Archive | Epicurious Recipe Contest RSS feed for this section

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Garlic Roasted Kale

14 May
This made a nice change for us as a side dish with dinner.

This made a nice change for us as a side dish with dinner.

A while back I posted the recipe from our visit to the White House for the 2012 Kid’s State Dinner for Kale Chips. That visit was our first experience with kale chips, but it was not our last. My kids love them and it makes a great after school snack for sure.

Recently, however, I received an email for a variation of kale chips. This recipe was for Garlic Roasted Kale from the site My Recipes.com, and I thought I’d give it a try. The things that attracted me to this recipe were the fact that it included garlic, which I love, and it also included kosher salt, which I enjoy the flavor of as well.

I gave it a try one afternoon and the kids absolutely loved it. I decided to try it again most recently as a side dish for our dinner, instead of our usual broccoli or green beans or salad. As my kids were walking through the kitchen, they each asked what I was making and each time they were so excited when I said kale. I had to just shake my head in amazement. I don’t think I ever imagined I’d get three cheers for kale. Ever.

Below is the recipe from My Recipes.com for Garlic Roasted Kale. The only thing I skipped in this recipe was the vinegar at the end because I did not think the kids would like it, although I was pretty sure I would. The rest I did as was called for.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil$
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces kale, stems removed and chopped$
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • DIRECTIONS
    1. Arrange oven racks in center and lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 425°. Place a large jelly-roll pan in oven for 5 minutes.
    2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Place kale mixture on hot pan, spreading with a silicone spatula to separate leaves. Bake at 425° for 7 minutes. Stir kale. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until edges of leaves are crisp and kale is tender.
    3. Place kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinegar; toss to combine. Serve immediately.

 

 

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Not your Grandma’s Fried Chicken

19 Feb
With the added spices and Panko bread crumbs, this chicken was a huge hit!

With the added spices and Panko bread crumbs, this chicken was a huge hit!

Ever think you just can’t do one more original thing with chicken? Ever feel like you have just done it all and can’t look at another piece of boneless, skinless chicken?

It’s not just me, is it?

Usually when I shop, I grab a bag or two of frozen chicken tenderloins, and this time when I did I thought to myself, “I don’t even know what to do with this chicken, I’m so done with chicken.”

But then, a wonderful thing happened! I got a surprise goodie bag in the mail from SheKnows, the company I’ve been working with lately, and they saved my dinner that day. Inside my box was a new cookbook, “Chop Chop: The Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family.” Elizabeth receives Chop Chop, the magazine, from a birthday gift she got this summer, so we were *very* excited to see this newest addition to our cookbook collection.

You’ll be seeing other recipes from the cookbook, I can guarantee, but as we thumbed through it, I saw a recipe for “Not Your Grandma’s Fried Chicken.”

Now I happen to really like my Grandma Rose’s fried chicken cutlets, but I gave this recipe a second look. It called for Panko bread crumbs, which I had, but it also called for Dijon mustard and thyme in the recipe. Most importantly, it gave a tip which I wanted to try out: It said that refrigerating the chicken after it’d been coated with the egg mixture and the bread crumbs for at least 30 minutes, would help to keep the coating on the chicken.

I love breaded chicken and I hate leaving the breading in the pan and eating naked chicken for dinner, don’t you?

For that reason alone, I decided to try this recipe out that night, and I’m so glad I did! The flavor with the added mustard and thyme was delicious and the tip about the refrigeration really did work! Everyone at this, all five of us gave it a thumbs up. That type of five out of five rating is rare in this house!

I served this dish with one of our favorite side dishes from our dinner at the White House: Quinoa Corn and Black Bean Salad. You can click on it to get the recipe.

I found the recipe online, and I have put the link to it here, but I found it interesting that the online version from the magazine doesn’t have the refrigeration tip. It was in the cookbook though and I wouldn’t do breaded chicken without it from here on in!

