Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Seared Scallops with Lemon Orzo

1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Stir together pasta, broth, wine, and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente. Stir in chopped chives and lemon juice. Keep warm.

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops evenly with salt and pepper. Add scallops to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Serve with pasta mixture.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Spanish-Style Braised Beef

Almond pesto:
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon beef broth
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil

Spice rub:
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (2 1/2-pound) beef eye-of-round roast

Remaining ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup dry sherry or other red wine
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup beef broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (12-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained and cut into 1/2-inch strips 4 cups hot cooked long-grain rice

To prepare almond pesto, combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor; process until blended and a paste forms. Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare spice rub, combine marjoram, paprika, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Trim fat from beef; rub surface of beef with spice rub.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Stir in sherry, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return beef to pan. Add tomatoes and 1 cup beef broth. Cover tightly with lid. Bake at 350° for 3 hours or until meat shreds easily with a fork. Remove beef from pan. Cut beef into 2-inch pieces. Add almond pesto and bell pepper strips to pan, stirring until blended. Place pan over medium heat; cook 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Serve beef and sauce mixture over rice.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Pan Bagnat

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chives
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 baguette, approximately 16 to 18 inches long
12 ounces canned tuna packed in oil or water, drained and crumbled
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1 (7 oz.) jar roasted bell peppers, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup green onions, chopped fine

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. While continuing to whisk, gradually add the olive oil. Whisk until an emulsion forms. Set aside. Slice the baguette horizontally into 2 pieces. Tear out some of the soft bread in the center of each side, making a slight well in the bread.

Combine next 4 ingredients (tuna through green onions). Combine tuna mixture with vinaigrette. Stir to combine. Fill bread with tuna mixture, packing the bread tightly. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours before serving.

--Adapted from Alton Brown

Radish and Carrot Salad

2 cups (3-inch) julienne-cut peeled daikon radish
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (3-inch) julienne-cut carrot
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon mirin (optional)

Combine daikon and salt, tossing well to coat. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water; drain. Combine daikon and carrot.

Combine vinegar, sugar, and mirin, stirring until sugar dissolves. Drizzle over daikon mixture; toss to combine. Cover and chill.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine


So this really isn't traditional at all. But it is tasty.

2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15.75-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
4 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
1 pound turkey kielbasa, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup sliced green onions

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the thyme, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in broth, beans, chiles, and kielbasa. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle each serving with parsley and green onions.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Greek Lamb Chops

1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 (4-ounce) lamb loin chops, trimmed
Cooking spray

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 5 ingredients; rub over both sides of chops. Place chops on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

-- Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Roasted Pepper Pesto Terrine

You can also serve by simply pouring the pesto mixture over the chilled cream cheese mixture. Presentation isn't as fancy, but it's just as tasty.

1 (7 oz.) car roasted peppers, drained
1 cup basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, peeled

Cheese filling:
2 (8-ounce) blocks fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Combine peppers and next 7 ingredients (through garlic) in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

To prepare cheese filling, combine cheeses, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and red pepper in a medium bowl; stir well.

Line an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing plastic wrap to extend over edges of pan. Spread about 1 cup of cheese mixture in bottom of pan. Spread 1/2 cup pesto over cheese mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining cheese filling and pesto, ending with cheese filling. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.

To serve, invert terrine onto a platter; remove plastic wrap. Garnish with additional basil leaves, if desired. Serve with crackers.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Baked Dirty Rice and Beans

You can also add browned country sausage along with the chicken for an extra bit of flavor.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice
2 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bell pepper and celery to pan; cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in rice; cook 30 seconds. Add broth and remaining ingredients; bring to a simmer. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Panko-Crusted Crab Cakes with Red Pepper-Chive Aioli

You can extend this recipe by adding up to a cup of panko to the crab mixture instead of the 1/4 cup as instructed.

12 ounces shelled cooked crab
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 1/4 cups panko

Roasted Pepper-Chive Aioli (recipe follows)

1. Sort through crab and discard any bits of shell.

2. In a large bowl, combine celery, minced chives, mayonnaise, egg, mustard, and hot sauce; mix well with a fork. Add crab and 1/4 cup panko; stir gently just to mix.

3. Put remaining 1 cup panko in a shallow bowl. Shape crab mixture into 24 cakes, each about 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Turn each cake in panko to coat on all sides, pressing gently to make crumbs adhere. Place cakes slightly apart in an oiled 12- by 17-inch baking pan.

4. Bake in a 475° regular or convection oven until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. With a spatula, transfer crab cakes to a platter. Spoon a dollop of Roasted Pepper-Chive Aioli onto each cake. Garnish platter with fresh chives. Serve hot.

Roasted Pepper-Chive Aioli: In a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup chopped drained canned roasted red peppers, 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Makes about 1/2 cup.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Peach Marmalade Betty

5 cups thinly sliced peeled peaches (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange marmalade
3 tablespoons orange juice
15 gingersnap cookies
1 (1 1/2-ounce) slice white bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.

