Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ricotta, Lemon, Arugula Quiche


This was an unusual combination of flavors for a quiche recipe but it worked. It's amazing how much flavor is in arugula!

store-bought pie dough
12 ounces fresh ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups milk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups (about 2 ounces) baby arugula

Whisk ricotta, milk, eggs, zest, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in arugula. Pour mixture into tart shell; bake until puffed and pale golden brown, about 45 minutes (took almost 60min for my oven). Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Strawberry Freezer Jam

We picked a TON of strawberries this past weekend and we've been having so much fun finding new ways to devour them. One of my goals this summer was to make jam for the first time. I used this simple freezer jam recipe and felt so domestic! This jam is very sweet and if you like more of a fruit preserve, find a different recipe. This is for people who LOVE sweet jam! I'm also super excited about how the picture turned out. :)

2 cups crushed fresh strawberries
4 cups sugar
1 (1.75 ounce) package dry pectin
3/4 cup water

Mix crushed strawberries with sugar, and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the pectin into the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 1 minute. Stir the boiling water into the strawberries. Allow to stand for 3 minutes before pouring into jars or other storage containers.
Place tops on the containers, and leave for 24 hours. Place into freezer, and store frozen until ready to use.

Strawberry Cobbler

This recipe came from Vida! It's pretty much as amazing as it looks.

Strawberry Cobbler
Filling:
6 cups strawberries (Cut the tops off and then cut the strawberries in fourths)
½ cup
1 tbsp cornstarch
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch salt
1.5 tsp grated zest and 1 tbsp juice from 1 lemon

biscuit Topping:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tbsp stone-ground cornmeal
¼ cup plus 2 tsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup buttermilk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Adjust oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 deg
2. For the filling: Stir the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl. Add the berries and mix gently with a rubber spatula until evenly coated; add the lemon zest and juice and mix to combine. Transfer the berry mixtrure to a 9-inch glass pie plate, place the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the filling is hot and bubbling around the edges (about 25 min)
3. For the biscuit topping: Meanwhile, whisk the flour, cornmeal, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Whisk the melted butter, buttermilk and vanilla together in a small bowl. Mix the remaining 2 tsp sugar with the cinnamon in a second small bowl and set aside. One minute before the berries come out of the oven, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; stir with a rubber spatula until just combined and no dry pockets remain.
4. To assemble and bake the cobbler: Remove the berries from the oven; increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Pinch off 8 equal pieces of biscuit dough and place them on the hot berry filling, spacing them at least ½ inch apart (they should not touch). Sprinkle each mound of dough with cinnamon sugar. Bake until the filling is bubbling and the biscuits are golden brown on top and cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool the cobbler on a wire rack 20 minutes and serve

Strawberry Shortcake



This is just another wonderful way to eat strawberries. I remember when Crystal first brought these to community group and I seriously went up for thirds. The shortcakes are so amazing. I bet they would be awesome with some strawberry freezer jam spread on top! Instead of cutting them out in squares, I roll the dough into large balls and slightly squish them down on the pan before baking them. I just think they look cuter round.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup butter
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 egg, beaten
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
3 tablespoons white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and cream of tartar. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives. Stir in cream and egg. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 2 minutes. Press into a half-inch thick sheet. Cut into squares. Place on baking sheets.
Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, or until golden. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons sugar over sliced berries.
Let shortcakes cool before splitting and filling with sugared berries.

BBQ Chicken Calzones

This calzone was soooooo good!!!! I am so glad I bought 2 bags of pizza dough from Trader Joes because this made plenty of filling for two huge calzones! In the morning, I just put 3 chicken breasts in the slow cooker with bbq sauce and let them simmer all day. In the evening, I cooked up the bacon and onions and added those to the already shredded chicken in the crockpot. Wow, I will make these again soon!

4 slices bacon
1/2 small onion, chopped
3 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast meat
2/3 cup barbeque sauce
1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough (or two)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from the pan to drain on paper towels; crumble. Add the onion and shredded chicken to the hot bacon grease in the pan. Fry over medium heat until onion is tender. Stir in 1/3 cup of barbeque sauce, and remove from the heat. Mix in the cooked bacon.
Roll the pizza crust dough out onto a greased cookie sheet. Press out to an even thickness, and then cut in half. Divide the chicken mixture between the two pieces of dough, spreading on only half of each piece to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the filling. Sprinkle the cheese and cilantro over the top. Fold the uncovered portion of dough over the filling, and press the edges together with a fork to seal.
Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until browned to your liking. Cool for a few minutes, then cut each calzone in half. Each serving is half of a calzone. These can be served with additional barbeque sauce if you like.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fajitas


I can't believe fajitas haven't made it onto Bites yet! Here is a basic recipe that has lots of flavor in the meat and is jazzed up even more with whatever you decide to put on top. I marinade the meat at least overnight.

1 lb of flank steak or skirt steak
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced with the grain, not against the grain as one would normally slice an onion. Slice first in half, and then slice off sections a half inch wide at widest point.
2 large bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, de-ribbed, sliced lengthwise into half-inch wide strips
Marinade:
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 fresh Jalapeño pepper, seeded, ribs removed, finely chopped (be careful not to touch your eyes or anywhere near your eyes after handling a Jalapeño pepper!)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, including stems

METHOD
1 Mix all marinade ingredients. Set the steak in the marinade and let it sit at least an hour, the longer the better.
2 Heat to high heat a large cast iron pan or griddle. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the steak, frying on each side for 3 minutes, or to desired doneness. 3 minutes per side will yield approximately medium rare doneness for an average cut of flank steak. If pan starts to smoke too much, reduce the heat to medium high. We want the steak browned, not burned. Remove from pan and let sit for 5 minutes.
3 Reduce the pan heat to medium high. Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary. Add the onions, bell peppers. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, until the onions are slightly translucent.
4 Slice the meat against the grain into thin slices. If you slice the meat at a slanted angle, you will be able to get your slices pretty thin. Flank steak is flavorful but can be a little tough, so thin slices will really help make it easier to eat.
5 Serve immediately with shredded cheese, salsa, shredded iceberg lettuce, sour cream, guacamole and warm flour tortillas. (Hint for warming tortillas - put in microwave over a paper towel for 20 seconds on high heat.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mrs Field's Cookie


My hubbie loves a good dessert so I used this cookie recipe to make a big cookie for Father's Day. I just kept an eye on the baking and I think it took about 20min to bake through. It was delicious!!

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (ground fine in food processor)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Cream butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla until very smooth and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a food processor, blend oatmeal until fine. Add to flour mixture.
Stir butter mixture into flour/oatmeal mixture. Blend well.
Add chocolate chips and walnuts. Stir until blended. Roll into golf balls size and bake for 8-10 minutes. You do not want to over bake these.

Cornbread Salad

This is a recipe I have posted before but I finally took a picture of it in my trifle bowl AND it's such a fabulous summer salad, I wanted to repost it :)

One 9-oz package of cornbread mix
One 4.5-oz can chopped green chiles
1.5 cup light mayo
1.5 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I use twice this much total)
3/4 cup lime juice
3 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 head of lettuce, shredded
One 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained WELL
One 11-oz can whole kernel corn, drained WELL
One 8-oz package reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
6 plum tomatoes, chopped and drained

Prepare cornbread mix according to package directions, adding chiles. Cool and crumble. Set aside.
Process mayo and next 4 ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside.
Layer a 4 quart bowl with 1/2 of the lettuce (I add the other 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro to the shredded lettuce), 1/2 of the cornbread, 1/3 of the dressing, and 1/2 each of beans, corn, cheese, pepper, onions, and tomatoes. Repeat layers.
Top with remaining 1/3 of dressing. Cover and chill 1 to 2 hours. Garnish with green onion curls.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pizza Salad

You'll have to excuse the ghetto picture of this salad. I made it for our Father's Day camping trip which explains the "fancy" bowl. I left out the mushrooms and didn't use all the pasta. How can you go wrong with pizza toppings on pasta?

