Monday, March 30, 2009

(24) Penne with Mushroom Sauce

Back in the kitchen! Hooray! I have an entire menu planned for the week. Hold me too it, please!

This recipe was easy and made with all ingredients I had on hand. I didn't have a can of beef consomme, so I used beef bouillion, which turned out fine. I loved the way this recipe had you layer the flavor! Be sure not to boil the liquid down too far (which I did and had to improvise - oops!!). This was just a nice weekday dinner. I served with a green salad and a leftover glass of merlot! YUM!

I also want to tell you that this recipe goes on my "to tinker with" list. I want to try this again with double the sauce, double the mushrooms, and some beef chunks... maybe some caramelized onions too! So many possibilities!

Penne with Mushroom Sauce

Source: Cooking Light, AUGUST 2004
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Serve this rich dish with a warm baguette and the red wine you opened for the sauce.

2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (10 1/2-ounce) can beef consommé
1 (8-ounce) package mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups hot cooked penne rigate (8 ounces uncooked pasta)
Flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional)

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook 10 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in thyme, pepper, and consommé. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 3 minutes). Strain though a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Keep consommé mixture warm.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes. Add reserved consommé mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Combine water and cornstarch. Add cornstarch mixture and salt to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute. Combine sauce and pasta, tossing to coat. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 301 (21% from fat), Fat: 7.1g (sat 3.9g,mono 1.9g,poly 0.7g), Protein: 10.4g, Carbohydrate: 49.4g, Fiber: 3.1g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Iron: 3.2mg, Sodium: 441mg, Calcium: 32mg

Monday, March 16, 2009

(23) Rosemary-Merlot Flank Steak

Today was a total kitchen blitz!! We're having a luncheon on Wednesday at work and guess who's cooking? Yep. I made 2 trays of baked ziti and 2 lasagnas. PHEW. What a mess!! (and in case you're wondering why I made it all tonight and not tomorrow night, well I have my symphony chorus practice on Tuesday nights and I have to make 2 birthday cakes tomorrow before rehearsal! ACK! So it was pasta night tonight!)

In the middle of that I decided that we needed to have dinner (nice of me, huh?!) so I threw some potatoes in the oven to roast and started this flank steak marinating. WOW very tender and flavorful! We both really liked this dish. It wasn't super filling, but paired with those roasted potatoes and some steamed brussels sprouts (how much do you LOVE those steamfresh veggie packs?!?!), it was a definite winner dinner :)

Rosemary-Merlot Flank Steak

CL Comments: If you don't have dried Italian seasoning on hand, use 1/8 teaspoon dried basil and 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano. You can also substitute 1 teaspoon dried rosemary for the fresh. Prepare marinade up to a day in advance, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces steak and 1/4 cup sauce)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, September 2003

1 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup low-salt beef broth
3/4 cup Merlot or other dry red wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1) Preheat grill or broiler.

2) Combine first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add steak; seal bag. Marinate in refrigerator 20 minutes, turning once. Remove steak from bag, reserving marinade.

3) Place steak on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices; keep warm.

4) While steak cooks, combine reserved marinade, tomato paste, and mustard in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring well with a whisk. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 7 minutes). Serve the sauce with steak.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 203 (39% from fat), Fat: 8.8g (sat 3.6g,mono 3.5g,poly 0.5g), Protein: 23.8g, Carbohydrate: 6.1g, Fiber: 1.1g, Cholesterol: 54mg, Iron: 2.7mg, Sodium: 445mg, Calcium: 32mg

Thursday, March 5, 2009

(22) Spinach Manicotti

Quick and easy and quite tasty. I'll definitely make this again, but next time add a little more garlic to the filling and a little red pepper to the marinara!

Spinach Manicotti

Source: Betty Crocker
Yield: 7 servings (2 manicotti each)

Comments: Surprise! Less than 10 ingredients and just 15 minutes prep is all you need to whip up this Italian pasta dish. Follow the do-ahead tip and you'll have a doable weeknight dinner.

1 box (8 oz) uncooked manicotti shells (14 shells)
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend (8 oz)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1 box (10 oz) cut spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 jar (25.5 oz) Muir Glen® pasta sauce (any flavor)

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Cook manicotti as directed on box. Rinse with cool water; drain well.

2. In medium bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups of the Italian cheese blend, the red pepper, ricotta cheese, spinach, garlic and egg.

3. In bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce. Spoon ricotta mixture into manicotti; place over sauce in dish. Pour remaining sauce over manicotti.

4. Cover tightly with foil; bake about 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling. Uncover dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Italian cheese blend. Bake uncovered 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Increase first bake time to about 45 minutes.

Substitution:The Italian cheese blend adds a nice flavor twist to this dish, but you could use mozzarella instead.
Do-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 24 hours ahead. Just cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. You can expect about 15 minutes extra baking time.

Nutrition Information:
1 Serving (2 Manicotti): Calories 380 (Calories from Fat 130); Total Fat 15g (Saturated Fat 8g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 80mg; Sodium 770mg; Total Carbohydrate 41g (Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 6g); Protein 22g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 70%; Vitamin C 6%; Calcium 45%; Iron 15% Exchanges: 2 Starch; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 2 1/2 Medium-Fat Meat Carbohydrate Choices: 3
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cooking Club Wrapup - Basque Cuisine

I realize that I just posted a lot of recipes, some of which have already moved to the next page, so here's the wrap up of tonight's dinner!!

Basque Mushroom Toasts
Spanish Ham Croquettes
The Columbia's Red Sangria

Main Meal
Basque Salad
Basque Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Tomatoes
Basque Vegetable Rice

Sweet Endings
Mocha Coffee Basque
Basque Cake with Cherry Preserves