Place the cookies and bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form to measure 1 1/2 cups. Combine cookie crumb mixture and butter; toss well. Sprinkle 1/2 cup crumb mixture in bottom of a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Add peach mixture; sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture. Cover and bake at 350° for 25 minutes; uncover and bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Shrimp and Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

1/3 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup tub-style light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 (1 1/2-ounce) French bread rolls
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, cooked and peeled
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
6 curly leaf lettuce leaves

Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl. Cut rolls in half horizontally. Spread the cream cheese mixture over cut sides of rolls; arrange shrimp on bottom halves of rolls. Arrange the cucumber evenly over shrimp; top with lettuce leaves and roll tops.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lemon Sugar Cookies

This recipe is a great twist on a traditional favorite. Great for non-chocolate lovers!

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp sugar, for rolling

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and lemon zest until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Gradually mix in the flour at low speed, making sure to incorporate all of the flour and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Place remaining 2-3 tbsp sugar in a small bowl. Shape 1-inch balls of dough, roll in the sugar and place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, until set but not browned (or only very lightly on the bottom). Edges should be slightly firm. Cool cookies on the pan for a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

-Adapted from the blog, Baking Bites

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ginger Beef Skewers

1 lb pound beef flank or hanger steak
1 tablespoon thinly sliced ginger, plus 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1/2 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced, plus 1 tablespoon finely grated garlic
2 thinly sliced spring onions
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
Salt and pepper
4 to 6 chives, thinly sliced

1. Slice the tenderloin into 1/2-inch-thick slices and lightly pound each with the flat side of a meat pounder until about 1/4 inch thick. Each piece should be rectangular; trim off any raggedy bits for another use, such as a stir-fry. Stir together sliced ginger, sliced garlic, spring onions, and olive oil in a bowl. Add beef, toss to coat, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 8 hours.

2. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for high heat (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds).

3. Meanwhile, whisk together grated ginger, grated garlic, rice vinegar, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Thread beef slices onto soaked skewers and season with salt and pepper.

4. Brush the grill with vegetable oil. If using coals, mound to one side to reach about 4 inches below the grill. Lay skewers on grill; close lid on gas grill.

5. Grill skewers just until seared, turning once, about 30 seconds per side. Serve skewers drizzled with ginger sauce and garnished with chives.

--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Deviled Crab Boules with Beurr Blanc

This appears complicated, but it's actually quite simple.

2 (3-ounce) Kaiser rolls

Deviled crab:
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions, divided
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/2 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed

Beurre blanc:
1/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Julienne-cut green onions (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°.

To prepare boules, hollow out each roll, leaving about a 1/4-inch-thick shell; reserve torn bread for another use. Place bread shells on a baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 5 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside.

To prepare deviled crab, combine 2 tablespoons chopped green onions, 1/4 cup wine, and garlic in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in mayonnaise, mustard, red pepper, and paprika. Add 2 tablespoons chopped green onions and crab; toss gently to combine. Spoon crab mixture evenly into bread shells. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

To prepare beurre blanc, combine 2 tablespoons broth, shallots, 1/4 cup wine, vinegar, and bay leaf in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 3 minutes). Drain through a fine sieve into a bowl, reserving liquid; discard solids.

Return wine mixture to pan. Combine remaining broth and cornstarch, stirring well with a whisk; stir into wine mixture. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add butter, stirring until butter melts. Stir in juice and black pepper. Serve beurre blanc immediately over warm boules. Garnish with julienne-cut green onions, if desired.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Scallion Salmon

Since this dish cooks entirely in the microwave, it goes together in a flash.

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon peanut oil
4 skinless salmon fillets
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

Combine ginger, salt, and peanut oil in a small bowl. Brush over fillet; set aside.

Combine onions, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl.

Place salmon in an microwave-safe dish. Cover dish with plastic wrap. Microwave at high for 2 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 2 minutes. Depending on the strength of your microwave and the thickness of your salmon, you may need to microwave for an additional minute or two.

Remove the dish from the microwave. Drizzle onion mixture over fish.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

White Chocolate Key Lime Pie

This goes down as one of the best desserts I've ever tried. If I kept a Top 10 list, this would make the Top 5.

1 cup whipping cream
1 (11-ounce) package white chocolate morsels
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1/3 cup fresh Key lime or lime juice
1 (9-inch) ready-made graham cracker crust
Garnish: lime slices

Combine cream and white chocolate morsels in a medium bowl. Microwave, stirring every minute, until the until morsels melt. Add sour cream, lime rind, and juice; stir well. Pour into crust. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Garnish, if desired.

--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Delta-Style Catfish

Very crispy and crunchy. Keep an eye on it though. It burns easily.

3 cups cornflakes cereal, finely crushed
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
6 (4- to 6-oz.) catfish or tilapia fillets
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
Vegetable cooking spray
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Garnish: lemon wedges

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large shallow bowl or pie plate. Whisk together mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl.

2. Brush mayonnaise mixture onto both sides of catfish fillets. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning onto 1 side of each fillet.

3. Dredge fillets in cornflake mixture; transfer to a wire rack coated with cooking spray. Place wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined pan.

4. Bake 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown and fish flakes with a fork. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately. Garnish, if desired.

--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole

This is a much lighter version of the traditional favorite. It really doesn't sacrifice much flavor for healthiness either. A very good recipe.

14 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 5 pounds)
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place potato in a Dutch oven, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Combine the half-and-half and next 4 ingredients (half-and-half through egg) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add potato to egg mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Spoon potato mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine flour and sugar in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans; sprinkle over potato mixture.

Cover and bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until the topping is browned and the potatoes are thoroughly heated.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine