Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Crab, Asparagus, and Sweet Corn Quiche

*Mimi's Cafe used to offer a quiche with these ingredients on their menu, but sadly did away with it a couple of years ago. I've been wanting to see if I could mimic's what I came up with.

Serves: 6
Prep: 30 minutes + 40 minutes baking

10-12 stalks of asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 3/4" pieces
1 ear of sweet corn, kernels removed
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp butter
1 (9 in.) unbaked pastry shell
1 cup crabmeat, drained and flaked
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt

1. Sauté asparagus in butter in a saucepan on medium-high for 3 minutes. Add corn and onion; sauté an additional 3 minutes or until onion begins to turn translucent and asparagus is crisp tender. Drain vegetables on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
2. Prepare pie pan with pie crust. Arrange vegetables over the pastry crust. Top with crab meat. Sprinkle feta cheese over crab.
3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, milk, Parmesan cheese, dry mustard, paprika, and salt. Brush a bit of the egg mixture around the edges of the pastry crust, then pour mixture into the pastry.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until firm. Allow to rest 10-15 minutes before cutting.

*Notes for myself:

  • I used canned white meat crab. 
  • Consider using seafood seasoning like Old Bay in place of paprika. 
  • Consider adding one Tbsp of flour to help absorb moisture--sprinkle over pastry before adding vegetables.
  • The quiche did not rise, so pour egg mixture into pastry shell right up until just below the brim of the shell.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Honey Balsamic Glazed Salmon

*Adapted from here.

Serves: 4
Prep: 20 minutes + time to marinate

4 salmon filets with skin (1 lb.)
1/4 cup light balsamic salad dressing
2 Tbsp honey
salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil

1. Combine salad dressing, honey, salt & pepper in a zip-top bag and mix thoroughly. Add salmon filets and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours.
2. Heat oil on skillet on medium heat. Add filets (reserving the marinade), flesh-side down, and cook for 6 minutes. Turn and cook 2 more minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Remove and keep warm.
3. Add the rest of the marinade to the skillet and turn heat to high. Allow sauce to simmer until reduced and thickened, stirring frequently. Drizzle glaze over filets to serve.

Serving suggestions: Serve with rice pilaf and/or sautéed vegetables.

Turkey Bacon Bravo(ish) Wrap

This recipe is inspired by the Turkey Bacon Bravo sandwich at Panera Bread and a Turkey & Applewood Smoked Bacon Ciabatta sandwich at one of our favorite local restaurants.

Serves: 1
Prep: 5 minutes

2 slices applewood smoked bacon
1 sun-dried tomato sandwich wrap or 2 slices Ciabatta bread
mayonnaise or special sauce*
4 oz. roasted turkey breast deli meat
1 slice smoked gouda cheese
tomato slices
spring mix lettuce or romaine lettuce

1. Cook bacon until crispy. Set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, spread mayonnaise or special sauce on bread of choice.
3. Combine the rest of the ingredients to make the sandwich, including bacon.
4. Enjoy!

Panera's special sauce recipe:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp dried mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
dash of Tabasco (or Cholula)
Combine, mix well, and refrigerate. This will make 3/4 - 1 cup sauce.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Raw Tomato & Green Bean Pasta

*Adapted from here.

Serves: 6 (as entree servings; serves at least 8 as a side dish)
Prep: 25 minutes

salt & pepper
3/4 lb. orecchiette (or other small pasta)
1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb. beefsteak tomatoes, diced medium (I used 1 1/2 very large tomatoes.)
1 small garlic clove, mashed to paste (I chose to mince the garlic because it didn't break up well enough.)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 oz.)
1/2 cup fresh dill or mint (I recommend the mint.)

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes less than package instructions, then add beans and cook until bright green and just tender. Drain and return to pot, removing from heat.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, oil, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add pasta, beans, and half the feta and herbs; toss to combine and season. Serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with remaining feta and herbs.

*Notes for myself: Use half the amount of garlic and no mint if serving to the kids. Additionally, this recipe could easily be halved.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

*Adapted from here and here.

Serves: 3-4
Prep: 40 minutes

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup green salsa
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (juice from half a lime)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced; or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken*
1 cup shredded Mexican-flavored cheese
small flour tortillas (10-12)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic. Once combined, stir in cilantro and green onions. Add the chicken and cheese; mix thoroughly.
3. Working with a few tortillas at a time, heat them in the microwave between two damp paper towels until they are soft enough to roll (20-30 seconds). Spoon 2-3 Tbsp of the chicken mixture onto the lower third of a tortilla. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can. Place the rolled tortilla seam-side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the mixture is gone. Make sure the taquitos are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt.
4. Bake 15-20 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Serve with guacamole, salsa, or sour cream.

