Sunday, September 27, 2009

(88) Tequila Lime Tart

Tequila Lime Tart

This almost tasted like a key lime cheesecake. Delicious texture, flavor, and appearance! The crust was so good!

Source: Guy's Big Bite (
Yield: 8 servings

For the crust:

10 ounces vanilla wafers
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup butter, melted

For the filling:

2 egg whites
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup tequila
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
4 egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Fresh whipped cream, for serving

For the crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Add wafers and pine nuts to food processor, pulse until well ground up. Pour into bowl and add melted butter. Mix by hand, with a wooden spoon, and press into 10-inch tart pan. (reserve 4 tablespoons of crumbs to sprinkle on top when done baking.)

Place tart pan in the oven and bake for 8 minutes.

For the filling:

In a mixing bowl add egg whites and sugar, beat until there are soft peaks.

In another mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Fold in the egg whites. Pour into tart shell and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Let cool before cutting and serve with fresh whipped cream.

(87) Sweet Potato Fries with Malt Vinegar

Sweet Potato Fries with Malt Vinegar

Our cooking club member Kevin was in charge of cutting fries. He looked like he might pass out, he cut so many sweet potatoes. All we could think was WOW that's a lot of fries. Um, no. We ate every last one of them!!! These were great! Thanks for all the chopping, Kevin :)

Source: Guy's Big Bite (
Yield: 4-6 servings

4 cups peeled and julienned sweet potatoes
3 cups vegetable oil
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1 teaspoon granulated onion powder
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons malt vinegar

Add the julienned potatoes to a bowl filled with ice water while you heat the oil.

Preheat the oil in a cast iron skillet or fryer to 325 degrees F. In a small bowl, add all the spices and combine well.

Remove the potatoes from the ice water and pat dry with paper towels. Fry the potatoes, in batches, for 3 to 4 minutes to cook the inside. Remove the potatoes from the oil to a bowl and bring the oil up to 350 degrees F. Add the potatoes and fry again, in batches, this time to cook the outside until golden brown. (They will not achieve the texture of a French fry, but will have a nice color and be slightly crispy).

Remove the potatoes from the oil to a paper towel lined plate. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl or platter. Sprinkle generously with the spice mix and sprinkle with malt vinegar. Serve immediately.

(86) Red Rocker Margarita Chicken

Red Rocker Margarita Chicken

These sandwiches were SO FREAKING GOOD (yes, I am yelling!). Wow. There were 2 changes/adjustments that we made. First, I used jarred roasted red peppers instead of roasting my own. When you fry these things up, oh heaven. Get a bib. You will be drooling (they're that good!). Secondly, we used bagged cole slaw mix vs. cutting our own cabbage. I highly recommend these sandwiches! They were so moist and flavorful!

Yield: 4 sandwiches
Source: Guy's Big Bite (

2 jalapenos, thinly sliced rounds
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
4 tablespoons tequila (recommended: Cabo Wabo Reposado)
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 limes, juiced
2 teaspoons salt, divided
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 red bell peppers, roasted, skinned, seeded, julienne
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 cups canola oil
4 Kaiser rolls
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces provolone cheese, sliced

In a medium mixing bowl add jalapenos, cilantro, tequila, garlic, red chili flakes, cumin, oregano, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken breasts and red bell peppers to resealable gallon bag and pour in marinade. Let marinate in refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours.

Heat grill to high. Remove chicken from marinade, and add chicken to the grill.

In a small mixing bowl add flour, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the granulated garlic.

Heat the canola oil to 350 degrees F.

Remove bell peppers from marinade and dredge in flour and fry until crispy. When done drain on paper towels.

Cook chicken thoroughly on both sides, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes Remove chicken from the bone and thinly slice or shred.

Lightly toast rolls. Spread mayonnaise evenly among the rolls and then stack evenly with the cabbage, onion, chicken breast, fried peppers, and top with cheese.

(85) Italian Stuffed Jalapenos

Ok, let's talk about this recipe. I have a few suggestions if you try to make this!
1) PLEASE wear rubber gloves when you cut the jalapenos. We had our first ever cooking club catastrophe. Poor Dee, I don't think her fingertips will ever be the same.

2) Cook the peppers long enough. They should look kind of soft when they come out of the oven. If they're not, they'll be hotter than fire. Ours didn't cook long enough and although we LOVE hot, we couldn't eat them. Sad :(

3) The filling for this is AWESOME!!! We doubled the recipe, so it made way too much filling. We had leftovers today on a toasted bun, open face, with cheese melted on top. HEAVEN!

