Monday, May 31, 2010

Fresh Berry Tart with Toasted Nut Crust

Oh my, my. Well first of all, high-five to me for making something that actually came out looking like the picture. Hooray! And I'd like to thank my grandfather, former Pie Championship Judge, for teaching me the proper way to slice a pie so the filling doesn't pour out and the crust doesn't crumble away. Thanks, Pop-Pop!

Now, that being said, this is actually pretty easy to make and is VERY good! Some felt the crust was a little thick but I liked it. You could easily fix that by reducing the amount of filling you put in the pan. We used our Williams-Sonoma tart pan, which worked very nicely and didn't stick to the crust. Everything tasted very yummy and not overly sweet. I loved the nutty crust. I would make this again.


tart 2

Fresh Berry Tart with Toasted Nut Crust
Vegetarian Times, July 2009

A crumbly homemade nut crust sets this tart apart from other berry pies. It can be made up to three days ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.

1/4 cup each almonds -- pecans, and hazelnuts
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter -- diced
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1 tablespoon orange juice

1. To make Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 9-inch tart pan with cooking spray. Spread nuts on baking sheet, and toast in oven 12 to 15 minutes, or until browned.

2. Pulse nuts, flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until nuts are ground to powder. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolk, and pulse until moist clumps form. Press dough into bottom and sides of prepared pan, about 1/4-inch thick, and pierce with fork. Freeze 30 minutes.

3. Adjust oven temperature to 400°F. Bake Crust 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden. Cool.

4. To make Filling: whisk together sour cream, yogurt, brown sugar, vanilla, and orange zest in small bowl. Toss berries with orange juice in separate bowl.

5. Spread sour cream mixture in Crust with spatula. Spoon berries over top a little at a time, until sour cream mixture is evenly covered. Refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes before serving.

Servings: 8

Honey-Chipotle Baked Beans

Though we didn't have an official Memorial Day barbecue or anything, we did decide to have a nice bbq-ish meal. We attempted to grill some frozen salmon burgers from Sam's Club on the grill, but then the grill broke. No joke. We have no idea what to do. We've only used it 3 times. Agh! So the grilled corn failed and didn't happen, and we finished the burgers out on the Griddler. We had those on buns with some wasabi mayo.

I also made a batch of The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie and they turned out perfectly, even though I had to reduce the amount of butter so I'd have enough for the tart I made later in the day. So the cookies were a little more crisp than usual, but still quite delicious. I used a mix of mini chocolate chips and giant chocolate chunks, so they're very chocolatey! I'm also trying out mailing them. If it goes well, maybe I'll send you some.

Tonight's big winner at supper were these beans. At first I thought it seemed a little cheater-ish to be creating a new sauce for already-prepared baked beans, but oh WOW it was awesome. This is insanely good. We really, really loved it. Since I used vegetarian baked beans, they tend to be sugary to make up for the lack of bacon/pork, so instead of using pure honey I subbed in some thick buckwheat honey. This paired well with the molasses and gave it a deep, sweet flavor without being overly sugary. These are great. Next time we actually have a barbecue, these are definitely going to be on the table.


Honey-Chipotle Baked Beans
Cooking Light, July 2006

Dress up canned baked beans with flavor and richness--and minimal added fat--with this quick and simple dish. Since the sodium is high, use organic canned beans to keep sodium levels in check.

Cooking spray
1/2 cup minced shallots -- (about 5 ounces)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 chipotle chiles -- canned in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped
56 ounces baked beans

1. Preheat oven to 300°.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots; sauté 4 minutes or until golden. Add cumin and garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add tomato puree and oil, and cook for 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Add honey and the next 5 ingredients (through chiles). Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Combine beans and shallot mixture in a 2-quart baking dish. Bake at 300° for 1 hour or until thick and bubbly.

Servings: 8

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Caramelized Black Bean "Butter"

I wanted to try out this dip/spread involving caramelized onions and black beans but I didn't want to just eat it with chips. I took a tip from the note attached to the recipe and used it as a spread on some ciabatta with some grilled zucchini and summer squash. It was very yummy. I also tried the dip with some tortilla chips and that was very good, too. The chocolate and balsamic are noticeable but not necessarily identifiable. I liked this but wasn't really impressed. We would not make it again.

We had it with some Roasted Broccoli, made with yummy fresh broccoli. Did you know broccoli has a ton of protein in it? Sweet.


Caramelized Black Bean "Butter"
Cooking Light, June 2005

Caramelized onions lend the black beans an intriguing sweetness and complexity, which is highlighted by balsamic vinegar and cocoa. Spread on a sandwich of sliced ciabatta with grilled vegetables and arugula. It's also great with baked tortilla chips.

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chopped onion
30 ounces black beans -- rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 10 minutes or until golden. Place onion, beans, vinegar, cocoa, salt, and paprika in a food processor; process until smooth. Place bean mixture in a bowl. Sprinkle with parsley.

