School might be back in session and life may be crazier than ever, but we're still eating well in The Pope House. I have 6 recipes to review and only 1 that I don't plan on making again (Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia).
Let's start there with the Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia (http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=2001927
). It's not that the dish wasn't good, but rather that when you look at all the other wonderful recipes I've managed to find and cook this year, this one did not stand out. My exact notes are "Nothing to write home about." Okay...is that enough?
Now, onto the winners. Food and Wine Magazine had a recipe for Chipotle-Rubbed Salmon Tacos (http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chipotle-rubbed-salmon-tacos
) and both Brad and I were really impressed. As the title says, the salmon is rubbed with chipotle chili powder, orange zest, and a bit of sugar. I had no idea how smoky chipotle chili powder was. The recipe called for 2 Tablespoons. Next time, I'll reduce the amount to 1 1/2 Tablespoons, but aside from that, the recipe was perfect. The dish was topped with an Apple-Cucumber Salsa that really cut the smokiness well and was very fresh and crispy and was finished off with a mayo-lime sauce that really pulled the dish together nicely. A super quick meal to prepare, we'll be eating this one again here soon!
Next, I made The Food Network's Shrimp Pad Thai (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/shrimp-pad-thai-recipe/index.html
). I will be honest and say that I've never eaten Pad Thai before so I don't know how authentic it tasted; however, Brad enjoys Thai food and thought it was delicious and pretty spot on and I really enjoyed the dish as well. I had bought rice noodles when I was in Chicago and figured I'd better find a use for them. If you've never used rice noodles before, they're pretty interesting. Instead of cooking them, you let them just sit in a bowl of warm water until they soften. They're pretty neat and easy! I LIKE easy. I followed the recipe to a tee, but per reviewers suggestions, I did add an egg when I added the noodles to the pan to make the dish creamier. Overall, the dish was spicy, but was very very good! I'd definitely recommend trying this one and you could very easily substitute in chicken, tofu, or other proteins.
Peanut Butter Noodles comes next. I know, peanut butter and noodles, what a crazy combination, but I'm telling you, it works! When 727 people have reviewed a recipe on Allrecipes.com and it has earned 4.5 out of 5 stars, you know it can't be bad, right?!?! I followed that recipe (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Peanut-Butter-Noodles/Detail.aspx
) and was very pleased. I didn't have Udon noodles (whatever they are and whereve you find them in Northwest Arkanas), but substituted whole wheat pasta and it worked out great. We really enjoyed the dish when it was warm, but Brad said it didn't re-heat as well. As a last minute, throw together dish, this one is definitely one to keep!
Jalapeno Steak...sounds spicy doesn't it? Surprisingly, it really wasn't! Another Allrecipes.com recipe (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Jalapeno-Steak/Detail.aspx
), this steak marinated for 36 hours (because I didn't have time to make it when I was supposed to). I pulled 2 pieces of sirloin steak out of the freezer, made the marinade (with 3 jalapenos), and threw it all together in the same bag to allow the steaks to thaw. 36 hours later, we had the most tender and surprisingly, not too spicy hot steak. I served it up atop rice and broccoli. Healthy, quick, and easy! You could always leave the seeds and ribs of the jalapenos in to make it spicier or reduce the amount of jalapenos to make it less spicy. Either way, you won't be disappointed.
Last, was the quickest recipe of them all, Cooking Light's Herbed Chicken Parmesan recipe (http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=549982
). Super fast to make, this dish really suited our tastes well. Although it had no garlic (shocking to me and a much welcomed surprise for Brad), the dish did not fall short on flavor at all. I used Barilla Tomato Basil pasta sauce and added the balsamic vinegar as directed. Wow does that really add a fresh/homemade flavor to jarred sauce...If I take nothing else away from this recipe, I'll take that trick for sure! But overall, this dish was very moist, very flavorful, and took less than 20 minutes to prepare! I served it with broccoli and a salad, but you could easily serve it atop a bed of pasta too!
Wow...we've been eating really well around here! Fresh food, healthy dishes, and great flavors. These next two weeks, we'll be following Tosca Reno's Clean Eating meal plan. I'm excited for a lot of new recipes and whole days worth of meals planned out for us. I'll let you know how it goes soon! Let me know what you're cooking too...I'd love some new ideas as well!