Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pecan-crusted Tilapia

1/4 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Place pecans in a mini chopper or food processor; pulse until pecans are finely ground. Combine pecans and panko in a shallow dish.

2. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and pepper. Dredge tops of fish in nut mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Place half of fish, breading side down, in pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned. Turn fish over; cook 4 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove fish from pan; cover and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining fish.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Mushroom and Potato Soup with Smoked Paprika

2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
1 1/2 pounds fresh button mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 ounces bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon smoked paprika (pimentón)
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth
3 russet or Yukon Gold potatoes (1 1/2 lbs.), peeled and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 to 8 tbsp. crème fraîche or sour cream

1. In a small bowl, pour 1 cup boiling water over dried porcini. Set aside.

2. Cut off stems of button mushrooms. Finely chop stems; set aside. Halve caps, slice, and add to stems. With a slotted spoon, lift out porcini, pressing excess liquid into bowl, and transfer to a cutting board. Finely chop porcini and add to stems and caps. Reserve soaking liquid.

3. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and add paprika, bacon, and onions and cook until very fragrant, 2 minutes. Turn heat to high and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring constantly, until mushrooms start giving off their liquid, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Add wine and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add reserved porcini soaking liquid (pouring carefully to leave behind the sandy dregs), chicken broth, 2 cups water, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, with a dollop of crème fraîche.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Creamy Wild Rice Soup with Turkey

2 teaspoons butter or stick margarine
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cups chopped turkey breast (1/2 pound)
1 cup uncooked wild rice (or 2 cups cooked wild rice)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 3/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrot and next 5 ingredients (carrot through garlic). Sauté 8 minutes or until browned. Stir in broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in turkey and rice; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes or until rice is tender. (If using cooked rice, reduce cooking time to 30 minutes.)

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and milk in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add to pan. Cook over medium heat until thick (about 8 minutes), stirring frequently. Stir in sherry and salt.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Spinach and Artichokes in Puff Pastry

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (17.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry

Drain spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels.

Stir together spinach, artichoke hearts, and next 5 ingredients.

Thaw puff pastry at room temperature 30 minutes. Unfold pastry, and place on a lightly floured surface or heavy-duty plastic wrap. Spread one-half spinach mixture evenly over pastry sheet, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Roll up pastry, jellyroll fashion, pressing to seal seam; wrap in heavy-duty plastic wrap. Repeat procedure with remaining pastry and spinach mixture.

Freeze 30 minutes; cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. (Rolls may be frozen up to 3 months.)

Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Southern Stir-Fry

1 cup cooked white rice
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Tabasco, to taste
1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 cups spinach leaves

Cook all ingredients, except spinach, in skillet, stirring occasionally, until hot. Stir in spinach. Cook until spinach begins to wilt.

--Adapted from Betty Crocker Quick and Easy Cookbook

Creamy Corn and Garlic Risotto

4 cups chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
3 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook as risotto. Add corn in middle of process. Stir in cheese at end.

--Adapted from Betty Crocker Quick and Easy Cookbook

Ravioli in Tomato Sauce

1 package refrigerated ravioli
I tablespoon olive oil
1 (8 oz) sliced mushrooms
1 can beef broth
1 can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cook ravioli.

Saute mushrooms in oil. Remove from pan. Stir together broth, tomato paste, fennel and red pepper. Bring to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes, or until broth is reduced by half and sauce is thickened.

Combine tomato sauce and ravioli.

Quick Apple Crisp

1 (15 oz) can apple pie filling
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 crunchy granola bars
ice cream

Spoon apple pie filling into 4 microwave safe dishes. Grate nutmeg into each. Microwave 2 minutes or until hot.

While apples cook, finely crush granola bars. It works best to crush them in the packages.

Top apples with granola crumbs and ice cream.

Honey Teriyaki Chicken with Pineapple Spears and Sesame Rice

2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 rounded cup white rice
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Vegetable oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1-inch ginger root, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 ripe pineapple, peeled and cored

Preheat a grill pan or large griddle over medium high heat. Bring water to a boil in a small covered pot. Add butter, salt and rice to the pot. Return the water to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and replace cover. Simmer 18 minutes and remove rice from heat.

