Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Corn Pud-ttata Fantastico

This recipe was paired with the Earth Magic Heat Sauce from a recent post on FOODChair's blog.
A wonderful hybrid of a corn pudding and frittata. The only change I made was due to shear laziness...frying strips of poblano with the onion instead of roasting them separately. I think you could get away with putting a whole can of beans in this (pretty sure the pie pan would have held the rest of the can) if you don't want any leftover bean stragglers in your fridge. We'll be eating this again!

Corn Pud-ttata Fantastico:
(adapted from Callipygia's recipe @ FOODChair)

1 onion sliced and fried
1 C of rice milk (I used unsweetened soymilk)
1 C of corn kernels
4 eggs
½ tsp of salt
½ tsp of ground cumin
4 Tbsp of amaranth flour (I used brown rice flour)
2 roasted poblano peppers, stemmed and seeded
½ C chopped cilantro
¾ c pinto beans
1/3-1/2 C feta cheese crumbled

Topping: Earth Magic Heat sauce, and Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350.
Place milk, corn, eggs, salt, cumin, and amaranth (brown rice) flour in a blender and whirl until the corn is properly pulverized.
Grease a 9" pie plate and place fried onions, poblano pepper strips, cilantro, beans, and feta into the bottom.
Pour the corn filling over and bake until golden and set, about 40 minutes. Let rest a bit (at least 15-20 min.)and slice.
Serve topped with Earth Magic Heat Sauce and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Earth Magic Heat Sauce

Wow...this is really good. Easy to make and comes from the ever inspiring FOODChair's blog.
I'm not sure I've ever worked with large dried peppers before. I remember having them in the pantry years ago, but for what purpose I've no idea.
I freaked out at how seemingly hot the sauce was when making it, even though the peppers were stemmed and seeded before soaking they still packed quite a punch. Consequently, I added more sugar in hopes that it might calm the heat a bit. An overreaction. It didn't need more sweet as the heat seemed to calm down a bit as it sat. Because I'd made it too sweet, and since adding vinegar helps with heat, I added a touch of white vinegar too. Should have just made it as is and fussed with it only if really necessary at the end, but I don't always find myself as patient and trusting as a situation warrants. All this said and it was still wonderful!
I also made her sweetly named Corn Pud-ttata Fantastico, a recipe she paired with the sauce in the same entry. Wonderful combo that I'll make again and again.
A good bit of the leftover sauce is going into the freezer for anytime goodness.

Earth Magic Heat Sauce:
(Callipygia @ FOODChair)

5 Dried Pasilla Chili, seeded and stemmed (just cut down the length like a vanilla pod to seed)
3 Dried Guajillo Chili, seeded and stemmed
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 Tbsp. of brown sugar
½ tsp of salt (to taste)
½ tsp of allspice
½ tsp of oregano
soaking water

"Directions: Place chilies in bowl and soak in hot water until supple (~10 min). Meanwhile fry up your onions and garlic until there is a little color. Place the softened chilies and the remaining ingredient in a blender and whirl with some of the reserved soaking water until sauce is thinned to your preference. Taste and tweak. Then fire up the pan once again, adding a little oil and then "fry" up the sauce for a few more minutes to allow the flavors to deepen."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tilapia with Mango Salsa

This is a nice fresh, no-brainer of a salsa that I posted ages ago (my 2nd post!) served with baked salmon . Would no doubt be wonderful on chicken as well. When it's so dagblam hot out (105!) nobody wants the oven on for long, so the broiler is my friend. Dirtying a grill pan just seemed like too much trouble, so I broiled the zukes too. And, we had a roasted sweet tater in the fridge that I turned into more of the insanely good chipotle mashed sweet potatoes.

Tilapia with Mango Salsa:
(Salsa from Cooking Light)

~10oz. or 3 small ripe mangoes, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
~1+ Tbs lime juice
1 serrano pepper (I used a jalapeno this time) seeded, and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
~1 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

~1 lb.Tilapia fillets
salt and pepper
olive oil
cumin, coriander, and garlic powder

Combine all ingredients for the salsa (mangoes thru s & p), taste, tweak, and set aside.

Heat broiler on high.
Lay fish on a foil-lined sheet pan.
Lightly oil each side of the fillets with olive oil.
Salt and pepper the fillets, then add a pinch of cumin, coriander and garlic powder over each as well (if you want).

Broil fishies for about 4-5 minutes, then flip and continue cooking until done. Usually just a couple minutes more.
Serve each fillet topped with mango salsa.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sesame-Orange Dressing (Chicken Salad)

This salad was the result of having leftover rotisserie chicken on hand. I'll print the directions (which I've never tried) for making the salad starting with raw chickies though. Just know that this can come together in no time if you've got some cooked chicken on hand. For the life of me I can't remember what blog I got the "adapted" recipe from, but the dressing was originally from Cooking Light magazine. You could use the dressing in all sorts of vegetarian applications too... nice just used on a slaw mix or even a stir fry if you add some cornstarch.

Sesame-Orange Salad Dressing:
(Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, June 2009)

This recipe is Low Fat, Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy Protein-Free and optionally Gluten-Free

2/3 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed is best – about 3 small Navels)
2 Tbs rice vinegar (I did add a bit more of this than called for)
4 tsp soy sauce or wheat-free tamari (for gluten-free)
1 Tbs sesame oil (the good, dark kind if you have it)
2 tsp packed brown sugar
1(+) tsp hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
2 Tbs flax meal / ground flax seeds
1 to 2 green onions, minced (optional)
lightly toasted sesame seeds (I used Gomasio seaweed blend so I didn't have to fuss with toasting [read, burning] the seeds)

Whisk everything but the sesame seeds together and allow the dressing to sit for ten to fifteen minutes while you make the rest of your salad. After dousing your salads in this yummy dressing, sprinkle each salad with 1/2 teaspoon of the sesame seeds.

What I read on a blog...

"To prepare a large Asian-Style Orange-Sesame Chicken Salad, I coated 12 ounces of chicken (8 to 10 would be ideal for two people) with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch, 1 Tablespoon sherry, 3/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. I then sauteed the meat over medium-high heat in about 2 teaspoons of refined sesame oil. To prepare two salads, I chopped up one large romaine heart, topped the lettuce base with store-bought coleslaw cabbage mix for some crunch, sprinkled on a thinly sliced carrot, followed by the cooked chicken, the dressing, and finally the sesame seeds."

What I did...

Using shredding blade of food processor, shred some carrots and red cabbage. Toss with some of the dressing and set aside.
Dice leftover rotisserie chicken.
If you have one like I did, dice a nice ripe Bartlett pear.
Arrange chopped Romaine lettuce on each plate, toss with some of the dressing.
Add chicken and diced pear to the dressing that's left over and toss to coat.
Place some of the slaw in the center of the Romaine on each plate.
Now top that with your chicken and pear mixture.
Sprinkle the whole salad with either toasted sesame seeds or Gomasio.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Honeyed Lentils

This was one of our hostess' food offerings the other night at book club and it was really delicious. Had I known how simple it was to make it would have gone on the menu for the next night. The only dish you dirty is the glass loaf pan. Gotta love that. Thanks for passing on this stellar recipe Monica!

Honeyed Lentils:
(ever so slightly adapted from Monica Mueller)

Monica always doubles this recipe and has two loaf pans going at once. I'd think these would freeze nicely, so makes sense to me.

1 c green lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 c water
2 T honey (I know it's called Honeyed Lentils, but I'll use a lot less than 2 Tbs next time :-)
2 T tamari or liquid amino acids
2 T olive oil
1/2 t ginger powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped

I added fresh lemon juice at the end of baking because it was a little sweet for my taste. Next time I might only use 1/2-1 Tbs honey, and still use the lemon too.

