Friday, December 31, 2010

Cheese and Shrimp-Stuffed Poblanos

This was good. A little tedious to make. I helped D prep everything.
I couldn't find chihuahua cheese, so we used Monterrey Jack with Jalapenos. Also we didn't stuff the peppers because after roasting, they were all soft. So we open faced the peppers.

Our only complaint was it was hard to keep everything hot at the same time.

We had yellow rice and black beans.

The next morning, we chopped the peppers and added eggs. Yum.

Cheese and Shrimp-Stuffed Poblanos

Chihuahua cheese, a Mexican melting cheese, enriches and slightly thickens this creamy sauce. Substitute shredded cheddar cheese if you can't find Chihuahua.

4 servings

1 red bell pepper
8 poblano peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup fat-free milk, divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Chihuahua cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place bell pepper halves, skin sides up, and whole poblanos on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 10 minutes or until blackened, turning poblanos to blacken all sides. Place peppers in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel. Finely chop bell peppers. Cut tops crosswise from poblanos; remove seeds.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add shrimp to pan; cook 3 minutes or until done. Remove from pan.

4. Add garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Sprinkle with flour and ground red pepper; cook 1 minute. Slowly add half-and-half, stirring with a whisk. Stir in 1/2 cup milk; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 2 minutes. Add cheese and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring until smooth. Place 1/3 cup cheese mixture in a large bowl; reserve remaining cheese mixture. Add bell pepper, shrimp mixture, cilantro, and juice to 1/3 cup cheese mixture in bowl; toss to coat. Stir 1/4 cup fat-free milk into reserved cheese mixture. Spoon 3 tablespoons cheese sauce onto each of 4 plates. Spoon 6 tablespoons shrimp mixture into each poblano. Place 2 stuffed poblanos and two tops on each plate.

CALORIES 376 ; FAT 18.7g (sat 7.5g,mono 8g,poly 1.9g); CHOLESTEROL 206mg; CALCIUM 306mg; CARBOHYDRATE 20.2g; SODIUM 649mg; PROTEIN 32.9g; FIBER 2.1g; IRON 4.4mg

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Grilled Flank Steak Soft Tacos with Avocado-Lime Salsa

So D was channeling Laura Bush when he made the Avocado-Lime Salsa. He made it with lemon. And had an accident so we got a lot of lemon. Still it wasn't bad.

The steak was delicious. It was tender, and very flavorful. Spicy but not overwhelming. I liked the cabbage because it crunched.

We used wheat tortillas in place of the corn because we just did.

Would have this again. Had with refried pinto beans.

Grilled Flank Steak Soft Tacos with Avocado-Lime Salsa

Chili and chipotle powders lend earthy, smoky flavors to the grilled beef. For milder flavor, use ancho chile powder in place of the hot chipotle. The spice rub would also work nicely on chicken breasts.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 tacos)

1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons grated lime rind
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
Cooking spray

1 cup diced peeled avocado
3/4 cup finely chopped tomato
1/3 cup finely chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
Remaining ingredients:
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas (used 4 wheat)
2 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage

1. To prepare steak, combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Score a diamond pattern on both sides of steak. Rub chili powder mixture evenly over steak. Cover and chill 1 hour.
2. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
3. Place steak on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.
4. To prepare salsa, combine avocado and next 7 ingredients (through pepper sauce) in a medium bowl.
5. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon steak mixture evenly over each of 8 tortillas. Top each taco with 1/4 cup salsa and 1/4 cup cabbage.

CALORIES 353 ; FAT 16g (sat 4.3g,mono 7.6g,poly 1.7g); CHOLESTEROL 40mg; CALCIUM 78mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27.7g; SODIUM 593mg; PROTEIN 27.9g; FIBER 6.8g; IRON 2.5mg

Cooking Light, JUNE 2009

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Irish Cream Cake

I want to say this is the best cake ever. It was delicious. It was moist. It was terrific. But it wasn't my favorite. I'm still in love with Rudolph's Cake and with the Best Carrot Cake, better than this. However, like I said, this was a good cake. The baking of the actual cake was easy. I had never whipped eggs, and then folded them in, so that was the hardest part...ok maybe separating the eggs was since I had to use 7 eggs, to get 5.

I used more Bailey's than it called for. I know that is shocking. Also, it really did so
ak through the cake. The butterscotch didn't seem at all sweet. D said the taste of it picked up on the 2nd day.

Cream cheese frosting...well how can that be bad.

Overall, had I never had Best Carrot Cake, I'd be all over this. And if you notice, my frosting skills have gotten better. That's because I bought an offset spatula.

Irish Cream Cake

Photo by ALB

Yield: Makes 12 servings

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups DOMINO Granulated Sugar

5 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur
Butterscotch Filling (below)
Cream Cheese Frosting (below)
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
14 pecan halves, toasted (didn't use)

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add granulated sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add vanilla extract, beating until blended.
Combine flour and soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans.
Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Brush cake layers evenly with liqueur. Spread half of Butterscotch Filling between each cake layer; spread Cream Cheese Frosting on top and sides of cake (just sprinkle them on top). Gently press chopped pecans onto sides of cake; arrange pecan halves on top (didn't do).

Southern Living, JANUARY 2003

Butterscotch Filling

Yield: Makes 2 cups

1/2 cup firmly packed DOMINO Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir together brown sugar and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar melts and mixture is blended. Stir in 1/2 cup milk until blended.
Whisk together remaining milk, flour, and salt; stir into brown sugar mixture, and cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat 5 minutes or until thickened. Gradually add eggs, and cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool. Stir in pecans and vanilla.
Southern Living, JANUARY 2003

Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: Makes 3 cups

1 (8-ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (16-ounce) package DOMINO 10-X Confectioners Sugar, unsifted

Beat first 3 ingredients with an electric mixer until creamy. Add confectioners sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed until smooth.
Southern Living, JANUARY 2003

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Baked Potatoes with Corn and Crema Mexicana

This was supposed to be our side dish. Unfortunately neither of us pulled out chicken for the main dish. So this became the main dish, with salad as a side. We added some avocado since it was part of the main.

Anyway, it was very easy, and it was flavorful. I would definitely have this again.

Baked Potatoes with Corn and Crema Mexicana

Look for crema Mexicana--similar in taste and consistency to crème fraîche--in the ethnic section of your grocery. Or substitute sour cream.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 stuffed potato)

6 medium baking potatoes (about 3 pounds)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeño pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15.25-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
6 tablespoons crema Mexicana

Preheat oven to 375°.