*Recipe for taco-flavored chicken adapted from here:
1 lb. chicken breasts or thighs
lime juice from 2 limes
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2-3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a sealable plastic bag. Marinate for 4-8 hours, turning occasionally to coat. Grill or broil.

**To freeze: Before baking, freeze the taquitos in a single layer on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes, then place in a labeled freezer bag and store up to 3 months. To bake a frozen taquito (no need to thaw first): Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Russ & Sharon's Barbecue Chicken

*Adapted from here. I found the original recipe far too spicy after my first attempt so I reduced the chile powder and cayenne by half on this version.

Serves: 4

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or whatever kind of chicken you prefer)

for "Magic Dust" rub (makes approx. 1 cup):
1/4 cup paprika
2 Tbsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp mustard powder
3 tsp chile powder (or less)
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp cayenne

for BBQ sauce:
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard
1 Tbsp magic dust (recipe above)
1/2 tsp black pepper
hot sauce (such as Tabasco) to taste

1. Combine all ingredients for Magic Dust. Rub all but 1 Tbsp of the Magic Dust over the chicken pieces to coat thoroughly. Cover loosely in the refrigerator for 2-8 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place chicken pieces on a broiler pan. Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until internal temperature is 150 degrees. Turn chicken after 15 minutes.
3. While chicken is cooking, prepare barbecue sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer mildly, whisking occasionally, until sauce is dark and thickened, about 10-15 minutes. (This can easily be prepared in advance.)
4. When chicken is heated to 150 degrees, turn on broiler to 400 degrees. Brush sauce thickly onto chicken. Turn chicken every few minutes and re-coat with sauce, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees and sauce is caramelized. Remove chicken to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes.

Lena's Spicy Apple Barbecue Sauce

Makes: 2 1/2 cups, prepared
Prep: 45 minutes

1 cup ketchup
2 cups apple juice
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup firmly-packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp celery seed
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients to a large saucepan and gradually bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking to mix. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking often, until sauce is thickened, about 40 minutes.

Recommendation: Serve with Lena's Dr. Pepper Pork Loin.

Lena's Dr. Pepper Pork Loin

Serves: 4-6

4 cups Dr. Pepper (do NOT use diet soda)
1/2 cup kosher salt
3-4 lbs. boneless center-cut pork loin
1 jar (9 ox.) tart cherry preserves
1/2 cup Dr. Pepper
1/2 cup water
1-2 Tbsp minced canned chipotle in adobo
2 tsp Dijon mustard
vegetable oil

1. Pour the soda into a large bowl and slowly add the salt (the mixture will foam up quite a bit so be sure to use a bowl large enough to prevent overflowing.) Stir until the salt dissolves completely, 1-2 minutes. Place a large, disposable plastic bag inside a large bowl and carefully pour the brine into the bag.
2. Trim excess fat and silver skin from the pork. Submerge the pork in the brine, seal the bag, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
3. In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients.
4. Remove the pork from the bag and discard the brine. Pat dry with paper towels. Lightly coat the pork with oil and let stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
5. Preheat a dutch oven pot on high heat. Sear all sides of the pork for several minutes, then turn off the heat and pour the glaze over the meat. Cover and transfer to the preheated oven. Roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Rotate the meat in the glaze every 10 minutes and add a little water or more soda if glaze gets too thick or starts to scorch. Remove meat when internal temperature reaches 145-150 degrees.

*If grilling, do not use a dutch oven. Instead, sear all sides over direct high heat then transfer to a disposable foil pan containing the glaze. Continue cooking over indirect high heat with grill lid closed, rotating the meat as indicated above.

Recommendation: Serve with Lena's Spicy Apple Barbecue Sauce and Lena's Cranberry & Cilantro Quinoa Salad.

BLT Pinwheels

*From here.

Serves: 3

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 - 1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped
6 slices of crisp bacon, crumbled
3 tomato-flavored wrap-style tortillas
1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
sliced deli turkey meat (optional)

1. In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, mayo, and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir in bacon.
2. Spread mayo mixture evenly over tortillas. Top with deli meat, if using, and lettuce and tomatoes.
3. To serve as pinwheels, roll the tortilla up tightly and wrap the roll in plastic wrap. Refrigerate one hour, then use a serrated knife and cut each roll into 1-inch-thick slices. To serve immediately, fold in sides and roll into a wrap (burrito-style).

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lena's Cranberry & Cilantro Quinoa Salad

*From here.

Serves: 6
Prep: 45 minutes

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/4 cup minced carrots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
salt & pepper to taste

Pour the water into a saucepan; cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Then pour in quinoa, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the water has been absorbed, 15-20 minutes.
(To serve cold) Scrape into a mixing bowl and chill in the refrigerator until cold. Once cold, add all additional ingredients and mix thoroughly. Chill again before serving.
(To serve hot) Add all additional ingredients to the pot and mix well. Heat on low and stir often until all ingredients are hot.

