Saturday, October 20, 2012

Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copycat)

One of my favorite soups and fall dishes is this sausage, kale, and potato soup which mimics Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana.  I make this soup a couple times a year, during fall and winter.  And all summer I wait for that first cold weekend that I can make a big pot of this soup with some garlic breadsticks for dipping!  ENJOY!!

1 lb Ground Sweet Italian Sausage
1½ tsp Crushed Red Peppers
1 Large Sweet Onion, Diced
1/4 c. Chopped Bacon
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
5 c. Water
5 c. Chicken Broth
1 c. Heavy Cream
1 lb Sliced Potatoes
¼ Bunch Kale, Chopped

Sauté sausage and crushed red pepper in pot. Drain excess fat, set aside.  In the same pot, sauté bacon, onions and garlic until the onions are soft.

Add the water and broth; cook until boiling.  Add potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.

Add heavy cream and cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in the sausage.

Add kale just before serving.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Foil Baked Masala Fish

    A couple of years ago, I had an amazing fish dish at a local Asian fusion restaurant.  Thai Red Snapper.  The fish was covered in a spicy Thai paste and wrapped in banana leaves, served with amazing brown rice, and steamed vegetables.  Healthy, but much more importantly, so YUMMY!  Since then I have been wanting to make an Indian version of the same dish.  First problem…I don't think I can get big banana leaves near me.  No problem; I have foil.  Second problem…snapper is hard to find too!  Problem solved; tilapia is a good substitute.  And now for the hard part…getting the spices right.  It took quite a few tries, but I finally got it right!  When I was visiting my parents over the summer, I decided to do another fish experiment.  And with lots of hesitation and a bit of faith, I decided to just start throwing together a bunch of spices!  Thankfully I had the foresight to measure and right it down as I went!  Amazingly enough, it was exactly what I wanted!

    This dish is not only light, healthy and very flavorful; it is SUPER FAST and EASY!  I usually use tilapia, but you could go with any white fish you enjoy.  I hear snapper is a good option.  :)  I served it on a bed of brown rice and one of my favorite vegetable dishes, carrots and scallions.  I will share that recipe with you soon. I promise!  But for now, enjoy the fish!

    1/4 tsp. Turmeric
    1/4 tsp. Red Chile Powder
    2 tsp. Coriander Powder
    1 Tb Madras Curry Powder
    1/4 tsp. Salt
    2 tsp. Cumin Powder
    1-2 tsp. Jalapeno Paste (optional)
    4-5 cloves Garlic, minced
    1 Tb Ginger Paste
    3-4 Tb Olive Oil
    3-4 Tilapia Filets
    8-10 sprigs Cilantro

    Preheat oven to 375 F.

    Mix all spices and herbs together with oil to make a paste.

    Place individual filets on large pieces of foil (the foil needs to be large enough to fold over and wrap into a pouch for the fish).  Generously coat both sides of each filet with the masala paste.  Top with a couple sprigs of cilantro.  Wrap into a pouch with foil.

    Place the pouches in a large baking dish/sheet to help catch any messy spills and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.  Serve on rice with your favorite veggies!