provreviewsandrecipes

Food Blog with delicious recipes and also reviews of Providence, RI restuarants

Tilapia ‘Stuffed’ with Asparagus and Onions served with Haricot Verts and Beet Salad July 15, 2013

tilapiaSo for health reasons and at the urging of my doctor I now have to avoid eating Gluten. Not good for someone who loves pasta and bread like I do. But I have been focusing on making delicious dishes that do not make me miss the gluten ridden items I had once enjoyed and devoured. This easy dish of fresh Tilapia and vegetables is delicious. Make sure you make extra as once you eat your first portion you are going to want seconds. Yes, its that good.

I had frozen asparagus spears on hand that I had picked up at Trader Joe’s. I pulled out the amount I needed and stored the rest of the bag back in the freezer. Its so convenient. I also had purchased beets that were roasted, peeled and ready to eat. Which saves time when whipping up the dish. The whole cooking time takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. While the fish was in the oven I made the salad. I had gotten Haricot Verts but green beans would work out just as well in the salad.

My recipe is for two as it was just my fiancee and myself, but the recipe could easily be doubled. Plus its a great dish to impress company. Here’s the recipe for the Tilapia and following that is the recipe for the delicious Haricot Verts and Beet salad I made to go along with it. I served mine with rice as well but it could be served with potatoes or just with the fish and salad.

Tilapia ‘Stuffed’ With Asparagus and Onions

Ingredients:

2 Tilapia Filets, about 6-8 ounces each

10 Spears of Asparagus, trimmed

1/2 White Onion, sliced

4 Slices of Lemon

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1 Teaspoon of Pepper

1 Teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning

1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder

Direction:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together in a small bowl the salt, pepper, Old Bay Seasoning and garlic powder. Next take the Tilapia filets and sprinkle both sides of each of the filets with the seasoning mix. Lay the filets on a foil lined baking sheet.

If you are using frozen asparagus place in a microwave safe dish and add 1/4 cup of water. Cover and microwave on high for 2 and half minutes. Drain the liquid from the dish. Do not be worried if the asparagus pieces do not seemed fully cook after microwaving as we will be putting them in the oven. If you are using fresh asparagus you can of course skip this step.

Place 5 pieces of asparagus on one end of each of the Tilapia filets. Next place half of the sliced onions over the asparagus. Starting from the end which the asparagus and onions are on and roll each of the filets up. Mine did not quite want to stay together after I rolled them so I flipped them over so the two ends that were touched were underneath. They stayed and cooked together perfectly.

Finally place two slices of lemon on top of each filet. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Then because I wanted my lemons to get a slight char on it, I turned the broiler on for 4 minutes.

Take out the filets and serve immediately while they are still hot from the oven. Serve with the haricot verts and beet salad along with rice or another choice of side for a delicious dish.

Haricot Verts and Beet Salad

Ingredients:

1/2 pound of Haricot Verts, trimmed

1 Roasted and Peeled Beet, diced

1/2 White Onion, diced

3 Cloves of Garlic, sliced

1/4 Cup of Red Wine Vinegar

1/4 Cup of Balsamic Vinegar

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1 Teaspoon of Pepper

1/2 Teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes (if you don’t like or are sensitive to spice, can be omitted)

Directions:

Boil 4 cups of water in a small saucepan. Once boiling add the Haricot Verts and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl.

Mix together the red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes in a small bowl and then pour over the Haricot Verts. Mix thoroughly. Add the beets and onions to the bowl. Mix again to make sure that all the ingredients are combined. Now it is ready to serve.

 

Shrimp Fra Diavolo May 20, 2013

Shrimp Fra DiavloNow I love spicy. This recipe was near my limit for spiciness but I enjoyed each and every mouthful that I shoved as quickly as possible into my mouth. I would say that I inhaled my first and second bowlful of this delicious dish. Now with that being said if you do not like spicy or enjoy a more milder taste, please use 1/4 of the recommended crushed red pepper flakes I have listed below. This dish is quick and easy to make. I like to serve mine with pieces of crusty bread to dip in the sauce and soak up all the delicious goodness that may have been left in the bowl. But serving it with rice or pasta would work as well. I like enjoying this with a glass of wine, usually some from the same bottle I used in cooking this dish, on a warm spring evening with the windows open and enjoying the fresh air blowing in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prep: 18 minutes

Cooking Time: 19 minutes

Total Time: 37 minutes

Servings: 6 adults as a main dish

Recipe:

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 cup of white wine

2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

1 pound of medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 Large Yellow onion, thinly sliced

6 cloves of garlic, diced

1 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth

3 Tablespoons of crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 Tablespoon of salt

1/2 Tablespoon of black pepper

1/2 Tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning

Directions:

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add butter and half of the crushed red pepper flakes. Once butter has melted add onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, but make sure the garlic does not brown. Add the white wine and tomatoes, salt, pepper, remaining half of the crushed red pepper flakes and old bay seasoning. Cook for 7 minutes. Finally add the vegetable broth and shrimp. Cook for 7 minutes longer or until the shrimp is just pink and cooked through. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Make sure to serve with some crusty bread, rice or pasta. That is if you can make it that far without succumbing like I have before with this dish and just start dipping pieces of bread right into the warm pot and devour while standing over the stove top.

