The token post

Posted: January 7, 2010 | Author: Johanna | Filed under: Johanna | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obviously, after a year like 2009, many of us are looking for a change. It was not the best of years for many, and I for one am thrilled to see the back of it. With all the deaths, and all the changes, and everything that’s gone on, sometimes it’s hard to remember that just a year ago, we were celebrating one of the most amazing moments of our time – President Obama’s inauguration. I was crying at my desk, unabashedly, thrilled that times had changed and better things were on the horizon. With that in mind, I toast 2009.
Cheers to Monsier Georges DuBoeuf tooThe 2009 Beaujolais, by the way, is lovely. Get some while you have a chance.
As we move into 2010, many people are thinking and talking about resolutions. Resolving to eat healthier, go to the gym, be neater, be whatever. My friends complain about the New Years Resolutioners clogging up the gym. Food Network allegedly runs a Healthy Eating week (although I can’t watch it, because Cablevision and Scripps Networks are in a fight). People make promises to themselves and break them, and it’s all part of the cycle of life.
I’m also hoping to shake things up in 2010 although mine are more along the line of lifestyle changes, not simply resolutions to abandon.
Regardless of what you’re looking for out of 2010, eating healthier can’t hurt anybody. And the fact that this dish I’m about to tell you about is both healthy AND delicious is like a double bonus. We could all use something like that, right?
Tilapia Puttanesca Tilapia Puttanesca
Puttanesca is a sauce that has many different origin stories. My favorite is that it is easy, hot, and quick, just like the prostitutes (putana in Italiano) that invented it to feed their customers. It may or may not be true, but hey, who cares?
Ingredients: (serves 2)
2 pieces tilapia – 4-6 ounces each
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 -2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/2 cup olives
2 tablespoons capers
1 small onion
chili flake, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
4 ounces dried spaghetti

1. Put some salted water on to boil. When it’s ready, cook the pasta.  Heat some olive oil in a deep skillet.
2. Dice the onion finely, and saute it in the olive oil for a  minute or two, until it gets translucent. Add  chili flake to your taste, and saute for about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, stirring until it is all combined and delicious and whatnot.
3. Add the tomatoes into the skillet, and smash them with a potato masher. WATCH OUT. They will spit liquid back at you, which can get icky. So smash gently, but get them good and crushed.
4. Once the juices in the tomato sauce are simmering, season the pieces of tilapia lightly with salt and pepper, and chop the olives roughly.
5. Add the olives, capers, and about 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet, then add the tilapia. Cover, and simmer until the fish is cooked through, and the flavors in the sauce have melded.
Serve the fish over pasta, and get ready to enjoy. It’s delicious. It’s supposed to be spicy, so be a little bit free with the chili flake. And just as a heads-up, tilapia falls apart when you try to scoop out of its poaching sauce. So be prepared for that, and just heap a little extra sauce over. I won’t tell anyone.

Happy 2010, folks. Here’s at least one healthy new meal.


Fish With a Kick

Posted: August 2, 2009 | Author: Rita | Filed under: Rita | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Normally I’m not one to prepare spicy foods. Flavorful foods, yes, but hot sauces and jalapenos are ingredients not in my repertoire. So when Johanna posted the other day about sriracha it inspired me to venture outside my comfort zone and thus a giant bottle of the red stuff is now sitting in my pantry. Now what the hell do I do with it?

Part of my weekend was spent staring bug-eyed at all the piles of produce at the farmer’s market, so later this week I’ll figure out what to do with the Black Tuscan kale, rainbow chard and white beets (and their leaves). When I got home though, I forgot I had a bunch of organic spinach sitting in my fridge. It was still fresh but I figured it’s best to use that first. The chard, etc can wait a day or two. Luckily, when I purchased the sriracha I impulsively bought some tilapia too — Johanna is very inspiring — and an idea for dinner was born.

I like balance in my meals. Well, who doesn’t? Too much of one flavor doesn’t satisfy anyone’s palate. Here’s what I came up with. Spinach, check. Fish, check. Got some spicy stuff I want to use, but I want to balance it out. Aha, let’s make a yogurt dill sauce for the tilapia and flavor the spinach with the sriracha; refreshing and eye-opening all on the same plate. Yogurt sauce pairs better with salmon but tilapia works just as well. For breakfast nearly every morning I eat Fage greek yogurt with fruit and cinnamon and there was enough left over to make a sauce out of that. I mixed it with chopped dill from the farmer’s market; add the juice of a whole lemon and it’s complete.

The tilapia I didn’t do much to. Its lack of flavor is seen as a plus by some who don’t like “fishy” fish but my response to that is: IT’S FISH. But anyway. This time I just sauteed it with a little onion and garlic and spiced it slightly with ground ginger and black pepper. The spinach I sauteed with crimini mushrooms and garlic, then when cooked I squirted in a little sriracha,, just enough to give it a kick. Plated, I topped off the fish with the yogurt dill sauce and voila, my dinner.

Dessert was a peach, fresh from the farm.



Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Bakezilla: We Use Mixers Too

She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.