Pierce potatoes with a fork, and bake at 375° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool potatoes slightly.

Cook cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat 1 minute or until toasted. Combine cumin seeds and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl; stir well.

Split potatoes lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Spoon 1/4 cup corn mixture into each potato. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon crema Mexicana.

CALORIES 240 (14% from fat); FAT 3.8g (sat 2g,mono 1.1g,poly 0.4g); IRON 2.5mg; CHOLESTEROL 6.3mg; CALCIUM 56mg; CARBOHYDRATE 47.1g; SODIUM 267mg; PROTEIN 6.4g; FIBER 5.1g

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2006

Chicken-Pesto Pizza

This is another one of the "duh" recipes. I'm not sure how D and I missed this until now, but we did. It is in the CL Superfast CB. Anyway, D made it on while I was driving home. It was good.
With the amount of times pizza dough is on sale and I have a coupon, definitely will have again.
We had with spinach salad.

Chicken-Pesto Pizza

Prep: 2 minutes; Cook: 17 minutes. Sauté the chicken while the crust bakes so your whole meal will be ready in under 20 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 [4 x 3-inch] pieces)

1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
1 pound chicken breast tenders, chopped
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons commercial pesto
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella or reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

Added a tomato to half the pizza

Preheat oven to 450°.

Unroll pizza crust dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; pat into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Bake at 450° for 9 minutes.

Sprinkle chicken with Italian seasoning. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes or until done.

Spread pesto evenly over pizza crust; top with chicken, and sprinkle with cheese (and tomato). Bake at 450° for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut into 8 pieces.

CALORIES 442 (28% from fat); FAT 13.7g (sat 4.7g,mono 4.9g,poly 0.8g); IRON 3.2mg; CHOLESTEROL 86mg; CALCIUM 284mg; CARBOHYDRATE 35.4g; SODIUM 767mg; PROTEIN 41.4g; FIBER 1.4g

Oxmoor House, JANUARY 2003

Sunday, December 19, 2010

72 Market Street Chili

OK so D found this recipe. I think he is getting really good at making chili because
he majorly edited this one. The result was this smoky, nose-running, warming belly chili.
It was terrific.

72 Market Street Chili 

Photo by ALB

1/4 pound bacon, diced 
3 pounds beef stew meat, chili-grind (cut stew meat in 1/2-inch pieces). 
1 1/2 pounds pork butt, chili-grind  (used 1.25 pounds of ground beef)
2 tablespoons peanut oil (didn't use)

1 2/3 cups chopped onions 
2 jalapenos, diced 
1 3/4 teaspoons dried mexican oregano (used regular oregano) 
2 teaspoons ground cumin 
(added 1 TBSP Chili Powder)
2 1/2 tablespoons minced serrano (hot) or California green chiles (mild) (used 3 Serranos)
2 1/2 tablespoons ground pasilla chiles  (used 3 pasillas)
1 1/4 tablespoons cayenne pepper 
1 3/4 tablespoons chopped garlic 
Kosher Salt / fresh ground pepper to taste 
1 (16-ounce) can tomato puree 
1 pound plum tomatoes, diced (used 28oz can of diced)
6 tablespoons water (added an additional 1/2 Cup)
1 bottle ale (used 2 bottles of Smithwicks)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
(added a can of beef broth)
Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, 5 minutes. Strain and reserve
the drippings for another use. Set the bacon aside. 

Cook the beef and pork in the peanut oil over medium-high heat until brown, about 10
minutes. Add the onions and jalapenos and cook until the onions are tender, 10 minutes. 

Add the oregano, cumin, serrano and pasilla chiles, cayenne, garlic and salt to taste.
Stir, then add the tomato puree, tomatoes, water and 1 ale. Bring to a complete boil and
reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer until the meat is tender, about 1 hour (D
simmered for 5 hours). Stir in the reserved bacon. Added beef broth and 2nd beer in
last hour. Sprinkle with lemon juice just before serving. 

6 to 8 servings. Each of 8 servings: 569 calories; 694 mg sodium; 177 mg cholesterol;
29 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 16 grams carbohydrates; 58 grams protein;
3.78 grams fiber. 

We are guessing we get 10 servings (1 Cup each). With our modifications,
I got it was 12 Points Plus on WeWa.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Peking Pork Tenderloin

This is another one we forgot about. It is good, and very simple.
We had with rice and broccoli.

Peking Pork Tenderloin

The pork takes on a pronounced ginger flavor as it marinates. Two tenderloins, about the size you'll need for this recipe, typically come packaged together at the meat counter.

2 (3/4 lb) pork tenderloins
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted (about a 2.4 ounce jar)
cooking spray

1. Trim fat from tenderloins; place tenderloins in a large shallow dish. Combine soy sauce, ginger, and garlic; stir well. Pour soy sauce mixture over tenderloins. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour (or overnight if you want the 1 hour is minimum) turning tenderloins occasionally.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

3. Remove tenderloins from dish; discard marinade. Pat tenderloins dry with paper towels. Brush tenderloins with honey, and rollin sesame seeds. Place tenderloins on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake pork for 25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees (slightly pink). Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 3 oz)
Calories 239, protein 27g fat 7g, carb 17.4 g, fiber 0.2 g, iron 22 mg, sod 281 mg calc 2mg

Caesar Salad

So this would have been better if we cut up Romaine and poured Newman's Own Caesar over it (our normal way). Neither of us cared for the "bite." We think it was lemon...

We had with Cheesy Spaghetti.

Caesar Salad

1/4 Cup grated Parmesan
1/4 Cup Fat-Free Mayonnaise (we used Hellman's Light)
1/4 Cup Water
2 Tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/2 teason Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 (1-ounce) slices French bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (didn't use)
8 Cups Romaine lettuce

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine first 9 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk.

3. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet, and bake at 300 fro 15 minutes or until toasted. Combine croutons and lettuce in a large bowl. Add dressing, and toss to coat. Yield: 4 servings. Serving size: 2 Cups

Cal: 142
Protein: 6.8g
Fat: 2.4g
Carb: 22.9g
Fiber: 2.6g

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

So this is one of those recipes we forgot about, but we've made before (or D has). It is from CL Superfast Suppers. We both like it. We had with a Caesar Salad.

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

You can cover and refrigerate the casserole overnight, and sprinkle with cheese before baking. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes until bubbly.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes minutes
Cooking Time: 31 minutes minutes
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

9 ounces uncooked spaghetti
Cooking spray
1 cup frozen chopped onion
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
2 (14.5-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 tablespoon low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, divided
3 cups frozen chopped cooked chicken, thawed

Preheat oven to 350º.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, seasoning, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup cheese, cooked spaghetti, and chicken. Spoon into a 3-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake at 350º for 15 minutes.

CALORIES 395 (19% from fat); FAT 8.5g (sat 4.9g,mono 0.1g,poly 0.4g); IRON 1.9mg; CHOLESTEROL 65mg; CALCIUM 417mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45.3g; SODIUM 934mg; PROTEIN 36g; FIBER 3.1g

Oxmoor House, JANUARY 2003

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Asiago, Potato, and Bacon Gratin

D made this. It was pretty good. It needed some more salt. D said he followed the directions on salting, so he'll do it his own way next time. D said it was easy to make. Due to some technical difficulty at the grocery store, Asiago was not purchased so Italian 5-blend and Parmesan were used.

We had with Marinated Chicken Legs.

Asiago, Potato, and Bacon Gratin

Maybe more so than other foods, potatoes need salt. Instead of salting the water they boil in, sprinkle the potatoes with salt after draining. Then salt the white sauce separately for the most pronounced flavor.

6 servings

1 1/2 pounds peeled Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon salt, divided
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Asiago cheese (used Parmesan)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese (used Italian 5-Blend)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender. Drain. Sprinkle potatoes evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside and keep warm.

Heat a medium saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add shallots; cook 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Sprinkle flour over shallots. Gradually add 1/2 cup milk, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Gradually add remaining 1 1/2 cups milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook over medium heat 9 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in 3/4 teaspoon salt, Asiago (used Parmesan), chives, pepper, and bacon.

Arrange half of potato slices in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour half of cheese sauce over potato slices. Top with remaining potato slices and cheese sauce; sprinkle with Parmesan (used Italian 5-Blend). Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

CALORIES 250 (30% from fat); FAT 8.2g (sat 4.6g,mono 2.7g,poly 0.5g); IRON 0.9mg; CHOLESTEROL 23mg; CALCIUM 306mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31.9g; SODIUM 618mg; PROTEIN 12.3g; FIBER 2.3g

Cooking Light, APRIL 2004

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bacon Pierogi Bake

Yum. So D made this and and said it was easy. It looked easy. I love pierogies. Did I mention this was good? My only issue is the serving size, but you know how that goes. 3 pierogies are such a small serving.

We had with salad.

Bacon Pierogi Bake

Photo by ALB

Pierogies are yummy potato-filled dumplings you can purchase from the freezer section of most major supermarkets. Using this convenience item to jump-start dinner is not just economical, but it'll save you lots of time in the kitchen, as well. Bake in gratin dishes for fun individual "casseroles," and serve with a green salad.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 pierogies and 2 tablespoons sauce)

Cost per Serving: $1.84

1 (16-ounce) package frozen potato and onion pierogies (such as Mrs. T's)
Cooking spray
2 center-cut bacon slices, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup thinly diagonally sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Arrange the pierogies in an 11 x 7-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cook bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until crisp; remove from pan. Set aside.
3. Add garlic to drippings in pan, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add 1/3 cup cream cheese to pan, and cook for 1 minute or until cream cheese begins to melt, stirring frequently. Gradually add chicken broth to pan, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over pierogies. Top evenly with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with bacon, green onions, tomato, and pepper.
CALORIES 303 ; FAT 12.8g (sat 6g,mono 4.3g,poly 0.4g); CHOLESTEROL 38mg; CALCIUM 141mg; CARBOHYDRATE 36.4g; SODIUM 646mg; PROTEIN 12.1g; FIBER 2.2g; IRON 0.4mg

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2010

Thai Red Curry Risotto

Like everything red curry in our house, this just wasn't hot enough. It was good though. We majorly tweaked it by taking out the oil and adding in chicken.

Would have again. Maybe add a pepper in there. We had with salad.

Thai Red Curry Risotto

Notes: Thai red curry paste is available in many supermarkets. It's hot - add more or less to suit your taste. This risotto also works well without interruption; just leave it on the heat after step 3 and continue with step 4.
Yield: Makes 6 servings (1.25 Cup each)

1 onion (about 6 oz.), peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped (used 4)
1/4 cup grape seed or other salad oil (didn't use)
2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon Thai red curry paste (see notes) (used 1 tsp)
1 1/2 cups arborio or other short-grain white rice
1/2 cup dry sherry
About 4 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth (used 3.5 C)
Added 2 TBSP Fish Sauce
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, rinsed, stems removed, and sliced; or common mushrooms, rinsed, tough stem ends trimmed, and sliced (used 6 oz of Cremini)
1 cup coconut milk (regular or low-fat; stir before measuring) (used lite)
1 1/2 cups frozen petite peas
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Added 1 # boneless/skinless thighs, cooked (wt was precooked)
1 lime (about 3 oz.), rinsed and cut into 6 wedges

1. In a 12-inch frying pan or 14-inch wok over medium heat, stir onion, ginger, and garlic in oil until onion is barely limp, about 2 minutes.

2. Stir in paprika, curry paste, and rice, mixing well to coat rice. Pour in sherry and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, until sherry is absorbed, about 2 minutes.

3. Pour in 1 cup chicken broth and stir until broth is mostly absorbed, 3 to 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and coconut milk; stir gently until liquid is mostly absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 2 more cups broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until almost absorbed, about 15 minutes total. Rice should be almost tender but still slightly firm to bite. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, up to 4 hours.

4. Return pan to medium-high heat, add 1 more cup broth, and stir until liquid is absorbed and rice is creamy and tender to bite, about 9 minutes. If risotto is too dry or rice isn't quite tender, add a little more broth and cook until risotto reaches desired consistency. Stir in peas, cilantro, and salt to taste. Spoon risotto into serving bowls and garnish each serving with a lime wedge.

CALORIES 393 (41% from fat); FAT 18g (sat 8.1g); CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CARBOHYDRATE 47g; SODIUM 563mg; PROTEIN 12g; FIBER 6.5g

Sunset, OCTOBER 2002

When you make the additions I did, and you are using the Points Plus Program, you can still use the NI above and get the same points that you do if you plugged it into the recipe builder.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Herbed Smashed Potatoes

These were pretty good. Very flavorful. We had with Salisbury Steak.

Herbed Smashed Potatoes

4 Servings

1 pound New Potatoes
1/3 Cup Half-and-Half
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Mixed Herbs (D used 2 teaspoons of Italian Seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder, 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Boil potatoes for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
Mash with a potato masher.
Add in the rest of the ingredients.

Calories: 132
Fat: 5.4 g
Sodium: 257 mg

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

So D made this in about 30 minutes. It was good, but nothing great. The gravy tasted a little to wine-y. To be honest with you, I think Quick and Easy Salisbury Steak is better.

We had with broccoli and Herbed Mashed Potatoes.

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

Other Time: 40 minutes minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 steak and about 1/4 cup gravy)

1/3 cup grated onion, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground sirloin
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1. Combine 1/4 cup onion, pepper, salt, garlic, and beef. Shape into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned.

2. Melt butter in pan. Add mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes. Stir in wine and remaining onion; cook 2 minutes. Combine broth and flour; add to pan, and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until thick. Add patties and vinegar to pan; cook 2 minutes.

CALORIES 192 ; FAT 7.9g (sat 3.8g,mono 2.7g,poly 0.7g); CHOLESTEROL 68mg; CALCIUM 20mg; CARBOHYDRATE 6g; SODIUM 380mg; PROTEIN 24.9g; FIBER 0.7g; IRON 2.3mg

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2010

Smoked Baby Back Ribs with Spicy Creole Barbecue Sauce

So this recipe needs lots of tweaking. We had it for Thanksgiving. I don't like salt all that much, but D loves it. My dad broke his nose at an earlier phase of life, so everything has to be overspiced for him. Both of them thought it was too salty. Dad even went so far to rinse one of his ribs. D knew there could be a problem when making the Creole Seasoning, and the salt made it too light. So if we make this again, we will half the salt. Really, it overpowered any spice there might have been.

I can't say anything about the actual smoking of the ribs. D smokes ribs all the time, and like most batches he makes, these were tender and fall off the bone.

I was not a fan of the BBQ Sauce on its own. D did some baste or something with one of the racks and that was good. But on its own, all I could taste was Tabasco. It was also too thin. Now that we know, we would not use sauce, or use Stubbs (the orange stuff) if we had guests.

So I believe this recipe has potential. But the spices need to be kicked up/salt knocked back. And perhaps just not make the BBQ sauce. And like I said, I don't know how D smokes ribs, so I can't tell you if he followed this recipe or not. I do know he used spare ribs and not baby back.

D's Notes (after reading mine): Can easily be fixed. Do not need all the suace, would definitely half the sauce and only use it as a baste. Half the salt and add a tablespoon of thyme to the rub. I never use the water pan when smoking, it adds steam and I do not like my ribs to get that soft. Like ribs that pull more than fall off the bone

Smoked Baby Back Ribs with Spicy Creole Barbecue Sauce

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 14 hours

4 whole racks baby back pork ribs (about 8 pounds total)
Creole Seasoning (see below)
Charcoal briquettes
2 cups hickory wood chips, soaked in water 1 hour, drained
Disposable 9x6x1-inch aluminum broiler pans
Spicy Creole Barbecue Sauce (see below)

Sprinkle ribs generously with Creole Seasoning. Cover and refrigerate at least 12 hours or overnight.
Mound charcoal briquettes in barbecue and burn until light gray. Using tongs, carefully divide hot briquettes into 2 piles, 1 pile at each side of barbecue. Place empty disposable broiler pan between piles; fill pan with water. Sprinkle each pile with generous 1/2 cup hickory chips. Position grill at least 6 inches above briquettes. Position vents on barbecue so that chips smoke and briquettes burn but do not flame and temperature registers 350 degrees F.

Place ribs on rack over broiler pan. Cook until meat is very tender and pulls back from ends of bones, adding briquettes and wood chips to each pile, and water to broiler pan as needed, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Brush both sides of ribs with 1 cup Spicy Creole Barbecue Sauce and cook 15 minutes longer.

Transfer ribs to platter. Serve ribs, passing remaining sauce separately.

CHEF'S NOTES: It's very easy to turn your grill into a smoker. Preheat grill and let coals become hot. Add wood and turn heat to low. Add a small pan of water to coals. This helps ribs to stay moist. Adjust temperature when needed. If you don't have a temperature gauge on your smoker or grill, use a fryer thermometer. Also add wood when needed. If flare ups occur, place a small sheet pan over coals to catch fat drippings. I like to soak the wood so it will smolder, not just burn. My favorite woods are apple, pecan and hickory.

Take the time and completely cook your ribs until tender. It takes a while, so plan in advance.

Creole Seasoning

Active Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 5 Minutes
Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups
This seasoning powder gives jambalaya, ribs and chicken a spicy kick. Store in a glass jar or airtight container. It will keep indefinitely.

1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon (about) cayenne pepper
1/4 cup paprika

Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Store in glass jar or plastic container. Will keep indefinitely.

Recipe created exclusively for by Jamie Shannon, Executive Chef of Commander's Palace and co-author of Commander's Kitchen.

Serving size = 1/2 tablespoon

Spicy Creole Barbecue Sauce

Active Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

1 tablespoon butter
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 medium bell peppers, coarsely chopped
20 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
8 ounces fresh ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
1 cup mild-flavored molasses or honey
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 cup (about) hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 cups beer
cayenne pepper, optional

Melt butter in large heavy-duty saucepot over medium-high heat just until brown, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add onions, peppers and garlic. Saute until very brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in vinegar and ginger. Bring to boil. Stir in molasses, brown sugar, tomato paste and hot pepper sauce; bring to boil. Add beer; bring to boil. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.

Puree sauce with hand blender or bar blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Thin sauce with more beer or water if too thick. Cover and simmer for flavors to blend, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Don’t over season your barbecue sauce. Remember that ribs are also seasoned heavily. Sauce will last up to 3 months stored in air-tight container in refrigerator. It’s best at a couple of weeks, and goes great on all meats and game.

Recipe created exclusively for by Jamie Shannon, Executive Chef of Commander's Palace and co-author of Commander's Kitchen.

Serving size = 1/4 cup

Bacon Popcorn

I'm rather undecided by this, which means that I won't have it again. I heard about this recipe a few years ago on the radio, and then my coworker gave me the recipe. It was easy, but I didn't find anything remarkable about it. I tasted no difference in the popcorn. So eh...

Bacon Popcorn

4-5 pieces of bacon
Bacon Grease
1/3 Cup of unpopped popcorn
Salt (if you want it).

