Monday, May 28, 2012

Macaroni & Cheese

........sorry no photo, but trust me - it's yummy!

1 (14 oz) can fat-free chicken broth (I used veggie broth)
1 C plus 2 T elbow macaroni (uncooked)
3/4C 1% milk (I used skim)
2 T cut-up butter
2 t flour
coarse salt and pepper to taste (I would omit the salt altogether)
1 C 50% reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese (I used full fat sharp cheddar)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a 2-1/2 qt baking dish, combine broth, macaroni, milk, butter, flour, and salt and pepper to taste; mix well.  Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes; stir.  Bake 15 more minutes and stir.  Bake 10 more minutes.  Stir in cheddar cheese and serve.

Flatbread Pizza with Anchovy Oil

1 C all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3T olive oil, divided
1/4 C warm water
2 oil-packed anchovy fillets
2 cloves garlic, crushed
pinch red pepper flakes
2 C baby spinach
1 C sliced white button mushrooms
2 C shredded fontina or other semisoft cheese

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Spray 2 baking sheets with olive oil cooking spray.

In a food processor, combine flour and salt, then pulse to combine.  With the processor running, add 1 T olive oil, then slowly drizzle in the water until the dough forms a tacky, but not wet ball.  If the dough is too dry, add water 1 tsp at a time and pulse until it holds together easily when squeezed.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured counter.  Divide dough into 4 equal pieces.  Using a floured rolling pin, roll each piece to the size of a large dinner plate.

Place 2 flatbreads on each baking sheet and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 T olive oil, anchovies, garlic and red pepper flakes.  Mash with a fork until chunky smooth.  (I used an immersion blender.)

Use a pastry brush to coat each flatbread with the oil-anchovy paste, then top each with a quarter each of the spinach and mushrooms.

Finish each pizza with 1/2 C cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned at the edges and the cheese is melted.

***we used many different toppings, including pizza sauce, sausage slices for meat eaters, mozzarella, roasted red peppers.  Be creative!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Cuban Sandwich

As I mentioned in my other blog, we had a lot of leftover grilled pork tenderloin a few weeks ago, and I was in a quandary as to what to do.  After googling my situation, I discovered that I could easily make Cuban Sandwiches!  YUMMMM!  So, here's the drill:

  • First off, you will need a baguette of French bread (I'm sure that Ciabatta would also be fine!). Lop off a long enough piece for one sandwich and then slice that in half crosswise.  Spread Dijon mustard (did I mention that this is a French Cuban sandwich?) on both sides

  • add a few pieces of thinly sliced sweet onion

    • next, you will add just a little bit of very thinly sliced grilled pork tenderloin

    • next follows a very thinly sliced piece of ham

    • top this off with a slice of 'sandwich dill' pickle

    • next you add a slice of Swiss Cheese (yes, this is still a Cuban Sandwich!)

    • ok so that's it!  Plop your other slice of bread on top of the layers of meat, cheese, pickles, mustard:

    • place your sandwich(es) on a griddle or barely oiled (I used Olive Oil) skillet and top with some sort of weight (you could use a Pannini Grill but since I don't have one, I make do with an old cast iron skillet on top of the sandwich)

    I prefer my sandwiches barely golden on the bread, but warm in the middle with the cheese it takes a few minutes and some patience.  Here's the finished product


      I hope you will give it a try and let me know what you think!


      Tuesday, August 04, 2009

      Dinner Party Recipes for August 2009

      We hosted our church dinner group here the other evening and I'm offering recipes for a few of the dishes we served.

      Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Fiery Grilled Peach and Habanero Salsa

      I cannot tell you much about the smoking of the pork, but I do know that C brined it for several hours prior to smoking. The brining adds moisture, and boy was it moist!

      I followed the grilled peach and habanero Salsa recipe directly from this month's Cooking Light magazine. Here it is, straight from their website:

      Grilling the peaches caramelizes their natural sugar. Serve with grilled pork, fish—like striped bass—or chicken. Refrigerate for up to three days.

      Yield: 15 servings (serving size: 1/4 cup)


      • 4 large peeled peaches, halved and pitted (about 1 pound)
      • 2 (1/4-inch-thick) slices red onion
      • Cooking spray
      • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
      • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
      • 1 teaspoon sugar
      • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
      • 1 teaspoon finely chopped seeded habanero pepper
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt


      1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

      2. Lightly coat peaches and onion with cooking spray. Place peaches and onion on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill peaches 2 minutes on each side. Cool and chop peaches. Grill onion 3 minutes on each side. Cool and chop onion. Combine peaches, onion, cilantro, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl; toss well. Let stand 15 minutes.

      this salsa received rave reviews, and I've gotta tell you that grilling peaches is all new to me, but I will do it often now!

      Tomato Basil Pie

      I found this recipe on the internet after my friend Polly raved about a Tomato Basil Pie recipe that a friend had shared with her. Sadly, one of her grandchildren drowned it in water, so I had to find my own. We loved this!!!! I made my own pie crust a day ahead.

      November 30, 2008 Simon Monez

      8-oz. pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
      9-inch pie crust
      4 tomatoes, chopped
      1 c. fresh basil, chopped
      4 cloves garlic, minced
      1/2 c. mayonnaise
      1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
      1/8 t. white pepper
      Garnish: fresh basil

      Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese into pie crust. Top with tomatoes and set aside. Combine basil and garlic; sprinkle over tomatoes. Set aside. Mix remaining mozzarella cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and pepper together; spread over basil mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Garnish with a few leaves of basil. Serves 6 to 8.

      Grilled Eggplant Stack

      While I was buying my eggplant at our local Farmers' Market, a fellow customer was describing to me a wonderful Eggplant Stack she was recently served at a nearby restaurant. She told me that the chef grilled the eggplant and then put a slice of mozzarella between two pieces of the eggplant, and returned it to the grill just until the cheese began to melt. It sounded so good that I decided to give it a try!


      • 1 large eggplant
      • 3 tablespoons olive oil
      • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
      • 2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
      • 1 pinch each thyme, basil, dill, and oregano
      • salt and freshly grated black pepper


      Heat grill.
      When grill is hot, slice eggplant about 1/2-inch thick. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the oil and vinegar mixture.

      Place eggplant on the hot preheated grill. Grill about 15 to 20 minutes, turning once.

      I found that the eggplant took only about 6 minutes per side, and after the first side was grilled, I'd flip a slice, top it with a slice of mozzarella and then top that with another slice of partially grilled eggplant, and then grill the 'sandwiches' for another 5-6 minutes. It was a huge hit!!

      Our dessert was Rayna Gillman's Flourless Chocolate Cake, which you can find here. It was wonderful.....and you must remember that a very little bit goes a long, long way!

      I hope you will enjoy some of these wonderful dishes.....and if you do, please email me and let me know!

      Tuesday, July 14, 2009

      Sauteed Okra andTomatoes

      1 T whole mustard seeds
      1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
      1/2 t ground coriander
      2 T extra-virgin olive oil
      1 sm red onion, cut into 1/2" thick wedges
      1# fresh okra, stems & ends trimmed
      3 medium tomatoes, seeded & cut into1/2" thick wedges
      coarse salt & pepper

      In a medium bowl, combine mustard sees, cumin seeds, and coriander; set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. add onion, and cook, stirring until soft, about 3 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high heat, add spice mixture, okra, and 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring, until okra is bright green and just tender, about 6 minutes, adding more water if skillet becomes too dry. Add tomato wedges and cook until just heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

      Saturday, March 14, 2009

      White Bean & Shrimp Stew with Mustard Greens

      C and I were both intrigued by this recipe, which ran in the March 12th Atlanta Journal Constitution, so I just had to try it. Since we were heading to the Dekalb Farmers Market on a food shopping trip, it was easy to pick up the one or two articles that I didn't already have in my pantry. We both loved the results, and so I thought I would share it with you here.

