Simply Roasted Beets

The other day, I walked through the kitchen and found a little bowl of chopped, cooked beets.  I snuck a little bite and was blown away by how simple and tasty they were.  Like HOW AM I NOT EATING BEETS ALL THE TIME!? kind of good.  

So, Cam taught me how to make beets.  He really is a genius with veggies.  

This is more a technique than a recipe.  Feel free to use it for any amount of beets - like for that 20 serving side you're planning on making for Thanksgiving next week.

If you are using different color beets, keep them separate until assembling your final dish - the colors will bleed. 

Easy Beets

some whole beets 

water

olive oil

optional aromatics like citrus peel or herbs

red wine vinegar

salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Chop off the stems and tips of beets.  Place in baking dish and fill with water.  The water should reach 1/3 to 1/2 way up the beets.  (I use a loaf pan when I make beets for just us two.)

Drizzle a bi tof olive oil and add aromatics (oj is great) if using.  Cover with aluminum foil and place in oven.  Cook about one hour.  To test if beets are done, do a poke test: poke it with a cake tester or thin knife to feel if they are done.  

Uncover and rub beets in a bowl of cool water to easily remove the skins. Chop beets and toss in a generous amount of red wine vinegar.  Let sit 30 minutes at room temperature.  

Salt to taste.  These can be eaten now as a simple side dish or used as a salad component.  

Blackened Fish Dinner

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February hasn't included the healthiest of foods here on Meats and Sweets so here's a dinner idea to lighten things up.   

I used tilapia for this recipe but have decided that tilapia isn't my favorite fish.  Use any thin, white fish filets, like red snapper, bass, sole, founder... it's really up to you.   

To help ensure you're making ocean friendly choices in your seafood shopping take a peak at the Monteray Bay Seafood Watch Guide.  There is also a free app.   

Serves 2. 

Blackened Fish

2 fish filets

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

pinch fennel powder

Lemon wedges, for serving

Combine all ingredients except fish, butter and lemon to make seasoning.  

Dredge fish filets in melted butter and sprinkle over both sides of each with seasoning. Cook in a skillet at high heat about 5 minutes on each side until blackened. 

Serve on sandwiches or with a side of vegetables.  I needed something fresh tasting so I served the fillets with vegetables packets.  It was carrots, yellow squash and zucchini folded into parchment paper with olive oil, thyme sprigs, lemon slices, salt and pepper.  Then it was baked in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 -12 minutes.   

Roasted Garlic

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These are great for casual dinners or anytime there is crusty warm bread to smear the roasted cloves all over.  Also put to good use on pizza or in sauces or salsas.  I love garlic and it is always on my shopping list.  I put it in everything I cook and would even eat these little things as is if no one was looking. 

Roasted Garlic 

Whole heads of garlic (as many as you need)

olive oil, about 1 tablespoon per head

s + p

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Remove outer layers of papery covering, leaving individual cloves in their skins and chop off tops of the garlic to expose the cloves.  Place garlic heads each on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap up in foil and roast/bake for 30-40 minutes.  Head will feel soft when pressed and will have become very fragrant.