Happy New Year!

After some relaxing, soul searching, and hard decisions at the tail end of 2012 I was able to return to Austin on the first day of 2013 feeling calmer, more relaxed, and generically less stir-crazy.

I don’t know what you do for New Year’s but here in the South (yes, Texas is part of the South) we have several traditions. First, one must eat black eyed peas for luck in the New Year. Past that, there are a slew of old wives tales to apply. Fish to swim in plenty, lettuce or cabbage to get ahead, corn for money (it’s yellow), and a touch of booze to add in a bit of joy.

I cooked up a quick and simple dinner combining all of these:
Panko Crusted Tilapia
Grab tilapia at your local grocery, frozen is fine given you defrost it first.
Take a box of Panko, dump it in a 1 gallon Ziploc style bag, season to taste (I used lemon pepper, parsley, and celery for a savory flavor).
Beat up 2 eggs in a bowl and base the tilapia then toss it in the Panko until coated.
Lay out on a cookie sheet.
Cook at 350 for about 10 minutes or until done.

You can also pan cook it, which I did while the cornbread was in the oven. Medium heat, turning occasionally, cook it until the meat is flaky and white.

Steamed Brussel Sprouts
If you don’t like the taste of them, feel free to roast them as I lined out in the Thanksgiving post.
I was in a hurry and just used steamfresh, yes, that’s a legit way to save time and eat healthy.
Cooking cabbage makes your whole house smell bad and I didn’t want to deal with that so I figured that all 3 (Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, and Lettuce) are heads of veggie. Plus I actually like Brussel Sprouts.
You could totally incorporate the cabbage into a cole slaw to go with your fish, though but I can’t do vinegar based foods so I didn’t bother there either.


Cornbread

I actually followed the package instructions like a total tool because I haven’t made cornbread in years and didn’t have ready access to my great aunt’s tried and true recipe. I promise I will post it in another post later.

That took all of 30 minutes total.

I served it up with a traditional Kreik (Cherry) Belgian Lambic. If you haven’t tried a Lambic before, they are delicious. Flavorful and fruity, lambics taste more like a wine than what is essentially beer. Be sure to get one which ferments with wild yeast such as Lindeman’s or Tinneman’s. I personally prefer Tinneman’s despite its higher price but it’s very much a beverage to be had only at special times because at $6-7 for a 12oz. bottle it can be cost prohibitive. I suggest getting their Framboise (Strawberry) for Valentine’s dinner and will likely post more on that later.

Either way it was a delicious and simple first dinner for 2012 which may or may not make it a great year. I ate it curled up with my man watching the Dr. Who Christmas Special, whose Lovecraft references and earlier Who references were appreciated by this geeky girl. It was even cold enough for a fire, our first in the new (since March) house.

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