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 😉

Comforting Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

Freezing temperatures, biting winds and post holiday blues.  Although most people have just made their New Year’s resolutions, doesn’t it seem that these are the months when comfort food is needed most?

Comfort food usually conjures thoughts of macaroni and cheese, fried chicken and cheesecake, but on a cold Sunday evening in January there are few things more comforting than roasted chicken.

Perhaps to some people, roasting a whole chicken seems too complicated or just not worth it.  Well, this Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken disproves both of those thoughts and will turn even the most stubborn roast chicken doubters into believers.

Prep time  only takes 10 minutes.  From there the oven goes to work until you are ready to enjoy one the juiciest chicken dinners ever.  And while the lemon garlic flavors are divine, it is mild enough so you can use the leftover chicken all week long.  Quesadillas, soups, pizza.  You name it, with pre-cooked chicken quick meals are right at your fingertips.

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

serves 4

(Printable version)

1 6lb. Chicken, giblets removed and patted dry
2 large yellow onions, quartered
1 1/2 lemons, quartered
1 head garlic, top cut off plus 4 small cloves, mashed
1 bunch thyme (about 4 springs)
1/2 cup water
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Paprika

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place 1 of the quartered onions and 1 of the quartered lemons on the bottom of a roasting pan to create a bed for the chicken.  Sprinkle lightly with salt.  Place the bird on top of the bed, breast side up.  Liberally pour about 1/4 cup olive oil all over the bird and some inside the crevice.  Season the crevice of the bird with salt and pepper.  Remove skin slightly from breast meat so that you can rub olive oil and the 4 mashed garlic cloves under the skin.  Leave garlic cloves under the skin for roasting. Place half lemon, remaining onions, head of garlic (top sliced off) and thyme into the crevice. Sprinkle the bird generously with salt & pepper and finish with about a teaspoon of paprika. Pour water into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Cover the bird in foil and place in the oven on the middle rack.  Roast for 45 minutes and then remove the foil.  Continue to roast the chicken for approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes.  The temperature of the inner thigh should be 165 degrees F & the juices run clear.

Remove from the oven and place chicken on a cutting board.  Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

To make quick pan gravy:

Strain out all of the lemon quarters and most of the onions from the pan juices and pour remaining liquid into a small saucepan.   Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes or until reduced and thickened.  Season to taste and if desired whisk in a half tablespoon of Dijon mustard.

Also try: Quick & Simple Sides Dishes

Better For You Sweet Potato Mash

Peel and cube 2 large sweet potatoes.  Boil water in a medium saucepan.  Place sweet potato cubes in steamer basket and cook for about 10 – 15 minutes.  In a microwave safe bowl,  heat 1 3/4 cups skim milk, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg & 1/8 pepper for 1 minute 30 seconds.  Pour water out of saucepan, add the sweet potatoes and mash with a fork.  Pour in heated milk mixture and stir.  If you desire a smoother consistency, puree in a food processor or with an immersion blender.

Sauteed Swiss Chard

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.  Add 2 teaspoons garlic and lightly saute for 1 minute.  Add 10 cups swiss chard, rinsed with the inner stem removed and sliced into 1 inch wide strips.  Season with salt and pepper and saute for 5-8 minutes or until wilted.

So how about you?  What is you comfort food?