Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kentucky Hot Brown

1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Marsala or cream sherry
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Remaining ingredients:
6 (1 1/2-ounce) slices hearty white bread, toasted and cut in half diagonally
3/4 pound shredded cooked turkey breast
12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Preheat broiler.

To prepare sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add flour, stirring with a whisk; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add cheddar and next 7 ingredients (through red pepper), stirring until cheeses melt. Remove from heat.

Arrange 2 toast halves in the bottom of each of 6 gratin dishes or ovenproof plates. Arrange 2 ounces turkey over each serving. Top each serving with about 1/3 cup sauce, 2 tomato slices, and 1 teaspoon Parmesan. Broil for 2 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle each serving with about 1 tablespoon bacon.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Crab Ravioli with Red Clam Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (10-ounce) can clams, undrained

1/2 pound lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
24 round wonton wrappers or gyoza skins

To prepare sauce, heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add crushed and diced tomatoes, as well a liquid from clams; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Add the parsley, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper; simmer for 10 minutes. Add clams. Remove from heat, and set aside.

To prepare ravioli, combine crab, chopped red bell pepper, panko, chives, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add ricotta; stir gently to combine. Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep them from drying), spoon about 1 tablespoon crab mixture into center of each wrapper. Moisten edges of wrapper with water. Fold in half, pinching edges together to seal and create a half-moon shape, making sure to press out any air pockets. Repeat procedure with remaining wonton wrappers and crab mixture.

Fill a large Dutch oven with water; bring water to a boil. Add half of ravioli; cook 4 minutes or until done. Remove ravioli from pan with a slotted spoon; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining ravioli. Serve ravioli immediately with sauce.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Baked Grits with Country Ham, Wild Mushrooms, and Fresh Thyme

Worthy of a special occasion.

5 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking grits
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 large egg
Cooking spray

1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 dried chile pepper, crushed
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon whipping cream
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Remaining ingredients:
2 ounces country ham, cut into julienne strips
2 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) sliced shiitake mushroom caps
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon water
3 thyme sprigs
Additional thyme sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°.

To prepare grits, bring water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan; gradually stir in grits. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 cup cheese and white pepper. Stir in tempered egg mixture.

Spoon 1/2 cup grits mixture into each of 8 (4-ounce) ramekins or custard cups coated with cooking spray. Place ramekins in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes. Remove ramekins from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare sauce, bring shallots, wine, 1/4 cup broth, vinegar, bay leaf, and chile to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook until reduced to 1 tablespoon liquid (about 6 minutes). Strain mixture through a sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Return liquid to pan.

Combine 1/4 cup broth and cornstarch. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; add butter and cream, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Stir in 2 tablespoons cheese, juice, and black pepper.

Cook the ham in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat 1 minute. Add mushrooms, 1 tablespoon shallots, 1 teaspoon water, and 3 thyme sprigs; sauté 3 minutes or just until mushrooms are tender. Remove thyme springs.

Loosen edges of grits with a knife or rubber spatula. Place a plate, upside down, on top of each ramekin; invert onto plates. Spoon 1 tablespoon sauce onto each plate; sprinkle ham mixture evenly among plates. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Honey-Ginger Glazed Salmon with Argula Salad

Outstanding recipe. The honey-ginger dressing is worth making as a salad dressing by itself.

1/2 cup sage honey
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
2 tablespoons warm water (100° to 110°)
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets (1 inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups trimmed arugula
1/2 cup diced seedless cucumber
1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrot

Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine honey, 2 tablespoons juice, water, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Reserve 2 tablespoons honey mixture. Pour honey mixture into an 8 x 8-inch baking pan; arrange fish in pan. Let stand 20 minutes. Turn fish over; sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 450° for 7 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove from oven. Let fish stand in hot pan for 3 minutes.

