Browse Category by Dad
Dad, Mom, Seafood

Pan Fried Tilapia

1/2 pound Tilapia filets (boneless, skinless)
milk
Cracker Meal
Parmesan cheese, grated
salt, pepper
vegetable oil

Put milk in one large soup bowl or plate with sides.
Put Cracker Meal and Parmesan in another bowl or plate. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Mix well.

Heat vegetable oil in large skillet on medium high heat.
Coat Tilapia (both sides) first in milk, then in Cracker Meal mixture.

When vegetable oil is hot, add Tilapia fillets. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on one side, then flip and cook on 2 to 3 minutes on other side.

Serves two.

Beef or Lamb, Dad, Mom, Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

Instant Pot Kielbasa and Cabbage for Mom

6 ounces Polish beef kielbasa, sliced
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup beef broth (preferably College Inn Bone Broth or another bone broth with minimal seasoning)
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 head green cabbage, cored and chopped into 1 1/2-inch pieces

Turn on the Instant Pot and select Saute function. Cook and stir kielbasa, onion and olive oil until well browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Add butter to the pot and let it melt. Mix in beef broth, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce. Add cabbage and stir until well coated. Close and lock the lid.

Select high pressure according to manufacturer’s instructions; set timer for 5 minutes. (It will take 10 to 15 minutes for the pressure to build before the 5 minute cook time begins.)

(For Mom, let sit for another 2 to 3 minutes, then…) Release pressure carefully using the quick-release method according to manufacturer’s instructions. Unlock and remove lid. Serve using a slotted spoon.

Good with noodles or mashed potatoes.

Dad, Dawn Butler, Mom, Vegetables

Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce

1/2 head of cauliflower, separated into florets and chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1-1/4 c milk
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Panko bread crumbs

Place cauliflower in saucepan; add water to cover. Heat to boiling and reduce heat; simmer until tender, about 5 – 8 minutes. Drain and place in greased baking dish.
Melt butter in saucepan over medium-low heat.
Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Add milk and stir constantly until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
Pour sauce over cauliflower. Cover dish with foil and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
Uncover and sprinkle top with Panko bread crumbs (and additional cheese, if you prefer). Bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes or so until bread crumbs are browned and sauce is bubbling.

Note: tastes like creamy scalloped potatoes but is more nutritious.

Dad, Dawn Butler, Mom, Poultry

Italian Baked Chicken Thighs

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
2 cups grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
4 eggs
12 cleaned and trimmed chicken thighs (skin on, bone in)
3 tablespoons melted butter.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Spread olive oil evenly over the surface of a large baking dish or sheet pan.
Combine breadcrumbs and grated cheese in a large bowl.
Beat eggs in a separate bowl.
Dip chicken thighs in beaten eggs, then in breadcrumb mixture. Coat thoroughly, pressing crumbs in to thighs.
Drizzle melted butter over top.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until golden brown.

(Mom’s favorite)

Dad, Dorothy Lamalie, Mom, Vegetables

Mom’s Stewed Tomatoes

1 (14 ounce) can Hunt’s diced tomatoes
1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons butter
dash of Herbs de Provence
salt & pepper

Put diced tomatoes in mini-Cuisinart and “chop” for 7-8 seconds.

Put tomatoes and rest of ingredients in a sauce pan. Heat on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

Note: only make this for Mom & Dad.

Dad, Mom, Vegetables

Pan Fried Potatoes

3 large potatoes (Yukon Gold or Russet), peeled and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
1/2 small onion, sliced thin
1/2 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons peanut oil (or other light vegetable oil)
2 tablespoons butter

Total prep & cooking time is about 40 minutes.