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all ingredients and bake, covered, for 1 1/2 hours. (Monica noted that she usually uses glass bread loaf pans covered in tin foil, so I did the same.)
Serve by itself or over rice.

I'd wanted to post about the cabbage because it's REALLY good! But, cut into the onion required to make it and not so pretty a scene. Made it without, but this is the link to the original recipe on Simply Recipes blog anyway. I just make it with red cabbage instead. Follow the instructions for the sauteed version.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Presto Chango Mexican Chicken Soup

Don't feel like just your run o' the mill chickie soup that you've got in the freezer for dinner tonight? Got a few extra things to get rid of in your pantry and fridge? Poof! Ya got Mexican Chicken Soup.
I had half a batch of Ina Garden's Chicken Soup (that I made with leftover brown rice instead of noodles) in our freezer, a can of Mexican diced tomatoes, a zucchini that I shredded, and the tail end of a bag of frozen corn (probably ~1/2 cup)...

tossed it all together and simmered for a bit, then served topped with crumbled baked tortilla chips and a bit of shredded cheddar. Nice for a presto chango dinner. :-)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Greek Turkey Burgers

Dinner tonight...nice and moist for turkey burgers too. I figured I'd try sealing some feta inside the burger rather than crumbling and mixing it all through the meat to keep it from oozing all over the place and burning. Worked great!

Greek Turkey Burgers:

1 lb 93% lean ground turkey (the pre-packaged turkey I bought only came in 1.2 lb size, so if you're in the same boat don't worry about increasing the other ingredients)
1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (or reg.)
2 egg whites
~3/4-1 cup chopped baby spinach
~1/3 cup diced red onion
~1/2 tsp dried Greek oregano
zest of 1 lemon, ~1 tsp
~1 Tbs chopped Italian parsley
~1/2 tsp garlic powder
~1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
olive oil to cook burgers
4 feta cheese slices
whole wheat buns

Optional toppings:
mayonnaise (I use Spectrum brand vegan mayo)

Mix turkey through black pepper using the paws that Dog gave ya.
Divide mixture into 4ths, then each 4th in half.
Make 8- ~1/4" thick patties.
Place a slice of feta on 4 of the patties.

Top each of those with another patty sealing the edges around the cheese.
Heat some olive oil in a non-stick skillet that you have a lid for over medium-high heat.
Sear burgers for 3 minutes on each side, then cover and reduce heat to medium, cooking for another 8 minutes, for a total of ~14 minutes.

Gingered Gin Martini

Mother's Ruin...at it's finest. The syrup that we neglected to thin from the crystallized ginger making was a little thick, but we decided to keep it in it's honey-like consistency so that it might serve multiple uses. Because of this, you'll want to mix the syrup with the gin before shaking it over ice.

Gingered Gin Martini:
Makes 1 martini

2 oz gin (Monster used Tanqueray rangpur lime gin)
~1/2 tsp straight ginger syrup (I've since added 1/2 cup of water to the whole batch of syrup...we'll see if that's enough to keep it liquid)
gingered sugar for rimming glass

Mix syrup into gin, then shake over ice. Rim martini glass with gingered sugar, strain drink and off you go!

Crystallized Ginger and Ginger Syrup

The Monster has been into the idea of making flavored simple syrups to have on hand for mixed drinks, and I happened upon a recipe that made both candied ginger and the syrup in one go.
I can attest to the addictiveness of the candied ginger, the drinks are in his court. I'll post any good ones he might make with the syrup. Make sure you keep any extra sugar that remains after tossing the slices for rimming martini glasses. :-)

Crystallized Ginger and Ginger Syrup:
(a recipe by Rita posted on recipezaar.com)

a large blemish-free hand of ginger, about 10 oz. (think mine was a little more)
2 cups (+more for coating the candies) evaporated cane juice crystals, or just regular old sugar
1/4 cup water

Scrape skin off ginger (I like to use a sharp measuring spoon) and cut into ~1/8" thick slices. I used a food processor slicing blade and it worked great and got the job done in all of a few seconds. If you use the processor, try load the hopper such that you'll get rounds instead of long side strips. A few of my pieces fell over and the result is just like cutting flank steak with the grain instead of against. Long fibrous strips!
Still taste good, but you get the idea.

