not expensive and there is a pretty good selection. When I didn’t care what was eating I would chow down on fish and chips like nobody’s business. Now, I like my fish and chips a little less fattening; no fry fish and chips.

Ingredients:

1 lb cod fillets, divided
Cooking Spray
2 large Russet potatoes cut into thin slices
Salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup skim milk
1 large egg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Coat a large baking sheet lined with foil with cooking spray. Arrange potato slices on baking sheet and spray them with cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper; I also add a little garlic powder. Bake for 25 minutes, or until potato slices are golden brown.

In a shallow dish, combine flour, ½ teaspoon of salt, and baking powder. Whisk tin milk and egg. Add cod fillets and turn to coat with batter. Add cod to a baking sheet that has been lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and tender.

Adapted from the Food Network

Grilled Fish Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Guacamole

Fish Tacos

Last night was TACO NIGHT! I really dig Taco Night because Marc and I work together in the kitchen and usually it goes quite nicely. Well, until it is time to clean up. Marc is not a cleaner upper. Taco night usually is chicken or steak tacos with all the fixings, but last night I decided we were going to have fish tacos.

I haven’t always been a fan of fish tacos. At first, I thought the idea sounded a little strange. About 2 years ago I started seeing fish tacos on restaurant menus. I just could not imagine fish with all the taco goodness,but that all changed when Marc and I spent 2 weeks in Hawaii. Not only is Hawaii absolutely beautiful, but fish taco huts are everywhere. Marc obviously wanted to eat at one, so I gave it; if I was going to try a fish taco it was going to be in Hawaii. Let me tell you that first fish taco took me by surprise. I was hooked. I ate a fish taco everyday we were there after that. To be honest, I didn’t even like guacamole until Hawaii. I’m telling you that place will change your life.

Grilled Fish Tacos

Ingredients:
1 ½ lb firm fleshed fish fillet
¾ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 8 oz can of corn
¼ teaspoon salt
8 corn tortillas
3 cups lettuce, shredded
1 lime

Fish Taco Sauce (stir together)
1 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder (substitute regular chili powder)

Method:
Preheat your grill. We used the George Forman last night, but however you choose to grill you will first need to combine the olive oil, paprika and garlic salt into a bowl and toss the fish. The fish should take too long to grill; only a few minutes each side.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you are using an outside grill, you can do this on the grill instead.
For oven: on a baking sheet lay corn tortillas flat, maybe only 4 can fit at a time. I butter the tortillas and add a little salt for taste. Bake for about 5 minutes then flip and bake about another 5 minutes.
For grill: During the last 2 minutes of grilling the fish, throw the tortillas on the grill and flip to grill the other side.

After the fish is done, cut into pieces, enough for 8 tacos. I like lots of small pieces myself, but whatever works for you. Assemble tacos with lettuce, fish, spoonful of sauce, corn, squeeze of lime, pico de gallo, and a little guacamole or lots in my case.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

I have to stop Marc from eating all this before the fish is done.

Ingredients:
2 tomatoes
¼ cup finely diced red onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced (the seeds are spicy, leave them out if you want your pico de gallo mild)
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
½ lime, juiced
½ teaspoon salt

Toss all ingredients in a small bowl and let stand at least ½ hour before serving.

Guacamole

Guacamole

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons red onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 large avocados
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely minced
1 tablespoon of small fresh cilantro leaves, optional
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion, optional

Method:
Combine the onion, lime juice, and the sea salt in a small bowl, and smash with a pestle or fork to a coarse paste. Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits and scoop the flesh into the bowl. Add the cilantro and mix and mash, leaving some lumps. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt.

Sprinkle the guacamole with the cilantro leaves and/or chopped onion and serve immediately, if possible. To keep the guacamole at room temperature for up to 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface. To keep the guacamole for up to 3 hours, do not add the cilantro until just before serving, and cover and store in the refrigerator. Makes about 2 cups.

Maryland Crab Cakes

Most of you know I am from North Carolina. So, how do I know so much about Maryland Crab Cakes? Well, my mom is from Maryland. So, my vacation half of me grew up in Baltimore and Ocean City, Maryland. My vacation half doesn’t have the accent though, but she does know a thing or two about a blue crab. For starters, I know the difference between a male and female.


The first picture is a male, or a Jimmy. The second picture is an immature female, she-crab. At this point she cannot carry eggs, so she is safe, if you happen to get one. The third picture, is a mature female. The apron opens in order to mate and carry eggs. The egg part has grossed me out since I was little, so I usually pass on these. Aside from being able to differentiate crab parts. I can also, clean, steam, catch, and eat them all with my hands tied behind my back. Alright, I actually have never tried, not sure that would be such a great idea.

Alright, enough about me, the crab cakes. My parents’ friends gave me a dozen steamed blue crabs, all of them were good size males. They had lots of leftovers after their annual Crabfest. Yay for me! I have always cleaned my own crabs, but I am pretty sure you can buy backfin crabmeat from the grocery store; I know you can buy it from a fish market. However you get it you will need at least 1 pound of backfin meat.

To the pound of crabmeat, add 1 tablespoon of Mayo, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and egg (beat). After mixing this together, crumble up 2 slices of bread and add 1-2 tablespoon of parsley, 1 tablespoon of baking powder.
In large mixing bowl
1 lb crabmeat
1 tablespoon Mayo
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
2 slices of bread
1-2 tablespoon of Parsley
1 tablespoon Baking Powder

After mixing all together, make into individual patties.

In a separate bowl put a cup of bread crumbs and a tablespoon of Old Bay. Dip patties into dish, on both sides. Put patties on a separate plate.
Separate mixing bowl
1 cup bread crumbs
Old Bay, I start at 1 tablespoon and add more seasoning from that point.

Fry patties in a skillet with a little oil and butter until the outsides are brown.

And you have yummy crab cakes. Well, I don’t anymore. My husband ate them all.

Seafood Night at the Beach

Vacation time! Marc and I took a much need vacation to the beach with his family and some friends. Saturday night was Seafood Night! We have a really nice fish market on the island. It is a little pricey, but you can get everything you need there. As you can see below, Jibrey was a little upset that you steam the crabs while they are still alive…. sorry Mr. Crab. Make sure they are very chilly (on ice) otherwise you will have quite a time trying to get them into the steamer and them trying to get out.

Steamed Shrimp with Old Bay Seasoning with Debbie’s cocktail sauce.

We steamed the shrimp first using vinegar and beer. Lots of Old Bay seasoning. I prefer to buy the shrimp that are already cleaned. That way you can spend more time hanging out on the beach. Plus I hate cleaning shrimp.

YUMMM….. Hush puppies! Marc picked up some hush puppy mix on a beer run, good call! So, I learned how to make hush puppies! It’s not hard, just mix and fry. And they are so good!

Steamed Blue Crabs. Not everyone knows the art of eating these, but once you do you will not mess with the frozen King crabs. From these you get the sweet crab meat (backfin). You steam these in vinegar and beer and season with Old Bay. My mom usually covers the crabs in Old Bay, unfortunately the picture below does not show the amount of seasoning.

Still trying to figure out this blogging thing

I have been struggling trying to figure out how to go about this “food blog.” I love other people’s blogs, but mine is seriously off to a rocky start. I can’t think of anything to cook and I really can’t think of much to say about what I fix for dinner. Friday night my friend Sam came over for dinner, and I explained I was doing this blog and that I really need something good to blog about. Obviously her first reaction was to laugh at me because I was taking pictures of my food.

We decided to grill some fish, I bought some tuna steaks that day and Sam bought some salmon, already marinated, and some crab cakes. I found a recipe on foodnetwork.com for an Orange and Rosemary marinade, I believe it was one of Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals. It sounded amazing so I decided Marc and I would be having Orange and Rosemary Tuna Steaks. It was really easy orange zest, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper and oil and vinegar. Mixed it all together let the steaks set for about 15 – 20 minutes. Marc does the grilling in the house, one time I tried and the smoke alarms went off…never again! So I am not sure how long he grilled them for, but it only seem like a few minutes, I like my tuna pretty much rare anyway.

We also put some asparagus in foil and roasted that on the grill. Along with Sam’s salmon and crab cakes.

The tuna steaks came out amazing! Sam even passed up her salmon for our tuna.

Orange and Rosemary Tuna Steaks

Tuna Steaks, 2lbs

Oranges, 2

Fresh rosemary, recipes calls for 6 sprigs I used 4

Balsamic vinegar, 3 Tbs

Olive Oil, 1/4 cup

Garlic, 4 cloves

Salt and Pepper

Cut tuna steak into 6 small portions.

Combine the zest of 2 oranges with the remaining 4 cloves garlic and chop.

Add chopped rosemary to garlic and orange zest and combine.

Add 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper to the mix.

Place a few tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup oil into a shallow dish.

Add the orange-rosemary mixture and mix together.

Add the fish and coat evenly in dressing and let stand 15 minutes.

Peel oranges and slice into disks.