A Celebratory Dinner for 2:  NEW ORLEANS STYLE ORANGE ROUGHY PECAN CREOLE WITH WORCESTERSHIRE – LEMON – PARSLEY – CLAM JUICE

For 2:

–orange roughy (4 thin fillets, one-half pound)

–pecan bits (one-half cup, divided)

–creole seasoning (1 tablespoon, bottled)

–Worcestershire sauce (2 tablespoons, divided)

–lemon juice (4 squirts, divided)

–parsley (fresh, 1 handful; or dried, 1 tablespoon)

–clam juice (bottled, one-third cup)

–bread crumbs (small amount just to dust the fish)

–pepper (no salt)

–olive oil

1 – Place one-half of the pecan bits in a food processor.  Add 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire, 2 squirts of lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Pulse until smooth, a pecan butter.  Set aside.

2 – Place the orange roughy in a single layer in a large, shallow baking dish.  Drench in lemon juice.  Add clam juice and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.  Season with creole spice.   Sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs.  Then carefully spread the pecan butter on top of the fish.  Sprinkle with parsley, and a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  When finished, test a thicker piece to be sure that fish is done.  If not, replace in microwave for 1 minute more.

4 – Serve the orange roughy hot.  This dish goes well with the nutty flavor of quinoa cooked in chicken broth (microwave two-thirds cup of quinoa and 1 and one-third cup of broth for 6 minutes on high, followed by 9 minutes on 50 percent power).

–orange roughy adapted from The Commander’s Palace New Orleans Cookbook.

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SPICY PECAN COD OREGANO WITH POTATOES – FRESH TOMATO – BABY BELLA MUSHROOMS – VIDALIA ONION – ITALIAN PARSLEY – CAYENNE IN WHITE WINE – BROTH SAUCE

For 4:

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

–pecan bits (3 tablespoons)

–oregano (dried, 1 tablespoon)

–potatoes (2, small, cut into bite-sized pieces)

–fresh tomato (medium, chopped)

–baby bella mushrooms (4 or 5, quartered)

–Vidalia onion (1, small, sliced)

–Italian parsley (fresh, 1 handful, chopped)

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

–white wine (one-eighth cup)

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

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the potatoes and Vidalia onion in a large, covered baking dish.  Add chicken broth and white wine.  Season with oregano, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Then add tomato and mushrooms.  Stir.  Place cod amid the vegetables.  Season with oregano, salt, pepper, cayenne, and olive oil.  Sprinkle parsley and pecans on top.

2 – Microwave for 8 minutes on high.  Cod is done when it begins to break apart.

3 – Serve the cod and vegetables hot.

–inspired by Edward Giobbi’s Pleasures of the Good Earth.

CAJUN BLACKENED SALMON WITH CHOPPED PECANS – MINCED GARLIC – LEMON IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

For 4:

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

–Cajun blackened seasoning mix (2 tablespoons)

–pecans (chopped, one-quarter cup)

–minced garlic (in a jar, 1 tablespoon)

–lemon juice (3 squirts, bottled)

–white wine (one-quarter cup)

–pepper (no salt)

–olive oil

1 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish with the white wine.  Drench in lemon juice.  Season with Cajun blackened seasoning mix, pepper, minced garlic (spread over the top), and olive oil.  Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top.

2 – Microwave on high for 7 minutes.

3 – Serve hot.

–salmon adapted from Great Alaska Seafood web site (Tim, chef).

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.

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.

COD WITH SAUCE OF CRAB MEAT – CHERRY PRESERVES – BALSAMIC VINEGAR & TOPPED WITH GREEN ONIONS & PECAN CHIPS

For 4:

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

–crab meat (one-half small can, drained)

–cherry preserves (half a jar)

–pecan chips (one-fourth cup)

–balsamic vinegar (one-eighth cup)

–green onions (3 stalks, chopped)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – In a small mixing bowl, place cherry preserves.  Add balsamic vinegar slowly, stirring well.  Add drained crab meat, again stirring.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

2 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Pour the sauce over the top.  Chop the green onions, and sprinkle on top.  Finish with the pecan chips.

3 – Microwave the cod for 6 minutes on high; then microwave for 6 minutes on 50 percent power.

4 – Serve the cod and sauce hot.

–cod and sauce inspired by food.com web site.

A Simple Dinner:  PARSLEYED PECAN COD WITH PARMESAN & FETA STEAMED IN WHITE WINE

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

–pecan chips (half a small package)

–Parmesan cheese

–feta cheese

–parsley (1 handful, chopped, fresh)

–white wine

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish with a very little white wine, just to steam.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, feta cheese, and pecan chips on top.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil and 1 handful of chopped parsley.  Microwave on high for 8 and one-half minutes.  When finished, test to be sure that the cod is done; cod is done when it begins to break apart.

2 – Serve the cod hot.

–recipe original.