Here’s the recipe from the online version, with their cookbook’s refrigeration tip added in.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons

olive or canola oil

1 cup fine bread crumbs or panko

1⁄2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
large eggs
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme
skinless chicken thighs
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
lemon

Instructions

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and ingredients and put them on a counter.
  2. With the help of your adult, turn the oven on and set it to 400 degrees.
  3. Pour the oil on the baking sheet and, using your clean hands or a paper towel, spread it around.
  4. Put the bread crumbs, flour, salt and pepper, and, cayenne (if you like it) on a large plate. Mix well.
  5. Crack the eggs into a bowl (throw the shells away). Add the mustard and thyme and mix well. Add the chicken pieces and swish them around until they are well coated with the egg mixture.
  6. Remove the chicken pieces, one at a time, from the egg mixture and let any extra egg mixture drip off.
  7. Dip the chicken pieces, one at a time, in the bread crumb mixture, rolling them and pressing down to coat each side.
  8. Shake off any extra coating, then put the chicken pieces on the baking sheet. **Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. This step is very important in order to make the coating stick.**
  9. With the help of your adult, put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Using a spatula or tongs, turn the chicken pieces over and bake until golden brown, 15–20 more minutes. Serve right away, with a quarter of a lemon on each plate.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons

olive or canola oil

1 cup

fine bread crumbs or panko

1⁄2 cup

whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon

kosher salt

1⁄4 teaspoon

cayenne pepper

2  

large eggs

1 tablespoon

dijon mustard

1 teaspoon

dried thyme

6  

skinless chicken thighs

1⁄2 teaspoon

black pepper

1  

lemon

Instructions

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and ingredients and put them on a counter.
  2. With the help of your adult, turn the oven on and set it to 400 degrees.
  3. Pour the oil on the baking sheet and, using your clean hands or a paper towel, spread it around.
  4. Put the bread crumbs, flour, salt and pepper, and, cayenne (if you like it) on a large plate. Mix well.
  5. Crack the eggs into a bowl (throw the shells away). Add the mustard and thyme and mix well. Add the chicken pieces and swish them around until they are well coated with the egg mixture.
  6. Remove the chicken pieces, one at a time, from the egg mixture and let any extra egg mixture drip off.
  7. Dip the chicken pieces, one at a time, in the bread crumb mixture, rolling them and pressing down to coat each side.
  8. Shake off any extra coating, then put the chicken pieces on the baking sheet.
  9. With the help of your adult, put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Using a spatula or tongs, turn the chicken pieces over and bake until golden brown, 15–20 more minutes. Serve right away, with a quarter of a lemon on each plate.

– See more at: http://www.chopchopmag.org/content/not-your-grandmas-fried-chicken#sthash.ceJP57AG.dpuf

Fun Friday: Kale Chips

21 Jun
These were a fun after school snack!

These really were a fun after school snack!

Kale doesn’t sound all that fun does it?

It really doesn’t. But, I’ve chosen it for my Fun Friday post today for several reasons.

First: We had Kale Chips at the White House for the first Kids’ State Dinner last August. That whole entire trip was fun, including trying the Kale Chips which were from Samuel Wohabe, age 9, from New York.

Second: The newest winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge were just announced yesterday! The Rhode Island winner, Samantha Mastrati, is from Cranston and a friend of ours! She will have so much fun on her trip!

Finally: These were a fun after school snack for the girls to try out. Although Caroline had them and enjoyed them on the trip, no one else had, so I thought this would be a fun snack to share with them.

To make these is super-easy. I bought one bunch of kale for just over a dollar at the store and it made lots of chips!

The prep instructions are minimal and the cook time is quick. Within minutes you have ahealthy, crunchy snack.

Here, according to Samuel’s instructions is the recipe for Kale Chips.

Coat, toss and bake!

Coat, toss and bake!

KALE CHIPS

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves
torn into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

On a large nonstick baking pan, drizzle the kale with olive oil, season with salt, and toss until
evenly coated.

Bake until crispy, about 15 minutes.

Monday Musings: Seize Every Opportunity

18 Mar
Hearing Olivia Culpo speak in July 2012 had a lasting impact on our girls.

Hearing Olivia Culpo speak in July 2012 had a lasting impact on our girls.

Last summer, we had the opportunity to meet Ms. Olivia Culpo, who was then Miss USA and is now Miss Universe, also an alum from my high school. The girls and I went to hear her speak, they stood with me while I interviewed her for the newspaper, and then we  stood in line for an hour for a quick meet and greet and an autograph.

On the way home, we talked about what we’d just experienced and the girls talked to me about which parts of her speech had an impact on them, as she was such a candid, animated speaker. They laughed about some of her funny stories, but we talked more seriously about one of her messages: don’t be afraid to take a risk.

Having never been a “pageant person” before, Olivia entered Miss USA despite her family’s hesitations, and won on her first time out there. A year later, she was winning Miss Universe too, and it was all because she wasn’t afraid to try something, to be a leader, to take a risk.

One of my favorite photos from our day: Caroline meeting and shaking hands with President Obama.

One of my favorite photos from our day: Caroline meeting and shaking hands with President Obama.

At the time, we didn’t know if Caroline was going to win the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge contest. We were awaiting notification, due the following week. What we did know however, was that Caroline had hesitated in entering because her sister was entering also, and she knew that only one of the two of them, if either of them, could win, and she was afraid of that. We talked that day after meeting Olivia about the fact that this too was a risk, and we’d wait and see what happened, but that at least she’d put herself out there, taken that risk.

And it turns out, she won.

With that, she’s had some of the most amazing experiences of her life, all in the past year, all because she wasn’t afraid to take a risk, to go out of her comfort zone.

She often gets asked to speak to groups of people, both adults and kids, and two of the messages that she always makes sure to emphasize when she speaks, are not to be afraid to take a risk and to always put in 100% effort into all you do.

After she won, a friend said to me,  “Your motto should be ‘Seize Every Opportunity’ because you’re always trying everything. If there’s something out there to do, you’ll do it.”

And she’s right. I think it’s important to reach for the stars, even if you miss on occasion. Most likely you won’t miss every time.

When I was in high school, with my parents’ help, I applied for a grant. I put in a proposal to go to New Zealand to study reading instruction. At the time, New Zealand was tops; on the forefront of reading and language instruction. It was a big risk, a scary thing to apply for, and ultimately, I did not get the grant. But, I’ll never forget applying for it, and receiving that letter stating that even though my proposal wasn’t chosen, it was a strong one, and one of the runners up. That gave me confidence to try again, to take a risk when another future opportunity arose.

Since that high school grant opportunity, I’ve taken on many challenges, reinventing myself in my careers again and again. Sometimes those challenges came through in my favor, and sometimes they didn’t, but each risk and result has made me stronger and more confident. As a journalist, each time I’ve won a New England or Rhode Island Press Association award, I’ve had to take a risk by submitting what I think is my best work, to be judged by others. It’s risky putting myself out there, and sometimes I win and sometimes I don’t. But I never say, “Oooh that’s too scary, I’m not even going to try,” or even “Yikes! That’s a lot of extra effort.”

This week we received notification that a grant Elizabeth had applied for, the Disney Friends For Change grant, a proposal she’d submitted on behalf of her class, was not going to be given to them. She was so disappointed. She and several friends had started a school newspaper, and this grant was going to improve what they’d begun, take it to the next level. However, the notification didn’t just say that she didn’t get it, it said that her efforts and dedication in applying for the grant were to be commended and that she shouldn’t give up on her particular project.

It was positive reinforcement, recognizing the fact that she took a risk, went the extra mile, seized an opportunity that not many would take the time to do. The very first thing she said was, “I think there’s another one. We can try again.”

I love that.

Congratulations to Alexandra. She took a risk, entered a contest and came in second place!

Congratulations to Alexandra. She took a risk, entered a contest and came in second place!

On Wednesday night, Alexandra competed in a cooking contest of her own. She had entered the recipe for her Sunshine Salad into the Sodexo Future Chefs competition in our city. Out of 17 elementary schools, ten students were chosen to compete, making their salads and having them judged by real chefs from our community.

She took the risk, entered the recipe in February and was chosen to compete in March.

