Sunday, April 24, 2011

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

D made these.  They were very good, and seemed to come together quickly. The one thing we thought was weird was that a gratin had no cheese.  So he added 1/4C of Italian Blend Cheese.

We and our friend all liked them.  Perhaps a little more salt, but would have again.

We had with Lamb with Rosemary and Anchovies.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

YIELD: 6 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)

2 hickory-smoked bacon slices
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
1 (2-ounce) slice French bread baguette (used 2 oz of bread crumbs)
3 tablespoons butter
Added 1/4C Italian Blend Cheese


1. Preheat broiler.

2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings; crumble. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to drippings in pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add Brussels sprouts and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil; cook 6 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are almost tender. Uncover and remove from heat. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; toss to combine. Spoon Brussels sprouts mixture into a 2-quart broiler-safe glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray

3. Place bread in a food processor, and process until finely ground. Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Add cooked, crumbled bacon to toasted breadcrumb mixture. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over Brussels sprouts mixture. Broil 3 minutes or until golden and thoroughly heated.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 133; Fat: 5.8g (Saturated fat: 3.2g; Monounsaturated fat: 1.1g; Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3g); Protein: 5.9g; Carbohydrate: 17.9g; Fiber: 4.6g; Cholesterol: 14mg; Iron: 2.1mg; Sodium: 280mg; Calcium: 57mg

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2010

Irish Carbomb Cake

So I know the name of this cake is politically incorrect, but it is also the name of a shot that is really good.  So when I found this recipe I had to try it.  I got it from Never Did Think. It was very easy to make.

I really liked the Baileys and the cake. The Whiskey frosting was good when I got all 3 together.  D liked every thing.  Yes, I would make it again.

What religion is your whiskey? Jameson is Catholic and Bushmills is Protestant.

Irish Carbomb Cake

Guinness Cake
1 Box chocolate cake mix (I used a Duncan Hines Chocolate Fudge cake.)
Egg and oil called for on box of cake mix (3 eggs and 1/2 C of oil)
Guinness (1 can will suffice with some left over for the cook).

This is the easy part. Make the cake as directed on the box, except replace the water called for with Guinness. Bake in two 9 inch round pans. Your house will smell like beer while it bakes. Don’t worry, the smell is much stronger than the taste of the cake will be.

Bailey’s Cream Cheese Filling
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 box powdered sugar
Bailey’s, to taste
Mix the cream cheese and butter, then add in the powdered sugar a little at a time. (Follow this! I didn't and was covered in sugar) When it’s all blended, add the Bailey’s. I couldn't tell you how much I added (less than 1/4 C) but didn't measure. If it gets too runny, you can add more powdered sugar to fix it.
Note from Never Did Think: This is half of my normal cream cheese frosting recipe. Believe me, it’s more than enough since you’re only putting it between the two cakes.

Chocolate Whiskey Buttercream frosting:
Adapted from the Williams Sonoma chocolate buttercream recipe
¾ c dark cocoa powder
4 TBSP vegetable oil
3-4 cups powdered sugar (start with three, add as needed, I only used 3)
1 stick butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
2 tbsp whiskey, plus more to taste(I used 4 because I used up the whiskey)

Mix the cocoa powder with vegetable oil and set aside.
Beat powdered sugar, butter, milk, and whiskey together with electric mixer. Once fully combined (it will be pretty liquid-y), blend in the cocoa mixture until the frosting is the right consistency. If it’s still too runny, add more powdered sugar. If it’s not whiskey-tasting enough, add more whiskey.

Rosemary, Parmesan, and Black Pepper Scones

I found this recipe on a few blogs.  They all had different amounts, so I just made my own.

Rosemary, Parmesan, and Black Pepper Scones

Photo by ALB

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
3 sprigs rosemary, minced
3/4 C buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl combine your flour, baking powder, and salt.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Toss in the parmesan, black pepper, and rosemary and mix thoroughly with your fingers. Add buttermilk, mixing everything with your fingers until you have a big mass.

Drop dough by 2 level tablespoonfuls 1 inch apart onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  (I got 16 scones).

Put your scones on a baking sheet sprayed with Pam and put into the oven for 18-20 minutes (I did 20) or until the edges turn golden brown. Remove from oven and eat.

Nutritional Information (from Sparkpeople Builder)

Servings: 16
Calories: 110.9 ; Total Fat: 5.3 g; Cholesterol: 13.7 mg; Sodium: 249.5 mg; Total Carbs: 12.9 g; Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g ; Protein: 3.0 g

Nuevo Cubano

Yum! I don't know if these were easy or not, but they were good. D added a jalapeno to the black beans. I can see adding an avocado as well.

We had with black bean salad. Will have again.

