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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cod Cakes (poor woman's crab cakes)

I love crab cakes, but I don't love the price of crab. These fish cakes are a great alternative and make for a yummy dinner. These have become one of our top favorite dinners!

Cakes (for 4 people or cut in half for 2):
4 cups 2% milk
2 lbs cod fillets, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup panko
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 TB finely chopped onion or shallots
2 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 large eggs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 TB chopped parsley
2 tsp chopped dill
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice

To prepare the sauce:
1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

To prepare the fish cakes:
1. Bring milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add fish, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Drain well.

2. Mash up fish and combine with 1/2 cup panko and next 7 ingredients (through garlic). Stir in 2 TB lemon juice.

3. Make patties with the fish mixture slightly smaller than the size of the palm of your hand. Dredge in the rest of the panko and place on a plate.

4. Coat a large pan with olive oil and heat to medium-high. Add the patties and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until crispy and golden. Remove from pan and place on a plate with paper towels.

Eggplant Parmesan Rolls with Swiss Chard

This is eggplant parmesan without the frying and breadcrumbs. I made it the other night for the first time and it was delicious. A nice alternative to lasagna...

2 medium eggplants, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/4 slides (use a mandolin if you have one)
Olive oil
1lb bunch of swiss chard, center ribs removed
2 large eggs
1 15oz container of ricotta
1 3/4 cups grated parmesan
1 15-16oz can of tomato sauce
1 8oz ball of water packed mozzarella, thinly sliced into discs

1. Layer the eggplant slices in a colander, sprinkling each layer with a generous amount of salt. Place over a bowl for 30-60 minutes. The salt will sweat the water out of the eggplant.

2. Wipe the eggplant slices with a damp paper towel to remove the salt. Then dry well with dry paper towels.

3. Turn on the oven broiler to medium high. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment and lay the slices in one layer. Brush with olive oil and broil one sheet at a time for 3-4 minutes per side or until the eggplant slices are slightly browned on each side. Remove from oven and let cool.
Turn the oven on to 350.

4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add chard and boil until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water. Squeeze chard dry and squeeze again through a paper towel until very dry. Chop until in small pieces.

5. In a medium sized bowl, whisk eggs and mix in ricotta with a pinch of salt. Stir in chopped chard and 1 cup of parmesan.

6. In a large baking dish, pour enough tomato sauce to lightly coat bottom. Taking one piece of eggplant at a time on a clean surface, spoon some of the cheese mixture into the middle of the eggplant and roll up enclosing the filling. Place in the dish, seam side down until all eggplant slices are used.

7. Spoon the rest of the sauce on top of the eggplant rolls and place the mozzarella on top. Scatter the parmesan on top. Cover with tin foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook until cheese bubbles.

Halibut with Spicy Mint-Cilantro Chutney

This is a nice light dish that's full of flavor and takes minutes to make. It's great with basmati rice and peas.

1 serrano pepper, halved (jalapeno would work too)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup Greek plain yogurt
4. teaspoons of cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 TB chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp salt
4 halibut filets
1 TB butter
1TB canola oil

1. Remove seeds from half of the pepper and leave the seeds in the other half. Place both halves in a food processor and mince. Add cilantro and next 9 ingredients (through garlic) and process until smooth. Stir in mint.

2. Heat a large pan to medium high heat. Combine garam masala and 1/4 tsp salt. Sprinkle evenly over fish.

3. Add oil and butter to pan and melt. Add fish to pan and cook 3 minutes per side or until done. Serve with chutney.