5/19/21 First Recipe!!

Cooking Recipes, by Tom Tillman, for your enjoyment and satisfaction.

Many have told me I should write a cook book; maybe this is the beginning.

I, Tom, do all of our cooking; I enjoy it and seem to have a real 'knack' for understanding how different flavors 'go together,' and how much of each to use.

Whenever I 'invent' a dish, I write down what I did.  If it turns out well, I keep it.  If it was not good, I throw it away and move on to something else.  I have hundreds: some on the computer, and most just scratched out on paper.

I imagine what sounds good for today's dinner, then I think through the various ingredients necessary to make it taste like it does in my imagining.

Usually it turns out good but perhaps needing a little adjustment here or there.  However, not as often has something turned out so perfectly, the first time through, as this Mexican Halibut Soup/Stew did.

When I cook, it's always 'by the seat of my pants,' as it were.  The only recipes I use are the things I've previously thought up and written down.  When I write them down, I don't use 'quantities,' I simply add by intuition.

That said, there are, obviously, some things that do require careful following of a recipe: things like bread that need to be just right.

So, when I add amounts, like 1 tsp or 1/2 tsp, etc, I am guessing at what I've used but they are usually pretty close but always allow yourself the freedom to change things according to your own tastes.

Think of cooking as painting a picture.  You decide the colors and where to put them according to what is being imagined within your own mind.

So... here's the first of many to come: Mexican Halibut Soup/Stew.  If you enjoy good fish, I think you will like it very much and use it often in the future.

Mexican Halibut Soup/Stew

©Tom Tillman

Serves 2 to 4

Since fresh halibut is so expensive, a very good alternative would be Tilapia... a good, firm, 'unfishey' white fish.  Also, Shrimp would go well; Salmon or Cod might work but they are a little 'fishier.'  Oysters and clams might work but that would be an altogether different dish but Halibut really went great.

Fry: 1/4 lb bacon cut small with 1/2 sweet onion chopped with little Olive Oil

Add: 1 clove of garlic chopped small, 1 stalk of celery chopped small

Add 1 medium tomato cubed... continue to fry 15 minutes

Add 1 can chicken broth

1/2 jalapeno sliced... remove any seeds

1 tsp each: fresh: oregano, thyme, rosemary and chopped celery heart

1/2 tsp: cumin, chili powder, bullion powder, mushroom powder

Zest of 1 lime

Simmer 1-2 hours

Last 30 min: add 1 medium potato cubed small and 1 ear uncooked corn, kernels cut off the cob

Dissolve 1 Tbs corn starch in another 1/4 cup cold chicken broth & add to 1/4c cream; stir it in to thicken; it will thicken as it reaches boiling.

When above ingredients are tender: add 1 lb fresh Halibut; if skin is on, it's ok, it will come off when fish is done; the fish is done when it begins to flake apart with a fork.

Don't overcook the fish!  Only till it begins to flack apart; if you overcook it, it will begin to dissolve... yuck!

Top with chopped green onion tops and cilantro

Serve with blue chips and guacamole and black bean dip: 

Guacamole: 2 ripe avocados; not too mushy.  add: 1/2 tsp bullion powder, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 lime zest and a little juice, pepper, 1/2 tomato chopped small, 1 Tbs sweet onion chopped small, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp paprika.  For extra 'kick' chop up, very small: half of what's left from that jalapeno, add a little chopped green onion tops.  Mix well with a fork.

No garlic; it doesn't go well in guacamole.   

Black Bean dip: in food processer: 1 can drained black beans; save the juice.  Process till smooth; add as much bean juice as needed to fully process; the rest of the bean juice can be tossed into the soup.  Add: 1/2 tsp each: cumin powder, chili powder, bullion powder(takes the place of salt so add more if needed), the other 1/2 of lime zest.  1/4 tsp each: garlic granules, onion granules, black pepper.  Add a little chopped green onion tops on top.