Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Barbecue Chicken with Mustard Glaze

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

I was looking for grilling recipes and came across this chicken rub/glaze on the Cooking Light website. It looked promising, and the reviews were great, so I gave it a try.

The good news is, the ingredients were things I basically keep on hand. Sugar. Garlic Powder. Chili Powder. Vinegar. Mustard. Ketchup. I like when recipes can be made from the pantry staples that I keep on hand. (I also like stocking my pantry so I can make most things, but that’s another post). The other good news is that the recipe came out pretty tasty.

The not-as-good news was that it ended up tasting mostly like bottled barbecue sauce. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, but it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth if you’ve already got barbecue sauce on hand. Unless we’re out of our regular sauce or something, I don’t think I’ll be making this again.

The recipe called for bone-in chicken thighs, but I stuck with our standard boneless, skinless chicken breasts and everything turned out fine.

P.S. The tasty looking side dish you see with the chicken was an awesome two-corn polenta. Check back for that recipe tomorrow!

Barbecue Chicken with Mustard Glaze
Adapted from Cooking Light magazine, July 2009

Ingredients

  • 2  tablespoons  dark brown sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  garlic powder
  • 2  teaspoons  chili powder
  • 1  teaspoon  smoked paprika
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  cup  ketchup
  • 1  tablespoon  dark brown sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 1  tablespoon  Dijon mustard
  • 4  boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Cooking spray

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Combine ketchup and next 3 ingredients (through mustard) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

2. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Rub spice mixture evenly over chicken thighs. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 5-7 minutes. Turn chicken over. Brush with half of ketchup mixture; cook 5-7 minutes. Turn chicken over. Brush with remaining ketchup mixture; cook 2 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°.

Cheddar & Brown Rice Risotto Cakes

Friday, July 30th, 2010

We buy our brown rice from Costco, a 12.5 pound bag of short grain brown rice from Lundberg Family Farms. Recently, I checked out their website and was pleasantly surprised to find a whole slew of recipes for all of their rice products, including several for the short grain variety we buy.

Naturally, this cheesy recipe caught my eye. It was tasty AND healthy, which is a great combination. Kind of like a potato pancake–cheesy, crispy around the edges, with the nutty flavor of brown rice. We really enjoyed these, and I’m sure we’ll make them again. They’d be good with other kinds of cheese as well. If you weren’t worried about the health aspects, full fat cheese and butter or olive oil in place of the nonstick spray would be delicious, but honestly, they were great the healthy way too. :)

I used leftover brown rice to make these cakes, which makes it even better.

Cheddar & Brown Rice Risotto Cakes

  • 1 cup (4-ounces) shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Vegetable cookin spray
  • Applesauce (optional)
  • Lowfat sour cream (optional)
  • 2 cups cooked Lundberg Organic Short Grain Brown RiceCombine rice, cheese, onion, flour, salt and pepper in medium bowl. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar in small bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold beaten egg whites into rice mixture.

    Coat large skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat until hot. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons batter into skillet for each patty; push batter into diamond shape using spatula. Cook patties, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Serve warm with applesauce or sour cream. Makes about 1 dozen patties.

Molasses & Rum-Glazed Grilled Pineapple Skewers

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

After a long, hard day of shopping (he he), Leah and I came home to find a David ready to make us dinner. He grilled a tequila-lime chicken and these pineapple skewers as a side. And they were awesome. The pineapple gets all caramelized, which really brings out the sweetness, but in addition, the molasses-rum glaze tasted almost like toasted marshmallows by the time everything was done. Grilled pineapple is delicious, but this took it up a notch! I’d make this again anytime.

Molasses & Rum-Glazed Grilled Pineapple Skewers

  • 1/3 Cup Molasses
  • 1/4 Cup dark rum
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 small pineapple

1) Put the molasses, rum, lime juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium high and cook until reduced to about 1/3 of a cup.

2) Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.

3) Cut the pineapple into chunks, spears, or wedges, whatever you want.

4) Brush the grill grate with oil so the pineapple doesn’t stick. Put the pineapple on the grill and cook until nicely grill marked, about 3-5 minutes per side. Brush with some glaze during the last two minutes of grilling. Remove to a plate and brush with the remaining glaze. Serve warm.

Green Beans with Bacon-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

It’s green bean season, and we got a whole bushel from my grandparents a week or so ago. I’m sure we’re not the only ones looking to use up some great garden green beans, but other than my friend Leah, who will sit and munch them like potato chips, everyone seems to do the same thing with beans. This time, I was looking for something a little different.

I found this recipe on the Cooking Light website. Despite the bacon and sauce, it works out to only a Point for a cup, which is nice. I used center cut bacon, and substituted chopped walnut pieces for the almonds in the original recipe (David’s not a fan of almonds).

I thought it was tasty, and probably worth another try. There’s sugar in the sauce, and that made it turn out sweeter than I had imagined, probably compounded by the fact that I also substituted regular balsamic vinegar for the white balsamic that the recipe originally called for. I was in a hurry, and ended up tossing things in the skillet a bit differently than called for, and so the end product had bits of candied bacon throughout (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). I think, overall, the beans could have used more salt.

As I said, I’ll probably try this one again, following the original a bit more closely to see how things turn out.

Green Beans with Bacon-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Adapted from Cooking Light, November 1996

Ingredients

  • 2  pounds  green beans
  • 2  bacon slices
  • 1/4  cup  minced shallots
  • 3  tablespoons  coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2  tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  balsamic vinegar

Preparation

Cook green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well; set aside.

Cook bacon in a small skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet. Crumble; set aside. Add shallots to bacon fat in skillet; sauté 1 minute. Add almonds; sauté 1 minute. Remove and let cool. Add sugar and vinegar; stir until sugar dissolves. Add crumbled bacon.

Pour vinaigrette over beans, tossing gently to coat.

The World’s Best Coffee Cake

Monday, July 26th, 2010

That Pioneer Woman. Somebody should buy me her cookbook. Everything she makes looks delicious, even if it’s something I wouldn’t normally like. I also love her sense of humor. And how she’s not afraid of butter.

We’re eating healthier (most of the time) and so I don’t make these treats for David as often as I once did. And when I do, I try to make something that’s not too tempting for me. I managed to stay away from this coffee cake for most of the week, but I’m not sure it was due to lack of temptation. The cake was the perfect amount of sweetness, with great cinnamon and pecan flavors. It was slightly dense, and had the perfect slightly-crumbly texture. It’s got me dreaming of other things I could put in a coffee cake. So much for avoiding temptation.

I followed the directions from the site almost exactly. I don’t have a pastry cutter, so I put the dry ingredients in the food processor with the cold butter for those steps, and pulsed several times. Just enough to chop and distribute the butter, but not enough to remove the clumps. You want clumps! She recommends a large pan, and I would definitely agree. I used a deep white roasting dish from CorningWare, and the cake rose to the top of the pan. A regular 9×13 Pyrex would’ve been cutting it close for sure.

The World’s Best Coffee Cake (According to The Pioneer Woman)

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 1-½ stick Butter, Softened
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 3 cups Flour, Sifted
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1-¼ cup Whole Milk (I used 1 cup of 1% milk with 1/4 cup of cream, because oddly enough, I keep 1% AND heavy cream on hand, and never have whole milk)
  • 3 whole Egg Whites, Beaten Until Stiff

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 1-½ stick Butter, Softened
  • ¾ cups Flour
  • 1-½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 1-½ cup Pecans, Chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat egg whites and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until combined. Don’t overbeat. Fold in beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula. Spread in a well-greased 9 x 13 (or LARGER!) baking pan. A cake pan with higher sides would be best.
  3. In the bowl of your food processor, pulse topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle all over the top.
  4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until completely set. Enjoy!

Grilled BLT Pizza with Blue Cheese

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Did you know you can grill pizza? I’d always heard that you could (mostly from the directions on the Homemade Pizza Company pizzas) but had never had the chance to try it. It was one of the things I was most excited to try when we got a grill.