Italian Stuffed Jalapenos

Source: Guy's Big Bite (
Yield: 4-6 servings

15 jalapenos, preferably red, cut in 1/2, seeded and deveined
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 pounds mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups mascarpone or cream cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and set a rack in the middle of the oven.

Place jalapenos on a sheet tray and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Turn broiler on medium.

Heat the oil in a medium saute pan. Add the sausage and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic and cook to soften for about 5 minutes. Remove and place in a large bowl. Cool to room temperature, then add mascarpone, and Parmesan. Mix ingredients thoroughly and season with salt and pepper.

Place approximately 1 tablespoon of mixture into each jalapeno half, and top with 1/2 teaspoon of mozzarella cheese.

Place the sheet tray of stuffed peppers in oven and broil until mozzarella cheese melts.

(84) Garlic Aioli

Garlic Aioli

This goes with the Beer-Battered Asparagus recipe, but honestly this has so many uses. It would be great over some grilled fish or as a dip for vegetables.

Source: Guy's Big Bite (
Yield: 1 cup

1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 lemon, zested
4 tablespoons finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a food processor, combine all ingredients well. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

(83) Beer-battered Asparagus with Garlic Aioli

Beer-battered Asparagus with Garlic Aioli

Let me tell you something - these were GREAT!!! The aioli was off the hook good (to quote Guy). We ended up putting it on our chicken sandwiches with dinner. YUM! I had a small dish to soak the asparagus in, so I used more like 4 cups of buttermilk. I think you should just adjust it to what you need. Make sure the asparagus is covered completely while soaking.

Source: Guy's Big Bite (
Yield: 12 servings (but this depends on your asparagus size)

1 bunch medium asparagus, ends trimmed
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
3/4 cup beer, lager or pale ale
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups peanut oil
Sea salt
Garlic Aioli, recipe follows

In shallow pan, soak asparagus in buttermilk 12 to 24 hours. Remove from buttermilk, but do not rinse.

In a large bowl, combine well the egg yolks, beer, flour, cornmeal, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. In large deep sided pot, heat oil to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a large clean bowl with an electric mixer, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold beaten egg whites into batter mixture. Dip spears, 1 at a time into batter, then carefully lay in oil. Do not overcrowd pan. Fry in batches, if necessary. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, turning the spears with tongs to ensure even cooking. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with sea salt, to taste. Serve immediately with Aioli.

(82) Red Apple Hooch Bowla

Red Apple Hooch Bowla

This is the perfect fall drink! The cinnamon, apple, and cranberry flavors work great together and the whiskey taste is not strong at all - but gives it a nice grownup kick! The simple syrup is easy to make and makes your house smell wonderful at the same time! Please try this recipe!

Source: Guy's Big Bite (
Serves: 4-6 drinks

5 ounces whiskey, premium quality
2 red apples, cored and sliced, plus more for garnish
4 ounces Cinnamon Simple Syrup, recipe follows
2 ounces apple schnapps
1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
Splash sweet and sour mix
Cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Fill a large pitcher or bowl with ice. Add whiskey, apples, cinnamon syrup and apple schnapps. Pour in cranberry juice and splash of sweet and sour mix.

Pout into glasses and garnish with cinnamon sticks and red apple slices.

Cinnamon Simple Syrup:

2 cups water
4 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 cups sugar

In a small sauce pot add water and cinnamon and bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, and strain out cinnamon sticks. Bring water back to a boil, add sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups

(82) Ginger Margaritas

Ginger Margaritas

I made a triple batch of this simple syrup. The peeling of the ginger is a little tedious, but worth it! These are delish! I added a little more tequila and a little more lime juice than recommended. The ginger flavor was a little strong otherwise. Such a great twist on the normal margarita!!

Source: Guy's Big Bite (
Yield: 1 drink (but the syrup you make will make more than 1 drink!)

3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 large hand ginger, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch coins/chunks
Bar sugar
Freshly grated nutmeg
2 ounces good quality tequila or reposado (recommended: Cabo Wabo)
1 lime, juiced, plus lime wedges for garnish

Bring sugar and water up to a light simmer and cook until all of the sugar is dissolved. Add ginger and steep for 30 minutes. Pour ginger-simple syrup into blender and puree. Strain out pulp and store in a tightly sealed jar or bottle. Will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Pour some bar sugar onto small plate and grate a pinch of nutmeg on top, mix well.

Add tequila, lime juice, 5 ounces ginger-simple syrup and ice to cocktail shaker and give it a good shake. Run lime wedge around rim of glass and dip in sugar/nutmeg mixture, add ice and pour in contents of shaker, grate a little nutmeg on top and serve with a wedge of lime.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cooking Club Menu

I'm a member of a cooking club. I can't even tell you how many years we've been cooking together? 4 maybe? Time is flying and I've lost track. We rotate months between the houses. The hostess picks the menu and buys the groceries. Everyone pays their part (it seems to have settled right on $20/pp which is a steal for a huge meal + lots of booze!). Tonight we are hosting.

I struggled with the menu. I really wanted to do Sardinian food after seeing the latest episode of No Reservations (I LOVE THAT SHOW. Anthony Bourdain is awesome!), but I just couldn't seem to get it together. So rather than a cuisine as a theme, I went with a chef. I enjoy watching Guy on the Food Network, so we are having BIG BITE NIGHT (I think it deserves to be in all caps, don't you?!). I can't wait!

- Ginger Margaritas
- Red Apple Hooch Bowla (this is a whiskey/cranberry/fallish drink - sounds good!)
- Beer, beer, beer

- Italian Stuffed Jalapenos
- Beer-Battered Asparagus with Garlic Aioli

- Red Rocker Margarita Chicken (sandwiches)
- Sweet Potato Fries with Malt Vinegar
- some kind of fruit (whatever looks good when I shop!)

- Tequila Lime Tart

So now I ask you - if you cook with others, how do you put your menus together? Do you have any fun suggestions for me for the future? Any questions for me about how we do it? I really encourage everyone to get together to cook! We've had so much fun and learned so much over the last few years!

Friday, September 25, 2009

(81) Chicken and Cashews

When I was pregnant with our daughter, I was SO sick (for almost the entire pregnancy). I ended up gaining only 9 lbs and she was 7 lbs 7 oz at birth. Anyway, one of the things I'm STILL repulsed by is the smell of Chinese food (takeout). This is really sad for my husband, who loves the stuff. So he gets really excited when I make Chinese food at home!

This dinner was as tasty as any takeout. My only complaint is that it was not very filling if you make this 4 servings. We ended up only making it 3 servings and that was fine. Served with some rice and an egg roll. Delish!

Chicken and Cashews

Source: Cooking Light, MAY 2009
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)

Top tender chicken with an inspired Asian sauce loaded with cashews, ginger, honey, and sesame oil. Pair this entrée with a simple rice pilaf.

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons dry sherry
4 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped green onions (about 3 green onions)
1/4 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted cashews

1. Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sherry, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and chicken in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch, broth, oyster sauce, and honey in a small bowl.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from pan. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Return chicken mixture to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth mixture. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with green onions and cashews.

Rice pilaf: Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water, 1/2 cup long-grain rice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; stir in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro.

CALORIES 257 ; FAT 9g (sat 1.9g,mono 4.2g,poly 2.3g); CHOLESTEROL 63mg; CALCIUM 45mg; CARBOHYDRATE 17g; SODIUM 584mg; PROTEIN 26g; FIBER 1.9g; IRON 2mg

(80) Ancho-Rubbed Flank Steak

I got so excited to eat this that I forgot to take pictures. Oops! VERY flavorful and tender. This goes into the super easy/fast category, too! I served with mashed sweet potatoes and broccoli. This one's a keeper!!

PS: Check at Penzey's if your local store doesn't carry the ancho chili powder!

Ancho-Rubbed Flank Steak

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces)
Source: Cooking Light, MAY 2009

Make a main dish with ingredients almost entirely from the pantry. Roasted, simply seasoned potato wedges and a tartly dressed salad topped with smoky bacon complement this satisfying main dish.

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; rub evenly over both sides of steak.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes; cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.

CALORIES 175 ; FAT 7.8g (sat 2.6g,mono 3.8g,poly 0.5g); CHOLESTEROL 37mg; CALCIUM 19mg; CARBOHYDRATE 0.8g; SODIUM 286mg; PROTEIN 23.8g; FIBER 0.1g; IRON 1.5mg

Sunday, September 20, 2009

(79) Fresh Tomato, Sausage, and Pecorino Pasta

This was another superfast and delish dinner. It was also SUPER filling. 2 cups of pasta!?! Sign me up!! If I could make one suggestion, it would be to let the dish sit after you add the pasta in... just let it sit for like 5 minutes so the sauce can soak in!

Fresh Tomato, Sausage, and Pecorino Pasta

Ripe, late-summer tomatoes are juicy and delicious in this entrée, with no seeding or peeling necessary.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 2 cups pasta mixture, 1 tablespoon cheese, and 1 tablespoon basil)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, September 2009

8 ounces uncooked penne
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup vertically sliced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, chopped
6 tablespoons grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage and onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring to crumble sausage. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, 2 tablespoons cheese, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and basil.