Yield: 3 cups

Mexican Deep Dish Pan Pizza

Last night I made Mexican Deep Dish Pan Pizza again and it was yummy. I didn't heed my own advice and didn't pre-heat the cast iron, probably because I was lazy, but it was fine. I used Krusteaz Natural Honey-Cornbread mix, still using the same liquid requirements as listed in this recipe, and it was like a million times more fantastic than the last time. And healthier, too. I still had to bake it longer than called for, but it was fine.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

RoTel Super Dip

Um... I've made this a bunch of times so I have no idea why it isn't in my index. Crap. I'll post it again. This is another non-recipe but is a good and quick way to feed yourself when you come home late and do not feel like cooking.

RoTel tomatoes are a brand of canned tomatoes with green chiles in it. I stocked up a couple months ago because there was a sale and now I have a jillion cans of it. Very useful.

Edit: OH I found it. I was clever the last time and deleted all the references to brands. HERE is the original post. Oh well.

Picture from before:

RoTel Super Dip
Variations: Refried beans instead of black beans; salsa instead of rotel tomatoes; etc. etc.

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (15 oz) Ranch Style Brand Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (10 oz) RoTel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, drained
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread cream cheese in bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Layer with black beans and RoTel, then top with cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

Source: RoTel advertisement

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp

Wonderful, delicious, insanely easy and fast. Would definitely make again.


Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp
Cooking Light, September 2008

Red curry paste adds plenty of spicy heat to the shrimp while the slightly sweet coconut milk smooths out the flavor for a perfectly balanced meal.

1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon red curry paste -- (such as Thai Kitchen)
1 teaspoon sugar
12 ounces large shrimp -- peeled and deveined
1/3 cup light coconut milk
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and curry paste to pan, and sauté 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar; sauté 15 seconds. Add shrimp; sauté 3 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring frequently. Stir in coconut milk and fish sauce; cook 30 seconds or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in green onions and basil.

Yield: 2 servings

Monday, May 24, 2010

Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches with Sherry Vinaigrette and Manchego On Ciabatta

Gosh, another recipe I've had for years! I've avoided making it, even on the Griddler, because I desperately wanted to make it on the Real Grill. And we finally bought a Real Grill and we were so excited to fire it up and make this sandwich. Grilled the vegetables - perfect! Marinated the vegetables.. went back out to start grilling the bread, and *BOOM* thunderstorm. Out of nowhere. Thank god we saved the cheese and the pepper mill. They almost didn't make it. Our foil-wrapped bricks are still outside. Sigh. So I ended up wrapping up the sandwiches tightly and putting them in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes. This worked to melt things and make it warm, but it certainly is not the same as it would have been if it were grilled. I definitely plan to make this again at a time when the grill is able to be used. We did really like it. Even though Manchego is a raw, sheep's milk cheese, it was not at all weird or scary and was kind of like a mild parmesan.


Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches with Sherry Vinaigrette and Manchego On Ciabatta
Bobby Flay

3 Japanese eggplants -- sliced in 1/2 lengthwise
3 red bell peppers
1 red onion -- peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 large beefsteak tomato -- cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
Extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil -- for grilling
Salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic -- finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons torn leaves -- (2 to 3) for garnish
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil -- plus more for drizzling bread
1 loaf ciabatta -- sliced lengthwise
Sherry Vinaigrette -- recipe follows
8 slices Manchego cheese

Sherry Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup aged sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

1. Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

2. Heat grill to high. Brush eggplant, peppers, and onion and tomato slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill eggplant, tomato, and onion on both sides until slightly charred and just cooked through. Grill peppers on all sides until charred, remove from the grill, place in a bag, and let rest 10 minutes. Remove skin from the peppers and cut into 1-inch slices. Cut the eggplant, tomato, and onion into large dice.

3. Whisk garlic, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, and 1/2 cup olive oil together in a large bowl. Add the cut vegetables to the bowl and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

4. Drizzle cut sides of ciabatta with 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill, cut side down, for 1 to 2 minutes. Brush grilled bread with some of the Sherry Vinaigrette and then layer on the mixed vegetables and Manchego. Drizzle with more vinaigrette and top with torn parsley. Place other piece of bread on top, wrap sandwich in foil, and place on grill with 2 foil-wrapped bricks on top. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from grill and foil and cut sandwich crosswise into 2-inch thick slices.

Servings: 4

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Corn and Crab Fritters with Guacamole

Oh my, my. I was a little bit nervous when I decided to make this because the reviews were pretty blah. They said that the recipe was bland and flavorless, but had potential. So... I spiced it up! In with the cayenne, I added some of Emeril's Bayou Seasoning (bam!). In the guacamole, I left out the onion and instead spiked it with some spicy cajun hot sauce. The flavors were subtle and not overtly spicy, but added a really nice undertone to the whole thing. In fact, I'd say these were rather fantastic. We would definitely make this again.

It should be noted that these are definitely different from crab cakes! They're almost kind of like if you made a crab cake into a pancake. It's fun. I like these.


