Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mexican Polenta Scramble

Tonight I got home late so we had this dinner, which was pretty quick. The part that takes the longest is when the poblanos are steaming in the bowl (or ziploc bag, in my case). It was very yummy. I used the tube polenta and it worked out nicely. I also found pepitas (pumpkin seeds) in the bulk bins at Wegmans so I got enough for the meal for about 10 cents. Sweet.

polenta

Mexican Polenta Scramble
Eating Well via Joe's Blog

4 poblano peppers
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 ounces refrigerated firm polenta, cut into small cubes (you could use the pre-prepared in a tube)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
4 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons pepitas, toasted
Diced avocado

Preheat the broiler.

Trim and remove the seeds from the poblanos. Cut in quarters and place skin side up on a foil lined baking sheet - flatten with your hand. Place under the broiler and bake until the skin blisters and blackens - 4-8 minutes. Carefully remove and put them in a bowl - cover with saran wrap and let steam 15-20 minutes. Remove the blackened skin and dice.

In a large skillet, heat oil medium-high. Add roasted peppers, tomatoes, cumin and salt. Cook until the tomatoes begin to soften - about 2-4 minutes. Add polenta cubes and continue cooking for about 3-4 minutes. Stir in green onions, cheese, cilantro and lime juice. Remove from heat and scatter with toasted pepitas and diced avocado before serving.

Aloo Gobi (Curried Potatoes with Cauliflower)

I've reached the decision that making aloo gobi at home is just not possible. It should be saved for eating at Indian restaurants, where people know how to make it right. When I make it at home, it just isn't the same. This particular version had mushy potatoes (I left the skin on but I don't think that was the issue) and an overpowering curry flavor without tasting like real aloo gobi. The secret might be frying the potatoes, but we all know I won't do that so maybe it just isn't a recipe we're going to master. I will continue to try, probably. Just not with this recipe. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I wanted.

Note: You probably know by now that I hate the Penzeys instructions, but I'm not about to rewrite them so unfortunately you'll have to sift through the unnecessary commentary to make the recipe.

aloo gobi

Aloo Gobi (Curried Potatoes with Cauliflower)
Penzeys One magazine

6 medium red potatoes
2 cups or so cauliflower florets (1/2 a medium head)
1 small onion
2 tbsp butter, olive oil, or ghee (clarified butter)
1-2 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tbsp water
1 tsp whole brown mustard seed
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
2-3 tbsp lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
3 tbsp fresh cilantro leaf, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper- thinly sliced and seeds removed (optional)
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, then add red potatoes. cook as you would for potato salad, reducing heat to a high simmer and cooking until fork tender but not mushy - usually about 20 minutes. Drain the pot and rinse the potatoes until cool to the touch.

While the potatoes are cooking, bring a second smaller pot of water to a boil for the cauliflower. Cut the cauliflower into florets, and mince the onion. Combine the curry powder (start with 1 Tbsp if you don't eat curry often) and coriander with 1 Tbsp water, let stand a few minutes. At this point the potatoes should be done, and the cauliflower water should be boiling. Cook the cauliflower 3 minutes, rinse and drain. Peel the skin off the potatoes (a paring knife works best) and cube. Heat the butter/oil over medium-high heat. Add the minced onion, brown mustard seed and cumin seeds. When the seeds start to sizzle and pop, add the curry/water mix, stirring well to evenly coat the onions. Cook 3 minutes, then add the lemon juice, along with cubed potatoes and cauliflower, stirring well to coat. Add the cilantro and jalapeno, along with 1/2 cup water, turn the heat down a bit, and simmer till the vegetables are heated through and the sauce is thick - 10 min or so. Taste and add salt as desired. Traditionally served with saffron rice.

Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Spinach-Onion Quesadillas with Avocado-Chipotle Salsa

Another recipe that I've had for a few years and hadn't tried yet! It's pretty quick and it's definitely yummy. I used reduced-fat cheese and some whole-wheat tortillas. The "salsa" is really more of a guacamole (or maybe I mashed it too much?) and we decided the quesadillas would probably be just fine without it. But this was very yummy. We would definitely make it again.

quesadillas

Spinach-Onion Quesadillas with Avocado-Chipotle Salsa
A Year In A Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop
via somewhere on the internet

Avocado-Chipotle Salsa:
2 medium ripe avocados, jalved, pitted, scooped
from skins and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 small chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
(about 2 teaspoons), with 1 teaspoon sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt

Spinach-Onion Quesadillas:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
2 ounces baby spinach (about 2 1/2 cups)
8 8-inch flour tortillas
5 ounces cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)

For the salsa: Combine the avocados, cilantro, chiles, abobo sauce, lime juice, and salt to taste in a small bowl. Mash with a fork until completely combined but still a bit chunky. Set aside.

For the quesadillas: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned, 12 to 15 minutes. (If using cumin seeds, add them during the last 2 minutes so they will become fragrant.) Stir in the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute. Adjust the seasonings, adding salt to taste. Set the spinach-onion mixture aside.

Lay 4 tortillas on a work surface. Sprinkle the cheese over the tortillas, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge of each tortilla. Divide the spinach-onion mixture evenly among tortillas. Top with the remaining 4 tortillas.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the first quesadilla and cook, turning once, until the tortillas are golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the quesadilla to a large plate and repeat with the remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into quarters. Spoon some salsa into the middle of each quesadilla and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Monday, July 27, 2009

Eight Ball Zucchini Parmesan

I've had this recipe for a long time but I never wanted to make it with 'regular' zucchini and I could never find 8-Ball zucchini (it's round, kind of like a little teardrop). Lo and behold, last week Wegmans had it as a featured produce item grown in a local farm. I immediately put this on the menu and picked some up! It was kind of exciting in a pathetic sort of way.

So. It makes good use of the food processor. But it's pretty easy and not too bad on time. I boiled some organic home-made pasta from my former boss's CSA (pasta and beans and grains last FOREVER!) and we had our 8-Balls with pasta and more french bread. Yum yum. I liked it and thought it was yummy. The fresh bread crumbs give the filling a very nice texture.

zucchini

Eight Ball Zucchini Parmesan
Cooking Light, June 2005

Eight-ball zucchini is a round, softball-sized variety of summer squash. You can find it at farmers' markets, or purchase it from specialty produce purveyors such as Frieda's (www.friedas.com). This recipe is equally delicious when made with the more commonly found long, slender zucchini squash.

1 (1-ounce) slice French bread, torn into small pieces
6 eight-ball zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup packed spinach leaves
8 basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, peeled and quartered (about 5 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped plum tomato
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 cup. Set aside.

Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Set pulp aside. Steam zucchini shells, covered, 6 minutes or until tender. Drain, cut sides down, on several layers of heavy-duty paper towels.

Place zucchini pulp in food processor; process until finely chopped. Spoon into a bowl. Place spinach, basil, garlic, and onion in food processor; process until finely chopped.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add spinach mixture; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini pulp, tomato, and salt; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in breadcrumbs.

Fill each zucchini half with about 2 1/2 tablespoons zucchini mixture. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until cheese melts. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chocolate Shortbread

I decided to try the chocolatey version of this shortbread that I made in January. They came from the same magazine article. This chocolate one is good, but I definitely am partial to the brown sugar version that I made before. The brown sugar is chewier, whereas this one is more crisp and crumbly. I wouldn't make this version again though, unless I was also making the brown sugar one!

shortbread

Chocolate Shortbread
Cooking Light, November 2008

Rich shortbread is easy to prepare and keeps for several days in an airtight container. Softened butter should be pliable but not easily spreadable. Because this mixture is already dark, it's hard to tell when the shortbread browns. Check your oven temperature using an oven thermometer, and bake just until the shortbread is set.

4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons unsweetened premium dark cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
Cooking spray

1. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

2. Place sugar, butter, and oil in a medium bowl; mix with hands until combined. Add flour mixture, and mix with hands until combined; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 325°.

4. Place dough on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; press dough into an 8 x 5–inch rectangle about 3/8-inch thick. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork. Bake at 325° for 30 minutes or just until set. Cut shortbread into 24 pieces. Cool completely.

Yield: 2 dozen

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans

To go with our pierogi for dinner, I tried another recipe for roasted brussels sprouts. We really love brussels sprouts when they are prepared well.

This certainly was preparing them well. This was absolutely delicious and so easy to make. I got some pre-washed pre-trimmed baby brussels sprouts from Wegmans so all I had to do was dump them onto the baking sheet. Perfect!

brussels sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans
Real Simple, November 2008

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper

Heat oven to 400° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts, pecans, oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Turn the Brussels sprouts cut-side down.

Roast until golden and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Yield: 8 servings

Potato Pierogi

I have never really had pierogi. I've had the frozen kind that you can purchase at the grocery store, but never real pierogi. My coworker has talked about her friend's Polish mother who'd spend all day preparing the pierogi and sausages and pastries and something called pepper cabbage? and all this delicious stuff. And then I passed by a county fair a few times last week and amidst the french fries and funnel cake, they were also selling pierogies. Our area of PA has a lot of Polish/German influence so foods I am not used to are popping up everywhere!

Since I didn't stop at the fair, I determined that I must make pierogi this week. It was a little bit time consuming. Not too bad though. It's about an hour, but it's hands-on for the whole time. TOTALLY worth it though. These were yummy and delicious and wonderful. I'm wondering if I can make a huge batch and freeze them. I'd love to do that. They are very good. We would make this again.

Despite the note, I served 4 as a main dish and it was a great idea.

pierogi

Potato Pierogi
Cooking Light, April 2004

Pierogi puff when they boil but begin to deflate almost immediately. They are almost flat when you sauté them. Serve these as a side dish.

1 pound peeled baking potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives or green onions
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons egg substitute
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pierogi Dough (recipe follows)
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon butter, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender; drain. Place potatoes in a large bowl; mash with a potato masher or fork until smooth. Add chives and next 5 ingredients (chives through 3/4 teaspoon salt); blend well with potato masher.

Divide Pierogi Dough into 16 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll each ball into a 3 1/2-inch circle on a lightly floured surface.

Spoon 1 rounded tablespoon of the potato mixture onto half of each dough circle. Bring opposite sides of dough circle together; pinch to seal, beginning with center and pinching down both sides to form a half-moon shape. Repeat with the remaining dough circles and potato mixture.

Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add half of pierogi; cook 7 minutes or until done (pierogi will rise to the surface). Remove pierogi with a slotted spoon; drain in a colander (pierogi will stick to a paper towel). Place pierogi in a single layer on a baking sheet or platter. Repeat procedure with remaining pierogi.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 8 pierogi; cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove pierogi; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons butter and 8 pierogi. Sprinkle cooked pierogi with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Serve with 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream.

Pierogi Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large egg
Cooking spray

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Combine sour cream, water, oil, and egg, stirring with a whisk. Add sour cream mixture to flour mixture; stir until combined. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 7 minutes). Place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rest 15 minutes.