She competed Wednesday night and took Second Place. Second, out of ten, in our whole city, at seven years old.

That’s taking a risk. That’s seizing an opportunity.

And that’s a memory she, and we, will never forget.

Childhood is a journey, as is parenthood. I hope that we are teaching our kids to be confident, to be leaders, to try everything and to take risks. I hope that the bursts of success that they experience  when they take the risks will encourage them to keep going and trying again when they don’t necessarily see that success. I hope that they learn that putting in the extra effort, taking the extra time, going the extra mile, really does all pay off in the end.

Seize.Every.Opportunity.

New friends, new recipe!

25 Feb
An exciting Kids' State Dinner reunion took place on Sunday afternoon at our house!

An exciting Kids’ State Dinner reunion took place on Sunday afternoon at our house!

Yesterday was a very exciting day!

Our new friend Debra, one of the moms from the Kids’ State Dinner, visited us at our house! She was traveling from her home in Virginia to see family in nearby Massachusetts so we were able to reconnect for a couple of hours.

Debra stopped by in time for lunch, so Don cooked up some of his yummy pizzas and a meatball calzone, and I made a new dessert.

I know that in general you shouldn’t try out a new recipe on new guests, but I thought that Debra would be okay with it, being someone herself who cooks and experiments with recipes.

Until about an hour before she arrived and I realized I was going to have to make a change to the recipe, and then at that point I got a little nervous.

But, luckily it all worked out great. We had a wonderful visit, which flew by, and before we knew it, it was time for dessert.

Debra brought us this pretty trivet, which makes a pretty backdrop for our Fudge Meltaways!

Debra brought us this pretty trivet, which makes a pretty backdrop for our pretty Fudge Meltaways!

That too, was wonderful as well.

It all ended much too soon, but luckily Debra has family here, and we have family in Virginia, so we know we’ll get to reconnect again and again.

In the meantime, here is the new dessert recipe for you. I got it from one of my cookbooks and as I write it for you I’ll explain what happened partway through and how I solved it.

Lately, I often go to the internet when I’m looking for something new to cook, but this time I grabbed a cookbook off my rack, opened up to any random page and moved a page or so beyond it, and found one to try. It ended up being a no bake recipe too, which was a bonus.

There were three layers to the recipe, so I’ll write it out and explain it layer by layer for you.

FUDGE MELTAWAYS (from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book)
INGREDIENTS

First layer.....

First layer…..

First layer:

1/2 cup butter (We used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)

1 sq. unsweetened chocolate (one ounce)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 beaten egg

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

(We did not use the next two ingredients: 1 cup coconut, 1/2 cup chopped nuts)

Second layer....

Second layer….

Second layer:

1/4 cup butter (We used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)

1 tablespoon milk or cream (We used skim milk)

2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Third (top) layer....

Third (top) layer….

Third Layer:

This was our issue. The third layer was supposed to be 1 and  1/2 squares of unsweetened chocolate, melted and spread over the top of the second layer. However, the unsweetened chocolate tastes terrible by itself and we couldn’t guarantee it’d taste any better on top of the dessert. At Caroline’s suggestion, I made a half-batch of Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook instead, and spread that across the top. It was delicious. Essentially it was almost the same as the second layer, but chocolate, but it worked.

So here is the recipe for the top layer, , so for a full recipe, double this one:

2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar

1/8 cup milk (add more as needed)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

3/4 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS FOR FUDGE MELTAWAYS

1) Melt 1/2 cup butter and 1 sq. chocolate in saucepan.

2) Blend in granulated sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, eggs, crumbs (and coconut and nuts if you choose to use them).

3) Mix well and press into 11×7 or 9×9 dish.

4) Refrigerate.

5) Mix 1/4 cup butter, milk, confectioners sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Spread over crumb mixture.

6) Chill.

(I left this overnight before completing the top layer. )

7) Using the Better Homes and Gardens frosting recipe above, combine and spread across second layer.

8) Refrigerate and later serve.

Enjoy, but tell me, what would you have done with that third layer? Would you have served it as is? Or, would you have changed it too?