Combine reserved honey mixture, remaining 2 tablespoons juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, oil, and pepper in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk until blended. Add arugula, cucumbers, and carrots; toss gently to coat. Serve salad with fish.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

White Russian Tiramisu

1/2 cup ground coffee beans
1 3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup Kahlúa (coffee-flavored liqueur), divided
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) mascarpone cheese
1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
24 ladyfingers (2 [3-ounce] packages)
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa, divided

Assemble drip coffee maker according to manufacturer's directions. Place the ground coffee in the coffee filter or filter basket. Add cold water to coffee maker and brew to make 1 1/2 cups. Combine the brewed coffee and 2 tablespoons Kahlúa in a shallow dish, and cool.

Combine cheeses in a large bowl. Beat at high speed of a mixer until smooth. Add sugars and 2 tablespoons Kahlua, and beat until well-blended.

Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise.

Quickly dip 24 ladyfinger halves, flat sides down, into coffee mixture; place, dipped sides down, in the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish, slightly overlapping ladyfinger halves. Spread half of cheese mixture over ladyfingers; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cocoa. Repeat procedure with remaining ladyfinger halves, coffee mixture, cheese mixture, and 1 teaspoon cocoa.

Place 1 toothpick in each corner and 1 in the center of tiramisu (to prevent plastic wrap from sticking to cheese mixture); cover with plastic wrap. Chill 2 hours.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Asparagus Spears with Smoked Salmon Spirals

24 asparagus spears
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
4 ounces sliced smoked salmon, cut into 24 (1/4-inch-wide) strips
Dill sprigs (optional)

Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Cook asparagus in boiling water 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Rinse under cold water; drain. Pat dry.

Combine sour cream, 1 teaspoon dill, and tarragon in a small bowl. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon dill mixture over one side of each salmon strip. Wrap 1 salmon strip around each asparagus spear with dill mixture touching the asparagus. Garnish with dill sprigs, if desired.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Tex-Mex Steak and Vegetables

1/2 cup bottled chipotle salsa
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices red onion (about 1 large)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, quartered and seeded
1 yellow bell pepper, quartered and seeded
1 (1-pound) flat-iron steak, trimmed
Cooking spray
8 (7-inch) flour tortillas
1/4 cup bottled chipotle salsa
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Prepare grill.

Remove the steak and vegetables from bag; discard marinade. Place the steak and the vegetables on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 7 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Cut steak across the grain into thin slices. Cut peppers into thin strips. Cut onion slices in half.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Divide steak, bell peppers, and onion evenly among tortillas; roll up. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon chipotle salsa and 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro. Serve immediately.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Spinach, Ricotta, and Mushroom Calzones

Easiest way to make calzones from refrigerated dough is to pull the dough up over the filling, rather than trying to pinch the edges.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/3 cups sliced cremini or button mushrooms
1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust
Cooking spray
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 box frozen spinach, thawed with excess water squeezed out
8 oz. skim milk ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend

Saute mushrooms with olive oil over medium heat 5 minutes, or until soft. Cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 425°.

Unroll dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; cut into 4 quarters with a pizza cutter. Pat each quarter into a 6 x 5-inch rectangle.

Combine garlic, spinach, mushrooms, ricotta, and Italian seasoning.

Spoon 1/4 cup ricotta mixture over rectangles, reserving remaining ricotta for another use. Bring 2 opposite corners to center. Bring remaining 2 corners to center, pinching all points together to seal. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until golden.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Orzo with Chicken and Parmesan

1 cup water
1 (16-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
12 ounces skinned, boned chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, basil, or oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine water and broth in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add chicken and pasta; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in peas, 1/4 cup cheese, salt, herbs, pepper, and lemon juice. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Mexican Corn and Bean Soup

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
lime slices (optional)

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add green onion, cumin, garlic, and oregano; sauté 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in corn, pepper, broth, beans, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Serve with lime slices.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Garlic-Rosemary Pork Chops

1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 (4-ounce) pork chops, trimmed
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450.

Combine first 4 ingredients; rub over pork. Spread garlic mixture evenly over chops. Place pork on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; bake 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Chicken Paprikash-Topped Potatoes

4 baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 12 ounces), cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup coarsely chopped green onion
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 450.

Scrub potatoes vigorously. Rub skins with vegetable oil, and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Bake potatoes for 60 minutes, or until done.

Combine chicken, flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and shake to coat.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture, green onion, mushrooms, and garlic; saute 5 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cook 6 minutes or until chicken is done and the sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream.