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan (mine was a 3-qt), toss the ginger slices in the sugar.
Now add 1/4 cup of water and heat to simmer.

Simmer for a good 1 1/2 hours over a very low flame. Your aim is not to carmelize the sugar.
Stir from time to time throughout the cooking process.

Sprinkle 1/4-1/2 cup of evap. cane juice over a parchment-lined baking sheet and set aside.

When you think they're done enough, drain the ginger through a fine sieve over a bowl, so that you can retain the syrup for other uses.
Place the drained ginger in a single layer on top of the sugared parchment-lined sheet pan to cool (8-10 min).
Toss the ginger in the sugar to coat, then place in an air-tight container or ziplock bag and store away from heat and light.

You can use these chopped in baking, or just munch away on them as is. Really good and spicy!
The recipe I used says to add 1 cup of water to the remaining syrup and heat to mix, but we just stored it as is in the fridge. Haven't figured out how much we'll thin it yet (update: trying 1/2 cup of water to see if that keeps it from recrystallizing in the frigo)...but I'm thinking it'd be great straight in fizzy water for a ginger soda!

Garlic Broccoli Spread

I had some broccoli that needed using up yesterday, had the rest of the ingredients for this simple spread, so made it I did. I was short a 1/2 cup of broccoli I used the same amounts of everything else. Really though, I think you should just use the whole can of beans. Why go to the trouble of saving that last 1/2 cup or so you'll have left from the can? You know it's just going to get pushed to the very back of the fridge until it's discovered months later with a nice layer of green fuzz on top. Toss it all in! :-)

This is a vegan dip and I made it as such, but you gotta know that a little finely grated Parm with these ingredients would send it over the top.
Drizzle the top of the spread with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil for a little extra-goodness.
In Randomgirl's notes on the recipe she says "this is for when you just can't eat any more hummus", but I do think it'd be really great if made with chickpeas.

Garlic Broccoli Spread:
(random vegan recipes...randomgirl.com/recipes)

6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 1/2 cups broccoli (I only had 2 cups worth, peeled stalks included)
1 cup canned cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed
~2 Tbsp lemon juice (just taste it as you add...)
kosher salt to taste

Baquette slices, toasted

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine garlic, oil and red pepper in a small custard cup/ramekin.
Cover tightly with foil and bake until garlic is tender, about 35 minutes.
About 10 minutes before your garlic is due to come out of the oven, steam broccoli until tender, about 8 minutes.
Process with beans, lemon juice and oil/garlic mixture.
Spread on bread and enjoy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Miso Marinated Chicken Breasts

If you're making the broccoli slaw to go with this chicken, save yourself cleaning up twice and grate all your ginger at once for both recipes, etc.
Oh and the broccoli slaw with chicken benefits greatly from a nice dousing of Siracha hot sauce if you're so inclined. :-)

Miso Marinated Chicken Breasts:

1 tsp grated ginger
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 green onions, crushed with a knife and sliced in a few pieces
2 Tbs white miso
2 Tbs mirin
2 Tbs sake
2 Tbs soy
1 tsp 5-spice powder (optional)
2 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin on
sesame oil (or just use canola) to brush on chicken

Place all ingredients through 5-spice powder (if using) in a large ziplock bag and mix well.
Add chicken and marinate for a day (I put this together in the morning before heading out for the day so it was ready for me to roast that evening).
If you can, turn the bag a few times while it marinates in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 350.
Line a baking sheet with foil and place the chicken breasts on the sheet and brush with toasted sesame oil (or canola oil).
Bake until chicken reaches an interior temp of 165 at the thickest part of the breast. About 35-40 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool.

