Monday, April 23, 2012

Mini Turkey Meatloaf Cups



I can't say that this recipe was necessarily inspired by anything in particular. I am always looking for new recipes, and I came across this one on Allrecipes.com and frankly, thought it sounded tasty. We're not big meatloaf eaters in this house, but this recipe is different enough from traditional meatloaf that I thought we could give it a try. Plus it's coated in BBQ sauce, which is probably one of my favorite condiments on earth.

The moisture from the veggies kept these little mini meatloaves nice and moist, and the couscous was a nice binder and "stretch" ingredient to make the recipe go a little further. These are made very quickly with the help of a food processor to shred the veggies. As something that's super low calorie (each one is just over 100 calories each) and very low cost, I can easily see adding these to the weeknight dinner roster alongside homemade mashed potatoes and steamed veggies.

Here's the recipe on allrecipes.com, which makes 10-12 mini meatloaves: Mini Turkey Meatloaf Cups

I've modified the recipe slightly, below. Ingredients: 
  • 1 medium coarsely chopped zucchini
  • 1 medium coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound extra lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard1/2 cup barbecue sauce, or as needed
Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray 20 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. Place zucchini, onions, garlic and red bell pepper into a food processor, and pulse several times until finely chopped but not liquefied. Place the vegetables into a bowl, and mix in ground turkey, couscous, egg, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard until thoroughly combined. Fill each prepared muffin cup about 3/4 full. Top each cup with about 1 teaspoon of barbecue sauce.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until juices run clear, about 25 minutes. Internal temperature of a muffin measured by an instant-read meat thermometer should be at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bacon and Egg Breakfast Tart




I am a fan of Williams-Sonoma on Facebook, and they will frequently post recipes to their news feed. I saw this recipe for a rustic Breakfast Tart a while back and bookmarked it to try. Since I had a leftover puff pastry sheet from when I made a Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Tart, I thought that this Sunday would be a perfect day to try this recipe out.

You'll notice that I have about 2/3rds of this tart as scrambled eggs, and only a couple sunny side up...Chris is not a fan of runny eggs like I am so I modified this a bit so that he'd be able to enjoy this as much as I would. I added the scrambled eggs to the tart and cooked for about 2 minutes before adding the whole eggs. And, to get perfectly over medium eggs, cook for about 9 minutes after adding the whole eggs.

While this was very good, I'm not sure it warrants the work for just a regular weekend breakfast. This is certainly far more worthy of a brunch with friends. A showcase breakfast for sure!

Here's the original recipe on Williams-Sonoma, serves 4-6

Ingredients:
  • 1 sheet puff pastry dough
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water
  • 3 oz. crème fraîche
  • 2 oz. shredded Gruyère cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 bacon slices, cooked until crisp
  • 3 eggs
  • 10 fresh chives, cut on the bias into 1/2-inch lengths

Directions:
  1. Thaw the puff pastry dough according to the package instructions.
  2. Preheat an oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  3. On lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to 1/4-inch thickness and cut into a 10-by-8-inch rectangle. Place the pastry on the prepared baking sheet. Using a paring knife, score a border 1/2 inch in from the edge of the pastry. Using a fork, prick the center of the pastry. Brush the border with the egg wash and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the crème fraîche and cheese, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spread the crème fraîche mixture on the pastry, keeping the border clean. Lay the bacon on top, slightly overlapping the slices. Bake the tart for 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.
  6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place it on a level heatproof surface. Using a fork, prick any large air pockets in the pastry. Crack the eggs onto the tart, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake until the egg whites are set and the yolks are still soft, 7 to 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer the tart to a platter, garnish with the chives and serve immediately. Serves 4.


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Monday, April 2, 2012

Tilapia Fish Tacos



I've been looking for ways to incorporate more fish into our diets. Chris and I are not big fish eaters, so we're cautiously entering the waters with tilapia. So far I've tried a couple of recipes, and this recipe for fish tacos it totally blog worthy and something I could see us making again.

When I'm trying a food I'm not too familiar with, like fish, I'll often turn to sources where user ratings and notes are available. This recipe comes from allrecipes.com and is highly rated and frequently reviewed. Once I tasted this recipe, it's easy to see why!

The beer batter is super simple and adds a nice crunch (along with the cabbage), while the spicy sauce is delicious and something I could see drizzling on more than just fish tacos. I whipped up fresh tomato jalapeno salsa to add an additional layer of flavor, and used flour tortillas instead of corn (Chris' choice).

I think that the flavors of the sauce and tomato jalapeno salsa, and crunch of the cabbage could work really really well with grilled tilapia too.

Here's the recipe on allrecipes.com, and as written will serve 8 people.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 quart oil for frying
  • 1 pound cod fillets, cut into 2 to 3 ounce portions (I used tilapia, and you could use halibut as well)
  • 1 (12 ounce) package corn tortillas
  • 1/2 medium head cabbage, finely shredded

Directions:
  1. To make beer batter: In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Blend egg and beer, then quickly stir into the flour mixture (don't worry about a few lumps).
  2. To make white sauce: In a medium bowl, mix together yogurt and mayonnaise. Gradually stir in fresh lime juice until consistency is slightly runny. Season with jalapeno, capers, oregano, cumin, dill, and cayenne.
  3. Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Dust fish pieces lightly with flour. Dip into beer batter, and fry until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Lightly fry tortillas; not too crisp. To serve, place fried fish in a tortilla, and top with shredded cabbage, and white sauce.
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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Creamy Garlic Pasta



Like many others, I am addicted to Pinterest. A day is not complete without spending at least a few minutes browsing around for new pins to add to my boards. The recipe for Creamy Garlic Pasta has shown up in "popular" pins a couple times now, and I finally pinned it the other night and decided to try it today for lunch.

This recipe comes from the blog, The Cheese Pusher, a self-proclaimed cheese fanatic. In her recipe for Creamy Garlic pasta, she also confesses to loving garlic. I figure a recipe using carbs, cheese, and garlic cannot go wrong.

The original recipe as written is extremely indulgent. Olive oil, butter, lots of garlic (surprise!), lots of cheese (surprise surprise!), oh and heavy cream. This is one of those eat-in-moderation pastas.

Frankly when I made this I altered it fairly significantly, and I think I should still tweak it the next time I make it. The creaminess that you get from boiling the noodles in the chicken broth will allow you to cut back pretty significantly on the heavy cream and parmesan cheese without much sacrifice to flavor or texture.

 Here's the original recipe on The Cheese Pusher, with my altered recipe written below.

Serves 3-4 people
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil - Next time I am cutting to 1 Tbsp
  • 3 cloves of garlic - My garlic cloves were huge. Next time I'll probably only do 2 cloves3 cups of reduced sodium chicken stock/broth
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti or linguine noodles
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese - I think I could cut back to 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream - I think somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 cup is about right
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp parsley

Directions:
  1. In a medium-sized pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil.
  2. Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reduce the stove to medium heat and mix in the parmesan and cream until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the pepper and parsley. Serve immediately.
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