An Appetizer:  EGGPLANT DIP WITH BAKED EGGPLANT – FRESH CHOPPED ORGANIC ROMA TOMATO – DICED AVOCADO – MARINARA SAUCE – MINCED GARLIC – FINELY DICED RED ONION – SPECIALTY PARMESAN-BASIL OLIVE OIL

This is a repeat for my husband and me because we enjoyed this dip recipe so much the first time I made it. . .

For 2 dinners (freeze half):

–large eggplant (pierce skin all around thoroughly; microwave on plate for 6 minutes; then turn over to microwave for 5 minutes more; let cool)

–tomato (Roma, 1; chop)

–avocado (should be slightly soft; dice; 1)

–marinara sauce (2 tablespoons; I used garlic – basil pasta sauce)

–minced garlic (in a jar; 1 tablespoon)

–onion (large; red; 2 slices; dice finely)

–specialty Parmesan-basil olive oil (2 tablespoons)

–salt and pepper to taste

1 – Cut the stem off the eggplant, then halve lengthwise.  Scrap the pulp out onto a flat surface.  Cut with knife 2 ways.  Then spoon into a large bowl.

2 – Add chopped tomato, diced avocado, marinara sauce, minced garlic, chopped onion, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

3 – Stir well.  You want the avocado to fall apart.  Divide into 2 parts, and freeze one (retain for only a week in freezer).  Chill the other until ready to serve.

4 – Serve chilled, with crackers or bread.

–recipe by C. Mabry.

COD FILLET BASIL WITH DICED TOMATOES – FETA CHEESE – KALAMATA OLIVES SEASONED WITH SPECIALTY PARMESAN – BASIL OLIVE OIL

A simple dish, but makes a pretty picture and is tasty. . .

For 2:

–cod fillet (size of 2 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–basil (dried; 1 teaspoon)

–diced tomatoes (one-half can; do not drain)

–feta cheese (crumbled; one-quarter cup)

–Kalamata olives (to taste; about 8 to 10)

–Parmesan – basil olive oil to taste

–salt and pepper to taste

1 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, and basil.  Place the undrained tomatoes, feta cheese, and olive atop the cod.  Finish with a few drops of Parmesan – basil olive oil.

2 – Microwave on high for 6 minutes, 1 minute longer if cod fillet is especially thick.

3 – Serve the cod and sauce hot.

–recipe by C. Mabry

BREADED SPICY MEDITERRANEAN SHRIMP SEASONED WITH CORIANDER – CAYENNE – MINCED GARLIC – SUGAR – PAPRIKA ON A BED OF DICED TOMATOES – SLICED ROASTED RED BELL PEPPER – CHOPPED SWEET ONION IN CHICKEN BONE BROTH AND WHITE WINE ATOP ANGEL HAIR PASTA

Buy large shrimp, de-vein and shell, and be prepared for a magnificent shrimp feast!

For 2:

–shrimp (large; thawed from frozen, deveined, shelled, about 20 room temperature)

–plain breadcrumbs (one-half cup)

–coriander (1 teaspoon)

–cayenne pepper (one-quarter teaspoon; or to taste)

–minced garlic (1 tablespoon)

–sugar (1 teaspoon)

–paprika (1 teaspoon)

–diced tomatoes (one-half can, drained)

–sliced roasted red bell pepper (2 or 3 tablespoons, drained, from a jar)

–chopped sweet onion (one-quarter cup)

–chicken bone broth (one-quarter cup)

–white wine (one-quarter cup)

–salt and pepper to taste

–extra virgin olive oil to taste

–angel hair pasta (1 handful, half size)

1 – Place the prepared shrimp, rinsed, on a large plate covered with a paper towel.  Blot the shrimp dry, carefully and gently.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place the shrimp, a few at a time, in a plastic bag. Add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Spread over the shrimp.  Then add plain breadcrumbs, one-third cup.  Shake well.  Then set aside.

2 – Place angel hair pasta in the bottom of a large, covered baking dish.  Cover with tomatoes, peppers, onion, and pour in chicken bone broth and white wine.  Season with coriander, cayenne, paprika, minced garlic, and season also with extra virgin olive oil.  Gently stir, but leave the pasta on the bottom of the dish.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes on high; then microwave for 5 minutes on 50 percent power.

3 – Place the shrimp (shake off any extra breading) atop the vegetables.  Finish with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.

4 – Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

5 – Serve the shrimp dish buffet style, with a utensil that will lift the pasta with the veggies.

–recipe adapted from The Mediterranean Dish, on the web.

MEDITERRANEAN – STYLE CATFISH FILLETS SEASONED WITH BASIL – OREGANO – PARSLEY – MINCED GARLIC AND PLACED IN CHOPPED ROMA TOMATO – CHOPPED SWEET ONION – SLICED ROASTED RED BELL PEPPER – SHREDDED CARROTS – WHITE WINE

This delightful, popular recipe tweaked from the web is specifically intended for catfish, but any white fish would work. . .I was delighted with the flavor of the catfish submerged in this sauce. . .

For 2:

–2 catfish fillets (medium)

–basil, oregano (dried, 1 teaspoon each)

–parsley, minced garlic (1 tablespoon each)

–chopped Roma tomato (1)

–chopped sweet onion (one-quarter large onion)

–sliced roasted red bell pepper (2 tablespoons; from a jar)

–shredded carrots (one-small handful)

–white wine (one-quarter cup)

–salt and pepper to taste

–extra virgin olive oil to taste

1 – Place the tomato, onion, red bell pepper, carrots, basil, oregano, parsley, minced garlic, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive, and white wine in a large, covered baking dish. Stir carefully and gently. Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

2 – Place the catfish in the sauce, spooning some sauce on top. Season with salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Finish with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 6 minutes and 30 seconds.

4 – Serve the catfish and sauce hot, atop pasta (microwave pasta for 6 minutes on high in an uncovered baking dish; then on 50 percent power for 6 more minutes; the pasta will be al dente).

–recipe adapted to the microwave and tweaked – Carrie’s Catfish Larue from allrecipes.

A Celebratory Dinner for 2:  COD FILLET TOPPED BY CHOPPED PECANS AND FRUIT OF BLUEBERRIES – STRAWBERRIES – PEAR SOAKED IN BRANDY WITH PARSLEY IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

A gourmet dinner, with brandy the secret ingredient. . .

For 2:

–cod fillet (size of 2 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–chopped pecans (one-quarter cup)

–blueberries (one-third cup)

–strawberries (2, medium, sliced)

–pear (fresh, one-third cup, sliced, or canned, one-third cup, drained)

–brandy (one-quarter cup; purchase a small, inexpensive bottle for cooking)

–parsley (1 handful, chopped)

–white wine (one-third cup)

–salt and pepper to taste

–extra virgin olive oil to taste

1 – Place all fruit and the chopped parsley in the brandy for at least 10 minutes.

2 – Place the cod in a large, covered baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.

3 – Pour the fruit and parsley atop the cod, with the brandy. Pour in the white wine. Season with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle pecans on top.

4 – Microwave on high for 7 minutes.

5 – Serve the cod and fruit sauce hot, atop rice if desired.

–recipe by C. Mabry

CRUNCHY CATFISH ALMANDINE ROLLED IN ALMOND CRUMBS AND SEASONED WITH HERBS OF PAPRIKA – THYME – GARLIC POWDER – ONION POWDER – CAYENNE – SALT – BLACK PEPPER – OREGANO

While he was taking bites of his catfish, my husband asked for an encore on another evening, “Do this again!”. . .

For 2:

–2 catfish fillets (size of 2 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–almond crumbs (whirled in a food processor, one-third cup)

–paprika, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, oregano (one-half teaspoon each)

–cayenne pepper (one-quarter teaspoon)

–extra virgin olive oil to taste

1 – Place the catfish in a plastic bag. Add extra virgin olive oil. Cover the fish with the oil.

2 – Place the almond crumbs on a large, flat plate. Lift the catfish from the plastic bag one at a time, with a fork. Cover both sides with the almond crumbs. Season with all the herbs listed above.

3 – Place the catfish in a baking dish. Do NOT add any liquid or water. Microwave on high for 4 minutes and 20 seconds.

4 – Serve the catfish hot.

–recipe inspired by the “Healthy Recipes” web site, which enjoys a 5 out of 5 stars rating on almost 175 reviews for its version of this recipe.

PARSLEYED SALMON FILLET WITH DICED ROMA TOMATO – CHOPPED GREEN ONIONS – BASIL IN LEMON – WHITE WINE SAUCE

Tomato is not usually considered for salmon, but it really does work, especially with basil. . .

For 2:

–salmon fillet (size of 2 decks of cards, one-half pound; room temperature)

–diced Roma tomato (1; fresh)

–chopped green onions (2; fresh; chopped fine)

–basil (dried; 1 tablespoon; be generous)

–lemon juice (3 squirts)

–white wine (one-third cup)

–salt and pepper to taste

–extra virgin olive oil to taste

1 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish.  Drench in lemon juice.  Pour in the white wine.  Season the salmon with salt and pepper to taste.

