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Monday, March 19, 2012

Recipe Reveiw from 3/12/12

Uneventful week that ended nicely with my first ride outside.  A friend and I met up on Friday and biked 23 miles.  It never got as warm as "they" said it would (67*), but even at 57*, it was a very comfortable day. 

Vegetable "Meat" Loaf (Ckng Lght, Mar 2012)
Mine. Did NOT. Turn out like the picture.  It had good flavor, but let's just say that if this were being judged on Iron Chef, it would have gotten negative points in the Appearance category.   The problem?  You have to reduce the liquid completely.  There can be absolutely NO liquid left in the mushroom reduction.  None.  We had a bit of liquid left.  We didn't think that tiny amount would be a problem.  Well, it was.  We ended up with semi-glop than a nice loaf.  Glop is not visually appealing no matter how good it actually tastes.

This is also a very time and labor intensive dish - 2 hours from start to finish.  Washing 2lbs of mushrooms in a pain in the patooie as my Husband will report.  We also only have a 3 cup food processor so chopping 2lbs of mushrooms is a pain in the patooie.  Reducing 2lbs of chopped mushrooms so NO liquid remains takes MUCH longer than 15 minutes. 
Picture from

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 2 pounds cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch asparagus pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion 1
  • 1cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • Topping:  [Double]
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon vodka or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1. Preheat broiler to high.

    2. To prepare meat loaf, cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 12 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand for 10 minutes. Peel and finely chop. Place bell peppers in a large bowl.

    3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

    4. Place about one-fourth of mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely chopped. Transfer chopped mushrooms to a bowl. Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining mushrooms.

    5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms to pan; sauté 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms to bell peppers. Wipe pan with paper towels. Add asparagus and onion to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until just tender, stirring occasionally. Add onion mixture to mushroom mixture.

    6. Arrange breadcrumbs in an even layer on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden. Add breadcrumbs and the next 8 ingredients (through eggs) to mushroom mixture, stirring well. Spoon mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; press gently to pack. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155°.

    7. To prepare topping, combine 2 tablespoons ketchup and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; brush ketchup mixture over meat loaf. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes; cut into 6 slices.

    Cheddar Mashed Potatoes   (Ckng Lght, Mar 2012)
    Was supposed to be topped with bacon, but that was still frozen and it was just for sprinkling anyway.  So while yes, this counts as a new recipe, do you really need a recipe for cheddar mashed potatoes?  I thought not, but here it is anyway.

    2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold or baking potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
    1/2 cup fat-free milk
    1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
    1/2 cup fat-free sour cream  I subbed buttermilk
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/3 cup sliced green onions
    2 applewood-smoked bacon slices, cooked and finely chopped

    Place potato in a large saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well; return potato to pan over medium-low heat. Add milk; mash potato mixture with a potato masher to desired consistency. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add cheese, and stir until cheese melts. Stir in sour cream, pepper, and salt. Top with green onions and bacon.

    Julianna Grimes,
    MARCH 2012

    Cheesy Pasta Bake (Ckng Lght, Mar 2012)
    This, was the redeeming recipe for the week.  Easy, quick, and made a 9x13" pan so good for a crowd or lunches for the week.  I subbed ground pork for the turkey and turkey sausage because I had some in the freezer.  And who the heck only uses 14oz of a 16oz box of pasta?  What am I supposed to do with 2oz of pasta?!  That's like 20 noodles.  I say just use the whole box of pasta.  Could have used a tiny bit more kick (which would have been from the turkey sausage had I used it); but still a good "feed a crowd" dish.  I also read over on the Ckng Lght BB that this halve very nicely and freezes well.

    14 ounces uncooked ziti or mostaccioli
    Picture from
    12 ounces ground turkey breast
    8 ounces sweet turkey Italian sausage, casings removed

    1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 cups chopped onion
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    6 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 cup red wine
    5 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce (I used 2 jars of Barilla brand)
    1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
    6 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced (I used grated)
    2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided (about 1/2 cup packed)
    2 tablespoons small basil leaves or torn basil

    1. Preheat oven to 350°.

    2. Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain and set aside.

    3. Place turkey and sausage in a medium bowl, and mix well with hands to combine. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add turkey mixture to pan; cook 8 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove from pan.

    4. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and pepper; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add wine, scraping the pan to loosen browned bits, and cook for 4 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in pasta, turkey mixture, marinara sauce, and 1/2 cup basil. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9–inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese melts and begins to brown. Remove from oven; sprinkle with basil leaves and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

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