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Monday, September 12, 2011

Recipe Review from 8/29 and 9/5/2011

Being gone for a week in Reno and then coming home to an empty fridge was not conducive to making new recipes.  I settled for quick and easy...don't remember what those dishes were but they were, well, quick and easy.  Pasta probably.  Grilled something with fresh corn on the cob.  That kinda thing. 

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However, back on track again with some good ones from the September issue of Cooking Light and a couple from the Ckng Lght BB:

Chicken Tabbouleh with Tahini Drizzle (Ckng Lght, Sept 2011)
This was super easy to assemble and tasted great.  To make assembly easier, buy a rotisserie chicken.  I just cooked up some chicken as I was making a basic dinner.  Though, to my dismay, I didn't have any plain yogurt on hand for the dressing, so I substituted olive oil - not the best substitution I've come up with, but it seemed to work well.  The Husband enjoyed the flavors so all was well in the world.

Veggies and Blue Cheese Polenta (Ckng Lght, Sept 2011)
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Recipe called for quick cooking polenta, but regular worked just fine and I just accounted for the little bit of extra time I would need.  Recipe also called for 3 cups of milk and 1/2 cup of water to 2/3 cup polenta and I felt that was over doing the liquids.  I cut back to 2 cups of milk and 1/2 cup water and it worked just fine.  My grocery store does not carry and 'exotic' mushroom blend, so I just used one 8 oz package of cremini mushrooms.  I also added a thinly sliced pattypan squash to the veggie mix. Oh, almost forgot, I did add in one chicken breast because I needed to use it up, otherwise this is a good vegetarian, gluten-free dish.  Easy to assemble, tasted great.  The only thing I didn't care for was the brand of blue cheese crumbles I picked up on sale - I usually buy the "Amblau" brand from Fairmont, MN, and this was Bel diGornio or some such.  Rather waxy.  Bleh.  Won't be buying that again.

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Classic Fudge-Walnut Brownies (Ckng Lght, Sept 2011)
Oh my oh my.  The Husband requested a dessert for Labor Day weekend.  We usually forgo such goodies in our house since they disappear waaayy to fast.  But hey, summer was winding down and seemed like a fun way to celebrate the weekend.  Gooey. Chocolaty.  The top bakes up into that fractured crust I love so much.  These were definitely decadent.  Recipe called to bake these 19 minutes, mine took nearly 40 minutes total.  Maybe it was the glass pan?  Dunno.  Totally awesome.

Argentinean Pork (Ckng Lght, Sept 2011)
Husband was so very happy I did a more traditional "meat and potatoes" dish.  Recipe called for a 1lb pork tenderloin and the smallest I could find was 2lbs.  No prob.  Leftovers!  Dish calls to marinate the meat for one hour - for this one I would say assemble in the morning to save time at night.  We did serve this over some Yukon gold potatoes with fresh corn on the cob. Yum. 

And two recipes from the Ckng Lght BB:

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
I made this one pretty much as written, using the suggestion to decrease the water to 7 cups instead of 10.  10 cups plus the ingredients wouldn't have fit in my slow cooker anyway.  I really liked the flavors of this one.  The 1lb of kielbasa was perfect - not overwhelming in the meat dept.  I would perhaps forgo the suggestion to cut the potatoes really small, some of the peas disintegrated on their own and made the dish more stew-like, which I preferred. I also only cooked this for about 4-5 hours on medium.  I think longer would have been too much. 

16 ounces dried split peas  [I used yellow split peas]
10 cups water  [7 cups to start]
1 pound turkey kielbasa -- or smoked sausage
5 cubes chicken bouillon
1 1/2 cups chopped carrot
1 cup celery -- chopped
2 potatoes -- peeled and cubed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 onion -- chopped

In a 5 quart slow cooker combine the peas, water, sausage, bouillon, carrot, celery, potatoes, garlic powder, oregano, bay leaves and onion. Allow to cook on high setting for 4 to 5 hours.

Note: If you do not have a slow cooker, combine all ingredients in a large pot and simmer over low heat for 2 to 3 hours, stirring often.

Turkey Enchilada Casserole
I was so-so on this dish.  I like that it made plenty for leftover lunches, but the consistency of the ground chicken (in my case) was meh and even with upping the spices and adding a can of green chilies it was bland bland bland.  Even the brand of enchilada sauce I bought was bland.  For the vegetarians out there, ground turkey can easily be substituted with your preferred soy product. 

Notes: If desired, serve with reduced-fat sour cream.

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salad oil
1 can (29 oz.) red enchilada sauce
12 corn tortillas (6 in. wide)
2 cups shredded reduced-fat jack cheese (8 oz.)
Chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, stir turkey, onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin in oil until turkey is crumbly and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup enchilada sauce. Add salt to taste.

2. Meanwhile, cut tortillas in half. Arrange a fourth of the halves evenly over the bottom of a shallow 3-quart casserole, overlapping to fit. Sprinkle a fourth of the cheese evenly over the tortillas, then top with a third of the turkey mixture and a fourth of the remaining enchilada sauce, spreading each level. Repeat to make two more layers of tortillas, cheese, turkey mixture, and sauce; top with another layer of tortillas and sauce, then cheese.

3. Bake in a 425* regular or convection oven until cheese is melted and casserole is hot in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Recommendations from the BB: I covered the dish with foil for 15 minutes, then removed the foil for the last 5 minutes. This made for a moist casserole. Since I was using a glass dish, I used 400 degrees (and 20 minutes was just right).

I used 1 lb ground turkey and added corn cut from a cob of leftover grilled corn and a drained, rinsed can of pinto beans to the meat mixture.

I added a can of green chiles.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All those recipes sounds wonderful. I just happen to have a pork tenderloin. Guess what WE are having this week?

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