Split potatoes open with fork; fluff pulp. Divide chicken mixture evenly over potatoes; sprinkle with parsley.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Red Pepper Omelet Sandwiches

2 tablespoons fat-free milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 large eggs
Dash of hot pepper sauce
Cooking spray
1 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onion
4 sourdough English muffins, split
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded smoked mozzarella cheese (or whatever cheese you prefer)
1 1/2 cups bagged baby spinach leaves

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until combined; set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and green onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat to medium. Pour egg mixture into pan; let egg mixture set slightly. Tilt pan; carefully lift edges of omelet with a spatula to allow uncooked portion to flow underneath cooked portion. Cook 3 minutes. Wrap handle of pan with foil; place pan under broiler. Broil 1 minute or until set and lightly browned.

Arrange muffin halves in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle muffin halves evenly with cheese, and broil 1 minute or until cheese begins to brown.

Divide omelet into 4 portions; place 1 portion on bottom half of each muffin. Top evenly with spinach leaves; top with remaining muffin halves.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Golden Macaroni and Cheese

Hands down the best Mac & Cheese on the blog so far. Easiest and tastiest. While not necessary, I think the key is in using freshly grated cheese.

1 (8-ounce) package elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked macaroni)
2 cups milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon onion salt
2 (10-ounce) blocks sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 4 1/2 cups) and divided
1 cup soft breadcrumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain well. Set aside.

Place milk, flour, and onion salt in a quart jar; cover tightly, and shake vigorously 1 minute.

Stir together flour mixture, 3 1/2 cups cheese, and macaroni.

Pour macaroni mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish or 2 (11-inch) oval baking dishes. Sprinkle evenly with breadcrumbs and remaining 1 cup cheese; drizzle evenly with melted butter.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Risotto with Smoked Gouda, Spinach and Mushrooms

2 cups water
2 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 cups Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
5 cups chopped spinach (about 5 ounces)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 3 1/2 ounces)
2 cups sliced button mushrooms (about 1/2 pound)
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms (about 1/2 pound)
2 cups sliced oyster mushrooms (about 3 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Rosemary sprigs (optional)

To prepare risotto, combine water and broth; set aside.

Melt butter in a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup shallots; cover and cook 2 minutes. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, uncovered, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 cup wine; cook 30 seconds or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Stir in Gouda; cook just until melted. Stir in spinach; cook just until spinach is wilted.

To prepare mushrooms, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add 1/3 cup shallots, 1/4 cup wine, chopped thyme, chopped rosemary, and minced garlic, and sauté 1 minute or until wine is absorbed. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Divide risotto evenly among 6 bowls; top with mushroom mixture, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Swiss, Arugula and Proscuitto Stuffed Chicken

Stuffing the chicken a day in advance makes it easier to cook. You can also deconstruct this dish by skipping the stuffing step, sauteing the chicken, then topping with arugula, swiss, and prosciutto before baking. It's not as fancy, but a lot easier.

6 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
6 (1/2-ounce) slices prosciutto
6 (1/2-ounce) slices Swiss cheese
1 1/2 cups trimmed arugula
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 cups dry white wine
2 1/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare the chicken, place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Discard plastic wrap. Top each chicken breast half with 1 slice prosciutto, 1 slice cheese, and 1/4 cup arugula, leaving a 1/4-inch border around edges. Fold in half, sealing edges with a toothpick or wooden skewer; sprinkle with salt and pepper. (The chicken can be prepared up to a day ahead and refrigerated at this point.)

Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes on each side. Place chicken in a shallow baking pan; bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until done. Keep warm.

To prepare sauce, add shallots to skillet; sauté 4 minutes over medium-high heat or until browned. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 6 minutes). Add broth; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half (about 8 minutes).

Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a fork until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to sauce; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sauteed Tilapia with Honey-Scallion Dressing

2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon bottled ground fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil

1 tablespoon canola oil
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups gourmet salad greens

To prepare dressing, combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

To prepare fish, heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and pepper. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Arrange 1 cup greens on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 fish fillet; drizzle with 2 tablespoons dressing.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine