Welcome!

Thanks for stopping by. My name is Natasha and I love to eat and keep track of my recipes here. I use organic, seasonal and local ingredients as much as possible in my recipes. I believe in the Slow Food movement and sit on the board of Slow Food Atlanta. I love to support farmers and companies who are changing the way we eat. March on!

Mackerel with White Wine, Caper Butter Sauce

Ok – so this dish is not very holiday-ish but it is is very easy.  As the holiday approaches I have less time to do the things I need to get done.  I will have a full house in two days and I am excited about everyone being here.  And no, I am not just saying that because a few of them will be reading this post.  I love big families and love it even more when we all pile up and spend time with each other, playing board games, cooking good food and drinking lots of wine.  Our family is not that big but it will be nice to have everyone here.  My mom used to say she always wanted to have 15 kids, but that my sister and I kept her busy enough.

I love this dish because you can use any fish you like, it is so easy and tasty.

So anytime you cook fish, make sure your pan is really, really, really hot.  Otherwise the fish will stick to the pan.  I was impatient and that happened to me.  After you generously salt and pepper (I like to use white pepper on fish) sear the skin side in your HOT pan.

Be patient and let it cook and sizzle and you will end up with a nice crunchy crust.  If you started out with a hot pan then it should be easy to flip.  If you didn’t then be very gentle, use a good fish spatula if you have one, and unstick the fish from the pan.  Cook for a few minutes, but not all the way through to make time for the sauce.

After the fish is cooked set it aside while you make your sauce.  You can also make the sauce in a separate pan if you are worried you may over cook the fish.  Add the garlic, then capers and let them sizzle.  Add your wine and let it bubble.  Once it is has bubbled for a few minutes, add the butter.  At this point you can add the fish back to the pan.  Tilt the pan to the side and with a spoon drown the fish with the sauce.  Continuously repeat this step for a few minutes.  This will make the fish very happy and moist.

Or if you cooked the sauce in a separate pan, just pour it right over your fish and enjoy.  I usually add tomatoes to the sauce as well, but didn’t have any this time.

 

I served roasted potatoes and salad with it.  I love this sauce so much I actually licked my plate.  Good thing I don’t behave like this when we go out.

Mackerel with White Wine, Caper Butter Sauce
serves 2
prep and cooking time about 15 minutes

2 mackerel fillets
1 garlic clove thinly sliced
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons butter
olive oil
1/2 tomato small dice – optional

Salt and pepper fillets evenly.  Heat saute pan very well and then add enough olive oil to cover the surface of your pan.  Place skin side gently into the pan and sear for about 5 minutes or until crispy brown. Flip the fish over and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Just before it is cooked all the way set aside.
Use the same pan and add garlic slices and capers.  Cook for a minute but do not let the garlic burn. Add wine and deglaze the pan.  Let the alcohol cook out for a minute or two and then add butter.  whisk the butter into the sauce and add the fish back to the pan.  Tilt the pan and drown fish with the sauce repeatedly.  Once completely cooked serve.
Enjoy!
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Chicken Cutlet Sandwich

I must confess something.  I have an obsession.  It”s the Chicken Cutlet Sandwich.  I don”t know what my problem is.  It is so simple and you may think ok so it”s chicken and cheese on bread.  BFD!  But it is so yumalicious!  The breaded chicken, with the warm melted mozzarella cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayo and the incomparable kaiser roll.  It”s just magic.  The whole thing is magic.

Just about every deli in the northeast has the classic and sometimes their own version of it.  Every time we visit I get fixated and must hunt down the best chicken cutlet sandwich.  We just went up last week to visit my husbands grandmother.  This is the first year in the past three years we are not going up north for Christmas.  So we decided to at least visit his grandmother and this way she gets to see her great grandson.  Our first stop after we landed was to the Rye Ridge Diner for lunch.  I had a chicken cutlet sandwich in case you were wondering.

I even took a picture of it.  It was good, not the best I have had, but good.

I went shopping earlier and decided it was a chicken cutlet sandwich day.  So I made one.

Look at these guys.  They have no idea the greatness that is about to be bestowed on them.

And of course the roll.  This is an essential piece.  The sandwich is just not the same otherwise.

This makes me happy.

Ok – you have to get really good real mozzarella cheese.  Are you drooling yet?

Put it all together and you have achieved greatness.

What are you waiting for?  Go get the necessary ingredients and make one now.

Chicken Cutlet Sandwich
serves 4
prep and cooking time about 25 minutes
use as much as you want of ingredients

4 chicken cutlet
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg
mayo
lettuce
tomato
kaiser roll
mozzarella cheese
oil

Place the panko breadcrumbs in a bowl and add salt and pepper to season.  Whisk egg in a separate bowl.  Dredge each cutlet into egg first, then into breadcrumbs.  Set aside.  Heat your pan and add enough olive oil so your cutlets will be covered to the side, but not drowning in it.  Cook each side for about 8 minutes.  You can finish cooking in the oven if you think they are not cooked all  they way and afraid to burn them.

Arrange the cutlets on a cookie sheet to place in the oven or your toaster oven would work.  Place the mozzarella on each cutlet and broil or heat in toaster oven for about 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Spread mayo on both pieces of bread, place tomatoes on the bottom side, then the cutlet, lettuce and second piece of bread.

Enjoy!

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Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and Tomato

My first job was when I was 15 as a hostess at Applebee”s in Cary, NC where I went to high school.  I couldn”t wait to work and who knows how and why I picked the food service industry.  But I was hooked.  I loved the action, instant gratification or failure, and interacting with people.  Especially when I graduated to being a waitress and there were tips involved.  The food service industry is high energy, can be intense at times, but it can also be very gratifying.

When I lived in NJ there was a diner I frequented and loved called the Florham Park Diner. I need to get in touch with them to recreate their split pea soup.  Their secret weapon: fried croutons.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  One of my favorite sandwiches at the Florham Park Diner was the Happy Waitress Sandwich.  Melted cheese, bacon and tomatoes, who wouldn”t be happy with that?

Like any dish, start with good ingredients and you get great results.  I love shopping at Whole Foods that helps me support local farmers like Thompson Farms.  That is where my bacon came from.

Once this is cooked, the bacon literally melts in your mouth.

Perfection.  Is your mouth watering yet?  Let”s get a closer look . . .

This is food porn.

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Butter makes everything better.  Butter melting in a hot pan is a beautiful thing.

I love onions and thought I would add some to the mix.

Spread some mayo on to each bread slice.  Then top with cheese and onions.  I used two different cheeses but you can use just one.

Then I added the tomatoes, bacon, more cheese and topped with the other slice.

ooey gooey yumminess.  I think this pretty much covers all food groups.

I had a little tomato soup and salad to go along with the sandwich.

Happy Eating!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and Tomato
prep and cooking time about 15 minutes
use as much as you want of ingredients
oven temp 400

mammoth cheddar slices
english white cheddar slices
bacon strips
tomato thinly sliced
sauteed onions
mayo
butter
bread

Heat oven to 400.  Place a cooling rack in a sheet pan to place the bacon on.  If you don”t have the wire cooling racks, just use parchment paper instead.  Cook bacon for 10 minutes, then rotate pan and cook for another 10 minutes. While bacon is cooking heat a small amount of butter to sautee onions.  Set aside.

Spread a small amount of mayo, just enough to coat the slice, on what will be the inside sides of bread.  Place white cheddar on one of the bread slices, then followed by the sauteed onions.  Add tomato, bacon and mammoth slices.  Top with the other slice of bread, mayo side down.  Spread butter on the outside of bread.

Heat a saute pan or cast iron skillet and butter the pan.  Place the non buttered side on the pan.  Let it brown a bit and then flip over to the buttered side.  Place the pan directly into the oven and cook for about 5 minutes or so.

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