Saturday, March 22, 2008

Crispy Oven Fried Fish, Oriental Cole Slaw, and Classic Risotto

I had yesterday off, so I wanted to make something that took a long time and some effort to put together. I gained a little confidence after cooking Tilapia recently, so I decided that I wanted to try it again. So I made crispy oven fried tilapia, oriental cole slaw, and classic risotto. I found the tilapia and risotto recipe in my BHG cookbook Jason bought me for my birthday, and the oriental cole slaw recipe is my aunt's.

I managed to take a few pictures, but naturally I didn't take any after everything was cooked. It was really good!!! I highly suggest it.

Crispy Oven Fried Fish
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 4-6 minutes per 1/2 inch thickness
Oven: 450 degrees
Makes: 4 servings

1 lb fresh or frozen skinless fish fillets, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
1/4 c milk (I used vitamin D in an effort to stay low fat)
1/3 c all purpose flour
1/3 c dry bread crumbs
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dill (omitted)
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt - added by me
2 tbsp melted butter (I somehow managed to miss this step)

1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Cut into four serving-size pieces, if neccesary (note: at Walmart, I found 1 lb of tilapia cut into 5 filets). Measure thickness of fish.

2. Place milk in a shallow dish. Place flour in a second shallow dish. In a third shalow dish combine bread crumbs, cheese, dill, and pepper. Add melted butter, stir until combined (I forgot to do this, but we didn't miss it. It was still good). Dip fish in milk, then flour, then milk again, then the bread crumb mixture. Place fish on a greased baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, in a 450 degree oven for 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2 inch thickness. Mine were about 1 inch thick, and I cooked it for 9 minutes.

Fish is done when it flakes when tested with a fork.

Classic Risotto
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: about 15 (more like 20)
Makes: 4 side dish servings

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, seperated
1 cup uncooked arborio rice
2 14-ounce cans of reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese (2 ounces) - I used Asiago
1/8 tsp black pepper

1. In a large saucepan, cook onion and garlic in hot oil and 1 tbsp of the butter until onion is tender; add rice. Cook and stir over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes or until rice begins to brown.

2. Meanwhile, in another saucepan bring broth to boiling; reduce heat and simmer. Slowly add 1 cup broth to the rice mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until liquid is absored. Add another 1/2 cup broth to the rice mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the broth as been absorbed. Let me add a little blurb of my own here. I think it's better to watch this and play it by ear than time it. The way that works best for me is when I add a ladle of chicken broth, stir in, and watch the consistency. When you stir in the broth at first, the water stands seperate from the rice, has the consistency of oatmeal, and begins to lightly bubble. It's time to add more liquid when the chicken broth has been soaked into the rice. If you wait too long, it can burn the rice on the bottom of the pan and messes with the consistency of the rice, so it's important to keep a watchful eye. Keep adding chicken broth in this manner, one ladle-ful at a time, until the rice almost triples in size and is al dente.

3. stir in the remaining butter, the cheese, and pepper. Enjoy! Note to all: I went a little cheese crazy and put twice the amount called for. It was delicious, but don't do it! It's too rich to be eaten as a side dish in that way.

Oriental Cole Slaw
Prep time: 15 mins
Chill time: several hours. Good to make the night before
Serves: 6?

1 pkg chicken flavored ramen nodles
1 pkg angel hair cole slaw
1/2 c toasted sunflower kernels (shelled)
1/2 c slivered almonds
1/2 c vegetable oil
3 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Break up Ramen noodles, making a point to break up large chunks. Combine noodles, cabage, sunflower kernels, and almonds in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together seasoning packet from ramen noodles, vegetable oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour over cabbage mixture, toss, and chill.


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