Love to cook? Read on for professional tips on building flavor without all the calories!


Winter is hanging on… and if Wednesday is HUMP DAY, then March is the same – a month with still a lot of winter left and just a month we have to get through to find the warmer weather. Some people head south, but for those of us who stay here, the challenge is to make it fun so that it goes by quickly!

Luckily we live in a global economy, so getting fresh food is still relatively easy.  However, to pair with those vegetables and starches, Michigan still offers wonderful smoked fish – a delicious respite during this cold, winter month. Here are two of my favorites – an entrée and an appetizer. I know you will love them both and both are as easy as can be.

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APPETIZER: SMOKED WHITE FISH (OR SMOKED SALMON) MOUSSE

(Enough for a large party)

¼ Cup Shallots, Cut into rough pieces

1 Pound Smoked Whitefish (OR Smoked Salmon), Boned and Flaked

½ Cup Sour Cream

½ Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened

½ cup Cream Cheese

3 Tablespoons lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons Vodka

½ Cup Whipping Cream, Whipped to Soft Peaks

White Pepper and Salt, to taste

Cayenne Pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Place the shallots in a food processor and chop them finely, scraping down the side of the bowl and running it a little bit more. Then add the fish and pulse a few times to blend it. Add the next 5 ingredients and process until smooth.  Remove to a bowl.
  2. Whip the cream and fold it in by hand. Season to taste with white pepper, salt and cayenne pepper.
  3. Pack into one large mold or smaller molds.  Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
  4. Serve with toast points or sliced baguette. Or serve with rice crackers and it’s gluten free!


MAIN COURSE: FISH PARMESAN
(Serves four)

4 Fish Filets (4 to 6 ounces each)
2 eggs, beaten
1 to 2 cups Parmesan Cheese, grated
Baking Spray

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400⁰F.
  2. Put the egg in one bowl and the Parmesan in another. Spray an oven proof casserole dish with baking spray or lightly rub it with olive oil.
  3. Dip the fish in the egg (on both sides). Then press it onto the Parmesan (both sides again) and place it in the casserole Press more Parmesan into the fish to cover it well.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the fish just flakes.

 NOTE: You can prepare the fish ahead and then just pop it into the oven when you are ready. If it’s cold, allow a few more minutes cooking time.

 It doesn’t get any easier than this! Enjoy!

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