Fry up the bacon, and save about 3 TBSP of grease. Set aside the bacon. Put the 3 TBSP of bacon grease into a pot and add 4 kernels and cover. When the kernels pop, add the rest of the popcorn and cover. Cut the bacon into bits while popcorn is popping. When the popcorn is done, add half to a large bowl, add half bacon and your salt and mix. Add the rest and do the same.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Southern Comfort Caramel Apple Pie

I got this recipe from EzraPoundCake. I suggest if you want to make it, to copy into Word and then print.

First I don't make pie crust. I love to bake, but don't find making crust enjoyable. And this beautiful company named Pillsbury does the job fine for me. So that was my only change to the recipe.

D and I had no clue about the apples. We found Braeburns at Kroghetto. Upon tasting, I could've bought Granny Smith. No big deal.

I felt the topping was harder to make than the filling. This was user issues... my cutting board was fresh out of the dishwasher, so the butter melted. The brown sugar stayed packed in the food processor. Still it came out ok. I toasted the pecans in a pan, because the oven was in use.

The filling was simple to make. Because my pie plate was in use, I used a disposable pie plate, and had to double it up. I still didn't trust the weight of the pie, so I put it on a pizza pan when I put it in the oven. Good thing, because it overflowed.

D doesn't like apple pie. He liked this one. My dad liked it. I don't know if my brother liked it. But when I went to bed, there was 5 pieces left. This morning when I woke up there were 2. So I'd say success!

Southern Comfort Caramel Apple Pie

Adapted from Rebecca Rather’s “The Pastry Queen”

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Basic Pie Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup (11 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water


  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


  • 5 to 6 medium-size tart apples, such as Braeburn, Cortland or Winesap
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Southern Comfort liqueur
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Garnishes (optional):

  • Vanilla or cinnamon ice cream
  • Whipped cream
  • Caramel sauce

1. To Make the Crust: Using a food processor, pulse to combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add butter; pulse until the mixture looks crumbly. Add 4 tablespoons ice water, and pulse until the dough begins to form a ball. If it doesn’t, add the additional 1 tablespoon water, and pulse. Gently mold the dough into a disk,; wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. Clean your food processor (you can just wipe it out) to make the topping.

3. To Make the Topping: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer, and toast them in the oven for about 7 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic. Coarsely chop the nuts.

4. In a food processor, process both sugars, the cinnamon, salt and flour for about 1 minute. Add butter; pulse 10 to 15 times, until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the pecans. Refrigerate the topping, covered, in a a medium bowl until ready to use.

5. Transfer the unwrapped pie dough to a lightly floured flat surface. Roll it into a 1/8-inch-thick circle large enough to cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. (To keep the dough from sticking, gently pick it up every once in a while and rotate it in place, adding more flour underneath if necessary.)

6. Wrap the dough lightly over the rolling pin, and set it in the ungreased pie plate. Press it into place, and crimp the outside edges with your finger or a fork.

7. To Make the Filling: Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

8. When the butter starts to foam, add the apples and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes.

9. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle it on the apples, and reduce the heat under the skillet to medium-low. Simmer the apples for about 1 minute.

10. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples from the skillet to a large baking sheet, and arrange them in a single layer. (If you heap them in a pile, the hot apples will steam and get soggy.)

11. Pour the Southern Comfort into the butter-sugar mixture in the skillet. Simmer the mixture over medium heat at least 5 minutes, until the alcohol burns off. Add the cream, and continue cooking about 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick as pourable caramel. Return the apples to the skillet.

12. Pour the apple filling into the unbaked pie crust, and sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the topping is brown. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature with ice cream, whipped cream or caramel sauce.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

So someone from WeWa gave me this recipe. Obviously, this person and I are forever WeWa buddies (I find the most fattening recipes from these women!!!!). Then I found it on Both times it was missing a key ingredient...meat. After sharing the recipe with some other women, bacon was suggested. So I made bacon. I was only going to add half a pound, but D and I had a miscommunication, and he added the whole pound.

The result? OMG, I couldn't keep my hands out of this stuff. It was so good, spicy, creamy. Damn, just thinking about it, I want it again. I believe my father and D liked it as well. I know my bro like it because he had as much as I did.


Jalapeno Popper Dip
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (used 1/3 fat Cream Cheese, it is creamier)
1 cup mayonnaise (used Hellman's Light, bc that's what we have)
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained (didn't drain)
2 ounces canned diced jalapeno peppers, drained (used 4 oz, because what am I going to do with 2 extra oz)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (used Italian blend, because that's what we had)
1 pound of bacon, cut up

Put everything in the crockpot and heat up (about an hour). Serve with fritos.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Easy Coq au Vin

D made this. He wasn't sure what made it easy. Well he said it was easy, but tedious.

Except for the pearl onions it was very good. You couldn't taste the bacon. The sauce was thin, but very rich. D said he omitted oil, but added butter and flour to that. We had with rotini pasta.

A very good Sunday dinner on a cold evening.

Easy Coq au Vin

Serve with noodles, rice, or boiled potatoes

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 thigh, 1 drumstick, and about 1 cup sauce)

4 applewood-smoked bacon slices, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 chicken drumsticks, skinned
4 chicken thighs, skinned

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (750-milliliter) bottle red wine (we used a Cab)
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
6 ounces frozen pearl onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Cook bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in pan. Sprinkle chicken with salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan.

2. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through bay leaves); cook 5 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute. Stir in wine; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until reduced by half, stirring occasionally. Return chicken to pan. Add broth; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 35 minutes or until chicken is done, turning after 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; cover.

3. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add button mushrooms and pearl onions; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook for 10 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

4. Place chicken cooking liquid over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half (about 10 minutes). Discard bay leaves. Stir in mushroom mixture. Return chicken to pan; simmer 5 minutes or until heated. Sprinkle with parsley and bacon.

CALORIES 319 ; FAT 13.2g (sat 3.6g,mono 4.1g,poly 1.8g); CHOLESTEROL 115mg; CALCIUM 78mg; CARBOHYDRATE 16.1g; SODIUM 727mg; PROTEIN 33.9g; FIBER 2.7g; IRON 3.2mg

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2010

Smoky Slow Cooker Chili

So D is not a slow cooker fan. He doesn't like the way the meat shreds or the way it tastes (he says everything ends up tasting pot roast-y). I think it is a texture thing. So when I showed him this recipe, I was a little shocked he went for it.

