Thursday, March 22, 2012

Flank Steak with Romesco Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. sliced almonds
  • 2 (3/4 oz) slices whole-grain bread, torn into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 7 oz. jar drained roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt, divided
  • 1 lb. flank steak
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat broiler.  Arrange almonds and bread in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Broil 1 minute or until lightly browned.  Add to a food processor; process until coarsely ground.  
  2. In a small skillet, heat oil, garlic and paprika on medium 1 minute or until garlic begins to brown.  Add garlic mixture, sherry vinegar, red peppers and 1/8 tsp. salt to bread mixture; process until smooth.  
  3. Sprinkle steak evenly with remaining salt and the black pepper.  Broil steak 5 minutes on each side or until desired doneness.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices.  Serve with sauce.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Savory White Chili

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 oz. can chicken broth
  • 1 med. red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 (15 oz.) cans cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 4 oz. can chopped green chiles
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Fat-free Greek yogurt
In a 4-quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients except yogurt and cilantro.  Cover, cook 6 hours on low.  Stir in cilantro.  Garnish with yogurt.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sausage and White Bean Stew with Kale

    • 1 pound great Northern beans, picked through*, soaked overnight in water, drained, and rinsed
    • 8 - 9 cups homemade chicken stock, unsalted chicken stock, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • tablespoons PLUS 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    • cups diced onions (2 medium)
    • 1/2 cup diced celery (3 stalks)
    • 1/2 cup peeled and diced carrots 
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (about 3 cloves); any green shoot removed before chopping
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
    • 14 1/2 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed
    • bunch black kale or kale, washed and stemmed (about 8 cups)
    • pound smoked sausage, such as kielbasa or andouille, cut in 1/2-inch slices
    1. In a heavy nonreactive 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven combine drained and rinsed beans, 8 cups stock, and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 to 45 minutes, until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Add more stock, if necessary; liquid should fully cover beans for beans to move easily during cooking. Cooking time for beans varies from batch to batch. 
    2. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet heat the 3 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Cook onion in hot oil until translucent, stopping before onions brown. Add celery, carrots, and garlic; sprinkle with a pinch of salt and dried thyme. Stir well. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes; season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes longer. Add to simmering beans in Dutch oven. Rinse and wipe out skillet; set aside. 
    3. In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water cook the kale for 5 minutes. Drain; set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, squeeze water from kale, then coarsely chop. 
    4. In same 12-inch skillet cook sausage in 1 tsp. olive oil over medium-high heat about 3 minutes, until well browned on each side. 
    5. When beans are tender, add kale and sausage to beans and vegetables in Dutch oven. Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning. (Stew improves in flavor when allowed to rest for 30 minutes or longer before serving. The stew can be made and chilled up to 2 days, then reheated to serve.) 

    Friday, March 16, 2012

    The Best Parmesan Chicken Bake

    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
    • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
    • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 2 cups prepared marinara sauce
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
    • 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
    • 5 oz. garlic croutons
    1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. Coat the bottom of a 9x13" casserole dish with olive oil, and sprinkle with garlic and red hot pepper flakes.
    3. Arrange the chicken breasts in bottom of the dish, and pour marinara sauce over chicken.  Sprinkle basil over marinara sauce, and top with half the mozzarella cheese, followed by half the Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle on the croutons, then top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese.
    4. Bake in preheated oven until cheese and croutons are golden brown and the chicken is no longer pink inside, about 35 minutes to an hour, depending on the shape and thickness of your chicken breasts.  
    5. I serve this on a bed of noodles.

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    Italian Sausage Lasagna

    • 1 lb. Italian sausage
    • 12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1/2 Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 2 cups fresh spinach, lightly packed and chopped
    • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
    • 1 tsp. dried oregano
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 large egg
    • 24 oz. small curd cottage cheese
    • 1 jar (24 oz.) marinara sauce
    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta until al dente.  Drain, lightly oil and set aside.  
    2. In a medium sauce pan, saute the sausage, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink.  Add onion and garlic and continue sauteing for another 4 minutes until the sausage is cooked through.  Add marinara sauce to the sausage mixture and set aside.  
    3. In a medium bowl, blend cottage cheese, egg, half of the Parmesan cheese and the chopped spinach; set aside.  
    4. Coat a 9x13" baking dish with olive oil and spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture on the bottom.  Top with 3 lasagna noodles.  Spread 1/4 of the cottage cheese mixture on the oodles and layer on 1 cup of the sauce mixture.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese over this.  Repeat this three times starting with the noodles and finish with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with oregano.
    5. Preheat oven to 350° and bake for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    Tangy Barbecue Chicken

    Servings:  8

    • 1 cup ketchup
    • 2 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
    • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 clove pressed garlic
    • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
    • 3 1/2 lbs. bone-in skinless chicken thighs and legs
    In a medium bowl, whisk together ketchup, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, paprika, salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper; transfer half of sauce to 4-quart or larger slow cooker.  Sprinkle chicken with remaining pepper; add chicken to slow cooker.  Spoon remaining sauce over and around chicken.  Cover and cook on low 6 hours or until chicken is 165 degrees.  Place chicken on platter.  Whisk cooking liquid until well mixed; drizzle over chicken.  Serve chicken with any remaining sauce.  

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    Pulled Pork Tacos

    Servings:  6
    • 2-2 1/2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder
    • 2 tsp. kosher salt
    • 1 tsp. black pepper
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    •  1/2 cup apricot jam or preserves
    • 2 jalapenos sliced into rings and seeded
    • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
    • 8 sm. flour tortillas or corn warmed
    • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
    • 1 lime, cut into wedges

    1. Heat oven to 300°.  Place pork on two layers of aluminum foil.  Season pork with salt and pepper and cumin. Spoon jam over the pork turning to coat.  Scatter the jalapenos and onion around the pork.  Fold the double layer of foil around the pork and crimp edges to seal tightly.  Place in a baking dish.  Roast until for tender.  About 4 hours.  Let cool.
    2. Unwrap pork, reserving juices and discard foil.  Use fork to shred pork.  Transfer to a bowl, pour cooking juices, onion, jalapeno over pork and toss. 
    3. Serve with the tortillas, cilantro and lime wedges and BLACK BEAN AND CORN SALAD, if desired.
    • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 2 cups of corn kernels (frozen)
    • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    • 1/2 red onion, chopped
    • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 2 tsp. hot sauce (tobasco)
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 2 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
    • salt and pepper

    1. Combine all ingredients and let stand 15 minutes for corn to defrost.  Corn chills salad.
    *This salad makes a healthy and great salsa by itself for tortilla chips too.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Grilled Chicken and Corn Quesadillas

    Servings:  4
    • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
    • 1 large red onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
    • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 boneless chicken breast halves, grilled and torn into strips
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1 tsp. chile powder
    • 1 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
    • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
    • 4 ounces thinly sliced Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
    • 3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 1/2 cup salsa

    1. To prepare chicken filling:  Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Saute onions and corn for 5 minutes.  Add garlic.  Cook 1 minute.  Stir in chicken, cumin, chile powder, oregano, salt and pepper.  Remove from heat.
    2. To assemble:  Place tortillas on work surface.  Layer one-fourth of sliced cheese on half of each tortilla.  Top with chicken filling, goat cheese and cilantro, dividing evenly.  Fold tortillas closed.  Press lightly to seal.
    3. To cook:  Heat oven to 200°.  Heat medium saute pan over medium heat.  Cook quesadillas, 1 at a time, 4 to 5 minutes per side or until cheese is melted and tortilla is crisp.  Place finished quesadilla on cookie sheet in oven to keep warm.
    4. To serve:  Slice each quesadilla in half.  Plate with 1 Tablespoon sour cream and 2 Tablespoons salsa.