Buon appetito from my kitchen to yours.

 

Trinity Brewhouse Review April 7, 2013

trinity brewhouseNow I have gone to Trinity Brewhouse quite a few times before. The food is always good quality and even when the its busy the service is always friendly and prompt. On my recent trip I ordered a couple of my favorite standbys. They were all delicious and I will keep me coming back again and again.

Now first off let me start off my saying that I always order a beer or two when I go here. I mean how could you not since they make their own beer. Not to mention you can take a growler home if you so desire. I tend to stray towards lighter beers and I ordered a pint of the ‘Kolsch’ beer. It was delicious and light. I would highly recommend trying this beer if you are not sure of which one to order or if you are like me and tend to prefer lighter beers. Now I did order the ‘Hefeweizen’ which is a German style wheat beer. This was delicious and make my taste buds happy. This is a perfect beer to enjoy now that the weather is warming up.

calamariOn we go to the food. Now let me start off by saying that there are two things I always order as appetizers from Trinity Brewhouse. They are the calamari and the nachos. Starting off with the calamari, it is always good and has never come out tough/rubbery like some establishments do. Now the calamari has a nice golden crust when it comes out. The crust has a nice crunch to it. The calamari comes out with tossed with banana peppers. These banana peppers complement the calamari very well. There is a jalapeno sauce that is served on the plate for dipping the calamari in. The sauce taste delicious and is spicy by itself, dip a crunchy piece of calamari in it and you will be enjoying an amazing flavor combination.

The nachos at Trinity Brewhouse are a completely different story in and of itself. Let me just say that if there are just two of you and nachosyou order the nachos plus lunch or dinner, you will not have room left to enjoy your main dish after you devour the nachos. The serving that is brought out of the nachos is huge. They come out on smothered in blend of Monterey, Colby Jack and cheddar cheese. The toppings that come standard on the nachos are black beans, sour cream, salsa, fresh diced tomatoes and lettuce. All of these toppings and cheese are served on crunch deep-fried corn tortilla chips. Now I am somewhat of a nacho snob. I like to have all of the chips get cheese or toppings on them. I mean there is nothing worse than eating the chips that are at the top of the pile only to discover that the chips underneath didn’t get any of the delicious toppings. But this has never happened at Trinity Brewhouse. The nachos are delicious and I always devour half them myself, no matter how many people are there with me. The menu does indicate that you could add chicken, pulled pork, chili, guacamole, jalapenos or olives for two bucks extra each. I didn’t add any of the additional toppings on this recent visit because the nachos are good without the need to add anything else to them.

Finally, the main course. I ordered the ‘Cowboy Burger’. Let me just say this has to be one of the best burgers that I have had in a long time, if not in my top 10. The burger is black Angus beef, with a roasted garlic spread, caramelized onions, swiss cheese and Portobello mushrooms. I ordered my burger medium and it came out perfectly cooked. Now the burger is served on this great roll that is smeared with that delicious roasted garlic spread. The first thing you taste is the roasted garlic spread then you get a taste of the caramelized onions, Portobello mushrooms, swiss cheese and finally the delicious black Angus beef. The combination of all the flavors come together in such a way as to make you pause and chew it a few extra times to keep the flavors in your mouth for a few moments longer. I would recommend anyone going to Trinity Brewhouse to order this burger. The ‘Cowboy Burger’ is served with a side of french fries. The french fries are thing and come out warm and crispy. I guess you would probably refer to them as shoe-string fries. They are seasoned well and provide a great accompaniment to the burger.

All in all I would say that my most recent visit was a great one. Now there is upstairs seating to the left and right of the main bar and also seating downstairs. I recommend sitting at one of the tables to the left side of the bar and closest side to the hostess stand. The reason why is the great mural on the wall. It is a painting that includes famous musical artists have a ‘last supper’. You and anyone you are with will have a fun time discussing who each of the musical artists are in the mural. Now I’m not going to spoil it for you who they all are, but let me tell you that a couple of them are hard. If you get stuck make sure to ask your server as they will be able to tell you or settle any dispute amongst the table.

Here are the restaurant details. Locate at 186 Fountain Street, Providence, RI. Open Monday-Thursday from 11:30am-1:00am, Friday 11:30am-2:00am, Saturday 12:00pm-2:00am and Sunday 12:00pm-1:00am. They serve lunch and dinner daily. It is handicap accessible, but there is limited street parking in the area. You might have better luck parking at the Providence Place Mall and walking over or opting to park and pay in one of the lots around the area. Check out there website at http://www.trinitybrewhouse.com/ and plan your visit. You will not be disappointed.