It was pretty easy, I guess. He made it and then we went out (to a chili cookoff of all things). I think our crock pot is broken, because it boiled over while we were gone. No biggie.

It was pretty good overall (no, it wouldn't have won the cookoff). No chiles in it, which is unusual for us, so we were surprised there was a little kick (but not like most of our chilies, just enough). But there was plenty of meat and it was chunky not shred-dy.

We both decided this was one that we could do for days we go out like a noon football game.

We had with elbow macaroni.

Smoky Slow Cooker Chili

Photo by ALB

Pork shoulder is usually sold in weights greater than a pound. Ask your butcher to trim off the amount you need, or look for pork shoulder steaks. Serve with corn bread.

8 servings

Cooking spray
1 pound ground pork
1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups chopped onion
1 3/4 cups chopped green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup lager-style beer (such as Budweiser)---we used a Red Stripe
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tomatillos, quartered
2 bay leaves
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans plum tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added pinto beans, drained
1 (7 3/4-ounce) can Mexican hot-style tomato sauce (such as El Paso) --we used Rotel
1 smoked ham hock (about 8 ounces)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled queso fresco -- we used Sharp Cheddar
8 lime wedges

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add ground pork to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to slightly crumble. Drain well. Transfer pork to an electric slow cooker.
2. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add pork shoulder; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Transfer pork to slow cooker.
3. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in beer; cook 1 minute. Transfer onion mixture to slow cooker. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, chili powder, and next 9 ingredients (through ham hock) to slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 hours or until meat is tender. Remove bay leaves and ham hock; discard. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and sugar. Ladle about 1 1/3 cups chili into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon cilantro, 1 tablespoon green onions, and 1 tablespoon cheese. Serve each serving with 1 lime wedge.

Note: You can also cook the chili in a slow cooker on LOW for 8 hours. For cooking chili on the stovetop, use a total of 12 ounces beer and simmer, covered, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the pork shoulder is tender.

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 354 (0.0% from fat); FAT 14.2g (sat 5.1g,mono 5.9g,poly 1.4g); IRON 3.8mg; CHOLESTEROL 82mg; CALCIUM 108mg; CARBOHYDRATE 26.4g; SODIUM 645mg; PROTEIN 28.5g; FIBER 6.8g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2009

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Southwestern Cobb Salad

So I made this. It was really easy to make and very flavorful. Of course I changed things.

Due to my turkey allergy, I used chicken. I added Penzey's Southwest Seasoning to the chicken. I forgot to add oil to the vinagrette. And I used Mexican Cheese in place of Queso Fresco, because I had Mexi Cheese and didn't feel like buying Queso Fresco.

I also made the pico de gallo...2 Roma Tomatoes chopped, 3 slices of red onion, chopped, 4 sprigs of cilantro chopped, 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped, and some lime juice, all thrown in a bowl.

Southwestern Cobb Salad

Other Time: 20 minutes minutes
Yield: 4 servings

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil (forgot)

3 slices center-cut bacon
Cooking spray
8 ounces skinless, boneless turkey breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (used chicken breast)
1/4 teaspoon salt (forgot, but used Penzey's Southwest Seasoning...didn't measure)
8 cups torn romaine lettuce
1/2 cup refrigerated fresh pico de gallo
1/2 cup diced avocado
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled queso fresco (used Mexican Blend Cheese)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (forgot)
1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

1. To prepare vinaigrette, combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk (missed this part of the recipe when I made it); set aside.

2. To prepare salad, cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Increase heat to medium-high. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle turkey with salt. Add turkey to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until done.

3. Arrange 2 cups lettuce on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with about 2 teaspoons bacon, 5 tablespoons turkey, 2 tablespoons pico de gallo, 2 tablespoons avocado, 2 tablespoons queso fresco, 1 tablespoon onions, and about 1/3 cup beans. Drizzle vinaigrette evenly over salads.

CALORIES 293 ; FAT 13.6g (sat 2.5g,mono 7.2g,poly 3g); CHOLESTEROL 44mg; CALCIUM 117mg; CARBOHYDRATE 19.9g; SODIUM 455mg; PROTEIN 22.4g; FIBER 6.6g; IRON 3.1mg

Cooking Light, JULY 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Greek Steak Pitas

Well, we sort of had this. I looked at the recipe and decided it needed sauce. So I told D to make the sauce from the Greek Pork Chops. And to add tomatoes to the recipe. So D pretty much made the steak and spinach in this recipe and made the rest of it from the pork chop recipe. The spinach seemed out of place but everything else was good. We forgot the feta cheese.

Greek Steak Pitas

Serve a Mediterranean-inspired meal in minutes. These stackers are stuffed with bright flavors including Greek seasoning, lemon juice, red onion, and feta cheese. Creamy hummus rounds out this meal.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 filled pita halves)

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Greek seasoning (such as McCormick)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
4 (6-inch) pitas, cut in half
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
24 slices English cucumber
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add steak to bag. Marinate 3 minutes, turning once. Remove steak from bag; discard marinade. Sprinkle steak with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and oil. Add steak; cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Let stand 2 minutes. Cut steak across grain into thin slices.

2. Return pan to heat. Add juice, garlic, and spinach; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat; add remaining salt.

3. Spoon 2 tablespoons spinach mixture into each pita half. Place 1 tablespoon onion, 3 cucumber slices, and 1 1/2 ounces steak in each pita half; sprinkle 1 tablespoon cheese in each pita half.

Creamy hummus: Combine 1 cup rinsed and drained canned chickpeas, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon tahini (roasted sesame seed paste), 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper in a food processor; process until well blended. Gradually add 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; process until smooth. Serve with red pepper slices and baby carrots.

CALORIES 427 ; FAT 13.3g (sat 6.5g,mono 4.7g,poly 0.6g); CHOLESTEROL 53mg; CALCIUM 215mg; CARBOHYDRATE 39.1g; SODIUM 730mg; PROTEIN 35.5g; FIBER 2.6g; IRON 6mg

Cooking Light, JUNE 2009

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chicken Piccata with Orzo

The day before D made this, I was telling my brother I didn't like piccata. Mostly because I despise capers. Not as bad as olives. So imagine my surprise when this was on the menu for last night. And more shocking was that I picked it. (D loves piccata, so I must have been feeling nice).

It was quick, and I assume easy. We both thought it was strange there was no flour but eh. D picked the capers out of my sauce. The taste was very good. Rich with a zing. The orzo was merely a side.

