Frittata with Red Pepper Oil

Frittata with Red Pepper Oil, page 216

Well, look-y who joined me in the kitchen to make this meal, my super eater {feel the sarcasm} Chas! I had a bit of a medical scare last week, which led to a conversation about taking care of our bodies as healthy prevention. My boys didn't quite understand how a person can make do their best to make healthy choices about food and exercise, but still be at risk for disease.  Hard conversations for a momma to have. Without teaching Punnent squares and talking about wrinkled peas, I did my best.  Maybe it was enough to get this little guy to add a bit of green to his diet.

Chas was a master with the whisk, our eggs ended up a little more than lightly beaten, but fluffy nonetheless. I didn't have the exact herbs in pots on my deck, nor did the grocery have them. I like tarragon, I need to grow it.

For the Red Pepper Oil, I used marinated red peppers. I used more of them than called for, less oil and a bit more salt. The bowl, container, top - what's it called - to the blender was in the dishwasher, so I used my little chopper, which was perfect. This oil would be delicious on all sorts of dishes, but especially on egg dishes.

{Chas whisking away} Parents, do you have a son or daughter who simply does not like to eat anything green? Does it concern you? Do you make them sit at the table until they eat the number of peas or leaves of spinach equal to their age? Do you give them a vitamin? Do you just let let it slide? Help!

What I do -- I don't fight the battle. I explain that it's best for their body to eat a rainbow of food and treats in moderation. It is the only body they will have and they need to treat it with respect and fuel it properly. I have healthy choices available, but then I buy Twizzlers to take to a ball game. Just being honest, but is this wrong?

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: tarragon
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: more eggs
What I'll try next time: start growing tarragon in the spring.
How it Scored:
Jonathan: 4
Elliott: 4
'becca: 4.5 and then again in the morning chilled without the oil, 4
Chas: 5 for preparation, but no score for tasting it. He doesn't like peppers.


Pasta with Smoked Salmon

Pasta with Smoked Salmon, page 227

If you look closely to on the left in the picture above you can see that sometimes films keep me company in the kitchen. I have a long list of films, shows and movies in instant queue on Netflix and I rarely watch them. I search, add to my list to watch, then they sit for weeks, months. But this day I was watching It Rains in My Village, a film with subtitles. Probably not the best choice for multitasking. It was sad and true and difficult and not something I'd choose to watch again. I did however like the smiles of the men in the band. (I'm watching Turtles Can Fly tonight.)
 This {above} happened when I used plain, fat free yogurt. Curdled Yuck! It was fresh yogurt, but I should have known better when I purchased fat free. Is fat free ever really better? I'd like to know your thoughts on that. Do you buy full fat or fat free or does it depend on the item? 

I strained the veggies and pitched the broth and yogurt, then started over. This time, I simmered the veggies in broth, until cooked and did not add the yogurt until it was finished cooking and had cooled a bit. I only had enough plain Greek yogurt left to make this and was trying to avoid a trip to the grocery before dinner. 

As the veggies cooked, I boiled pasta, 1 rice and 1 whole wheat and also prepared the salmon. I decided to buy salmon steaks, cook them and flake into the pasta. This gave us more fish in the dish, something we all enjoy. We, excluding Chas, dear sweet pasta with butter, salt and sometimes Parmesan cheese Chas. 

The temperature was almost 100 outside and I wanted something cool for dinner. I cooked this early and refrigerated for a few hours before dinner. The result ~ perfect summer dish! I am sure it is equally delicious warm. Something to try when the temperatures are not soaring.

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: Smoked Salmon
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: salmon steaks, flaked for smoked salmon; Greek yogurt added after the veggies were cooked in the broth and cooled a bit; extra peas and I cooked 2 kinds of pasta, GF* & FG**
What I'll try next time: I'll add capers. I had them in the pantry, but just forgot. Oops.
How it Scored:
Jonathan: 4.5
'becca: 5
Elliott: 3
Chas: didn't try it

*Gluten Free


Pan-Seared Sole

Pan-Seared Sole, page 222

Wait, what is that photo? Where is the fish? Well, it's just the pan which is highly seasoned with bacon grease. You will often find it on my cook-top because well, bacon is a favorite of a few of us living under this roof. OK, we all enjoy it and Chas, well he asks for it almost daily. Do you have a favorite bacon pan?

On to the real meal...Pan-Seared Tilapia. No Sole at my grocer and I wasn't headed on a search. The intro said any mild-flavored white fish works well, so I took it at its word and it did. I will admit though that it was the Mango Salsa that made this meal. I sear Tilapia fairly often, it's easy, mild and a quick source of protein, but the salsa set it apart.
I didn't have orange juice, so I used an orange and squeezed it. I tried to squeeze and get a fancy foodie blog photo of the juice dripping from the orange, but we all know this is not a foodie blog and I'm not a food photographer, so here is a blurry attempt at my efforts in college form...look on friends, look on...
I nixed the grapeseed oil in the salsa, because I watch the tour, I don't race in the tour & we like bacon, remember. (How 'bout those time trials today? Speedy!)
Mango Salsa...DELICIOUS! Great with the fish. Great on a spoon. Great with brown rice. I'm sure it's great with almost anything. Even topping a crispy strip of maple bacon. 

I prepared the fish as the recipe suggested and served it over a bed of brown rice and topped it with the salsa. I didn't set the table, rather, quickly threw down place mats, napkins and silverware. Great way to end the first day of the week. Time around the table with my 3 favorite guys and a yummy meal. 

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: Nothing, because I went to the grocery with a list.
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: 1 mango, not 2, green onion instead of sliced red, fresh orange squeeeeeezed, instead of orange juice, no grapeseed oil in the salsa, but a bit in the pan to cook the fish and I added a bit of salt and pepper to the salsa
What I'll try next time: double or triplet the batch of salsa & make tacos the next day or just eat chips and salsa for dinner.
How it Scored:
Jonathan: 3.5
'becca: 5, loved it!
Elliott: 4 for the fish, but wasn't a fan of the salsa
Chas: see photo below...sheesh!


Spicy Cabbage Slaw

Spicy Cabbage Slaw, page 284

Ohmigoodness, I've made this recipe a few times and was sure I've shared it. I looked back and realized I do not think I have. It must be shared today, because it is the perfect addition to all of the parties tomorrow. It's easy, a perfect addition to the top of a burger (meat or veg), a crisp addition to a hot dog and even delicious on it's own as a side.

The only picture I have is one I just snapped of the salad in a baggie ready to be packed into a cooler and toted to a party.

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: Not-a-thing. Picked it all up at the grocery.
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: I added extra of everything. More red than green cabbage...it's prettier.
What I'll try next time: This picture is "the next time" and I didn't do anything different.
How it Scored:
Jonathan: Great on burgers and as a side, 4
'becca: I agree with Jonathan, but give it a 4.5


Remaking & Remaking

Dearest Feed Zone Friends, I've been absent from here, but not from my kitchen. For over a week, I was flying solo. My young boys at my parents for what has become an annual event -- Camp BodeePops and my tallest, darkest and most handsome boy was across the pond in Rwanda. (See photo to the right. He returned with 80 lbs of green coffee beans, our favorite jams, spices and tea.)  I used this time to rack up some serious hours in my career as a volunteer, parking cars for the LPGA tournament, attending a couple of board meetings and working on a variety of things for KAAC. It was a week of very early mornings, triple digit temperatures, a new appreciation for white wine and a mostly failed attempt at learning to bake croissants, but the clafoutis turned out perfect.
 I'll admit I've cheated on The Feed Zone. Want to know with who? Larousse Gastronomique, that's who. I wonder of Dr. Lim and Chef Biju would approve? Gentlemen...are you there? Your approval, please. 

With that exposed, I'll also admit that I am remaking so many recipes from The Feed Zone. Last night I made Spicy Asian Soup and Spring Rolls, as Jonathan's first meal back from his most recent trip to Africa. This evening I made roasted salsa for the 4th or 5th time. I topped chicken breast with the salsa, black beans, lime juice and salt.
It is still cooking, so I'm not sure how it will turn out, but the smell is fantastic. I'll warm corn tortillas and call it a meal. Oh and I'll take a jar and a bag of Chippin's as part of my additions to our family 4 July celebration. I'm also bringing the cabbage recipe on page 284, avocado-white bean hummus, berry & cherry salad and wine. 
Happy 4 July!
I'd love to know how you will celebrate and if you are cooking something from The Feed Zone.
Celebrate well. 
Celebrate tasty. 
Celebrate safely.