Sunday, September 2, 2007

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan and Pesto Pasta

We've been trying to eat more fish lately and this recipe has been raved about on the cooking board I frequent, so I thought I'd try it. It was so quick and easy and really tasted delicious! My husband says it's the best fish dish I've ever made so I think it will be making some more appearances on my menu! I served this with some sauteed green beans and whole-wheat pasta with pesto sauce.

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
Recipe Courtesy of All Recipes

Serves 8 (I cut the recipe in half when I made it)


  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder**I didn't have any so I left it out
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery salt**I used celery seed instead because that's what I had
  • 2 pounds tilapia filet

Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

For the pesto sauce I just processed the following in the food processor:

1 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup walnuts (pine nuts are more traditional, but I like walnuts too)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove

This makes enough sauce for about 6-8 oz. pasta. It's one of our favorite summer dishes to make when fresh basil is plentiful. It also freezes really well, making for a nice change of pace in the middle of winter.

Tomato and Garlic Pizza

Pizza is a meal that my husband enjoys making, which makes it great on nights that I don't feel like cooking! There's no real recipe for this since we just kind of throw it together with whatever toppings we have. We're also still experimenting with the best way to get the cooked. Recently, we've been pre-cooking the dough before adding the toppings and it seems to work out well. Here's the general idea...

Tomato and Garlic Pizza
Recipe Courtesy of Me and the Hubby!


  • 1 package store-bought raw dough
  • flour for rolling
  • olive oil to coat pan
  • dried oregano
  • dried basil
  • 2-3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 small can diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheese (we use the "italian blend" which includes mozzarella and parm. I think)
  • 2-3 vine-ripe tomatoes
  • grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease pan with olive oil so dough doesn't stick. Roll out dough until it fits your pan (we use a rectangular cookie sheet). Poke holes in the dough with a fork so it can aerate and bubbles don't form. Sprinkle the dough with oregano, basil, and parmesan cheese. Bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the dough from the oven and cover with slices tomatoes, garlic, and cheese. Turn oven up to 400 degrees and bake pizza another 10 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese as desired.

Again, these are all approximate cooking times and we're still experimenting to find a system that works best, but it always tastes delicious! Enjoy!

Apple Crisp

We found a really great orchard not far from us and took home a bag full of fresh apples. I figured there was no way we could eat them all and, never being a huge fan of baking pies, decided to make some crisp instead!

Apple and Oatmeal Crisp
Recipe Courtesy of Emeril LaGasse/Food Network


1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 1/2 pounds cooking apples, cored and cut into wedges
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 stick butter, cut into small pieces and at room temperature


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine the water, 3/4 cup brown sugar, melted butter, 2 tablespoons of the flour, salt, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of grated nutmeg, whisk until smooth. Place the apples in a 9
by 2-inch glass baking dish (10 cup) and pour the liquid sugar mixture over the apples. Mix well. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, remaining 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 1/2 cups flour, oatmeal, and butter. Using your fingers, work the mixture together until it resembles a coarse crumb-like mixture. Sprinkle the oatmeal topping over the top of the apple mixture. Bake for 1 hour, or until the apples are tender and the crust is golden.

Of course this could not be complete without some vanilla ice cream. Yum! :)

The Ultimate Stuffed Potatoes

I decided to make this recipe after picking up some chives at a local farm. I have to say the various flavors in this dish worked together beautifully! It was really delicious and is one of those dishes that is even better reheated the next day. The only thing I think I would change next time is to make the cheese sauce a little thinner. It was a little too "doughy" for me I think. So maybe less flour and more milk would be better?

The Ultimate Stuffed Potatoes
Recipe Courtesy of Tyler Florence/Food Network


4 medium-sized Idaho potatoes
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
About 2 cups, plus more for topping, shredded sharp white Cheddar **I used regular cheddar
2 heads broccoli, florets, blanched in salty water
1/2 pound bacon, medium dice, cooked until crisp **I didn't use quite so much bacon...
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Begin by baking the potatoes, as this will take the longest. Place potatoes onto a baking sheet. Pierce with a fork, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Place into preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour.

While they are baking prepare the stuffing. Make a mornay sauce by combining the butter and flour over medium heat and then whisking in the milk. Fold in about 2 cups cheese and stir until melted. Once melted, remove from heat and fold in the cooked broccoli florets, crispy bacon bits, chopped chives and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

When the potatoes are done make a cut across the top and squeeze it from the bottom so a small pouch opens up and the bottom is squared off. Spoon the filling over the top of the potato, sprinkle with cheese, season with pepper, to taste, and then pop in the oven for 2 more minutes until golden brown and bubbly.