Archive for January, 2012

h1

Banana Poppy Cream Cake

January 28, 2012

I finally decided to use the bananas sitting in my freezer to make room for more interesting foods. The other night I turned them into a treat for my coworkers. This is sweet-ish coffee cake, reminiscent of banana bread, that is perfect for sharing.

You will need:

  • 1/3 c margarine, softened
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c ripe bananas, mashed (approx. 5)
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 c flour, scant
  • 1 c light sour cream
  • 1 c  walnut pieces
  • 3 T poppy seeds
 Then you will…
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a bundt pan (preferable 10-inch) with non-stick cooking spray and then flour.
  2. Cream together the margarine and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs to combine well.
  3. Stir in vanilla and bananas.
  4. Mix in the nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Alternately stir in the flour and the sour cream, just until combined.
  6. Stir in the walnuts and poppyseeds.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a tester in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Share with friends.
h1

Italian Veggie Sub

January 23, 2012

This is a spin-off of a classic Italian sub minus the meats, which while delicious also do not make it the lightest of sandwiches. Here you add artichoke hearts to the filling to make it heartier. Yumm! If you are bringing this to work/school, leave the filling and the bread separate until ready to eat to avoid soggy sandwiches!

You will need:

  • 1/4 c red onion, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) artichoke hearts, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • Hot banana peppers, chopped and included to taste (optional)Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 crusty loaf of bread, like a whole-grain baguette
  • Margarine and pinch of garlic powder
  • 1/2 c provolone or swiss cheese, shredded
  • 2 c cabbage, shredded

Then you will…

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the red onion, artichoke, tomato, vinegar, oil and oregano in a medium bowl. Mix in the hot peppers if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat your broiler.
  3. Cut bread into 4 equal lengths. Split each piece horizontally and pull out about half of the soft bread from each side. Lightly butter with margarine and sprinkle with garlic powder.
  4. Place the bread on a baking tray and broil until just starting to turn golden.
  5. Sprinkle the bread with the cheese and return to oven to melt.
  6. To assemble sandwiches, spread on the artichoke mixture and top with the cabbage.
  7. Cover with the bread tops. Serve immediately.

h1

Broccoli Cheddar Bean Soup

January 18, 2012

This recipe comes from EatingWell with only a few small tweaks. It’s surprisingly yummy and yet still a much healthier version of this comforting soup. The recipe makes 4-6 servings.

You will need:

  • 1 can (14 oz) reduced-sodium broth
  • 1 c water
  • 1 lb frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 can (14 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t ground mustard
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1 c extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

Then you will…

  1. Bring broth and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add broccoli, cover and cook until cooked through, about 6 minutes.
  2. Stir in beans, salt, mustard and pepper. Cook until the beans are heated through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer half the mixture to a blender with half the cheese and puree. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Repeat with the remaining broccoli mixture and cheese. Serve warm with some crusty bread.

h1

Baked Gorgonzola Rigatoni

January 14, 2012

This is a twist on baked mac-n-cheese with Gorgonzola and spinach. The Gorgonzola is tangy, but it isn’t too strong when mixed in with everything else. I made it with beef stock and ground turkey. If you wanted it to be a vegetarian dish, you could swap in vegetable stock and then either leave out the turkey all together or used a ground veggie substitute.

You will need:

  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 10 oz baby Bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey, cooked through
  • 15 oz fat free ricotta
  • 1/2 c tomato sauce
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 lb rigatoni
  • 1 c stock
  • 8 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 c shredded mozzarella

Then you will…

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the rigatoni to just about 2 minutes shy of al dente. Strain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. In a large, nonstick skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the liquid is evaporated.
  5. Add in the spinach and cooked turkey. Cook another 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the ricotta and tomato sauce until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. In a medium saucepan, heat the stock over medium heat. Melt in the Gorgonzola. Stir in the cream and allow to simmer 5 minutes until it thickens.
  8. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the rigatoni with the ricotta mixture and the Gorgonzola cream sauce.
  9. Spread the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Top with the mozzarella.
  10. Bake 30-45 minutes until bubbly and golden.
h1

Drunken Shrimps

January 11, 2012

This is an adaptation of an Emeril recipe. You could use it as a fun alternative to shrimp cocktail at party, where it would be an interesting warm appetizer. It’s also good as party of bigger meal or even mixed into pasta for a dinner. I really liked the mixture of ginger, honey and whiskey used to make this dish.

You will need:

  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 c shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh ginger, peel cut away and then minced (about 1-2 inches)
  • 2 t rosemary
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1 t ground coriander
  • 2 t oregano
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 c whiskey
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 c lite cream

Then you will…

  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  2. In a small cup, combine the rosemary, cumin, coriander, oregano, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Add the shrimp to the pan with the spice mixture, lemon juice, and whiskey. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the shrimp from the pan with a slotted spoon and cover to keep warm.
  5. Add the honey and cream to the pan and cook until thickened.
  6. Add the shrimp back to the pan, and stir well to coat and warm through.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and serve hot.

h1

Roasted Eggplant Salata

January 7, 2012

When my mom and I were in Greece, we ate quite a bit of melitzanosalata or eggplant salad. It was delicious. We tried to recreate it over the holidays, which is the recipe you will find below. It’s not quite the same as what we had during our travels but it is a great side or appetizer.

You will need:

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 6 cloves of garlic, lightly cracked and with skins on
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/4 c fresh parsley, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Roast the eggplant in the baking dish until the skin is soft and wrinkly, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. Place the garlic clove (with their skins on) in a small baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for about 15 minutes or until fragrant and just turning golden. Remove the skins and reserve the garlic oil. On a small cutting board, use the broad side of a butcher’s knife to turn the garlic into a paste by scraping back and forth.
  4. Remove the eggplant from its skin.
  5. Combine the eggplant, roasted garlic, garlic-infused olive oil and lemon juice in a large bowl. Mash together (or use an immersion blender if you prefer a smoother dip).
  6. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper. If the consistency seems too thick, consider adding a bit more olive oil.
  7. Serve with pita chips or crackers.
h1

Caesar Crusted Sirloin Roast

January 3, 2012

This recipe comes from Bon Appetit’s December holiday issue. My family swapped out tenderloin for a sirloin roast. We also added several cloves of garlic directly into the roast. It’s a very celebratory dish for special occasions.

You will need:

  • 1 (5-lb) sirloin roast, fat trimmed
  • Salt
  • 4 t  pepper + more for seasoning
  • 2/3 c breadcrumbs
  • 2/3 c Parmesan, finely grated
  • 2/3 c mayonnaise
  • 4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained, finely chopped
  • 4 t Dijon mustard
  • 4 t  lemon zest, finely grated
  • 2 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 garlic cloves, divided
Then you will…

  1. Season roast lightly with salt and pepper. Quarter 3 of the garlic cloves and insert into roast. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate overnight.
  2. Uncover roast; let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set a rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer roast to rack.
  4. Pulse 4 teaspoons  pepper and remaining ingredients in a small food processor until well blended. Generously and evenly spread and pack Parmesan mixture around top and sides of the roast.
  5. Roast until crust is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 110°-115° for rare and 120°-125° for medium-rare, 90 – 110 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a carving board. Let rest for 20 minutes. Cut into 1/2″-thick slices, taking care not to lose too much of the delicate crust.
%d bloggers like this: