Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Provençal Tomatoes

Servings:  8
  • 6 ripe tomatoes (2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • Good olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Cut the cores from the tomatoes, removing as little as possible.  Cut them in half crosswise and, with your fingers, remove the seeds and juice.  Place the tomato halves in a baking dish.
  3. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, scallions, basil, parsley, garlic, thyme and 1 tsp. salt.  Sprinkle the tomato halves generously with salt and pepper.  With your hands, fill the cavities and cover the tops of the tomatoes with the bread crumb mixture.  Bake the tomatoes for 15 minutes, or until they're tender.  Sprinkle with the cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 30 seconds more.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

  • 2 1/2 lbs. fresh asparagus (about 30 large)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 lemons cut in wedges, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Break thick ends off asparagus.
  3. Lay asparagus in a single layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan and return to the oven for another minute.  Serve with lemon wedges.
*  Buy thickest asparagus possible because they have more flavor.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crispy Apricot Pork Chops

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for baking sheet
  • 2 slices multigrain sandwich bread
  • 4 bone-in pork loin chops (about 8 oz each, 3/4 to 1 inch thick), patted dry
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 tsp. apricot jam

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.  Lightly brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil; set aside.
  2. Tear bread into large pieces; place in food processor.  Pulse until large crumbs form.  Drizzle with oil; pulse once or twice, just until crumbs are moistened (you should have about 1 1/2 cups crumbs.)
  3. Season pork chops generously with salt and pepper; spread one side of each chop with 1 teaspoon jam.  Dividing evenly, sprinkle breadcrumbs over jam, and pat them on gently.
  4. Transfer pork, coated side up, to prepared baking sheet.  Bake until crust is golden and pork is opaque throughout (meat should register 150° on an instant-read thermometer), 14 to 16 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pineapple Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Servings:  6  Hands-on time:  18 min  Total time:  48 min

  • 2 (1 lb.) pork tenderloins
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 8 oz. can pineapple slices in juice
  • 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  1. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (med-hi) heat.  Remove silver skin from tenderloins, leaving a thin layer of fat.  Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.
  2. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/3 cup juice.  Grate zest from limes equal to 1 Tbsp.; squeeze juice from limes to equal 1/3 cup.
  3. Bring reserved pineapple juice, lime juice, zest, marmalade and next 5 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Boil 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Reserve half of mixture in a bowl. 
  4. Grill pork, covered with grill lid, 10 to 12 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 155°, basting with remaining half of pineapple mixture.  Remove from grill; cover with aluminum foil, and let stand 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, grill pineapple slices 1 to 2 minutes on each side.  Serve grilled pineapple and reserved pineapple-marmalade mixture with grilled pork.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lamb Chops with Red Wine Herb Butter

Serves: 8
  • 8 (6 oz.) lamb chops
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 large shallot, finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 lb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped mixed fresh herbs:  chives, parsley, tarragon and thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  1. Bring red wine, minced shallots and garlic to a boil in a small saucepan.  Turn heat down; simmer until there is about 1 tablespoon of liquid left in the pan.  Remove from heat and cool completely.
  2. Beat butter in a food processor until creamy.  Add the red wine mixture and combine thoroughly.  Mix in the herbs and lemon juice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate butter in container until ready to use (butter can be frozen up to one month).
  3. Salt and pepper the lamb chops on both sides.  Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Cook chops on one side until golden brown.  Turn chops and finish cooking, about 8-10 minutes, depending on thickness.  While chops are still in pan, spoon a dollop of butter onto the warm chops.  Cover with a lid for a few minutes to melt the butter slightly.  Remove lid and serve.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Grilled Chicken Tacos

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 4 tsp. Montreal chicken seasoning
  • 1 1/2 lb. chicken breast tenders
  • 8 oz. refrigerated fresh salsa
  • 1 large mango, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp. chipotle hot sauce
  • 6 (6-inch) fajita-size flour tortillas, warmed
  • Toppings: crumbled queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese), and shredded romaine lettuce
  1. Preheat grill to 300° to 350° (medium) heat.  Combine first 3 ingredients in a zip-top plastic freezer bag; add chicken, turning to coat.  Seal and chill 10 minutes, turning once.
  2. Meanwhile, combine salsa and next 3 ingredients.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade.  Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, 6 minutes on each side or until done.  Serve in flour tortillas with mango salsa and desired toppings. 
For an easy side dish combine 2 (20.5 oz.) cans refried black beans, 1/2 (8-oz) package whipped chive-flavored cream cheese, and 1/2 tsp. ground cumin in a 2-qt baking dish.  Top with 2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion and 1 cup crumbled queso fresco.  Bake at 450° for 20 to 30 minutes or until cheese melts.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pork Kebabs with Roasted Squash and Sautéed Greens

  • 6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (3 lemons)
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound), excess fat and silver skin removed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 10 oz. baby arugula (10 cups)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°, with racks in upper and lower thirds.  Soak eight 8-inch wooden skewers in hot water, 15 minutes.  In a large bowl, stir together lemon juice, 3 Tbsp. oil, thyme, and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add pork, onion, and squash and toss to coat.
  2. Thread pork onto skewers and place on a rimmed baking sheet.  Place onion and squash on another rimmed baking sheet.  Place pork on top rack and vegetables on bottom rack and roast until pork is cooked through, about 30 minutes, flipping skewers and stirring vegetables halfway through.  Remove pork and loosely tent with foil; continue roasting vegetables on bottom rack until tender and browned, 10 minutes.  
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium.  Gradually add arugula and cook until just wilted, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper.  To serve, divide pork skewers, vegetables and arugula among four plates.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole

  • 1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup   
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen vegetables
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Stir the soup water, rice, vegetables and onion powder in a 12"x8" shallow baking dish.
  2. Top with chicken.  Season chicken as desired.  Cover.
  3. Bake at 375° for 45 min. or until done.  Top with cheese.  Makes 4 servings.