Fish Course · Quick Dinner

Oven-Poached Swai with Lemon Caper Sauce

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Swai Fillets
  •  Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 quarter onion sliced
  • ½ cup chicken stock

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • Frozen artichokes, thawed (however much you like)
  • 1 tablespoons capers (optional)
  •  fresh lemon juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil one baking dishes large enough to accommodate the fish fillets in one layer. Lay the fish in the dish and season with salt and pepper.

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  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small or medium skillet and add the garlic and onion. Cook, stirring, until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the stock to the pan, bring to a boil, and add the thawed artichokes. Add lemon zest and juice and remove from heat. Pour over the fish.
  1. Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or 5 minutes for each 1/2 inch of thickness, until the fish is opaque and pulls apart easily with a fork.

 

  1. Remove from oven, garnish with capers and parsley, serve.

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Note: if using dried parsley add it to the pan while the fish bakes.  I also like to use some red pepper flakes.

Breakfast · Brunch

Blueberry-Almond Oatmeal Muffins

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I like some variation in the morning.  Normally it is oatmeal with honey, almond milk and black pepper–yes, black pepper–try it, it tastes great! But I digress.  This is about fresh blueberries in your oatmeal muffin.  Good Morning never tasted so good.  I have tried several oatmeal muffin recipes and I have settled on this one–moist, yet a little crumbly for the almond meal.  I hope you like it, as much I did.

Yields about 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1.5 cups of almond meal

0.5 cups of quick cooking oatmeal

0.25 cups of AP flour

1 tbsp of baking soda

1tbsp of baking powder

2 eggs

0.5 cups of oil

0.5 cups of almond milk

0.5 water

0.25 cups of honey

zest of 1 lemon or 1tsp of lemon extract (optional)

1 pint of blueberries

sliced almonds for topping the muffins

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F

Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl

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Mix all the wet ingredients in another bowls or large measuring cup

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Slowly incorporate wet into dry.  The batter will be runny

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Fold in the blueberries

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Portion into a lined muffin pan.  There might be some extra batter, I put it in a ramekin and bake it off.  (serve this one with vanilla ice cream for a late night treat).

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Garnish the tops with sliced almonds.

Bake for 30-35 mins, till a toothpick comes out clean.

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Italian · Poultry · Salad · Sides

Saffron Chicken, Lemon and Green Bean Salad

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 lemon (preferably unwaxed), scrubbed well
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • Pinch saffron threads, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • About 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (tenderloins removed), trimmed of visible fat
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Use a fork to prick the lemon in 3 or 4 places. Place in a small saucepan along with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cover with water; bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 50 minutes or until quite tender. Drain and cool.

Meanwhile, whisk together the saffron, mint, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a gallon-size plastic zip-top bag. Add the chicken and seal. Massage to coat; let it marinate (at room temperature) while you prep the beans.

Set up a steamer over a few inches of barely bubbling water (over medium heat). Place the beans inside; cover and steam for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender and a brighter shade of green. Cool, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces, transferring them to a mixing bowl as you work.

Grease a large skillet with cooking oil spray and place it over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the marinated chicken. (It’s okay if some marinade remains on the chicken; discard any remaining marinade.) Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, then turn the chicken over and cook on the second side for 6 to 8 minutes or as needed, until the chicken is cooked through and nicely browned. Cool, then cut into bite-size pieces, transferring them to the bowl of green beans.

Slice off and discard the ends of the lemon, then cut the fruit in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the flesh and pulp. Cut the remaining peel (with pith) into thin slices, then into 1/4-inch pieces, adding them to the bowl as you work. Add the thyme.

Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the honey in a liquid measuring cup, then whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to form an emulsified dressing. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the lemon-chicken mixture and toss to incorporate. Serve at room temperature.

Dessert

Lemon Blueberry Tart

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This past week I gave my Practice talk to my lab members, and the best way to bribe scientists is with food ! So I made this tart and while the lemon curd may sound daunting, it was super easy and almost fool proof ! Try this for your next spring lunch, picnic, or if there are any other PhD students suffering during quals–make this tart to lighten up your day and indulge in something sweet !

