Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Everybody’s happy with this new take on fish and pasta with fresh tomatoes and lemon

“We just haven’t had much fish lately,” Hubby intoned. He’s a great guinea pig and cheerfully tries all my oddball food ideas, but occasionally the basic meat-and-potatoes guy that he is (or in this case, fish-and-potatoes) surfaces.

I had clipped a recipe for Crispy Oven-Baked Tilapia with Lemon-Tomato Fettuccine for the next time I wanted some new ways with fish. It appeared in Southern Living’s (9-2011 issue) Quick-Fix Suppers feature. A reader had asked for some inspirations for her family’s Italian night; she stated that she was tired of the “same old spaghetti”. The recipe to which I was attracted was one of two of the magazine’s suggestions for her.

For me this wasn’t exactly a “quick-fix”. The magazine stated that “hands-on” time was 33 minutes. But I didn’t have panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) and had to make my own crumbs by pulsing leftover wheat-bread slices in the blender. I also decided to add a couple of fresh, chopped tomatoes besides the can of petite-diced tomatoes the recipe specified. Hubby hadn’t been able to round up spinach fettuccine when he went to the store, so I subbed with some basic spaghetti I needed to use up. Prep-time minutes, for me, probably were closer to 45.

However, the meal, once on the table, was wonderful and truly did represent a new way with fish. I thought adding the fresh tomatoes significantly added to the flavor of this entree. Definitely not the “same-old, same-old”. Hubby got his wish for fish; I scratched my perpetual itch for cooking up something different. Everybody was happy.

Crispy Oven-Baked Tilapia with Lemon-Tomato Fettuccine

2 lemons
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 teaspoon paprika
4 (4-ounce) tilapia fillets
2 teaspoons salt (or salt substitute), divided
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) package spinach fettucini (I subbed spaghetti)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped sweet onion
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 (14.5-ounce) can petite-diced tomatoes (I used the no-salt variety and added 2 chopped, fresh tomatoes)
2 tablespoons drained capers
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grate zest from lemons to equal 4 teaspoons. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice from lemons into a measuring cup to equal 2 tablespoons. In a shallow dish combine panko, paprika, and 2 teaspoons lemon zest. Sprinkle fish with 1 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute). Dip fish in 1/4 cup melted butter; dredge in panko mixture. Press panko to adhere. Place fish on a lightly greased rack in an aluminum foil-lined boiler pan. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter over fish. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Meanwhile prepare pasta according to package directions. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until golden. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook 5 to 6 minutes or until tomato mixture begins to thicken. Stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons capers, and remaining 2 teaspoons lemon zest and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, Remove from heat and toss with hot pasta, feta cheese, and basil. Serve with fish. Makes 4 servings.

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