Saturday, February 14, 2009

Feta and Spinach Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Another yummy pork recipe...this time from a pretty cool blog - Joelen's Culinary Adventures. I modified it a bit, and made it with some potatoes au gratin for a nice Sunday night dinner a while back (yes, still catching up on all the pics in my camera and random recipes strewn about). It could have used the sauce that Joelen's original recipe called for but I didn't want it to clash with the taters.

Here's what I did:
Sauteed some shallot, mushrooms, red pepper and garlic in some olive oil. Add about 1/2 a bag of frozen spinach and let it cook until it was thawed and heated thru.

Sliced the pork tenderloin lengthwise 3/4 of the way thru, and opened it like a book. Pounded out tenderloin to about 1/4-1/3 in thick.

Spoon the spinach mixture on one side, and topped it with about 1/4 of crumbled feta cheese. And rolled up the tenderloin, and tied it up with some cooking twine. Seasoned it with some salt, pepper and italian seasoning, and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

Popped it in the oven for about 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Took it out and let it rest for 10 minutes, tented with foil to keep warm. Slice and plate.

Easy Seafood Enchiladas

Ok so I have a problem at grocery stores when something is 2-for-1 or when you get a bargain for buying multiples (10/$10). I can't pass it up. I physically can't. Which is why I had an abundance of imitation crabmeat. What? Yeah, imitation crabmeat. I love it. I don't know why, I just do. Don't ask. I had four packets of the stuff in the fridge, and had to start using it up.

I don't have a lot of time in the evenings to make big elaborate dinners during the week. I found this supposed copy-cat recipe of Chi-Chi's seafood enchiladas. I didn't taste anything like Chi-Chi's but with a couple modifications, it did make for a good and quick dinner.

6 servings

1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 10 oz. can cream of chicken soup (I used healthy choice)
1 C fat-free cottage cheese

12 ounces crab, chopped (real or imitation)
1 3/4 cups reduced-fat mexican blend cheese, shredded
6 large whole wheat tortillas
1 cup skim milk
1 dash nutmeg
1 dash pepper
chili powder
hot sauce

Sautee garlic, onion and jalapeno in small pan until tender. In mixing bowl, stir together soup, onion, jalapenos, nutmeg and black pepper. In another bowl, place half of the soup mixture, crab and 1 cup of the shredded cheese, cottage cheese: season with chili powder and hot sauce and set aside.

Place 1/6 of crab mixture on each tortilla and roll up. Place seam side down in greased baking dish. Stir milk into the reserved soup mixture, pour over enchiladas. Bake at 350 for 30 mintues. Top with the rest of the cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Something that I've had my eye on to try for a while. While I know it wouldn't come close to what I have gotten in our favorite Indian couldn't hurt to try, right? The best part of this was that it's pretty friggin' healthy. Seriously. Regardless of how people feel about fat-free 1/2 & 1/2 (probably all chemicals, but whateva) it makes for a tasty sauce. We both agreed it was definitely a keeper. And spicy...whew! It has a lovely slow burn that kind of creeps up on you then makes you want to dive head-first into some yogurt to cool your mouth down. It rocked like that.

We had it over brown basmati rice. Next time I might even try it with some light coconut milk for additional layer of flavor. And maybe a side of veggies? Even the chicken hot off the grill was fabulous. I made some extra chicken to have for a salad or wrap this's that tasty!

Chicken Tikka Masala
From this blog - thanks Good Eats n' Sweet Treats!

1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspon garam masala
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 long skewers

1 tablespoon butter
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (I used one jalpeno and one habanero)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup fat-free half & half
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine marinade ingredients: yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and salt, garam masala. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat a grill for high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.

Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapenos for 1 minute. Season with cumin, paprika, garam masala and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream, diced tomatoes. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Valentines Day Breakfast

A recipe for crepes randomly appeared in my Google reader a week or so ago, so I got the idea stuck in my head that it would be a great Valentine's Day breakfast for us. I had the vision in my head of getting up early today, whipping up a fresh batch of healthy (ie whole wheat) crepes stuffed with a sweetened cottage cheese filling, and a lovely blackberry sauce, with some expertly dipped chocolate covered strawberries. One problem. I have never made either in my life. And it probably wasn't a good idea to try to perfect the art of crepe-making at 8AM on a Saturday morning!

I ended up taking the safe route, I actually found ready-made crepes in the grocery store. Perfect...lazy, but perfect. One step down.

I whipped up a filling using:
cottage cheese - about 1/2 C
cream cheese - maybe 1/4 C
A dash of lemon juice
sugar - 2-3T
A little vanilla and almond extracts

Using 4 of the lazy crepes, I spooned a 1/4 of the filling into each and wrapped them up burrito-style and put them seam side down into a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Then I spritzed the top with a little butter spray for some flavor. Baked for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Now the strawberries. That was actually kinda easy. I melted about 1/4 C of mini chocolate chips, a dash of canola oil and a dash of almond extract. I was just enough to coat 4 strawberries.

I plated the crepes, topped with some sliced strawberries (tossed in a little sugar) and some fresh blackberries. Sprinkled on a little powdered sugar...and added the chocolate covered strawberries on the side and Viola! A yummy breakfast.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tasty Sauce for Salmon (and more!)

I needed a quick sauce for salmon one night and found this little number. I make it a lot because it's great on more than just salmon! It's yummy on sandwiches, used in egg salad, and I even had some with an omelet and smoked salmon one morning.
Mustard Sauce
1T mustard powder (I used Coleman's)
1T water
1tsp dill
1/2 C mayo

Mix water, mustard, and dill together. Let sit for 20 minutes. Stir in mayo and chill.

