Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A very un-Swedish Swedish meal

I'm pretty sure that I've joked about what we considered a Swedish meal when I was growing up. It was always something devoid of color, and often times flavor. When I served up this meal of fish, cauliflower and buttered noodles, Mrblocko looked at me and said, "Having a Swedish meal tonight, are we?"

Colorwise, this meal may have been monochromatic, but in the flavor department? Man, it was kaleidoscopic. Kapow!

The fish was spicy tilapia from Florida Coastal cooking. The recipe says to use 2 fillets, but I used 3 and increased the spice blend by half to account for the extra fillet. I used all that spice blend on the 3 fillets. Um...that was a bit much for Blockette and myself. Had I read the recipe correctly I would have realized that you only use half of the spice blend on the fish.

I scraped off most of the spice blend on our fish. Of course Mrblocko thought the spice was just right. My throat was quite raw at the time from a cold and the capsaicin from the spices felt like someone ripped off my skin and stuck it over an open flame. The flavor was good though. Next time I'll make the spice blend and use it a tad more sparingly.

The Cauliflower was actually Roasted Cauliflower with paprika and cocoa from the blog Karen Cooks. I'm sure with a blog title like that she is a lovely person who is practically perfect in every way...just like Mary Poppins. I really liked this dish. I liked it a lot. Mrblocko and Blockette...well, they thought it was just ok.

Mrblocko is not a lover of cauliflower. I always forget this. He did say that he would eat this particular preparation of the veggie in tandem with the fish and noodles again. He said it wasn't bad if he ate the meat, veggie and noodles all together. I can work with that.

This was the first time I'd used smoked paprika. I went out and bought it specifically for this dish. I only wish that I had gone and done that sooner. Anytime a recipe called for smoked paprika, I just used the plain kind. No more. People I am telling you, smoked paprika is the bomb. It has rocked my little world.

The next time I make the roasted cauliflower I'll use less cocoa and paprika. The recipe called for a tablespoon of each. I don't know if I got a itty bitty cauliflower or what, but the spices coated the veggie so much they were a dark reddish brown. If you look at the original photo on the Karen Cooks blog it's dark more from the roasting than the spices.

Also the recipe said to cook the cauliflower for 30 minutes. Maybe because I cut my florets into bite size pieces, they cooked much faster. After 20 minutes in the oven, they had lost almost all of their crunch. I like my veggies al dente, so they have a bit of a bite to them. 15 minutes might be a better cook time for my tastes.

Spicy Tilapia from Florida Coastal Cooking
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp light butter (I used Land O' Lakes light butter with canola oil)
2 tilapia fillets

Spice Mix:(You will have a little left over, but it's good so use it on your eggs or something.)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
Juice of 1/2 lime (optional)

Preheat broiler and mix your spice mix together in a small bowl. Melt butter and oil in microwave for 25 sec til liquidy. Dip fish fillets in and rub both sides with about 1/2 to 3/4 spice mix. Spray a baking pan with EVOO spray and place fillets in. Broil 5 min, flip and broil another 5 min. (Keep an eye on them because depending on how far your fish is from the heating element it will cook faster or slower accordingly.) Remove from broiler, and pour lime juice over fillets.

Roasted Cauliflower with smoked paprika and cocoa powder from Karen Cooks
1 Head Cauliflower
few T olive oil to coat veggies
1 T smoked Paprika
1 T Cocoa powder

Cut cauliflower into medium florets and seasoned with salt and pepper. Put on a baking sheet and tossed them w olive oil. Sprinkle smoked paprika and cocoa powder over cauliflower. Bake 425F for 30 min.


  1. I'm glad you liked the cauliflower! I'm with you... I *love* smoked paprika and just found it a year ago or so. What a difference it makes in a dish.

  2. Very funny about the fish incident! I just had that happen recently when I tried to re-create an Indian eggplant recipe. I definitely lost weight that night considering it was so hot I couldn't eat it!


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