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Monday, March 14, 2011

Recipe Review from 2/7/2011

It's March.  Which means things are fairly uneventful as we transition from Winter to Spring.  The Husband fit in an organized Superior Hiking Trail "snowshoe" hike sans snowshoes since the trail was nicely packed.  Hounds enjoyed themselves too.  Skiing is done for the year and I am looking forward to the roads clearing off to pull out the bike and start getting some miles in!

In the meantime, we content ourselves with College Hoops and some good meals.

Quick Paella (Ckng Lght, Sept 2010)
This was indeed quick, even if I managed to screw up the directions just a bit. But that's kinda the beauty of a dish like this - it's very forgiving and very versatile as I can attest to.  I was in a bit of rush to start dinner, and in substituting the rice, I just cooked it up as normal.  Oops.  I could have just cooked it in the pan.  I omitted the extra water and kept going.  This was also a bit of a use up freezer stuff - I had kielbasa and shrimp.  Perfect.  I would make this again, perhaps using a mixed frozen veggie mix rather than just edamame.  Some carrots would have tasted really good. 


1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced     I used venison kielbasa
2 (3.5-ounce) packages boil-in-bag brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)  I used regular rice
3/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups water
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame
2 dozen mussels, scrubbed and debearded   I used shrimp
1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chorizo to pan; sauté 1 minute or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove rice from bags. Add rice to pan; sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in salt, paprika, and pepper; sauté 30 seconds. Add 1 1/2 cups water and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is almost absorbed.

2. Stir in edamame. Nestle mussels into rice mixture. Cover and cook 4 minutes or until mussels open and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Discard any unopened mussels.

Wine note: Think pink for paella. Crisp, dry Beckmen 2009 Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache Rosé (Santa Ynez Valley, $18) has vibrant red fruit and spice to cover the smoked paprika and chorizo. Great acidity keeps going with the tomatoes, and rich texture wraps around the mussels. --Sara Schneider

Artichoke Dip (Ckng Light)
This may seem a bit strange, but this was our lunch while we watched the Big 10 College Hoops Championship game.  I toasted some thinly sliced french bread spread with butter, a bowl of grapes and carrots to accompany.  In hindsight, a little bit of garlic powder would have added a nice background flavor to the toasts.  Next time.  Odd, I simply cannot find the recipe that I used from Ckng Lght.  I will have to check back to see if I got the quantities right.

Serve with Pecorino-Black Pepper Bread sticks. To make this the night before, combine dip ingredients, spoon into the baking dish, cover, and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1/3 cup)

1 green onion (I used a small shallot)

1 clove garlic
1/4 cup (3 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

1 1/2 oz grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (9-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts (about 2 cups), thawed
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400*

Combine the first 2 ingredients and artichokes in a food processor and pulse till coarsely chopped. Remove and set aside.  Add cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, mayo and lemon juice, mix until smooth.  Add to artichoke hearts with remaining ingredients.  Stir until well blended.

Spoon artichoke mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until artichoke mixture is hot and begins to brown. Serve warm.

Boiled Dinner (Irish Cookbook)
This was a request of the Husband; being of Irish decent, he's partial to Irish themed meals.  Bonus - he also is more than willing to make it!  This dish is super simple and a great way to use up cuts of meat that may have been languishing in the freezer.  Like my ham wedge.  One cabbage and 4 potatoes later we have dinner!  Yes, seriously, it is that simple.  The other great thing is you can make this meal as big or as small as needed. 

Preferred cut of meat (we used a oh, 2lb? ham)
Potatoes (I used yellow)

Bring some water to a boil. Season water.  Cook each item according to how long it will take.  Because the ham was already cooked and just needed to be warmed up, the Husband cooked the potatoes separately from the ham and cabbage.

What took so long was the Mustard Sauce to accompany the recipe.  My apologies, I don't have the recipe handy, but in essence, it was onion, mustard, half and half and some seasonings, bring to a boil and simmer till reduced and thick. Well.  It just didn't. want. to. thicken.  I tossed in some cornstarch.  Nope.  It simmered and simmered (and we ate anyway) and finally, toward the end of our meal, we tossed some on top of the ham.  It was very good if not runny. 

And a picture from last week, the white pizza:

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