Tag Archives: main dish

Taco Tuesday – Blackened Mahi Mahi Edition 

And after Monday comes …taco Tuesday. Yum yum get in my tum! Fish tacos are definitely on my ‘fave’ list, and being that we live in San Diego, the options to indulge not only in fresh fish but just about any type of taco are limitless.

Taco Tuesday’s the perfect way to brighten up the work week . It’s a great excuse to hang with friends and sip on some ice cold margaritas before you cruise on over the midweek hump. Although, we do enjoy going out for a great meal from time time, we prefer hanging in our kitchen cooking our own delicious meals.  So, here’s how I’m bring the fiesta to the Frey household this week! Mahi Mahi is name, fish taco is the game!

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse the fish and pat dry. Combine all the dry ingredient for the fish rub. Evenly coat the fish on both sides with the rub.

Heat the olive oil and butter over med-high heat. Once the olive oil & butter mixture has reached the desired temperature, add the Mahi Mahi filets or other fish of your choice. Pan-sear both sides just so the fish starts to brown, but avoid cooking all the way through. Once the fish is seared, place your oven-safe skillet into the oven to finish cooking the fish to your desired temperature.

While the fish is cooking, you can prepare the white sauce or you can make ahead and chill for a couple of hours. Same goes for the mango salsa. I prefer to make ahead and let it ‘marinate’ in the fridge for a bit.

Remove fish from oven and let rest for a few minutes. Flake the fish with a fork and place into warmed tortillas, I prefer corn tortillas for fish tacos.

Tonight I decided to add fresh mango salsa, a flavorful white sauce and lime wedges, but there are plenty of other ways to serve so do what you do best!

What you’ll need:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Corn tortillas
Cilantro
fresh limes for garnish
Mahi Mahi or another flaky white fish

Dry rub for fish:

1 teas chili powder
1 teas paprika
½ teas ground cumin
½ teas garlic powder
½ teas onion powder
¼ teas pepper
¼ teas salt
¼ teas cayenne

White sauce:

1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup light mayo
1/4 teas ground chipotle powder
juice of 1 fresh squeezed lime
1/2 teas cumin powder
salt to taste if needed

Mango salsa:

3 ripe mangoes, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 large lime, juiced
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/8 – 1/4 salt, to taste
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded & minced

From our kitchen to yours…enjoy!

~Melissa

Cheesy Chicken Parmesan 

This is hands-down one of our favorite dishes to make. Chicken Parmesan is so easy and always tastes delish! There are a couple of tricks that you must do to make this the most mouth-watering recipe ever!

First tip is to crisp up the cheese before you serve. You’ll want to broil during the last few minutes so you get the cheese nice and brown and bubbly. YUM making me hungry now 🙂

Another tip is to make your own tomato sauce vs. using one from the jar. This will make a HUGE flavor difference. Again, similar to the fajita spice mix, you can make a large batch and freeze to have on hand for future uses.

The other important technique is to use panko vs. bread crumbs. This gives the breading a crunchier and lighter texture rather than a heavier, gooey bread texture.

So here is how we make chicken parmesan:

Ingredients:

-4 thinly-sliced chicken breasts (If you buy the larger breasts, I suggest slicing them in half)
-homemade tomato sauce
-panko bread crumbs
-1 egg, beaten
-s&p to taste
-mozzarella cheese
-shredded parmesan cheese
-fresh basil

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and set aside. Beat one egg and place onto a plate. Add a generous amount of panko crumbs on a separate plate. Coat the chicken with egg by dipping both sides into the egg mixture. Immediately coat with panko crumbs and place into a lightly greased 13×9 glass dish.

Once the chickie has been panko’d, not a word but I like it 🙂 spoon the desired amount of sauce over the tops. I put just enough to make a thin layer rather than having the sauce spill over the sides, this might make it soggy.Blah.

Place the sliced mozzarella on top of the sauce, you can either use fresh or the firmer one, up to you.

Pop in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Once the chicken is cooked through, turn your oven on broil, now is the time to perfect that cheese topping! Broil until the cheese turns golden brown and begins to bubble. Remove dish from oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve it up!

We usually serve chicken parmesan with a side of steamed broccoli and/or a garden salad. You can also boil some noodles and serve with your amazing homemade tomato sauce you just made 🙂 Enjoy.

From Our Kitchen to Yours, 

Melissa & Greg 

Tortellini Primavera

This dinner was actually inspired by my absentmindedness to thaw the chicken breasts I had planned on grilling for dinner. Whoops! Oh well, this turned out just as tasty so no complaints here.

Once I realized that I needed to raid the fridge and “throw” something together, I started pulling out the fresh vegetables. We are big on meatless meals in the Frey household. Don’t get me wrong we love beef, chicken, pork, yada yada yada, but we like to incorporate a meatless meal at least once a week.

This tortellini primavera is not only easy and delicious but literally took me less than 20 minutes to prepare! Who’s in for that? It makes for the perfect weeknight meal, so skip those frozen dinners and salty takeout and get to chopping.

First I prepare the veggies I want to add. I pulled what I had in the fridge and that consisted of asparagus, tomatoes, zucchini and fresh basil. Chop vegetables as desired and put into a mixing bowl. Coat the vegetables with olive oil, garlic, S&P, and any other spices or seasonings you like.

While the water boils, saute the veggie mix in olive oil and turn in pan until desired firmness. I like my veggies with a little crunch…

Once the tortellini are finished (they only take a few minutes to cook and will float to the top when done) drain and then add the tortellini into the saute pan with veggies. Gently stir everything together so that the sauce begins to coat the pasta. Sprinkle some basil and grate some fresh cheese over the top and voila- dinner is done!

Here’s what you need:

-package of cheese tortellini
-2 medium zucchini
-2-3 garlic cloves, minced
-cherry tomatoes
-asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
-fresh basil
-extra virgin olive oil
-s&p to taste
-freshly grated Parmesan or other hard cheese

From Our Kitchen to Yours, 

~Melissa 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Caprese Casarecce Pasta

Alright true confessions…I am addicted to cookbooks, new recipes, and food photography! Anyone else out there with me on this? I’m always seeking a new recipe to test out and I find cooking to be very therapeutic…good thing I married a chef!

After spending countless hours on Pinterest “pinning” away, I found that I was intrigued by several of Skinnytaste’s recipes, it was then that I decided I would test-drive her cookbook. So to Amazon I went and purchased this baby for less than $20! What a steal of a deal!

As I routinely do when getting a new cookbook, I scoured through the pages and chose my go-to tester recipes. There was something comforting and cozy about the Chicken Pasta Caprese dish and knew I would have to test it for myself….well and for Greg too  🙂

I adapted this recipe with my own touches, as I do with most recipes in order to make them my own. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did! This tasty pasta dish has been added to our repeat dinner list for sure!

Season the diced chicken with dried basil, oregano, salt and black pepper to taste. Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil over med-high heat, add the chicken and saute until cooked through. Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a plate.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted water based on cooking instructions listed on package. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 c. of the pasta water.

In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over med-high heat. Add the garlic, stirring frequently to make sure it does not burn. Once fragrant and golden, add the halved tomatoes, salt & pepper to taste, balsamic vinegar and crushed red pepper, reduce heat to med-low and cook frequently stirring until the tomatoes become tender, about 6-10 min.

Add the chicken back into the sauteed tomatoes, stirring until well coated. Add the cooked pasta into the saute pan. Add the reserved pasta water as needed to keep the consistency you prefer. Toss all ingredients until well coated.

Side note: for all you dog lovers out there, I have my own personal sous chef, Maizie, our beautiful yellow lab. She loves to keep me company in the kitchen and sure doesn’t miss a beat when anything drops on the floor.

Ok back to the food…

Add in fresh mozzarella cheese and stir until the cheese starts to melt and blend throughout. Remove from heat and add in freshly sliced basil leaves.

That’s pretty much it…super simple and tasty as can be. Now it’s time to eat! Enjoy.

From our table to yours,

~Melissa & Maizie

Ingredients:

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 cubes
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
salt (we prefer Kosher)
freshly ground pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp. balsalmic vinegar
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 c. thinly sliced basil leaves
4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
12 oz. Barilla casarecce pasta
1/2 c. pasta water

 

 

 

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Mediterranean Couscous

This delicious mediterranean couscous side dish is wonderful served with fish or chicken or even enjoyed as leftovers the next day, simply add to a bed of mixed greens and drizzle with a vinaigrette dressing.

Ingredients:

12-15 cherry tomatoes, sliced in quarters
2 tbsp. olive oil
3-5 garlic cloves
s&p to taste
1 c pearl (Israeli) couscous
12-15 kalamata olives, sliced in half
1 tbsp fresh mint
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp. fresh parsley
1 1/4 c chicken broth
fresh lemon juice

Cook the couscous according to the directions on the package. Use chicken broth in lieu of the water. This will add additional flavor to the couscous without adding additional salt.

While the couscous cooks, heat the olive oil over med-high heat in a saute pan. Add halved cherry tomatoes and heat until the tomatoes start to soften, add in chopped garlic cloves and saute until the garlic becomes fragrant but keep an eye so you don’t burn.

Add the cooked couscous into the saute pan with the tomato and garlic mixture. Add in sliced olives and fresh herbs. Mix all until well combined and heated through. S&P to taste and then squeeze some fresh lemon juice to taste.

That’s it, pretty simple and super fast. Enjoy!

