Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lentil Burritos

These are a different take on burritos, and I really liked them a lot! I couldn't find roasted garlic tomato sauce, so used regular tomato sauce and added in a garlic clove that I roasted myself. And in the interest of saving some money I used mozzarella instead of cheddar, since I already had it in the house (I do think cheddar would be better in these, though, because it has a stronger flavor). And, of course, I completely forgot to serve the sour cream I got to have with it!

Lentil Burritos
Southern Living

1 cup dried lentils
4 cups water
1 small onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
16 (7-inch) flour tortillas
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce with roasted garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon green taco sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Toppings: sour cream, guacamole

Simmer lentils in 4 cups water in a saucepan over medium heat 20 minutes or until tender; drain, reserving 1 cup liquid.

Sauté onion and bell pepper in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; stir in lentils and cheese. Spoon mixture evenly down center of each tortilla, and roll up. Place in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Bring 3/4 cup reserved liquid, tomato sauce, cumin, and taco sauce to a boil in a saucepan. Stir together remaining 1/4 cup reserved liquid and cornstarch until smooth. Stir into sauce mixture, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, 10 minutes. Pour over burritos.

Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve with desired toppings.

8 servings

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Island Beef Stew

This my seem like an odd mix of ingredients, but they came together in a really fabulous way!

Island Beef Stew
Cooking Light

3 pounds lean, boned chuck roast, trimmed
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (14.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
3 cups vertically sliced onion
1 1/4 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrot (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Dredge beef in flour. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven; add beef, browning on all sides. Add tomatoes, onion, pepper, and salt. Combine water, molasses, and vinegar; stir into beef mixture. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beef is tender. Stir in carrot, raisins, and ginger; simmer an additional 30 minutes or until carrot is tender.

Remove roast from pan. Separate roast into bite-size pieces, and shred with 2 forks. Return shredded roast to pan.

9 servings

Friday, April 24, 2009

Grilled Vegetable Panini & Tomato Soup

These sandwiches were really good, and I liked that the vegetables were cooked right on the panini grill. I wanted to use rosemary bread instead of the olive bread, but the store was out of it when I went so I used a baguette instead.

Grilled Vegetable Panini

Balsamic vinaigrette (bottled or homemade)
1 Japanese eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
1 yellow onion, sliced into 1/4-inch rings
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 slices olive bread (I used a baguette)
2 roasted red peppers (I made my own, but you can use bottled - just pat dry)
4 slices provolone cheese

Place eggplant and zucchini in a plastic bag with enough balsamic vinaigrette to coat the vegetables. seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat panini grill. Brush olive oil on both sides of onions, season with salt and pepper and place on the grill. remove eggplant and zucchini from marinade (discard remaining marinade) and place onto the grill as well. Close the lid and grill the vegetables for 3-4 minutes until cooked through.
Brush olive oil on the outer sides of each bread slice. On the bottom bread slices (oil side down) spread a layer of hummus. Top with slices of eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, onion, cheese, and the top bread slices (oil side up).

Grill 3-4 minutes until cheese is melted and golden grill marls appear.

Serve immediately.

2 servings

This is a fantastic recipe for tomato soup! It has to be started ahead of time, but once the tomatoes and garlic is roasted it comes together in no time.

I let the tomatoes roast overnight, and I roasted the garlic in the morning, then put them in the fridge until I was ready to make the soup. (I did not make the garlic chips, but would if I was serving to company.)

Oven-Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup
Bobby Flay,

Oven Roasted Tomatoes:
4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Place the tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet. Combine the garlic and olive oil and brush the tomatoes with it. then season with the salt and pepper. Roast until dried and soft, about 8 hours.

Garlic Chips
1 cup olive oil
8 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced paper thin

heat oil in a medium skillet until the oil starts to simmer. Add the garlic and cook until the slices begin to brown and curl. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Tomato Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups canned plum tomatoes (I used 1 15-ounce can, drained)
6 roasted garlic cloves
Oven Roasted Tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and white pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke and saute the onions until golden. Add the wine, raise the heat to high, and reduce until almost dry. Add the stock, canned tomatoes, roasted garlic and roasted tomatoes and reduce by one-quarter.

Puree the mixture in a food processor (I used an immersion blender) and return to the pot. Add the thyme, honey and salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with garlic chips.

8 servings

Monday, April 20, 2009

Classic Roast Chicken with Gravy

Wanting to use up one of the whole chickens I have in the freezer, I decided to make this recipe. It was probably not the best day to make it since it is so hot out and I don't have air conditioning (the kitchen was 86 degrees by the time I finished making it), but it was REALLY good! I can't wait to make it again... on a much cooler day :)

Classic Roast Chicken with Gravy
Cooking Light

1 (3 3/4-pound) whole roasting chicken
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, peeled and halved
4 stalks celery, halved
1 onion, quartered

1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375°.

To prepare chicken, remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken; trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breasts and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.

Combine butter and next 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl. Rub seasoning mixture under loosened skin and over breasts and drumsticks. Tie ends of legs together with twine. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Place carrots, celery, and onion in a single layer in a roasting pan. Place chicken, breast side up, on top of vegetables.

Bake at 375° for 40 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 450°, and bake an additional 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of thigh registers 170°. Using tongs or insulated rubber gloves, remove chicken from pan, tilting slightly to drain juices. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; reserve.

To prepare gravy, place a zip-top plastic bag in a 2-cup glass measure. Pour wine into bag; add drippings from pan. Let stand 2 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into measuring cup, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat.

Return vegetables to pan. Add wine mixture and broth to pan; cook 10 minutes over medium heat, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Remove vegetables from pan using a slotted spoon; discard. Combine flour and water in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk to form a slurry; add slurry and 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan, stirring constantly. Simmer 1 minute or until slightly thick.
Remove skin from chicken; discard. Carve chicken, and serve with gravy.

4 servings

For the Mashed Potatoes:

I boiled 4 peeled, cubed medium-sized potatoes, along with 4 whole peeled garlic cloves. Before draining the potatoes, I reserved about 3/4 cup of the cooking water. After I drained the potatoes I returned them to the pot and mashed them with the garlic. I then stirred in the reserved cooking liquid, and some salt and pepper to taste.

They were so creamy and flavorful, you'd never guess they were fat free!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Black Pepper-Honey Steak

This was a nice, simple marinade that added flavor without overpowering the meat. The only change I made was to use a cast iron grill pan instead of a saute pan.

Black Pepper-Honey Steak
The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper, Lynne Rossetto Kasper & Sally Swift

3 tablespoons dry red wine
3 tablespoons honey
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1 1/2 to 2 pounds steak (I used ribeye), cut 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inches thick and trimmed of excess fat
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the wine, honey, garlic, and pepper in a shallow dish. Add the steak, turning to coat it with the mixture. Let it stand at room temperature while you set up the rest of the meal.

Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Pat the steak dry, add it to the pan, and brown it quickly on both sides, sprinkling salt and grinding more pepper over both sides as they cook.

Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, turning the steak often, for 10 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 125 to 130 (for medium rare). Remove it to a platter and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. The steak finishes cooking, collects itself, and is much juicier for the wait.

3 to 4 servings