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By learning about basic ingredients and how to use them, you can create simple, quick and delicious meals your family will love!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blackened Swai Fillets

Mmm...another recipe for you tonight using Swai Fillets.  This has quickly become my favorite fish because of its versatility and the fact that you can buy it at such a reasonable price, right around $3.00 per pound.  The health benefits are also a plus, a medium-sized fillet of about 5 ounces is around 125 calories, with 25 grams of protein.  We added a side of Baked Corn Pudding and steamed mixed vegetables to complete the dinner.

This fish does contain some sodium due to the processing so if you are watching your sodium intake be sure to rinse the fillets and pat dry with a paper towel to keep the sodium as low as possible.  The seasoning mix is also very low in sodium.  Enjoy!!

4 1/2 tsp  Paprika
1 tsp  Onion Powder
1 tsp  Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  White Pepper
1/2 tsp  Dried Thyme
1/4 tsp  Ground Cayenne Pepper
6  Swai Fillets (about 2 pounds total)
Olive Oil

Combine all dry seasonings in a small bowl.

Rinse fillets and pat dry with a paper towel.  Place fish on a platter and sprinkle lightly with the seasoning mixture.

In a large skillet, heat 1 - 2 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat.  Place fillets into skillet, spice side down, and cook 4-5 minutes.  Sprinkle top side with seasoning and turn fillets, cooking an additional 4-5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Makes 6 servings.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Braised Pork Chops with Sauteed Granny Smith Apples

My quest for low-sodium recipes has taken a tasty turn towards fall tonight and brings us the yummy  combination of pork and green Granny Smith apples.  These flavors always taste great together and this recipe offers great flavor with very little sodium.

6  Boneless Thick-Cut Pork Loin Chops, about 5-6 oz each
2 tsp  Olive Oil
1/3 cup  White Wine
3  Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced
3 TB  Unsalted Butter
3/4 cup  +  3 TB  Apple Juice , divided
1/4 cup  Honey
1/2 tsp  Ground Cinnamon
2 TB  Cornstarch

In a large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat and brown pork chops until seared on both sides, but not cooked completely thru.  Remove chops from pan and place in an 11 x 7 baking dish.  Add the white wine to the skillet and stir to loosen any browned bits, simmer for about 1 minute.  Pour mixture over chops, cover pan with foil and bake at 375 for about 20 minutes.

While the chops are baking, use the same skillet, melt butter then add apples, and sautee for about 5 minutes over medium heat.  Add 3/4 cup apple juice, honey and cinnamon; cook 1 - 2 minutes longer; reduce heat to low. 

Remove chops from oven and spoon apples over chops.  Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. 

Now remove chops and apples from the baking dish to a serving platter; cover and keep warm.  Pour reserved pan juices into a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cornstarch and 3 TB apple juice in a small bowl, then add mixture to the pan juices.  Bring mixture to a boil and continue to stir about 2 minutes until sauce is thickened.  Pour sauce over chops and apples and serve.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mushroom, Green Pepper & Feta Casserole

If you have not tried growing your own green peppers, you are really missing out. Peppers are very easy to grow and they taste so sweet and fresh when used directly from your own garden.  You can even grow a single pepper plant in a large pot.

This breakfast casserole also makes a quick and healthy dinner, and can be on the table in less than 1 hour. Serve this on a Monday night and you will have a quick-to-reheat-breakfast for the rest of the week.

8 oz. Sliced Portobello Mushrooms
1 large Green Bell Pepper, chopped into 3/4 inch squares
1-2 tsp  Olive Oil
3 Green Onions, white and green parts, minced
1 cup crumbled Feta Cheese (or more, to taste)
18 Large Eggs
1/2 tsp Fresh Tarragon (optional, but recommended)
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray 10 X 14 glass casserole dish with non-stick spray.

Heat non-stick skillet, add 1 tsp olive oil, and saute mushrooms and peppers 2-3 minutes, until softened. Spread mushrooms-pepper mixture in bottom of casserole dish.  Crumble feta cheese over top of mushroom-pepper mixture.

Beat eggs with the tarragon and black pepper. (Avoid adding salt as Feta cheese contains a fair amount of salt). Bake about 45 minutes, or until casserole is firmly set and top is slightly browned. Serve hot. Serve with a little bit of low-fat sour cream and salsa on top.

Note:  Breakfast casseroles like this reheat very well in the microwave. It can be frozen, but for best results, allow to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Apple Crumble Muffins

This is a perfect recipe for the upcoming fall apple season. These muffins are tasty for breakfast but are also great for your kids lunchbox or as an after school snack.

With one apple and a few minutes of prep time, you can make delicious Apple Muffins that taste just like Apple Pie!

Cinnamon Crumble Topping
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/3 cup All Purpose Flour
2 TB Melted Butter
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Muffin Batter
3/4 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
1/4 cup Canola or Vegetable Oil (you can also substitute applesauce for lower fat content)
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Milk
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/8 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 large Apple, such as Red Delicious or Granny Smith

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the crumble topping ingredients together and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the milk, egg, vanilla, oil and sugar. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients, then add the dry ingredients to the milk/egg mixture, and blend together gently.

Next, dice the apples into very fine pieces. This will allow the apples to cook into the batter. Add the apples to the batter and stir gently until combined. Spoon into paper-lined or well-greased muffin cups, top each muffin with a teaspoonful of the cinnamon crumble mixture and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.   Makes about 12 muffins.