Saturday, February 28, 2009

Crab Dip

1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green onion
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 (7-ounce) cans lump crab, drained

Combine the sour cream and cream cheese in a medium bowl, and beat at medium speed of a mixer until smooth. Stir in celery and remaining ingredients. Cover and chill.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Cranberry Meatballs

1 (16-ounce) can cranberry sauce
1 (12-ounce) jar chili sauce
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 pkg frozen mini-meatballs

Stir together cranberry and chili sauces and next 5 ingredients in a slowcooker. Whisk until smooth. Add meatballs; cook 3 to 4 hours on high.

--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Country-Fried Steak with Mushroom Gravy

Seriously, this is a Cooking Light recipe.

3 tablespoons fat-free milk
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (4-ounce) sirloin cubed steaks
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cups mushrooms, quartered
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, low-salt beef broth

Combine 3 tablespoons milk and egg whites in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Combine 1/3 cup flour and next 4 ingredients (1/3 cup flour through pepper) in a shallow dish. Working with 1 steak at a time, dip in egg mixture; dredge in flour mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining steaks, egg mixture, and flour mixture.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove steaks from pan; keep warm.

Add mushrooms to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Combine 2 1/2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and broth, stirring with a whisk. Add broth mixture to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Spoon over steaks. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Chicken Parmesan

Tomato sauce:
1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil (about 1/4 cup)
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups chopped red bell pepper
1 shallot, finely minced
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cooking spray
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 cups hot cooked linguine (about 6 ounces uncooked pasta)

To prepare tomato sauce, combine sun-dried tomatoes and water in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes or until soft. Drain and finely chop tomatoes.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sun-dried tomatoes, bell pepper, and shallot; sauté 7 minutes. Stir in canned tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in parsley, basil, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and garlic.

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare chicken, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, Parmesan, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a shallow dish. Place each breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Dip each breast half in egg white; dredge in flour mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes on each side or until golden. Arrange in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour the tomato sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Serve over linguine.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding

1 3/4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed Hawaiian sweet bread (about half the loaf)
2/3 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon Kahlúa (coffee-flavored liqueur)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 350°.

Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until toasted. Remove bread from oven; decrease oven temperature to 325°.

Combine milk and next 5 ingredients (milk through egg) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add bread, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Divide half of bread mixture evenly between 2 (6-ounce) ramekins or custard cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with half of chocolate. Divide remaining bread mixture between ramekins; top with remaining chocolate.

Place ramekins in an 8-inch square baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 325° for 35 minutes or until set. Serve each pudding warm with 1 tablespoon whipped topping.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Roasted Lobster Tails with Ginger Dipping Sauce

3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon water
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon plum sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
3/4 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger

2 (8-ounce) frozen lobster tails, thawed
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Sliced green onions (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°.

To prepare sauce, combine mustard and water in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in soy sauce, plum sauce, sherry, and ginger; set aside.

To prepare lobster, make a lengthwise cut through the top of each lobster shell using kitchen shears, cutting to, but not through, lobster meat; press shell open. Place the lobster tails, cut sides up, in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Combine the oils and pepper, and spoon over the lobster meat.

Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until the lobster meat turns opaque. Serve lobster with sauce, and garnish with onions, if desired.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Pepper Jelly Bruschetta

36 (1/4-inch-thick) French baguette slices
1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (2 oz.) crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup pepper jelly

1. Broil French baguette slices on a baking sheet 3 inches from heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly toasted. Remove baking sheet, and reduce oven temperature to 350°.

2. Stir together cream cheese and blue cheese in a small bowl until well blended. Spread a heaping 1/2 tsp. cream cheese mixture onto each baguette slice; top each with a rounded 1/2 tsp. pepper jelly.

3. Bake at 350° on middle rack for 8 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Asparagus Salad with Roasted Red Peppers and Capers

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped roasted red peppers
2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomato
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound asparagus spears, steamed and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons capers

Place 1 tablespoon parsley, shallots, salt, and garlic in food processor; pulse until mixture forms a smooth paste. Stir in roasted red peppers and tomato. Add vinegar, oil, mustard, and black pepper; stir well to combine. Place asparagus in a shallow dish, and drizzle with pepper mixture. Gently toss asparagus and pepper mixture, using a serving fork and spoon. Place asparagus on a serving platter. Sprinkle capers, and remaining tablespoon of parsley evenly over asparagus.

Champagne Pomegranate Cocktail

4 cups crushed ice
2 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup ginger ale
1/4 cup brandy
1 (750-milliliter) bottle Champagne or sparkling wine

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a pitcher. Pour about 1 cup of the Champagne mixture into each of 8 glasses. Garnish with seeds, if desired.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Calzones

1 cup part-skim ricotta
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
3 ounces lean ham, chopped
6 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and chopped
1 (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine first 9 ingredients.

