Sunday, September 24, 2006

Stuffed Tomatoes

4 medium tomatoes
1/3 c cooked brown rice
1/3 c frozen spinach, thawed
1/4 t chopped garlice
2 T grated Parmesan
1 egg
more Parmesan to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 400˚. Cut tops off tomatoes. Using a spoon, scoop out the insides and discard. Sprinkle lightly with salt and turn upside down on a paper towel to drain for about 10 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients, and fill tomatoes. Top with a little more Parmesan. Bake 15-20 minutes.

Roasted Broccoli

1 large crown of broccoli
2 T olive oil
1 t salt

Preheat oven to 400˚. Trim broccoli and break into florets. Toss with olive oil and salt, and spread on a baking sheet. Roast 15-20 minutes. Serves 2.

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

Donna Hay

finely grated Parmesan cheese
ground black pepper
boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 per person)
egg whites or beaten egg

Preheat oven to 390˚. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Dip the chicken breasts into the egg whites, then toss in the combined Parmesan and pepper to coat. Place in the baking tray and cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is golden and cooked through.

Low Carb Chocolate Lava Muffins

2 4-oz. bars Ghirardelli bittersweet baking chocolate
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 c Splenda granular
3 T flour
1/4 t salt
4 eggs

Place a medium metal bowl in a saucepan of simmering water. Melt chocolate and butter in the bowl. Stir in the vanilla. In another bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Sift these into the chocolate mixture and mix with an electric hand mixer. Add one egg at a time, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next. Beat on high until the batter is creamy and lightens in color. (approximately 4 minutes) Chill mixture.
Preheat oven to 375˚. Coat muffin tin with butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon mixture into the muffin tin using approx. 1/4 cup for each muffin. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Outside should be cake-like and centers should be gooey. Let cool some before serving. Makes 12.

Carne Adovado

7 - 8 whole dried red chile pods, seeded and deveined
2 cloves garlic
2 t dried cilantro
1 t salt
2 pounds boneless pork butt, sirloin, or shoulder, sliced thin
Choose the dried chiles for your dish. They range in "heat" from mild to very hot…so ask your merchant to point the way. I use a mixture of California (Anaheim) and New Mexico red chilies so that I have a little mild and a little medium mixed together.
Prepare the chiles by slitting or cracking them open and removing the seeds and veins. The seeds and veins are what make the chiles hot, so you should clean the peppers according to how hot you wish them to be. Place the chile skins in a bowl and add enough hot tap water to cover. Allow them to sit for 1 hour and then drain, reserving the liquid. Place the pepper skin in a blender and add enough of the water to bring the total amount in your machine to one pint. Add the garlic, oregano, and salt. Blend until thick and smooth.

Place the sliced pork in a large zip-top plastic bag and pour in the chile sauce. Mix the meat and marinade and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook, heat oven to 350F. Place meat and marinade in a covered casserole and bake for one hour. You may wish to drain some of the "juice" after 35-40 minutes. The longer you cook it, the softer the meat gets - so even two hours will work, too.

Serve with flour or corn tortillas, along with your choice of accompaniments, such as grated cheddar or jack cheese, sour cream, diced onion, salsa, avocado, and chopped fresh cilantro.
Spanish rice goes well with this dish.

Iberian Meat Loaf

adapted from Cooking Light

3/4 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 lb. groun turkey
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce, divided
1 c chopped onion
1/2 c dry bread crumbs
1/2 c chopped fresh parsley
1/3 c sliced pitted green olives cooking spray
1 1/2 t paprika
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t ground coriander
1/4 t ground black pepper
2 large egg whites or 1 large egg
1 garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 350˚. Combine meat, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, and remaining ingredients (except cooking spray) in a large bowl. Shape mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Spread remaining 1/2 cup tomato sauce evenly over top of meat loaf. Bake for 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes.

Banana Cinnamon Bread

makes 2 loaves

1 c butter
1/2 c Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1 t vanilla extract
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large bananas)
1/4 c honey
4 large eggs
3 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c 9-grain cereal
1/2 c oat or wheat bran
1/4 c ground flaxseed
1 c cinnamon chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Add the bananas, honey, and eggs, beating until smooth. Add the flour, cereal, bran and flaxseed, then the chips, stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into two lightly greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans, smoothing the top. Let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. Bake the bread for 50 minutes, then gently lay a piece of aluminum foil across the top, to prevent over-browning. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the oven; a long toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean. Allow the loaf to cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan, and cooling it completely on a rack.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Apple-Nut Muffins

Streusel Topping
1/2 c whole wheat flour
3 T brown sugar
2 T butter, room temperature
1/4 t cinnamon

3/4 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c white whole wheat flour
1/2 c Splenda granular
2 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
2 large eggs
1 c sour cream or plain yogurt
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1 c JUST APPLES, coarsely chopped
1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 375˚. Grease muffin cups or use paper muffin cups. Mix streusel ingredients in mini-chopper until crumbly; set aside. For batter, mix flour, Splenda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and soda in large bowl. Break eggs in separate bowl. Add sour cream and applesauce, and whisk until well blended. Stir in chopped Just Apples and nuts. Pour egg mixture over flour mixture and fold in just until dry ingredients are moistened. Scoop batter into muffin cups. Top each muffin with about 2 teaspoons of streusel mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until browned. Remove from pan and cool. Makes 18 regular muffins.

Mushroom PIe

Mushroom Pie

3 T butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 lbs. mushrooms, sliced
dash pepper
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 T lemon juice
8 oz. Swiss cheese, grated
2 unbaked pie crusts
1/2 t salt
1 egg yolk
1 T water

Saute onion in butter until golden, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms. Saute until juice has cooked out. Drain. Mix with salt, pepper, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and cheese. Pour into pie crust; top with other pie crust. Trim edges; brush with egg yolk and water mixed together. Bake at 375F for 40 minutes. 6 servings.

When I made the rustic tart pictured above, I reduced everything to 2/3: 2 T butter, 1 lb. mushrooms, etc. I then rolled the crust out with a rolling pin as large as I could make it, piled the mushroom-onion mixture in the middle, and pulled the edges up around the filling. I baked it for only 35 minutes. 4 servings

Cinnamon Chicken

6 chicken thighs (I used boneless thighs)
1/4 t cinnamon
dash ground cloves
1 1/2 T oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 med. onion, chopped
3/4 c orange juice
2 T raisins
1 T drained capers
1/2 c slivered almonds

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, then with cinnamon and cloves. Heat oil in a large skillet; cook chicken slowly. Add garlic and onion to chicken and continue cooking until chicken is a good golden brown all over. Add orange juice, raisins, and capers; cover. Cook over medium heat until chicken is tender, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Pine Nut-Crusted Fish with Orange-Balsamic Sauce

adapted from Sweetnicks

1/4 c freshly grated Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese
1/3 c pine nuts, toasted and very finely chopped
1 t dried Italian seasoning
1/4 t salt
1/3 c flour
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 c mik
4 fish fillets (I used barracuda)
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1/4 c orange juice
1 t honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 T olive oil
2 T butter

Combine the cheese, pine nts, Italian seasoning, and salt in a shallow bowl. Put the flour in a secon bowl, and then combine the egg and milk in a third bowl. Dip both sides of the fish in the flour, sahking off the excess. Dip the fish in the egg-milk mixture, then dredge in the cheese-pine nut mixture. Combine balsamic vinegar, orange juice, honey, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl; set aside. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the fish in the skillet until browned on both sides and fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove to a plate and keep warm. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Add vinegar-orange juice mixture to hot skillet; cook about 1 minute. Serve sauce over fish.

Taco Salad Texas Style

3/4 to 1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cut in bite-sized pieces or shredded coarsely
1-2 tomatoes, diced
1 15-oz. kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups tortilla chips, slightly crushed (not fine)
1 cup Kraft Catalina dressing

Crumble and brown the ground beef; let cool slightly. Combine with remaining ingredients. Serves 4.

Additional add-ins: diced canned/jarred jalapeños, sliced or chopped black olives
diced avocado

Asiago, Potato, and Bacon Gratin

from Cooking Light

1 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes,cut into 1/4" slices
1 t salt, divided
2 T shallots
1/4 c flour
2 c low-fat milk, divided
3/4 c grated Asiago cheese
1/4 c chopped fresh chives
1/4 t ground black pepper
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

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. 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, 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. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Grilled Fish with Jalapeno-Lime Butter

adapted from Cooking Light

1/4 c vegetable oil
1/2 c orange juice
3 T lime juice
1 T tequila
1 T grated lime zest
1 T minced jalapeño pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
4 5-oz. fish fillets
1/4 c butter, softened
14 t garlic salt
2 t minced fresh jalapeño
2 t grated lime zest

In a bowl, stir together vegetable oil, orange juice, 3 tablespoons lime juice, tequila, 1 tablespoon lime zest, 1 tablespoon jalapeño pepper, and garlic. Reserve a small amount to use as a basting sauce, and pour the remainder into a shallow baking dish. Place the fish in the dish, and turn to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, turning frequently. In a small bowl, mix together softened butter, garlic salt, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 teaspoons jalapeño pepper, and 2 teaspoons lime zest. Cover, and refrigerate.

Preheat grill for medium heat. Lightly oil grill grate, and place fish on the grill. Cook fish for 5 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish can be easily flaked with a fork. Baste occasionally with reserved sauce. Transfer to a serving dish, top with jalapeño butter, and serve.