Remove the skin and bone from the breast, and then roll around in any of the carmelized juices that might have collected.
Place in a covered container and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Broccoli Slaw with White Miso-Ginger Dressing

I was recently swayed to purchase a bag of broccoli slaw for the first time. We had it for dinner the other night dressed with a miso ginger dressing (still working on using up that tub of miso!) and it was ok that night, but the lunch I made of it the next day was soooo much better. This is definitely one of those make it the day before dishes. The broccoli still retains plenty of crunch, but really benefits from sitting in the dressing. I roasted some marinated chicken breasts to slice for the top of the slaw and those got better the next day too. This would be great food for a picnic you might plan on taking the day after you've made all the components. I served the Monster's portion mixed with a few brown rice elbow noodlies too, but there weren't any sitting in the slaw overnight to report on how they'd fare. Great without that addition though!

Broccoli Slaw with White Miso-Ginger Dressing:

1 bag of broccoli slaw
sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed (just add as many as you'd like, I only used ~1/4 can)
some English cucumber, quartered then sliced
a handful of chopped cilantro
a good couple shakes of Gomasio of you want, or toasted sesame seeds

Combine all of the above and then add dressing. Let sit overnight covered in refrigerator.

(Originally from Martha Stewart...ugh. Adapted for the slaw in that I added chili-garlic paste, soy sauce and more sweetener)

1 (2") piece of fresh ginger, peeled
2 1/2 Tbs white miso
3 Tbs rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs grated carrot
1/2 tsp grated onion (white or red) with juice
1/2 tsp sugar (agave nectar)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs canola oil (I didn't use anywhere near this much)

Ok, here's where I started adding my own spin...after the slaw sits overnight, taste it and see if it needs anything else.

~1-2 Tbs soy sauce
~1+ Tbs honey
~1/2-1 tsp chili-garlic paste (what, you don't have this?? EVERYONE needs some in their fridge door :-)
I'm sure I added some salt and pepper to finish somewhere along the line too

Place a coffee filter into a medium bowl and using a micro-plane, grate ginger into the filter. Squeeze as much of the juice into the bowl as you can extract and discard the pulp.
I went ahead and kept using the micro-plane for grating the carrot and onion, then added to the ginger juice.
Add the rest of the ingredients except for the oil.
Slowly whisk in oil until emulsifies and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use or just mix the whole batch into your slaw.

I'll go ahead and post the marinade for the chicken in a separate post since it seems like a good one to pair with any number of dinners and can stand on it's own.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mediterranean-Style Baked Tilapia over Spinach and Roasted Lima Bean Rerun

I'm posting two of our favorites again since they both ended up on our dinner plates tonight...just in case you missed them the first go round. :-)

Mediterranean-Style Baked Tilapia:

~1 lb of natural tilapia fillets, or other lean white fish
thinly sliced red onion
thinly sliced red pepper
1-2 chopped tomatoes
~2-3 oz of crumbled feta
fresh basil
salt and pepper
olive oil
~1/4-1/2 cup white wine
garnish with chopped Italian parsley if you've got it, and more chopped fresh basil

Pre-heat oven to 450. Oil a baking dish. Season the fillets with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice, and arrange in one layer in the baking dish.
On top of fillets, layer very thin slices of red onion, and red (or green) pepper. Sprinkle the fillets with 1 chopped tomato and 2-3 oz of crumbled feta, then top with basil. Pour white wine around fillets, drizzle with olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper and more salt.

Here it is before going into the oven...I promise there IS fish under all that goodness!

Bake uncovered for about 15-19 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. I checked our 8oz fillets at 15 but they took about 18-19.
About 4 minutes before your fish is done, start the spinach.

