Fish Fajitas aka Using What You’ve Got

Sometimes, towards the end of the week food supplies can start to dwindle in the fridge.

Remember the pan roasted cod I cooked up recently?  Well in the back of my mind I always knew I wanted to make fish tacos with the leftovers.  Although cod is a mild fish, it is fairly firm and would hold up well in the tacos.

However, when I finally went to make the tacos about a day later, I realized what I had in my fridge was best suited for a different mexican favorite – fajitas!

What I loved most about this dish (besides the ease & quick prep time, obviously) is the refreshing lemon flavor the cod gives these fajitas.  If you aren’t using leftover cod, I definitely encourage you to marinade the fish first in a similar lemon mixture, lightly pan roast it and then continue on with the rest of this recipe.

Fish Fajitas

3 ounces leftover Pan Roasted Cod, sliced into 1/2 inch strips

1/3 red bell pepper, sliced thinly

1/3 yellow onion, sliced thinly

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cayenne

Pinch salt & pepper

Splash water (or stock or white wine)

Shredded cheddar cheese (or pepper jack, monterey etc)

Handful chopped spinach (optional)

Olive Oil

Whole wheat tortilla

In a skillet over medium high heat, warm the olive oil for about 1 minute.  Add in the onion and cook for about 2 minutes before adding the red pepper and garlic.  Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook for about 8 minutes and then add the cayenne and cumin.  Stir to combine before adding the water to deglaze the pan.  Add in the cod and cover with onion, pepper mixture. Cover the pan and cook 1-2 minutes until the fish is cooked through.

That’s it! You’re done!  All you need to do now is assemble your fajita and enjoy – oh and cover with hot sauce of course 😉

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Pizza, Pizza!

Pizza get’s a bad rap.  Dough & cheese, can’t be healthy right?

While it should not be a daily indulgence, pizza can certainly be a part of your healthy weekly menu especially if it’s homemade. And if you have the dough already made, your pizza will be ready in less time than it would be if you called your local pizza shop.

With all of the possible toppings, you’ll never have the same pizza twice!

Thursday’s dinner was all about the pizza.  Instead of just sauce and cheese, I made two types, mushroom with goat cheese and ham & cheese.  Both were so good but seriously, the ham and cheese version tasted just like a grilled cheese sandwich! Served with a side of green veggies, this meal was nutritionally complete, satisfying and very tasty.

Mushroom & Goat Cheese Pizza
Ham & Cheese Pizza

The best thing about homemade pizza is that there really is no recipe, you can create whatever you want using whatever happens to be in the fridge!  That being true,  below is how these two pies came together.

16 oz whole wheat pizza dough
Flour
Olive Oil

Mushroom & Goat Cheese Pizza

3/4 cup Weeknight Marinara Sauce
4 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Divide pizza dough in half and roll out to desired thickness.  Spread on sauce leaving a small border around the edges (you can drizzle the crust with some olive oil and salt too).  In a small skillet heat olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add slices mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, turning over at least once.  Place mushrooms on the pizza and sprinkle with goat cheese.  Place in oven for 20 – 25 minutes.

Ham & Cheese Pizza

3/4 cups Weeknight Marinara Sauce
2 slices Canadian Bacon (deli ham is good too), cubed
1 1/2 oz. cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
Salt
Pepper

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll out the second half of the pizza dough.  Spread on sauce leaving a small border around the edges (you can drizzle the crust with some olive oil and salt too).  Arrange bacon and then cheese on top of pizza.  Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

I ate 2 slices of the ham & cheese pizza (pictured with a bite missing!) and then went back for a small slice of mushroom and goat cheese.  All served with some greens, of course. Another good thing about pizza, it reheats well for lunch the next day (or is good cold!)

Tips & Tricks

On buying vs. making pizza dough

Homemade pizza dough is definitely fun to make and I suggest you make a few big batches and freeze to have on hand.  However, in case you don’t have any homemade on hand during the week, Trader Joe’s makes a great whole wheat dough that only costs $.99 so stock up while you are there!

** Sorry about the late post (this was from last week).

Huevos Rancheros

If you have ever been to a Mexican restaurant for brunch, chances are you’ve seen Huevos Rancheros on the menu.  Heck, most American diners now serve this dish up, although it is rarely as good as the real deal.  Don’t despair, the Huevos Rancheros recipe below will no doubt satisfy your craving for warm tortillas, spicy tomato-chili sauce and a perfectly fried egg.  Best of all, most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry so you can whip this up whenever that craving hits you.

Huevos Rancheros

(serves 2)

Printable Version

1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
1 half of a medium onion, diced
1 half of a jalapeno, diced (and seeded if you can’t take the heat)
4 eggs
2 tsp. smoked paprika (optional)
1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp. ground cumin (optional)
2 flour tortillas, whole wheat or white
1  tbs olive oil
1 tbs. butter
4 thin slices cheddar or pepper jack cheese (optional)
Salt
Pepper

Step One:  Get the Sauce Started

Heat about a half tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until softened and translucent about 3-4 minutes.  Stir in the jalapeno and cook another minute.  Add the tomatoes (including any juice in the jar) and bring the sauce to simmer before lowering the heat.  Do a taste test and season with salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne (if using).  Continue to cook the sauce at a low simmer while you prepare the rest of he items.

Note: Add a bit of water if the sauce becomes to dry but make sure you re-season if it tastes bland afterwards.

Step Two: Warm Up Your Tortillas

In a medium sized skillet over medium heat, add about 1 1/2 tsp. of the olive oil and 1 tsp of paprika (if using).  Once warm, add one tortilla.  Cook for about 2 minutes or until bubbles form on the top side.  Flip over and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until tortilla is warm.  Either transfer to a plate or place in the oven on low heat to keep warm.  Repeat same procedure with remaining tortilla.

Step Three: Eggs!

Using a medium skillet (to save on cleaning time, use the same skillet used for the tortillas), heat the butter over medium-low until melted.  Fry the eggs to your taste (sunny side up or over easy are delicious here!) and add the cheese (if using) about 2 minutes before the eggs are done.

Step Four: Serve It Up!

Place a tortilla on each plate.  Spoon some of the sauce on the tortilla and place eggs on top.  Top with more sauce.  Enjoy!

Variations & Accompaniments

For recipes like the above, I really like to use the ingredients and instructions as a guideline and almost every time I make them they come out slightly different.  I encourage you to experiment with the recipe and see what different combinations you love.  To help spark some ideas, here is a list of things you can try:

  • Serve with either refried beans (black beans & pinto beans also work) and rice.  This is often how they are served in Mexico.  Fried potatoes (similar to home fries) are also commonly served
  • Garnish with cilantro or sliced avocado to add a fresh flavor to the dish.
  • Use crumbled Queso Fresco which is a mild Mexican cheese similar to feta, in place of the cheddar or pepper jack cheese. Add once the meal is plated.
  • Experiment with peppers.  If you like spicy food, try using dried (and reconstitued) or canned/sliced peppers.  For example, diced chipotle peppers (in adobo sauce) will add a deeper, smokier flavor to the sauce.
  • If you enjoy a smoother texture, puree in a blender or use an immersion blender.  Be sure if you are using a regular blender that you cool the sauce before adding it to the glass container.  Heat the sauce back up in the skillet before serving.