Sunday, November 6, 2011

Perfect Fish Batter

I came across the recipe for this basic batter, and decided to try it on some cod I had been planning to make. I wasn't expecting it to be so good, but for me this really was the perfect fish batter! It coats the fish just right, and when you fry it comes out super light and very crispy.

The cod started like this...

...turned out like this...

...and was practically perfect in the fish tacos we enjoyed last night. My husband and I kept raving to each other how good our dinner was!

*That slaw you see on the taco was my husband's creation, and it was a-mazing! Too bad he cooks like me and just adds a little of this and that and doesn't keep track of how he makes something...I told him he must try to re-create it so I can share it!

But back to the batter, it would work great on any type of fish, or shrimp, and I'm going to try onion rings next...the possibilities are endless!

Basic Fish Batter

3/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water

Sift together the dry ingredients. Add water and stir to combine.

*Notes: The consistency should be a little thinner than cake batter. I added more than 3/4 cup water to get it this way, so just add a little at a time to get it perfect.

I also added some garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder to the batter as well, but the spices really didn't come through much, which was perfect for making tacos since the yummy slaw we had on top packed lots of flavor. If I was going to enjoy the fish on its own though I would probably experiment a little more with some seasonings to give it a little extra flavor.

Biscuit Taco Cups - No Recipe Needed

These cute little guys are something I came up with as a fun alternative to a traditional taco. The best part is - no recipe needed!

Press biscuit dough (I use the large, Pillsbury "Grands" biscuits) into muffin tin, pushing into the bottom and up around the sides of each muffin cup.

Fill each biscuit cup with some prepared taco meat (the meat will help to hold the biscuit in shape). I like to add some salsa to the meat as well for a little extra flavor. Top with shredded cheese.

Bake until the biscuits are puffed up and golden. Pop out of the muffin tins, and top with shredded lettuce, black olives, sour cream, more salsa and cheese, etc.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lemon Chicken Puff

I'd seen this recipe on Marci's blog and had always been curious about it (exactly how does that puff work?), but never got around to trying it until now. This dish is like two of my favorites...a chicken pot pie with just a bottom crust...or the chicken divan that I like to serve with biscuits or puff pustry cups on the side, but here the biscuit is built right in! I liked all the veggies and the filling had good flavor, just a hint of lemon. My curiosity about the puff was also solved, it just puffs right up as it bakes - wow :) This one is also so easy to put together, and I'm going to be on the hunt for more fillings for this fun puff!

From On My Menu


*Popover Puff:
3 T. butter, divided
1 c. milk
6 eggs
1 c. flour
1/2 t. salt

*Chicken and Veggie Filling:
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
1 medium potato, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper (or more)
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Melt 2 T. butter in microwave and whisk together with milk and eggs. Put 1 T. butter in bottom of baking dish and place in oven until melted.

2. Add flour and salt to egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour batter into dish (on the melted butter) and bake 20 min. (I take out the top rack in my oven - it's gets pretty "puffed")

3. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 10-15 more minutes until puffed and golden brown.

4. While the shell is baking, melt 1 T. butter in large sauce pan and stir in carrots, broccoli, potatoes and onion. Cook until veggies are tender. Add lemon juice, chicken and cream of chicken soup. Stir in spices and continue stirring until heated through. Stir in cheese keep warm until the puff is ready.

5. Remove puff from oven and allow to cool and middle to fall, forming a shell.
Spoon filling into center of puff and enjoy.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Turkey Suiza Tamale Pie

As always, you'll have to excuse the less-than-stellar pictures. This time I not only blame my lack of photography skills, but also the fact that this one was just not very photogenic. It lookedp pretty in the pan but not so much served up on the plate. Luckily it made up for it in taste! I actually saw this recipe on an episode of Rachael Ray's talk show, and it sounded interesting and looked really good as she made it, so I had to look up the recipe and try it. I had never cooked with polenta before, and this was a good introduction to it. I'm definitely a fan...Must find more polenta recipes!

The final product has almost a shepherd's pie feel...meat mixture on the bottom, polenta subbing for the mashed potatoes, and lots (lots!) of cheese on top. It reheated very well the next day too. I definitely want to make this one again!

Note: I followed the recipe almost exactly as-is, but only used 1 lb. ground turkey. I would suggest using the 2 lbs. as written, because with one I did have to drain off some of the sauce so it wouldn't be so runny.

From Rachael Ray


3 poblano chili peppers
2 large jalapeƱo peppers
6 tomatillos, husks peeled
1 quart chicken stock, divided
A small handful cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cumin, 1/3 palmful
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
2 pounds ground turkey breast or dark meat, patted dry
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 bottle of lager beer
1/2 cup sour cream or heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking polenta or cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup Chihuahua cheese, queso Asadero or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Red onion rings, for garnish


1. Heat broiler to high with the rack in the upper third of oven. Char peppers and tomatillos, turning peppers occasionally to char evenly all over. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to cool. Peel and seed peppers.

2. Place charred peppers, tomatillos, 2 cups stock, cilantro, salt, pepper, honey and cumin in food processor and process until smooth.

3. Meanwhile, heat a large, cast-iron or other heavy pan over medium-high heat with oil, 2 turns of the pan. When oil smokes, brown and crumble meat then add onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and cook to soften onions, 5 minutes. Deglaze with beer and stir in salsa. Bring to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Stir in sour or heavy cream.

4. In a saucepot, heat remaining 2 cups stock and milk. Whisk in polenta or cornmeal and let thicken 2-3 minutes until very thick but still pourable. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in butter. Spread the corn topping over the turkey filling, place under the broiler and char to set polenta. Top with cheese then melt cheese under broiler. Serve directly from skillet, topped with red onion rings.


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