Take the lid off the pot to cool rice a bit. Scoop rice into balls with an ice cream scoop and your hands. Dampen hands with water to work with rice if it is very sticky. Set rice balls on a plate and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.

While your rice is cooking, lightly coat chicken with oil, salt and pepper. Place chicken on hot grill and cook 6 minutes on the first side.

While chicken is cooking, bring chicken broth and ginger to a boil. Stir in honey. When honey has dissolved into broth, add teriyaki sauce and sesame oil and reduce heat to simmer.

Turn chicken and coat liberally with honey teriyaki sauce using a basting brush. Cook chicken 4 minutes, turn again and baste liberally again with sauce, then cook 2 minutes longer. Remove chicken to a plate. Garnish chicken with sliced scallions. While chicken cooks on the second side, peel and cut a ripe pineapple into 8 spears.

Grill pineapple, 1 to 2 minutes, basting with any leftover glaze.

Crispy Noodle Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing

6 cups mixed baby greens, 1 sack
1 cup fresh bean spouts
1 cup shredded carrot
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 cups fried noodles, any size (such as chow mein)
2 tablespoons sweet plum sauce (hoisin) or duck sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup light oil, peanut, canola or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

In a bowl, combine greens, bean sprouts, carrot, scallions, red bell pepper and half of the fried noodles.

Whisk together plum or duck sauce and vinegar in a smaller bowl. Stream in oil and continue whisking to combine. Dress salad and toss with salt and pepper, to your taste. Serve salad with remaining crispy noodles, as garnish.

--Adapted from Rachel Ray

Roasted Potatoes with Paprika Butter

3 pounds small red new potatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 stick butter
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Sort potatoes. Potatoes that are 2 inches or less in diameter can be left whole. Halve remaining potatoes. Coat very lightly with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and roast potatoes 20 to 25 minutes, until just tender.

Transfer potatoes from the oven to a bowl. Sprinkle in parsley and season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes with butter and paprika to coat evenly. Adjust salt and pepper, to your taste, and serve.

--Adapted from Rachel Ray

Broiled Citrus Salad

2 quarts jarred citrus salad, drained
3 ounces Cointreau or other orange liqueur
1/3 cup brown sugar
Several sprigs fresh mint, for garnish

Arrange drained citrus in a casserole dish. Douse fruit with liqueur. Top fruit with 3 handfuls of brown sugar sprinkled evenly over the top.

Place casserole under a hot broiler 6 inches from heat source for 7 or 8 minutes until sugar just begins to brown and bubble. Garnish warm casserole with torn or chopped fresh mint leaves and serve.

--Adapted from Rachel Ray

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Harvest Sweet Potato Pecan Pie Tarts

I made this in ramekins, rather than the phyllo cups. It was great.

1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg white
2 (2.1-ounce) packages mini phyllo shells (such as Athens)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine sweet potato, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt, stirring well.

Combine pecans, brown sugar, syrup, vanilla, and egg white, stirring well.

Spoon about 1 teaspoon sweet potato mixture into each phyllo shell, spreading to edges. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon pecan mixture over sweet potato mixture. Place filled shells on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Black Bean Taquitos

Great easy recipe. Freezes well, and reheats straight from freezer.

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles, undrained
10 (8-inch) flour tortillas
Cooking spray

Adobo Sour Cream:
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 to 3 teaspoons minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce

To prepare taquitos, add cheese, beans, and green chiles; pulse 15 times or until beans are coarsely chopped.

Spoon about 3 tablespoons bean mixture across the lower third of each tortilla; roll up. Cut each tortilla in half; secure with wooden picks. Place taquitos in a large zip-top plastic bag; freeze up to 3 months.

Preheat oven to 400º.

Place frozen taquitos on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes; turn taquitos, and coat with cooking spray. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden.

If baking without freezing, then bake 5 minutes a side, or until golden.

To prepare adobo sour cream, combine sour cream, cilantro, and chipotle chile. Stir well.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine