mustard fluke fingers

fingers, finalThat Sports Illustrated cover is pretty comical now, considering what went on Monday night at FedEx Field. My Eagles are back, in a big way — at least for now.

If you know me, you know I love me some football; it’s one of the only beautiful things about summer being over. There’s also something really calming about getting back into the routine: cooking dinner for B (then blogging about it!), and watching the game together on the couch. What a game it was, too. My boys really kicked off the season in style the other night. Before I knew what kind of romping it would be — okay, fine 33-27 isn’t as much a romping as it felt like — I was planning a winning menu of my own.

I wanted a healthier version of a tailgate: something hearty and fried, but that wouldn’t leave me feeling sacked on the couch. Enter Gwyneth Paltrow’s gluten-free old bay fish fingers for kids (from her It’s All Good cookbook, which I’ve cooked from before). Inspired by those, I made these spicy mustard fluke fingers. Use as much sriracha as you like in the mustard mixture (I used a ton) and then whip up a little dipping sauce with it too (sriracha + vegenaise = heaven). It only takes about 15 minutes — prep and cook time, combined.

They taste just like fried chicken fingers you’d get at the stadium, but without any of the guilt. I’d say less noise too, but we get pretty into the games around here. Serve ‘em with a side of broccoli like I did, or any vegetable or salad really — and even try ‘em out on your kids too. I bet if you tell them it’s chicken, they’d never know the difference. It’s like running your very own play-action in the kitchen.

B knew it was fluke, and he loved it anyway. He asked if I could please add these to the regular TV Dinner repertoire. TOUCHDOWN.

fingers, closeup

empty baking sheet

fingers, out of oven

fingers, pre-bake

RECIPE mustard fluke fingers

coconut curry swordfish

swordfish, final“I thought it would have fins on the end… or something,” B says to me as he glides into the kitchen, peering over my shoulder into the pan — his sense of smell and curiosity getting the best of him from where he sat in the living room.

Fins! Fins? Or something.

The guy just wrote a book; I’ll cut him a break. This is one fish — and CURRY — he’s not familiar with. BA-DUM.

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cioppino

cioppino, platedAs soon as I laid eyes on this cioppino in bon appetit, I knew I was making it for my next dinner party. Someone had raved about it on Twitter — the ease of cooking it, the flavor of the ingredients, and the satisfaction of their guests — so I was sold.

Cioppino is as delicious as it fun to say, in your best Italian accent of course. Say it with me now, CHI-PEE-NO. (Don’t bother calling it fish stew, it does the goodness of this dish no justice — none whatsoever.) It’s filling without being heavy, adequate for both the guys are girls (which isn’t always easy!), and best of all — impossible to screw up. That last quality is of the utmost importance when you have friends over and the wine (and tequila) start flowing.

Follow this recipe to a T and you too will have those same rave reviews I did last Saturday night. This one’s a keeper. Enjoy.

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this sole’s got soul

final dover sole

I love spicy food — like, mouth-watering, tongue-tingling, ohmygod-I-need-water-NOW spicy. Though we all know water doesn’t help when your taste buds are on fire. But I digress. I am always on the search for spice and I had never made a curry before, but always wanted to try. So I did some googling, some label-reading, some experimenting and this — THIS — is what I came up with. I’m still training B to like things as hot as me, but if whomever you’re cooking for can handle it, try some habaneros or thai chili peppers. We’re working up to those in the lovenest. As B is famous for saying, “standby.”

test

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tilapia a la teigen

overhead laying fish

Even though she cooks meat 99% of the time (and I don’t cook or eat meat), one of my most favorite food bloggers is Chrissy Teigen. You may know her as the supermodel fiance of John Legend, but I know her as one of the most entertaining people I follow on Twitter. She’s gorgeous, she’s hilarious and homegirl can cook like a rockstar. Imagine my excitement when she finally – FINALLY – posted a fish recipe. It looked so delushious (as she says) that I had to try it. But while she made one large portion, I decided to make 8 individual portions for my best friends from overnight camp who were coming over with their husbands for dinner.

I served it alongside cauliflower mash, but you can try any kind of rice/grain/veggie. We already had greens for our first course — the brussels sprout salad — so decided to mix it up and serve a little mashed potato lookalike.

RECIPE tilapia teigen

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shun lee virgins

shun lee

In my notes folder on my iPhone, I have list of restaurants that I want to try. There are about 20 on there — some old, some new — but Shun Lee has probably been on there the longest. Since B and I were going to see Ray LaMontagne that night at Carnegie Hall for our 14-month anniversary, we figured why not make an Upper West Side night of it. (I hope you’re not asking yourself who Ray LaMontagne is right now. Or if we celebrate each month’s anniversary.)

I still can’t believe we hadn’t been there before. It’s a New York Institution, and for good reason. The number one being: their famous Grand Marnier shrimp, which I MUST learn how to make. It is delightful — soft and sweet — served with walnuts, which give it that perfect crunch.