Corn and Crab Fritters with Guacamole
Cooking Light, January 2010

4 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour -- (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup cornmeal
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
3/4 cup frozen corn kernels -- thawed
8 ounces lump crabmeat -- shell pieces removed
1/4 cup canola oil -- divided

2 tablespoons finely chopped seeded plum tomato
1 tablespoon organic canola mayonnaise
2 teaspoons minced red onion
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 avocado -- peeled and seeded

1. To prepare fritters, weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine buttermilk and eggs, stirring well. Add egg mixture, corn, and crab to flour mixture, stirring gently until moist.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 5 (1/4-cup) batter mounds to pan, pressing each with the back of a spatula to slightly flatten. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden and thoroughly cooked. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and batter.

3. To prepare guacamole, combine tomato and remaining ingredients in a bowl. Mash avocado with fork to desired consistency. Serve with fritters.

Yield: 5 servings

Ruby Red Fruit Salad

The only other time I've made this recipe was Once Upon A Time in the Days of Yore (i.e. during college in Boston, prior to making this blog). I made it to take along on a picnic to see Shakespeare in the Park, where I promptly got bored and fell asleep. But I remembered the salad as being yummy and transporting well.

We didn't find it particularly special tonight - funny how tastes evolve over the years! I also don't know why it's called "ruby red" if it has blackberries. I'd substitute raspberries if you're really wanting to keep it in the same color palette. We also had to use a regular orange since Wegmans didn't have any blood oranges. We probably won't make this again since really all it is is a bunch of cut-up fruit sprinkled with sugar.


Ruby Red Fruit Salad
Unknown source

2 cups halved and hulled strawberries
2 cups peeled and sectioned blood orange
2 cups blackberries
2 cups peeled and cubed cantaloupe
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Combine fruits in a large bowl and toss with confectioners' sugar. Cover and chill until ready to serve, up to 6 hours.

Servings: 16

Friday, May 21, 2010


Yum yum. Tonight we had Bibimbap, one of my favorite 10-minute meals. By the time the rice is done in the microwave, all the toppings are ready! Love it every time. Even when we have big-spinach instead of baby spinach (like today).

Ramen Shrimp Pouch

This is a fun and interesting thing, kind of like cooking salmon in the dishwasher, but extremely easy. It would have been easier if I hadn't had some sort of tear in the foil of one of the packets... make sure you put them into a cake pan or a deep baking sheet because if the liquid seeps out, there's a LOT of it. I felt like the recipe called for WAY too much liquid, in fact. It probably would have been fine with just half of the amount. I don't know.

What I do know is that, liquid or not, my shrimp were raw. The ones in the second packet weren't, so I don't know what that means. I don't really care. But I did not eat my shrimp. The ramen itself was good but not great. I was kind of surprised because usually Alton Brown's stuff is awesome. Maybe it's the fact that this meal was built around ramen? Who knows. Not a make-again, but maybe something to try for those of you who still subsist largely on ramen!


Ramen Shrimp Pouch
Alton Brown

2 packages Ramen noodles
1/2 cup dried mushrooms -- chopped
20 large raw shrimp -- peeled and deveined
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 quart vegetable broth
1/2 cup mirin
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 teaspoons sesame oil
Special equipment: 4 squares aluminum foil -- (18-inch)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Divide ramen noodles evenly in center of each of the 4 pieces of aluminum foil. Stack the following ingredients on top of noodles, in this order: mushrooms, shrimp, onions, scallions, red pepper flakes, and salt. Pull sides and corners of pouch up to form a small basket shape leaving an opening at the top to pour in liquid.

3. In small bowl, combine vegetable broth, mirin, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Distribute liquid evenly among packs. Press foil together, leaving a small opening to allow steam to escape. Place on cookie sheet and bake in oven for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Servings: 4

Monday, May 17, 2010

Raspberry-Buttermilk Sherbet

I've been collecting recipes and reading cooking magazines for a LONG time, so it's fun when I come across a little gem I've had for years and years but never made. This one is more than 10 years old! And it's too bad I've never made it before because it's certainly one of the best ice creams I've ever made. Oh my goodness. It is absolutely delicious. It tastes so rich and decadent, but it isn't! The other awesome thing about it is that it doesn't have the weird ice-crystal consistency that sometimes occurs in ice creams that only use milk rather than a custard base. This is all solid and creamy. It is wonderful. I would definitely make this again. I'll have to, since we've eaten almost all of the batch I made!


Raspberry-Buttermilk Sherbet
Cooking Light, March 1998

14 ounces frozen unsweetened raspberries -- thawed
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1. Place raspberries in a food processor; process until smooth. Strain raspberries through a sieve into a bowl, reserving raspberry purée. Discard solids. Combine raspberry puree, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in milks.

2. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm.

Griddled Sesame and Garlic Tofu with Wilted Bok Choy

You know how I've been having a hard time finding motivation to cook lately? Well, yesterday while I was on a cooking binge (as you're probably noticing from all the posts today and yesterday), I went ahead and prepared tonight's dinner. So the tofu has been marinating since last night. That meant that the whole meal came together in 5 minutes. Literally, five minutes. I used two pans so I didn't bother warming the tofu in the oven. I microwaved some jasmine rice to have alongside. It was EXCELLENT. I think I'd use extra-firm tofu in the future, but firm was fine. We would definitely make this again.


