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