Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lemon-kale pesto on pasta with...fish of some sort!



The recipe that I found for this delicious Lemon-Kale Pesto dinner used linguine and scallops.  I used penne and salmon.  But all the rest was the same...more or less!  It was really good.  Don't let the poisonous green color fool you.  I used baby kale instead of adult that needed de-stemming, and I think that upped the color-quotient!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tomato-chipotle soup


Now I remember why I'm really ambivalent about dumplings.  Three out of the four of us in our family really hate the mushy, soaky exterior, and even the fourth isn't crazy about it.  It just seemed rude to be scraping off the mushy outside at the table, so I decided we would pass on them. 

And then I got seduced by a recipe.  Well, I thought, they're not really that different from matzo balls, which we all love.

Ahem.  Yes, they are different.  And they're gross.  However, if you like them, I would suggest that you give these cornbread dumplings a try, compliments of Hannaford.  Personally, I will never make them again, but we really liked the tomato-chipotle soup recipe that came with them  That I will be making again!


Chipotle-Tomato Soup

Olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 - 28 oz cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
1 chipotle chili in adobo, plus 2 t of the sauce
Black pepper
1/2 c skim milk
1/2 t baking soda
Parsley (optional)

In a dutch oven, saute the garlic until just softened.  Add tomatoes through pepper and heat.  Use an immersion blender to puree to desired texture.  Stir in milk and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to simmer until ready to serve.  Stir in baking soda just before serving and garnish with parsley if desired. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Philosophy 101


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Brie with cranberry chutney



I've seen this done many many times, but this recipe caught my eye because the cranberry portion was a speecy-spicey chutney instead of the usual (canned!) cranberry sauce.  Yeah for Hannaford...they figured it out!

Warm Brie with Cranberry Chutney

1 c cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/3 c sugar
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1/3 c golden raisins
3 T cider vinegar
1/4 t ground cloves
1/2 t cinnamon

1 - 8oz wheel of brie
1/4 c sliced almonds
Crackers for serving

In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries through the cinnamon.  Simmer over medium-low heat until all the berries pop, about 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool and thicken. 

Preheat oven to 350.  Place brie on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Top with chutney and bake until the cheese is heated through, about 12 to 15 minutes.  While brie bakes, toast the almonds in a small skillet.  Place brie on serving plate and top with almonds.  Serve with crackers or small bread slices.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pecan-crusted whitefish



Along with my obsession butternut squash has come an equal obsession with all things healthy.  I love having the chance to shake off the winter pounds before spring has fully arrived.  No last-minute marathon sessions at the gym for me.  Well, I do go every day, but I no longer marathon!

Hannaford's Fresh magazine had a great recipe for Butternut Squash with Rosemary, and they suggested pairing it with this great pecan crusted fish.  While they called for tilapia, I chose a slightly thicker fillet.  You can chose whatever you'd like...this would also be good with salmon, I bet. 

Pecan-Crusted Whitefish
 1/2 c pecans, finely chopped
1/2 c panko
1/2 t paprika
Black pepper
2 egg whites
Canola oil
4 whitefish portions, each about 6 oz

Get two shallow dishes.  In one, mix the pecans through the pepper.  In the other, lightly beat the egg whites.  Dip each fish portion into the egg and then press both sides into the pecan mixture.  Cook in a bit of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Butternut squash with tangerine



I've been on a real squash kick lately, and I wonder if it's my body's way of telling me that I need some beta-carotene.  Once more, Fresh magazine came through for me, although as usual I did change it a bit.  

Butternut Squash with Tangerine
4 c cubed butternut squash
2 tangerines
1/2 t cinnamon
1 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Steam the squash until soft and hot.  While it cooks, grate the zest from the tangerines into the serving bowl.  Squeeze in about 1/3 c of the juice.  Add the cooked squash and the rest of the ingredients, and use an immersion blender to puree. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Peanut blossoms with mini-Reese bits



How fun!  I still think I like them better with Hershey's Kisses, but this is a nice variation.  Here's my recipe for Peanut Blossoms.   How about coaxing them into a heart shape...?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Butternut squash with rosemary



I love all the hard-shelled squashes in the wintertime, but I might love butternut squash most of all.  Hannaford's Fresh magazine recently featured this great combo, which I changed up a bit.  You'll see that I subbed in tahini for cashew butter, and upped the spices a bit.  Do it their way or mine...just do it!  


Butternut Squash with Rosemary

4 c cubed butternut squash
1 T tahini
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 t fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 t nutmeg

Steam the squash until soft and hot.  Place in serving bowl along with other ingredients and use an immersion blender to puree.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Tomato dressing for salad



Next time I will choose more deeply colored tomatoes for this dressing and make sure I get the lighting right for the shot!  It was delicious, but the photo makes it look a bit too much like French dressing, which it most definitely is not.

Tomato Dressing

1 large or two smaller tomatoes, cut in half
Olive oil
Red-wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt

Put the tomatoes under the broiler, skin-side up until skin is blackening.  Remove and let cool.  Peel off skin, chop and core, and place in large glass measuring cup.  Add 3 - 4 T olive oil, a few t of vinegar, and the minced garlic.  Use an immersion blender and whirl together, leaving it as chunky as you wish.  Add salt to taste.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Juicy Grilled Turkey Burgers


 I have always loved turkey burgers, but only when they are almost undercooked.  And we all know how dangerous that can be.  So I was thrilled to learn that America's Test Kitchen had decided to tackle the too-dry to eat problem.

Just like with their foray into making a better Meatloaf, the secret to getting moist, but fully cooked turkey burgers turned out to be the addition of some umami and moisture boosters in the form of chopped white mushrooms and a bit of gelatin.  Wow, what a difference!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Cranberry-white chocolate cookies



Hannaford's Fresh magazine profiled a batch of cookie variations that could be made starting with their basic butter cookie recipe.  I was particularly interested in the cranberry and white chocolate variety, since I'm always looking for cookie recipes that my non-dark-chocolate eating friends might enjoy.  I changed the directions slightly to make bigger (better?) cookies, but otherwise this recipe is theirs.  You can find it, along with the other variations, at the link above.

Would these be pretty for Valentine's Day too? 

Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies
Makes 4 dozen

1 c unsalted butter
1/3 c light brown sugar, packed
2/3 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour, divided
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2/3 c old-fashioned or quick oats (not instant), ground in food processor
2/3 c chopped dried cranberries
2/3 c white chocolate chips or 4 oz. white chocolate bar, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter. Add sugars and beat well. Add egg and vanilla.

Sprinkle 1 c flour over mixture, then add the baking powder and salt. On low speed, mix just until incorporated. Add remaining 1 cup flour and mix in by hand along with the oats, cranberries, and chocolate.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet, 16 per sheet. Cookies will spread slightly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway.  Cookies should just begin to turn pale brown at the edges, and will still be slightly soft. Let cool on pan for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.