20 February 2009

Pita Chips!

Have you ever noticed how cheap a bag of pita breads is? I get them at Trader Joe's and they are like a dollar. Ridiculous. Pita chips, on the other hand, can be expensive. You won't believe how easy it is to make your own pita chips from pita bread.

6 pita rounds, cut in half around the edges so they are a single thickness (i.e.: no longer a pocket)
about 1/4 c. olive oil
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400. Arrange pita rounds on a cookie sheet, smooth side up. Mix the olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl using a pastry brush. Brush oil mixture onto pitas, covering as much surface as you can but not leaving puddles of oil. Bake for 7-8 minutes, watching to make sure they don't burn. Let cool slightly, then break each round into pieces... 5-6 pieces is good, I think.

These are great with hummus! Try TJ's Roasted Red Pepper Hummus or Martha's mint-parsley hummus.

*Note - I've tried just drizzling each pita with olive oil, thinking I could save on dishes, but I think brushing the oil on allows for a more even coating and you don't have to use more oil than you need.

18 February 2009

Fish in a Packet

Here is a Ken-approved meal that is easy, tasty, healthy AND no dishes!!!! We have a winner.

It's from my favorite cookbook, Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. I feel like I'm cheating posting it, since I didn't change a single thing. Basically, just order this cookbook right now. There are some used ones on Amazon for like $4, although I can't imagine ever wanting to get rid of this one. It's vegetarian except they also eat fish. So, here is this amazing fish recipe.

French Fish in a Packet - serves 2
2 sheets aluminum foil, 12x24"
2 5- or 6- oz. fish fillets (I used frozen tilapia fillets, thawed)
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 T. olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c. dry white wine
dash of salt and black pepper
1 tsp. dried basil (I used a spice blend... Mural of Spices from Penzey's)
6 black olives, halved and pitted (I used kalamata)

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Fold each sheet of foil in half to make double-thick square. Brush a little oil in the center. Rinse fish. Prepare all ingredients.

3. Layer half of ingredients in the middle of each square in this order: zucchini, mushrooms, fish, onion slices. Sprinkle with olive oil, lemon juice, wine, S&P and basil. Top with olive halves. Fold foil into airtight packets and bake for 20 minutes. Avoiding steam that will be released, open a packet to check that fish is done (you can put a fork in the middle and twist - if it's flaky, it's done).

4. To serve, lift fish & veggies with spatula onto plates. Pour liquid left in foil over each serving.

I served ours with rice. I also made wilted spinach, but you really don't need extra veggies... all the veggies you need are in the packet with the fish! Brilliant.

Moosewood has several variations on this theme including Greek, Caribbean and Asian fish in a packet. I think next time I'll try Caribbean. Yum.