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Monday, July 10, 2017

Recipe Review from 7/2/2017

The weekend had us in Ely, MN, for a Fire Ecology Seminar the Husband attended for work.  We brought the dogs to give us some extra time to hang out, so while he was at the seminar, I took them for a walk on the Trezona Trail, which encompasses a historic mining pit and old mine shaft headframe. There are at least two other mines discussed on Historical Markers along the four mile trail as well.   

This was also a "training" outing for Kepler.  He's done a three mile walk, and now we bumped it up to four miles.  He did fantastic with some new experiences like cars going by, cyclists, and walking on a leash in an unfamiliar area.  He had more pep than Andy did by the time we were done!  Tho not by much: 

Resting after his big hike!

General cuteness

The Meal Plan from week of July 2:
Sat (L) Leftovers    (S) Eggs in a Nest
Sun  (L) Eggs in a Nest  (S)
Mon (yoga)  leftover sandwiches
4th of July!  (L) Farro Bowls  (S)  Grilled Duck, Bourbon Baked Beans, Salad
Wed - leftovers Farro Bowls
Thurs (yoga) polish with leftover beans
Fri -chef salad with various leftovers
Sat - Ely for lunch   (S) chef salads with remainder of leftovers 

Eggs in a Nest (Ckng Lght, July 2017)
An interesting riff on a BLT with Avocado and Egg - the egg is fried in a little "nest" or hole made in the bread.

My most notable observation - fun, yes; messy to eat, definitely.  There's no place to "grab" the sandwich on top! 

Otherwise, pure comfort food. YUM! 
photo from

8 (1-oz.) whole-wheat sourdough bread slices, lightly toasted
2 center-cut bacon slices, diced
1 medium ripe avocado
1 tablespoon canola mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
8 Bibb lettuce leaves (about 2 oz.)
8 tomato slices
  1. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut a hole from the center of 4 bread slices. Discard bread rounds or reserve for another use.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium. Add bacon; cook 6 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 2 minutes or until crisp. Place bacon on a paper towel-lined plate. Pour bacon drippings into a bowl and reserve.
  3. Combine avocado, mayonnaise, and salt in a small bowl; mash to combine. Stir in bacon.
  4. Add half of reserved bacon drippings to pan over medium-high. Place 2 cut bread slices in skillet; break 1 egg into each hole. Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon pepper on each egg. Cook 2 minutes or until eggs begin to set. Carefully turn bread; cook 2 minutes or until eggs are set. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining half of bacon drippings, cut bread slices, eggs, and pepper.
  5. Spread avocado mixture evenly over 4 uncut bread slices. Top each with 2 lettuce leaves, 2 tomato slices, and 1 egg-in-a-nest bread slice.

Part of Grill 1x - Eat 3x!  Menu
Grilled Caponata Sandwiches (Ckng Lght, July 2017)  vegetarian
I only made two of the three meals as part of the Grill 1x Eat 3x menu.  I will say, grilling that many veggies almost challenged my grill, and later, how to store everything in the fridge.  Still it all worked out and it was admittedly nice knowing all I had to do was assemble and eat.

These were darn tasty when all was said and done (which took about an hour - start this on a Sunday night).  I loved the fresh veggies, briny olive tapenade, creamy mozzarella combination.  I could see doing this on a smaller scale during hot weather.  Recommended! 

2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-in.-thick slices
2 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/2-in.-thick slices
1 medium eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/2-in.-thick slices
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1 medium red onion, cut into 3/4-in. wedges
4 ounces mini bell peppers (about 8)
3 green onions
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 1/2 teaspoons capers, drained
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
4 (3 1/2-oz.) ciabatta rolls, halved lengthwise
3 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

  1. To prepare vegetables, preheat grill to medium-high (about 450°F). Coat first 6 ingredients with cooking spray; arrange on grill grate. Grill green onions 2 minutes; remove from grill and chop. Grill remaining vegetables 5 more minutes, turning occasionally. Remove stems and seeds from bell peppers; discard. Reserve 4 bell peppers and 4 red onion wedges; cut remaining vegetables into 2-inch pieces.
  2. Place chopped green onions, oil, juice, 1 tablespoon water, salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth. Combine grilled vegetables and green onion mixture in a bowl. Reserve 4 cups vegetable mixture for Farro Burrito Bowls and Grilled Vegetable Frittata.
  3. To prepare panini, place reserved 4 bell peppers and 4 red onion wedges in food processor with olives, capers, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and ground red pepper; process until smooth. Hollow out top and bottom halves of rolls, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell. Spread bell pepper mixture over bottom halves of rolls; top with remaining grilled vegetables, mozzarella, basil, and top halves of rolls.
  4. Coat grill grate with cooking spray. Place 2 sandwiches on grill; top with a cast-iron skillet. Grill 2 minutes on each side or until cheese melts. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 sandwiches.

Farro Burrito Bowls  (Ckng Light, July  2017)  vegetarian
First time I made this, I didn't do the "dressing".  I was tired and neglected to check the recipe.  Ya know, it was still tasty.  I did the dressing for the leftovers, and it definitely added a delightful flavor boost to the dish. could go either way and it would be good.

Farro was also a "new to me" grain.  I did do my research - you want to look for pearled farro for ease in cooking.   If you're not sure - ask!  Regular farro requires and overnight soak or it won't soften when you cook it.  The flavor is slightly nutty, almost like barley, but not.  I can see using farro in other dishes as a substitute for barley or wheat berries.


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
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2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons honey
3/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups cooked farro
2 cups grilled vegetable mixture from (grilled caponata panini), coarsely chopped

1 (15-oz.) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
3 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
1 medium avocado, sliced
Lime wedges

Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro mixture. Add farro to remaining cilantro mixture; toss to coat.

Divide farro mixture, chopped grilled vegetables, beans, cheese, and avocado among 4 shallow bowls. Drizzle with reserved 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro mixture. Serve with lime wedges.

Slow Cooked Bourbon Baked Beans (Ckng Lght July 2017)  gluten free, vegetarian option**
I made these to go with the grilled duck.  This is super easy to assemble, then walk away till it's time to eat.

Of course, I had to make it a tich more complicated.  I had some dried cannelli beans in the pantry so I bought a cup of pinto, then soaked and pre-cooked my own beans and proceeded with recipe from there (I did the pre-cook several days ahead).   I didn't have enough ketchup on hand so I used 1 cup tomato sauce and 1 tbsp tomato paste and it worked perfectly.  Brandy for the bourbon, plus a splash of vanilla extract.  I space the chili powder - quite frankly, the dish really didn't need it.

Group consensus was positive.  Slightly smoky, tich of zing, a bit saucy.   I would make these again. 

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3 center-cut bacon slices, chopped**  skip to make vegetarian
Cooking spray
2 (15-oz.) cans unsalted cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15-oz.) cans unsalted pinto beans, drained and rinsed
I used 1 cup dried (each) pinto and cannelli beans, and precooked them.
2 ripe peaches (about 1 lb.), peeled and finely diced (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup organic ketchup
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste 
1/2 cup bourbon  (I used brandy + 1 tsp vanilla extract). 
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove bacon from skillet.

Coat inside of a 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add bacon, beans, and remaining ingredients. Stir well.

Cover, and cook on LOW 4 to 6 hours  (I cooked for 6+) Keep covered until beans are ready to serve.

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