Tag Archives: Weeknights With Giada

Broiled Tilapia with Honey Greek Yogurt Sauce

6 Mar Broiled Tilapia with Greek Honey Dressing and Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

My quest to cook through the cookbook “Weeknights With Giada” continues with a fish recipe! Last time I made tilapia it was pan-fried and very delicious. It was one of the first recipes I shared on this blog and is one of my posts that gets a lot of traffic. Tilapia is a cheap fish and kind of like tofu in that it takes on whatever flavors you add to it, in this case, the honey greek yogurt dressing. For a side dish I found a brussel sprouts with bacon recipe from my Three & Four Ingredient Cookbook. Can’t go wrong with bacon! This was an easy dinner and pretty quick to whip up. Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Broiled Tilapia with Greek Honey Dressing Ingredients L-R: Lemon Juice, Agave Nectar, Greek Yogurt, Tilapia Fillet, Salt and Pepper, Chives, Dijon Mustard, Olive Oil

Broiled Tilapia with Greek Honey Dressing Ingredients L-R: Lemon Juice, Agave Nectar, Greek Yogurt, Tilapia Fillet, Salt and Pepper, Chives, Dijon Mustard, Olive Oil

BROILED TILAPIA with HONEY GREEK YOGURT SAUCE (serves 2)

  • Vegetable Oil Cooking Spray
  • 2 Tilapia Fillets (about 5 oz)
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Full Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tsp Agave Nectar or Honey
  • 1/2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice (half a medium lemon)
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Chives

Preheat your broiler on Low. Pull out a small baking sheet or glass baking dish that will fit both fillets and spray with your cooking oil spray. Take your fillets and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Lay them on the prepared baking dish/sheet and broil for about 8 minutes. The flesh should flake easily when prodded with a fork. Set aside to cool.

Tilapia Fillet

Tilapia fillet seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper and ready for the oven.

Broiled Tilapia

Broiled tilapia fresh from the oven

While your fish is baking make your dressing. In a small bowl combine the yogurt, honey and mustard until smooth. Chop up your chives and add into the mixture along with the lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Greek Yogurt, Agave Nectar and Dijon Mustard

Greek Yogurt, Agave Nectar and Dijon Mustard

Fresh chives chopped for the dressing.

Fresh chives chopped for the dressing.

Greek Yogurt and Honey Dressing with Chives

Greek Yogurt and Honey Dressing with Chives

While your fish is cooking you want to make your brussel sprouts.

Stir Fried Brussel Sprouts With Bacon Ingredients L-R: Turkey Bacon, Salt and Pepper, Brussel Sprouts, Poppy Seeds

Stir Fried Brussel Sprouts With Bacon Ingredients L-R: Turkey Bacon, Salt and Pepper, Brussel Sprouts, Poppy Seeds

STIR FRIED BRUSSELS SPROUTS with BACON (about 2 servings)

  • 8 oz Brussel Sprouts
  • 1 Bacon Strip
  • 1 Tsp Caraway or Sesame Seed
  • 1 Tbsp Sunflower or other light oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Slice up your brussel sprouts into fine pieces and set aside. Chop up your bacon slice into small pieces. Heat your oil in a medium fry pan over medium high heat.

Chopped brussel sprouts

Chopped brussel sprouts

Chopped turkey bacon

Chopped turkey bacon

Add your bacon and cook for a minute or two. *Side note: I used turkey bacon from Jennie-O since that’s what I had in my fridge, and it was great!* Add in the shredded brussel sprouts and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle caraway or sesame seeds. Cook for another 30 seconds to a minute, until brussel sprouts are soft. Remove from heat and split between your plates.

turkey bacon

Frying up the bacon.

After adding in the brussel sprouts, season with salt and pepper, then add in the poppy seeds.

After adding in the brussel sprouts, season with salt and pepper, then add in the poppy seeds.

Once the fish is ready, transfer to your plates and drizzle with the yogurt sauce, about a tablespoon for each fillet. Enjoy with a nice glass of white wine or some sparkling water, something fresh tasting.

Broiled Tilapia with Greek Honey Dressing and Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

Broiled Tilapia with Greek Honey Dressing and Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

Quinoa and Purple Potatoes-Who Knew?

13 Feb

Quinoa: the food that we’re told to eat, but not how to pronounce. While a lot of people think it’s a starch, it’s actually a grain, a seed to be exact, which is why it’s popular among the gluten-free crowd. It’s a curious food, quinoa (and that’s pronounced: keen-nwah), and one that I had never cooked before. The first time I had it was a few years ago at one of my favorite restaurants in Hollywood, Off Vine. It was a stuffed bell pepper and I thought it was so good I vowed to make it.