Yield: 8 servings

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Penne, Crispy Tofu, and Green Bean Salad

I was a little bit nervous to try this out but I'm glad I did. It's very, very yummy! Because the tofu is browned, it stops being so mushy and becomes more firm. Much better. The whole thing is easy and doesn't take too long. I didn't bother letting anything refrigerate because I was hungry, but I can see that this would be an excellent meal to make and take the next day for lunch. We would make this again!

tofu

Penne, Crispy Tofu, and Green Bean Salad
Cooking Light, July 2001

A light vinaigrette tossed with pasta, fresh produce at peak season, and sautéed tofu made this salad a hit in our Test Kitchens.

Salad:
1 (15-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups uncooked penne pasta (8 ounces tube-shaped pasta)
2 cups (2-inch) cut green beans (about 8 ounces)
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried dill

Dressing:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed

To prepare salad, pat tofu cubes dry with a paper towel. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu; sauté 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan; chill 30 minutes.

Cook pasta in boiling water for 5 minutes; add beans, and cook an additional 5 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water, and drain. Combine tofu, pasta mixture, tomatoes, and dill in a large bowl.

To prepare dressing, combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a jar; cover tightly, and shake vigorously. Pour dressing over salad; toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Yield: 8 servings

Friday, July 24, 2009

Banana French Toast

My mom belongs to a women's group called P.E.O. and one of the things they did awhile ago was have a recipe exchange, or something of that sort. My mom sent me a whole bunch of the recipes. One was for this french toast. It sounded so yummy but I tucked it away. But I scheduled it for this week finally! I made it yesterday morning and then put it in the refrigerator til we got home (We both got home at 7:30). We popped it in the oven for 50 minutes and went about our business until the beeper finally went off and we got to eat. We were very hungry at that point. Dinner did not disappoint. It was very rich and yummy. Not too eggy, as I find French Toast often is. I really liked it. We would make this again.

toast

Banana French Toast
PEO Chapter G Book Brunch

8 slices Sun-Maid Raisin Bread
2 medium bananas, cut into ¼-inch slices
1 Cup Milk
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
1/3 Cup sugar
3 Tbsps all-purpose flour
2 tsp vanilla
Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange 4 slices of raisin bread in a single layer in a buttered 9-inch square baking dish. Top with banana slices and remaining bread. Combine milk, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture over raisin bread. Let stand 5 minutes or cover and chill overnight. Bake on middle shelf of oven until set and top is golden, about 40 - 45 minutes (50-55 minutes if mixture was refrigerated.) Let stand 10 minutes. Cut French toast in diagonal halves and transfer to plates with a spatula. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Vegetable Crêpes

In the produce section by the berries, I always see these packages of little premade shortcakes and a package of crepes. Crepes are yummy (mmmm banana and nutella... I miss Marche in Boston!) but I have never really had a purpose to use them. When I found this recipe I thought it sounded like something interesting and I would get to try out something new! The storebought crepes are really awesome. Since I am incapable of making real crepes, this is probably going to be my go-to for crepe-related foods.

As for the savory meal that went into the crepe, it was wonderful! I skimped on the sauce because I didn't think it would be yummy, but it turned out to be delicious so next time I will have to make more of it. We would definitely make this again.

crepes

Summer Vegetable Crêpes
Eating Well, 8/08

1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives, divided, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons low-fat milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 1/4 cups chopped green beans
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 large ear; see Tip)
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 9-inch “ready-to-use” crêpes (see Tip)

1. Stir sour cream, 1/4 cup chives, milk, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, green beans and corn and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low; stir in ricotta, Monterey Jack, the remaining 1/4 cup chives, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, stirring gently, until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
3. To roll crêpes, place one on a piece of parchment or wax paper (or leave it on the piece of plastic separating the crêpes in the package). Spoon one-fourth of the vegetable-cheese mixture (about 3/4 cup) down the center of the crêpe. Use the paper (or plastic) to help you gently roll the crêpe around the filling. Place the crêpe seam-side down on a dinner plate. Repeat with the remaining crêpes and filling. Serve each crêpe topped with 2 tablespoons of the reserved sauce and more chives, if desired.

TIP: Tips: To remove kernels, stand a cob on its stem end in a bowl and slice them off with a sharp, thin-bladed knife.

“Ready-to-use” crêpes are fast and convenient. Look for them in the produce section of the market or near refrigerated tortillas.

Yield: 4 crepes

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gorditas

Last night I made Gorditas. We filled them up with vegetarian refried beans, cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa, and spicy guacamole. Yum!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Roasted Shrimp with Orzo

You may notice that I'm posting late a lot. Our schedules are stupid and busy and I work late but go in to work late in the mornings, so it appears I will be posting in the mornings more often than not.

Last night we had this roasted shrimp recipe. I pre-chopped most of the stuff beforehand so when I got home late last night, all I had to do was pop the shrimp in the oven, boil the orzo, and combine everything in a bowl. I did not refrigerate or let it return to room temperature or anything like that. We just ate it all straight up. This was an acceptable decision. It was very yummy and fresh and simple. We would make this again.

orzo

Roasted Shrimp with Orzo
Ina Garten

Kosher salt
Good olive oil
3/4 pound orzo pasta (rice-shaped pasta)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds (16 to 18 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
1/2 cup small-diced red onion
3/4 pound good feta cheese, large diced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Fill a large pot with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and a splash of oil, and bring the water to a boil. Add the orzo and simmer for 9 to 11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's cooked al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.

Meanwhile, place the shrimp on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread out in a single layer. Roast for 5 to 6 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through. Don't overcook!

