A Celebratory Dinner:  NEW ORLEANS ORANGE ROUGHY ROLLED IN CREOLE SEASONING & BREADCRUMBS WITH TOASTED PECAN BITS – FRESH PARSLEY – LEMON SLICES IN A SAUCE OF CLAM JUICE – WORCESTERSHIRE – LEMON JUICE – OLIVE OIL ATOP JASMINE RICE

For 4:

–orange roughy (thawed from frozen, 4 fillets of the size of 1 deck of cards each)

–Creole seasoning (boxed, 1 tablespoon for all 4 fillets)

–breadcrumbs (plain, boxed, one-half cup)

–toasted pecan bits (one-third cup; toast pecans for 1 minute on high, and then stir and toast 1 minute more)

–parsley (fresh, 1 handful, chopped)

–lemon (1, fresh, sliced)

–clam juice (one-half cup, bottled)

–Worcestershire sauce (3 tablespoons, bottled)

–lemon juice (2 squirts, bottled)

–olive oil

–pepper (no salt, because the Creole seasoning has salt)

1 – Place the clam juice, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice, with a few drops of olive oil, in the large baking dish with cover.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Season the orange roughy with the Creole spice.  Place an orange roughy fillet in a plastic bag with a few drops of olive oil.  Add breadcrumbs and shake.  Repeat with each fillet.  Place the fillets in the sauce.  Top with pecan bits, parsley, and sliced lemon.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 7 minutes.  Place atop jasmine rice (follow microwave recipe for 1 cup on the package).

4 – Serve the orange roughy hot, atop the jasmine rice.

–recipe adapted from a trout recipe in the New Orleans – based Commander’s Palace cookbook.

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SALMON TOPPED WITH GREEN ONIONS & IN LEMON & CLAM JUICE SAUCE WITH HOMEMADE & CHILLED COCKTAIL DIPPING SAUCE OF CATSUP – HORSERADISH – SRIRIACA – LEMON JUICE – WORCESTERSHIRE

For 4:

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–catsup (1 cup, bottled)

–horseradish sauce (4 tablespoons, bottled)

–sriracha sauce (chili sauce, bottled, 2 tablespoon)

–lemon juice (2 squirt, bottled)

–Worcestershire sauce (2 tablespoon, bottled)

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped)

–clam juice (one-quarter cup, bottled)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place salmon in a covered baking dish with the clam juice.  Drench the salmon in lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Top with chopped green onions.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 7 and one-half minutes.

2 – In a small mixing bowl, first place the horseradish sauce.  Add a bit of catsup, and stir well.  Continue adding the catsup, stirring all the while.   Then add lemon juice, sriracha sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.  Stir well.  Refrigerator until time for dinner.

3 – Serve the salmon hot, with the dipping sauce on the side.

–cocktail sauce measurements original, with ingredients inspired by the food republic web site.

BAKED CHICKEN WITH BABY BELLA MUSHROOMS – CHOPPED TURKEY – BAY LEAVES – MINCED GARLIC IN BROTH SEASONED WITH MARINARA & WHITE WINE

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–baby bella mushrooms (5 or 6, chopped)

–turkey (sliced luncheon meat; 2 slices, chopped)

–bay leaves (dried, 2)

–minced garlic (in a jar, 1 tablespoon)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium, one-eighth cup)

–marinara sauce (spaghetti sauce, 1 tablespoon)

–white wine (2 tablespoons)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the chicken broth, marinara sauce, and white wine in a covered baking dish.  Add the minced garlic.  Stir well.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes.

2 – Place the chicken in the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place bay leaves in the sauce around the chicken.  Place mushrooms and turkey atop the chicken.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave the chicken for 8 and one-half minutes on high.

4 – Serve the chicken hot, with sauce.

–chicken adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Italian Family Cooking.

CRUNCHY COD AND SHRIMP TOPPED WITH HERB CORNBREAD STUFFING – PARMESAN – OLIVE OIL

For 4:

–cod (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–shrimp (thawed from frozen, about 15, small)

–herb cornbread stuffing (I used Pepperidge Farm; 1 cup)

–Parmesan cheese (shredded, one-half cup)

–olive oil

–salt and pepper

1 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish (no water).  Season with salt and pepper.  Place the shrimp in a separate, small covered baking dish.  Season with salt and pepper.