Wilted Spinach with Garlic and Pine Nuts:

olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 package baby spinach
salt and pepper
1-2 Tbs of pine nuts

In a large skillet, heat about 2 Tbs olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add minced garlic and saute until it becomes golden...don't burn it.
Add pine nuts and let them start to color slightly. Add spinach, some kosher salt, pepper and toss to wilt. Serve fish over your lovely spinach and done! Make sure to spoon the cooking liquid over the fish too. It's really good!

Roasted Lima Beans with Italian Herbs:
From The Whole Foods Market Cookbook

"Lima beans have been cultivated in Lima, Peru since about 5000 BC — hence the name. Lima beans can be found fresh, frozen, and dried. Fordhooks (also called butter beans) and baby limas are the two most common varieties. Frozen limas work best in this simple dish. This is an unusual recipe because the legumes are herb roasted, which really enhances the delicate bean flavor. It also crisps the surface of the bean, which steams the inside, making the texture more fluffy than boiling."

Serves 4–6

1 pound frozen lima beans (I used baby limas)
2 teaspoons olive oil (I use more)
2 large garlic cloves, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/4 cup pitted, chopped green olives
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (I add a handful of fresh before roasting then add more fresh when it comes out of the oven...I ain't got no time for dried basil)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (I use ~1/4 Greek oregano)
1/4 teaspoon dried sage (I have have a sage plant so use about 1 Tbs, minced fresh sage, it's sooo good)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup jarred diced roasted red peppers, well drained

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cook the lima beans in enough boiling salted water to cover them until firm-tender, ~10-12 minutes. Drain the beans well, and dry them on paper towels. Place the lima beans on a baking sheet and add the olive oil, garlic, olives, basil, oregano, sage, and pepper. Toss well.

Spread beans in an even layer on pan.

Roast until the beans are softened and golden brown, 10 (said 10-15...but don't let them dry out) minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the baking pan and place in a medium serving bowl. Mix in the roasted red peppers.

Nutrition Info
Per Serving: calories 110; calories from fat 25; calories from saturated fat 0; protein 6g; carbohydrates 17g; total fat 2.5g; saturated fat 0g; cholesterol 0 mg; sodium 170 mg; 23% calories from fat

Monday, June 8, 2009

Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

The Monster and I often split a baked sweet potato at dinner, so this is just made with one large sweet. Amounts are to taste, so just play with it til you're happy with the flavor. This is so yummy, I need to remember to make it with 2 potatoes, since that will equal more leftovers!
I made blackened tofu steaks seasoned with taco seasoning and kale, onions and a clove of garlic cooked in the rest of the niter kebbeh, finished with a splash of red wine vinegar instead of Tabasco. Delish!

Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes:

1 large sweet potato
a small pat of butter
~1/4-1/2 cup of reduced-salt chicken broth, or light vegetable broth
1-2 tsp minced chipotle in adobo (I usually blend a whole can, then keep the puree in the freezer to use as needed)
~1 tsp brown sugar
kosher salt to taste
~1/4 tsp cinnamon
a squeeze of fresh lime juice

Wash, dry, poke with a fork, and wrap the sweet potato(es) in foil, then bake at 400 until soft. A large potato took me 1 hr and 10 minutes.
In a saucepan, heat chicken broth, chipotle, butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Simmer and reduce a bit.
Add the whole sweet potato (I just toss it in unpeeled, but feel free to peel it after roasting) and mash well.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and add lime juice and stir, adding more of anything if necessary.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Miso Marinated Salmon

Yep, this was just as good with salmon. Fresh Copper River wild sockeye is available now...go git some. Made it the exact same way as the halibut, except that I nixed one Tbs of brown sugar. Plenty sweet with only 2 Tbs.