Almond Crust:

Ingredients :

  • 1-1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  1. Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor till everything comes together.

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  1. Place the ball of almond flour dough on the bottom of a nine-inch pie pan.
  2. Use your fingers to press the dough evenly out the sides.
  3. Pinch the edges for a decorative look.

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  1. Bake alone for eight to 10 minutes

Lemon Curd

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml)freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • grated zest of one lemon, preferably unsprayed
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g)  butter, salted or unsalted, cut into bits
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C.)

1. In a medium-sized non-reactive saucepan, heat the lemon juice, zest, sugar, and butter. Have a mesh strainer nearby.

2. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and the yolks.

3. When the butter is melted, whisk some of the warm lemon mixture into the eggs, stirring constantly, to warm them. Scrape the warmed eggs back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and almost begins to bubble around the edges.

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4. Pour the lemon curd though a strainer directly into the pre-baked tart shell, scraping with a rubber spatula to press it through.

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5. Smooth the top of the tart and pop it in the oven for five minutes, just to set the curd.

6. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing and serving.

7. Garnish with fresh or frozen blueberries.

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Lunch · Poultry

Lemon-Thyme Roasted Chicken and Asparagus

A one pot lunch is what I call this recipe.  It would have tasted a lot better if this was early on in spring but towards the end of the summer the asparagus don’t look that good–but anyway, I wanted to get a last dose of light spring food before I slowly transition into cold weather meals.  Try with best possible ingredients you can find, that WILL make all the difference because the recipe is too minimalistic to cut corners.

Ingredients:

1lb chicken ( thighs or breasts, your choice)

2 medium size lemons zested and then quartered

1 Tbsp of dried thyme ( fresh would be awesome !!!!)

1lb asparagus blanched and chopped into halves

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2 Tbsp of olive oil, depending on how much ingredients you have.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375F

In a large bowl toss all the ingredients together expect the lemon quarters, you will be adding the zest to coat the chicken and the vegetables.

Arrange the mixture in one layer in a large roasting pan or glass bakeware.

Squeeze a little bit of the lemon juice over the tray and arrange the quarters in the pan.

Bake for about 40 mins till the chicken is cooked through.

Serve hot or at room temperature with some quinoa or garlic bread for a complete meal.

Classics · Comfort food · Dinner · Fish Course

Lemon-Dill Salmon

Of all the fish recipes this is my favorite.  I love salmon and nothing like lemon and dill on it.  It is my go to celebration dinner when I am cooking for myself.  This is what you will need.

Ingredients:

Salmon fillets, trimmed and patted dry

Fresh lemon zest ( use as much as you like, I love lots of zest)

A dash of fresh or dried dill, again season according to liking

Salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

Preheat broiler on high.

Season the fillets with salt and pepper, on both sides, liberally.

Sprinkle the lemon zest and dill on the top and place on a baking sheet.

Broil for about 10 mins till the fillet is cooked through.

Serve warm with green beans, sautéed spinach or roasted fingerling potatoes.

enjoy !

Classics · Dinner · Fish Course · Lunch

Tarragon Tilapia in Lemon-Caper White Wine sauce

A light delicious fish entrée, simple enough for a quick-lunch yet elegant enough to be the star of a dinner party.  Serve it family style with a side of rice or plate it up with a fresh salad–this is a sure shot hit !

Ingredients:

1 lb of Tilapia

1 medium-sized lemon

1 Tbsp of drained capers

1/2 Tbsp of Tarragon

Salt and Pepper to taste

A splash of good white wine, use what you would drink-ALWAYS

Method:

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a baking pan ( use one where the fillets will fit nicely) with cooking spray arrange the fillets.

Season liberally with sal and pepper.  Add lemon zest, tarragon and sprinkle the capers.

Arrange a few lemon slices over the fish and add a splash of white wine, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan, DO NOT submerge the fillets  in it.

Bake for about 15 min till the fish is cooked through and then broil for a the last 2 min to give the fillets a light golden brown crust.

Serve warm with your choice of side.