Wine note: Italian sausage craves a clean-tasting wine with the substance to complement the rest of the dish without overwhelming it. The smoky 2006 San Lorenzo Verdicchio Vigna Delle Oche ($23) is a great choice. -Gary Vaynerchuck

Nutritional Information
Calories: 389, Fat: 10.7g (sat 4g,mono 4.5g,poly 0.7g), Protein: 21.6g, Carbohydrate: 53.5g, Fiber: 4.5g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Iron: 3.3mg, Sodium: 595mg, Calcium: 159mg

9/20/09 - This week's menu

I didn't have as much success as I had hoped last week. We got busy and ate on the Brunswick Stew most of the end of the week. So part of my menu is carrying over!

Sunday - Fresh Tomato, Sausage, and Pecorino Pasta (CL), salads
Monday - Shrimp Etouffe w/Rice (CL), fruit
Tuesday - grilled chicken quesadillas (chorus night)
Wednesday - Ancho Rubbed Flank Steak (CL), mashed sweet potatoes, something green
Thursday - Chicken and Cashews (CL), rice, egg rolls
Friday - Breakfast! We'll have pancakes, eggs, and bacon! YUM!

What are you cooking this week!! Reply with your menu for inspiration for others!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

(78) Mushroom-Herb Chicken

Truly a 30 minute meal, this recipe is filling and delicious!! My chicken breasts were HUGE but didn't take too long too cook. My only suggestion/tweak for this recipe is to cook the mushrooms and shallots in the sherry for more than a minute. Our mushrooms tasted a little boozy (is that a word?!), so don't let the shallots burn, but sautee for longer than the 10 seconds that the recipe suggests! I served with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Mushroom-Herb Chicken

Marjoram is oregano's mild cousin. Crush the dried leaves to release their delicate flavor. For this recipe, use the largest shallots you can find; three large shallots should yield 1 cup of slices. Refrigerated mashed potatoes and broccoli complete the meal.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and 1/3 cup mushroom sauce)
Source: Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast, Oxmoor House, APRIL 2009

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
3 large shallots, peeled
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
1/3 cup dry sherry
1 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

1. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/3-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; coat with cooking spray. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until browned.

2. While chicken cooks, cut shallots vertically into thin slices. Remove chicken from pan. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and shallots to pan; coat vegetables with cooking spray. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in sherry and marjoram. Return chicken to pan; cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and chicken is done. Transfer chicken to a platter. Pour mushroom mixture over chicken; sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 226 (10% from fat), Fat: 3g (sat 0.6g,mono 0.5g,poly 0.6g), Protein: 41.6g, Carbohydrate: 5g, Fiber: 1g, Cholesterol: 99mg, Iron: 1.9mg, Sodium: 262mg, Calcium: 33mg

Food photography

Now that I've got a new camera (a cute little red Canon SD780IS Elph!), I have no excuse not to take pictures of dinner. HOWEVER, I am not a pro by any means. I have been doing some googling and reading online for tips, but I'd love to hear your food photography tips or favorite websites to read up on this!

So please and thank you - leave a comment for me and hook me up with your best info :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

(77) Barbecue Sirloin and Blue Cheese Salad

YUM! This was easy and very flavorful. I didn't measure the lettuce and used half of the dressing on 1 salad. I'll just make more for the leftovers. Delish! Please serve this with crusty bread to sop up the leftover cheese bits and vinaigrette!!

Barbecue Sirloin and Blue Cheese Salad

Lean sirloin steak sits atop a bed of fresh veggies for an easy weeknight main-dish salad. Top with crumbles of rich blue cheese to bring out the bold flavors in the homemade vinaigrette.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups salad, 3 ounces steak, and 2 tablespoons cheese)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, September 2009

2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 pound lean sirloin steak, trimmed
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups torn Bibb lettuce
3/4 cup thinly sliced peeled cucumber
1 cup red bell pepper strips
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese

1. Combine chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; rub evenly over both sides of steak.

2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak to pan; cook 5 minutes. Turn steak over; cook 4 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Place steak on a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes. Cut across grain into thin slices.

3. Combine vinegar, mustard, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring with a whisk. Combine lettuce, cucumber, bell pepper, and shallots in a large bowl. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad; toss gently to coat. Top salad with steak and cheese.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 269, Fat: 12.4g (sat 4.9g,mono 5.4g,poly 0.8g), Protein: 29.5g, Carbohydrate: 9.4g, Fiber: 2.6g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Iron: 2.8mg, Sodium: 671mg, Calcium: 141mg

Brunswick Stew

This recipe doesn't get a number because it's anything but new to me. This recipe comes out of Virginia Hospitality cookbook. My mom has been making it for years and it's my perfect comfort food. Served with some good cornbread (Jiffy brand is my favorite!), this is an excellent meal. It makes a TON, but it's worth the effort. Please don't skip the chicken cooking part!

