Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Oven-Roasted Fries

From Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries, and Shakes, page 92.

Prep: 10 min./Cook: 35 min.
Serves: 4-6.
Pictured: Oven-Roasted Fries with Cuban Seasoning.
5 large Yukon Gold potatoes, well scrubbed
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Tbs. kosher salt
3 Tbs. seasoning mix (pages 117-119), optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven to heat for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice each potato lengthwise into 8 slices.  Put the potato slices in a large bowl, add oil, salt, and seasoning mix, if using, and toss to coat the potatoes evenly.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and add the potatoes in an even layer.  Bake the potatoes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 35 minutes.  Serve hot.

Cuban Seasoning
1 tsp. ground bay leaves
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. granulate onion
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

Whisk together bay leaves, cumin, garlic, onion, oregano, and turmeric in a small bowl until combined.

- I used 10 small Yukon Gold potatoes
- My fries were delicious and cooked through, but perhaps next time I'll cook them a little longer to get them a little more like fries instead of roasted potatoes.
- A small coffee grinder is perfect for grinding dried bay leaves (as well as other spices).  I used a little less than 1 tsp. garlic powder because I didn't have granulated garlic, and I again used the coffee grinder to turn my dried minced onion into granulated onion.

Crunchy Broccoli Salad

From Healthy Cooking (April/May 2010), page 43.

Prep/Total Time: 20 min
Yield: 10 servings
8 cups fresh broccoli florets
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3 Tbs. canola oil
3 Tbs. seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 cup sunflower kernels
3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

In a large bowl, combine broccoli, onions, and cranberries.  In a small bowl, combine oil, vinegar, and sugar; drizzle over broccoli and toss to coat.  Chill until serving.

Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and bacon.

- The original recipe calls for an entire bunch of green onions, which seemed a bit much to me.  It also called for 1/2 cup cranberries, but I wanted more.  The nutrition facts listed below are for the original recipe.
- I didn't have seasoned rice vinegar, so I used regular.  I also decided to add about 1/8 tsp. ground ginger to the dressing and used already cooked and crumbled real bacon from a little bag that I bought at the store.  Cheating, I know.

Nutrition Facts (for original recipe):
3/4 cup = 121 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 233 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Black Bean Burgers with Cilantro-Lime Mayo

From the food blog Cookin' Canuck.

Prep: 30 min. + chilling / Cook: 8 min.
Yield: 4 burgers
These are absolutely delicious!  The texture of the patty is obviously not meat, but it is good and tasty.  We will definitely be eating these again.

4 slices stale or toasted whole wheat bread, cubed
2 Tbs. olive or canola oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. minced jalapeno pepper, membranes and seeds removed
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/4 cups cooked brown rice
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Cilantro-lime Mayo (recipe follows)
4 whole wheat buns, toasted if desired
Cotija cheese, crumbled
Tomato, sliced
Avocado, sliced

Pulse bread in a food processor to form breadcrumbs.  Pour into a bowl and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbs. oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft.  Add garlic, jalapeno, and ground cumin.  Saute for 2 more minutes.

Scrape mixture into food processor.  Add black beans, brown rice, lime juice, salt, and pepper.  Pulse until beans are chopped but not pureed.

Remove bean mixture into a large bowl.  Add cilantro and 1/2 of the breadcrumbs; stir mixture until combined.  Add more breadcrumbs if needed.

Divide bean mixture into 4 equal portions and form into patties.  Place on a baking sheet or large plate lined with plastic wrap and cover with additional plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook burgers 4 minutes per side.

Spread Cilantro-lime Mayo on both interior sides of bun.  Top with black bean patty, cotija cheese, tomato, and avocado.

Cilantro-lime Mayo
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tbs. finely chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, lime juice, ground cumin, cilantro, and pepper.  Stir well.

- I probably only used about three slices-worth of bread crumbs.
- One small jalapeno will be about the right amount; however, it wasn't spicy at all to me, so I may use a large one next time.
- Next time you make brown rice, set some aside and make this recipe the same week.  It will save you a lot of time waiting for the rice to cook so you can make your burgers (brown rice takes a lot longer to cook than white rice).
- I didn't really measure my lime juice: I used half a lime for the burger and the other for the mayo.
- We ate ours on wheat kaiser rolls--yummy!
- Cotija cheese is a salty, crumbly, cows milk cheese from Mexico.  Most grocery stores have it.
- Confession: I didn't chill the patties at all because we were hungry and didn't want to wait half an hour to eat.  I don't think it made a difference, but I guess I'll know better next time I make these . . . correctly. Just know that if you're short on time, you'll be fine skipping the refrigeration!
- Use mayo with olive oil--it's all I buy anymore!

Oreo Cookies

From Lindsey Eliason.

1 box Devils Food cake mix
2 eggs
3/4 cup shortening
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup margarine
2 tsp. vanilla
2-4 cups powdered sugar

Mix together cake mix, eggs, and shortening.  Drop in tablespoonfuls on greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 8 min @ 350F.  Let cool.

Mix together cream cheese, margarine, vanilla, and 2 cups powdered sugar.  Add more powdered sugar until the filling reaches the desired consistency (thick but not too thick).  Sandwich between two cookies.

- I haven't made this in a while, so I don't remember how long it takes or what the yield is.
- I use a cookie scoop for, well, almost everything.  It makes a really nicely shaped cookie.  If you don't have one (and don't want to make the purchase), I suppose you could gently roll the dough into little balls so they're good, circular discs.

Nut-Crusted Orange Roughy

From Simple and Delicious (March/April 2009), page 12.

Prep/Total: 25-30 min.
Yield: 4 servings
This fish recipe is really easy and quite delicious!  The mild flavor of the fish is complemented by the walnut-sesame crust and the sweet-salty sauce.  We've rated it as one of our top four favorite fish recipes that we've tried so far.

4 fresh or frozen orange roughy fillets, thawed (5 oz. each)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup finely chopped walnuts, pecans, or a mixture of the two
3 Tbs. seasoned bread crumbs
1 Tbs. sesame seeds
1 Tbs. dried parsley flakes
2 Tbs. butter
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce

Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper.  Place flour and egg in separate shallow bowls.  In another shallow bowl, combine walnuts, bread crumbs, sesame seeds, and parsley.  Dip fish in flour, egg, then walnut mixture.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook fish in butter in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

In a small bowl, whisk honey and soy sauce; serve with fish.

Nutrition Facts:
1 fillet + 1 Tbs. sauce = 425 calories, 22 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 153 mg cholesterol, 633 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 32 g protein

- We only used half of the sauce, so you may consider reducing the amount you make.
- Orange roughy is low in calories and fat and has a very mild flavor.  So good!
- The recipe suggests using flounder or sole if you can't find orange roughy.

Squash and Veggie Couscous

Adapted from Simple and Delicious (June/July 2010), page 24.

Prep/Total: 25 min.
Yield: 4 servings
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup uncooked couscous
1 medium yellow summer squash, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
2 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. Italian dressing
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning

In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil.  Stir in couscous.  Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5-10 minutes or until broth is absorbed.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the squash, carrot, red pepper, and onion in butter until tender.  Stir in seasonings.  Fluff couscous with a fork; toss with vegetable mixture.

- Use reduced-sodium chicken broth to lower the sodium in this dish even more.
- You could add 1/3 cup chicken broth and leave the dressing out.
- I opted for a red pepper instead of green because they're sweeter.
- Meatless Version: Replace chicken broth with vegetable broth and use olive or canola oil instead of butter.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Category!

The poll results are in, and we have a tie: Meatless and Pasta.

I am really excited about adding the Meatless page (so excited that I've already done it).  We've just started eating a meatless meal once a week, so you should see more being added to this category at least that often.  Because lots of recipes can easily be modified so that they are meatless, I've attempted posting my ideas in the Notes sections for several recipes already on this blog.  As you'll see on the Meatless page, I've marked those recipes so you can know which ones are genuinely meatless and which ones you'll need to play with.  As with all the recipes on this blog, I appreciate any ideas you have or changes you've made.  That is especially true in this new category, particularly with the modified recipes.

In addition to Meatless, the category that most people wanted expanded was Pasta.  I'll keep that in mind as I plan our meals in the future.  Fortunately this is a category that includes both main dishes and side dishes, so that should be pretty easy!

Just behind the tie, you voted for Bread / Breakfast.  That's a category I wanted to work on, too, so hopefully I'll have some luck and can add to it.  It will be a welcome opportunity for me to improve my bread-making skills (or lack of them).  Plus, I've got a pancake & waffle cookbook that I'm dying to get more use out of.

Thanks so much for your input and your readership.  I'll try to keep some good recipes coming your way!
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