There’s really nothing like sharing good food with good friends, and we got the chance to do just that twice this week, plus celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary (8th dating anniversary). It was a pretty good week…
Monday: Apalachicola Oyster Stew
For our at-home anniversary dinner (we’ve got a trip planned for later) I decided to make something a little special, and this oyster stew from the newest Garden & Gun release, The Southerner’s Cookbook,Â sounded like a good option. It’s heartier than the oyster stew I grew up with (which was all of milk/cream, oysters, butter, and green onions) but just as tasty. Unfortunately, oysters were a little on the scarce side in the grocery store (I know the local oyster beds have been having issues) so I threw in some frozen seafood mix to fill things out a bit.
Tuesday: Beer & Cheer at Northside Pies
Would you get a load of that pizza up there? Pulled pork, BBQ sauce, and coleslaw. It was delicious! I’ve made many a barbecue pizza in my day, but I never thought to top it with creamy coleslaw, and I’m a little ashamed of myself for that fact.
Wednesday: Rosemary Balsamic Chicken, Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
This was intended to be a super easy slow-cooker mealÂ from Crockpot Gourmet,Â but I was not in the mood to set things up when we got home from Northside Pies (and I’m perpetually running late in the mornings, so it wasn’t happening then!) but I figured this was something I could do in the oven, too. I was right. Obviously you need to decrease the liquid quite a bit–I used 1 cup of water and it was still more than enough, I’d say go with 1/2 cup and then add more if necessary. Once everything was cooked through I moved the chicken onto a covered plate and mashed the potatoes in the baking dish, so the whole one-pot, low-less idea was upheld.
Thursday: Spinach-Artichoke Tilapia, Roasted Carrots, Coconut Rice
I like eating fish and I like the idea of putting it on the menu regularly, but I don’t always likeÂ cooking fish so much. If I commit to a simple preparation of broiling it, etc. then I can usually avoid making it a take-out night. So Thursday night’s supper was just going to be Parmesan-topped Tilapia but when I was retrieving the cheese from the fridge I saw the leftover artichoke hearts from the party. Artichoke + Parmesan cheese sounded like a good idea, and then I dug around and found an open bag of chopped greens in the freezer… this then became spinach-artichoke tilapia and was so very good. I even paid attention to what I was doing when I threw this together, and the recipe is below.
Friday: Corn Chowder with Beer Biscuits
This was First Friday and the annual meeting of the local Artist’s Collective, so I was going to be leaving work early and getting home late. It seemed like the perfect time to pull a container of Corn Chowder from the freezer and whip up a batch of drop biscuits once I got home. Gluten-free Bisquik comes in handy for things like this, and I like to use coconut oil for the butter or shortening in biscuits.
Saturday: Tapas at Bacchus
It wasn’t supposed to be dinner when we met up with friends at 3:30, but we noshed and nattered long enough that that’s what it ended up being. I neglected to get a picture of my fondue when it arrived, but Todd’s flatbread with duck, goat cheese, and caramelized onions made it into pixels and was very tasty! This was sorta-kinda a meeting to discuss plans for my 40th birthday party (it’s 6 months away, but L and Todd are collaborating and L likes to get a good head start on things), which we might be holding at Bacchus depending on how L’s call to their sales manager goes. If so, that flatbread might be a good contender!
Sunday: Beef Stew with Rice
It rained steadily all day on Sunday and I can’t say that I minded terribly. Not only did it bring the temperature down (this past week was back up in the 80s with the humidity to match, blech!) but it was perfect for the beef stew I had planned. Just your basic potatoes, carrots, celery, and green onions with beef, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Slow cook for 6 hours and wallow in the warmth.
And here’s the tilapia recipe I promised:
6 tilapia fillets
salt and pepper
For the topping:
1 cup chopped artichoke hearts
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Arrange the tilapia fillets in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet (rack optional). Drizzle the fillets with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl, then divide the mixture between the fillets. Try to keep the topping in an even layer over the fish so it cooks evenly.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the fish is fully cooked. If your fillets are frozen to start with, it might take another 10 minutes.