Monday, March 10, 2008

Tomato & Cucumber Salad

This is a super fast little side salad. You can use any tomato that you like...cherry, roma, ugly, vine-ripe...whatever is most tasty at the time. As with most things that I throw together quickly, I have not listed amounts for ingredients. Just add as much or as little to suite your tastebuds!

What You'll Need:
Tomatoes, halved or sliced
Cucumber, cut into chunks
Red Onion, sliced or chopped
Balsamic Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

What You'll Do:
Put all veggies into a bowl. Drizzle on EVOO and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well and let marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Mashed Potatoes

I know, I know...everyone has their own perfect way of making good ol' mashed taters. So, I thought I'd share mine too! Amounts of ingredients are not listed since I just eyeball everything as I go, but you get the idea. I usually allow one potato per person if they are on the larger side...maybe 2 per person if they are really small...the potato, not the person...LOL! I crack myself up!

What You'll Need:
Potatoes, Scrubbed and Peeled (I like Yukon Gold or Small Red Potatoes)
Heavy Cream
Sour Cream
Cream Cheese
Salt and Pepper
Garlic Powder

What You'll Do:
Boil the potaotes until tender. Drain.
Add the butter, heavy cream, cream cheese, sour cream, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the potatoes and mash. I usually mash by hand using a masher for a creamy, dense consistency. I somtimes throw everything into the mixer for a more whipped consistency.
(Of course, nothing makes mashed potatoes better than a little gravy on top. I like to use the juices from Paula Deen's pot roast...recipe follows.)

Pot Roast

This is Paula Deen's Slowcooker Pot Roast and let me tell is a winner! It is sooooo tender and flavorful. Definitely a comfort food. Goes great with mashed potatoes because of all the "gravy" that is left behind. Although Paula's recipe does not call for them, I added baby carrots to mine. Also, I cut this recipe in half since I was only making it for 3 people. There was plenty and we even had leftovers. Follow the recipe below as is if you are serving a crowd though. Your husband will love you for making this...and I'm thinking it could definitely impress the in-laws too ;-)

What You'll Need:
1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast
1 1/2 teaspoons House seasoning, recipe follows
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 bay leaves
3 or 4 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup Chardonnay

House Seasoning:
1 cup Salt
1/4 cup Pepper
1/4 cup Garlic Powder

What You'll Do:
Sprinkle roast on all sides with house seasoning.
Using a skillet (*I use cast iron) over high heat, sear roast until brown in oil.
Place roast in a slow cooker and layer onions, bay leaves, crushed bouillon cubes, garlic, and cream of mushroom soup.
Add the Chardonnay and cover with enough water to cover all of the ingredients. (*I do not completely cover with water because I like a thicker gravy in the end...just cover half way.)
Cook on the low setting for 8 hours.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fried Fish Sandwiches

I used Tilapia for this sandwich, but any white fish would be great (grouper, flounder, etc). The sauce that I threw together was so simple, but very tasty. Next time, I will make twice as much because we could hardly taste it because of all the other ingredients. They were still yummy though! I'm not using exact measurements because you will need more or less of the ingredients depending on how many filets you are frying.
What You'll Need:
Fish Fillets
Vegetable Oil
Bread Crumbs
Garlic Powder
1/2 a Lemon
Morton's Seasoning Salt
Kaiser Rolls or Hoagie Buns
What You'll Do:
To make the sauce, combine mayo with lemon juice and seasoning salt. Stir well.
Season the fish fillets with salt, pepper and garlic powder. (I keep a container of these 3 already combined...Paula Deen's House Seasoning.)
Dredge the fish through the flour. Shake off excess.
Dip the fish into the milk.
Next, put the fish into the breadcrumbs and press them in firmly to both sides. (I like Panko bread crumbs.)
Let the fish sit for about 10 minutes after coating...may want to put into fridge.
Heat the oil in a skillet (I use cast iron) over med-hi. The oil should be very hot.
Place the fish into the hot oil and fry on both sides...about 3 minutes or until flaky.
Butter and toast your buns while the fish is cooking.
Spread the sauce over the buns and add desired toppings such as tomato and lettuce. Place fish on top. Enjoy!