Monday, August 31, 2009

A little meal for two

When you are cooking for a small number, you run the risk of too many leftovers. There are definitely certain meals that I love, but after the third or fourth time in a row of eating it, they really lose something. In order to avoid meal burn-out, I started using recipes that were made for two. One that I had made several times was fried catfish and and green beans with crushed almonds. As is often the case, these two recipes are from One of my favorite things about them is that they are both really simple, rather quick, and made for two.

When I showed Rick the recipes, he was excited about them. I had thought that I had made them for him before, but apparently ;), I hadn't. For the preparations, Rick broke up the slivered almonds while they were still in the package while I prepped the green beans. He also toasted the almonds. While Rick minced two cloves of garlic and pressed another, I sliced two shallots to substitute for the chives in the catfish recipe. I've never done that substitution before, but I needed to get rid of the shallots. We breaded the catfish with panko after an egg wash instead of just flour. Rick was on frying duty, and I put the green beans together. When I was making the sauce for the catfish, I forgot to put the ginger in, but it turned out great! I know I've said it before, but Rick said that it is on his lists of favorites. We've been talking about redoing this recipe this week so that he can experience it with the ginger, but we'll see.

Here are the recipes. Both of these recipes serve 2!

Fried Catfish with Chive-Ginger Sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 6- to 7-ounce skinless catfish fillets
  • All purpose flour
Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, grated ginger, garlic and golden brown sugar in small bowl to blend. Mix in 3 tablespoons chopped chives. (Sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Press 1 tablespoon chopped chives onto both sides of fish. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Dredge fish in flour; shake off excess.

Pour peanut oil into heavy large skillet to depth of 1/4 inch. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add catfish fillets to skillet and cook until crisp outside and just opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer catfish to paper towels to drain. Place catfish on plates. Pour sauce over. Garnish catfish with whole chives and serve immediately.

Changes I made: bread fish in panko; subbed 2 shallots for chives forgot to use ginger (it's great either way!!)

Green Beans with Crushed Almonds
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup blanched whole almonds, finely ground

Cook beans in a 3-qt. saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes, and drain. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over moderate heat, then cook garlic, stirring, until it just begins to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add almonds and cook, stirring, until they begin to color slightly, about 2 minutes. Add beans and cook, stirring, until tender and heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Changes I made: Break the almonds in their plastic package and then toast them. I used two cloves of garlic instead of one. I cooked with extra virgin olive oil instead of butter.

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