1 (16 ounce) package small shell pasta
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
5 green onions, chopped
1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 1/2 ounces sliced pepperoni sausage
1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup Italian-style salad dressing
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, rinse under cold water and drain.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, tomato, green onions, mushrooms, pepperoni, olives, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Toss together and refrigerate until chilled.
Before serving, add dressing and cheese; mix together well.

Pita Ricotta Calzone

This was one of the flatbelly diet recipes and it was so fast and easy, I thought I was pass it on. It was really simple but we both liked them!

Mix:
1/4 c nonfat ricotta cheese
2 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
4 fresh basil leaves, sliced

Stuff into 1 multigrain pita. Warm under broiler until pita is golden and cheese is bubbly. Serve with 1/2 c marinara sauce for dipping.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Glaze


This grilled pork recipe was a great way to kick off the beginning of an entire forecasted week of sunshine! We can't wait!! And P.S.- this pork was tender and juicy and spicy and sweet and just wonderful.

2 (1 pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed
Spice Rub:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Glaze:
1 1/2 cups apricot preserves
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 lime, juiced

Directions

Place chili powder, garlic powder, sugar, salt and pepper in a jar; shake to blend. Rub spice mixture onto pork tenderloins. Cover tenderloins and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
Prior to grilling, melt apricot preserves in saucepan over medium heat. Remove pan from the heat and stir in remaining glaze ingredients. Place half of the glaze in a serving bowl and hold for service.
Prepare grill at medium-high heat. Grill pork tenderloins for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 160 degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer.
When approximately 4 minutes of cook time remains, brush the pork tenderloins with the apricot glaze remaining in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, turn the pork tenderloins and brush glaze on other side. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove pork from the grill and let set for about 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with reserved glaze.

Homemade Cream Puffs


I thought it was fitting that my first post after the flat belly diet was a scrumptious dessert. Ironic huh? Here's to desserts in moderation! These were so delicious!

2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix (I just used one 5.1 oz box)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs

Directions

Mix together vanilla instant pudding mix, cream and milk. Cover and refrigerate to set.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry.
When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pudding mixture, or use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding into the shells.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Belly Fat

I'm taking a week off from Bites recipes because Mark and I are doing the 4 day jumpstart menu for the flat belly diet. Once in awhile I'm a sucker for fad diets!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Roasted Corn Tortillas


Instead of roasting the corn like Rachael Ray says to do, I just used the bag of frozen roasted corn from Trader Joes.

6 ears corn, shucked
Vegetable oil, for drizzling
Ancho chili powder or traditional chili powder, for sprinkling
Salt and pepper
Grated peel and juice of 1 lime
1 cup heavy cream
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, seeded and finely chopped, plus 1 tablespoon sauce
One can spicy vegetarian refried beans (15 ounces)
Chopped iceberg or romaine lettuce, for topping
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped, for topping
1 small red onion, finely chopped, for topping
Drained and sliced pickled jalapeño chilies or giardiniera (pickled vegetables), for topping
Chopped cilantro, for topping (optional)
Eight 4-6-inch flour or corn tortillas
2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese or mild mexican melting cheese, divided

PREPARATION
Pre-heat an outdoor grill or pre-heat a broiler to high and position a rack on the second shelf.

