Donnie’s Favourite Macaroni Salad

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Donnie LOVES macaroni salad.

I love this recipe because it’s relatively simple, extremely customizable, and most people love it.

It’s great to tote to a potluck, keeps well in the fridge, works for lunches, picnics and general summer noshing.

Works with any shape of pasta, gluten free or regular – I like to use something colourful! Our favourite (and the one pictured here) is Catelli Bistro Rainbows – you also get the benefit of extra fibre, iron, vitamin A and potassium with this pasta too!

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Donnie’s Favourite Macaroni Salad

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INGREDIENTS:
– 2 cups dry pasta
– 1-2 chicken stock/bouillon sachets or cubes (optional)
– 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
– 1/2 cup finely diced celery
– 1/4 cup finely diced carrots
– 2-3 thinly chopped green onions
– 1/3 cup mayonnaise
– 1/4 cup white vinegar
– 1/8 cup sweet pickle juice (i.e Bik’s Yum Yum!)
– 2 tsp. dried mustard
– salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1. Boil water in a large pot with chick bouillon sachets/cubes and fish sauce/Maggi sauce. Add pasta. Cook until tender, about 7-9 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, chop veggies and/or proteins you’ll be using.

3. When pasta is al dente, drain and run under cold water to cool.

4. Add chopped veggies/proteins and remaining ingredients; mix gently to blend and coat pasta. Add salt & pepper to taste. Add fresh herbs if desired.

5. Chill and then serve as desired. Enjoy!

2015-07-06 21.33.59NOTES & TIPS:
– I like to add powdered chicken stock sachets or cubes to the water I boil pasta in. This is something my Mom has done forever – it adds depth of flavour I adore… I’ve also been known to add a few dashes of fish sauce or Maggi sauce to the pasta water. UMAMI!!!
– You could add any other veggies you like to this! We’ve tried corn, peas, pimento, mushrooms, pickles, peppers, asparagus, radish, avocado, etc. – anything in season that you like works!
– Make it easier and buy matchstick-cut carrots and chop from there, or grate regular or baby carrots!
– Try adding some chopped hard-boiled eggs, bacon, braised tofu, cooked chicken, shrimp or tuna to make it a full meal with protein!
– In the summer when we have herbs growing it’s lovely to add some fresh basil or other fresh herbs that float your boat – dill is one of Donnie’s faves.
– It gets better the longer you let it sit in the refrigerator before eating! Try at least 6-8 hours or overnight for the yummiest results.

The Best Beginner Fish Recipe Ever

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Dinner plate – trying both tilapia and haddock this way, and served with a green salad, garlic and chive mashed potatoes and honey glazed baby carrots.

My fiance Donnie and I are trying to join the world of seafood eaters. I am coming from a lacto-ovo vegetarian world, and his beginning seafood repertoire was fish & chips, shrimp, mussels and lobster.

Since moving to PEI I believe I have now mastered my own Seafood Chowder, and I was already adept at mussels, but have now perfected the Donnie-loves-them mussel technique… And that’s about it (not taking into account the frozen pre-flavoured shrimp skewers from M&M Meat Shops).

So I began researching the best “gateway” flesh fish. That’s what I’m calling non-shellfish, because it is such a foreign concept to me at this point to contemplate chewing fleshy meat.

We have tried this with tilapia, cod and haddock so far. My favourite is Tilapia with haddock a close runner-up, and I couldn’t eat the cod. Too much of a meat texture for me. Donnie’s favourite was the tilapia too; he also loved the haddock and cod, and couldn’t rate one above the other.

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I forgot to take a photo BEFORE I started eating. Oops.

I bet it would work well for most fish!

This recipe makes 4-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds skinless fish
  •  3/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c. butter, softened, plus more for greasing dish
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onions
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. Old Bay
  • Herbs of your choice (garlic powder, onion powder, lemon pepper, basil, dill, etc.)
  • 1/2 c. Panko
  • Paprika (for colour at the end)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F; Grease cookie sheet with thin coat of butter or oil.
  2. Mix together parmesan cheese, butter, mayo, lemon juice, green onion, salt, pepper & other herbs in small bowl until well blended.
  3. Arrange fish in a single layer.
  4. Bake fish for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully spread parmesan mixture over top. Bake additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining Panko on top. Broil 5 more minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

 

This recipe was inspired by a few others: Panko Tilapia Fillets with Homemade Tartar Sause from Deals to Meals (also photo credit for image below), Mayonnaise Baked Fish from Food.com, Easy Oven Baked Parmesan Crusted Tilapia from 101 Cooking For Two, Easy Baked Fish Fillets from MyRecipes.com and The Best Fish Recipe Ever from Living Well Spending Less via Pinterest.

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