SMAM Round-Up and Don’t Fear the Fish!

February 1, 2010

Hello to February! And you know what that means, right? Bye-bye to Shrink-My-Ass-Month!!

Sorta.

Since there’s a really good reason why I don’t step on a scale, and haven’t for years, I will tell you that I don’t know if I lost any weight this month. And no, I refuse to examine my ass in a mirror. I remember vividly the trauma of the last Booty Scrutiny.

But I will say that my pants are a little looser. I no longer feel like a keilbasa stuffed into its casing when I slide on the jeans. So I’m good.

As for Hubs? He looks awesome! He looked great anyways, but he’s worked hard this month with the exercise (something I wasn’t nearly as motivated to do) and let me tell you–my man is smoking!

And still not satisfied. Sigh.

So, until we leave for vacation in March, he is still on a modified le regime. Modified in that I will no longer be cooking strictly SMAM-type recipes. But I will try to keep things relatively healthy around here.

So February is Half-Assed Month, I guess?

Anyways, on with the show! And I hope you’ll stick around, because I’ve got some yummy things planned for us. Plus, another upcoming Guest Post from TKW’s Daddy-O–something you know you don’t want to miss, so tune in on Wednesday!

*****

I’m sure a lot of you have fond memories of favorite foods from childhood. You know, those dishes that, when you heard the answer to “Ma, what’s for dinner?” made you do a secret little herky in your heart and think “Yes!”

Personally, my favorites varied from year to year, but there were always certain dishes that I’d start yearning for, dreaming about, and then pester Mama relentlessly for.

To her credit, Mama always laughed and said, “I like requests.” I feel like that, too. Requests make things easy on the cook because the “What’s for Dinner?” conundrum is already solved.

Ambrosia over at Making The Moments Count emailed me a week or two ago, requesting a recipe for fish. You see, Ambrosia fears the fish.

She thinks she hates it, is pretty sure she might gag if she sees it and she is hesitant to cook it. But she’s a brave girl, because she told me that she really wants to make fish. She wants to like it. She knows it’s good for her and thinks she might be ready to give fish a second chance.

I think this recipe might be the ticket she’s looking for, for several reasons.

First off, this recipe uses halibut. Halibut is an awesome fish to serve to fish-phobes, because it doesn’t have any yucky bones or skin on it and it’s got a clean, mild, very un-fishy flavor. Consider halibut the Gateway Fish.

Second, the fish is coated in crispy crumbs and then quickly pan fried. Put a crispy coating on any kind of protein and you’re ahead of the game. Just ask chicken nuggets.

Third, there’s yummy little sauce to finish things off and add a little zip. It makes things a little more interesting and is yet close enough to old Tartar sauce that it shouldn’t seem scary. Although if you hate cilantro, feel free to use regular Tartar sauce.

And finally? It’s one of the most beloved staff favorites from Cooking Light magazine. This recipe received the magazine’s highest rating, and that’s got to count for something!

Cornflake-Crusted Halibut with Chile-Cilantro Aioli
from Cooking Light Magazine
serves 4

Aioli:
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons reduced-fat or fat-free mayonnaise
1 serrano or jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, minced

Fish:
1 cup lowfat or fat-free milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 cups cornflakes, finely crushed (I used Total)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
dash cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets*
4 lemon wedges

To prepare aioli, combine cilantro, mayonnaise, serrano, and minced garlic. Stir well.

To prepare fish, combine milk and egg white in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Combine cornflakes, flour, salt and pepper in another shallow dish.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip fish in milk mixture, and then dredge in cornflake mixture. Add the fish to pan, and cook 4 minutes on one side. Flip fish and cook 4 more minutes, or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Serve with a lemon wedge and aioli on the side.

* If, like me, you can’t find decent halibut on market day, substitute any mild white fish, like cod or snapper.

We enjoyed this fish! The girls even ate it, but dipped in ketchup. They wanted NO part of that freaky looking aioli. But they won’t eat tartar sauce, either, so that wasn’t a shocker.

Ambrosia, I’ve got a couple more recipes coming up for you, so if this one doesn’t float your boat, no worries. There’s hope for fish yet.

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