2 – In a mixing bowl, place the herb cornbread stuffing, the Parmesan, and olive oil to taste.  Stir well.  Then place the stuffing/Parmesan/olive oil atop the cod and the shrimp.

3 – Microwave the cod for 7 minutes on high.  Microwave the shrimp for 2 minutes on high.

4 – Serve the cod and shrimp hot, the shrimp piled atop the cod.

–recipe original; inspired by a recipe for zucchini at the Olive Garden restaurant.

MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN WITH HERBS & FRESH CHOPPED TOMATO – RED BELL PEPPER – MINCED GARLIC IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–parsley (1 handful, fresh, chopped)

–oregano (2 clipped stems, if fresh; one-half teaspoon, if dried)

–basil (6 leaves, clipped, if fresh; one-half teaspoon, if dried)

–rosemary (1 clipped stem, if fresh; one-half teaspoon, if dried)

–mint (2 clipped stems, if fresh; one-fourth teaspoon, if dried)

–cayenne pepper (bottled, just a light sprinkling, to taste)

–tomato (fresh, medium, chopped finely)

–red bell pepper (one-fourth pepper, chopped finely)

–minced garlic (in a jar, 1 tablespoon)

–white wine (one-eighth cup)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish.  Pour the white wine over the top.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drop bits of minced garlic on top.  Sprinkle on tomato and red bell pepper.  Season with parsley, oregano, basil, rosemary, mint, and cayenne pepper.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

2 – Microwave the chicken for 8 and one-half minutes on high.

3 – Serve the chicken hot, atop quinoa, couscous, pasta, or rice (recipes, see the search box on this blog).

–chicken adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Italian Family Cooking.

SALMON DRENCHED IN BALSAMIC – SPREAD WITH PEANUT BUTTER – TOPPED WITH  SESAME SEEDS – GINGER – DRY ROASTED PEANUTS

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–balsamic vinegar (4 tablespoons, bottled)

–peanut butter (2 tablespoons)

–sesame seeds (one-third small can)

–ginger (one-half teaspoon, bottled, optional)

–peanuts (a dozen, dry roasted, bottled)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish.  Drench in balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.  With 2 spoons, spread peanut butter over the top; be generous.  Sprinkle with ginger (optional) and sesame seeds.  Place peanuts on top.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

2 – Microwave the salmon on high for 7 and one-half minutes.

3 – Serve the salmon hot.

–recipe original.

LEMON – BASIL PARSLEYED COD TOPPED WITH LEMON SLICES AND IN A LEMON – WHITE WINE SAUCE SEASONED WITH FAUX BUTTER & OLIVE OIL

–cod (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–basil (fresh if possible, 2 tablespoons; or 1 teaspoon, if dried)

–lemon (sliced, fresh, medium)

–white wine (one-quarter cup)

–lemon juice (3 squirts, bottled)

–Promise margarine (heart-healthy, 1 tablespoon)

–olive oil

–salt and pepper

–parsley (1 handful, fresh, chopped; or 1 teaspoons, dried)

1 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish.  Drench in lemon juice, and pour the white wine on top.  Season with salt, pepper, basil, and parsley.  With a very sharp knife, slice a lemon and place the slices atop the cod.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil and the margarine.

2 – Microwave on high for 8 minutes.

3 – Serve the cod hot.

–recipe original.

CHICKEN WITH ROSEMARY – OREGANO – BAY LEAVES – SHREDDED CARROTS – GREEN ONIONS IN RED WINE SEASONED WITH MARINARA

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips)

–rosemary, oregano (fresh if possible, 2 tablespoons each fresh; 1 teaspoon each if dried)

–bay leaves (dried, 2)

–shredded carrots (1 handful)

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped)

–red wine (one-quarter cup)

–marinara sauce (spaghetti sauce, 1 tablespoon)

–salt and pepper

–minced garlic (in a jar, optional, 1 tablespoon)

–olive oil

1 – Place the red wine in a covered baking dish.  Stir in the marinara sauce until blended.  Place the chicken in the sauce.  Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, oregano, and garlic (optional).  Sprinkle shredded carrots and green onions on top.  Place bay leaves around the chicken, submerged in the sauce.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

2 – Microwave on high for 9 minutes.

3 – Serve the chicken hot, with the sauce, atop quinoa, couscous, pasta, or rice (recipes, see the search box on this blog).