A Great Friday Snack: Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

22 Feb
The simplest things, like these Mardi Gras masks can provide hours of fun on a week like this one!

The simplest things, like these Mardi Gras masks can provide hours of fun on a week like this one!

Happy Friday everyone!

I hope you all had a great week! We’re finishing off February Vacation week here and it’s flown by, despite the fact that we had no set plans really.

We got to see real, live raptors VERY close up on Wednesday afternoon at the library. Very. Close.Up.

We got to see real, live raptors VERY close up on Wednesday afternoon at the library. Very. Close.Up.

We had a great week it turns out, thanks to the Cranston Public Library. We went there on Wednesday to return our books and realized that there were lots of great programs lined up for this week: a great Raptor program from a local wildlife preserve (Born to be Wild Nature Center in Bradford, RI) and the showing of a movie we had not yet seen, were the two things we took advantage of.

Little things like that give the kids something to look forward to and make the week go by.  And, it gives them the chance to take out new library books. We came home Wednesday with a new slew of books for them to read. Gotta love that too.

Best of all, those activities are all free, from the reading to the raptors to the movie.

Gotta love that even more.

They sounded like rock stars on Tuesday afternoon!

They sounded like rock stars on Tuesday afternoon!

We also had the opportunity to participate in a fun recording session at Reel to Real Recording Studio right here in Cranston. The girls were singing like rock stars for the whole afternoon on Tuesday. If you’ve never been there, it’s great fun so check it out!

We had a great time talking all about our trip and showing lots of photos and memorabilia.

We had a great time talking all about our trip and showing lots of photos and memorabilia.

And finally, we made a visit to Grandma Grello’s assisted living facility, where we got the Mardi Gras masks and matching bead necklaces too, and where Caroline presented her power point presentation about the Kids State Dinner trip.  It was her second such presentation in one week’s time and she did a great job with it, as usual. Reliving that trip is always amazing for us and the audience really enjoyed the presentation. Even better, it sparked some great conversation from the residents about their memories of Washington DC., some dating back to WWII. Living history: a privilege for us to be a part of.

Below is a great Friday recipe for you, taken from the blog, The Girl Who Ate Everything.  We made this on Valentine’s Day but it makes a great after school snack and actually we had leftovers and my kids put it on their homemade waffles this weekend too.

We had barely any of the awesome fruits they have in their recipe below, but we made it work anyway. I used a red apple, a green apple and a green pear and they ate it right up. It’s super colorful, and I always love colorful foods.  I think it’s a plus when you can adapt a recipe to suit what you have on hand and it still comes out great.

So whether you are looking for something for an after school snack or something for vacation week’s end, this is a great choice for you!

This was a great, healthy snack. We used fat free tortillas and sugar free jelly.

This was a great, healthy snack. We used fat free tortillas, fat free cooking spray and sugar free jelly.

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Ingredients

    • 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
    • 2 Golden Delicious apples – peeled, cored and diced
    • 8 ounces raspberries
    • 1 (16 oz) carton of strawberries, diced
    • 2 tablespoons white sugar (more or less to taste)
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (more or less to taste)
    • 3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor (I used strawberry)
    • 10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
    • melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray
Cinnamon sugar:
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
  2. It didn't matter that we didn't have the exact fruits listed in the recipe. We used what was on hand and it was great!

    It didn’t matter that we didn’t have the exact fruits listed in the recipe. We used what was on hand and it was great!

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  3. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle tortillas with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Spray again with cooking spray (not necessary if using melted butter).
  4. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture. This salsa can also be served with cinnamon graham crackers or cinnamon pita chips. Best when made and eaten the same day otherwise the fruit gives off too much juice and it gets runny.

Notes

Source: Allrecipes

What’s For Dinner Wednesday: Fish Chowder

30 Jan
I absolutely loved this fish chowder last week!

I absolutely loved this fish chowder last week!

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this or not, but a few years back I developed an allergy to shellfish. Not all shellfish, but a lot of my faves are no longer on my menu.