I know it looks like I broiled this all to heck, but it was perfect! Crispitty sweet and still nice and moist on the inside. The broc on the other hand, did suffer an extra minute or two too long in the steamer. ;-)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Stuffed Summer Squash with Tomato Sauce

Amounts are a little sketchy on this one, but I just kind of mixed stuff together until I was happy.
It's pretty basic, just add enough bread crumbs that your filling isn't too soupy and they'll be lovely. I had some homemade tomato sauce left from making omelet cannelloni in the freezer and it was really nice drizzled over the top of the squash when serving.

Stuffed Summer Squash:

2 large-ish yellow squash
~1/2 Tbs butter
~1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1-2 cloves minced garlic
~2-3 Tbs whole wheat dried bread crumbs
~1/3 cup ricotta cheese
~1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 egg white
salt and pepper to taste
finely grated Parmesan cheese
tomato sauce to serve over squash

Preheat oven to 350.
Boil or steam whole squash until just tender. I boiled in salted water for about 7-8 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, slice lengthwise and carefully scoop out the innards, leaving about 1/4" shell.
Place shells cut side down on paper toweling to drain while you prepare the filling.
Saute onion, garlic, and chopped squash innards with a little salt until most of the moisture is cooked away and the onions are done.
Transfer mixture to a small bowl and add ricotta cheese, basil, whole wheat bread crumbs, egg and salt and pepper to taste.
Place shells in a lightly greased casserole and fill with cheese mixture.
Top each with a pile of finely grated Parm.
Bake for about 30 minutes, then place under the broiler to brown a touch.
Serve with warmed tomato pasta sauce.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Turkey Tetrazzini-esque

Your average turkey tetrazzini calls for salt-and-who-knows-what-else-laden cans of condensed soup. Ick. Full stop.
In my search for a non-gross recipe I came across an unassuming site that had what appeared to be a nice little recipe to base my casserole off of. The original called for a can of sliced mushrooms...a no-no in our house due to Monster Law.
NO MUSHIES. None. Ever. Okaaaaay. I had a beautiful bunch of Swiss chard in the fridge, along with a couple of zukes that needed using...in they went.
I didn't have the evaporated milk called for, so just cooked down, stirring constantly, 3 cups of unsweetened soy until I had 1 1/2 cups of liquid (12 oz worth). Fat-free cheese originally called for? No. Cave-aged Gruyere? YES! :-)
I might add that the impetus for making a casserole came from the need to use up some awesome Central Market in-house roasted Provencal turkey lunch meat coated with herbs (that I'd bought too much of). Don't you just love fridge cleaner meals? They really can leave you feeling quite virtuous.
Oh one more thing, if you can't get a turkey that's coated in herbs de Provence, then you might consider adding some when the onions and garlic are sauteeing.

Turkey Tetrazzini-esque:
(Based off a recipe gleaned from Mehani's Kitchen)

5 oz spelt elbows, cooked (original called for 8 oz whole wheat spaghetti, cooked...any whole grain pasta should be great)
2 cups chopped, cooked turkey (I just used what I had and it was sliced for sammies. I'll make this again and buy a turkey steak to dice)
1 cup chopped onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 cups organic reduced salt chicken broth
1 can fat-free evaporated milk
1 bunch of Swiss chard, de-stemmed and chopped
1 large zucchini, diced and sauteed over high heat in a bit of olive oil til it gets a little color on it.
1 TBS olive oil
3 TBS cornstarch
grated cheese (Cave-aged Gruyere cheese = NOM)

Heat a large skillet you have a cover for. Add wet chard along with a little extra liquid (chicken broth or water) and braise for about 5 min, or until chard is wilted and tender. Drain and squeeze to get much of the liquid out of the chard. Chop after it's cooled a bit.

Saute up your zucchini in olive oil with a bit of salt and set aside.