Griddled Sesame and Garlic Tofu with Wilted Bok Choy
Whole Foods // CLBB (Canice)

Canice's notes: I made the marinade -using apple juice- in the blender rather than food processor; I think it's the better tool. While the bok choy cooked I heated the marinade in a small saucepan (drizzle it cold? Ick.) I drizzled only a very small amount as the ginger and pepper flakes (I probably used more than instructed, as usual) was a little sharp if used directly - I would be cautious with that step.

1 pound firm tofu

Sesame Miso Marinade:
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon each of light brown sugar and sesame seeds -- or a mixture of black and regular sesame seeds
1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
3/4 cup water or apple or pineapple juice
1/4 cup white miso
Vegetable oil for spraying pan

Wilted Bok Choy:
1 teaspoon peanut or canola oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 medium head bok choy -- washed and sliced diagonally, or 4 heads baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise
2 cloves garlic -- minced (1 tsp.)
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
6 scallions -- sliced diagonally (6 to 8)
Sesame seeds for sprinkling

1. Cut the tofu lengthwise into 4 (1/4" thick) rectangular "steaks," about 4 ounces each.

2. To prepare the marinade: Combine the garlic, ginger, sesame oil, tamari, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sesame seeds, red chili flakes, water, and miso in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth. Place the marinade in a shallow dish, and add the tofu, turning to coat well. Marinate the tofu for at least 2 hours, preferable overnight, in the refrigerator.

3. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting, about 185F, to keep the tofu warm while you wilt the bok choy. Spray a large nonstick sauté pan with vegetable oil. Heat over high heat. Remove the tofu from the marinade, allowing the excess liquid to drain. Reserve the marinade. Place the tofu in the hot sauté pan and sear for 2 minutes on each side, or until well browned, turning once. Place the tofu in the warm oven, and prepare the bok choy.

4. To prepare the wilted bok choy: Heat the peanut and sesame oils over moderate heat in a nonstick sauté pan. Add the bok choy, garlic, and ginger, and sauté, stirring frequently for 4 minutes, until almost tender. Add the tamari and scallions, and remove from the heat.

5. To assemble, place a bed of bok choy on each plate. Arange a tofu steak over the bok choy, and drizzle with some of the reserved marinade. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Source: CLBB - Canice
Web Page: From Whole Foods cookbook

Carrot Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

No picture for this! I'm sorry! I fail. I took it into work for staff meeting (we celebrate birthdays at the monthly staff meeting) and it was gobbled up before I took a photo. But! It was SO GOOD that I would make it again for any carrot cake event, so it's likely that I will post about it again. And then I'll take a picture. For now, you're just going to have to take my word for it. This is absolutely fantastic.

Carrot Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Cooking Light, May 2005

Moist, rich, and lightly spiced, this carrot cake received our Test Kitchens' highest rating. We call for a metal baking pan for the cake; if you use a glass baking dish, which conducts heat better than metal, decrease the baking temperature to 325°, and begin checking for doneness after 25 minutes. For the best frosting consistency, use softened butter and cold cream cheese, and add the powdered sugar in batches.

Cooking spray
9 tablespoons butter -- softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 cups finely shredded carrot

1/2 cup block-style fat-free cream cheese -- (4 ounces)
1/4 cup butter -- softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar -- divided
1 tablespoon orange sugar sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare cake, coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray; line bottom of pan with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; set aside.

3. Place 9 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until pale and fluffy. Beat in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

4. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. Stir in carrot. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Sharply tap pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Carefully peel off wax paper; cool completely on wire rack.

5. To prepare frosting, place the cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating at low speed until smooth (do not overbeat). Stir in the remaining 3/4 cup powdered sugar. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Spread frosting over top of cake. Garnish with sprinkles. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

Servings: 16

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lentil-Barley Burgers with Fiery Fruit Salsa

This took a long time to make. I'm going to be honest. It took forever. I had to cook the barley and the lentils, then chop up everything, then refrigerate them for an hour. It was worth it though. I really liked it. The salsa was great. I don't think I've really used tomatillos before - maybe a couple of times. It was great. We used a habanero because we couldn't find a serrano, and it worked well for us. Don't make this substitution if you are sensitive to heat! I didn't want to say I'd make it again, since it took so long, but realized I could easily make them ahead of time and then cook them at night. That warrants this going into the "make again" folder.


Lentil-Barley Burgers with Fiery Fruit Salsa
Cooking Light, March 2010

Use leftover cooked pearl barley with lentils, veggies, and seasonings for a hearty main-dish burger sans the bun. Fruit salsa adds bright flavors. Serve with lime wedges for added zest.

1/4 cup finely chopped pineapple
1/4 cup finely chopped mango
1/4 cup finely chopped tomatillo
1/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 serrano chile -- minced

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dried lentils
Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup grated carrot
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt -- divided
3/4 cup cooked pearl barley
1/2 cup panko -- (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
3 tablespoons canola oil -- divided

1. To prepare salsa, combine first 6 ingredients; cover and refrigerate.

2. To prepare burgers, combine 1 1/2 cups water and lentils in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain. Place half of lentils in a large bowl. Place remaining lentils in a food processor; process until smooth. Add processed lentils to whole lentils in bowl.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and carrot; sauté 6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add onion mixture to lentils. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, barley, and next 5 ingredients (through egg); stir well. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

4. Divide mixture into 8 portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and 4 patties. Serve with salsa.

Servings: 4

Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes

Today I had this incredible need to bake, which worked out well because I had a lot to make. I've had so little motivation to cook lately so this surge was nice. Not only did I knock out both of the desserts for tomorrow's staff meeting (including this recipe), I also finished up the sherbet from last night (no post on that yet), started tomorrow's dinner (you'll have to wait) and made our dinner. It was pretty productive. So let's start with this one. I can't post about the cake yet because I haven't tried it. These, we have sampled.

Now I know this is a non-recipe. It's pretty simple. I can sum it up for you: make some brownies but put them into cupcake wrappers instead of a baking dish, stick a Reese's in the center, and bake them for 18 minutes. That's it. But I would actually bake them for a little bit less. Mine baked a little too long and are a little bit chewier than I'd prefer. But oh boy are they good! I would make these again in a pinch.

For reference purposes: we used Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate brownie mix. I did absolutely nothing to lighten this recipe.

For trivia purposes: his grandma used to be best friends with a Little Ms. Ghirardelli - daughter of the Mr. Ghirardelli who created the chocolate factory. They used to go and eat chocolate there when she was little.


Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes
Cooking with Paula Deen

1 18.5 oz package chewy fudge brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines)
1 12 oz package peanut butter chips or 24 miniature peanut butter cups

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 regular muffin cups with paper cupcake liners.

2. Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions for cake-like brownies. Fill the cups half full with brownie batter. Place about 1 tablespoon peanut butter chips in the center of the batter, or press 1 peanut butter cup into the batter in each muffin cup until the batter meets the top edge of the peanut butter cup.

3. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the cupcakes are set. When they can be handled safely, remove them from the muffin tins and let cool completely on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 2 dozen

Smoky Baby Portobello Sliders

It was a beautiful day yesterday! And we finally learned to use our grill! Why not have a dinner outside? I made some Pineapple Salad and we fired up the grill.

So what were we choosing to cook last night? Portobello mushroom sliders! I was thrilled to be able to try it because it just sounds delicious - mushrooms, gouda cheese, caramelized onions, barbecue sauce, yum yum! And they did not disappoint me. In fact, they tasted remarkably similar to the sliders from Blue Sky Cafe in Bethlehem. SO similar that I kind of wonder if the restaurant has been using this recipe (seriously). Regardless, it was delicious. I used a Penzey's barbecue rub on the mushrooms and some Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce. It was great. I would make this again.


Smoky Baby Portobello Sliders
Vegetarian Times, July 2009

Big or small, portobello mushrooms make the perfect grilled "burger." Portobellos' meaty texture and rich, robust flavor take on the flavors of marinades and rubs and stay juicy and tender when grilled. The onion topping can be made up to two days ahead.

8 baby portobello mushrooms -- stems removed
3 tablespoons olive oil -- divided
2 tablespoons Classic BBQ Rub -- (see recipe)
2 medium yellow or white onions -- thinly sliced
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce
2 ounces shredded smoked Gouda -- (3/4 cup)
8 mini challah rolls or dinner rolls

1. Toss mushrooms in bowl with 1 Tbs. olive oil and Classic BBQ Rub. Set aside.

2. Heat remaining 2 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and herbes de Provence, and cook 30 minutes, or until golden, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

3. Heat grill or grill topper over medium-high heat. Rub grate or grill topper with vegetable oil. Place mushrooms stem-side down on grill. Brush mushroom tops with barbecue sauce, and grill 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft and charred around the edges. Flip, and grill 3 minutes more. Divide cheese among mushrooms, placing in center of each stem side. Grill 1 minute more, or until cheese is melted.

4. Meanwhile, warm buns on grill. Spread barbecue sauce on bottom buns, then top each with 1 mushroom, sautéed onions, and top bun.

Servings: 4

Friday, May 14, 2010

Zucchini, Corn, Black-Bean, and Jack-Cheese Quesadillas

I appreciated how exceptionally quickly these came together. I made them with some whole-wheat high-fiber tortillas and low-fat monterey jack cheese. Yum! We would make this again.


Zucchini, Corn, Black-Bean, and Jack-Cheese Quesadillas
Food & Wine, January 1998

The grated zucchini and defrosted frozen corn that fill these tasty quesadillas contain a lot of moisture. Drain them on paper towels for a few minutes before using; otherwise, you’ll end up with soggy tortillas. Serve the quesadillas with spicy salsa.

1 small zucchini -- grated and drained on paper towels (about 1 cup)
1 cup defrosted frozen corn -- drained on paper towels
1 small red onion -- chopped
2 jalapeño peppers -- seeds and ribs removed, chopped
1 2/3 cups drained and rinsed canned black beans -- (one 15-ounce can)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 pound Monterey jack -- grated (about 1 quart)
8 large flour tortillas -- (burrito-size)
2 tablespoons cooking oil

1. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, corn, onion, jalapeños, beans, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Toss gently to distribute the seasonings and then stir in the cheese.