I took a shortcut on the pizza crust, and picked up dough at Trader Joe’s. Their refrigerated pizza dough has awesome flavor, is made fresh, is made of ingredients you can pronounce, and is only 99 cents! This pizza dough alone is worth the trip to the store. It comes in regular, whole wheat, and herb varieties. All three are tasty, though the whole wheat has a bit tougher texture.

To grill the pizza, place a pizza stone on your grill set to medium-high. Let the grill and stone heat up thoroughly while you top your pizza.

In the kitchen, roll out your pizza dough with a bit of flour to about 12 inches. Spread cornmeal generously over the surface of your pizza peel and transfer the dough. Carefully slide the pizza peel back and forth to ensure that the dough slides a bit. That’s how you know that it’ll move when you transfer the pizza to the hot stone.

Next, go ahead and top your pizza. I’ll detail the toppings below, but whatever you want on your pizza is fine. This works with white pizzas, like this one, or traditional red-sauced pizzas. It doesn’t matter.

Once the pizza is topped, take it out to your grill on the pizza pill and carefully slide it onto the hot pizza stone. The stone will start to cook the pizza immediately, so you won’t be able to move it around once it hits the hot pizza stone. That’s okay though…this one was all wonky when we put it down, and it still came out great.

BLT Grilled Pizza with Blue Cheese
Adapted from MyRecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1  medium-size ripe tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 refrigerated pizza dough from Trader Joe’s
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 1/2  cups  (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1  cup  sliced romaine lettuce

Place tomato slices on prepared pizza dough; sprinkle evenly with pepper. Top with 1/2 cup blue cheese and 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Arrange bacon on top of cheese; sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Grill according to directions above or bake at 500° for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Arrange lettuce on hot pizza.

Note: These toppings were really good, but next time, I think I’d use less blue cheese. It’s a strong flavor, and the recipe calls for a lot.

Hoisin and Bourbon Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Still grilling. 😀

Our next grilling adventure was this awesome pork tenderloin recipe. It couldn’t have been easier to prep or to cook, and the ingredients are things that we keep on hand. (You should keep most of these on hand too, they all have a lot of uses).

The pork cooked up juicy and tender, and the sauce was perfect–just enough sweetness to pick up that great charred grilled flavor.

Hoisin & Bourbon Glazed Pork Tenderloin

  • 1/3  cup  hoisin sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2  tablespoons  bourbon
  • 2  tablespoons  maple syrup
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper paste
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 2  (1-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Prepare grill.

Combine hoisin sauce and next 7 ingredients (hoisin through garlic) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

Slice pork lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open halves, laying pork flat. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.  Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cook 5 minutes. Turn and baste pork with hoisin mixture; cook 5 minutes. Turn and baste pork with hoisin mixture; cook 5 minutes or until pork reaches 155° or desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes; cut pork into 1/2-inch slices.

Note: Hoisin sauce is one of my favorite go-to ingredients. The spiced Chinese sauce can be found in the Asian section of almost any supermarket. It’s a thick paste made with miso, soy sauce, garlic, and seasonings, and adds a really authentic flavor to a lot of chinese dishes. I add it to pepper steak, stir fry recipes, and all kinds of things.

Here’s another tip–keep a chunk of ginger in the freezer. Even though it’s cheap, it always annoyed me to buy a big chunk of fresh ginger root and hardly make a dent in it before it went bad. Instead, we keep the chunk in a ziploc back in the freezer. I just grate up what I need with a microplane grater and keep the rest. This lets us use fresh ginger all the time, without it ever going to waste.

This recipe, from May 2002’s Cooking Light, suggests the addition of hickory chips to your grill, to get the additional smoky flavor. Since the reviews on the wood chip portion of the recipe were mixed on their website, and and since we didn’t have any hickory chips on hand anyway, I decided to skip it. Maybe we’ll try it next time. I suppose if I haven’t tried it, I can’t know what I was missing, but the pork was tender and flavorful without it. It certainly isn’t required.