Cook pasta for the minimum time if using spelt elbows (5 min), drain, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine cornstarch and chicken broth until smooth. Heat a small dab of butter and ~1Tbs of olive oil in a non-stick skillet.
Saute onion and garlic until tender. Add chicken broth/cornstarch mixture and cook until thickened.
Stir in milk and cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
Turn off heat and add chard, zucchini, turkey, and pasta, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the mix into a lightly greased casserole.
Sprinkle grated cheese over the turkey noodle mix, then cover with foil.
Bake at 350 for ~20, then remove foil and bake for ~10 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly.
Place about 6 inches from broiler, and broil until lightly browned.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Poblano Cornbread Muffins

I made these the other night to go with our favorite lentil skillet and greens dinner. We liked the Bob's Red Mill basic cornbread recipe that I usually make to go with the lentils in general, but I felt it was a little too dense. These muffins are less so due to the addition of 2 Tbs of melted butter and swapping out about 1/2 of the chewier medium grind Bob's cornmeal for a finer grind. I'll be making our cornbread with this recipe from now on, maybe adding corn niblets, chilies, or other additions depending on the meal. Just toss any extras in the freezer for quick snacks during the day.

Poblano Cornbread Muffins:

2 Tbs melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups low fat buttermilk
1 egg lightly beaten
1 Tbs agave nectar or honey
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup regular cornmeal
up to 1 cup Bob's Red Mill medium grind whole cornmeal
1-2 diced roasted (skinned) poblano peppers (ours didn't have any heat, you could always use jalapenos instead)

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease 10 of the muffin cups in a 12 cup muffin tin.
Slowly whisk buttermilk into melted butter, so as not to congeal big lumps of butter.
Add egg, agave, baking soda, and salt.
Mix in 1 cup of regular ground cornmeal, then start adding the medium grind until it becomes like a thick cake batter. You might not need all 2 cups worth.
Fold in poblano peppers and distribute among 10 standard muffin cups.
Bake for about 20-22 minutes. Let cool in cups for about 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack....or just stuff them in your face as quickly as you can, no waiting for cooling required.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Miso Marinated Halibut over Soba Noodles

We'll definitely be eating this again! Yum, yum, yum. I didn't want to toss the marinade so I went ahead and reduced it in a pan, then added a few more ingredients to round out the flavor. Worked great! Thanks Gayle for a total keeper. :-)

Just as an aside...wild Alaskan halibut falls into the "moderate" category for mercury levels and should just be eaten once a month at most if you're a healthy non-pregnant adult. I'm guessing that this would be great made with wild Alaskan salmon too, which you can eat as much of as you'd like.

Miso Marinated Halibut:
(marinade narrated to me from the back seat of our car by my godmother Gayle Donsky :-)

1/3 cup sake
1/3 cup mirin
1/3 cup miso (I used white)
3 Tbs brown sugar (I use less or it's a bit too sweet for...usually 1-2)
2 Tbs soy sauce
halibut steaks (any sturdy white fish will do)
canola oil/butter
chili-garlic sauce
rice wine vinegar
warm water
soba noodles
chopped green onions to garnish

Mix sake, mirin, miso, brown sugar, and soy sauce in a large ziplock bag, then add fish (I was going to use black cod, but the fresh wild halibut looked really good today).
Marinate for up to 12 hrs...I marinated for ~6.

Pour marinade into a skillet and cook until the sauce thickens and turns a nice coppery color.

Transfer sauce to a small bowl and add ~1-2 Tbs of rice wine vinegar, ~1 tsp of chili-garlic sauce, and some water to thin the sauce to taste and set aside.

Preheat broiler on high with the rack 6" away from the flame.
Melt a bit of butter and canola oil in an oven-safe skillet.
Place halibut skin side down in pan and sear for about 3-4 minutes, then place under broiler until done.

Boil the soba noodles in the last 4-5 minutes of the fish cooking.
Serve fish over noodles, dressed with a little sauce and topped with green onions.
Saute some snow peas to round out this wonderfully easy meal.
We gave this one 4 thumbs way up in our house.