New Years Eve - 2008 (Norm's Paella)

Norm makes one killer Paella. Seriously. He finally got his dad's recipe a few years ago and has since perfected it. We have made it a tradition to have it on Christmas Eve...although this year because of lots of family visits and festivities, we didn't get to have it until New Years Eve.
We spent a quiet night in...and made a night out of eating lots of delicious foods! And lots of wine. Perhaps too much, but that's a whole other story = )

The recipe he uses, makes a ton. So for just the two of us, this is one giant pot of goodness! Not to mention it makes for good leftovers, too.
So we started with a big cheese plate to snack on while dinner cooked. I was so excited to find a basket labeled "just enough" cheeses at the grocery store. Each was just a few ounces...and really "just enough" for two! We had 7 or 8 cheeses (I know, total overkill), apple & pear slices, grapes, olives, quince paste and the cutest litte whole wheat toasts.
And wine...mmmmm wine.

Dinner is served!

I made a tossed salad of baby spinach, apples, walnuts and blue cheese with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Some champagne at midnight. I pumped mine up with pomegranate liquor. good.

Christmas Cookies!

Here's a pic of my cookie platter...its a good representation of what I made for my family for our Christmas weekend celebration.

From the top:

Russian Tea Cakes

Raspberry Pecan Thumbprints

Gingerbread Biscotti

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Kiffles - Hungarian Pastries (apricot, nut & poppyseed)

Chocolate Crinkles

Magic Cookie Bars

Thanksgiving 2008 - Roasted Butternut Squash

See how far behind I am???

I told my mom that I'd help out with the Thanksgiving feast this year. I made some steamed green beans with some chopped proscuitto and pine nuts, a tossed salad with diced green apple, toasted walnuts and crumbled blue cheese, and some damn tasty roasted buttternut squash.

The squash was super easy...

4 C of cut up squash (my grocery had it pre-cubed...way easy)
garlic salt
3 T fresh sage, chopped fine
1 shallot sliced
1-2 T olive oil
1-2 T balsamic vinegar
Toss all ingredients in a bowl. Pour into a 9x13 pan, sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Yummy.

Lobster Newberg

This was all Norm. We actually had a couple of small lobster tails in the freezer, dying to be used in something scrumptious. He found this recipe. Since, at the time, we were off carbs (thanks South Beach), we served it over grilled portobella caps instead of the traditional toast/pastry shells.

Lobster Newberg

2 cups cooked lobster meat, about 2 small lobsters
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons dry sherry
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
buttered toast or pastry shells

In a medium saucepan over low heat, heat lobster in the butter for 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt, cayenne pepper, and sherry. Mix beaten egg yolks with the half-and-half and add to lobster. Cook, stirring constantly, until lobster newburg is thickened and heated through, but do not bring to a boil. Serve lobster newburg over buttered toast or pastry shells. Lobster Newburg recipe serves 4.

General Tso's Chicken

Sorry for the lack of pics....blogger is having image issues tonight. I know you can't wait to see my stunning food photography!

General Tso's Chicken
WW Message Board

3/4 c chicken broth, reduced-sodium
2 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS Splenda
2 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 TBS white wine vinegar
2 medium scallions, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or 1 dried chili pepper, minced
1 lb uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 c cooked brown rice, kept hot

In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger; set aside. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions, garlic and pepper and cook 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Add reserved sauce and simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Serve chicken and sauce over rice.

Yields about 1 cup of chicken and sauce and 1/2 cup of rice per serving. Serves 4

Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut-Curry Sauce

Perhaps I should have worked on my photography skillz on my hiatus?

Another tasty way to prepare tilapia! We like things super spicy so I upped the amount of curry paste, and added some minced jalapeno. = )

Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut-Curry Sauce
Serves 4

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil*, divided
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons red curry paste*
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets

Cooking spray
3 cups hot cooked basmati rice(we had brown basmati)
4 lime wedges

Preheat broiler. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add pepper and onions; cook 1 minute. Stir in curry powder, curry paste, and cumin; cook 1 minute. Add soy sauce, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and coconut milk; bring to a simmer (do not boil). Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.

Brush fish with 1/2 teaspoon oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve fish with sauce, rice, and lime wedges.

Blackberry Basil Vinaigrette

This was great! I made a salad for a get together with some friends....drizzled the dressing o mixed greens, with some goat cheese, thinly sliced red onion and toasted walnuts.

Blackberry Basil Vinaigrette
Source: Southern Living

½ (10oz) jar seedless blackberry preserves
¼ c red wine vinegar (I used balsamic)
6 fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, sliced
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. seasoned pepper
¾ c. vegetable oil (I used about 1/2 c olive oil instead to try to lighten it up)

Pulse preserves and vinegar; add next 4 ingredients. With blender running, add oil slowly. Process until smooth.

Grilled Tequila-Lime Chicken

Someone's back!

Posting some random recipes that I found that I want to be sure that I keep track of before they get lost in the depths of my email folders and/or recipe box!

This was yummy...served on whole wheat tortillas, with the usual "taco night" toppings: shredded lettuce, tomato, onion, red pepper, avocado, black beans, sliced olives, sour cream, and of course lots of hot sauce!

Grilled Tequila-Lime Chicken
1 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup tequila
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeƱo chilies
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 boneless chicken breast halves with skin

Mix first 8 ingredients in bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Cover; chill overnight. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Brush grill rack with oil. Grill chicken until cooked through, turning occasionally, about 18 minutes. Transfer to platter.
Bon AppƩtitAugust 2000