2. Heat the oven to 200°. Set the tortillas on a work surface. Put about 1/3 cup of the filling on one half of each tortilla. Spread the filling to the edge and then fold the tortilla over the filling.

3. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add two of the quesadillas to the pan and cook, turning once, until the cheese melts, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and keep warm on a baking sheet in the oven. Repeat in batches with the remaining oil and quesadillas. Cut the quesadillas in wedges and serve.

4. All commercially frozen vegetables have already been blanched, so you don’t need to cook them for as long as raw vegetables. In fact, some—such as corn, peas, and spinach—don’t need to be cooked anymore at all. Just defrost and heat.

Servings: 4

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wheat Berry & Barley Salad with Smoked Mozzarella

We had a lunch today at my office so I made this HUGE batch of Wheat Berry & Barley Salad with Smoked Mozzarella (well, Gouda) for the vegetarians who could not partake in the Wawa Hoagie Extravaganza. The concensus was pretty good, I think. It was funny because even my boss admitted that she thought she would not like it but ended up liking it. I don't know what the deal is with vegetarian food. Cheese lasagna is vegetarian. Cheese pizza is vegetarian. Pancakes are vegetarian. Chocolate chip cookies! The list goes on! Just because something is labeled as vegetarian doesn't mean it's going to be gross. And sometimes those little white cubes are NOT tofu and turn out to be delicious locally-made smoked gouda.

I have a lot of leftovers.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Corn and Broccoli Calzones

These are super-easy and super-yummy. They are fresh and spring-like. The ricotta isn't overpoweringly gooey and cheesy. It's just right. We liked this a lot and would make it again.


Corn & Broccoli Calzones
Eating Well

These calzones are stuffed with a summery combination of corn and broccoli, but you can use whatever you have in your fridge. Part-skim ricotta and mozzarella make our pizza pockets lower in saturated fat. Plus a whole-wheat crust adds a nutty flavor and extra fiber. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.

1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels -- (about 3 ears)
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
4 scallions -- thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
All-purpose flour -- for dusting
20 ounces prepared whole-wheat pizza dough, thawed if frozen
2 teaspoons canola oil

1. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 475°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

2. Combine broccoli, corn, mozzarella, ricotta, scallions, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

3. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Place a generous 3/4 cup filling on one half of each circle, leaving a 1-inch border of dough. Brush the border with water and fold the top half over the filling. Fold the edges over and crimp with a fork to seal. Make several small slits in the top to vent steam; brush each calzone with oil. Transfer the calzones to the prepared baking sheets.

4. Bake the calzones, switching the pans halfway through, until browned on top, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Healthy Heart Variation: To reduce saturated fat even further, use nonfat ricotta in place of the reduced-fat ricotta.

Servings: 4

One-Dish Hot Fudge Swirl FAIL

For Mother's Day, we went to Connecticut to visit our moms. We had a nice barbecue and my mom made some yummy food. I had originally planned to cook but didn't, but I had a dessert all ready. I made a raspberry coulis (sauce) in advance, that I will include a recipe to momentarily, which was very good. So then I threw together the dessert. It's from a recipe I've had for awhile. I guess I was expecting it to be more like a lava cake. It wasn't. It was like bread with chocolate on top. It was terrible. TERRIBLE. Marc ate the whole thing and was like, "What, I like bread." I was already incredibly emotional and that just pushed me over. I cried so hard. It was a terrible recipe, which Fleischmann's must know since it's not on their website. Oh gosh. What a disaster!

Pictures of the food my mom made:



Here's how to make the raspberry coulis, which was yummy and easy:

Raspberry Coulis
Sara's Secrets on the Food Network

1 (10-ounces) package frozen raspberries in syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Puree raspberries with syrup, sugar, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids.

Coulis keeps 3 days, covered and chilled. You can also make this coulis with fresh raspberries. The amounts will be slightly different: Use 2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries and 1/4 cup sugar.

And here's the goddamn awful "thing."


One-Dish Hot Fudge Swirl
Fleischmann's advertisement

Mazola® PURETM Cooking Spray
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 envelopes Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup very warm water (120°F to 130°F)
2 tablespoons buter OR margarine, melted

Chocolate Topping
1 cup (11.75 ounce jar) hot fudge sauce, regular or dark chocolate (Don't substitute chocolate syrup for hot fudge sauce.)

1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

MIX batter ingredients in a pre-sprayed 9-1/2-inch deep dish pie plate.

TOP batter with evenly spaced spoonfuls of hot fudge sauce. Using spoon, swirl fudge sauce into batter.

BAKE by placing in a COLD oven; set temperature to 350°F. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned and firm in center. Cool 10 minutes. Combine icing ingredients and drizzle over warm cake.

Yield: 8 servings

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Baked Costa Rican-Style Tilapia with Pineapples, Black Beans and Rice

I thought we'd go for a fish this week. Exciting times? This one was an interesting method of cooking so it was the recipe I picked. I actually thought it was pretty good. As long as I was eating the rice along with it. It's a great, easy meal. I don't think we'd make it again, but it's definitely not bad.