Add the shrimp to the orzo and then add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss well. Add the feta and stir carefully. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate overnight. If refrigerated, taste again for seasonings and bring back to room temperature before serving.

Yield: 6 servings

Monday, July 20, 2009

Baked Falafel Sandwiches with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce

Seriously, no falafel will ever be as good as the falafel we had from Amsterdam Falafel. Ever. But this recipe uses some nice fluffy flatbread and a thick yogurt-tahini sauce, so I figured it might at least be good enough to hold us over until we can one day go back to Amsterdam Falafel. Turns out that it's really pretty good! I put cucumber on the wraps, and I put extra cayenne in the falafel. I also added a little bit extra bulgur by accident which did not affect it at all. We used some multigrain flatbreads, which had a nice texture and went well with the falafel patties. Also I used 2% Fage Yogurt instead of whole-milk yogurt. I think this was a good choice. We would definitely make this again next time we're craving falafel.

falafel

Baked Falafel Sandwiches with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce
Cooking Light, 12/07

Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern offering consisting of seasoned pureed chickpeas shaped into patties and usually fried. It's worth the effort to seek out Greek yogurt, which is thick, rich, and creamy. Make the sauce up to three days in advance and the falafel mixture up to one day ahead; bake falafel patties just before serving.

Sauce:
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt (such as Fage Total Classic)
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame-seed paste)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Falafel:
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup uncooked bulgur
3 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/3 to 1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 garlic cloves
Cooking spray

Remaining ingredients:
6 (2.8-ounce) Mediterranean Style white flatbreads (such as Toufayan)
12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

To prepare sauce, combine the first 3 ingredients, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

To prepare falafel, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan; add bulgur to pan. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine chickpeas and the next 9 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until well blended and smooth (mixture will be wet). Spoon chickpea mixture into a large bowl; stir in bulgur.

Divide mixture into 12 equal portions (about 1/4 cup each); shape each portion into a 1/4-inch-thick patty. Place patties on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes on each side or until browned. Spread about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce onto each flatbread. Top each flatbread with 2 falafel patties, 2 tomato slices, and chopped cilantro, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Bananaberry Bombs

The abundance of blueberries in the grocery stores has been inspiring so I picked this super-healthy banana-blueberry muffin recipe to make for our usual Sunday treat. They are very yummy!! He did not really like it because it turns out he doesn't like blueberry muffins much. Did I know this? He said he and muffins are not really friends. I am not sure this is true because I think he has liked other muffins. But whatever. I like them. They are yummy. Nice banana flavor, nice blueberry flavor. I used fresh blueberries which I thought was wonderful. I would make these again.

muffins

Bananaberry Bombs
Looneyspoons by Janet Podleski
as posted on CLBB (Nurse2B2010)

1 c. quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 c. each all purpose flour and whole wheat flour
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. mashed bananas (make sure they're ripe)
2 egg whites
1/4 c. reduced fat butter or margarine, melted (not fat free)
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine oats, flours, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Stir well and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together bananas, egg whites, and melted butter until smooth. Add banana mixture to dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Gently fold in blueberries.

Spray large muffin tin with non stick spray (or use paper liners). Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Yield: 1 dozen

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Gulliver's Corn

Not a whole lot to say about this other than it is DELICIOUS. It would fit in as a side dish, or you could take it to a barbecue, or you could make a big batch at the beginning of the week and happily eat nothing but this for the whole week. It is wonderfully delicious.

The notes in the recipe are NOT my own and are from the original poster. Also the directions kind of don't make sense so I made some guesses, but I don't think you can really screw this up no matter what route you take to get it in the oven.

corn

Gulliver's Corn
CLBB (Hammster)

2 bags (16 oz each) frozen white kernel corn (defrosted). (I like to use one bag of white kernel corn and one of yellow.)
1 1/2 cups whipping cream.
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp flour mixed with 3 tbsp melted butter or margarine
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Butter an ovenproof baking dish. (I like to use those disposable foil pans since I'm generally bringing the dish to someone else's house.) Set aside.
Sprinkle 2-3 tbsp parmesan over the butter, tilting the pan to distribute the cheese.
Bring the whipping cream to a boil. Reduce the heat and add corn. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in salt and sugar.
Make a paste out of the butter and flour, and stir into the corn and cook until the mixture boils and thickens.
Turn corn into oven proof dish, sprinkle with cheese and dot with butter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown.
(Note that this dish can be refrigerated for up to 4 days before baking.)

Striped Bass Meunière

There are two important things you need to know while reading this:
1) I did not use striped bass. I used mahi mahi.
2) I could not taste anything because I am so allergic to the world.

That being said, he said it was delicious, but that if I could taste it I would have hated it (too fishy-tasting, he said). Apparently the sauce enhances the flavor of the fish in a delicious manner. As is, I still didn't like it because even without taste, I didn't enjoy the texture of the fish. I wish I liked fish. He said he would eat this again but I will not make it again. I am excited to have finally bought some white balsamic vinegar though because I have many uses for it. Hooray!

meuniere

Striped Bass Meunière
Cooking Light, 12/08

Meunière refers to a classic preparation of lightly seasoned fish dredged in flour and cooked in butter. Any firm-fleshed white fish will work well in this recipe; try halibut or mahimahi. Serve with rice to soak up the piquant sauce.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
4 (6-ounce) striped bass fillets
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (Note: or vegetable)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Place flour in a shallow dish. Place milk in another shallow dish. Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Working with one fillet at a time, dredge fish in flour, shaking off excess. Dip fish into milk, allowing excess to drip off; dredge again in flour. Set aside. Repeat procedure with remaining fish, flour, and milk.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter to pan, swirling until butter melts. Add 2 fillets to pan; reduce heat to medium, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove fish from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the remaining 2 fillets. Remove fish from pan; keep warm.

3. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan; sauté 1 minute or until tender. Add vinegar and broth; simmer 1 minute. Add parsley and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spoon sauce over fish.

Yield: 4 servings

Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole

When I was in college, my mom used to make this for me in batches. We'd load up some tupperware and I'd take it back with me to feed myself for a week or so. It reheats very well. The caveat? It is stinky in the refrigerator! It is SO YUMMY but it is just very pungent when refrigerated! No idea why. Don't let it deter you. It's amazingly delicious. It's also very quick to make, and versatile. Make it in the oven or make it in the microwave. Make it vegetarian or add some chicken.

I'll post this with my mom's notes along with it, ok?

casserole

Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole
Mom! July 21, 2002

*Microwave time is an estimate...you want it warmed through and thickened, but NOT burned. Trial and error.
*Remember, you can add precooked chicken for the carnivores.

2-4 cups cooked rice
1 can Cheddar cheese soup (10 3/4 oz)
1 can broccoli cheese soup (10 3/4 oz)
16 oz frozen cut broccoli
Salt and pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese
8x12 pyrex dish

Cook 2 cups rice (there are rice packets that can be cooked in the microwave).

Thaw 16 oz package frozen cut broccoli (just poke a hole in bag & set on paper towel in microwave, 5-10 minutes).

Mix: cheddar soup, broccoli cheese soup, thawed broccoli, enough cooked rice for desired consistency (and, if using chicken, this is where you'd add the chicken).

Spray Pyrex dish with non-stick spray.

Spread casserole in dish.

Sprinkle cheddar cheese (shredded) over top (leave shredded cheese off until last 2 minutes if microwaving).

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 350°. Alternatively, cover with saran wrap and microwave for 15 minutes, then stir, then microwave for 10 more minutes.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Fresh Raspberries

I am not feeling well at ALL because my new doctor switched my allergy medicine and it is not working. I had no voice today, I have sinus headaches galore, coughing is ensuing, I am sore, it BLOWS. So the fact that I got these pancakes together is quite a testament to the easy-peasyness of the recipe. It's really just mix, griddle, microwave, and pour. Voila! Lemon curd can be found in the jam aisle, typically. We liked this but not enough to make it again.

lemon

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Fresh Raspberries
Bobby Flay

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Butter, for griddle
1 (11-ounce) jar prepared lemon curd
Fresh raspberries, for garnish
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish

Preheat a nonstick griddle.

Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk together the cheese, eggs, milk, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl. Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Brush the hot griddle with butter. For each pancake, pour approximately 1/4 cup measure of the batter on the griddle and cook on both sides until light golden brown. Repeat until no batter remains.

Empty the contents of the lemon curd into a small saucepan and warm over low heat. Alternatively, remove the lid and place in a microwave oven on 50 percent power for 2 minutes, stopping after 1 minute to stir the curd. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the curd over the pancakes, top with fresh raspberries, and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Yield: 2 servings

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pepper Jack Stuffed Potatoes

Tonight we had Pepper Jack Stuffed Potatoes. It takes a long time to prepare but there's not a lot of hands-on time. I got home, popped the potatoes in the oven, then the Home Depot Fence guy showed up so we went out and measured out the yard and started the paperwork. I turned the oven off and let the potatoes cool. Then Gibby got home, so I turned the oven back on, prepared the filling while he finished the paperwork, and by the time the Home Depot guy was gone, our meal was almost done. Hooray! It really is so yummy. I could eat it all the time.

Oven-baked Ziti With Three Cheeses

I made this on Sunday and popped it in the refrigerator to cook last night. I was supposed to have a late night at work but I had a cancellation so I got home much earlier than anticipated. And I didn't have to make dinner since it was already assembled! All I had to do was pop it in the oven. Easy peasy! It was very yummy. We have some leftovers that I plan to consume in the near future. Very good. I would definitely make this again.

ziti

Oven-baked Ziti With Three Cheeses
CLBB (ErinM)
via Bon Appetit 1992

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion -- chopped
2 large garlic cloves -- chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce -- (8 ounce)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon dried oregano -- crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 container ricotta cheese -- (15 ounce)
1 egg
8 ounces mozzarella cheese -- grated
12 ounces Freshly Cooked Ziti or Other Tubular Pasta

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic and fennel seeds and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix in tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, water, oregano and sage. Simmer until mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Butter 9x13-inch glass baking dish. In medium bowl combine ricotta cheese and egg. Reserve 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese for topping. Add remaining mozzarella to ricotta cheese mixture and blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread 1/4 of tomato sauce over bottom of prepared dish. Layer 1/3 of pasta over. Drop half of ricotta cheese mixture over by spoonfuls. Spread 1/4 of sauce over. Repeat layering with another 1/3 of pasta, remaining cheese mixture, 1/4 of sauce and remaining pasta. Spread remaining sauce over and sprinkle with reserved mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Cover casserole and bake until heated through, about 40 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

To go with our clam chowder, I wanted to make some biscuits of some sort. And what goes better with seafood than Red Lobster's cheddar bay biscuits? I've had this highly-recommended copycat recipe for a long time, so I decided to try it out today. I've given it out to other people before but never actually made it myself. So I whipped up a batch super-quickly while the soup was cooking. How amazing! They are DELICIOUS. We have none left. I made half a batch; I should have made a whole batch. No I shouldn't, they would be gone now too. We will DEFINITELY make these again. So yummy!

It should be noted that I took the person's advice and used a teaspoon or so of ranch dressing mix instead of the herb mixture. Easy way out? Sure. But it was GOOD.

cheddar bay

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits
CLBB (mbrogier)

I had an older recipe that used ranch dressing mix. I'd substitute the mix for all the seasonings. They tasted almost identical. Use extra mix in melted butter and spread on top of the baked biscuits.

2 C. Bisquick
1/2 C. cold water
3/4 C. grated, sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 C. butter
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together baking mix, cold water, and grated cheese. Cut biscuits with a cutter, and place onto a baking dish. Melt butter and seasonings together. Brush with the butter and spices and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. However, you cannot make the EXACT biscuits, because they have a special butter/garlic sauce that is not available to the general public. See how they are!!

Yield: about a dozen?

Low Fat Clam or Fish Chowder

I have avoided making clam chowder for the longest time because it scares me. I don't want to steam the clams or do anything scary like that. So this recipe seemed like a nice introduction. It's super-simple and straightforward, as most Mark Bittman recipes are. I used a can of baby clams to cheat and get around the clamminess. I also found some good seafood stock to use, which worked well. We liked this. I wouldn't make it again probably, but it was good and it was a nice introduction to the clam chowder genre.

chowder

Low Fat Clam or Fish Chowder
How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman, pg.70

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 cups fish or chicken stock, preferably warmed
24 hard shell clams, shucked and with their juice; or 1 pint undrained shucked clams, cut up if very large; or about 2 cups diced or cut-up fresh delicate white fish, such as cod.
2 cups corn kernels, preferably fresh
1 cup low-fat milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish

1. Place the oil in a large, deep saucepan or casserole and turn the heat to medium. A minute later, add the onion and potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and the potato lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the stock to the potatoes and onion and cook over medium-low heat until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes. (You may prepare the soup in advance up to this point. Cover, refrigerate for up to 2 days, and reheat before proceeding).

3. Add the clams or fish chunks and corn and cook about 5 minutes. Add the milk, then salt and plenty of pepper. Garnish and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Strawberry Jam Crumb Cake

I wanted to make an easy cake for this week, for us to take for lunches and snack on and such. This one seemed good! I remember when it ran in the magazine, and it was in an article about giving baked goods as gifts. I assume that means it will last a little while. Unless we eat it all! It is really very yummy. I would make this again.

jam

Strawberry Jam Crumb Cake
Cooking Light, May 2006

For convenience, you can freeze this breakfast treat for up to two weeks.

Crumb topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Cake:
Cooking spray
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
6 tablespoons fat-free milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup reduced-sugar strawberry spread (such as Smucker's)

To prepare crumb topping, lightly spoon 1/4 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, lightly coat an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray; set aside. Lightly spoon 1 1/4 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

Combine powdered sugar and 1/4 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 2 minutes). Add vanilla and egg; beat 2 minutes. Combine milk and juice; add to sugar mixture, and beat 2 minutes.

Add half of flour mixture to sugar mixture; stir until smooth. Add remaining flour mixture, and stir just until combined.

Spoon half of batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Top with strawberry spread. Spoon remaining batter over strawberry layer, spreading evenly. Sprinkle reserved crumb topping evenly over batter. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Yield: 12 servings

Shrimp Chalupas with Mango Salsa

I didn't have a chance to post about our dinner from last night, so here you go! It was very quick and easy, which was appreciated because we had an extremely busy day yesterday. It was also very yummy. I didn't have chipotle powder (adding to list for next Penzeys order...) so I just used extra chili powder. It worked out just fine. The salsa was very yummy. We enjoyed it. I don't know if I would make it again because I'd like to try other shrimp tacos, but when we make things involving corn tortillas I will prep it the same way. Yummy!

shrimp

Shrimp Chalupas with Mango Salsa
Cooking Light, March 2007

This is our version of a Mexican dish in which tortilla dough is shaped like a boat and fried until crisp; in fact, chalupa means "boat" in Spanish. Regular chili powder is a blend that tastes mostly of cumin. Chipotle chile powder is pure ground dried chiles, and it packs a hot punch. For more heat use all chipotle powder, or tame the spice by substituting all chili powder.

1 cup chopped peeled mango
3 tablespoons prechopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
32 large peeled, deveined shrimp (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl, and stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, chili powder, chipotle powder, and shrimp in a large bowl. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until shrimp are done. Remove shrimp from pan; keep warm.

Wipe pan clean with a paper towel. Return pan to heat; add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Place 3 tortillas in pan; cook 30 seconds on each side or until tortillas puff slightly. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and tortillas.

Place 2 tortillas on each of 4 plates, and arrange 4 shrimp on each tortilla. Top shrimp with about 2 tablespoons mango mixture, and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Friday, July 10, 2009

Shiitake and Cabbage Noodles with Tofu

This is a pretty standard Asian-ish noodle meal. Nothing particularly special about it. I used some great udon noodles that I found in the Asian aisle of Wegman's. I knew they would be good because the wrapper was entirely in Japanese and I had to guess by sight that they were udon. I was right, I win! This was good and we might make it again.

Note: I used broccoli slaw instead of a purely cabbage-based one because... well, that's just what I did. And I used fresh shiitakes instead of dried, so I added extra vegetable broth in place of the mushroom liquid.

tofu

Shiitake and Cabbage Noodles with Tofu
Cooking Light, September 2008

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, divided
1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
1/2 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 (14-ounce) package firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups boiling water
1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1/2 cup)
Cooking spray
4 cups angel hair slaw
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 cups hot cooked udon noodles (thick, round fresh Japanese wheat noodles)

1. Combine vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, garlic, 1 teaspoon oil, Sriracha, and ginger in a bowl. Add tofu; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

2. Combine 2 cups boiling water and mushrooms in a bowl; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms in a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid. Rinse and slice mushrooms; set aside. Strain reserved liquid through a paper towel–lined colander into a bowl; discard solids.

3. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add tofu mixture to pan; sauté 7 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove tofu from pan. Heat remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil in pan. Add remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, slaw, onions, and mushrooms to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until slaw wilts. Add reserved mushroom liquid, tofu mixture, and broth to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Place 3/4 cup noodles in each of 4 bowls. Pour 1 3/4 cups slaw mixture over each serving.

Yield: 4 servings

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Pan Catalan

To go with our Vegetable and Brown Rice Paella, I made this quick flavored bread. It's similar to Giada's Lemon-Parsley Bruschetta, but with a tomato flavor instead of the lemon. The secret really is this: if you toast some good bread and then rub fresh garlic over it, it will taste delicious. Other flavors just add to the gloriousness of the garlic. We would definitely make this again.

bread

Pan Catalan
Cooking Light, 10/05

This flavorful Spanish side dish is worth adding to your repertoire. Use good-quality bread and olive oil. Squeeze the tomatoes as you rub them over the bread to transfer some of the seeds and juice.

1 garlic clove, halved
4 (2-ounce) slices country white bread, toasted
2 plum tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil

Rub cut sides of garlic over one side of each bread slice. Discard garlic. Rub 1 side of each bread slice with cut sides of tomato halves; reserve tomatoes for another use. Sprinkle bread evenly with salt. Drizzle with oil.

Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Banana-Filled Graham Cracker Pancakes

So I got this awesome ebelskiver pan as a wedding gift (I'm sorry, we got it) and hadn't used it because we didn't have room for it in our apartment. But now I have it, and so I made some filled pancakes. There are some knock-offs you can buy for cheap from infomercials but I don't know how well they work. Since it was my first time, it took me awhile to get the hang of it, I dropped several on the floor while trying to turn them, and most of them were lightly burned on the outside, but they still tasted delicious! I really liked the recipe a lot, and I had fun making the little filled pancakes. I am excited to use the pan again, and we would definitely try this recipe again!

Note: I skipped the whipped cream. Slight overkill and too much effort. I also didn't make it in a blender - I just put all the dry ingredients in a big ziploc bag and rolled it with a rolling pin til it was a fine powdery mixture.

ebelskiver

Banana-Filled Graham Cracker Pancakes
Williams-Sonoma

4 oz. graham crackers, broken into pieces
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
5 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup heavy cream
Maple syrup for serving

Put the graham crackers in a blender and blend on high until fine and powdery. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, 3 Tbs. of the sugar and the salt and pulse to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and buttermilk. Whisk the flour mixture into the yolk mixture; the batter will be lumpy.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the whites into the batter in 2 additions.

Put 1/2 tsp. butter in each well of a filled-pancake pan. Set over medium heat and heat until the butter begins to bubble. Pour 2 tsp. batter into each well. Place 3 banana pieces in the center of each pancake and top with 1 tsp. batter. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Using 2 skewers, flip the pancakes over and cook until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the pancakes to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter.

In a measuring cup, combine the cream and the remaining 2 Tbs. sugar. Pour into a cream whipper and whip according to the manufacturer¿s instructions..

Serve the pancakes warm with whipped cream and maple syrup. Makes about 35.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Pan Bagnat (Vegetarian)

I like sandwiches, but it is hard to find good vegetarian sandwich fillings. We've made the kind that use tuna (here) and it was yummy. It is kind of similar to this recipe except that one really was not yummy at all. Tonight's dinner, in my opinion, was delicious and convenient. I assembled the sandwich when I got home from work and ignored it for awhile. I thought it was great. I would make it again for myself. Of the optional toppings, I used all of them except the anchovies, capers, and I only used oregano of the herbs. Otherwise, I used all of the stuff. It was awesome. Especially on a nice loaf of Panera bread. Yum!

Note about the recipe: for some reason when I copied it from wherever I copied it from, the amounts turned into question marks. I just guessed. I mean, it's a sandwich. It's not like you need exact amounts.

sammich

Pan Bagnat
Moosewood Cooks at Home / CLBB (Alethea)

1 baguette or other long thin loaf of French bread
1 garlic clove, pressed
? c. olive oil
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
? red or sweet onion, thinly sliced
? c. pitted and sliced kalamata or other olives
salt and ground pepper

optional ingredients
4 oz. sliced mild provolone or other cheese
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1 green or red bell pepper, thinly sliced
? c. capers
? c. roasted red peppers, chopped or cut into thin slices
anchovies to taste
1 c. artichoke hearts, sliced into quarters
? c. pesto
herbs, such as basil, marjoram, thyme, oregano

Slice bread in half lengthwise, nearly all the way through. Open the loaf and spread the garlic on one of the cut sides. Drizzle the olive oil over both sides. Layer the tomato, cucumber, onion, olives, and any optional ingredients on one half of the bread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Close the loaf and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Weight the full length of the Pan Bagnat with a heavy book (or baking tray topped with bricks or other heavy weight) for 1-3 hours.
Slice and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Monday, July 06, 2009

Nestle Tollhouse Cookies

There is a Friends episode about Nestle Tollhouse cookies, so after watching it we definitely NEEDED a batch of them. I made some on Sunday. They turned out a little flatter than usual - I'm going to have to get used to our new oven. I've made these cookies a bajillion times. My mom used to make them when I was little and we'd made ice cream sundaes on top of them. Until she became a personal trainer and realized that cookie sundaes were a good way to make your children fat.

I wasn't even going to post this really (except the photo) because I figured everyone has the recipe (it's on the chocolate chip bag) and that everyone has made them. I was talking to a coworker today though and trying to figure out why my cookies came out so flat this time, and the conversation concluded with my coworker not ever having baked the Tollhouse Cookies from scratch, always from the refrigerated dough.

Not okay. Everyone needs to make the cookies from scratch. So if you haven't, you probably have most of the ingredients on hand. Go make them. Now.

tollhouse

Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies
Nestle

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 measuring tsp. baking soda
1 measuring tsp. salt
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 measuring tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (12 oz.) pkg. (2 c.) Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In Large bowl, combine butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract; beat until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in chocolate morsels and nuts. Drop by level measuring tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen 2 1/4" cookies.

Pan Cookie Variation: Prepare dough as directed. Spread in to greased 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" x 1" baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool; cut into 35 (2") squares.

Refrigerator Variation: Prepare dough as directed. Divide in half; wrap both halves separately in waxed paper. Chill 1 hour or until firm. On waxed paper, shape each dough half into 15" log. Roll up in waxed paper; chill 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut each log into 30 (1/2") slices. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 5 dozen 2 1/4" cookies.

Yield: 5 dozen

Crisp Chipotle Shrimp with Corn & Scallions

Tonight I made Crisp Chipotle Shrimp with Corn and Scallions and it was delicious again. I cheated this time: I used a small can of creamed corn and mixed that with the stuff instead of pureeing it, and then I used regular canned corn for the rest. Canned corn was 39 cents at Wegman's this week, can you tell? Anyways, it was still delicious.

shrimp

Buttercrust Corn Pie

Last night we made Buttercrust Corn Pie for dinner. I still omitted the olives and such, and still skipped the salsa. It is so yummy and summery, even if you use canned corn instead of fresh (I did NOT feel like cutting corn off the cob last night). I am looking forward to taking the leftovers for lunch today!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Pina Colada Cheesecake Bars

We got invited to a neighborhood block party (we live in a neighborhood! So weird!) and I like to win people's affections with food, so I made some of these cheesecake bars to contribute to the food spread. They were very easy and tasted just as rich as a regular fatty cheesecake. I thought they were very yummy, and the neighbors seemed to think so too.

I did not use coconut flour because I think that is stupid. Sometimes Cooking Light makes recipes that involve weird and unnecessary things just so they can include it in a particular article. So I ignored that, but I did add a tiny TINY bit of coconut extract to the crust. It was just enough to add a nice flavor and balance out the ginger. I might make these again for another social occasion.

Sorry about the photo, I was rushing to take them over to the neighbors'.
pina colada

Pina Colada Cheesecake Bars
Cooking Light, March 2007

This uses a small amount of coconut flour, which is slightly sweet, high in fiber (3 grams per tablespoon), and gluten-free. Look for it in health-food stores or order online from Bob's Red Mill (www.bobsredmill.com). You also can substitute an equal amount of all-purpose flour. Standard lemons work well in this recipe, but Meyer lemons, which have sweeter flavor, are a good substitute if you see them in the store (or have a tree in your greenhouse).

Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons coconut flour or all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon water
Cooking spray

Filling:
1 cup 2% low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (2 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of salt
3/4 cup egg substitute

Remaining ingredients:
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare crust, combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Add butter, oil, and 1 tablespoon water; toss well. Press mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, combine cottage cheese and the next 7 ingredients (through salt) in a food processor, and process until smooth. Add egg substitute, and process until blended. Spread cheese mixture over cooled crust. Bake at 350° for 33 minutes or until set. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled. Top with pineapple and coconut. Cut into 16 bars.

Tomato Sandwich with Lemony-Feta Spread

My mom came to help us unpack on Friday, so I made this for us for lunch. I used a nice ugly heirloom tomato and it was beautiful. The sandwich was absolutely delicious. I want to make this a million times.

sandwich

Tomato Sandwich with Lemony-Feta Spread
CLBB (RebelYell18) / Everybody Likes Sandwiches

2 red + ripe tomatoes
1/2 red onion
2 T red wine vinegar
handful of fresh basil, torn
1/2 avocado, sliced
romaine lettuce
1 small block of feta cheese
1 T olive oil
1/2 c parsley
1/2 lemon, juiced & zested
salt + pepper
good bread, toasted

Cut tomatoes and onions into slices. Place in a shallow bowl and drizzle with vinegar and add some salt & pepper over top. Tear some fresh basil over top and marinate for 30 minutes. You can skip this step if you don't like a tangy sandwich!

In a small bowl, mash together the feta, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley together.

Toast the bread. Add feta mixture to one slice and mash avocado on the other slice. Add tomatoes and red onions and lettuce to the feta side and cover with the avocado side. Add salt & pepper if necessary.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Altuna Melt

Another super-quick meal with minimal tools involved. I got to use our new (old - came with the house) oven today. It's neat. Dinner was good. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it because I don't like tuna much. If you like fish, you will like this. I might make it again.

tuna

Altuna Melt
CLBB (Pammela)

1/2 cup drained canned artichoke hearts, finely chopped
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (6-ounce) can albacore tuna in water, lightly drained and flaked
2 English muffins, split and toasted
6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) grated provolone cheese

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl. Divide evenly among muffin halves; sprinkle with cheese. Place on a baking sheet; broil 5 inches from heat for 4 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield: 2 servings