Friday, March 14, 2014

Fish! Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

    Good Friday morning everyone. Other then Mom being taken off insulin and me needing distance glasses for the first time ever there is nothing new happening here. That is alright I have 3 recipes to share today that are all excitingly good as well as somewhat good for you too. I say some what but actually very good for you.

  Diving right in lets get to the fish. Mazola oil More about Mazola corn oil asked the Allstars to try 2 of their heart healthy recipes on One of the recipes had Mazola asking me to step way out of my comfort zone to make FISH Salmon to be exact.

Sweet and Spicy Salmon
  If you know me you know I don't, do not, will not eat fish. I knew for weeks that I had to do this. Not had to but agreed to, still I was wringing my hands trying to figure out how to get around this fish. Finally Bill calls one day on his way home from work and ask how much Salmon I need I tell him a pound but he can bring less then that because I am sure it won't get eaten. He brings home 3 pounds and tells me to make it all. Not knowing how to cook fish really I followed the recipe exactly except I needed to use blood oranges instead of grapefruit and I had to rub one fillet with the rub before I could add the cayenne pepper for the rest of the fish. Mom can't have heat. I felt like a beginner cook the way I clung to the recipe. It is a good recipe for a beginner by the way simple straight forward and quick. I have never had dinner come together so easily and fast. I started my Brussels sprouts first knowing they would take the longest to cook, next the rice I made extra of both the rice and sprouts knowing I was going to need them. The salsa was made earlier as well as the rub. I rubbed the fish took a deep breath and put it in the oven. 20 minutes later dinner was on the table every one ohhhing and ahhhhing over the Salmon. I took a child sized portion on my plate,and with everyone staring at me I took my first bite. The flavors are delicious lip smacking delicious really the flavor from the rub and the citrus salsa all work so well together. I finished the portion on the plate and then helped my self to more rice and sprouts because no matter how good the flavor I can't get paste the texture. It never occurred to Mom and Bill as they smacked their lips in pleasure and scarfed down dinner just how healthy dinner actually was.I love recipes like that your eating healthy but it certainly doesn't feel that way. Oh and the rest of that 3 lbs of fish was lunch 2 days in a row for Bill after which he came home and said do it again.
  Recipe # 2 from the Mazola corn oil heart healthy recipes on Allrecipes was for sure much more to my taste buds. I love Mexican food period and anything to do with pork I am in. Pork Carnitas Yummy!Pork Carnitas
  I had to leave out the heat for Mom of course but that is the cool thing about dishes like this you can add your heat at the table. This again a simple and easy recipe to put together just not quick. You need just short of 2 hours cooking time. Do yourself a favor and give yourself plenty of time so you don't rush this dish. It needs to simmer letting all the flavors meld together and the meat to get tender enough to melt in your mouth like butter. I am not a fan of Cilantro so I left that out, Tomatillos are hard to find this time of year so I used the salsa verda I made this summer from my garden and froze. I love when I get to use my frozen summer garden stock.

 Before I move onto the next extremely tasty dish here is the link to more of Mazola's heart healthy recipes on Allrecipes.Mazola

  Recipe # 3 was my go along with my Pork Carnitas. I didn't want to serve rice so I went searching the net looking for an idea. I found it in Food Foto Gallery Food foto gallery
 Mexican Pork n' Beans! It was love at first site. I clicked on the foto and it took me right to the blog and recipe. I ended up changing the recipe a little and I will share my changes as well as a link to the original delicious looking recipe.Mexican Pork n' Beans
  My changes were made because 1) I made a mistake and had to fix it 2) Husband wanted more flavor (heat) & 3) I went with what I had on hand. One last thing I am not really lazy but would rather clean one pan then 2 and I can't pass up a chance to cook in bacon fat. Even with the bacon fat I still think this dish is healthy and good to serve to your family. So here is the recipe with my changes 

                                           1 can red beans

                                         1/2 onion chopped

                   1/4 cup red bell pepper; chopped (about 1/2 medium-sized pepper)

                                               2 cloves garlic; grated/minced

                                           1/2 cup bacon; cooked and crumbled

                                                 Pinch of salt; +/- to 

                                              ⅛ tsp black pepper 
                                                 ⅛ tsp cumin 
                                               ⅛ chili powder
                                           1/4 Ancho chili pepper
                                                1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine
                                               2 large pinches brown sugar
  To prepare this I didn't and you need to drain and rinse the beans. That was my mistake and how the brown sugar was added to the recipe. It helped cut the salty taste I had achieved after not rinsing the beans and adding salt before taste testing. I also cut the recipe in half and that was plenty for the 3 of us with left overs. After I cooked my bacon I removed it from the pan then removed all but 2 TBS of the fat I added the onion and pepper to the hot grease, once they were soft and the onion translucent I added in the garlic letting that cook for about a minute more before adding the wine to the pan.I added a small amount at first to loosen the pan dripping then I added enough to cover the bottom of the pan a good inch. I let that cook for 3 or 4 minutes, added the beans, brown sugar, and other spices, return the crumbled bacon to the pan and let simmer for 5 or 10 minutes more.
  The addition of Ancho Chili pepper satisfied the more spice request from Bill without adding any heat. Mom liked the beans so much she asked for seconds.

 This dish with a large tossed salad were perfect mates to the Canitas and once again my family was clueless just how good for them dinner was.

  Well that is it for me today. I hope I made you hungry and I hope I have you searching for your own healthy dinner ideas.
       TGIF have a wonderful weekend! Thank you for stopping by. 


  1. Everything looks so good. Red beans seem so much more tasty than pintos, I saved that recipe.

  2. Thank you. I really really like this dish. I think I would have added the brown sugar even if I hadn't blundered. They look so much like pork n beans the recipe was screaming for it.