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posted: 10/10/2017 3:11 PM

Week 1: Darla Pitts' Mackerel Croquettes with Green Bean Spinach Pesto, topped with Pickled Navel Orange and Red Onion Slaw

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  • Arlington Heights firefighter/paramedic Darla Pitts created Mackerel Croquettes with Green Bean Spinach Pesto, topped with Pickled Navel Orange and Red Onion Slaw.

      Arlington Heights firefighter/paramedic Darla Pitts created Mackerel Croquettes with Green Bean Spinach Pesto, topped with Pickled Navel Orange and Red Onion Slaw.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Darla Pitts

    Darla Pitts

 
Editor's note: Recipes appear as submitted and written by contestants.

Secret ingredients: Canned mackerel from King Oscar, Fresh green beans from Tony's Fresh Market, Rice cakes and Navel Oranges from Northern Illinois Food Bank

Pesto Sauce

1 cup of freshly cut green beans (ends cut)

½ cup of baby spinach

½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup of roasted pine nuts

½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves of fresh garlic (coarsely chopped)

Pinch of pepper

Pinch of salt

Pickled Slaw

1 navel orange peeled and cut into slices

½ red onion (very thinly sliced)

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1 pinch of salt

1 pinch coarse black ground pepper

Mackerel Croquette

3 cans of mackerel in olive oil

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

¼ cup of flat leaf parsley

1 egg

1 cup of ground rice cakes

¼ cup of ground panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon of garlic salt

A dash of cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

Pesto Sauce: Place chopped Green Beans in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes (salted) Remove the beans after 5 minutes and place in an iced bowl of water. Remove the beans from ice after 10 minutes.

Place the beans, cheese, spinach, garlic, nuts with the olive oil, salt and pepper into the blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Quick pickled slaw salad:

Place slaw ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss with hands. Place in the refrigerator to chill (10 minutes.)

Mackerel Croquette:

Place the croquette ingredients in a bowl and mix with hands until combined. Create 4 equal portioned patties. Pour olive oil into a hot pan.

Place the croquettes into the pan and cook until golden brown.

For serving, place the croquettes on a platter and top with slaw. Pesto sauce can be placed on the side as a dipping sauce on under the croquette for added flavor.

Serves 4

Darla Pitts

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