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Monday, September 19, 2011

Recipe Review 9/11/11

Well, up here in MN we went from Summer to Fall in one night.  89* to 50* in three hours.  Not kidding. Over night temps were 29* - there was no "saving" the garden this year.  I simply do not have enough old blankets and sheets to attempt this feat. I did cover the Swiss Chard and Kale as they can handle the cooler temps.   

Holy shit I made a lot this week!  Didn't realize it until now when I'm typing everything up.  I love's a great time to return to the kitchen and make some comfort food.

Okay, you wouldn't think egg sandwiches would really need a recipe, but this was a great variation on a classic.  I skipped the arugula (what is with this green lately?  Seems like every other recipe has arugula in it.) because I don't think it is worth the cost.  I also used English muffins instead of whole wheat bread as I had those on hand.  I thought the addition of the caramelized onions really ratcheted up the taste of such a simple sandwich and it really didn't take that much more time or effort.  I will be making these again.

This upscale twist on the traditional breakfast sandwich features sweet, tender caramelized onion and peppery arugula. A fresh fruit salad would be a good accompaniment.
Total: 32 Minutes

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4 slices center-cut bacon
2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon Mexican hot sauce (such as Cholula) or Tabasco
1 tablespoon butter
Dash of sugar
Cooking spray
4 (1/2-ounce) slices whole-wheat bread
2 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup arugula
1. Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp (about 8 minutes). Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings; drain on paper towels. Add onion, water, and hot sauce to drippings in pan; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in butter and sugar; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Set aside; keep warm.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place bread in pan, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Set aside, and keep warm.

3. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Crack eggs into pan, and cook for 2 minutes. Gently turn eggs, one at a time; cook 1 minute or until desired degree of doneness. Sprinkle evenly with salt and black pepper.

4. Place one bread slice on each of two plates; arrange onion mixture evenly over bread. Place 1 egg, 2 bacon slices, and 1/2 cup arugula over each serving; top with remaining bread slices. Serve immediately.

Cheryl Alters Jamison & Bill Jamison, Cooking Light

Stratford's Sweet Chili  (Ckng Lght BB, source unknown)
This was a great chili.  The ketchup/honey combination make it a sweeter chili than I am accustomed to, but it was a nice compliment to the heat from the chili and cayenne powder.  I also added a tbsp of cumin...just because I really like cumin.  Because I added some celery, I decreased the number of peppers going into the dish.  Three peppers seemed a bit much.  Oh, and this almost didn't fit into my slowcooker!  Great fall dish to feed a crowd and would probably please some little tastebuds too with the sweetness.
1 Can 19 oz chickpeas, drained
1 can 19 oz red kidney navy beans, drained
1 can 28 oz chopped tomatoes with herbs
1 can 10 oz corn kernels, drained
2 carrots, peeled and diced (I use a handful of diced baby carrots instead)
2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 red onion, finely chopped
2-4 celery stalks, chopped (my addition)
1 cup ketchup  (definitely organic ketchup here)
1/4 cup honey
3 T. chili powder
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1 each, green, red, yellow pepper, diced

Sour Cream
Cheddar cheese, grated

1. In slow cooker combine beans, tomatoes, corn, carrots, garlic and onion [celery and peppers]. In a bowl combine ketchup, honey, chili powder and cayenne; mix well and pour into slowcooker (I just dump all the stuff in and stir and it seems to work fine.) Mix well.

2. Cover and cool on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Add peppers and cook on high for an additional 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream and cheese. Enjoy!!

Buffalo Chicken Thighs (Ckng Lght, Sept 2011)
This would have been a really good dish if I hadn't tried to deviate from the directions and grill the chicken thighs.  This was definitely a stove top dish.  I ended up finishing the chicken on the stove anyway.  I would also say this is not a little tastebud dish and may not be appropriate for some adult tastebuds either (those of Norwegian decent come to mind).  Yup.  Nicely spicy.   I also thought the mashed potatoes were a nice side dish with the tangy blue cheese (trying to use up the 'waxy' blue cheese I bought several weeks ago). 

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6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
8 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal. Shake to blend. Add half of chicken to bag; seal. Shake to coat. Remove chicken from bag, shaking to remove excess flour mixture. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add flour-coated chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer browned chicken to a jelly-roll pan. Repeat procedure with the remaining uncooked chicken, flour mixture, and oil. Discard remaining flour mixture. Bake chicken at 375° for 8 minutes or until done.

3. Combine hot sauce and butter in a microwave-safe dish; microwave at HIGH for 30 seconds or until butter melts, stirring to blend. Place chicken in a shallow dish; drizzle with butter sauce. Toss to coat.

Wendy Kalen, Cooking Light

 Side dish for Buffalo Chicken Thighs, above.
1 pound small red potatoes
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with cold water to 2 inches above potatoes. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender; drain. Return potatoes to pan. Add buttermilk, blue cheese, salt, and pepper to pan; mash with potato masher to desired consistency.

Wendy Kalen, Cooking Light

Waldorf Salad with Steel-Cut Oats (Ckng Lght, Sept 2011)
This is a Mark Bittman recipe and you really can't go wrong with one of his recipes.  Prep was simple enough, cook the oatmeal, cool the oatmeal, chop and mix.  I bought some buttermilk blue cheese crumbles for this dish (far superior to the waxy things I had in the fridge).  This made about 5 or 6 lunches. 


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1 cup steel-cut oats, rinsed and drained
1 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups diced Granny Smith apple (about 1 large)
1 1/2 cups torn radicchio
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
1. Combine oats, 1 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 7 minutes (do not stir) or until liquid almost evaporates. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Place oats in a medium bowl, and let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Combine walnuts, honey, and red pepper in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat; cook 4 minutes or until nuts are fragrant and honey is slightly caramelized, stirring occasionally.

3. Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, olive oil, vinegar, and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add dressing, apple, radicchio, and grapes to oats; toss well. Place 1 1/2 cups oat mixture on each of 4 plates, and top each serving with about 3 tablespoons walnut mixture and 2 tablespoons blue cheese.

Mark Bittman, Cooking Light

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