Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sweet Rolls

In my opinion, bread baking is the best smell ever. I don't use air fresheners, candles, etc. I bake bread.
I got this recipe online a long time ago. Maybe from, maybe Taste of Home, I don't remember. It has become a staple in my kitchen though.
The recipe makes about 16 rolls and they stay good for a few days. Usually, the day after I make them, I split them open and place a slice of provolone cheese and ham in the center and nuke it in the microwave. Perfect lunch.

You need:

1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)                                                    

1/3 cup butter, softened         

In a large bowl, or bowl of your electric mixer, combine the water and milk, then stir in the sugar until it dissolves, then stir in the yeast. Once yeast starts to foam, mix in the salt, butter and egg. Then, add the flour a half cup at a time, continuously stirring.
Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes in the bowl.
Punch the dough down and divide into 16 pieces. Form your rolls and let rise again, for about 45 minutes again.Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.

Baja Fish Tacos

First off, I apologize for the bad pictures lately. I broke my cool phone that had a nice camera on it so I'm using a temporary piece of crap phone for a while. I do have a big sweet Nikon that takes amazing pictures, but I never get it out. I'm so lazy. It's this heat I tell ya. I blame everything on it. My laziness. My lack of good pics. My falling meringues. Everything. Gotta love summer time!
Know what else is comes with summer? Fish tacos. Who eats Fish tacos in the winter? Oh, maybe Floridians do. 
Anyway...I love fish tacos, all kinds of fish tacos and I'm always trying new recipes. I got this one off of food network, but switched it up a little. The original recipe calls for Halibut, like most do. But seriously, at like $29 a pound, I ain't using Halibut! I used Tilapia. $5.99 a pound at my Smiths. I added a can of beer to the flour coating too because I prefer a crispy fish taco :)
What makes these tacos so good is the cabbage slaw.
Also, I used my favorite Tomatillo-Avocado salsa on top of these. I'll post that recipe too.

Vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 bag cabbage mix
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for serving
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Kosher salt
12 corn tortillas
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 can of beer, I used Coors Light
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 pounds skinless tilapia fillet, cut into 2-by-1/2-inch pieces
Heat about 3 inches vegetable oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, toss the cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, honey and mayonnaise in a bowl. Season the slaw with salt.
Warm the tortillas in a skillet over medium-low heat. Wrap in a towel to keep warm.
Mix the flour, beer, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste in a shallow bowl. Dredge the fish in the flour-beer mixture, then fry in batches until golden and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Season with salt.
Fill the tortillas with the fish, slaw and salsa. Serve with lime wedges.

Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

4 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 cup (loosely packed) coarsely chopped cilantro
1 small jalapeƱo stemmed and roughly chopped
2 ripe avocados, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin
1 small white onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Roughly chop the tomatillos and scoop them into a food processor with the onion, cilantro and jalepeno.  Measure in 1/4 cup water and process to a slushy, coarse puree.  Roughly chop the avocado, add it to the processor and pulse just until it is incorporated into the salsa. Taste and season with salt, usually about 3/4 teaspoon.

Shrimp Taco Salad

I wanted something "light" last night because after being out in the sun all day, the last thing I wanted to do was turn the oven on. This is pretty much the case all summer. We've been eating a lot of sandwiches lately!
I found this salad recipe in one of my many Taste of Home books. I loved it, but next time I think I will add some avocado to the mix. It was a really good dinner though, plenty filling with taco-seasoned shrimp, black beans, and crispy tortilla strips.

You need:
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
1 envelope taco seasoning, divided
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 small white onion, diced
1/2 of a red pepper, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. coriander, or 2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. sugar
3 corn tortillas (6 inches), cut into 3 in. strips
1 package (8 ounces) of ready to serve salad
1 medium tomato, diced
1 can (8 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups finely shredded Colby Jack cheese

Place shrimp in a large bowl; sprinkle with half of the taco seasoning. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup oil, the onion, vinegar, red pepper, garlic, coriander and sugar; set aside.
In a large skillet, stir-fry tortilla strips in remaining oil; drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with remaining taco seasoning. In the same skillet, saute shrimp for 8-10 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.
In a large bowl, combine the greens, tomato, beans, shrimp and tortilla strips. Just before serving, whisk dressing and pour over salad; sprinkle with cheese and toss to coat. 
Serves 4 (as a meal)