Divide dough evenly into 5 pieces; pat each dough piece into a 5-inch circle. Spoon about 1/2 cup spinach mixture onto half of each circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Fold dough over filling until edges almost meet. Bring bottom edge over top edge; crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim. Place calzones on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 450° for 12-14 minutes or until browned.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse a la Orange

On the list of things I never thought I'd say, "This chocolate tofu tastes pretty good!" However, it's true. The chocolate tofu is really quite good.

1/2 cup sugar
7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (orange-flavored liqueur)
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of salt
2 (12.3-ounce) packages reduced-fat silken tofu, drained
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 oranges, peeled and sectioned (or a can of drained mandarin orange sections)

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process mixture until smooth.

Place chopped chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted; stir until smooth. Add chocolate to tofu mixture; process until smooth.

Divide orange sections evenly among 6 bowls or parfait glasses; top each serving with 1/2 cup mousse. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Soba Noodle Salad with Citrus Dressing

1 (8-ounce) package soba noodles
1 1/4 cups frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)
3/4 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1/3 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped serrano chile
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil

Cook noodles in boiling water 7 minutes or until almost al dente. Add soybeans to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Drain. Place noodle mixture in a large bowl. Add carrots, onions, cilantro, and chile; toss.

Combine orange juice and remaining ingredients in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle juice mixture over noodle mixture; toss well.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Manhattan Clam Chowder

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
2 1/2 cups chopped peeled baking potato (about 1 pound)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
2 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, undrained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add potato and next 5 ingredients (potato through clam juice); bring to a boil. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Stir in clams; cook 3 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls; sprinkle with parsley.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Cheesy Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

This is a great recipe for leftover black beans. You'll need about two cans worth, so you may have to add in another can of drained beans to the recipe.

1 recipe Simple Black Beans, drained of extra liquid
1/3 cup (3 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extrasharp cheddar cheese, divided
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350°.

If cooled, reheat black beans. Remove from heat, and add cream cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Spread 1/3 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer six tortillas across the bottom of the dish. Spread one half bean mixture over tortillas. Top with another layer of tortillas and beans. Place a final layer of tortillas on top. Pour remaining enchilada sauce evenly over enchiladas, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheddar. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Simple Black Beans

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup chopped green onion
3/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup water
2 (15-ounce) cans 50%-less-sodium black beans, undrained
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add green onion and bell pepper to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in sugar, garlic, black pepper, and cumin; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Stir in 1 cup water and beans; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ginger Chocolate-Chip Bars

These were better on the second day...and the third...and the get the picture. Enjoy!

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely in the pan, then cut into 32 bars (8 rows by 4 rows).

Yield : Makes 32 bars

Adapted from Real Simple

Black Pepper Shrimp

I saved this recipe in 2004. I have no idea why it took me 5 years to make it. This is one of the best shrimp recipes I have run across. Serve with a salad and french bread.

2 pounds fresh shrimp, unpeeled
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chives
1 tablespoon dried parsley

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Wash and drain shrimp, and place in a shallow baking pan.

In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the garlic, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chives and parsley. Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp and toss to coat. Pepper shrimp until shrimp are well covered.

Bake until pink, approximately 5 minutes, turn, bake a few minutes longer, and pepper again. You must use a heavy hand with the pepper.

--Adapted from Paula Deen

Steamed Clams and Tomatoes with Angel Hair Pasta

1 (9-ounce) package fresh angel hair pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped tomato
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 tablespoon butter
4 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

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

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomato, garlic, and pepper to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in wine and juice; bring to a boil. Add clams. Cover and cook 7 minutes or until shells open. Discard any unopened shells. Remove clams from pan with a slotted spoon; add butter to pan, stirring until butter melts. Place 1 cup pasta in each of 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 6 clams, 1/2 cup broth, and 1 teaspoon parsley.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Creamed Chicken

Serve over rice.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups milk, divided
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 can mushrooms
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon butter
1 (10-ounce) roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast (such as Perdue Short Cuts), chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in 1 3/4 cups milk. Cook for 4 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring constantly with a whisk.

Add peas, mushrooms, sage, butter, and chicken, stirring to combine. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in juice and pepper.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Grilled Buttermilk Chicken

1 quart buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon pepper
6 chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 lb. total)
6 chicken drumsticks (about 1 3/4 lb. total)

1. In a large bowl, mix buttermilk, shallots, garlic, salt, sugar, cumin, and pepper.

2. Rinse chicken thighs and drumsticks and pat dry. Trim off excess fat. Submerge chicken pieces in buttermilk brine. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, or up to 1 day.

3. Lift chicken from brine; discard brine. Wipe excess from chicken with paper towels.

4. Lay chicken pieces on a barbecue grill over medium coals or medium heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 4 to 5 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning frequently, until browned on both sides and no longer pink at the bone (cut to test), 20 to 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine