Monthly Archives: February 2009
|February 27, 2009||Posted by LK under Lent, Light, One Pan, Quick Weeknight Meals, Sides, Vegetarian or Vegan|
Look at this- two vegetarian, lent-friendly recipes in a row! I actually made this last night and served it with some chicken (as you can see here) but I’m honestly not a big chicken fan so I didn’t even eat mine. I’ve made the orzo a few times, and it makes a great meal on its own. Its light, yet filling, with tons of colorful veggies and a nice tangyness from the lemon. Don’t you just love lemon? I think its ones of my favorite flavorings.
This recipe is super fast and comes together very easily. The orzo is a nice change from my usual couscous or rice. Its also season-less- even though its chock full of vegetables, they’re standards that can be found any time of the year…great in these cold late winter months when you long for the vegetables of summer.
- 1.5 cups vegetable stock
- 2/3 cup orzo
- 1 lemon, supremed (rind and pith removed)
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 1/4 cup slice kalamata olives
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 3 cups baby spinach (about half a bag)
- 1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 roasted red pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup feta cheese (regular or reduced fat)
1. In a large sautee pan, bring stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Add orzo, lemon, and oregano to taste. Cover and let simmer about 10 minutes, until orzo is soft.
2. Add spinach, and stir well until wilted. Add olives, lemon juice, tomato and red pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in feta cheese.
|February 26, 2009||Posted by LK under Italian, Lent, Sides, Vegetarian or Vegan|
Now that lent has started, I’m on the the lookout for good meatless recipes. I’m not normally a huge fan of Rachael Ray (sorry Mo!!) but I had the day off the other day and flipped her on… she was making a spinach and artichoke dip inspired mac and cheese that sounded so good I knew I would have to steal the idea. Her recipe can be found here. The fontina-parmasean combination really wasn’t working for me- the dip has a tangyness to it that was going to be missing. There was really also no way to lighten it up using those cheese. I also added a breadcrumb topping because I felt like it was silly to have “dip” without some bread.
This reheats beautifully in the microwave, and can be easily served as a main dish or a side dish.
- 1 lb pasta (I used what was left from a few boxes- made for a nice mixture)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 T. flour
- 1/2 c white wine
- 2 c. milk (I used fat free)
- 1 bag baby spinach
- 1 can water-packed artichokes, quartered
- Ground black pepper
- 1 c. reduced fat Mozzarella, shredded (reserve a little for the top)
- 1/2 brick reduced fat or fat free cream cheese
- 1/4 c. bread cubes
- 1 tsp butter, melted
1. Boil pasta in well salted water, according to package directions.
2. Melt butter in a very large pot. Sautee onion and garlic until soft. Add flour and cook 1 minute. Add wine. Cook 3 minutes.
3. Add milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add vegetables. Cook until spinach is wilted. Add cheeses, stirring well until melted and combined with sauce.
4. Toss bread cubes in melted butter to coat.
5. Drain pasta. Toss with sauce. Transfer to a casserole dish. Top with reserved cheese and bread cubes. Bake at 350 until top brown and cheese bubbles- about 30 minutes.
|February 22, 2009||Posted by LK under Light, Quick Weeknight Meals, Salads, Sides, Special Occasions, Summer, Winter|
You know that game where you try to decide what you’re least meal would be if you were on death row? I was never very good at it. How could you pick just one thing? Then I made this. This is it- my “last meal” meal.
The recipe is from Fine Cooking magazine, and its recipes like this that I keep my subscription for. In general, I find that their meals are very time consuming and have far too many calories. But when I find something like this that can easily be lightened up and cooked without slaving over the stove the entire day, I rememeber why I love the magazine so much. This. is. delicious.
Now the steak… well, its nothing all that special. Its good, but its really just steak. I have plans to cook it on the grill when the snow melts though. I think a nice char will take this entire recipe to astronomic heights. The pickle on the other hand… that’s where the magic is. I made a double batch, and there was none left. None. I was skeptical, since radishes instantly bring back memories of elementary school cafeteria salads. But these are a long way from that. I crave these. Seriously. Look at that gorgeousness.
As suggested in the magazine, I served this meal with roasted potato and mushroom salad with marscapone. It was good, but I don’t think I’ll bother next time….I’ll serve the steak and the pickle over a salad or in a tortilla to lighten the meal up even more.
Radish and Onion Pickle;
- drizzle of olive oil for the pan
- 3 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- drizzle honey
- 1 Tbs cooking sherry
- 1 tsp. coriander
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch red radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 medium jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
Combine first 6 ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add vegestables and toss to coat. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Set aside until ready to eat.
- 2 lb. skirt steak
- 1/4 c olive oil
- juice and zest from 1 orange
- 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
Poke steak full of hole with a fork. Combine steak and all other ingredients in a large dish. Let marinade for as logn as you have (I only let it sit about 20 minutes). Dry the steak off and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Sear in a hot pan or grill until medium rare. Serve with radish and onion pickle.
|February 17, 2009||Posted by LK under Fish and Seafood, Risotto, Special Occasions, Summer|
Scallops are one of my favorite foods ever. There’s something so simple and yet so savory about them. I had a dish similar to this for lunch at a cute restaurant last summer, and when I saw that scallops were on sale this week, I knew it was what I’d be making. I had to use frozen peas because fresh weren’t available, but it was still good. It would have been a lot better with fresh peas though. Frozen just never has that same…pea-ness (that’s what she said). I might mix it up with a different vegetable next time, since the peas are what I remember the being so delicious last time, but I’m not sure what else would be good. Maybe it’s just a recipe that should wait until summer…
- olive oil
- 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
- 2 c. arborio rice
- 2 c. white wine
- 4 c. chicken stock
- 1 c. peas
- 1 lb. scallops
- 1/4 c. basil, chopped
1. Make basil oil: In food processor, combine basil and about 1/4 c. olive oil. Blend well. Set aside.
1. Heat a little oil in a large skillet, over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until soft. Add rice. Stir until heated and almost translucent.