From our kitchen to yours,

~Melissa

Pozole Rojo 

Pozole means “hominy” and is a traditional soup found in most parts of Mexico. It is frequently served as a celebratory dish during events such as weddings, quinceneras, birthdays and New Year’s celebrations.

Although we didn’t have any special celebration,  Pozole is one of Greg’s go-to’s when we visit a Mexican restaurant so we decided we wanted to make this dish at home and lighten in up compared to the greasier alternative you might find out and about.

We may be biased, but our pozole recipe is a tasty, hearty and healthy soup and could be better than most you can find in the authentic Mexican restaurants. Yes, my hubby is a Chef and we like to experiment with different dishes from around the world!

You can make pozole with pork or chicken. Tonight we had some chicken thighs that we needed to use, so that is what we went with.

To start, cut chicken thighs into 1/2 inch cube pieces. Take chicken, salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, vegetable oil and toss in a bowl. Mix all together and let it marinate for at least 30 min up to overnight.

Heat a sauce pot on med-high heat, brown chicken evenly and remove. Leave all residual oil and then add the yellow onions and diced jalapenos.  Sweat for 10 min or until the onions are soft and transparent. While the yellow onions are sweating, take the bunch of green onions and slice from the the top using about 2 inches of the onion from the top, reserve these slices for garnishing. Chop the white part of the green onion (bottom) and reserve for later.


Take the center green part of the onion that is left and add it whole to a food possessor  or blender. Add in the seated yellow onion and diced jalapenos, chipolte chilies, diced tomatoes and cilantro stems. Blend until smooth.

In the same saucepan sweat the white part of the green onions(bottom), garlic and chicken until garlic is fragrant. Then add the food possessor mix and chicken stock and simmer for 15 min or until chicken thighs are tender.

If the hominy you are using is precooked, add with chicken thighs and simmer in broth along with the rest of the ingredients. If the hominy is uncooked, simmer for 4 hours in in a pan covered with water and keep the lid on the pan. Then add to broth and chicken mixture.

  

Once simmered, let the pozole rest until ready to serve. Serve with garnishes and tortillas. Enjoy, and feel free to share your comments or pics!

Ingredients:

6 chicken thighs- we used boneless, skinless
2 tbs chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
4 cloves of garlic – smashed, minced
1/2 large yellow onion
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1 bunch of green onions
3 chipotle peppers (found in a can in the Mexican isle)
1 (12oz) can of diced tomatoes
Chicken stock
1 tbs minced cilantro stems
2 cups of hominy

Garnish:

Sliced green cabbage
Avocado
Green onion
Sliced lime wedges
Sliced radishes
Cilantro
four tortillas

Sizzling Chicken Fajitas 

Chicken fajitas has to be one of my favorite dishes to make. It’s simple, healthy and you can whip it up pretty fast on a busy weeknight. I usually make chicken fajitas, but you could also make this with beef, pork or shrimp. If you are looking for a vegetarian option, sliced portobello mushrooms make a nice addition and give the fajitas substance paired with the peppers and onions. 
Not only do these chicken fajitas taste amazing, the aroma of the peppers and onions sauteing makes your mouth water. This meal is great served with your favorite Mexican toppings like cheese, avocado, sour cream, salsa, freshly sliced jalapeno, and cilantro. My husband loves fresh flour tortillas on the side. However, when I am looking to lighten up the dish, I prefer enjoying mine as a “fajita bowl” and omit the extra carbs from the tortillas.

There is one secret to knocking your fajitas out of the park…make your own fajita seasoning. I’m telling you, ditch the packaged stuff and take the extra 5 minutes to mix up the tasty blend of seasonings. The packaged mixes are convenient yes, but did you know they contain unnatural ingredients and preservatives like modified corn starch and corn syrup, all things that don’t make your meal taste any better…they are just there for filler.

So I will share my recipe with you and I promise you’ll want to take the extra time, plus you can make a bulk batch and keep it on hand in your spice drawer.

Homemade Fajita Seasoning:

2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp white sugar
2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like spicy- I always add more)
1 tsp ground cumin

Fajita Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 orange or yellow bell pepper
1 medium yellow or white onion

Cut bell peppers in 1/2 inch wide strips and slice the onion. Place the peppers and onions to the side. Slice chicken breast into 1 inch wide pieces. In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Add chicken and brown over med-high heat or until the chicken is visibly cooked but not complete done. Remove and set aside.

Crank back up the heat to high and add a little oil if needed. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and peppers. Saute for about 5 minutes or so then turn the heat back down to medium. Add the chicken back into the pan and start adding the homemade fajita seasoning. Once the seasoning is well mixed and the chicken is completely cooked through you’re done!

Serve with tortillas and top with your favorite Mexican accouterments like: sour cream, cheddar cheese, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, salsa etc. Enjoy!