Saturday, August 29, 2009

Almond-Vanilla Breakfast Ring

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
24 frozen unbaked yeast dinner rolls
2 tablespoons vanilla-flavored cook-and-serve pudding mix
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Heat brown sugar and next 2 ingredients in a glass microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute. Stir until blended; microwave 1 more minute or until bubbly.

Arrange frozen rolls in a lightly greased 10-cup Bundt pan. Drizzle sugar mixture evenly over rolls; sprinkle with pudding mix and almonds. Cover and let stand at room temperature 3 hours. (I made it the night before, and refrigerated overnight.)

Bake, uncovered, on lower oven rack at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 minutes. Invert pan onto a lightly greased plate. Serve warm.
--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Friday, August 28, 2009

White Bean and Chicken Salad

2 cups coarsely chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken
1 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/3 cup sliced fresh basil
2 (16-ounce) cans cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced

To prepare salad, place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir gently to combine.

To prepare dressing, combine vinegar and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over salad, tossing gently to coat.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Garlic and Bell Pepper Farfalle

1 large jar roasted red bell peppers, roughly chopped
3 bacon slices, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dried tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups hot cooked farfalle (about 4 cups uncooked bow tie pasta)
6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Rehydrate dried tomatoes in 3/4 cup boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid. Roughly chop the tomatoes.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan. Add garlic to pan, and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the reserved tomato liquid, bell peppers, bacon, tomato, olives, salt, and black pepper; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Combine bell pepper mixture and pasta in a large bowl; sprinkle with cheese and basil.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Roasted Chicken Thighs Provencal

3 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 6 wedges
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
6 (6-ounce) skinless chicken thighs
24 niçoise olives
Rosemary sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°.

Place potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle vegetable mixture with olive oil; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, 1 teaspoon thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss gently, and spread into a single layer on pan.

Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped rosemary, remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and olives to another jelly-roll pan. Bake both pans (chicken below vegetables) at 425° for 35 minutes or until chicken is done. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Catfish Au Lait

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon crab boil seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 to 4 catfish fillets

Combine the milk, crab boil seasoning, pepper, and salt in an electric skillet, cover, and bring to a simmer. Add the catfish to the liquid, spooning some of the liquid over the fillets. Reduce the heat to low, around 140 to 145 degrees, cover the skillet, and poach for 6 to 9 minutes.

--Adapted from Alton Brown

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Grits and Sausage Casserole

1 pound turkey breakfast sausage
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup quick-cooking grits
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Dash of ground red pepper
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
2 cups red bell pepper strips

Cook sausage in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain and set aside.

Combine milk and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in grits; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Combine grits mixture, sausage, cheese, parsley, salt, garlic, and peppers in a large bowl; set aside.

Gently stir one-fourth of grits mixture into eggs, stir vigorously to keep eggs from scrambling; add egg mixture back to remaining grits, stir to fully combine. Spoon mixture into a 1 1/2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until set and lightly browned.

Place a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add bell pepper, and sauté 4 minutes or until tender; serve warm with grits.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mini Burgers

1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound ground chuck
8 (3-inch) buns or rolls, split in half
Desired condiments

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Preheat a griddle to 350 degrees F.

Combine the onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Line a jellyroll or sheet pan with parchment paper, and place the ground chuck in the middle of the pan. Cover the meat with a large sheet of plastic wrap. Roll meat with a rolling pin until it covers the surface of the pan; it should be very thin. Remove the plastic wrap, and sprinkle the meat with the seasoning mixture. Fold the meat in half, from side to side, using the parchment paper. Use a pizza wheel to cut the meat into 8 even squares.

Wrap the buns in foil and place in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place the burgers on the griddle and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the buns from the oven. Place a slice of cheese on each bun and top with the burger and any other condiments, as desired. Serve immediately.

--Adapted from Alton Brown

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 (1-inch) slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; saute for 5 minutes, turning once.

Add wine and rosemary to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes. Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Remove pork from pan; keep warm. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Friday, August 14, 2009

Peach Cobbler with a Cinnamon Crust

Is there anything better than peach cobbler?

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
6 cups sliced peeled fresh ripe peaches or 2 (16-ounce) packages frozen sliced peaches
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons sugar
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Place the peaches in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with sugar mixture; let stand 30 minutes.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Unfold 1 pie dough, reserving remaining dough for another use. Brush with egg white; sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Cut the dough into 16 wedges. Place the dough wedges, coated sides up, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until golden brown; set aside.

Bake peaches at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Arrange crust over peaches. Serve warm.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chunky Fresh Tomato Salsa

1 garlic clove
1 fresh jalapeno chile (or other variety, depending on heat you like), stemmed, seeded, and halved
6 fresh plum tomatoes
2 large green onions
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Finely dice 4 of the tomatoes, and one of the jalapeno halves. Finely slice one of the green onions. Combine the tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl.

Quarter the remaining two tomatoes. With the motor running, drop the garlic and remaining jalapeno half into a food processor. Turn off the motor. Add the tomato quarters and the salt. Pulse until mixture reaches a coarse puree.

Add the tomato puree to the chopped tomato mixture. Stir to combine.

--Adapted from Rick Bayless' cookbook, Everyday Mexican

Strawberry-Buttermilk Sherbet

This is a very sweet ice cream. I imagine that you cold get by with 3/4 cup or less of sugar, if you have ripe in-season berries.

2 cups fresh strawberries (or a 16 oz. bag of frozen)
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

1. Process strawberries in a food processor or blender 30 seconds or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Add buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla to puree; stir until well blended. Cover and chill 1 hour.

2. Pour strawberry mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Chocolate Ice Cream

This recipe makes a great chocolate ice cream - but a terrible vanilla. You need the strong taste of the chocolate to cover up the flat flavor of the cornstarch.

3 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 ounces semisweet (or dark) chocolate, finely chopped

1. Place 2 3/4 cups milk in a heavy saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Combine 1/4 cup milk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Slowly add the sugar mixture to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 4 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove pan from heat.

2. Place chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Pour hot milk over chocolate; let stand 1 minute. Stir chocolate mixture until smooth. Cover and chill 2 hours.

3. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Quick Breakfast Tostadas

1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs
4 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup bottled salsa
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large microwave-safe dish, stirring with a whisk. Microwave at HIGH for 2 minutes; stir. Microwave an additional 1 minute or until done. Arrange 1 tortilla on each of 4 microwave-safe plates; divide egg mixture evenly among the corn tortillas. Layer each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese, 1/4 cup beans, and 1 tablespoon green onions. Microwave each tostada at HIGH for 30 seconds. Top each tostada with 2 tablespoons salsa and 1 tablespoon sour cream. Serve immediately.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Pork Chops with Bourbon-Peach Sauce

4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced bottled garlic
1 1/2 cups frozen sliced peaches
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 teaspoons butter

1. Sprinkle pork with salt and peppers. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

2. Add shallots and garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add peaches and broth to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add sugar and thyme to pan; cook 1 minute. Add bourbon and butter to pan; cook 4 1/2 minutes or until butter melts and sauce is slightly thickened. Discard thyme sprigs. Serve with pork.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Potluck Potato Casserole

1 1/2 cups fat-free sour cream
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
5 teaspoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (30-ounce) package frozen hash browns, thawed (such as Ore-Ida)
1 (10.75-ounce) can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
Cooking spray
1 cup coarsely crushed cornflakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl; spread evenly into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle cornflakes over potato mixture.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until bubbly. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.