2 – Place diced Roma tomato, chopped green onions, and basil atop the salmon.  Add a few sprigs of fresh parsley.  Finish with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 4 minutes (the veggies on top create the need for a longer time than usual).  Salmon is best if slightly undercooked, flaky but not red.

4 – Serve the salmon hot.

–recipe by C. Mabry.

STEAMED & PARSLEYED SALMON FILLET IN SAUCE WITH TUSCAN SEASONING – BASIL PESTO – DICED TOMATO – FINELY CHOPPED GREEN ONION – AGED BALSAMIC VINEGAR – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Stir all sauce ingredients together in a small mixing bowl and then pour over the salmon. . .so easy, and so, so tasty.

For 2:

–salmon fillet (size of 2 decks of cards, one-half pound; refrigerated)

–Tuscan seasoning (bottled, 1 tablespoon; or smaller amounts of oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary)

–basil pesto (2 heaping tablespoons)

–diced tomato (one-quarter cup; fresh or canned)

–finely chopped green onions (2)

–aged balsamic vinegar (2 tablespoons)

–extra virgin olive oil to taste

–salt and pepper to taste

–parsley (fresh; 1 handful, chopped)

1 – Place all ingredients except salmon and parsley in a small mixing bowl.  Stir vigorously.

2 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish.  Pour the sauce directly on top.  Finish with a sprinkle of parsley and a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 3 minutes and 20 seconds.

4 – Serve salmon and sauce hot.

–recipe by C. Mabry

HERBED SALMON FILLET TOPPED BY ROSEMARY – PARSLEY – BASIL – MINCED GARLIC IN WHITE WINE WITH EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Choose the herbs that you especially like.  I left off dill, though it too is always good with salmon. . .

For 2:

–salmon fillet (size of 2 decks of cards, one-half pound, room temperature)

–rosemary, parsley, basil (dried, 1 teaspoon each)

–minced garlic (1 tablespoon)

–white wine (one-third cup)

–extra virgin olive oil to taste

–salt and pepper to taste

1 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish.

2 – Place the white wine, olive oil, rosemary, parsley, basil, and minced garlic, plus salt and pepper, in a small mixing bowl.  Stir vigorously. 

3 – Pour carefully the herbs, and especially the garlic, right on top of the salmon.

4 – Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

5 – Serve hot.

–recipe adapted from Alaska Salmon & Seafood Company web site.

Make – Ahead One – Dish Dinner:  PARSLEYED CATFISH FILLET ROLLED IN PANKO BREADCRUMBS AND COOKED ON A BED OF TOMATO CIRCLES – SLICED RED BELL PEPPER – SLICED RED ONION – BUTTON MUSHROOMS – MINCED GARLIC – CAYENNE – PARSLEY

Prepare the vegetables the night before and put breading on the catfish fillet.  Store separately in the refrigerator.  The whole gourmet dinner can then be prepared in 15 minutes in the microwave, with enough vegetables to need no more. . .

For 2:

–catfish fillets (2)

–parsley (1 tablespoon, dried, divided)

–Panko breadcrumbs (plain, one-third cup)

–tomato circles (2 Roma tomatoes, sliced)

–red bell pepper (one-half pepper, sliced)

–red onion (medium, 2 thick slices, sliced)

–button mushrooms (1 can, drained)

–minced garlic (1 tablespoon)

–cayenne pepper (to taste, one-quarter teaspoon is plenty)

–salt and pepper to taste

–extra virgin olive oil

1 – Place the tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, button mushrooms in layers in a large, covered baking dish.  Sprinkle minced garlic on top of the veggies. Sprinkle lightly with cayenne, salt, pepper, and parsley.  Finish with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.  Place in the refrigerator overnight.

2 – Place the catfish fillets in a plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, and a generous amount of olive oil.  Pour in the Panko breadcrumbs.  Shake well.  Store in the sealed plastic overnight in the refrigerator.

3 – Fifteen minutes before dinnertime, microwave the vegetables for 8 minutes.  Then place the catfish fillets on top, sprinkle with parsley and olive oil, and microwave the whole for another 6 minutes.

4 – Serve hot, buffet style if desired.

–recipe inspired by Brennan’s New Orleans Cookbook, c1990.  Other white fish can be substituted for the catfish.