We had a…rough weekend. LUCKILY, every is now fine. Well, getting better anyway. Especially little R. Seeing your babies in hospital gowns is terrifying. GOD FORBID I ever need to see that again. One of the downsides of this experience is that I came down with a nasty cold. LUCKILY we had both chicken soup & Robitussin in the house. When C came home from school yesterday I handed him the babies and said Your Turn, and marched myself off to bed. Sleep + Robitussin + Chicken Soup – and I’m feeling a GAZILLION times better.
I *know* I’m feeling better because I spent the morning trolling the internet for recipes.
What did my research accomplish?
Lemon and Sage sautéed Cucumbers and Summer Squash (& Sugar Snap Peas – but I didn’t like those. You should leave those out)
Thyme roasted Button Mushrooms
Broccoli-Cheddar Soup with Nutmeg
Crispy Fried Cod Nuggets with homemade Tartar Sauce
Lemon and Sage Sautéed Cucumbers and Summer Squash inspired by a posting on THIS site
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Summer Squash, sliced thinly
1 or 2 medium sized Cucumbers, sliced thinly (peeling is optional)
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 small bunch of fresh Sage leaves
1- In a large sauté pan, heat oil and butter over medium heat.
2- Add squash and cucumbers and toss to coat. Let them heat up slowly and then add the sage. Mix it around a bit. Add the Lemon Juice – 1 teaspoon at a time so you don’t overpower the dish. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3- Serve warm or at room temp.
Thyme Roasted Button Mushrooms by me
1-2 packages of Button Mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
2-3 sprigs of Thyme
1- Oven to 350º.
2- Put mushrooms in a large pan or casserole dish. Add thyme. Shove the pan in the oven for 20-30 minutes, shaking every 10 minutes to ensure that the mushrooms don’t stick to the bottom. When the mushrooms are browned and the juices have all released and the dried up again – they’re done.
3- Better if served warm – but I’ll eat these puppies any way you serve them to me.
Broccoli-Cheddar Soup with Nutmeg inspired by The Pioneer Woman
1 whole Onion, diced
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2-3 Heads of Broccoli, cleaned and cut into florets
4 cups Stock **I used veggie stock
1 cup Cream
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
3 cups grated Cheese **I used a combo of cheeses, mostly versions of cheddar that I had on hand.
Salt and Pepper
1- In the bottom of a soup pan/stock pot sauté the onion in the oil over medium heat. When they’ve started to turn translucent and they’ve lost some of their bite, add in the broccoli. Toss to coat with all that flavor and let them cook a bit.
2- Add in the stock and stir. Then add in the cream and the nutmeg. Stir some more. Let everything simmer away for 10-15 minutes, then add in the grated cheese and stir to melt. Taste. Adjust salt and pepper as needed. **C thought it was great and would be DELICIOUS over a baked potato!
Crispy Fried Cod Nuggets by Cooks Illustrated
4-5 cups Vegetable Oil **Enough to make 1″ of oil in the bottom of a big pot/dutch oven thingie
1 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 cup Light colored Beer **I used a Yeungling, a Northeastern lager. I thought the batter too thin, so I ended up needed a whole bottle instead of just a cup
2 pounds boneless, skinless flaky white fish **I used 1.5lbs of cod (it was on sale this week)
1- Pour the oil into a large pot/Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 375 degrees. **I used the water-splash test. When it gurgled A LOT I knew it would be ready.
2- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, cumin, black pepper and cayenne together. When the oil is almost ready, add the beer to the flour mixture and stir until completely smooth. **Like I said, the batter was too thin (didn’t match the picture in the cookbook), so I added more to thin it out.
3- Rinse the fish and pat it dry with paper towels. **As my fish was in one large filet I cut it into chunks with a sharp knife.
4- Add half the fish to the batter and stir gently to coat. Using tongs, lift the fish from the batter and allow any excess to drip off. Gently lower it into the hot oil. Fry the fish, moving it occasionally, making sure none of the pieces stick together, about 5 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pot.
4a- THIS is what overcrowded fish looks like. BLECH.
5- Remove the fried fish from the oil and let drain on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining fish.
Homemade Tartar Sauce by me
2 Tablespoons Mayo
1-3 teaspoons Sweet Relish
1- Combine in a bowl and stir. Feel free to add lemon juice, hot sauce and salt/pepper if you like. I didn’t bother.
VERDICT ON TONIGHT’S MEAL:
Soup was good.
Minus the snap peas, the veg were good.
The fish was a BIG hit – R kept asking for MORE! MORE! MORE!
Oh – and there was homemade zucchini bread for dessert too. Both babies loved that too.
Okay okay, I’ll quick throw that recipe in here too. Sorry. Forgot to include it earlier!
Zuchinni Bread by America’s Test Kitchen
2 cups all-purpose Flour, plus more for dusting
1 pound Zucchini, washed and dried, ends and stems removed **I shredded in the food processor, then wrung out in several layers of paper towel
¾ cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ cup Plain Yogurt
2 large Eggs, beaten lightly
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
6 Tablespoons (¾ stick) butter, melted and cooled
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375º. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out the excess. **I forgot to do the flour-the-pan-bit.
2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the zucchini and 2 tablespoons of the sugar until the zucchini is coarsely shredded, twelve to fifteen 1-second pulses. Transfer the mixture to a fine-mesh strainer set at least 2 inches over a bowl and allow to drain for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can shred the halved zucchini (don’t cut into 1-inch pieces) on the large holes of a box grater, toss with the 2 tablespoons of sugar, and drain.
3. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a large bowl, and whisk until combined. Set aside.
4. Whisk together the remaining ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar, yogurt, eggs, lemon juice, and melted butter in a 2-cup glass measure until combined. Set aside.
5. After the zucchini has drained, squeeze the zucchini with several layers of paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Stir the zucchini and the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture until just moistened. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula.
6. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least one hour before serving. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.) **It took an extra 20 minutes to bake this bread through.
Babies REALLY liked this recipe. *clapping*