Coconut Cream Pie

from Susan White, of Knox City, Texas

3/4 c sugar
3 T cornstarch
1/4 t salt
2 c milk
3 eggs, separated
2 T butter
1 t vanilla
1 1/3 c shredded sweetened coconut
1 9-inch pie crust, baked and cooled

In saucepan combine sugar, flour, and salt. Mix well. Gradually stir in milk. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat until bubbly. Cook and stir for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Separate eggs, putting yolks in a small bowl and the whites in a small mixing bowl. Take small amount of this mixture and stir into bowl with egg yolks; mix well. Immediately return to hot mixture, cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. (If mixture is too lumpy or egg yolks have separated, beat with rotary or electric mixer.) Add butter and vanilla, then coconut. Pour into cooled pie crust. Spread meringue on top. Cook at 350˚ for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool. Can sprinkle a little coconut on top of meringue before cooking.

Grilled Ham, Swiss, and Apple Pitas

3 rounds whole-wheat pita bread, cut in half
6 slices Swiss cheese
3 large slices Black Forest ham, cut in half
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray

Fill each pita half pocket with one slice of Swiss cheese, half a slice of ham, and several apple slices. Spray each side with nonstick cooking spray and grill until lightly browned on each side and cheese begins to melt. Makes 6.

Whole Wheat Pfannenkuchen

this recipe makes about 20 crepes, so you might want to cut it in half

4 eggs
1/4 t salt
2 T Splenda granular
1 c whole wheat flour (I used Stone-Buhr, a brand found in the western US)
2 1/2 c white whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
1 t vanilla
4 1/4 c milk

Beat eggs well. Add salt, Splenda, and vinegar. Add flour and half of the milk, stirring until smooth. Gradually stir in the rest of the milk to make a creamy batter. Heat a large nonstick skillet until drops of water dance on it. Spray with butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray. Add about 1/3 cup of the batter. With a quick rotary motion, tip skillet to spread batter thinly. Brown only lightly on each side. To serve, roll up with your choice of jams.

Spinach-Apple Salad

3 T vegetable oil
3 T raspberry or red wine vinegar
2 T honey
dash salt & pepper
about 3 cups fresh spinach (about half of a bag)
1 crisp apple (Fuji, Gala, etc.), unpeeled, cored, and sliced
2 T sliced almonds, toasted

Combine first 5 ingredients in a jar; cover tightly, and shake vigorously. Chill thoroughly. Remove stems from spinach; wash leaves thoroughly, and pat dry. Tear into bite-sized pieces. Toss spinach in enough dressing to coat, reserving remaining dressing. Place spinach on serving platter. Core and slice apples. Toss in reserved dressing, and arrange on spinach. Sprinkle with almonds. Makes 3-4 servings.

Lemon Couscous Chicken Salad

1 1/4 c water
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 c edamame, thawed
1 pkg. Near East Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Couscous
1 1/2 c chopped cooked chicken (2 small half-breasts)
juice of 1 lemon (2 T)
1/2 t lemon peel
1 T dried parsley

In a large skillet, bring the water, oil, edamame, and contents of the spice pack from the couscous mix to a boil. Stir in the couscous, chicken, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Add parsley and fluff lightly with a fork. Chill well and serve cold. 4 servings

Cinnamon Bread

from Joe of Culinary in the Country

3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cinnamon chips
2 tablespoons sugar
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon, can use more or less to taste

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, yeast, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, butter and egg. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, beating until smooth. Cover and let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour, then stir in the baking powder and cinnamon chips with a wooden spoon.
Preheat oven to 350˚. Scoop the batter into a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, mix the rest of the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the top of the batter with cinnamon sugar. Bake the bread for 35 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then tranfer it from the pan to a rack to cool completely. This bread slices better when you wait for it to cool down some.

Jalapeno Bagels

2 jalapeño bagels, sliced in half horizontally
2 T cream cheese, divided
1 tomato, halved and sliced
1/4 c shredded cheddar or jack cheese, divided
canned jalapeño slices to taste (don’t use fresh–they’re too hot!)

Spread bagel halves with cream cheese. Top with tomato slices, cheese, and then jalapeño slices. Bake at 350˚ 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serves 2.

Mocha Ice Cream

low sugar

3 c half-and-half, divided
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c Splenda granular
1 T powdered cocoa
2 T espresso powder
1 t vanilla

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the half-and-half with the sugar, Splenda, cocoa, and espresso until sugars and powders are dissolved. Add vanilla and the remaining half-and-half. Turn ice cream machine on and pour into freezer container. Freeze 25-30 minutes and transfer to a freezer-safe container. Put in freezer for another couple of hours to ripen.

Tomatensalat (German Tomato Salad)

3 T olive oil
2 t “brown and spicy” mustard
2 T cider or red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
3 medium tomatoes, halved and sliced (this is also good with halved cherry tomatoes)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and stir to mix. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Serves 2