A Simple Dinner:  OVEN FRIED GARLIC – HERB CHICKEN BREAST SLICED THIN / HONEY – BROCCOLI SALAD WITH PECANS – BLUEBERRIES – SLICED BANANA – RAISINS IN BALSAMIC & EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL DRESSING / SLOW COOKER BABY LIMA BEANS WITH FAUX BACON & FAUX BUTTER

Note:  If the slow cooker beans are prepared early, this easy dinner takes 15 minutes from start to dinner bell.

For 4:

–thin-sliced chicken breasts (2)

–garlic – herb breadcrumbs (boxed)

–broccoli (florets only, 1 head)

–pecans (chopped, one-half small package)

–blueberries (fresh, 1 handful)

–banana (1)

–raisins (1 handful)

–balsamic vinegar (bottled)

–extra virgin olive oil

–baby lima beans (frozen, 1 package)

–Bac’n pieces (soy bacon)

–Promise margarine (heart-healthy)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place 1 package of frozen baby lima beans in a slow cooker.  Add water to cover.  Season with salt, pepper, olive oil, 1 tablespoon of Promise margarine, and Bac’n pieces (to taste).  Cook for 2 hours (only) on high.  When finished, keep the setting on warm until time for dinner.

2 – Place the thin chicken breast in a plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Add garlic – herb breadcrumbs, a moderate amount, to the bag.  Shake well.  Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with 1 tablespoon of water (for steaming).  Microwave on high for 4 minutes. 

3 – Cut the florets off 1 head of broccoli, and place in a mixing bowl.  Add 1 handful of blueberries, 1 handful of raisins, and one-half small package of chopped pecans.  Season with salt, pepper, honey, to taste.  Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.  Stir well.  Then slice a banana and add to the bowl.  Fold the banana gently into the salad.

4 – Serve the broccoli salad as a first course.  Then serve the thin slices of chicken breast hot, with the baby lima beans as a side.

–recipes original.

GARLIC SALMON TOPPED WITH GOLDEN RAISINS – BALSAMIC VINEGAR – GREEN ONIONS / ROMAINE LETTUCE SALAD WITH BANANA – BLUEBERRIES – HONEY – PECANS – FETA IN RED WINE – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL DRESSING

–salmon (size of 3 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–golden raisins (one-fourth cup)

–balsamic vinegar

–green onions (chopped, 2 stalks)

–garlic powder

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–romaine lettuce (6 leaves, broken)

–banana (one-half)

–blueberries (one-third cup)

–pecans (chips, one-half small package)

–honey

–feta cheese (one-fourth small package)

–red wine

–extra virgin olive oil

1 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Season with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Chop 2 stalks of green onion and place atop the salmon.  Set aside.

2 – Break apart 6 leaves of romaine lettuce and add to a mixing bowl.  Add to the bowl one-half sliced banana, one-third cup of blueberries, and one-half small package of pecan chips.  Season with salt, pepper, and honey.  Add red wine and extra virgin olive oil to taste.  Stir gently.  Sprinkle one-fourth small package of feta cheese on top.

3 – Microwave the salmon for 5 minutes on high.

4 – Serve the salad as a first course.  Then serve the salmon hot.  I also served Brussel sprouts with onion and oregano, and field peas with snaps (recipes, see the search box on this blog).

–salmon adapted from bell’alimento web site (Paula Jones, chef); salad original.

SOUTHERN PECAN CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOM – ONION – PARSLEY DRESSING

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–pecan chips (half a small package)

–Dijon mustard

–Creole seasoning (or Cajun)

–corn flakes or corn chex (pulverized)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–cornbread stuffing (I used Pepperidge Farm herbed)

–mushrooms (2 baby bellas, chopped fine)

–onion (one-half, chopped fine)

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

1 – Place chicken in a plastic bag.  Add Dijon mustard and Creole seasoning, modest amount.  Season with pepper and olive oil.  Within the plastic bag, see that all parts of the chicken are covered with the sauce.  In a separate bag, place 1 cup of corn flakes or corn chex.  Using the back of an ice cream spoon, pulverize the flakes or chex by beating against the kitchen counter.  When finished, pour the crumbs into the bag with the chicken.  Shake well.  Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with a very tiny amount of water (for steaming).  Sprinkle with pecan chips.  Set aside.

2 – Place the chopped onion in 2 individual microwaveable serving bowls.  Add chicken broth to cover.  Season with olive oil.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.  Place chopped mushrooms in the bowls with the onion.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Add packaged dressing to each bowl.  Season with olive oil, pepper, and chopped parsley (no salt).  Stir.  Set aside.

3 – Microwave the chicken for 5 minutes on high.  Microwave the dressing for 1 minute.

4 – Serve the chicken hot, with the dressing on the side.  I also served barbecued beans and broccoli (recipes, see the search box).

–chicken adapted from Kay Ewing’s Cooking School Cookbook (Louisiana); dressing adapted from To the Taste of a King (fifties cookbook by the Colonial Dames of Lousiana).