      3 t olive oil, divided
      1/4# diced pancetta or Spanish chorizo
      1 onion, diced (about 1 C)
      4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
      1# dried Great Northern beans
      7 C water
      1# peeled medium shrimp
      1 t pimenton de la vera -smoked Spanish paprika, any smoked Paprika is a suitable substitution
      1-1/4 t ground cumin
      1 bunch mustard greens, chopped (or Swiss chard or kale)
      Sherry vinegar

      the pancetta, before dicing

      Heat oven to 350.

      Heat 2 T olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown and render its fat, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic (about 2 T) and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

      Add the dried beans and water, cover tightly and bring to a simmer. Stir, then place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour before stirring in 1 t salt.
      Cover again and return to the oven to cook,
      stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender,
      about 1-1/2 - 2 hours total.

      rinsed Great Northern beans, ready to be added

      Meanwhile, season the shrimp with the pimenton,
      ground cumin, the remaining 1 clove minced garlic and 1/2 t salt. Heat a medium nonstick
      skillet over medium hight heat, add 1 t olive oil and, when it is very hot, add the shrimp. Cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp are bright red on the outside and firm, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.

      When the beans are tender, stir the shrimp and the chopped greens into the stew. Cook just until greens are wilted, about 5 minutes. Season to taste, adding first salt and then the sherry vinegar, adding it about 1/4 t at a time, it will take only about 1 t total. The stew shouldn't taste noticeable sour, just more complex.

      Here is my finished stew

      3 primary players:
      my kitchen scale,
      the pimenton de la vera,
      the sherry vinegar

      We served it with a hearty whole wheat bread and it was just perfect on a cold and rainy winter evening! YUMMM

      Serves 6-8
      353 calories per serving
      28 grams protein
      35 grams carbs
      11 grams fiber
      12 grams fat

      Saturday, December 06, 2008

      Gingered Beets

      Gingered Beets
      Serves 6

      4 beets, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
      2 T olive oil, divided
      1/2 T kosher salt
      juice of 1 grapefruit
      2 T red wine vinegar
      2 T honey
      1 t chopped fresh ginger
      1/2 t soy sauce

      Preheat oven to 400 degrees (or 375 convection). Set aside 1/4 cup beets. Place the remaining in a 9-inch dish and drizzle with 1 T olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat. Cover the dish with foil and bake 15 minutes.

      In the meantime, place the reserved beets in a blender with the grapefruit juice, vinegar, honey, ginger, soy sauce, and remaining tablespoon olive oil. Blend until smooth. After the beets have roasted 15 minutes, stir in the puree, then recover the dish and continue cooking until the beets are tender, about 40-45 minutes.

      courtesy of the AJC.

      results: yummilicious and oh so very good for you too!

      Friday, November 28, 2008

      Kentucky Bourbon Fruit Cake

      2 C red candied cherries
      1-1/2 C seedless raisins
      2 C bourbon
      1-1/2 C butter
      2-1/3 C granulated sugar
      2-1/3 C brown sugar
      6 eggs, separated
      5 C sifted cake flour
      2 t nutmeg
      1 t baking powder
      4 C pecan meats

      Combine cherries, raisins and bourbon. Cover and let stand overnight.

      Drain fruit, reserving bourbon.

      Cream butter and sugars together until light. Add egg yolks and beat well. Combine 1/2 C flour, nutmeg, baking bowder and pecans together.
      Add remaining flour and bourbon alternately to butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Beat egg whites until stiff but not too dry. Fold egg whites into flour mixture. Fold soaked fruit and pecan/flour mixture into batter. Turn into greased 10" tube pan lined with greased waxed paper.
      Bake in a slow oven (275) for 3-1/2 hours. Cool and then remove from pan.

      Fill center of cake with cheesecloth which is saturated with bourbon. Wrap in heavy waxed paper or aluminum foil. Store in tightly covered container. Keep in a cool place (in fridge if necessary).

      I bake mine around Thanksgiving and store it in our extra fridge until Christmas. YUMMM!