  1. Peel and slice (or cube) potatoes.
  2. Let soak for 5-10 minutes in ice water. (This removes the extra starch that would prevent them from getting crispy.)
  3. Drain well and pat dry – make sure they are VERY dry!
  4. Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet (an iron skillet would be best) on high heat until it’s shimmering and almost smoking.
  5. Add potatoes and let fry for about 2 minutes or until they start to get golden on the bottom.
  6. Cover the pan and reduce heat to medium. Allow to steam for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Remove cover and turn the heat back up to medium high. Flip the potatoes. Fry for a minute or two, or until the bottom layer begins to get golden.
  8. Dump the pan of potatoes into a colander over the sink to remove excess oil and moisture. Blot with a paper towel and return them to the pan on medium heat.
  9. Add the butter, garlic and onion plus any seasonings you’d like on your potatoes.
  10. Fry, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and done. Do not cover at this stage of frying because they will get soggy!

Serves two. If making for more people, double the recipe and fry in two skillets. (If there are too many potatoes in one skillet, some won’t get crisp.)

Notes:
If your pan fries are soggy rather than crispy, you are probably doing (or not doing) one of the following:

  • You’re using very starchy potatoes and not soaking to remove some of the starch.
  • You’re putting them in the pan wet.
  • You’re leaving the cover on the pan too long.
Dad, Dawn Butler, Desserts, Mom

High Protein Baked Custard

2 cups whole milk
1 cup half-and-half
5 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  1. Mix milk and cream in saucepan and heat until the mixture steams but does not boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Place eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Slowly pour the cooled milk-cream mixture into the bowl of eggs and sugar and mix well.
  4. Fill 4 to 6 single-serving baking dishes 3/4 full.
  5. Set dishes in a baking pan and put in the oven.
  6. Pour hot water into the baking pan (do not let water get into the custard dishes). The water level should be even with the custard. (This helps the custard to bak evenly and have a smooth texture.)
  7. Bake for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the custard comes out clean.

Can be served warm or cool.
Store in the refrigerator.

Dad, Dawn Butler, Mom, Pork, Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

Slow Cooker Ribs with Glaze (Sweet & Sour or BBQ)

2 pounds baby back ribs
1-1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon coarse salt

Sweet & Sour Glaze
2/3 cup apricot preserves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar

BBQ Glaze
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup honey mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Mix garlic and salt together. Rub evenly over meaty side of ribs.

Put in slow cooker, meaty side down, and cook on low for 5 hours. Then transfer ribs, meaty side up, to a broiler pan.

Mix together ingredients for either the Sweet & Sour or the BBQ glaze and brush the glaze over the ribs. Broil for 10 minutes or until glaze is bubbly and slightly brown.

Beef or Lamb, Dad, Mom, Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

Braised Short Ribs

3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
salt, pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 10-ounce can beef broth
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf

2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken broth

4 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water

Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. In batches, brown ribs on all sides; transfer to a slow cooker. Add carrots, beef broth, thyme and bay leaf to ribs.

Add onions to the same skillet; cook and stir over medium heat 8-9 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and tomato paste; cook and stir 1 minute longer. Stir in wine and chicken broth. Bring to a boil; cook 8-10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add to slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.

Gravy
Remove ribs and vegetables; keep warm. Transfer cooking juices to a small saucepan; skim fat. Discard thyme and bay leaf. Bring juices to a boil. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into cooking juices. Return to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with ribs.

Dad, Vegetables

Zucchini (Vegetarian) Meatballs

3 medium zucchini
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup Panko Japanese-style plain (unseasoned) breadcrumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
salt, pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 jar marinara sauce

  1. Grate the zucchini on a medium grater. Line a medium bowl with a kitchen towel. Add the grated zucchini. Season with salt to taste and toss with your hands. Pull up the sides of the towel and squeeze the zucchini until the excess moisture is removed.
  2. Transfer the dried zucchini to a clean bowl. Add the garlic, basil, egg, panko bread crumbs, and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Form the zucchini mixture into small balls. You should end up with about a dozen.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and fry on all sides until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Drain the meatballs on a plate lined with paper towels. Wipe the skillet clean, and pour in marinara sauce. Turn the heat to medium and add the zucchini meatballs back to pan. Let simmer in sauce for about 3-5 more minutes, or until the sauce is warmed through. Serve with more grated Parmesan.