Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Something's fishy...

Whew!  What a night!  I ended up taking bug to the walk-in clinic after dinner, which is why this post is later than normal.  BUT, I am now here to make your mouths water!
I knew I needed to use up my leftover eggroll wraps before they went bad - AND I’d promised some crab rangoons to my readers.  So I decided to have a seafood theme.  I used a recipe I found on Katie’s Cucina (again!) for Fish in a Flash.  Then I found a yummy-sounding cilantro and lime sauce on food.com that I thought would be good with fish (instead of serving it with typical tartar sauce).  I also found a veggie side dish to try - Broccoli and Potato Bake.  At the last moment, I decided to serve a side salad, and because I had the best salad dressing I’ve ever tasted this past weekend, called roasted garlic vinaigrette, I found a recipe for that on food.com and decided to try it out.  For dessert, I saw these Salted Caramel Brownie Bites at Inside BruCrew Life and they looked perfect - mr loves the combo of salty and sweet.
Although everything I picked was pretty easy and straightforward in nature, all of it combined together to make last night one of those crazy, hectic food experiences.  I had every single menu item going at once, all at various stages of preparedness, and by the time buzzers were going off, I’d forgotten if it meant the potatoes were done cooking, the garlic was done roasting, or the brownies had been chilled for an hour.  I also had to wash my Kitchen Aid’s bowl and beater not once, not twice, but THREE times to complete everything - and you know how I feel about doing chores when I’m supposed to be doing my hobby.  So basically, it’s a miracle that only one thing failed and really, it wasn’t a major fail because it was still edible in one form or another...
The rangoons are very easy to make, and the best part is that you’ve got options!  You can fry them, like I did, or you can bake them, like I’ve done in the past.  And both ways are totally delicious.  If I’m being completely honest here, I think I actually like them baked a little better.  You can also use either imitation crab (not as expensive) or canned/ “pouch” REAL crab (more expensive but REAL).  I’ve used both.  I know my  mom would disagree with this, but I prefer the imitation crab.  I know, I’m weird.  Now, I used egg roll wrappers because I had bought them as a backup for the thai dinner and then never used them.  BUT what I usually use are the wonton wrappers which you can find right next to the egg roll wrappers in the produce section of the store.  Almost exactly the same thing, but not as big.  Here’s the recipe:
Crab Rangoons
wonton wrappers
6 oz crab
6 oz cream cheese
1/8 cup mayo
2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp onion salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 T dried minced onions 
a few green onions
Mix everything but the wonton wrappers and the green onions together until creamy.  Spoon some of the mixture unto the middle of a wrapper, and pull the corners up, pinching the sides together just slightly.  IF FRYING: Spoon some of the mixture unto the middle of a wrapper, sprinkle on a few green onions, and pull the corners up, pinching the sides together thoroughly.  Place them in hot veggie oil.  Make sure to turn them after about 30 seconds and take them out after about 1-2 minutes.  Keep a close watch and don’t let either side burn.  IF BAKING:  Spray some muffin tins with nonstick spray.  Place a wonton wrapper in each cup, pressing down in the middle.  Spoon some of the mixture into each wrapper, then bake for about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle a few green onions on the tops.  
Serve warm with or without sweet and sour sauce.

These are “smooch-your-fingers” good!  Obviously, the ones I made look a bit different than explained above since I was using large egg roll wrappers - they are GIANT.  And triangular.  But still tasty.  I’ve made them before, and we all loved them - then and now.
The fish was a new experience for me.  I have only ever baked my fish.  Not too creative, I know.  I saw this recipe and knew I needed to try it.  Basically you make a breading from some spices and panko bread crumbs, dip the fish in oil then the crumbs, and then fry it.  Pretty easy.  I did have a hard time keeping the breading on most of the fish, though.  I wonder if I didn’t use enough oil?  I also wondered if you couldn’t dip the fish in flour and then some kind of watered down egg solution first, since that’s what you do with chicken - but I didn’t want to get all crazy and ruin it.  Anyway, this fish was DELICIOUS and it only took about four minutes TOTAL to cook.  mom and dad loved it right away, and what did mr say?  He said it was amazing!  Woo-hoo!  You can find the recipe here.
You can find the recipe for the cilantro lime sauce here.  mr was unimpressed, to say the least, but the parents liked it.  I don’t think it was quite as good as the cilantro lime dressing I’ve made a few times (which you can find here - so delicious).  That’s probably the issue mr had with it.
The Broccoli and Potato Bake is totally something I’ll be putting on the menu rotation.  What a yummy way to eat your veggies!  And not too hard to make either - though if you use real mashed potatoes, like I did, it does take some time.  I may take this to Thanksgiving dinner this year.  May.  You can find the recipe here - I did nothing to alter it.  Everyone liked it a lot, except mr who complained that there was so much cheese he couldn’t taste the potatoes - but we all know he doesn’t have a decent appreciation of dairy.  At least not decent enough to live here.  Here's the recipe.

The amazing salad dressing?  It can make the saddest most pathetic lettuce taste very, very good.  I know, we tried.  Last night.  Go here for this dressing.  I've never roasted garlic before and I know I'm going to have to make the dressing again.
And by now, you’ve gone through the check list and have figured out that my dessert, which was supposed to look like this
was a big fat fail.  You should check out the recipe here.  (don’t her’s look to die for??)  Basically, by the time the brownies had cooled enough to roll around the rolos, the rest of the food was done, I’d done dishes multiple times and everyone was getting hungry.  I decided I was too tired and sick of cooking to do it right, so my mom took over.  She put a rolo on each brownie.  Then decided it wasn’t enough.  So she broke into the “potty treat” stash and went a little crazy with the m&m’s.  She melted the dipping chocolate at my suggestion and drizzled a little over the whole thing, but when we went to eat it, mr declared there simply wasn’t enough chocolate and dumped even more on. (who knew he had that same place in his heart for melted chocolate that I do?) So basically, mine looked like this:
And actually, they weren't really mine, they were my mom’s.  She called them “Cocoa Volcanos,” or “Lava lavas,” which she found very funny.  And, as I said, it was really only a partial fail, because at least they were edible.  And chocolate.  

I mean, come on.  You can’t really go wrong with chocolate, can you?

And I almost forgot... mini loved the potatoes.  And so did her CA-RAZY hair.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Wow you outdid yourself again! I don't like fish so I won't be trying those recipes but I'm still super impressed. The mashed pot bake looks delish, that we can try for sure!

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