2. Add wine in 1/2 cup increments, stirring nearly constantly. When out of wine, switch to stock until rice is soft and creamy, and won’t absorb more liquid.. This process should take about a half hour. Stir in peas.
3. Heat a second pan over high heat. Dry scallops with a paper towel. When pan is very hot, add scalops. Cook about 3 minute on each side.
4. Arrange a portion of rice in a dish. Top with scallops. Dallop on about 1 T. of the Basil-oil mixture for each serving.
|February 16, 2009||Posted by LK under Breads, French, Special Occasions|
Is there anything better than a quiet morning spent with your husband and dog, a cup of coffee, and a fresh out of the oven croissant? Yeah, I don’t think so.
Now, before you say “LK you are crazy! This blog is supposed to feature healthy food, but you really have a secret plan to make us all fat!” All in moderation, my friends. I’d much rather have a small (but not too small- I don’t like to be hungry!) portion of something delicious, than a bunch of “diet” food that makes me feel like I’m being deprived. I lost three pounds in the last two weeks eating like this, so there.
A word of warning: this recipe does require some advance planning. It takes a few days to make the dough. Don’t let that stave you off though! They are SUPER easy to make, and each step only takes a few minutes. It just means that if you want to eat croissants on Sunday, you need to start on Friday night. Also, if you have a stand mixer or food processor with a bread hook, I highly recommend that you use it. If you want to flavor these at all, you can add a flavoring in with the original flour. I added orange zest to my last batch- yum!
There are two options for freezing. They both work well, but aren’t quite as good as fresh. You can either freeze the unbaked dough (stop before the egg wash…to bake, just pick up where you left off and add 5 minutes to the baking time) or freeze the baked croissants wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Unfrozen, these will stay fresh about three days.
- 1 c. plus 3 T. milk (I use skim since its what I have, and its fine)
- 2 tsp. yeast
- 2 1/4 c. plus 3 T. flour
- 2 T sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 12 T. unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
Day 1 (Friday night):
1. Heat 1 cup milk to lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of this milk. Stir in 2 T, and whisk until there are no lumps. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 20 minutes.
2. Mix sugar and salt into 2 cups plus 2 T flour.
3. Add remaining 3/4 cup milk to milk/yeast/flour mixture, stirring at high speed. Reduce speed to medium, and gradually add flour mixture, until it forms a soft, sticky dough.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
1. Combine butter with 3 T. flour.
2. Roll dough into a rectangle, about 6×15. Spread the butter all over the top 1/3. Fold the dough into thirds (like a letter). Turn dough clockwise 1/4 turn. Roll and fold a second time.
3. Put dough on a baking pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refridgerate.
1. Roll dough out two more times 9this is what makes it flaky). Cover and refridgerate overnight.
1. About an hour before baking time, roll the dough into a circle. Cut into 12 triangles. Roll each triangle straigh un, starting with the wide end (don’t curl them into a croissant shape, they”ll do that on their own). Arrange on a baking sheet, and brush with 2 T milk. Let stand at room temp for about a half hour, until doubled.
2. Heat oven to 400. Mix egg yolk with 1 T milk, and brush over croissants. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
|February 13, 2009||Posted by LK under Beef, Lamb, and Pork, One Pan, Quick Weeknight Meals|
I originally bought these pork chops to go alongside some potato and parsnip latkes. I didn’t really have a plan for them beyond that. I had made some cider brined porkchops with prosciutto-walnut butter a few months ago though, and I figured I would wing something similar based on what I had in the kitchen. They were great- but how could they not be? Its pork! And butter! Containing pork! But anyway they are really juicy and the butter melts all over the top and seeps into the meat and its just delicious.
Unfortunately my camera battery is dead, so I couldn’t get a picture.
- 1 slice bacon
- 2 T butter
- 2 T pecans, finely chopped
- 1 tsp orange zest
- dash nutmeg
- cracked pepper
1. Cook bacon until crisp. (Reserve drippings)
2. Crumble bacon. Combine all ingredients and blend well. Form into a log, and cut into six servings.
- 1 Blood Orange, juiced
- about 1 cup water
- a few Tbs kosher salt
- cracked pepper
- 2 boneless pork chops
1. Combine juice, water, and salt. Add pork and let marinate for as long as you have (tonight I did about 20 minutes, but in the past I’ve done up to 2 hours).
2. Remove pork from brine and pat dry. Crack some pepper over the top.
3. Heat reserved bacon drippings (from above) in a medium skillet, over medium-high heat. Add pork. Cook about 7 minutes on each side, until cooked throughout.
4. Serve topped with a pat of bacon-pecan butter.