–chicken adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Italian Family Dining.

SALMON SMOTHERED IN HONEY MUSTARD DRESSING WITH WHITE WINE & TOPPED WITH GREEN ONIONS & PARSLEY / EGGPLANT DIP WITH FINELY DICED FRESH TOMATO & BASIL – PARMESAN – GREEN ONION – PARSLEY – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL – RED WINE & SERVED ATOP WHEAT CRACKERS

Note:  Serve the eggplant dip as an appetizer.  Make ahead and chill.

For 4:

Eggplant dip–

–eggplant (small, about 6 inches long)

–tomato (small, chopped very fine)

–basil (chopped fine, 2 tablespoons fresh; or 1 teaspoon dried)

–Parmesan cheese (shredded, 2 heaping tablespoons)

–green onion (1 stalk, finely chopped)

–parsley (1 handful, finely chopped, fresh)

–extra virgin olive oil (1 tablespoon)

–red wine (3 tablespoons)

–wheat crackers (or your choice)

Salmon–

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–honey mustard salad dressing (use a gourmet variety if possible; one-eighth cup)

–white wine (one-eighth cup)

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped)

–parsley (fresh if possible, 1 handful, chopped)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – For the eggplant dip, place all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and stir well.  Chill well before serving with wheat crackers.

2 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish.  Pour the white wine over and around the salmon.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour the honey mustard salad dressing on the salmon.  Sprinkle green onions and parsley on top.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 7 and one-half minutes.  (The dressing and wine will co-mingle for a good-tasting sauce.)

4 – Serve the salmon hot, atop couscous, pasta, rice, or quinoa (see the search box on this blog for cooking directions).

–recipes original.

WHOLE CREOLE CATFISH ENCRUSTED WITH MINCED PECANS

For 2:

–catfish (bone-in, medium, 1)

–Creole seasoning (bottled)

–minced pecans (one-quarter cup)

–egg (1)

–pepper (note: no salt; Creole seasoning has this)

–olive oil

1 – Place 1 egg in a small mixing bowl.  Stir to break the yolk.  Submerge the catfish.  Place the catfish on a large plate.  Season both sides with pepper and Creole seasoning.  Using a food processor, mince one-quarter cup of broken pecans.  Press the minced pecans against the catfish.  Then turn over, and also press minced pecans against the catfish.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of minced pecans.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

2 – Microwave the catfish for 3 minutes.  Then turn over, press the 2 tablespoons of minced pecans against the top, and microwave for 3 minutes longer.

3 – When the catfish is done, use a sharp knife to cut into two pieces. 

4 – Serve the catfish hot.

–catfish inspired by the Essence web site.

A Simple Dinner:  COD CILANTRO WITH LEMON ZEST IN CLAM – LEMON SAUCE

–cod (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–cilantro (fresh, 1 handful, chopped)

–lemon zest (lemon peel, bottled, 1 teaspoon)

–clam juice (one-eighth cup, bottled)

–lemon juice (bottled)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish with the clam juice.  Drench in lemon juice.  Season with salt, pepper, and lemon zest.  Sprinkle cilantro on top.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

2 – Serve the cod hot.

–recipe original.

A Company Dinner for 2:  SALMON ATOP EGGPLANT & MARINARA SAUCE AND TOPPED WITH PUREED WALNUT – GARLIC SAUCE

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–eggplant (4 slices one-half inch thick)

–marinara sauce (6 tablespoons)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

walnut sauce:

–15 whole walnuts, toasted

–garlic (minced, 1 tablespoon)

–olive oil (3 tablespoons)

1 – Spread the marinara sauce on the bottom of a covered baking dish.  Place the eggplant slices on top.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Set aside.

2 – Place the walnuts in a food processor.  Add garlic and olive oil.  Puree until smooth.

3 – Place the salmon atop the eggplant and marinara sauce.  Season the salmon with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Spread the walnut sauce on top.  Microwave on high for 8 minutes.

4 – Serve the salmon hot, atop the eggplant and marinara sauce.

–eggplant/marinara sauce inspired by City Grocery restaurant, Oxford, Mississippi (John Currence, chef) with the current redfish entrée.

