Archive for the ‘Main Dishes’ Category

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Sloppy Joes from Ellie Krieger

November 9, 2013

Happy Saturday! How about a sloppy joe?

Sloppy Joe

I wouldn’t normally put sloppy joes in the “exciting meal” category, but this recipe made an impact. They don’t have the typical sweet-smoky flavor – not that there’s anything wrong with a standard sloppy joe – but these were a nice change.

I loved the addition of pinto beans and red bell pepper, both of which add a nice flavor and texture. My husband described this as having a “fresh, light” taste and he appreciated that it didn’t make the bun soggy. Speaking of buns, I went the extra mile and made King Arthur Flour’s Beautiful Burger Buns, which are oh-my-gosh so delicious. Homemade buns or not, give these sloppy joes a try!

Recipe notes:

  • The recipe is on page 91 of The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger. I’ve made lots of recipes from this book and have enjoyed all of them. You can also find it here on the Food Network’s website.
  • I used ground turkey instead of ground beef.
  • I didn’t want to deal with leftover tomato sauce, so I put in a whole can, which was a bit more than the 1 1/2 cups called for in the recipe.
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TwD Baking with Julia: Pizza with Onion Confit

January 8, 2013

When I looked at the recipe for Pizza with Onion Confit, it was one of those it looks pretty good, but I’m just not sure recipes. But it certainly looked good enough to try, and since I missed both recipes that the Tuesdays with Dorie group made in December, I knew I better get on it and make some pizza.

OnionConfitPizza

And now it’s one of those I’m so glad I gave it a try recipes. I’m always up for trying another pizza crust recipe, and I really liked this one. The edges were chewy, and the base was sturdy enough to support a pile of moist onions that were slow cooked in a little butter and red wine vinegar and a lot of red wine. I followed the suggestion in the book to add some goat cheese, olives (I used green), and a sprinkle of parmesan. It was a great combination of flavors and made for a really enjoyable dinner.

When I first looked at the recipe, it seemed time-consuming, but it really wasn’t bad. I made a full recipe of the crust a day ahead of time and stored it in the refrigerator. The next day, while cooking half a batch of onion confit, I divided the dough in half and brought half up to room temperature and froze the other half for another time. The onions need to cook for about an hour, but they do their thing on the stove and need to be stirred only occasionally.

A couple of additional thoughts for next time:

  • The pizza crust dough might make good breadsticks. Shape like a breadstick and brush with butter or garlic butter and sprinkle with kosher salt. That thought kept coming to mind as I ate the outside crust.
  • As good as a vegetarian version was, some bacon might be really tasty with the onions and goat cheese.

This was another Steve Sullivan recipe (he also contributed the Cranberry Walnut Pumpkin Loaf recipe that I loved so much). You can find the recipe on page 157 of Baking with Julia, or pop over to The Boy Can Bake, where this week’s host Paul has the recipe posted, along with lots of tips on making pizza crust.

PS: Sorry Steve Sullivan, but I disagree with you: this was quite good reheated the next day!

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What I did on my summer vacation: Savory

September 23, 2012

I didn’t blog over the summer, but I did cook.

I cooked a lot of chickpeas – yes, I said cooked. I buy them dry and cook them in the slow cooker: rinse and pick over 2 cups of dried chickpeas. Add to 6 cups of water in the slow cooker. Cook on low 6-8 hours. You’ll get about 6 cups of cooked chickpeas. When a recipe calls for 1 can of chickpeas, I use about 1 1/2 cups. Why cook them instead of opening a can? I really think they taste better. I haven’t done the math, but I think it’s got to be cheaper to buy them dried instead of canned. Here’s what they look like before cooking.

I believe that you can freeze cooked chickpeas, but I always end up eating all of them! They’re delicious tossed into a green salad, and of course you can make hummus. If you want to branch out, here are a couple of awesome recipes to try. You don’t need to cook them yourself to make these recipes; if you’d prefer to use canned, go for it.

Warm Chickpea Salad with Cumin and Garlic made more than one appearance on the table this summer. It’s best when made the night before to give the flavors a chance to develop. Also, despite the title, I served it room temperature instead of warm. Warm cucumbers don’t do it for me, but this salad does. I’ve got tons of parsley in the garden, and need to make this at least one more time before gardening season ends. It’s great plain or on top of greens for lunch, and I served it as a side dish with spanakopita (spinach pie).

