Thursday, May 29, 2008

Shrimp Pad Thai

I called this dish Pad Thai because that is what the recipe it came from called it. This bears no relation to a real Pad Thai, but it is tasty in its own right. It'll do for Thai in a pinch.

I made mine with shrimp, but you could do this with anything from tofu to beef to chicken. All in all, it's a pretty good recipe.

8 ounces wide rice stick noodles (Banh Pho)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or Sriracha)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
3/4 cup (1-inch) sliced green onions
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

Place noodles in a large bowl. Add hot water to cover; let stand 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Combine ketchup, sugar, fish sauce, and pepper in a small bowl.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; sauté 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove shrimp from pan; keep warm.

Heat 4 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add eggs; cook 30 seconds or until soft-scrambled, stirring constantly. Add sprouts, green onions, and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add noodles, ketchup mixture, and shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until heated.

Sprinkle with peanuts.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tangy Orange Glaze

1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Tabasco (optional)

Stir together; add Tabasco to taste.

Apply during the last few minutes of grilling or roasting to form a sticky glaze.

--Adapted from Real Simple magazine

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chipotle Shrimp

This is one of my new favorite recipes. We served the shrimp as tacos, but it would be just as good over rice. It's got a bit of a kick, so we garnished the tacos with cucumber, avocado, and green onions. They were great. This is a good recipe, and it would work just as well with virtually any other kind of meat - boneless chicken thighs would be perfect.

1 can (15 oz) fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
2 or 3 chipotle chiles en adobo
1 tablespoon chipotle canning sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb. medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

Pour the drained tomatoes into a blender or food processor. Add the chipotle chiles, and process till smooth.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and stir until golden, about 1 minute. Pour in the tomato mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add enough wine to achieve a light tomato sauce consistency. Bring back to a boil. Taste, and season to taste with salt.

Add the shrimp to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp a cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro.

--Adapted from Rick Bayless' excellent cookbook, Mexican Everyday

Herb Rub

2 tablespoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, cracked
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

--Adapted from Real Simple magazine

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Texas Rub

If you don't have all 3 types of paprika, simply substitute with the type you do have. This would be good on pretty much any kind of meat or vegetable.

1 tablespoon hot paprika
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground coffee
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

--Adapted from Real Simple magazine

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Asiago-Bacon Gratin

While this might technically be a side dish, it is hearty enough to stand as a main dish. If you peel the potatoes, and slice them thin, the potato slices will meld into a solid mass. While this is very tasty, I like the potato slices to remain distinct in mine. So I don't peel the potatoes, and I cut them by hand into larger pieces.

1 1/2 pounds peeled Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon salt, divided
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh 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. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. 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, nutmeg 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.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cheesy Corn-on-the-Cob

1/2 cup mayonnaise
5 ears corn, husks and silk removed
1 cup shredded Parmesan
Chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Prepare grill. Brush a thin layer of mayonnaise on corn. Sprinkle the corn with cheese, chili powder, salt and pepper. Wrap each corn with foil and place on the grill. Turn occasionally and cook for about 10 minutes (until kernels begin to brown). Serve warm.

--Adapted from Paula Deen

Spicy Curry Salmon

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon hot curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
Cooking spray

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a fork. Rub mustard mixture evenly over each fillet. Place fillets, skin side down, on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Do not be afraid of the hamdog. If you follow my simple steps, you can easily tame this mythical beast.

Step 1: Assemble your ingredients.

Step 2: Cook your hot dogs. Remember, garbage in, garbage out. So spring for the good stuff.

Step 3: Place 1/4 pound hamburger on a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, shape the meat into 1/4 inch thick square patty.

Step 4: Coat the hot dog in a thin layer of cornstarch to encourage sticking. Place a piece of cheese on the meat, place the hot dog almost to the edge of the beef.

Step 5: Roll up snuggly, using the paper to help tighten. Close up the ends.

Step 6: Wrap tightly in bacon. It will take 3 pieces of bacon. Insert skewers to facilitate moving the hamdog around.

Step 7: Mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dredge the formed hamdog in the breadcrumb mixture.

Step 8: Place the hamdog on a rack over a lined sheet pan.

Step 9: Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Step 10: Eat. But get bigger buns.

If you follow my easy steps, you too can experience the artery clogging goodness of the
hamdog. Just don't use ketchup on perfection.

It is surprisingly good. Traditionally, this might be served with chili and a fried egg, but trust me... it's enough as it is.

Layered Bean Dip

Very good. It would be easy to dress this up with additional layers to make it even better.

1 (16-ounce) can fat-free refried beans
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 cup bottled salsa
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
Chopped cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°.Combine beans; spread in an 8-inch square baking dish. Spread sour cream over beans; top with salsa and cheese. Cover; bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes or until bubbly. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Linguine with Clam Sauce

We like simple pasta dishes, and this is one of the best we've tried. It has a very clean taste (and the fact it is so easy to prepare is a big plus).

1 (9-ounce) package fresh linguine
4 bacon slices
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 (6 1/2-ounce) cans minced clams, drained with liquid reserved
1/2 cup frozen green peas

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

While pasta cooks, place bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and crumble. Reserve 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Add garlic and basil; sauté for 30 seconds. Add bacon, lemon juice, pepper, and clam liquid; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add clams and frozen green peas. Stir to combine; return to boil.

Combine the pasta and clam mixture, and toss well.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

White Bean Bruschetta

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste

Gently toss together beans, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, vinegar and red pepper flakes in a medium-size bowl. Let the mixture stand, covered, for several hours at room temperature.

In the meantime, slice bread into 1/3 inch thick slices. Brush with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

Check for salt, adjust to taste, just a pinch or two. Roughly mash about half of the beans to make a chunky spread. Spoon the beans onto the slices and serve at room temperature.

Sweet Broccoli Slaw Salad

2 (12-ounce) packages broccoli slaw mix
1 cup light or regular mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans (optional)

Rinse broccoli slaw mix with cold water; drain well.

Stir together mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar in a large bowl; add slaw, onion, and dried cranberries, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill 8 hours. Sprinkle with bacon and, if desired, pecans just before serving.

--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Potato Salad

3 pounds red potatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 red or green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste

Combine potatoes and water to cover in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil, and cook 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool. Cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes.

Stir together olive oil and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl, blending well. Add potatoes, onions, and remaining ingredients, gently tossing to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Cilantro Slaw

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup dijon mustard
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 (12-ounce) package broccoli slaw mix

Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli slaw, tossing to coat.

--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Asparagus with Lemon-Garlic Gremolata

2 pounds fresh asparagus
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 garlic clove, minced

Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Steam asparagus, covered, 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Plunge asparagus into ice water; drain. Place asparagus on a large platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil.

Combine parsley and the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle over asparagus, tossing gently.

--Adapted From Cooking Light magazine

Green Beans with bacon-Balsamic Viniagrette

2 pounds green beans
2 bacon slices
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Cook green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well; set aside.Cook bacon in a small skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet. Crumble; set aside. Add shallots to bacon fat in skillet; sauté 1 minute. Add almonds; sauté 1 minute. Remove and let cool. Add sugar and vinegar; stir until sugar dissolves. Add crumbled bacon.Pour vinaigrette over beans, tossing gently to coat.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Spicy Pimento Cheese

1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
1/2 (12-oz.) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
2 teaspoons green onion (white parts only)
2 teaspoons coarse-ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
2 (10-oz.) blocks sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 small jar chopped pimento
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine mayo, roasted red pepper and green onions in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.

Mix mustard, chipotle, and mayo together.

Add cheese and pimentos to mayo mixture, stir to combine.

--Adapted from Southern Living magazine