Will have again.

Chicken Piccata with Orzo

Lemon rind gives the orzo floral, muted citrus notes, a nice companion to the zingy sauce.

Other Time: 20 minutes minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup orzo, 1 cutlet, and 2 tablespoons sauce)

1 cup uncooked orzo
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
4 (4-ounce) chicken cutlets
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon capers

1. Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain. Stir in rind.

2. While orzo cooks, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add broth and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from heat; add butter, stirring until butter melts. Stir in parsley and capers. Serve over orzo.

CALORIES 345 ; FAT 8.5g (sat 2.7g,mono 3.6g,poly 0.8g); CHOLESTEROL 73mg; CALCIUM 22mg; CARBOHYDRATE 33g; SODIUM 328mg; PROTEIN 32g; FIBER 1.9g; IRON 1.1mg

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pork Noodle Salad

So this is definitely a left-over dish. The tastes get stronger the next day. Yesterday, I thought it was good...nothing to write home about. Today, the ginger and the vinegar made a really good blend. We didn't use the red pepper because we used it for something else.

D said it was easy. He served the pork as a chop. I sliced mine for lunch today since I didn't have a knife or sturdy plate at work.

Our side was broccoli with red pepper flakes.

Pork Noodle Salad

Pork cooks quickly in the broiler, making this meal a clear choice for busy weeknight dinners.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 3/4 cups salad and 1 pork chop)

6 ounces uncooked rice vermicelli
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 cup julienne-cut carrots
3/4 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (about 1 small pepper)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon bottled ground fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut pork loin chops
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain. Place noodles in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup vinegar and next 4 ingredients (through fish sauce); toss well. Top with carrots, bell pepper, green onions, basil, and peanuts.

3. Combine hoisin and next 3 ingredients (through garlic). Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and black pepper; place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Brush half of hoisin mixture over pork; broil 3 minutes. Turn pork over. Brush remaining hoisin mixture over pork; broil 3 minutes or until done. Serve pork thinly sliced over salad.

CALORIES 457 ; FAT 11.7g (sat 3.1g,mono 4.6g,poly 1.7g); CHOLESTEROL 65mg; CALCIUM 65mg; CARBOHYDRATE 50.8g; SODIUM 703mg; PROTEIN 29.9g; FIBER 3.1g; IRON 2.4mg

Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2009

Friday, October 22, 2010

Romaine Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

I really liked this. I loved that I could tasted the shallots, the feta, and balsamic together. DH thought it tasted like dressing. D made it, said it was easy. He didn't used cherries, but added cucumbers and tomatoes. D said he would like candied walnuts in it.

Romaine Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Customize this basic salad by using other fruit, such as dried cranberries, apricots, or raisins, or different cheeses, like blue or goat.

Other Time: 20 minutes minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese

1. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add lettuce, dried cherries, and cheese; toss gently to coat.

CALORIES 144 ; FAT 9g (sat 2.4g,mono 5.4g,poly 0.9g); CHOLESTEROL 8mg; CALCIUM 86mg; CARBOHYDRATE 12.8g; SODIUM 294mg; PROTEIN 3.1g; FIBER 2.6g; IRON 1.2mg

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2010

Orzo with Chicken and Asiago

D and I must have missed the boat when it came to all the wonderful reviews of this on CL. Both of us thought it was plain. We see ways to make it better (sautee the chicken with S&P& and herbs). But really it wasn't all that. We had with a spinach salad.

D said it was easy.

Orzo with Chicken and Asiago

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

1 cup water
1 (16-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
12 ounces skinned, boned chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)

1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, basil, or oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Combine water and broth in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add chicken and pasta; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in peas, 1/4 cup cheese, salt, herbs, and pepper. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

CALORIES 384 (14% from fat); FAT 5.9g (sat 2.9g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.7g); IRON 3.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 64mg; CALCIUM 179mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45.7g; SODIUM 656mg; PROTEIN 34.3g; FIBER 2.9g

Cooking Light, MAY 1999

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pork and Pepper Curry

So D found this recipe on Cooking By the Seat of My Pants. I have never been impressed with green curry and to be honest, this one really didn't change that. I must not have taste buds because that is my problem with green curry. It doesn't taste like anything.

I took a bite and instantly thought that more salt was needed. Since it was an Asian Dish, D brought Sriracha to the living room (where we eat). So to get some flavor, I used Sriracha, But I think I missed the point of the dish. Oh well.

D said it was easy. He thinks it would be better with chicken. We both think left overs will pick up the flavors. He did add salt into the leftovers.

Pork and Pepper Curry

2 pounds pork shank steak, cut in small cubes (used 1.5 lbs. of pork butt)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 large bell peppers, diced
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp Adobo Seasoning (used Penzeys Adobo)
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp sweet paprika (or hot paprika, if you prefer)
32 ounces chicken stock (used 24 oz, because that's what we had)
1 – 14 ounce can coconut milk (or 8 ounces heavy cream)
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned. (Don’t worry about doing this in batches. It’s just a flavor enhancing step.)

Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. (About 2 minutes.) Stir in the peppers and cook for about another minute.

Add all spices, stirring to coat, then add stock. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 40 minutes or until pork is tender.

Add coconut milk or cream and stir to combine. Check for seasoning, adjust if necessary.

Serve over cooked rice or with flatbreads.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Green Chili

Coworker told me to look at the Homesick Texan page for chili. So I found this one. D made it while I was napping. I don't know if it was hard or easy.

But it was good. I liked the spiciness of it. It was a build-up. Like the first bite was mild, but by the 4th bite, yeah my nose was running, and I needed some sour cream. I liked it.

Green Chili

Photo by ALB

4 lbs of boneless pork butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 lb of poblano peppers (about 5) (we used 5)
4-10 serrano peppers stems removed and sliced (used 6)
4-10 jalapeno peppers stems removed and sliced (used ??)
1 lb tomatillos cut in 1/8ths (about 6 to 8)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic
6 tablespoons of cumin
2 tablespoon of Mexican oregano (used regular)
2/3 to 1 cup of cilantro
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of dark beer (imperial Porter)
1/4 cup of masa harina (used corn meal)
Salt and white pepper to taste
Peanut oil, olive oil or lard for frying (didn't use)

1. Roast the poblanos in the oven at 400 degrees, until blackened, and then place in a paper bag for about 20 minutes. After this, the skins should come right off. Then dice the peeled poblanos.

2. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, fry the onion in peanut oil until cooked, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more. Turn off the pot.

3. In an iron skillet, lightly brown the pork on each side in lard (or the fat of your choice) for a couple of minutes and then add to the soup pot. You will probably have to do this in batches.

4. Once all the pork has been lightly browned and added to the soup pot, add two cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of dark beer. Also throw in the pot the tomatillos, 3 tablespoons of cumin, 1 tablespoon of Mexican oregano and half of your sliced jalapenos and serranos. (I varied the number of jalapenos and serranos based on heat—the more you add the hotter it will be. If you don’t want it too fiery, just stick to four of each.)

5. Turn on the stove to medium and bring chili to a boil and then turn heat down to low.
Simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

6. After an hour, add 3 tablespoons of cumin, 1 tablespoon of Mexican oregano, 1/3 cup of cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for half an hour uncovered on low, stirring occasionally. At this point, you’ll probably notice a nice brown oil slick on the top of the pot. I skim the fat by sticking in a ladle and dragging it over the surface. This isn’t foolproof, but it gets rid of most of the fat.

7. After half an hour, throw in the rest of the green chiles in the pot and add another 1/3 cup of cilantro. Cook for another half an hour to 45 minutes.

8. In a separate dish, mix the masa harina with some of the chili liquid until a thick paste is formed. Slowly stir this into the chili until it’s well incorporate without any lumps. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Goes great with sour cream, tortillas and cilantro.

Note from Homesick Texan: As with all things savory, the spice and herb amounts are just a guide. I usually make adjustments as necessary by tasting as I cook.

Mushroom and Provolone Patty Melts

I liked these. I think D thought the mushrooms needed some more flavor. I think Beef Broth or Red Wine would do that. Or maybe more beer. Since we used an Imperial Porter, I was a little surprised the flavor wasn't bigger. But like I said, I liked these. We had with Fries with Garlic Mayo.

Mushroom and Provolone Patty Melts

Other Time: 40 minutes minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)

1 pound ground sirloin
Cooking spray

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (8-ounce) package sliced cremini mushrooms
1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dark beer (such as porter)
8 (1.1-ounce) slices rye bread
4 (3/4-ounce) slices reduced-fat provolone cheese

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Shape beef into 4 (4-inch) patties. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done.

2. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, salt, pepper, and mushrooms; sauté 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in beer; cook 30 seconds or until thick. Remove from heat; keep warm.

3. When patties are done, remove from large skillet. Wipe pan clean; heat over medium-high heat. Coat 1 side of each bread slice with cooking spray. Place 4 bread slices, coated sides down, in pan. Top each with 1 patty, 1 cheese slice, and one-fourth of mushroom mixture. Top with remaining bread slices; coat with cooking spray. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned.

CALORIES 416 ; FAT 17.1g (sat 6.2g,mono 7.7g,poly 1.4g); CHOLESTEROL 42mg; CALCIUM 232mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.3g; SODIUM 708mg; PROTEIN 30g; FIBER 4.1g; IRON 3.9mg

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chicken Breasts with Classic French Pan Sauce

Not a huge fan of this. It was very easy. It also tasted like D dumped the whole can of salt into the pan. What's worse is, he said he reduced the salt. We also both noticed that the chicken breasts didn't have a size. Oh well. I bought thighs anyway because they didn't have B-I chicken at the store.

I actually would have this again. Just not put any salt in it.
We had with mashed potatoes.

Chicken Breasts with Classic French Pan Sauce

Serve this simple, rich dish with steamed haricots verts or fresh green beans and silky mashed potatoes. Adding a pinch of flour is an easy way to thicken the sauce quickly. If you prefer, you can omit the flour and simply allow the sauce to simmer longer, just until it thickens naturally.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and about 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 bone-in chicken breast halves
5/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan, skin side down; sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over. Place pan in oven; bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 160°. Remove chicken from pan, and let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until reduced to 2 tablespoons, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in mustard. Combine cream and flour, stirring until smooth. Add cream mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook until slightly thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Serve with chicken.

CALORIES 239 ; FAT 12.1g (sat 4.8g,mono 5.2g,poly 1.4g); CHOLESTEROL 93mg; CALCIUM 23mg; CARBOHYDRATE 1.6g; SODIUM 498mg; PROTEIN 27g; FIBER 0.0g; IRON 0.9mg

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Four Chile Chili

So I came across this recipe last week from Food and Wine. The glaring thing I noticed is that there are only 3 mentions of chiles. Anyway it looked good so D and I decided to try it.

We ate it without letting it rest. It was ok. Nothing special. Later, I mentioned I didn't taste the cinnamon. D forgot it, so he added it in. I had it for lunch the next day. I'm seeing this chili as a bunch of snooty people in the Hamptons going "Oh we're so chic having chili for the football game." But does it have heat? No. Does it have character? Not really.

It's good, but nothing great. I can see it as a good base that you can use to make it all your own. We had with macaroni. (1 C of each). It made a ton.

WeWa points will come soon.
8 servings = 10 points
10 servings = 8 points
12 servings = 6 points

Four Chile Chili

Serves 8 (um no!)

2 tablespoons olive oil (didn't use)
3 1/2 pounds ground sirloin or chuck (used 90/10)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large Spanish onion (1 1/2 pounds), coarsely chopped
8 large garlic cloves, minced
3 large jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
2 1/2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1/4 cup tomato paste
Two 28-ounce cans peeled Italian tomatoes, coarsely chopped and juices reserved
3 cups chicken or beef stock or canned low-sodium broth (used beef broth)
Two 19-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed (used 31 oz of kidney beans)
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Pinch of cinnamon
Coarsely chopped cilantro, for serving
Sour cream, for serving (not included in points calculation)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a enameled cast-iron casserole. Add half the ground beef in large chunks and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat until brown on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Stir and cook until most of the pink is gone, about 3 minutes; keep the meat in large chunks. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining meat.
  2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the casserole. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeños and cook over moderately low heat, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the ancho powder and paprika and cook over low heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the paste is glossy and starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, the chicken stock and the cooked beef and any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the kidney beans, chipotles and oregano and simmer for 30 minutes longer. Season with salt, pepper and a large pinch of cinnamon. Remove from the heat and let stand for at least 20 minutes. Reheat before serving.
  4. Serve the chili in bowls, topped with a generous sprinkling of cilantro. Pass the sour cream at the table.

Make Ahead

The chili can be refrigerated for up to 4 days and frozen for up to 2 months.