Nuevo Cubano

Photo by ALB

YIELD: 4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)

4 (3-ounce) whole-wheat sub rolls, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 pound thinly sliced reduced-sodium deli ham
1 peeled mango or 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 pound thinly sliced provolone cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell; reserve torn bread for another use.
2. Combine cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, garlic, and black beans in a food processor; process until almost smooth and spreadable, adding a few drops of water, if necessary. Spread bean mixture evenly on bottom halves of the prepared rolls. Layer rolls evenly with ham, mango or tomatoes, and provolone cheese; replace top halves of rolls.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 2 sandwiches to pan; place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until sandwiches are golden brown (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook). Remove sandwiches from pan; repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 2 sandwiches.

Mark Bittman, Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Calories: 436; Fat: 19.9g (Saturated fat: 6.7g; Monounsaturated fat: 7.9g; Polyunsaturated fat: 3g); Protein: 24.3g; Carbohydrate: 44.6g; Fiber: 7.2g; Cholesterol: 32mg; Iron: 3.5mg; Sodium: 792mg; Calcium: 328mg

Sriracha-and-Wasabi Deviled Eggs

So I had these over Christmas and decided I needed to make them. I am not a person who knows how to make hard-boiled eggs without a recipe. So I followed this recipe. The only thing I had problems with was the shell stuck to the eggs. So my eggs weren't pretty. Oh well.

My changes are in the ingredients section...Directions wise, I made it according to the ones below.

Sriracha-and-Wasabi Deviled Eggs

* Recipe by Joanne Chang (from Food and Wine)

Photo by ALB

Joanne Chang's mother used to make hard-boiled eggs for dinner: She would add them to the beef or chicken she was braising in soy. This is Joanne's riff on those eggs, made spicy with hot sauce and wasabi.



1 dozen large eggs
2 cups soy sauce (this is more than 1 bottle...I used low-sodium)
1/2 cup sake (I didn't have any so I used rice wine vinegar (I didn't see the vinegar part, I meant to use rice wine)
10 star anise pods (I used 1 TBSP of anise)
1/2 cup chopped scallions (I used 1/4 C plus)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup coarsely grated peeled fresh ginger (I used 2 TBSP)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (I used RF mayo)
1 tablespoon Sriracha (I used more, but I don't know how much)
2 1/4 teaspoons wasabi paste (I used 3 tsps)
1/4 cup snipped chives
Pinch of Chinese five-spice powder (I didn't use)

1. In a large saucepan, cover the eggs with cold water and bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute. Cover the saucepan, remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the soy sauce with the sake, star anise, chopped scallions, sugar and grated ginger. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Transfer the mixture to a heatproof bowl and let cool completely.

3. Drain the water from the large saucepan and shake the pan gently to crack the eggs. Cool the eggs slightly under cold running water, then peel them under running water. Add the eggs to the soy mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the eggs for at least 4 hours.

4. Drain the eggs and rinse lightly to remove any bits of scallion or ginger; pat dry. Using a slightly moistened thin, sharp knife, cut the eggs in half lengthwise. Gently pry the egg yolks into a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Stir the mayonnaise, Sriracha, wasabi and 3 tablespoons of the snipped chives into the mashed yolks. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a star or plain tip. Set the egg whites on a serving platter and pipe in the filling. Sprinkle the deviled eggs with the remaining 1 tablespoon of chives and the Chinese five-spice powder and serve.

Make Ahead
The deviled eggs can be refrigerated overnight. Garnish with the snipped chives and Chinese five-spice powder just before serving.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Modenese Pork Chops

My brother gave me this recipe from

So D made these. Very easy.  A little overdone, but we both really liked the flavor.  Will have again with slightly less cooking time...Looking at the picture may have been a clue to the cooking time...we used boneless porkchops.

We had with Roasted Cauliflower with Brown Butter .

Modenese Pork Chops

Servings: 4


recipe image4 tablespoons butter
4 (1 inch thick) pork chops
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Cook chops in butter, turning once to brown evenly.

Pour in wine, and season with salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes (go less with boneless pork chops), or until chops are tender. Transfer pork chops to serving plates, and spoon sauce over the meat.

Nutritional Information

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs

So D marinated these the night before we had these for dinner. I don't know how easy they were, but he grilled them and they were done within the hour it took me to drive home.

They had a sweet taste to them but not overpowering. I was sad when they were done...I wanted more. We had with Roasted Chile-Garlic Broccoli.

Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs

Speed up prep by marinating only 30 minutes. Serve with cabbage-carrot slaw.
YIELD: 4 servings (serving size: 2 thighs and 2 tablespoons sauce) 
Maple-Mustard Chicken ThighsCOST PER SERVING:$1.91

1/3 cup spicy brown mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
8 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Cooking spray


    1. Combine first 9 ingredients. Place half of mixture in a zip-top plastic bag; reserve remaining mixture. Add chicken to bag; seal. Chill 2 hours.
    2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
    3. Remove chicken from bag. Sprinkle chicken with salt. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with reserved mustard mixture.

