Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Polenta Rounds with Black-Eyed Pea Topping

1/2 (16-oz.) tube refrigerated sun-dried tomato polenta, cut into 6 even slices
Vegetable cooking spray
1 (15-oz.) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup light sour cream

1. Cook polenta rounds in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from heat, and keep warm.

2. Wipe pan with paper towel, spray with cooking spray, and cook peas and next 4 ingredients over medium heat 3 minutes or until water evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in tomatoes and 3 Tbsp. cilantro. Spoon warm black-eyed pea mixture over polenta rounds, and top evenly with sour cream. Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. cilantro.

--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Pollo Adobado

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 dried ancho chiles, seeded and torn (about 3 ounces)
2 cups hot water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 garlic cloves

Remaining ingredients:
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/3 cup water
10 small red potatoes, quartered (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

To prepare the adobo, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add anchos; sauté 2 minutes or until anchos are blistered. Combine anchos and 2 cups water in a small bowl. Cover and let stand 20 minutes or until tender. Combine ancho mixture, 1/4 cup vinegar, and next 7 ingredients (1/4 cup vinegar through garlic) in a blender; process until smooth. Strain marinade through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl; discard solids. (Adobo will have the consistency of steak sauce.)

Combine 1/2 cup marinade and chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and marinate in refrigerator 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Remove chicken from bag, discarding marinade. Place chicken on a broiler pan or rack of roasting pan. Pour 1/3 cup water into pan. Combine potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Arrange potatoes around chicken. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until thermometer registers 160°. Brush the remaining marinade over chicken and potatoes, and bake an additional 10 minutes. Place chicken and potatoes on a platter.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Oven-Fried Catfish Sandwiches

1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons capers, chopped
3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
4 (4-ounce) catfish fillets
Cooking spray
4 (2-ounce) hoagie rolls, toasted
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato

1. Preheat oven to 450°. Place baking sheet in oven.

2. Combine mayonnaise, relish, capers, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pepper sauce in a small bowl, stirring well. Set aside.

3. Combine flour, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Place egg whites in a shallow bowl. Combine cornmeal, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder in a shallow dish. Working with 1 fillet at a time, dredge in flour. Dip in egg whites; dredge in cornmeal mixture. Place fillet on a plate; repeat procedure with remaining fillets, flour, egg whites, and cornmeal mixture.

4. Transfer fillets to preheated baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat fillets with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 6 minutes. Turn fillets and coat with cooking spray; bake an additional 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

5. Place 1 bottom half of roll on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 1/4 cup lettuce, 1 fillet, and 2 tomato slices. Spread 4 teaspoons mayonnaise mixture on cut side of each roll top; place on top of sandwiches. Serve immediately.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

This turned out a bit thick for a salad dressing, but it would work very well as a dipping sauce.

1 1/3 cups chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil (about 1 ounce)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup water

Combine first 7 ingredients in a blender; process until well blended. Gradually add water; process until smooth.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Farfalle with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

1 pound uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
1 tablespoon butter
12 ounces presliced cremini or shiitake mushrooms
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Minced fresh parsley (optional)

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

Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms; cook 10 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Add the shallots, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper; cook 3-4 minutes, or until shallots are translucent. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Add the cooked pasta, whipping cream, cheese, and 2 tablespoons parsley, tossing gently to coat. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Garnish with minced fresh parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Quick Quiche

Calling this a quiche is really stretching the definition, but it's close enough.

5 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup Bisquick baking mix
2 cups grated cheese
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil or cooking spray
Your choice of fillings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat eggs thoroughly and add milk. Add Bisquick, beat with wire whisk.

In a ceramic or glass dish apply olive oil to entire dish and fill with cheese. Add selected toppings to top of cheese, then pour egg mixture on top.

Bake for 45-50 minutes.

--Adapted from Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza Bed and Breakfast

Bell Pepper Chicken with Feta Orzo

4 ounces uncooked orzo (about 1/2 cup)
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 jar roasted red peppers, sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

While orzo cooks, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Add chicken to pan, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan, and keep warm. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and roasted peppers to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add oregano and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice.

Combine orzo and feta, and serve with chicken and bell pepper mixture.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Glazed Grilled Salmon

3 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 side salmon fillet (3 1/2 to 4 lb.)

Whisk together first 8 ingredients.

Grill the salmon, skin down on heavy foil over indirect heat, brushing with the glaze every 5 minutes, just until opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), 25 to 30 minutes.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Tomato-Basil Lasagna with Proscuitto

This is an interesting recipe. Blending the cottage cheese and the cream cheese creates a ricotta-like filing, but without the grainy ricotta texture. It's not very meaty, but the prosciutto is an nice touch.

5 garlic cloves
1 (16-ounce) carton 1% low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 large egg
1 (26-ounce) bottle fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce
Cooking spray
12 cooked lasagna noodles
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped prosciutto or ham
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375°.

Drop garlic through food chute with food processor on, and process until minced. Add cottage cheese; process 2 minutes or until smooth. Add cream cheese, 2 tablespoons Romano, basil, pepper, and egg; process until well-blended.

