Last night I invited Mom to join me for dinner. I surprised her by making a recipe she’d discovered a few years back. It’s a showy dish that’s perfect for easy entertaining and chock full of flavor. Loaded with healthy ingredients, this is only 4 1/2 Weight Watchers points per serving. I sent Mom home with a to-go box and have an ample serving left for myself. (If you can’t find red snapper, tilapia may be substituted). I tweaked the original recipe ever so slightly, using only one can of beans, a bit more salsa and made more gremolata because it’s that topping that makes this dish over- the-top delicious. If you have gremolata left it would be great with chicken, salmon or even tossed in with pasta, couscous or rice!
Salsa Red Snapper with White Beans & Gremolata Topping serves 4
4 1/2 Weight Watchers points per serving
18 oz salsa
1 can great northern beans, drained
1 small green pepper, cut into thin strips
1 lb red snapper
1/4 c green onions
1/2 c chopped flat leaf parsley
1 1/2 t orange zest
1 1/2 t lime zest
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine 12 oz of the salsa with the beans and green pepper and place in a casserole dish.
Cut the red snapper into several servings and place over the salsa mixture.
Top the fish with the remaining 6 oz of salsa, followed by the green onions. Cover the casserole dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Mix together the ingredients for the gremolata and set aside.
Remove the casserole from oven and allow to rest uncovered for five minutes before serving. Top each serving with gremolata and prepare to fall in love with this flavorful, healthy dish.
I served this with roasted garlic crostini, a fresh spinach salad with dijon vinaigrette with a lovely bottle of wine and lemon bars for dessert.
As another bitter cold wintry Michigan day unfolded, I realized that I just didn’t want to to leave the house for any reason. With a household of goodies between pantry, fridge and the chest freezer I came up with a delicious entree.
A fishing buddy of Spence’s used to cook Lake Trout, Bass and Whitefish in foil packets with lemons, butter, green onions, garlic, salt and pepper – then place the packets on the grill. It was so simple and absolutely delicious. I decided to adopt the foil packet idea for this recipe using a Walleye Fillet.
Walleye Picatta Serves 1-2
1 Walleye Fillet (1/2 – 3/4 lb)
2 T butter
1 large clove of garlic – minced
1 large shallot – chopped
coarse sea salt
red pepper flake (optional)
1 T capers
2 T Extra Dry Vermouth (or other dry white wine)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil. Rub about 1 tablespoon of butter on the foil, add the Walleye Fillet (skin side down). Zest a lemon, set the zest aside. Cut the lemon in half placing it on either side of the fillet then top the fish with another tablespoon of butter cut into 4 pieces placed on top of the fish.
Sprinkle sea salt, zest, red pepper flakes and coarse ground lemon pepper over the top, to taste.
Next add the garlic and shallot over the top and around the fillet. Top with the capers followed with the extra dry vermouth around the fillet.
Seal the foil tightly allowing for a pocket of air above the fillet. Bake for 10 minutes, allowing it to rest for five minutes and then opening with care to avoid burns from the steam.
Thought I’d get that out of the way. Though I prepare salmon in various ways there are two recipes that are my “go-to” favorites, whether for company or just for me. I can’t take credit for coming up with this recipe – it is from Giada De Laurentiis, is super easy and absolutely delicious. I assemble mine a bit differently than she does and I’m showing the recipe for one serving.
Salmon with Puff Pastry & Pesto 1 serving
puff pastry – cut just large than the piece of salmon
4-6 oz piece of salmon
1 T sliced almonds – toasted
2 T pesto
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the puff pastry on one side, the salmon on the other (not touching). Bake for 10 minutes.
To serve, place the puff pastry on the plate, top with the pesto – as shown below:
Now add the tomato slice(s), followed by the salmon and top with the almonds.
The other night I threw a small dinner party. As I was putting together the menu, I thought – how about Wedge Salads? I’ve never made them, but love the crunchy, freshness of the lettuce with all the toppings – plus I’m a bit obsessed with blue cheese. If I may say so, this was a huge hit with my guests! You can certainly use a chunky blue cheese dressing from the store but this simple recipe takes less than 5 minutes to make and it’s worth the effort. For the Wedge Salad, I’ll tell you how I top it and you can decide how many you’re making at a time.
Easy Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing
1 c sour cream
1/2 c mayonnaise
3/4 c chunky blue cheese
1/2 t red wine vinegar
1/2 t lemon juice
sea salt & coarse ground cracked black pepper to taste
Place together in a bowl and stir together until mixed. It’s ready to serve and will be even better in 24 hours.
Iceberg lettuce – cut into wedges (I can get six wedges from a head of iceberg lettuce – remove the core)
chopped crispy bacon (I sprinkle pepper on my bacon before cooking it)
chopped fresh chives
blue cheese dressing
blue cheese crumbles to top
When I served this the other night, I neglected to take a picture. I placed six wedges on a vibrant green platter and then topped them. It was gorgeous and a showy way to present a Wedge Salad for a dinner party. Tonight, I made up two for Spence and I. Here’s what my wedge looks like.
Tonight I’m having a couple of dear friends (former co-workers) over for dinner and a long overdue girl’s night. I’ve had my eye on a recipe for sometime whose title The World’s Best Chicken was a claim that I decided is worth testing. I love a recipe that doesn’t require me to miss out on cocktail hour with my guests by simply baking in the oven – easy right?
The simplicity of this recipe with a few select but flavorful ingredients including fresh herbs from my garden made this the right choice for tonight. Here’s how easy it is:
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cut into 2 tenders each
½ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper
Fresh chopped flat leaf parsley and rosemary to garnish before serving. INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, syrup, and vinegar plus some chopped fresh rosemary and pepper.
Place chicken breasts into 9×13 lined baking dish (I doubled lined it with foil for easy clean up).
Season with salt & lots of pepper. Pour mustard mixture over chicken. Make sure each breast is coated.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.
Season with fresh rosemary and chopped flat leaf parsley just before serving.