Flounder with Pineapple Salsa

Fish night.  We’ve had enough red meat since Better Half returned so it’s time for some of the other, other white meat!  I had flounder in the freezer and the last of my yellow tomatoes hanging on for dear life, along with a luscious pineapple winking at me, so here’s the result.   I served it on top a simple rice mixed with two big cloves of sautéed elephant garlic from my garden.  FYI, Better Half was digging this fish and dish!

Flounder with Pineapple Salsa

(serves four)


(The first four ingredients should be chopped into approx. ¼” cubes)

½ cup pineapple
½ yellow bell pepper
1 yellow tomato, seeded
½ cup sweet onion
½ jalapeno, finely minced (w/ seeds)
½ cup loosely packed cilantro
½ lime, juiced
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt/Pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate at least two hours prior to serving.


Four flounder fillets, thawed and patted w/ paper towel
1/4 cup flour
4 tablespoons butter

Season flour with salt and pepper.  Lightly dredge flounder fillets in seasoned flour.  Melt butter in skillet over medium heat (approx. 350°).  Sauté (yes, I’m aware it’s really frying, okay?)  flounder (approximately 10 minutes per 1″ thickness of fish) on both sides until done.  Top with salsa and dig in.


Mediterranean Orzo

Simple dinner.  Better Half got home and while he wasn’t feeling too well, I still had yummy fresh lamb chops in the fridge and I wasn’t about to let those lovelies (which I had to buy out of state) waste away.  Also, unfortunately again for Better Half, he is not a big fan of basil or oregano so while this might not have been his cup of tea, too bad because I’m the cook, and I loved it!  The lamb chops were delicious; a simple rub of oregano, pepper, salt, garlic and then grilled approximately three minutes on each side. The orzo was nice and cool; perfect on a hot summer evening.

Mediterranean Orzo

(serves four)

8 ounces orzo pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup fresh diced tomatoes (I used yellow because that’s what I had fresh)
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh (homemade!) feta cheese
Salt/Pepper, to taste
balsamic vinegar

Prepare 8 ounces orzo per package instructions and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water.   Toss cold orzo with remaining ingredients, except balsamic vinegar.  Prior to serving, drizzle small amount of balsamic vinegar over top.

It would even be tasty with chopped artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes.  Or, ooh, what about nice, chunky tuna mixed in….  Enjoy!

BLT Made Better

OMG-who’d have thought a BLT could be improved?  I’ve been trying to eat buy less bread but have been craving a BLT.  Well, this is my dream, um recipe: BLT Made Better.  I’m still in my basil phase, and what’s left of my tomatoes aren’t really making it to the ripe stage; hence this jewel.  I’d like to think this is healthier than a standard BLT, because hey, I did saute in only a smidgen of olive oil–that’s healthy, no?  I mean, look–it has three different kinds of tomatoes on it!  Okay, I know it doesn’t have healthy lettuce, but a basil aioli isn’t exactly the ugliest girl at the prom!

It looks like a lot of ingredients and bowls, but I actually had the kitchen cleaned up before the tomatoes were finished frying.  That way nothing, and I mean nothing, could come between me and my slices of heaven….

BLT Made Better (makes 2)

4 slices of bacon
1 green tomato, sliced into ¼” rounds
¼ cup cornmeal
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 egg
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup mayonnaise
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chiffonade basil
1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
Dash of salt
1 red or yellow tomato, sliced into ¼” rounds

Cut bacon in half cross-wise (you will have 8 slices).  Fry or nuke until crisp.  Set aside.

Mix cornmeal and flour (you can season if you’d like) in shallow bowl.  In small bowl, beat egg.  Mix panko, seasoned salt and ground pepper in separate shallow bowl.

Dredge green tomato slices in cornmeal/flour, dip both sides in egg, and then dredge in panko mixture.

In small bowl, mix mayo, garlic, basil, lemon juice, and dash of salt.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil in shallow fry pan over medium-low heat.  Saute green tomatoes on both sides until golden brown.

Assemble as follows:  green tomato slice, fresh tomato slice, 2 slices bacon, dollop of mayo mixture, fresh tomato slice, 2 slices bacon, dollop of mayo mixture, top with green tomato slice.  Eat with gusto and plenty of napkins!

Mexican Carbonara

Must eat…really don’t feel like cooking…should eat something good for me…it’s just me tonight…don’t want a lot of leftovers…okay, enough!

Something fast and quick:  Carbonara.   While I like the typical Italian Carbonara, I really wanted something with a little more oomph.   My tomatoes are starting to lose their ability to grow (Hello? I thought tomatoes liked heat?), and I had one Yellow Boy tomato and one Arkansas Traveler hanging by their lives on the vine, begging me to eat them before the squirrels, the worms, etc., got to them first.  Here’s my oomphed up version of Carbonara.

Mexican Carbonara

1/2 pound linguine, cooked al dente
6 slices of quality bacon
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream (or half/half)
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 avocado, diced
1/3 cup crumbled Queso Fresco cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste

While salted water for linguine is preparing to boil, fry bacon until crisp.  Reserve 1 teaspoon bacon fat in pan.  Crumble bacon and set aside.  Cook garlic and red pepper flakes in reserved bacon fat over low heat until garlic has softened.

Cook linguine according to package directions (al dente).  Prior to draining, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.  Do not, I repeat, do not rinse pasta.

Beat eggs and heavy cream together.  Quickly whisk 1/8 cup of reserved pasta water and garlic/pepper mixture with egg mixture and add, tossing briskly, into hot pasta.   Keep tossing until entire mixture has coated pasta and is not runny.  If pasta appears too dry, add additional reserved pasta water (or more cream), as needed until mixture is creamy, but again, not runny.

Plate pasta and top with crumbled bacon, avocado, tomato, cilantro, and Queso Fresco.  Add salt/pepper to taste.   Feeds 4 if each is a size zero, otherwise, feeds 2.5!

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