Baked Costa Rican-Style Tilapia with Pineapples, Black Beans and Rice
Simply Delicioso with Ingrid Hoffmann / Food Network

1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 lime -- juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro -- plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves -- minced
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (5 to 7-ounce) tilapia fillets -- rinsed and patted dry
2 cups jarred or homemade tomato salsa
15 ounces black beans -- drained and rinsed
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
2 limes -- thinly sliced

1. Combine the rice and chicken broth in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the liquid, about 20 minutes

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, oil, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, the garlic, and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Add the tilapia fillets to the marinade, turning to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.

4. Stir together the cooked rice, salsa, beans, pineapple, and remaining 2 tablespoons of the cilantro in a 2 or 3-quart baking dish. Remove the tilapia from the marinade, reserve the marinade, and lay the fish fillets over the rice mixture, overlapping if necessary. Pour the reserved marinade over the fish. Shingle the lime slices over the fish. Bake until the fish flakes easily, is opaque, and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.

Servings: 4


Tonight Gibby wanted to go to Five Guys, so we went there for dinner. I always get the cheese vegetable sandwich, which is pretty much what it sounds like: cheese, vegetables (mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomato, lettuce, etc) and mayo. I love it. And I love their fries. And their peanuts! Yum yum. Gibby had oddly never been there. He got a cheeseburger and was very happy with it but felt that it wasn't quite deserving of all of the bajillions of "Best Burger Ever" awards it has received nationwide.

So I asked him to come up with a Top 5 list of Gibby's Best Burgers. He couldn't do that, though he's pretty set that his #1 burger was the kobe beef burger at Bethlehem BrewWorks. Five Guys ranks somewhere in the top 5 but he isn't sure where. He also likes Red Robin. He tried to say McDonald's but I said "NO." That does not even count. Pick something else.

On my part, for non-beef burgers, my tops include the lobster burger at Central Michel Richard in DC, the Marilyn at Hamburger Hamlet in MD (veggie burger with avocado and cheese), and most of the burgers at Red Robin with a veggie patty substituted.

What is your favorite restaurant burger?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Zucchini with Quinoa Stuffing

Despite feeling highly unmotivated (we ordered Chinese last night), I somehow managed to make dinner. So that shows how easy this is. The only problem is it isn't that special. The filling is yummy, and I liked it in the zucchini. If we're going to stuff a zucchini though, I think I'd prefer to make this recipe instead.


Zucchini with Quinoa Stuffing
Real Simple, September 2008

1/2 cup quinoa -- rinsed
4 medium zucchini
15 ounces cannellini beans -- rinsed
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes -- quartered
1/2 cup almonds -- chopped (about 2 ounces)
2 cloves garlic -- chopped
3/4 cup grated Parmesan -- (3 ounces)
4 tablespoons olive oil

1. Heat oven to 400° F. In a large saucepan, combine the quinoa and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Arrange in a large baking dish, cut-side up.

3. Fluff the quinoa and fold in the beans, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, and 3 tablespoons of the oil.

4. Spoon the mixture into the zucchini. Top with the remaining tablespoon of oil and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake until the zucchini is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Servings: 4

Monday, May 03, 2010

Pasta with Brie, Mushrooms, and Arugula

Every time we go to Wegmans, they're always handing out samples of locally-produced brie with some kind of magical topping - cranberries or walnuts or caramelized onions or whatever. It is delicious. So I thought I'd be mildly adventurous and cook with it.


I thought it smelled awful and it was not delicious. I ate it because I was hungry but I did not enjoy it. Actually no, I ate it more because I didn't want the $8 brie to go to waste. But ugh. Not a make-again.


Pasta with Brie, Mushrooms, and Arugula
Real Simple, November 2009

12 ounces penne -- (3/4 box)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound button mushrooms -- quartered
1 small red onion -- sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
kosher salt and black pepper
8 ounces Brie -- cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups baby arugula

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook, tossing occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to release their juices, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until the mushrooms begin to brown, 5 to 6 minutes.

3. Toss the pasta with the Brie and reserved pasta water until the pasta is coated. Stir in the mushroom mixture and arugula.

Servings: 4

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Blueberry Almond Coffee Cake

It's May, so I decided we need some sort of springy snack-cake. This is the one I decided on. It's very tasty. My only issue with it is that all of the blueberries sank to the bottom. I don't think that's how it was supposed to go. It's kind of neat though because they're like blue-bottomed squares. VERY yummy. Go easy on the almond extract. I like this and would make it again.


Blueberry-Almond Coffeecake
Cooking Light, June 2000

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup fresh blueberries -- divided
2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine -- melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg
Cooking spray
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add 2/3 cup blueberries, and toss well. Combine buttermilk, butter, extracts, and egg; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until flour mixture is moist.

3. Spoon batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly. Top with 1/3 cup blueberries.

4. Combine almonds, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over blueberries. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Servings: 8

Breakfast Fig and Nut "Cookies"

Continuing with my attempts to force myself to eat breakfast in the morning, I've made these delectable "cookies." Similar to the Quaker Oats breakfast cookies but not even remotely as gross or processed, these do not resemble muffin tops as the description says. They're definitely dense and cakey, but in a good way. Because I had a recent revelation that I love Fig Newtons, I was not afraid to try dried figs. It was fun to make something with them. These cookies do taste "healthy" but they're very good. I am hoping they keep up for the rest of the week so I can eat them for breakfast! I would make these again. They are very yummy.


Breakfast Fig and Nut "Cookies"
Cooking Light, 7/06

These oversized cookies are more like muffin tops, but calling them cookies makes them seem a bit more indulgent. They're chock-full of exercise-friendly ingredients like dried fruit and nuts. They're ideal with a glass of skim milk for breakfast after a morning workout.

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter -- melted
2 large eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped dried figs
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour -- (about 4 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour -- (about 2 1/3 ounces)
1/2 cup unprocessed bran -- (about 1 ounce)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in chopped figs, cranberries, and vanilla.

3. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, bran, baking soda, cinnamon, and allspice, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, stirring just until moist. Gently fold in almonds.

4. Drop by level 1/4 cup measures 4 inches apart on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle evenly with granulated sugar. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until almost set. Cool 2 minutes on pans. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Servings: 10

Avocado Enchiladas

I've had this recipe for a LONG time and I've been wanting to make this for awhile because I like avocados. I have to say though, I was disappointed with how they turned out. It seems that having a hot avocado filling is kind of weird. And the sauce was just okay. Maybe this is because I subbed a chipotle in adobo sauce instead of a dried pepper, or because I dry-fried the tortillas instead of deep-frying them? Whatever the reason, this was just shy of "just okay." I wouldn't make this again.


Avocado Enchiladas
The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook (2000) p. 365 // Martha Stewart Living, 1996

2 dried ancho chiles
4 cups vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion -- cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves garlic -- minced
2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
5 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 cups dry white wine
1 can crushed plum tomatoes -- 28 ounces
2 cups Homemade Chicken Stock -- or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
8 Hass avocados
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves -- roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
25 corn tortillas
1 1/2 pounds Monterey jack cheese -- grated

1. Place chiles in saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly, remove stems, and puree chiles and liquid in food processor.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, brown sugar, cumin, and oregano; saute until onion is soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add wine, chile puree, tomatoes, and stock; simmer about 20 minutes, until thickened to stew consistency.

3. Peel, pit, and roughly chop avocados. Toss with cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.

4. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat remaining 4 cups oil in a wide, heavy saucepan over medium heat until very hot but not smoking, 7 to 10 minutes. Using tongs, fry 6 tortillas, one at a time, for 2 to 3 seconds. Drain on paper towel-lined sheet.

5. Dip fried tortillas in chile sauce to lightly coat both sides. Spoon 2 tablespoons avocado filling on each tortilla; roll up. Spread 1/2 cup chile sauce into large, deep casserole. Arrange rolled tortillas seam-side down in casserole so they fit snugly; repeat entire process, covering bottom of casserole; pour 1 cup sauce over tortillas; sprinkle with half the cheese. Make a second layer using remaining ingredients. Top with remaining sauce and cheese.

6. Bake enchiladas until heated through, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Servings: 12

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Involtine Di Melanzane Con Capelli D'angelo

...which is basically a fancy name for "eggplant rolled around angel hair pasta and topped with sauce and cheese."

And it is DELICIOUS! I LOVED it. It was really good. It's also much quicker than it sounds. I grilled the eggplant on my Griddler so it didn't take much time at all. I would definitely make this again.

Now, I'm not sure where the garlic is in this recipe because it's in the ingredients but not the procedures. I chopped up some fresh garlic and tossed it in with the pasta, which I think was the right thing to do because it was excellent. OH! And we had this with Pan Catalan, yummy as always.


Involtine Di Melanzane Con Capelli D'angelo
Tyler's Ultimate on the Food Network

3 eggplants
2 cups olive oil -- to fry the eggplants
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 fresh basil leaves -- roughly shredded
1/4 pound angel hair pasta -- or spaghetti
1 cup tomato sauce -- or passata
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons caciocavallo cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cut off the bottoms and stems of the eggplants. Peel them using a vegetable peeler and slice them into 1/2-inch slices.

3. In a heavy bottomed pan heat some olive oil and fry the eggplant slices for about 4 to 5 minutes (if you prefer a healthier version of the dish, you can grill the eggplants). Place the cooked slices on some paper towels to drain any excess oil.

4. In a large bowl combine the butter, freshly grated Parmesan, and salt, to taste. Add the roughly shredded fresh basil leaves.

5. Place the angel hair pasta or spaghetti into a pan of boiling water, bring back to the boil and cook until al dente. Drain. Add the cooked pasta into the big bowl with the butter mixture and combine.

6. Take a small portion of the pasta and place it on top of an eggplant slice. Roll the eggplant around the pasta and place it in an oven-proof dish. Repeat this process with all the eggplants slices.

7. Pour some pureed tomato sauce, or passata, over the eggplant rolls. Place slices of cacioavallo on the top. Finally cover the dish with more freshly grated Parmesan.

8. Place the dish in oven for around 20 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly.

Servings: 4