Spread 1/2 cup pasta sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over the pasta sauce; top with 1 cup cheese mixture, 1/3 cup prosciutto, and 3/4 cup pasta sauce. Repeat the layers two times, ending with noodles. Spread remaining pasta sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Romano and mozzarella.

Cover and bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until sauce is bubbly. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let lasagna stand 5 minutes.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dilled Potato Salad

3 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ribs celery, diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons diced dill pickle
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon freeze dried or fresh dill, or about 2 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

Cut the potatoes into small, bite-size chunks and place in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and boil for about 10 to 12 minutes, until just tender. Pour off water, set the pan in a sink or larger pan of cold water to cool the potatoes quickly. Sprinkle the still-warm potatoes with salt and vinegar.

In a large bowl, combine the celery, green onions, bell pepper, and diced dill pickle. Gently fold in potatoes.

In another bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and dill. Add to the potato mixture and fold gently to combine.

Farfalle with Proscuitto and Parmesan

1/2 pound uncooked cavatappi
2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce very thin slices prosciutto, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3 tablespoons cooking liquid.

Heat oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan, and sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add reserved 3 tablespoons cooking liquid and pasta to pan; let stand 2 minutes. Stir in parsley, oil, salt, pepper, and prosciutto; sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms

6 (4-inch) whole portobello mushrooms
Cooking spray
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2/3 cup dry breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 450°.

Remove stems from caps; finely chop mushroom stems to measure 1/2 cup. Set mushroom caps aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chopped mushroom stems and garlic; sauté 3 minutes, stirring often. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Remove from heat; cool 3 minutes. Add cheeses, onions, and peppers; stir until smooth. Spread cheese mixture evenly into mushroom caps.

Combine egg substitute and flour in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Working with one mushroom cap at a time, dip, cheese side up, into egg mixture; dredge in breadcrumbs, coating only the mushroom cap. Place mushroom cap, cheese side up, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining mushroom caps, egg mixture, and breadcrumbs. Lightly coat stuffed mushrooms with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 25 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Italian Rice Salad

2 cups water, divided
1 cup basmati or long-grain rice
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 (15.75 ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
1 pound (1-inch) diagonally cut green beans
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
2 cups halved grape tomatoes
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup (1-ounce) grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine 1 cup water, rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and broth in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread rice in an even layer over pan; cool to room temperature.

Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a large pan. Add beans; cover and cook 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain and plunge beans into ice water; drain.

Combine vinegar, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add rice, beans, tomatoes, green onions, cheese, and pepper; toss gently to combine. Cover and chill.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chicken Piccata with Hot-Sweet Mustard-Lime Sauce

1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1 tablespoon flour
4 medium chicken breasts
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup white wine
2 teaspoons hot-sweet mustard
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons drained capers
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Pound chicken breasts to even 1/2 inch thickness. Sprinkle evenly with herbes de provence, salt, and flour.

In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, mustard, wine, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and capers.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and chicken, saute for 3 minutes. Turn chicken, add juice mixture, and saute for an additional 2 minutes or until done. Remove chicken and keep warm. Simmer the sauce for an additional minute.

Serve sauce over chicken.

--Adapted from Wine Lovers Cookbook

Mixed Greens with Thyme-Scented Goat Cheese Cakes

Goat Cheese Cakes:
8 oz fresh goat cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
12 oz. mixed greens

Goat Cheese Cakes:
Slice 12 small rounds of goat cheese and put in a small low-rimmed glass dish. Top with olive oil and chopped thyme. Let sit, refrigerated, for 1 hour.

In a small mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs, dried thyme, black pepper and salt. Coat goat cheese rounds on all sides.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place goat cheese rounds on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove with a spatula.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Combine dressing and salad greens. Top with goat cheese cakes.

--Adapted from the Wine Lovers Cookbook

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dill Pancakes with Country Ham and Cheese

1 cup pancake mix
1/2 cup coarsely chopped smoked ham
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cups grated or shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Fresh dill sprigs (optional)

Combine the pancake mix, ham, salt, and cayenne in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, cheese, egg, oil, and chopped dill. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk just to combine. Let the batter rest according to the pancake-mix label directions (or for 5 minutes if you make your own mix).

Place a nonstick griddle or skillet coated with oil, butter, or cooking spray over medium-high heat. Spoon or pour about 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake onto the griddle. Turn when bubbles rise to the surface and the edges look cooked. Repeat with the remaining batter. Garnish with dill sprigs (if desired).

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the streusel:
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

For the glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons real maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts, if desired.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. Whisk the confectioners' sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.

--Adapted from Ina Garten

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salsa

This is either a light salad or a hearty salsa. I'm not sure where the line is drawn.

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup corn kernels (about 2 ears), cooked and cooled
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup tablespoons finely chopped green onion
1 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered

Combine rind, juice, and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons juice mixture.

Add corn, and next 6 ingredients (through tomato) to juice mixture; toss gently to coat.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine