Saturday, April 19, 2014

Simply Bake the Fish Your Own Way.

I was down in Moab doing a bit of shopping at City Market and decided I'd like to get more of those Gorton's Simply Bake Fish. Much to my dismay, they don't carry that product; going over to the meat department which has a tiny selection of "fresh" fish, and frozen, I saw that large bags of cod were on sale. They were cut to six ounce portions and 10 pieces for $12.99 wasn't a bad deal; they're great for making English fish and chips, but I had other plans.

Now cooking up food with aluminum foil, especially in foil pouches is nothing new, I've been doing it since the early 1980s.  It's easy cleanup and if cooking for just one and two, simply convenient.  After I got home, I left a couple of portions in the refrigerator to defrost and stored the remainder in the freezer for future uses.

The next day, all I needed to do was decide what type of sauce I wanted to create with my fish, and which herbs my tongue was craving for.  As a side dish, I wanted a small baked potato, so a simple olive oil and lemon juice sauce would be the best for both.  While dill is the typical herb used with lemon on fish, I decided my greenery would be parsley married with garlic, paprika, black pepper and salt.  This was not going to be over simplified, nor overly complicated.

Lets eat some fish baked in an aluminum foil pouch.

Baked Cod in Foil



2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 (6 oz) cod fillet, 1 inch thick, skin removed


Preheat oven to 350F. 

In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients except the fish.  Brush skin side of fish liberally with the mixture; place skin side down in center of large square of aluminum foil.  Pour remaining mixture over fish; fold long sides of foil together several times before folding up ends to make a packet.  Make sure foil is not folded too tightly around fish or steam from baking may cause it to burst open.

Place foil packet onto small aluminum baking tray; bake for 15 to 20 minutes; fish will be opaque.  Remove to plate; spoon liquid over fish and over a portion of steamed vegetables or small baked potato.

Serves one.

Mary Cokenour


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Not Authentic, Definitely Inspired, Thai Cuisine.

Often I do not follow recipes to the letter; I want it to be mine and I love to play with my food. Then there are those times when I just don't want to make the full effort. Yeppers, this is one of those times when I like the whole idea, but I'm not going the full route. Being a rogue, it also helps when you don't have all the listed ingredients, so need to make due with what you have.

Thai Glazed Chicken Thighs was the original recipe, but I didn't have any coconut milk nor chicken thighs; instead it was orange juice concentrate and chicken breasts. It didn't exactly come out as a "sweet and sour" dish, more like a "sweet and savory" because of the soy sauce I added as an after thought. I also was going to make a vegetable stir fry as the side dish; there was so much sauce created in the chicken cooking process, that simply cooking the vegetables in the sauce was the sensible thing to do.

...and away we go.

Thai Inspired Chicken


4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (8 at 1/2 lb. each)
1 (12 oz) container orange juice concentrate, defrosted
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp. ground ginger
4 Thai chiles, stem removed, minced
1 Tbsp. dried, crushed Thai basil
1/4 cup soy sauce



Place chicken into a 4 quart crock pot. 

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together orange juice, honey, ginger and chiles; pour over chicken. 

Sprinkle basil and soy sauce over contents in crock pot; cover, set on low and cook for four hours.


Remove chicken from crock pot and keep warm.  Place four cups of cut up vegetables into crock pot, set on high and cook for 15 minutes.  Serve as side dish with the chicken.

 Makes 8 servings.

Mary Cokenour

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Stir Fry Instead of Butter or Cheese.

I'm not a huge fan of broccoli or asparagus, but my hubby is and I will make these vegetables for him.  Usually it's, "Hunny, how do you want your broccoli?" and he will either answer "butter" or "cheese".  For the asparagus, I use it to make two quiches, one for him and one for his mother.  Yep, it's a "rut" thing.

Well I'm tired of being in a rut, so this time I decided not to ask him how he'd like his broccoli; nor even ask his opinion when I worked out how I was going to cook it.  Let him be surprised!

For the stir fry, I chopped up one medium sized head of broccoli; removing the woody ends off a half pound of asparagus, I cut that up into one inch pieces.  Now a medium sized stockpot, filled halfway with water and three tablespoons of salt, was coming to a boil on medium-high heat.  I put the cut up vegetables into the boiling water to cook for only three minutes; I had ready a large plastic mixing bowl filled halfway with cold water.  After three minutes, I used a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables from the stockpot to the mixing bowl; the cold water would stop the cooking process and keep them bright green.  I strained the vegetables, spread them out on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels and let any excess water be absorbed.

I had a couple of very small bell peppers (one orange, one red), cut them open, seeded, and cut into half inch pieces.  A large skillet went onto the stove top, three tablespoons of olive oil inside and the heat turned up to medium-high.  I put the broccoli, asparagus, bell pepper in plus a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic and a tablespoon of Italian herb mixture.  It only took five minutes for the entire mix to heat up nicely; I didn't want any of the vegetables to wilt or get any browned edges.  Hubby's opinion?  Oh yeah, he liked it big time!  He thought it tasted fresh and savory; especially when paired with the protein cooked up with it...New York Strip Steak.

The steak was prepared via a lazy woman's grilling; seasoning the steaks with sea salt and ground black pepper (both sides); they were laid on an aluminum jellyroll pan brushed lightly with olive oil.  A large onion was cut into rings and laid along side the steaks; into a preheated to 450F they went for twenty minutes (turn the steak and onions over after the first ten minutes).

Now this kind of rut we can both live with for awhile.  Enjoy!

Mary Cokenour