Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blackened Fish Tacos

Chilly weather does not stop us from using the grill, it's a year round event for us. Talk about a quick and easy meal that is delicious, it does not get any better than this. I like my fish tacos seared, not fried. Also you may replace the Tilapia loins with another mild white fish filet if you want to. The best fish taco recipe is right here in front of you so please enjoy it.

Blackened Fish Tacos
  • 3 tilapia loins
  • 3 tortillas, about 10 inch size
  • Smart balance margarine
  • Sargento's reduced fat grated cheddar cheese
  • fat free sour cream
  • romaine lettuce, chopped
  • jalapeno slices, pickled in jar
  • Cholula hot sauce, original
  • blackened seasoning
You will need a gas grill with a side burner and a 12 inch cast iron skillet with a lid for this recipe. Preheat skillet on high for 5 minutes. Meanwhile generously sprinkle the Tilapia with the blackened seasoning and wash and chop romaine.

After skillet is preheated melt 2 heaping Tbsp. of margarine into skillet and add fish after it is melted. Sear fish on both sides over high heat for 2 1/2 minutes per side. Remove from skillet to platter.

I like one fish filet per tortilla but my Stud Muffin is a heartier eater then I and likes to eat two filets per tortilla. Flatten fish filet out off to one side with a spatula to spread over half of tortilla, then sprinkle with some cheese on top. Fold over in half and microwave it for 30-50 seconds to warm up the tortilla and melt the cheese.

Serve immediately and my preferred toppings are sour cream, lettuce, jalapenos and hot sauce. Also I like to serve this with my red beans and rice recipe. If you want to cook for a crowd just heat up the grill on medium/ low and place a large pyrex dish inside of grill. This will keep fish warm while you are blackening the rest of the filets. Repeat directions for remaining fish, never cooking more the three per skillet at a time.

I buy my Tilapia loins at Costco in the frozen fish section. Place them in refrigerator the night before to thaw or soak in sink in cold water for about 30 minutes or until thawed. These are great because you can have plenty of fresh tasting filets for a quick and easy dinner.

I find the La Tortilla Factory Tortillas at my local Giant or Weis stores in front of the deli section. I like the traditional flavor the best that is made with extra virgin olive oil. I love the fact that they are only 90 calories, 3 g of fat and 13 g of fiber.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing

 Oh, how I love it when I nail a new recipe on the first try. Yes, these babies are sure to be a favorite. I love a soft cookie and the spices of the cookie are perfectly complimented by the cream cheese icing. Simple to make, and delicious to eat. It does not get any better then that.

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing
  • 1 box Duncan Hines Spice cake mix
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin 
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • parchment paper
  • cookie dough dropper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile with a electric mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin, then add the egg. Slowly add the cake mix blending on low and mix well for 2-3 minutes or until well blended.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and drop cookie dough onto paper evenly spacing a dozen cookies per sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheet for 3 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool.

Once cookies have completely cooled it is time to prepare icing.

Cream Cheese Icing
  • 4 oz cream cheese 1/3 less fat, softened
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
With a electric mixer cream together butter and cream cheese, add vanilla. Slowly add powered sugar over low speed and raise once it is blended. Whip for about 3 minutes over med/high speed. Spread a generous amount of icing onto cookies and refrigerate single layer to harden the icing. Once it is hard enough place in a air tight container with wax paper separating the layers. Makes 3 dozen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blane's Chili

This is a one pot meal perfect for the cold chilly fall days. My goodness there are so many variations in chili recipes, but this is one of my favorites. I love to serve it with Corn Muffins. Also, optional garnishes are shredded cheese, sour cream and freshly chopped onions. So warm up those chilly bones from the inside out. It's a perfect feasty while watching the football games or a casual dinner. Don't forget to make a chili dog or two. Enjoy!

Blane’s Chili                    
  • 3  Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 
  • 3   garlic cloves peeled & chopped
  • 3   jalapeno’s  diced  & deseeded
  • 2   medium sweet onions
  • 2   medium green bell pepper diced & deseeded
  • 3  Tbsp. chili powder
  • ½tsp. ground chipolte chile
  • ½tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½tsp. ground cumin
  • ½tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Emeril’s original spice 
  • 1 tsp. tabasco
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 (20.8oz) pkg. Shady Brook ground turkey 99% lean
  • 1 (40.5oz) can red kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (28oz) can chopped tomatoes
In a large soup pot over medium heat saute the first 14 ingredients until onion is translucent, then add the turkey stirring and breaking up into crumbles. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Then add kidney beans and tomatoes to soup pot and simmer for 2-3 hours. This is an original recipe from our good friend and cycling buddy Blane. He says this is a one pot meal. Thank you Blane!