Well I didn’t. And now almost 3 years later I finally made a quinoa dish. And I have (no surprise) Giada and her “Weeknights With Giada” to thank. However I made 2 small changes. Giada’s recipe calls for frozen peas and black olives. I’m not a fan of either so instead I used frozen edamame (shelled) and sun-dried tomatoes. In addition I steamed my edamame before adding to the cooked quinoa. I still have the rest of the bag of quinoa in my cupboard, so maybe I’ll finally make my own version of Off Vine’s stuffed bell pepper! Stay tuned…but meanwhile, enjoy this quinoa “salad” with purple potatoes from Giada, the kitchen goddess.

Quinoa with Purple Potatoes and Edamame Ingredients L-R: Quinoa, Purple Potatoes, Shelled Edamame, Lime, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Chicken Broth, Olive Oil

Quinoa with Purple Potatoes and Edamame Ingredients L-R: Quinoa, Purple Potatoes, Shelled Edamame, Lime, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Chicken Broth, Olive Oil

QUINOA WITH PEAS AND POTATOES (serves about 3 to 4)

  • 6 ounces Purple Peruvian Potatoes
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (or 1 if you don’t want too much garlic)
  • 1 Cup (4 ounces) edamame (shelled)
  • 1/4 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice (1 large lime)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

If using frozen edamame (or peas if you prefer), be sure to remove them from the freezer first to allow them time to thaw. Measure out what you need in your scale and let them sit on your counter to thaw out.

Shelled Edamame

Shelled Edamame

Next cut your potatoes into about 1/2″ size (bite size) pieces. Fill a large pot about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way with cold, salted water and add your potato pieces. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. And don’t freak out when the water turns green, that’s normal. I googled it and it’s a science thing having to do with levels of acidity in the potatoes. (Pretty cool though!) They should be fork tender, about 15 minutes. Once done, drain and set aside to cool.

Purple potatoes are so pretty!

Purple potatoes are so pretty!

Boiling Purple Potatoes

Boiling the purple potatoes. See the green water? Science!

Purple potatoes cooling down before adding to the quinoa.

Purple potatoes cooling down before adding to the quinoa.

While your potatoes are boiling start your quinoa. Peel and smash your garlic (don’t chop) and measure our your chicken broth and quinoa. Combine all three into a large saucepan (that has a cover) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Then remove the garlic and discard and using a fork fluff your quinoa. Add in your cooked potatoes and steamed peas and toss well.

With the side of your knife, smash your garlic just enough to let the flavor out.

With the side of your knife, smash your garlic just enough to let the flavor out.

quinoa

Quinoa measured out and ready to cook!

While your quinoa is simmering steam your peas and then set aside. Chop up your sun-dried tomatoes (I used dry versus ones soaked in oil) into small pieces and set aside. (This was instead of the black olives.) In a liquid measuring cup, combine your olive oil and agave nectar to make 1/4 cup total. Pull out a blender or a mini food processor and combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil and agave mixture, lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Chop until chunky.

Olive Oil and Agave Nectar

Olive Oil and Agave Nectar

Chopped up sun dried tomatoes.

Chopped up sun-dried tomatoes.

Sun Dried Tomato and Agave Dressing

Sun Dried Tomato and Agave Dressing

Pour enough to coat over your quinoa mixture, serve and enjoy! I had mine as a full dinner, but this would make a great side dish as well.

Quinoa with Purple Potatoes and Edamame

Quinoa with Purple Potatoes and Edamame

Pasta alla Formiana

23 Jan Pasta alla Formiana

The first Saturday of December I decided to stay in for the night to start my annual Christmas baking. But before I could start baking I had to make dinner (duh!), and for that I once again went to the kitchen goddess Giada de Laurentiis and her “Weeknights With Giada” cookbook. Before leaving that afternoon for an audition I grabbed the cookbook to make a decision while out. After flipping through the pages I landed on her Pasta alla Formiana. It was a simple recipe (which in my eyes is always a good thing) and it made enough that I’d be able to enjoy leftovers (which I added cheese on top to!) and share with my roommate (and she loved it!). Because of how easy and good it was I ended up making it for my holiday party later in the month.

Pasta alla Formiana Ingredients L-R: Mezze Penne, Salt & Pepper, Oregano, Garlic, Beefsteak Tomatoes, Crushed Tomatoes, Chicken Broth, Olive Oil

Pasta alla Formiana Ingredients L-R: Mezze Penne, Salt & Pepper, Oregano, Garlic, Beefsteak Tomatoes, Crushed Tomatoes, Chicken Broth, Olive Oil

PASTA ALL FORMIANA (serves 4 to 6)

  • 28 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes (1 Can)
  • 1/2 Cup Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 2 Cups (8 oz) mezze penne (or other small pasta)
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 2 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 3 Very Ripe, Extra Large Beefsteak Tomatoes (Giada calls for 5, but I found 3 worked just fine with my 8×8 dish. If using a bigger dish add another tomato.)
  • Vegetable Oil Cooking Spray
  • Shredded mozzarella or other favorite cheese for topping (optional)

Place your oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat it to 450 degrees. Coarsely chop your garlic then pull out your trusty food processor (or blender if you don’t have a food processor) and blend together the can of crushed tomatoes, chicken broth and garlic. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat (less than 10 minutes).