 

Homemade Meatballs: Bake or Fry/Brown in Saucepan February 24, 2013

meatballs-baking

meatballs-frying

I decided to scope out on Pinterest and also on allrecipes.com how many different recipes for homemade meatballs I could find. Well let’s just say that I found so many different variations and most often than not the person writing it stated that they were the best meatballs. Now I know everyone thinks that theirs is the best and I’m not going to judge and say that one recipe is better than another, except for mine of course being the best.

But they’re seemed to be a few common themes that differentiated the recipes into a couple of categories. I noticed that people either brown/fry their meatballs in a saucepan before adding to the sauce or those that baked their meatballs before adding to the sauce. Now my grandmother did brown/fry her delicious meatballs before adding to the tomato sauce. So I had been doing it that way for years and always thought that baking was the easy way out. Well the last two times I have made meatballs I have baked them. They have come out amazing. The meat has not dried out and is still juicy and extremely tender. Also when I put the meatballs into the sauce they are basically completely cooked and they  don’t fall apart when I put them in the tomato sauce like the ones that I fry first in the pan.

So I think I have converted over to the baking method. What are is your opinion? Do you bake you meatballs? Do you brown/fry them?  I want to hear what everyone has to say about this. I will be posting my homemade meatball recipe later this week.

 

Moules a La Mariniere/Mussels Mariniere

Mussels Mariniere     Sometimes the dishes with the simplest of flavors are the most delicious. Case in point with this mussels dish. The ingredients are simple but they all work so well together that not using one of them would throw the whole dish off. This dish comes origin comes from the South of France. Julia Child also has a version of this dish in her ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’. So with that being said I have made this dish multiple times and it always comes out delicious.

I will usually use a dry Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio when I make this dish, but you could use any type of white wine you prefer. One of the things that cannot be missed with this dish is a crusty loaf of French bread to use to dip in the delicious broth. This is one of my favorite parts of this dish and I probably eat half the loaf of bread myself. Now I am known as a ‘Mussel Hoarder’ when it comes to this dish. What that means is that as I am taking a mussel from the large bowl that I am sharing with my fiancée from the middle of the table, I remove the mussel from the shell and place it on my plate and move on to the next. Now my fiancée, Birghandi, eats them as he goes. So when all the mussels have been removed from their shells I have all of mine in a pile on my plate, hence the term ‘Mussel Hoarder’. However you or anyone else eating at your dinner table decides to eat this dish it will be delicious. Bon Appetit from my kitchen to yours.

This recipe will serve 2-3 people as a main dish and 5 people as an appetizer.

Prep: 15 Minutes

Cooking: 18 Minutes

Total Time: 33 minutes

Recipe:

2 Lbs of Mussels, clean and de-beared

2 Cups of White Wine

1/2 Stick of Unsalted Butter, room temperature

2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Large White Onion, diced

4 Cloves of Garlic, finely diced

2 Bay Leaves

1/2 Cup of Fresh Parsley, chopped

Now to clean and de-beard the mussels is the part of this recipe that takes the longest. I always scrub all of mine in cool water with a scrubber brush in the sink. I then take a paring knife to get the beard, or tuft if prefer, out from the edge of the mussel shell. Discard any opened shells that if tapped on the edge of the sink do not stay closed when you push them shut. I’ve included a video at the bottom of this post of a video that is available on Youtube and shows you how to clean and de-beard mussels if you have any questions. Set the clean mussels aside as you start to prepare the rest of the dish.

In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat until warm. Add the butter until it has barely melted, about 1 minute. Next add the onion and garlic to the pan. Cook until the onion has started to soften and the garlic is golden colored, about 4 minutes. Add the white wine and bay leaves to the pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the mussels to the pan and cover. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until all the shells have opened. For the first six minutes do not be tempted to lift the lid to check on the mussels. You will let out the steam which you do not want to do as that is helping to open the mussel shells. Also do not cook your mussels for longer than 12 minutes even if some of the shells have not opened, as the mussels the longer they are cooked get extremely tough and no one likes tough, rubbery seafood.

Discard the bay leaves and any mussel shells that have not opened. Serve immediately along with the french bread and enjoy.

 

Here’s the video that shows how to clean, de-beard and store mussels. This video is very good.

 

Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce July 6, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — ProvReviewsandRecipes @ 8:15 PM
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I always use this tomato sauce recipe whenever I need sauce. The only exception is when I make lasagna and then I use store bought sauce. This recipe is quick and easy to make and it tastes so much better than store bought sauce in a jar. The seasonings I have included below are how I like my sauce but you can customize it to suit your individual taste. I usually put the sauce on before I put the pot of water on to boil for the pasta. By the time the pasta is done, so is the sauce.

Ingredients:

1 can of crushed tomatoes (14.5 ounce can)

1 can of diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce can)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 onion, diced

2 tablespoon of salt

2 tablespoon of pepper

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

2 tablespoon of dried basil

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

1 tablespoon of thyme

1 tablespoon of rosemary

1/2 cup of red cooking wine

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for at least 15-20 minutes but no more than 1 hour. Serve immediately over your favorite pasta.