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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Baked Cod With A Tomatoes, Fennel, And Capers

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This delicious and healthy dish is a favorite in my house. Cod is a light white flaky fish that absorbs whatever flavors you may add.

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Temp: 375 degrees F.
Cook time: 15-18  minutes

Ingredients:
4-6 ounce cod fillets
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
2 pints of halved yellow and red grape tomatoes
1 diced fennel bulb
1 medium diced onion
1 seeded and minced Fresno chiili
3 sliced garlic cloves
1/4 cup of drained capers
1 tablespoon of Pernod
1/2 cup of white wine
1/2 cup of fresh chopped basil leaves
1-1/2 lemons ( 1 sliced and 1/2 juiced over the fish)
finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:
First, prep all the vegetables for the dish. Once prepped, add olive oil to saute pan on medium heat. Add all the veggies, minced Fresno chili, and minced garlic to the pan. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Saute everything for about 5-7 minutes. As the veggies start breaking down and soften, add in the white wine. Bring this up to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer the tomato and fennel mixture until wine has reduced and sauce starts to come together.This should take another 7-10 minutes. At this point, add in the drained capers. Keep the pan on the burner with the heat turned off.

In a 11 x 8 baking dish, add the Pernod to the bottom of the dish. Add in the sauteed tomatoes and fennel mixture. Sprinkle each of the 4 cod fillets with Kosher salt and pepper. Place the fillets on top of the of the tomato and fennel sauce. Spoon a little of the sauce over the top of each fillet.

In a preheated 375 degree oven, place the dish in the oven and bake for around 15-18 minutes or until the cod is tender and flaky.  Remove from the oven add squeeze fresh lemon juice over all the fish. Add sliced lemons. Sprinkle over the whole dish with chopped fresh basil leaves, and the Italian flat leaf parsley.

To serve, ladle the tomato, fennel, and caper sauce on the bottom of the dish. Using a spatula, transfer one of the fillets on top of the sauce, and spoon a generous amount of the sauce over the top of the baked cod. Garnish with a lemon slice.

 

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Homemade Cajun Chicken Pasta

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Here in Florida, we have a local restaurant and bar that serves this dish. Every time we go I always order the Cajun Chicken Pasta. I just love it so much I needed to recreate it at home. I will say that there is some butter that goes into the making of this dish, but that’s part of the reason it’s so delicious. I think once and a while it’s alright to indulge in a rich and decadent dish!

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Ready less than 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: cast iron skillet and a deep sided saute pan.

Ingredients:
4 boneless-skinless chicken breasts
1-1/2 boxes of linguine
1 pint of sliced button mushrooms
4 seeded and diced plum tomatoes
1 finely minced shallot
3 finely minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup of dry white wine
3 tablespoons of olive oil
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons of sweet paprika
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 cup of low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese ( reserve 1/2 cup for garnishing each serving)
Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:
In a cast iron skillet, start by melting butter and olive oil. To the skillet add the finely minced shallot and sliced mushrooms. On medium heat, saute the mushrooms and shallots for about 3-5 minutes. Next, add in the minced garlic, and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add in 1/4 cup of white wine and let this all simmer together until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are brown. This process should take another 7-10 minutes. While the mushrooms are simmering and browning, seed and dice 4 plum tomatoes. Transfer the sauteed mushrooms, shallots and garlic with the diced tomatoes to the bowl and mix together.

Place 4 boneless-skinless chicken breast, that have been patted dry, in a large resealable plastic bag. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika to the bag. Let all the air out of the bag and seal it up. Using your hands, massage the chicken so all the seasoning coats the chicken.

Using the same skillet the mushrooms were cooked in, preheated on the stove on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil along with 2 tablespoons of butter. Let the butter melt and move the butter and oil around in the skillet to coat the entire bottom. Next, place the 4 seasoned chicken breast into the skillet. Cook the chicken breasts for 5-7 minutes per side until almost tender. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside for a minute.

In a large pot, start to get the pasta water ready. Turn the pot on med-high heat to bring the water up to a boil. While that’s happening, slice the chicken breast on the bias.

in a deep sided saute pan with a lid, start the sauce for this dish. On medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter ( this may seem like a large amount of butter, but there is a lot of pasta going into this dish. The pasta needs to be well coated) along with 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning and 1 tablespoons sweet paprika. Add 1/2 a cup of low sodium chicken broth. Let this come to a bubble. Reduce the heat to med-low and pour in 1/4 cup of  heavy cream. Whisk the sauce together, then add the sliced chicken into the sauce. Let the sauce and chicken simmer for 10-12 minutes ( enough time to cook the pasta), on med-low heat, while the pasta cooks.

When the pasta is al dente,  transfer the linguine to the pan with the chicken, along with 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese. Turn the heat off and toss together until all the pasta is coated and the chicken is mixed through.The pasta will immediately start to absorb the sauce. Serve in a pasta bowl and garnishing with fresh Italian flat leaf parsley and another sprinkling of the Parmesan cheese. If the dish is not being served right away, place the lid.

 

 

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Pineapples In The Garden

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Lucky enough to live in a zone 9 climate is perfect for producing pineapples. You just wouldn’t believe how sweet there are. I’ve talked about my herbs and flowers and how maintaining them does take some work. Pineapples however, not so much. They are just so beautiful, I feel sometimes that it’s almost a shame to have to cut them off.  That’s not going to stop me though!  I have plans for these beauties.

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Perfect Scrambled Eggs

 

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scrambled eggs with cream cheese and chives

 

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scrambled eggs with cream cheese and chives

There’s a technique believe it or not when making scrambled eggs. I’ve never been a fan of fried eggs, and even eating scrambled eggs was a chore. Any time my mom or grandmother made me eggs, they were always scrambled. I remember it always being a real chore managing to finish eating those that were on my plate. As I got older, and went out for breakfast, I’d order them along with bacon and potatoes. Again,  they were the one thing on my plate that I could never finish. I realized, that it wasn’t so much the taste but the texture of the eggs that seem to be the problem for me.

Years ago, Melissa and I visited  Disney’s Animal Kingdom and ate breakfast at their famous, Boma Flavors of Africa, breakfast buffet. There I had scrambled eggs. The were the most amazing scrambled eggs I’d ever had. The eggs were fluffy, but cooked through, and filled with goat cheese and chives. That’s when I made the decision to practice making scrambled eggs at home.

Beating the eggs for a longer amount of time and then cooking them low and slow is key to making the perfect scrambled eggs. The longer they’re over the heat will determine how you want your eggs to be cooked. Runny and soft of course will take less time than compared to dryer scrambled eggs.

Ingredients:
1 dozen large eggs
1/4 cup of half and half (substitute heavy cream or whole milk is fine)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons of finely chopped chives
1/4 cup of whipped cream cheese ( or goat cheese)
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
First, place a non stick pan on med heat on the stove. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half and half, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper together. Whisk, for at least 5 minutes, these ingredients together, allowing as much air as possible to be incorporated into the eggs. You want to see foam bubbles forming at the top of the egg mixture.

At this point, turn the dial on the stove down to medium-low. Continue whisking, letting the temperature of the burner adjust. Add the egg mixture to the pan. Using a rubber spatula, continue moving the eggs around in the pan until the eggs come together. Key is not to rush this process. Times may vary slightly, cooking on a med-low heat will take about 10 minutes with the constant movement of the eggs in the pan.

Once the eggs are to your liking, immediately turn the heat off but leave the eggs on the burner. This will ensure any and all liquid from the eggs will be evaporated. Next, fold in the cream cheese (or goat cheese) and chopped chives. Season with Kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the eggs to a serving bowl. Best served hot!

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