Chopped Garlic

Chopped Garlic

Boiling the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth

Boiling the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth

While you wait for the tomato mixture to boil, slice your tomatoes into about 1/4 inch thick slices. Spray your 8×8 baking dish with your cooking spray and then line the entire dish (the bottom and the sides) with your tomato slices. I ended up cutting a couple of slices in half for the odd spots. You should have about 9 slices left.

Sliced Beefsteak Tomatoes

Sliced Beefsteak Tomatoes

My 8x8 baking dish lined with tomato slices

My 8×8 baking dish lined with tomato slices

My 8x8 baking dish lined with tomato slices

A closer look at the lined baking dish.

Once the tomato mixture is boiling stir in the (uncooked) pasta, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and pour into the tomato lined dish and be sure it fills the dish evenly. With the remaining slices cover the top of the pasta mixture, overlapping the tomato slices so that it’s completely covered. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes.

Pasta alla Formiana

You can see the steam rising from the crushed tomato with uncooked pasta mixture after pouring into the baking dish.

Pasta alla Formiana

I’ve covered the dish with more tomatoes and now it’s ready for the oven!

The tomatoes should be slightly crispy, and yes, the pasta will be cooked. Let cool for about 5 minutes, serve and enjoy! Top with cheese of your choice if you wish.

Pasta alla Formiana

Fresh from the oven, my Pasta alla Formiana smells delicious!

Pasta alla Formiana

Dinner is served! Pasta alla Formiana

Eggs Florentine

9 Jan Eggs Florentine, poached egg

To conclude my weekend of cooking last November (I also made a yummy salad for lunch and Chicken Tarragon for dinner that weekend), I woke up Sunday morning and made a semi-fancy breakfast of Eggs Florentine. This is another recipe from my favorite kitchen goddess, Giada de Laurentiis and her book “Weeknights With Giada”. However, her recipe is under Breakfast for Dinner. While I do occasionally enjoy my french toast at 7pm, I mostly like it for breakfast or brunch.

I love Eggs Florentine (and various versions) when I go out for breakfasts because a) it’s delicious and b) it seems too fancy to make at home. Well I finally bit the bullet and made it myself. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, especially since I had never poached an egg before. Giada topped hers with baked prosciutto, alas, I did not have any sitting around. I also used grated mozzarella instead of grated romano. And finally I had no onions hanging around my kitchen (you can hit me later dad), but I’m still including that part of the recipe. It turned out to be pretty delicious, although a lot of work for the morning, lol. I think this is a morning person’s dish.

*Side note: I tried doing it again, however my water wasn’t hot enough when I put the egg in and when I tried to remove it, it had stuck to the bottom and I ended up breaking the yolk. You can see a picture below the nice one at the end.*

Eggs Florentine Ingredients L-R: Olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, egg, english muffin, grated mozzarella, nutmeg, spinach, lemon juice

Eggs Florentine Ingredients L-R: Olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, egg, english muffin, grated mozzarella, nutmeg, spinach, lemon juice

EGGS FLORENTINE (serves 1)

  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 of Small Onion (can do without)
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Cup Baby Spinach
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp Heavy Cream (I used milk)
  • 2 Tbsp Grated Mozzarella Cheese (or Romano)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 English Muffin (or just a half if you wish)

First prep your onion and chop finely and set aside. Then mince your garlic clove and set aside. I highly recommend doing mise en place for the rest of your ingredients so they’re ready to throw in the pan as this is a fast-moving recipe.

Fill a small pot with about 3 inches of water. Add in 1 teaspoon of salt and the lemon juice. Over medium heat bring the water to a simmer. While waiting for the water to simmer, crack your egg into a small bowl, taking great care not to break the yolk. The best way to crack an egg is on a flat surface to get an even crack. Once the water is simmering (and you must be patient for it to simmer), carefully slide the egg into the water. As long as it doesn’t sink down to the bottom your water is hot enough. Using a wooden spoon, carefully stir the water around the egg, so as not to disturb the egg.

Poaching an egg

This is right after the egg was slid into the simmering water.

Poaching an egg

You can see the egg just below the surface. The white stuff floating is the cooked egg white that has broken off.

Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes in this manner, stirring only occasionally, until the white has set and the yolk is still soft. On a small plate place a paper towel doubled or tripled folded. Using a slotted spoon remove the egg and place on the paper towel to drain and cover to keep warm.

poached egg

The egg is ready to come out of the water.

In a medium skillet, heat your olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in your chopped onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently, then add in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant. Add in your spinach and a pinch of nutmeg and cook until the spinach has wilted. Add the heavy cream and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, until it has thickened. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese, salt and pepper. Then cover to keep warm.

Eggs Florentine, spinach and cream

Making the spinach mixture (sans the onions).

*Side Note: Giada has you make the spinach mixture first, however, I found that by the time my egg was done, my spinach mixture had become cool and not as liquidy. (Yes, I made up that last word.)

Eggs Florentine, poached egg

Topping the english muffin with the spinach mixture and then the poached egg.

Toast your English muffin and lightly butter each side and lay out on your plate. Spoon your spinach mixture onto one side of the muffin and set the poached egg on top. If you care, top the egg with crispy prosciutto or bacon. Enjoy with a lovely cup of coffee (I prefer Peet’s) or a glass of orange juice and savor the morning.

Eggs Florentine, poached egg

A beautiful poached egg ready for eating.

Broken poached egg

My second attempt at poaching an egg didn’t turn out quite as well.

Chicken With Tarragon White Wine Sauce

10 Dec

There are many times that I open my “Weeknights With Giada” and look for something that I already have the ingredients for. And occasionally I look through the book first and then go buy the ingredients. This time it was one of the latter. It was a Saturday and I had errands to run during the day so I grabbed the cookbook before I left and decided to choose once I got to the store. After careful consideration I landed on her Chicken with Tarragon White Wine Sauce. It sounded delicious and I easily found all the ingredients at Ralph’s Grocery Store. Her recipe calls for both chicken breasts and chicken thighs, however I just made the thighs since I was just cooking for myself. And of course I halved the recipe since hers are for a family of four and I’m a family of one who enjoys leftovers. Feel free to pick any starch as your side dish. I went with brown rice. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Chicken Tarragon With White Wine Sauce Ingredients L-R: olive oil, butter, flour, chicken thighs, tarragon, onion, garlic, chicken broth, dijon mustard, white wine, salt and pepper

Chicken Tarragon With White Wine Sauce Ingredients L-R: olive oil, butter, flour, chicken thighs, tarragon, onion, garlic, chicken broth, dijon mustard, white wine, salt and pepper

CHICKEN WITH TARRAGON AND WHITE WINE (serves 2)

  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable or Olive Oil
  • 4 Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs (small ones, serve 2 for each person)
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Cup plus 2 Tbsp Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 Cup plus 1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Tarragon
  • 1/4 Cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Prep your vegetables first. Chop your onion and garlic and set aside. Chop the tarragon leaves and set aside and have the white wine ready. I chose to make brown rice to serve with the chicken so I set up my rice cooker before I started the rest of the meal. If you want to make pasta, make it later, when the chicken has about 15 minutes left to simmer.

chopped onion

Onion all chopped

chopped garlic

Chopped Garlic

Fresh chopped tarragon

Fresh chopped tarragon

On a plate lay out the chicken pieces and season with flour, salt and pepper on both sides. In a large saucepan (use one with a cover, or a large dutch oven), heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once hot add the seasoned chicken and turn occasionally until the pieces are browned on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Remove the chicken to the plate and set aside until later.

Season both sides of the chicken thighs with flour, salt and pepper.

Season both sides of the chicken thighs with flour, salt and pepper.

Browning chicken

Brown both sides of the chicken

In the same pan add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Stir frequently until softened and then add in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds then increase the heat to high and add in the wine to deglaze the pan. To deglaze a pan, use a wooden spoon to scrape up the food that has cooked to the pan.

Sauteing onions and garlic

Sauteing onions and garlic

Onions, garlic and chicken broth simmering

Onions, garlic and chicken broth simmering

Continue until the wine has reduced and the pan has been scraped up. Return the chicken to the pan  and add in the chicken broth and the 1/4 cup chopped tarragon. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to the plate and cover with foil or another plate to keep warm.

Chicken Tarragon with White Wine Sauce

Simmering the chicken in the beginnings of the white wine sauce.

While the chicken is simmering take out a small bowl and whisk together the remaining two tablespoons chicken broth  and one tablespoon of flour  until smooth. After removing the chicken, whisk this mixture into the simmering cooking juices. Next whisk in the mustard and bring the mixture to a boil and cook for another five minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Flour and Chicken Broth

The flour and chicken broth ready to be added to the white wine sauce.

white wine sauce

The tarragon white wine sauce is all ready

Place your starch on the plate or bowl first, then two pieces of chicken. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and garnish with some of the remaining chopped tarragon. Serve and enjoy!

Chicken Tarragon with White Wine Sauce over brown rice.

Chicken Tarragon with White Wine Sauce over brown rice.

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