COD TOPPED WITH BANANA PEPPER & GREEN ONIONS IN HOMEMADE BARBECUE SAUCE OF FRESH TOMATO – BROWN SUGAR – LEMON – WORCESTERSHIRE – RED BELL PEPPER – RED WINE – MARINARA SAUCE

For 4:

–cod (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–banana pepper (fresh, chopped)

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped)

–salt and pepper

barbecue sauce:

–tomato (fresh, medium, chopped)

–brown sugar (2 tablespoons)

–lemon juice (1 tablespoon)

–Worcestershire sauce (1 tablespoon)

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

–red wine (one-fourth cup)

–marinara sauce (bottled, one-quarter bottle)

–olive oil

1 – Place the chopped tomato, brown sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, red bell pepper, red wine, marinara sauce, and a few drops of olive oil in a covered baking dish.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

2 – Nestle the cod amid the barbecue sauce.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Top with banana pepper and green onions.

3 – Microwave the cod and sauce for 9 minutes on high.

4 – Serve the cod hot, atop jasmine rice, pasta, quinoa, or couscous (recipes, see the search box on this blog).

–cod sauce adapted from the food.com web site.

A Simple Dinner:  CHICKEN SEASONED WITH GINGER & TOPPED WITH PARSLEY & GREEN ONIONS IN A TERIYAKI MARINADE

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–ginger (bottled, 1 teaspoon dry)

–parsley (fresh if possible, 1 handful, chopped)

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped)

–teriyaki marinade (bottled, one-quarter cup)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with the teriyaki marinade.  Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and ginger.  Top with parsley and green onions.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

2 – Microwave the chicken for 8 minutes on high.

3 – Serve the chicken hot.

–recipe original.

BONE-IN HERB CATFISH WITH CHOPPED FRESH TOMATO & CAPERS IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

Note: I used Mrs. Dash for seasoning, for ease of preparation, but a good combination of fresh herbs would be basil, oregano, and dried bay leaves.

For 2:

–catfish (whole, dressed, medium size)

–Mrs. Dash (bottled seasoning)

–salt and pepper

–tomato (fresh, 2 slices, chopped)

–capers (bottled, 1 to 2 tablespoons, to taste)

–olive oil

–white wine

1 – Place the catfish in a long, covered, baking dish.  Season the top with salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, and olive oil.  Fill dish with one-half inch of white wine.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Turn over the catfish, carefully.  Season with salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, and a few drops of olive oil.  Place chopped tomato and capers on top.  Microwave on high for another 3 minutes.

3 – Using a very sharp knife, cut the catfish into two pieces.  Serve one piece for each dinner guest. Serve the catfish hot, with some tomato and capers on top, and white wine sauce to moisten.

–recipe original.

CHILLED TUNA STEAK SALAD WITH BASIL – FRESH TOMATO – GREEN ONIONS – FETA IN MAYONNAISE

For 4:

–tuna steak (1, medium size)

–basil (fresh if possible, 2 tablespoons fresh, 1 teaspoon dried)

–tomato (fresh, medium, chopped)

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped fine)

–feta cheese (broken apart, 3 heaping tablespoons)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the tuna steak in a covered baking dish with one-eighth cup of water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave for 3 minutes on high. When finished, remove cover to allow to cool.

2 – Place chopped tomato, sprinkled with basil, and chopped green onions and feta cheese in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.

3 – Flake the tuna with a fork/knife.  Add to the mixing bowl with the vegetables.

4 – Mix all with a light amount of mayonnaise (to taste).  Stir.  Place in refrigerator until time for dinner.

5 – Serve the tuna steak salad chilled.

–recipe original.

CHICKEN SPRINKLED WITH BREADCRUMBS & PARSLEY IN BROTH WITH A RAW CHILLED SAUCE OF PUREED BANANA PEPPERS – MINCED GARLIC – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–breadcrumbs (plain, boxed)

–parsley (fresh if possible, 2 chopped tablespoons fresh OR 1 teaspoon dried)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium, one-quarter cup)

–banana peppers (3 fresh, sliced)

–minced garlic (in a jar, 1 tablespoon)

–extra virgin olive oil (2 tablespoons)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Slice the banana peppers and place in a food processor.  Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Pulse until smooth.  Set aside.

2 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs and the chopped parsley.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 8 minutes.

3 – Serve the chicken hot, with the chilled pepper sauce on the side.

–sauce inspired by Edward Giobbi’s Eat Right, Eat Well—the Italian Way.