Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2020:
* Make at least 20 recipes for the Instant Pot
* Use the Spiralizer more often

Friday, May 31, 2013

Spice-Crusted Perch over Saffron Orzo Risotto with Broiled Herbed Tomatoes and Becker Brussels Sprouts

After a month of old recipes, I broke out the cookbooks and added 4 new recipes, all in one meal.   I have to say, the Saffron Risotto-style Orzo was fabulous.  Really super tasty.  And I believe it was my first time cooking with Orzo.  Everything else was merely good.  So I'll start by posting the Orzo recipe first.

Saffron Orzo, Risotto Style  (2013 Cookbook Challenge)
from How to Cook Everything Cookbook
Makes: 4 servings

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 cups orzo (~1 pound)
1 pinch saffron threads
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 to 5 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, until glossy and coated with oil, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add a little salt, pepper, and a pinch of saffron threads, then add the wine.  Stir and let the liquid bubble away.

Add the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition.  Each time the stock is almost evaporated, add more.  The mixture should be neither soupy nor dry.  Keep the heat at medium to medium-high and stir frequently.   Taste the orzo after each addition until done, which could take up to 20 minutes.  When the orzo is cooked, stir in the butter and at least 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.  Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve immediately.


Panfried Spice-Crusted Fish Fillets (2013 Cookbook Challenge)
from Joy of Cooking Cookbook
Makes 4 servings

4 fish fillets (I used perch)
fresh lemon or lime juice
canola oil
1&1/2 cups flour
1&1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon Garam Masala
salt and ground black pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Pour in 1/8" canola oil and heat until hot.    Meanwhile, mix together the flour, water, Garam Masala, salt, and pepper.   Rub the fish with the lemon juice and dip each fillet into the spice batter.  Carefully place fish in hot skillet, and cook, turning once, until nicely browned on each side.  Adjust heat as necessary--oil should be bubbling but not burning.  Drain on paper towels.   Cooking time depends on how big the fish is.  For small fillets, just a couple minutes on each side will suffice.


Broiled Tomatoes with Herbs  (2013 Cookbook Challenge)
from How to Cook Everything Cookbook

Toss cherry or grape tomatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and various herbs (I used thyme, oregano, rosemary, tarragon).  Place on a rimmed baking sheet and broil until skins brown, blister, and crack, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Check often because they can burn quickly.  Serve warm.


Becker Brussels Sprouts (2013 Cookbook Challenge)
from Joy of Cooking Cookbook
Serves 2-4

Trim and slice lengthwise in half about 12 Brussels Sprouts.   In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, heat 3 tablespoons butter.  Add 1 or 2 crushed garlic cloves and continue to cook.  Place sprouts cut side down in the garlic butter.  Cover and cook over low heat until tender, 15-20 minutes.  Serve warm and drizzle additional butter if desired.