This could be served alongside an entree or as a main dish.

Chicken Thighs in White Wine Sauce

*From Martha Stewart online here. Watch Sarah Carey from Everyday Food prepare this recipe here.

Serves: 4
Prep: 1 hour

8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs (I used boneless)
coarse salt & ground pepper
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 lemons
1 Tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. In a 12-inch skillet with lid, arrange thighs, bone side up; season with salt & pepper. Add garlic, wine, and thyme. Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
2. Prepare lemons: cut one lemon into 8 thin slices, removing seeds. Juice the other lemon.
3. Turn chicken over. Place a lemon slice on each piece; cover and continue simmering until tender, about 15 minutes. Leaving garlic and liquid in skillet, transfer chicken and lemon slices to a platter. Cover tightly with foil to keep warm.
4. Bring liquid in skillet to a boil; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Add butter, parsley, and 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Stir until butter has softened and sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve chicken with sauce over cooked rice.

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

*Adapted from here.

Serves: 6-8
Prep: 10 minutes (+ time in slow cooker)

2.5-3 lbs. frozen chicken breasts or breast tenderloins
4 oz. regular or 1/3 less fat (NOT fat free) cream cheese
can of black beans, drained and rinsed (or use pinto beans)
can of corn, drained
can of Rotel
optional: a packet of taco seasoning or dry ranch dressing mix

Add all ingredients to a slow cooker, in order. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours, stirring every few hours to help ingredients mix well (optional). Shred chicken in the crock pot--it should fall apart. Serve over rice or in tacos or burritos. Enjoy!

Carolyn's Creamy Mushroom Chicken

Serves: 4
Prep: 2 hours (including baking time)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 envelope dry Italian salad dressing mix
1/2 cup water (decrease to 1/4 cup if using slow cooker)
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup (may substitute cream of chicken or celery instead)
4 oz. can mushrooms, drained (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place chicken in shallow baking pan. Combine all other ingredients blend together. Pour over chicken. Bake, uncovered, 1.5 hours.

(In slow cooker) Place chicken in slow cooker. Combine salad dressing and water. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low 3 hours. Beat cream cheese and soup in a bowl until blended. Stir in mushrooms, then pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low 1 additional hour, or until chicken is tender, but not dry.

Serve over cooked egg noodles.

Gail's Chicken Salad

Serves: 4
Prep: 30 minutes

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small can crushed pineapple
1/2 -1 cup chopped nuts (I recommend pecans or almonds)

1. Add chicken breasts to a saucepan or pot. Cover by 2-3 inches with cold water. Turn on high until just beginning to simmer, then turn to medium. Let simmer for 10-20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
2. Remove chicken and allow to cool. Then tear chicken into large pieces; add chicken to a food processor and pulse until finely shredded.
3. While chicken is cooling, open the can of pineapple and drain. Empty pineapple pieces onto a paper towel to drain more fully.
4. Combine chicken, pineapple, chopped nuts, and 1/8 cup of mayonnaise to a bowl. Combine and add more mayonnaise until desired consistency is reached.

Serve on croissant or toasted bread and add leafy lettuce and tomato if desired.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dempsey Depression Burgers

Serves: 12

3 cups grated carrots (about 4 carrots)
1 cup grated potatoes (about 2 small potatoes)
1/2 cup chopped onion (or dried minced onion to taste)
3 lb. ground beef (also works well with ground turkey)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
1 lb. bacon (optional)

Combine carrots, potatoes, onions, and ground beef in a bowl. Add garlic powder and barbecue sauce Mix together and form into patties. Wrap with bacon and secure with a toothpick. Grill or broil until done.

Serve with fries, oven roasted potatoes, or mashed potatoes. Make ketchup and barbecue sauce available.

*For those who are interested, since I normally receive several questions about the name of these burgers, here's how they got their name. During the Great Depression meat was expensive, so people had to find ways to make it stretch. Thus, they added shredded vegetables, onions, cracker/bread crumbs, or eggs. I've heard of serving these burgers on buns with lettuce and tomato like any other burger, but my family never has. Nonetheless, Depression Burgers are one of my favorite meals from my childhood. Enjoy!

Nutritional information is approximate and based on the use of lean ground turkey instead of ground beef. I used the recipe calculator here.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237.2
Total Fat 10.3 g

Saturated Fat 3.2 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g

Monounsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 83.4 mg
Sodium 531.5 mg
Potassium 148.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 11.3 g

Dietary Fiber 0.8 g

Sugars 7.1 g
Protein 23.9 g