Halibut Croquettes with Basil & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Sometimes you just have those days... where you do a lot of awesome stuff. Today, I was full of awesome-productivity.  I went to work for a few hours, mowed the lawn (got some new blisters), made an awesome dinner, made two gift baskets for clients, and finished the book I am reading, 
Three Cups of Tea. (Great Book!)

My father in-law brought home fresh halibut from British Columbia, which I cooked last night, but had a ton of leftovers because this piece of fish was HUGE. Anyways, you probably don't have leftover halibut laying around, but this is worth buying some just to make this recipe. Sweet and tangy roasted red peppers go perfectly with this light flaky fish. The creamy red pepper sauce is healthy and full of fresh ingredients. It is really a perfect summer dish!

Halibut Croquettes with Basil & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

2 cups cooked halibut, flaked
1 egg
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter

Red Pepper Sauce
1 red pepper
olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh basil
1/4 cup plain yogurt
5-6 cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

With a sharp knife, cut around the stem of the red pepper, removing core and seeds. Using a spoon or knife, remove the veins. Rub outside of pepper with olive oil and place on baking sheet. 

Broil at 450 degrees rotating every 5-7 minutes, until skin begins to bubble and char. Once all sides have bubbly, charred skin remove from oven and place pepper in a bowl. 

Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let sit for 5-10 minutes. 

While pepper is cooling, place plain yogurt, basil leaves, cherry tomatoes, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Remove pepper from bowl and peel off skin, It should come off super easily, and if not, use a knife to help you!

Roughly chop pepper and add to food processor, pulsing until smooth and well blended. Place in refrigerator, until ready to serve.  

In a medium mixing bowl add egg, thinly sliced green onion, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic salt, mustard, mayonnaise, parsley, and bread crumb. 

Basically everything but the halibut. That would have been easier to say I guess....

Mix well.

Using a spatula, gently fold in halibut, only breaking up slightly. If you over-mix, the halibut becomes mushy and loses its flaky-goodness. Fold until bread crumb mixture is evenly distributed.

Using your hands, form into 3 inch patties. Place in refrigerator for 20 minutes to allow patties to become firm, and easier to handle. 

In a large pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter of medium-high heat. Place halibut patties in pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, flip and repeat on other side. Cook until golden brown. 

Top hot halibut croquettes with a generous spoonful of basil and red pepper sauce and enjoy!


Creamy Broccoli Potato Soup

Sounds gross right? Like something your grandma would make you eat. But this creamy vegetarian soup will not leave you missing the cream, only the calories. A whole head of broccoli, 1 pound of potatoes, 2 celery stalks, and 1 onion are packed into this little guy. Oscar AND my husband liked it..... %100 on the night :)

Broccoli Potato Soup
1 large yellow onion
1 pound of small red or yellow potatoes
1 head of broccoli
2 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 cups water
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Peel and slice onion into even rounds, then halve. In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and sauté until they begin to brown. Reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally for 30-45 minutes until translucent and golden brown. 

While onions are caramelizing chop potatoes into fourths, break apart broccoli head into 1 inch pieces, and roughly chop celery. 

Once onions are caramelized add garlic, potatoes and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender. Next and celery and broccoli, add 2 cups of water, or enough to cover broccoli.  Cook for 5-7 minutes until tender. 

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture into blender. This may take a few batches, depending on how big your blender is.

Blend on high until soup is smooth with no chunks. Return to pot and add plain yogurt, stirring to combine.  Now you can taste and season more if you would like. Curry powder or garlic salt both work really well. 

Serve with crunchy croutons and fresh cut chives! 


Southwest Quinoa Salad

 Vacation really puts a damper on my blogging. But I guess I shouldn't complain :) I got to see all of my friends and even meet some new ones! I just got back from Alaska, and 10 days without a new post was driving me crazy! So to celebrate my return to Oscar's Sandwich and also celebrate the end of eating junk food on vacation (yet again), I whipped up this vegetarian dish that is healthy, a complete meal, and ready in a matter of minutes. This can be served as a side dish, used to stuff bell peppers, or eaten as a whole meal! 

Southwest Quinoa Salad
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1 ear of fresh corn
1/2 cup black beans
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup onion
1/4 cup cilantro
2 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Makes 4 cups

In a large pot, bring enough water to cover ear of corn to a boil. Add corn and boil for 4-5 minutes. Remove corn from water and set aside to cool. 

Dice onion and mince garlic and set aside. Cut cherry tomatoes into fourths. Roughly chop cilantro. 
Add all chopped vegetables and herbs to a large bowl. 

Rinse and drain black beans and add to bowl, along with lime juice, chili powder, cumin, pepper flakes, salt, pepper and olive oil. 

Once corn is cooled, using a sharp knife, hold ear of corn perpendicular to a cutting board, and cut away kernels. Add to bowl, and stir to combine. 

Add quinoa to bowl and toss to coat. This dish can be served warm or cold, and it delicious both ways. Add with your favorite southwestern toppings such as avocado or salsa for a perfect vegetarian meal!


Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps

Today was a good day. I discovered a recipe that allows me to make my very own Raincoast Crisps. If you have never tried a Raincoast Crisp....don't. I am only trying to protect you...or your wallet. For $7 a box, these crackers cost a pretty penny. But they are so good, and the flavor combinations are genius. So when I found a recipe on how to make my own, I just about died. I obviously tweaked it, because that is what I do. That and no one sells buttermilk :) Try these, then send me the money you saved!!!

Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup honey
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/8 cup sesame seeds
1/8 cup ground flax seed
3/4 tablespoon dried rosemary

First thing is first. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Add vinegar and milk to a small bowl and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Now you have buttermilk :)

In a large mixing bowl add flour, salt and baking soda. Stir to combine. 

Add brown sugar, honey, and milk. Stirring only enough to moisten flour. 

Add raisins, rosemary, chopped pecans, sesame seeds,  and flax seed. Stir until just combined, careful not to over mix. 

Pour batter into greased 8 inch x 4 inch pan.  Hopefully your pan has seen better days then mine!!

Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees, or until golden brown and springy to touch. 

Remove from pan and allow to cool. Next you have to slice, and the colder the bread the better. I popped mine into the freezer for about 1/2 hour until slightly frozen. 

Using a sharp knife, cut bread into slices as thin as you can.

Reduce oven to 300 degrees. Place slices on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip over and bake for 10 more minutes, until deep golden brown. 

Now instead of a cracker costing you $0.25 each, they only cost you about $0.05 each! Eat as many as you want without the guilt of a dwindling wallet :)


Berry Crepes with Blackberry Whipped Cream

Is it an omelette? Is it a pancake? A crepe can be filled with whatever you choose, and it always taste good. Savory is my favorite kind of crepe - goat cheese, asparagus, roasted red pepper.....but most people are used to sweet crepes, so sweet crepes are what I will make! And you can never go wrong with fresh berries and whipped cream.  I used a standard crepe recipe from "the Joy of Cooking" cookbook, and then went from there! So this morning I made a few crepes, and was even able to same some for my husband....

Berry Crepes with Blackberry Whipped Cream

1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup warm water
 4 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup blackberries
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar

In a small bowl add 1/2 cup blackberries and 3 tablespoons sugar. Using the back of a fork, mash berries  until almost smooth. Set aside. 

Add 1 cup of whipping cream to a large bowl, and mashed blackberries. Using a whisk, mix until stiff peaks form. A Kitchen-Aid works amazing here :)

To make crepes, mix milk, flour, eggs, butter, sugar, salt, and water together in a bowl. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  

While refrigerating, slice strawberries and add to bowl with remaining blackberries and blueberries. 
Stir to combine. 

Heat a large pan over medium heat. Grease pan with butter or olive oil. Pour 1/2 - 3/4 cup of mixture into hot pan and slowly swirl until evenly distributed. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then flip, cooking for 1 more minute

Place one crepe on a large plate. Now you can serve like a taco, fold into fourths, eat like a pancake, any way you want! I like to eat it like a taco, where you fill with berries, then fold thirds over. How ever you chose, just combine your crepe and your berries,  and top with a heaping spoonful of blackberry whipped cream.


Puppy noses....

Just for fun I decided to put together a little photo collage with some of the pictures that Oscar sneaks his nose into.  Who doesn't like a little hair in their food? Also some proof that he thinks he is a lap dog.........

 Happy Monday! 


Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies


I haven't done a dessert post in a while, and while I was trying to eat healthy.... you can only go so long without chocolate. This adaptation for brownies is so perfect. I admit, you have to like rich, fudgey brownies. I am not a big fan a dry, or cake like brownies. I want to feel like I am eating brownie batter. And chocolate chunks are a must in all of my baking, they are soooo much better than just chocolate chips. So with that being said, this is a sure fire way to gain a few pounds. Just in time for summer? LOL but seriously, someone come to my house and take these away from me. 

Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies

4 eggs
3/4 cups butter
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 ounces dark chocolate squares

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8x8 pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl mix eggs, sugar and vanilla, whisking until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Set aside. 

Heat 2 inches of water in a saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil. Place large metal bowl on top of pot, add butter and 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate. Melt butter and chocolate together, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. 

Once cooled, add cocoa powder and combine until smooth.

Add flour and stir until smooth.

Slowly add egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Beat together until just combined. 

Using a large knife, chop dark chocolate squares into large chunks. Set aside with chocolate chips.

Add half of the chopped dark chocolate chunks chocolate mix into brownie batter.

Once mixed, pour 3/4 of mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and chunks, and pour remaining batter into pan.

Bake in oven for 25-28 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes before you eat the whole pan :)

This recipe made a little too much batter for a 8x8 pan, so put the remaining into a mini muffin tin and sprinkled with sea salt. For Double Chocolate Brownies with Sea Salt....I love salt and chocolate....one of my fav combos. Try it if you want!

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