Search This Blog

Monday, February 6, 2012

Recipe Review from 1/30/12

A mostly uneventful week - the Husband and I managed to get out cross country skiing one day.  We finally have enough snow that the groomers did a pass and there was a decent track down.  Then all the snow melted. Oh well.   Took hounds for a walk out back on the 'back 40' which everyone enjoyed immensely.  Husband made a batch of beer titled "Tequila" because he used some agave syrup in it (I had some in the pantry that needed to be used up).   And, a couple of good recipes to wrap up January.  The Husband and I made 12 new recipes over the month - a great way to start the New Year and my goal of 100 new recipes in 2012. 

Enchilada Casserole (Ckng Lght, Jan/Feb 2012)
This was as quick as advertised - about 40 minutes start to finish with time to clean up dishes before sitting down to eat.  I did modify the recipe a bit: start the sauce (as I noted in #1 below) first, then start the meat frying.  Sauce can simmer while meat cooks, then everything is hot during assembly.  I did it as directed (start meat, then make sauce) and even with baking for 20 minutes, it didn't come out of the oven as hot as I care for.  This also made excellent leftovers.  Recipe says Serves 4 - Seriously?  That's some massive wedges!  I don't even eat a piece of pie that big!   Try 6 servings with a side.   

1 pound ground sirloin  (I used ground pork)
Photo from
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon 40%-less-sodium taco seasoning mix (such as Old El Paso)
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
4 (8-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers  (doesn't exist up here...)

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add broth, taco seasoning, and tomato sauce to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 1/2 cups tomato mixture to beef mixture; reserve 1/2 cup tomato mixture.
2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and onion to pan; cook 6 minutes, stirring to crumble.
4. Place 1 tortilla in a 9-inch pie plate. Top with 1 cup beef mixture. Repeat layers, ending with tortilla. Spread reserved tomato mixture over tortilla. Top with cheese. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes (at least 20 minutes) or until cheese melts. Cool slightly. Cut into 4 wedges.

Vanessa Pruett, Cooking Light

Spinach and Lentil Soup with Cheese and Basil  (Ckng Lght Jan/Feb 2012)
We have a winner!  Don't be put off by the 40 minutes cooking time - I was able to clean up the kitchen, set the table, and putter on a couple of other things before adding the last ingredients and serving.  And Oh! So tasty!   For my vegetarian peeps, this can easily be made vegetarian - just omit pancetta and use vegetable broth.   This made 6 servings: one dinner for two and two lunches for two.  With a bit of rustic bread along side to mop up yummy broth, perfect for a winter evening! 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Photo from
1/4 cup chopped pancetta (about 1 ounce)  (I used 3oz prosciutto because I had some in the freezer I wanted to use up)
 1 1/4 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme  (1/4 tsp dried thyme, not buying fresh for that small quantity)
1 bay leaf
1 cup dried brown lentils
3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth  (I used 4 cups broth - why have a cup of leftover broth in the fridge?)
2 cups water  (drop to 1 cup if using 4 cups broth)
1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach 
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil   (this I did by fresh..fresh basil is a must for this dish)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pancetta; cook 1 minute or until pancetta begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add onion and next 4 ingredients (through bay leaf); cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add lentils, broth, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until lentils are tender and mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaf.

2. Place 2 cups lentil mixture in a blender. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), and secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters), and blend until smooth. Return pureed lentil mixture to pan. Add baby spinach, chopped basil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and black pepper; stir until spinach wilts. Serve immediately.

David Bonom, Cooking Light

No comments:

Popular Posts