Brunswick Stew
Source: Virginia Hospitality Cookbook – pg: 50

Amy’s Comments: I find myself adding water as this soup cooks. It's not meant to be super brothy, but if you don't add a little water here and there, you'll have a dried mess!

Recipe Comments: Vary amount of water for thick or soupy stew. Add a cup of chicken bouillon after the first or second serving (days).

1 whole chicken, cut up
1 onion, quartered
2 ribs celery, diced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
16.5 oz white shoepeg corn
10 oz frozen small butterbeans (aka lima beans to you northerners!)
1 pound canned tomatoes
2 small potatoes, cubed
1/3 cup ketchup
2-3 tbsp. vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 tsp Tabasco
1/4 tsp marjoram
2-3 tbsp. butter

1. Place chicken in Dutch oven and add enough water to cover well. Add onion, celery, salt, and pepper. Boil until chicken comes off bones easily. (30-45 minutes, in my experience)

2. Remove chicken to cool and add corn, butterbeans, tomatoes, potatoes, ketchup, vinegar, and brown sugar; cook 2 hours or until tender. (I normally only go about an hour here, mostly because I can't wait any longer!!)

3. Remove chicken from bones and add to vegetables along with Worcestershire, Tobasco, marjoram, and butter. (I normally let it cook 30 more minutes from this point to really meld the flavors)

Serves: 6-8 (more like 8-10 in my book)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

9/13/09 - This week's menu

Back in the kitchen! YES! We've been on the road for the last 2 weeks and I'm pooped! But I used some of the car time to plan out this week's menu! Here's what's cookin in my kitchen...

Sunday - Brunswick Stew (VA Hospitality) and cornbread
Monday - Barbeque Sirloin and Blue Cheese Salad (CL), baguette
Tuesday - leftover stew, cornbread (chorus night!)
Wednesday - Mushroom-Herb Chicken (CL), mashed potatoes, broccoli
Thursday - Fresh Tomato, Sausage, and Pecorino Pasta (CL), salads
Friday - Shrimp Etouffe w/Rice (CL), fruit

Are you cooking this week? What's on your menu??

Thursday, September 3, 2009

(76) Two-Corn Polenta with Tomatoes, Basil, and Cheese

Polenta is not something that I make very often, but this recipe caught my attention. The flavors work really well together and the texture is great! Please, whatever you do, don't use dried basil as a substitute! This recipe needs the real stuff!! Oh and I don't know that I've ever bought a bag of instant polenta. I just use plain old yellow cornmeal!

Two-Corn Polenta with Tomatoes, Basil, and Cheese

Corn kernels and polenta layer texture and flavor in this dish. Serve with green beans and grilled pork.

Yield: 7 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, June 2008

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion (2 medium)
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup instant dry polenta
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in broth, corn, and garlic; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Slowly add polenta, stirring with a whisk until polenta is thick (about 5 minutes). Add cheese, stirring to melt. Stir in salt and pepper. Remove from heat; sprinkle with tomato and basil. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 194 (20% from fat), Fat: 4.3g (sat 1.5g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.4g), Protein: 8.9g, Carbohydrate:31.6g, Fiber: 4.6g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Iron: 1.1mg, Sodium: 457mg, Calcium:

(75) Pork Tenderloin with Paprika Spice Rub

Quick and easy weeknight meal. The rub is very flavorful!

Pork Tenderloin with Paprika Spice Rub

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, November 2008

1 tablespoon Paprika Spice Blend
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 500°.

2. Rub Paprika Spice Blend over pork. Place pork in a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 500° for 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155°.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 191 (26% from fat), Fat: 5.6g (sat 1.9g,mono 2.2g,poly 0.5g), Protein: 32.1g, Carbohydrate: 0.9g, Fiber: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 90mg, Iron: 1.8mg, Sodium: 284mg, Calcium: 10mg

(74) Paprika Spice Blend

Delicious on the pork that I'm about to post. I will have to find some other uses for the leftovers!

Paprika Spice Blend

Source: Cooking Light Magazine, November 2008
Yield: About 1 cup (serving size: 1 tablespoon)

1/4 cup paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder

1. Combine all ingredients; store in an airtight container.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 19 (19% from fat), Fat: 0.4g (sat 0.0g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.0g), Protein: 0.7g, Carbohydrate: 3.5g, Fiber: 1.1g, Cholesterol: 0.0mg, Iron: 0.6mg, Sodium: 882mg, Calcium: 14mg