To live in New England, a summer oasis of ocean and seafood, it’s terribly sad for me to have this allergy. I have always loved all seafood. Luckily there’s only a handful I can’t eat, and there are still some things I can eat.

Clam cakes and chowder after the beach were one thing that I’d been missing in particular, so my heart did a little leap this summer when I was walking through Washington DC on my way to the Smithsonian Museum of American History, with the winner of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge from Virginia, Madeleine Steppel and her mom, Debra, while Caroline and I were there as the Rhode Island winners.

Madeleine's recipe was so easy to follow. Caroline made most of it by herself!

Madeleine’s recipe was so easy to follow. Caroline made most of it by herself!

The most common question we all asked each other on that first day of our trip was, “Where are you from and what was your recipe?”

When I asked that question to Madeleine and Deb, I was thrilled by their answer: Fish Chowder. Madeleine had chosen to make a chowder that I could actually eat! When I asked Debra what was in their chowder, she said that any white fish would do. I was so excited!

Unfortunately, it took me five months before I had a chance to try out this recipe, just last week. It was one that Caroline had been asking for also, and she was so excited when I said I had everything for it.

The recipe was super-easy and didn’t take long at all to make. We substituted a couple of items to suit our tastes and our diet, but overall we followed her recipe almost to a T.

And let me tell you….I was in chowder heaven. It has been several years since I’ve been able to have chowder. I savored every.single.bite.

I went to school to work the school book fair after dinner. Then I came back and had a second bowl. That second bowl was all I could think about when I was at the book fair.

I already have plans to bring this chowder with me this summer to our annual Labor Day Weekend cookout, the one that’s almost entirely seafood, so that I too, can partake in the summer yumminess that I’ve been missing terribly.

One of the best things about this recipe was that it was easy enough that Caroline could handle almost the entire thing by herself. I chopped the onions (we both cried), and she did just about all the rest.

Below are the ingredients and directions, along with any notes stating the changes I made for us. I would definitely make this again.

Soon.

And all summer long.

And on Labor Day weekend for our cookout.

And any time in between.

Fish Chowder

By Madeleine Steppel, age 9

Virginia

Madeleine’s page in the recipe book states, “‘Senator Mark Warner’s recipe for ‘creamless’ Asparagus Soup, which I found in the Celebrate Virginia Cookbook, inspired me to create a chowder recipe,” said Madeleine, who used milk in this recipe because it is the State Beverage of Virginia. She would serve this with a fruity salad of spring greens, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, dried cranberries, and a citrus vinaigrette, with whole-grain bread.”

Makes 4-6 servings

Caroline loved being able to make the majority of this herself.

Caroline loved being able to make the majority of this herself.

INGREDIENTS

3 white potatoes (about 12 ounces total) peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes.

1 pound bag of frozen peas and carrots, thawed (We skip these.)

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small onion finely chopped

1/4 cup all-purpose flour (we use gluten free Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 flour as of 2015)

4 cups low fat milk (we used skim)

1 1/2 to 2 pounds skinless white fish fillet, such as bass, tilapia, or flounder cut into 2″ pieces (I used 2 one pound bags of frozen flounder from Aldi’s.)

Salt and white pepper

(I also sometimes add in 1/2 tsp dried dill weed for color and flavor, which is what my dad always does when he makes his chowder every summer.)

There's nothing like a pot of hot chowder on the stove!

There’s nothing like a pot of hot chowder on the stove!

DIRECTIONS

1. Place potatoes in large glass microwave safe bowl. Add enough cool water to just cover the potatoes, and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Add the peas and carrots and microwave on high until the vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the vegetables and set aside (or boil the vegetables until soft, about 8 minutes).

2. In a large saucepan over moderate heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and the garlic, and saute, stirring occasionally, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Lower the heat to moderately low, add the flour, and whisk for 2 minutes to make a roux. Gradually whisk in one cup of milk and stir until hot and creamy, making sure to whisk out any lumps. Gradually whisk in the remaining three cups of milk and cook, whisking, until steaming hot, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the fish and the cooked vegetables, and cook over moderate heat, stirring often, until the fish is cooked through and flaky. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.