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Monday, May 14, 2012

Recipe Review from 5/7/2012

A busy weekend what with celebrating Mother's Day on Saturday after the guys got back from a charter fishing trip on Lake Superior.  And a beautiful day it was to be out on the Big Pond - darn near calm water, sunny, and three large ships to watch coming and going.  The guys were increadibly successful, maxing out limits on Lake Trout and Coho Salmon. 

Sunday was spent out in the garden tilling, weeding and planting corn, butternut squash, peas and lettuce.  Planting will continue this week.  A quick run around with the mower has the lawn nice and tidy and one flower bed is weeded and mulched.  Might have to consider a garden party with the beds looking so nice! 

Three recipe winners this week!  All very easy and simple to make:

Broccoli and Bacon Mac and Cheese  (Cooking Light April 2012)
This was supposed to have been on the previous week, but I over planned or under estimated how much the other dishes would make so this was pushed forward.  This is pretty quick to make, mine seemed to turn out a bity runny despite following the directions to the letter.  Not sure what the facination is with green onions in recipes these days...

3 cups broccoli florets
photo from
8 ounces uncooked rigatoni
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 ounces reduced-fat processed American cheese, cut into pieces
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled 4 or 8 oz kielbasa, sauted is a nice substitute.
2 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup packed)

1. Steam broccoli 5 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Pat dry, and keep warm. Cook pasta in boiling water in a large saucepan for 8 minutes or until al dente; drain and keep warm. Wipe pan with paper towels, and return to medium heat. Melt butter in pan. Sprinkle flour over melted butter; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk to the flour mixture in pan, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly thick, and remove from heat. Add American cheese; stir until smooth. Stir in sliced green onions and the remaining ingredients. Stir in broccoli and pasta; serve immediately.

Julianna Grimes, Cooking Light
APRIL 2012

North African Chicken and Couscous   (Ckng Lght, May 2000)
Okay, prep for this is pretty quick, providing you don't spill the bag of Israeli couscous all over the floor (and under the stove, and under the fridge, and under the table) during prep like the Husband did.  Vacuuming added a good 30 minutes to getting this made.  Spilled pasta aside, this is a great dish.  Loved the flavors, used a rotisserie chicken (one chicken is about 4 cups of shredded meat), and subbed a zucchini for the cucumber. I would make this again for any kind of get-together. 

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

2 cups water   (if using Israeli couscous, follow cooking directions on package)
1 1/2 cups uncooked couscous   (if using Israeli couscous, follow cooking directions on package)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup thawed orange juice concentrate, undiluted
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups chopped ready-to-eat roasted skinned, boned chicken breasts (about 3 breasts)
2 cups chopped peeled cucumber zucchini
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions  (skipped)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Sliced green onions (optional)

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan, and gradually stir in couscous and raisins. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Combine orange juice and next 6 ingredients (orange juice through black pepper); stir well with a whisk.

Combine the couscous mixture, juice mixture, chicken, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl, and toss well. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

Cooking Light, MAY 2000

Baked Risotto (Ckng Lght BB via O Magazine by Oprah, April 2012)
This is a WINNER people!  A risotto dish doesn't get any easier than this!  (Doin' a happy happy joy joy dance in my kitchen).   From start to table, this took an hour.  A half hour of this was cleaning up, wandering upstairs to take a shower, setting the table, and serving.  Seriously.  No modifications here, did the basic recipe and I have my eye on one of the alternative variations for Mother's Day weekend.  I served this with King Salmon the first night, and leftover rotisserie chicken a following night.  Yum yum yum.  GF if you check your chicken/vegetable broth or use water.  Omit the meat and make it vegetarian too.

Most risotto recipes require standing at the stove and stirring the pot continuously; this simpler version lets the oven do all the work.Serves 4 to 6  (My notes - closer to 6)

•4 strips bacon, chopped
•1 onion, chopped
•1½ cups Arborio rice
•½ cup dry white wine
•4 cups chicken broth or water
•1 tsp. kosher salt
•½ tsp. ground black pepper
•1 cup frozen peas
•½ cup chopped basil, plus more for garnish  (skipped)
•2 to 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
•1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces), plus more for garnish

Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes   (Seriously!  Spot on!)
Preheat oven to 400°. Using an oven-safe, straight-sided saucepan or Dutch oven with a lid, cook bacon over medium-high heat. When cooked through, remove bacon and set aside, reserving fat in pan. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat with bacon fat. Stir in wine and cook until it has evaporated, 1 minute more. Stir in broth, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and bake 20 to 25 minutes; check the risotto. Most of the liquid should be absorbed and the rice just cooked. Stir in peas and basil and return to oven, uncovered, for 5 more minutes.

Remove risotto from oven and stir in butter and cheese. Add reserved bacon, season to taste with salt and pepper, and spoon into bowls. Shave additional Parmesan over the top and garnish with basil.

Baked Risotto Four Fresh Ways

Start with our recipe (simply leave out the peas and bacon and sauté the onions with 2 Tbsp. olive oil), and then pick a variation below.

Shrimp, tomato, and mozzarella: Follow the basic recipe, cooking 1 pint grape tomatoes along with the onions. After 20 minutes in the oven, covered, stir in 8 ounces halved, peeled, and deveined shrimp. Return to oven 5 minutes. Instead of Parmesan cheese, stir in 1 packed cup grated mozzarella along with butter.

Sweet onion, sausage, and spinach: Follow the basic recipe, using a sweet onion instead of a white one. Cook 9 ounces crumbled Italian sausage with the onions. After 25 minutes in the oven, covered, stir in 3 packed cups baby spinach (5 ounces), along with Parmesan cheese and butter.

Artichoke, ricotta, and mint: Follow the basic recipe. After 25 minutes in the oven, covered, stir in 8 ounces quartered canned artichoke hearts (the water drained), along with ¾ to 1 cup more warm broth or water, ½ cup grated Parmesan, ½ cup ricotta cheese, and butter. Top each portion with chopped mint and lemon zest.

Wild mushroom and Fontina: Follow the basic recipe, cooking 8 ounces sliced mixed mushrooms (like button, crimini, oyster, or shiitake) with the onions. After 25 minutes in the oven, covered, stir in 1 packed cup Fontina cheese (instead of Parmesan cheese) along with butter

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmmmmmm...the cheesy mac looks delicious!

You might not want smell-computer for my socks, but it would be good for that casserole!

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