    Nutritional Information

    CALORIES 314 ; FAT 11.7g (sat 3.2g,mono 4.5g,poly 2.7g); CHOLESTEROL 99mg; CALCIUM 36mg; CARBOHYDRATE 18.2g; SODIUM 565mg; PROTEIN 27.6g; FIBER 0.4g; IRON 1.8mg

    Cooking Light MAY 2011

    Roasted Chile-Garlic Broccoli

    So D made this. It was really good.  Spicy.  I think I ate it in 10 seconds.  He cut back on the salt because we didn't have 6 Cups of broccoli.  We also didn't have any left overs.

    We had with Maple Mustard Chicken.  It didn't really go together, but that is ok. Definitely added to our good sides.

    Roasted Chile-Garlic Broccoli

    The bold flavors of chile paste and dark sesame oil call for pairing with a robust entrée like grilled salmon, tuna, or beef.

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


    6 cups broccoli florets
    2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
    2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
    3/8 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon sugar
    6 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

    1. Place a small roasting pan in oven. Preheat oven to 450°.

    2. Place broccoli in a large bowl; drizzle with oil. Toss to coat. Add sambal, salt, and sugar to broccoli mixture; toss. Add broccoli mixture to hot roasting pan; toss. Bake at 450° for 5 minutes; remove from oven. Add garlic to pan; stir. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until broccoli is lightly browned.

    Nutritional Information

    CALORIES 99 ; FAT 7.2g (sat 1g,mono 2.7g,poly 3g); CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 59mg; CARBOHYDRATE 7.7g; SODIUM 325mg; PROTEIN 3.5g; FIBER 3.2g; IRON 1mg

    Cooking Light MAY 2011

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Phyllo Pizza with Feta, Basil, and Tomatoes

    So my friend A made this a while ago, and raved about it. Since it had no meat, I wasn't psyched to make it (fearing I would still be hungry).

    Anyway after visiting A, I decided to make this when I got home. I prepped everything prior to taking the phyllo out of the fridge. I also added 1 C of chicken (sauteed with oregano and salt). I also only baked 15 minutes.

    Definitely would have again

    Phyllo Pizza with Feta, Basil, and Tomatoes

    Salty cheese, tomatoes, and basil make this a savory treat. Pair with a tossed green salad for a light summer supper.

    YIELD: 6 servings (serving size: 2 slices)


    1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella
    1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
    1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (used 1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano)
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    10 (18 x 14–inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
    Cooking spray
    2 cups thinly sliced plum tomato
    1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
    1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
    Added 1C sauteed chicken with oregano and salt


    1. Preheat oven to 375°.

    2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl.

    3. Cut phyllo sheets in half crosswise. Working with 1 phyllo sheet half at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), place phyllo sheet on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Coat phyllo sheet with cooking spray. Repeat with 2 more layers of phyllo. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese mixture. Repeat layers 5 times, ending with 2 phyllo sheets. Coat top phyllo sheet with cooking spray; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese mixture. Pat tomato slices with a paper towel. Arrange tomato slices on top of cheese, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle with onions and the remaining 6 tablespoons cheese mixture. (added the basil and the chicken here) Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden (baked 15 minutes). Sprinkle with basil leaves.

    Nutritional Information

    * Amount per serving
    * Calories: 195
    * Fat: 6.7g
    * Saturated fat: 3.2g
    * Monounsaturated fat: 2.1g
    * Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5g
    * Protein: 9.3g
    * Carbohydrate: 24.6g
    * Fiber: 1.9g
    * Cholesterol: 11.4mg
    * Iron: 1.7mg
    * Sodium: 526mg
    * Calcium: 158mg

    Cooking Light JULY 2009

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Onion Tart

    Clearly the CL team forgot the most important ingredient in this recipe...BACON! That aside, this was really good. D made it and it looked very rustic. He said there were a lot of onions. I think he put in 3-4 slices of bacon. He said it was overall easy but again, a lot of chopping. And he didn't even use all the onions he chopped.

    I would definitely have again. We had with Romaine Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.

    Onion Tart

    The earthy flavor of this tart, with touches of feta tang, pairs beautifully with a peppery, nutty salad—and we've suggested just that.

    Other Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes minutes
    Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)

    Cost per Serving: $2.45

    Added 3-4 slices of cooked bacon
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 1/2 pounds onion, sliced
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
    3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
    1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
    1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
    1 large egg, lightly beaten

    1. Preheat oven to 425°.

    2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    3. Roll dough out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle feta cheese in center, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border; top with onion. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese. Fold piecrust border up and over onion mixture, pleating as you go, leaving a 6-inch-wide opening. Combine egg and 2 tablespoons water; brush over dough. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool for 10 minutes.

    CALORIES 402 ; FAT 18.9g (sat 6.7g,mono 6.8g,poly 3.7g); CHOLESTEROL 13mg; CALCIUM 146mg; CARBOHYDRATE 51.4g; SODIUM 676mg; PROTEIN 7.6g; FIBER 5g; IRON 0.8mg

    Cooking Light, APRIL 2011