Garlic Thyme Burgers

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Monday night, I decided to make our first burgers on the shiny new grill. Even though I have our favorite burgers pretty much down to a science (garlic, salt, pepper, and a splash Worcester sauce–nothing fancy, but still very tasty), I wanted to try something a little different. I went with this burger, featured in this month’s Cooking Light magazine.

Picture via cookinglight.com

Garlic-Thyme Burgers
Adapted from Cooking Light June 2010

  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  pound  ground sirloin
  • 1  tablespoon  Dijon mustard
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 4  (2-ounce) Kaiser rolls or other sandwich rolls
  • 4  baby romaine lettuce leaves

Prepare your grill. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Add patties to the grill; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Spread about 3/4 teaspoon mustard over bottom half of each roll; top each with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 patty, 1 tomato slice, and top half of roll.

Note: Cooking Light suggested serving this burger with grilled tomatoes, but I couldn’t quite sell David on the idea, so we went with regular tomatoes. Still quite tasty. The first summery tomatoes I’ve found this year.

I liked the burgers, but not well enough to replace our old standby. The fresh thyme and garlic came through nicely, but didn’t overpower the burger. This would make a nice burger base for many different recipes.

It turns out, I forgot to take a picture, so all I have to offer you is the picture from Cooking Light. I’m trying to get back into the swing of this whole blogging thing. :)

Well, Lost is Over.

Monday, May 24th, 2010

I’m pretty happy, actually, with the finale. I enjoyed it, and I thought they wrapped things up pretty well.

My friend Cara (who has her own fashion blog, if you’re so inclined) came over to celebrate The End. We undertook the massive re-watch together last summer and have made watching Lost a weekly event pretty much ever since, so it was only fitting that we finish it together.

She did an awesome job with the Dharma-tizing of our snacks. You can check out her handiwork below.

that's Dharma wine, beers, and sodas, Dharma Initiative tortilla chips with Dharma salsa, guacamole dip, and salsa con queso dip.

She also printed us boarding passes for Oceanic 815, along with all those awesome poster-prints. We couldn’t resist playing the numbers in the lottery. But more about the food.

I contributed some Dharma Initiative-iced cookies, the “Fish Biscuit” goldfish crackers, and “Black & White Rocks” (i.e. chocolate/yogurt covered raisins). And of course, John Locke orange-slice-smile props.

You’d think that was more than enough food for two people, even though it’s mostly snacks, but no. I also made Donkey Wheel Pasta Salad, which is pretty much just this Pepperoni Parmesan Pasta Salad, which you’ve seen before. I used mini wagon wheel noodles to give it that extra Lost-y touch, but otherwise, it was the same.

Then, in honor of Mr. Smoke Monster himself, I made Lil’ Smokey’s in a blanket, with Smokey cheddar cheese. Yum! (Super-Quick Recipe: Cut crescent roll dough pieces into quarters. Wrap each sliver around a Lil’ Smokey and a small slice of cheese. Bake according to the crescent roll package directions. Enjoy!)

So that was our Lost menu. We had a blast celebrating the series, but I’m not going to lie: I’m going to miss it. What in the world am I going to watch all summer?

Checking In

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

How’s everyone doing out there?

I have been slacking in the blogging department, I know. We’re getting ready to move in a little over two weeks, which has made things very hectic. Lots of apartment hunting, not as much cooking. And certainly not as much noteworthy-recipe-testing cooking. I expect to get back into blogging in a big way come June, once this move is behind us. I’ll be focused more on recipes for 2, since our Test Subject Leah moved out on her own. There’ll be more healthy recipes as well. Plus I’ve got a whole slew of cookbooks that I haven’t had the chance to dive into, including Jamie Oliver’s “Cook with Jamie,” which is one of the most gorgeous books I’ve seen in a long time, and “Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volumes 1 & 2,” which capture my imagination every time I turn the page.

Tonight, my friend Cara and I are having a LOST finale party, complete with Dharma treats. I’ll check in tomorrow with my favorites and photos, if I can set aside my mourning long enough to post.

All good things have to come to an end, right?