Dress the corn with a little oil and season with a sprinkle of chili powder, salt and pepper. Grill or broil the corn, turning occasionally, until tender and evenly charred, 12-15 minutes. Invert a small bowl in a larger bowl. Using tongs, remove the corn from the grill or broiler and steady the ears upright, one at a time, on the inverted bowl. Using the back of a knife, scrape the kernels from the cobs. Dress with the lime juice.
In a small saucepan, bring the cream, chipotle, adobo sauce and lime peel to a boil over medium heat on the stovetop only (cream requires a watchful eye and the grill heat is too high). Lower the heat to a low, slow boil and cook until reduced slightly.
In another small saucepan, combine the refried beans and 1/4 cup water on the grill or over medium-low heat. Heat through and remove from the grill.
While the beans heat, line up your toppings. Char the tortillas on the grill or under the broiler, then top with the beans and some of the cheese, saving a little cheese for garnish.. Melt under a covered grill or the broiler for 1 minute.
Serve two tostadas per person. Top each tostada with a mound of corn and the chipotle cream, remaining cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pickled chilies and cilantro, if using.

Couscous Bowl

I prefer this type of couscous over normal couscous because it has more of a pasta texture than a grain texture. I've only seen Israli Couscous at Trader Joes. This recipe was very similar to fried rice, except with couscous.

1 12 oz box of Israeli Couscous (about 1 1/3 cups dry pearl couscous)
12 oz Broccoli Florets (5 cups of broccoli florets)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sesame oil
4 eggs
2 cloves garlic, crushed or 2 cubes Frozen Crushed Garlic
1 1/2 cups Shelled Edamame
1 cup sliced green onion
2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari

Sprinkle on extra soy sauce to taste when serving, optional

1.) Prepare couscous according to package instructions, but add broccoli florets to the pot during the last 5 minutes (just toss them on top and put the lid back on). Allow the broccoli to steam in the pot along with the couscous until both are done.
2.) In a non-stick skillet or wok, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.. Beat together the eggs and sesame oil in a small bowl, then pour into skillet. The egg will spread out in the pan. Cook only for about 30 seconds, just until it starts to set up, and then use a wooden spatula to push the eggs to one side, breaking it up.
3.) Quickly toss the garlic into the exposed part of the pan. Add couscous and broccoli and stir-fry for an additional minute.
4.) Add edamame and green onions. Sprinkle in the soy sauce and stir to combine.

Quinoa Salad With Lime Ginger Dressing and Shrimp

This recipe only made enough for about three portions and you don't need all the dressing. It was really light and flavorful.

For the dressing:

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tsp minced fresh ginger (more to taste)
1 small garlic clove, minced
Salt to taste
Pinch of cayenne
2 tsp Asian sesame oil or walnut oil
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp buttermilk or milk

For the salad:

3 cups cooked quinoa (3/4 cup uncooked)
4 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced thin
1 small cucumber, halved, seeded and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
12 to 16 cooked medium shrimp, peeled

1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lime juice, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt, cayenne, sesame oil, canola oil, and buttermilk.
2. In a salad bowl, combine the quinoa, scallions, cucumber, and cilantro. Toss with the dressing and divide among salad plates. Top each portion with 3 or 4 shrimp, and serve.

Grilled Veggie Sandwich with Lemon Garlic Sauce


Another exciting find during my Trader Joes week was this frozen bag of grilled veggies. They had such wonderful flavor and this sandwich was awesome!!

1 bag frozen Misto Alla Griglia (Marinated Grilled Eggplant & Zucchini)
Petits Pains Rustiques (4 Country Style French Rolls)
Fresh arugula (a few handfuls)
Crumbled Feta with Mediterranean Herbs

Lemon Garlic Sauce (enough for 4 sandwiches)
4 Tbsp mayo
4 tsp lemon juice
4 cubes frozen Crushed Garlic (or 3-4 small cloves garlic, crushed)

1) Thaw bag of eggplant overnight in fridge, or microwave until warm per package instructions.
2.) Cut rolls in half.
3.) In a small bowl, stir together the ingredients for the Lemon Garlic Sauce until smooth.
4.) Build the sandwiches by drizzling a bit of the sauce into the bottom half of each roll. Add a big handful of arugula, then 1/4 of the warmed eggplant and zucchini slices, and finish with a topping of feta.

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