Month: March 2017

Friday Fish: Fish + Sweet Potato Chips with Spicy Blue Cheese Tartar Sauce

Friday Fish: Fish + Sweet Potato Chips with Spicy Blue Cheese Tartar Sauce

     YOU’VE GOT A FEW FISH LEFT TO FRY…

As the weeks of Lent run by interspersed with March Madness, spring storms, spring cleaning, baking for our church’s Just Peace workshop,

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Sheet Pan:  BBQ-Bacon Chicken Thighs with Cheesy Broccoli-Potatoes

Sheet Pan: BBQ-Bacon Chicken Thighs with Cheesy Broccoli-Potatoes

I grew up eating fried chicken. My dad may have made the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten. Perhaps it wasn’t the best fried chicken on earth, but it’s best I’ve ever had and it was made in the largest, deepest cast iron skillet in the kitchen. (Someone in my family must have that pan?)  So you know how we strain fat and refrigerate it (if we deep fry very often, which I don’t) for safety reasons? That never happened at my house. That fat went back into a (then) metal Crisco can and into the cupboard.  Don’t try this now; Crisco cans are made of cardboard.  Even bacon fat sat out. Mayonnaise, too. No joke. I don’t think we were ever ill either. Witness what Dave calls Alyce’s cast-iron stomach.

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Friday Fish:  St. Patrick’s Day One-Pan Salmon on Kale with Lemon and Thyme

Friday Fish: St. Patrick’s Day One-Pan Salmon on Kale with Lemon and Thyme

It just happens that a lenten Friday Fish and St. Patrick’s occur on the same day this year. This is no lie:  if you live in Chicago (and several surrounding areas) and are Catholic, you have special dispensation from the archbishop to eat corned beef instead of fish:

Ours is a merciful God. Chicagoland Catholics may enjoy the traditional corned beef and cabbage this Friday, despite the church’s practice of avoiding meat on Fridays during Lent. Cardinal Blase Cupich, leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago, has granted a dispensation. So have the bishops of the Joliet, Rockford and Gary dioceses.

Chicago Trib 3/15/17

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St. Patrick’s Day–Traditional Kerry Apple Cake

St. Patrick’s Day–Traditional Kerry Apple Cake

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According to Darina Allen, the doyenne of Irish cooking, apple cake is the quintessential or at least the most traditional Irish dessert. And because it is made everywhere, each baker makes it just a bit differently than the baker next door.

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Meatless Mondays: Lentil and Wild Rice Salad with Poached Eggs

Meatless Mondays: Lentil and Wild Rice Salad with Poached Eggs

Despite the fact that I’m a vegetable-crazy person, I often forget to put up a post for Meatless Mondays.  I nearly always eat vegetables with eggs or, more often with egg whites, (the dogs get the yolks) for breakfast…

Above: Sauté spinach a minute or two in a teaspoon or two olive oil in a small, nonstick skillet with a little red onion or shallot, crack egg whites only (2-3) evenly on top, season with salt and pepper, and cover, cooking until whites are opaque. Garnish with salsa.   

…but rarely write a recipe or post as the meals seem so simple–like the egg white and spinach omelet above.

Here are a few I have written and posted:

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Friday Fish: Southwestern Grilled Fish Sandwiches with Green Chile Goat Cheese and Jicama Coleslaw

Friday Fish: Southwestern Grilled Fish Sandwiches with Green Chile Goat Cheese and Jicama Coleslaw

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I make it nearly a practice to not google or check a cookbook when I first dream up a new recipe. Sometimes the dish-thought has been perking around in my brain or heart for a while; other times it’s a new idea encouraged by time or need. (Say Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up, for instance; I’m probably thinking about Irish food and that will not be corned and cabbage, I can promise you. Or, it’s Lent, like now, and I’m fishing around for fish.)  But afterward, when the recipe’s a PDF or the post is written, I sometimes will search for information on my meal and almost always for additional links to help my cook-readers. (Like where to buy native wild rice or another way to cook beans.)

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Friday Fish: Fish and Shrimp Stew with White Beans

Friday Fish: Fish and Shrimp Stew with White Beans

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A little fresh red bell pepper provides a different garnish here.

Each year as a cook and food blogger, I take advantage of the fact that I’m a faithful person observing Lent who needs to get a little more fish in her life.  (I am a progressive Christian– a lifelong Presbyterian worshiping with the United Church of Christ.) Continue reading “Friday Fish: Fish and Shrimp Stew with White Beans”

Sheet Pan Dinner: Spicy Lemon-Tarragon Chicken and Potatoes with Asparagus and Some Ideas About Keeping the Meals Coming

Sheet Pan Dinner: Spicy Lemon-Tarragon Chicken and Potatoes with Asparagus and Some Ideas About Keeping the Meals Coming

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It’s one of the biggest challenges and conundrums of my cooking, blogging, writing, and teaching life.  Folks are so very interested in food, love to chat about it, are crazy about eating, and seem to know lots about ingredients and technique (Food Network and “Top Chef”, I guess).  But somehow they often have an awesome amount of trouble getting into the kitchen and actually cooking. There are myriad reasons and I needn’t name them.

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