Week 1: Tim Schmitt's Green Bean and Orange Salad topped with "Mack" Cakes

Posted10/10/2017 3:12 PM
  • Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Tim Schmitt cooked up Green Bean and Orange Salad topped with "Mack" Cakes.

      Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Tim Schmitt cooked up Green Bean and Orange Salad topped with "Mack" Cakes. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Tim Schmitt

    Tim Schmitt

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

Orange Vinaigrette:

¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar

½ tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons honey

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Whisk until combined and set aside.

Rice Cake Garlic Croutons:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 rice cakes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

½ teaspoon garlic powder (¼ teaspoon more if you are a garlic lover)

Carefully cut rice cakes into ¾ inch squares using a serrated bread knife. Mix EVOO and garlic powder in a small bowl. Add rice cake croutons and mix to coat. Place on parchment paper lined rimed sheet pan and bake for four minutes. Set aside to cool.


½ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ pounds green beans trimmed, sliced diagonally into one inch pieces

2 navel oranges peeled sectioned with each section cut in half

1 fennel bulb thinly sliced (core removed)

8 tablespoons dried cranberries

Boil five cups of water with ½ teaspoon of salt. Boil beans for three minutes and then plunge into an ice water bath. In a medium size bowl combine beans, orange segments, fennel and cranberries, stir to combine. Add orange vinaigrette and gently toss to coat. Spread evenly onto four salad plates. Set aside.

"Mack" Cakes:

1½ tablespoons rice cakes pulsed in food processor until they become crumbs.

2 tablespoons plain or Italian flavored bread crumbs

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons green onion finely chopped

2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I prefer Hellmann's)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (can substitute lime juice)

1 teaspoon horseradish

½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 large egg, beaten slightly

2 4.05-ounce cans of King Oscar boneless skinless mackerel in olive oil

1/3 cup plain or Italian flavored bread crumbs

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

In a medium sized bowl add rice cake crumbs, two tablespoons bread crumbs, cilantro, green onions, mayonnaise, lemon juice, horseradish, Old Bay, Worcestershire, S & P, and egg. Stir to combine. Remove mackerel from can to a paper towel lined plate. Pat down to remove as much olive oil as possible. Transfer mackerel to a small bowl. With a fork break up the fish. Fold mackerel into the bowl with mayonnaise mixture. Stir to combine. Place one-third cup bread crumbs in shallow dish. Divide mackerel mixture into four equal sized balls. Dredge balls in bread crumbs to coat. Heat EVOO in skillet until it shimmers, turn heat to medium. Depending on size of skillet place one or more balls into the skillet and press down with spatula to three quarters of an inch thickness. Sauté for one to two minutes or until golden brown and then flip and repeat on the other side. Remove to plate, repeat until all four have been sautéed.

Place a "Mack" cake in the middle of each plate of salad. Add the rice cake croutons over the dish and serve.

Tim Schmitt

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