Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spicy Tomatoes and Greens over Cheese Grits

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1 cup water
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons capers
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
1 bag fresh baby spinach
10 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (optional)
Cheese Grits (from recipe elsewhere on blog)

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute or until lightly browned. Add water and next 4 ingredients (water through tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add spinach; cover and simmer 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Top with olives.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Orange Mandarin Chicken

You can also use shredded rotisserie chicken.

2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, undrained
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon garlic chile paste
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
udon/soba or other Asian noodle, cooked

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned.

While chicken cooks, drain oranges in a colander over a bowl, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. Add oranges, 2 tablespoons liquid, onions, garlic chile paste, and garlic to pan. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes. Combine broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch; add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Pork Chops and Apples and Garlic

Apples need to be chopped into medium chunks in order to cook down enough.

5 cups chopped peeled Braeburn apple (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
Cooking spray
4 butterflied pork loin chops, boneless
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Chopped parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 475°.

Combine first 5 ingredients. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss well to coat. Spread apple mixture on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray.

Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, and arrange on top of the apple mixture. Bake at 475° for 25 minutes or until pork is done and apple is tender. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

Partially mash apple mixture with a potato masher, and serve with pork. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Black Bean Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

1/4 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled

8 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
1 1/2 cups chopped ready-to-eat roasted skinned, boned chicken breast (about 2 breasts)
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups fat-free baked tortilla chips (about 4 ounces)

To prepare vinaigrette, combine first 11 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients except chips in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette; toss well to coat. Serve with chips.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Hamburger Steak with Mushroom Gravy

2 honey-wheat bread slices
1 pound ground round
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms

1. Process bread slices in a food processor 10 seconds or until finely chopped. Place breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl; add ground round and next 4 ingredients. Gently combine until blended, using your hands. Shape into 4 (4-inch) patties.

2. Whisk together beef broth and cornstarch.

3. Cook patties in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side or just until browned. Remove patties from skillet. Add mushrooms to skillet, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in broth mixture, and bring to a light boil. Return patties to skillet, and spoon gravy over each patty. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 8 to 10 minutes.

--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Chile-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Very good side dish

4 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams
2/3 cup red jalapeño jelly
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
About 3 tablespoons lime juice

1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks. Divide chunks equally between 2 lightly oiled baking pans (each 10 by 15 in.); cover tightly with foil.

2. Bake in a 450° oven for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until sweet potatoes are tender when pierced, about 25 minutes longer; switch pan positions halfway through baking.

3. Meanwhile, put jelly in a 2-cup glass measure. Heat in a microwave oven at full power (100%) until softened, about 20 seconds. Add vinegar and stir until well blended.

4. Combine sweet potatoes in 1 pan. Pour jelly mixture evenly over potatoes and turn chunks with a spatula to coat evenly. Continue baking until jelly mixture thickens and sticks to sweet potatoes, about 10 minutes, turning chunks often to prevent scorching.

5. Pour into a wide bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro and add about 3 tablespoons lime juice and salt to taste.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Barley Pilaf with Sauteed Mushrooms

1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups chopped button mushrooms (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups sliced button mushrooms (about 8 ounces)

Combine the dried porcini mushrooms and boiling water in a bowl; cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain in a sieve over a bowl, reserving mushroom liquid. Finely chop porcini mushrooms; set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron or heavy skillet over high heat. Add chopped button mushrooms; cook for 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium. Add porcini mushrooms, wine, pepper, and garlic; cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates. Remove from heat.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large sauce-pan over medium heat. Add green onion; cook 3 minutes. Add reserved mushroom liquid, 2 1/4 cups water, porcini mixture, barley, and salt, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until barley is tender. Fluff with a fork; stir in parsley.

Carefully melt butter in a cast-iron or heavy skillet over high heat. Add the sliced button mushrooms, and sauté for 5 minutes or until browned. Top the pilaf with sautéed mushrooms.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sweet-Potato Salad with Ham and Curried Almonds

2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 large), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2- pounds piece smoked ham, such as Black Forest, diced
3 scallions including green tops, sliced thin
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons cider vinegar or red- or white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 head red leaf lettuce (about 1 pound), torn into bite-size pieces (about 3 quarts)

1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and boil until just tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the sweet potatoes and transfer them to a large glass or stainless-steel bowl.

2. In a small frying pan, heat the 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the almonds and curry powder and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the nuts to the bowl with the sweet potatoes and add the ham, scallions, and cranberries.

3. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add the remaining 2/3 cup oil slowly, whisking. Toss half the dressing into the sweet-potato mixture.

4. Toss the lettuce into the remaining dressing. Put on plates and top with the potato salad.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine