Open-faced blackened catfish sandwiches

I sm so excited that summer is here — one of my favorite seasons to be in the kitchen and enjoying the amazing produce available.  Frank and I love seafood of all kinds, especially fish.  I’m always on the lookout for new ways to prepare it since it’s such a quick, easy thing to fix on weeknights.  I found this recipe in June’s Cooking Light issue (one of my favorite sources for fresh and healthy recipes).

The fish was simple and delicious; we followed the recipe for the slaw, but would probably go back and use my own recipe for slaw when we make these again.  Overall, very good and very quick for a weeknight summertime meal.  Ididn’t get my own photo, but below is the one from the mag.  Doesn’t it look good?

(image from cookinglight.com)

  • catfish fillets
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • olive oil
  • bag of carrot and cabbage slaw
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (from my herb garden!)
  • slices of sourdough bread, toasted

Combine first five ingredients in a small bowl.  Sprinkle over fish, coating well on both sides.  Heat cast iron skillet over high heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat.  Add fish and cook 4 minutes on each side or until done.

Combine yogurt, juice and honey in a large bowl; toss together with slaw and cilantro.

Top bread slices with slaw, fish and remaining slaw.

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The View From My Kitchen & Our Weekly Menu

The view from my kitchen window is one of my favorite places in the house, especially in the spring.  The azaleas are bursting and having this view makes being in the kitchen and cooking that much better.  Especially with a crisp class of sauvignon blanc.

We’re entering my favorite time of year to cook — so much fresh and beautiful produce to enjoy.  God’s provision always amazes me every time this season rolls around and I do my best to make sure we enjoy the healthy, delicious things He provides for us, especially in the spring and summer.  I have lots of good recipe posts coming up, but I thought I would start this coming week with sharing our weekly menu and a few pictures of springtime at our house.

frank's grandmother's concrete planters

Bradford Pear in our driveway

bradford pear in our driveway

the beginnings of our new mailbox! yay!

 

our neighbors' tulip bed

 

My herbs are thriving, although we’ll be losing the cilantro pretty soon — it’s a cooler weather herb, so I’m trying to use it as much as possible now, with black bean dip and fresh pico de gallo.  The pico is so simple, it doesn’t really deserve it’s own recipe post.  Basically, you just chop up a few roma tomatoes, a tablespoon or two of white onion, a bunch of cilantro and mix with salt, pepper and the juice of one lime.

Here’s what’s on the docket this week.  I’ll be following up with the recipes for some of these things shortly, so stay tuned.

Sunday:  chicken kabobs, lake rice and Asian slaw

Monday: shrimp scampi with whole wheat angel hair and a salad

Tuesday:  homemade pizza with fennel, sweet onion and chicken sausage

Wednesday:  pork tender, sweet potato fries and roasted asparagus

Thursday:  grilled chicken, spicy coleslaw and  baked beans

Spring Has Sprung!

 

This year, I’ve decided to start an herb garden.  In the spring and summer, I am known to spend a small fortune buying herbs for just one recipe — a little rosemary or basil at the store is like $3.99 and you use it once before it goes bad.  And Frank’s personal pet peeve, when I would buy $2 worth of parsley just to garnish something.  But, for less than that one container’s worth at the store, you can plant that same herb and have it all summer long.  So far, I’ve got basil and cilantro, chives and parsley (both flat leaf and curly), mint and a rosemary bush.  All for like $30.00, the rosemary bush being $20 of it.

It’s really a no-brainer, it just takes a little dedication to get it going.  Here a few tips I’ve picked up this spring from the professionals at the nurseries.  If you live in the Birmingham area, Colliers Nursery has beautiful herbs and very knowledgable people to help you maximize your plants.

  • Use containers instead of planting in the ground.  They will need more frequent watering, but you can move them inside in the event of a drop in temperature and you can control the herbs that tend to take over your yard, like mint.
  • Invest in good potting soil and plant food to give them a good start.  Then, all they will need is water.
  • Make sure you position your garden in full sun.  Ours is in a strange part of the yard, but it’s the only part with full sun that isn’t already in use by other landscaping.
  • This time of year, you can get away with watering every other day, but in the real heat of summer, you need to water them every day, especially if you use containers and not a planting bed.
  • Rosemary is a low-maintainence shrub and great for landscaping needs.  If you plant it in the ground, leave a little of the bush sitting up and not buried.  Also, I’m told that you should plant rosemary in less than great soil.  This keeps the rosemary root ball short and stumpy, but maintains the flavor of the herb.  If it’s in really good soil, the roots spread out, go deep and the plant loses it’s flavor.
  • You can plant different types of herbs in the same container, but mint tends to take over, so keep it in it’s own planter.