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner is the well-deserved name of this recipe, which I saw on the tv show Mad Hungry. I used boneless chicken and a 50-50 mix of smoked and sweet paprika. The second time I made it, I cut the amount of salt in half, because I thought that the next-day leftovers tasted really salty. This is one of those things I’ll make over and over; the smoked paprika gives it sort of a barbecue flavor, and the dish reheats well (which is good because it makes a ton).

Moving on from chickpeas, I came across the recipe for Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream in a Splendid Table newsletter. Mexican is always popular at our house, and this mixture of shredded chicken, onions, red bell pepper, and spices is delicious! Note that their estimate of 5 minutes prep time is overly optimistic, at least when I’m the one doing the prepping. I poached the chicken in the slow cooker and then shredded it, but to save time, you could shred some rotisserie chicken. Click the recipe link if you’re not familiar with the Splendid Table; I thoroughly enjoy listening to podcasts of the show.

Enjoy!

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Green Goddess Dressing (CEIMB)

October 28, 2011

This dressing and I are going places. It was delicious on salad (as dressing should be), and was so good on a wrap sandwich with turkey and arugula. Next, I want to try it as a vegetable dip, and I bet it would be oh-so-good as a mayonnaise replacement in egg salad.

I don’t make dressing often, but every time I do, I wonder why I don’t do it more often. This dressing is quick, easy, and delicious. Buttermilk and avocado make it smooth and creamy; tarragon is the dominant flavor. What if you don’t like tarragon or don’t have any handy? Basil and chives sound like great candidates for this recipe. I will definitely be trying this recipe with other herbs that are on hand or are growing in my garden.

You can find the recipe in The Food You Crave, or here on the Food Network’s website.

The Craving Ellie In My Belly (CEIMB) group posts recipes on Fridays; check out the site to see what others made this week!

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Pasta with Escarole, White Beans, and Chicken Sausage (CEIMB)

October 8, 2011

Sausage has never been a favorite of mine, but after my recent trip to France, I had a change of heart. The friends we stayed with are big fans of Jamie Oliver, and one of the dinners we had was Proper Blokes’ Sausage Fusilli, from the Cook with Jamie cookbook. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. When I was back from the trip and looking for healthy recipes to cook, I came across Pasta with Escarole, White Beans, and Chicken Sausage in Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave. Perfect. I could try a sausage pasta recipe in a healthier version.

I followed the recipe pretty closely, though I used dried sage instead of fresh. The combination of sausage, white beans, and escarole gave this dish a nice texture and flavor contrast. I’ve probably had escarole in salad blends before, but I had never bought a head of it or cooked with it. It’s crunchy and just a little bitter, and we enjoyed the leftover escarole in salads.

The pasta reheated nicely too. When I was scooping out some leftovers I thought “how did a peanut get in there?” and then realized it was a white bean!

This was really delicious, and definitely something I’ll make again. The only thing I’d change would be to use a little less pasta (maybe 8oz instead of 12 oz). This made a large quantity of food, and there was a lot of pasta in proportion to the other ingredients.

You can find this recipe in The Food You Crave, or here on the Food Network’s website.

The Craving Ellie In My Belly (CEIMB) group is now a “freedom of choice” group, meaning that you can cook whatever Ellie recipe you want. Each Friday, the CEIMB site will have a post where everyone can link to their recipes. I’ve made several of Ellie’s recipes and have liked them, so I hope that this group will inspire me to try more of her recipes and to use my cookbook a little more often!

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My Kitchen, My World Goes to Morocco

September 24, 2010

Each month, the My Kitchen, My World group takes a virtual trip by cooking the dishes of another country. As much as I like to travel for real, virtual trips are fun too, plus no jet lag! This month, our destination is Morocco. I haven’t been to Morocco, and other than couscous, didn’t know much about the cuisine. I made three things, all from the book Flatbreads and Flavors by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. Michele gave me this book a while ago, and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s divided into different areas of the world and has more than just bread recipes, as you will see…

First up is Moroccan Anise Bread. This is a yeast bread made with white and whole wheat flour, plus anise seed. It bakes up as a flat round loaf.

It’s the same color as my cutting board!

It doesn’t get very tall, but it has a nice texture.

I reduced the amount of anise seed a little, because neither my husband or I are big fans of anise. We were pleasantly surprised that we enjoyed the bread, so I’m glad I made it and didn’t omit the anise. It was particularly good dipped in the next dish: Berber Bean Puree. This dish can be made with kidney beans or small red beans; I picked small red beans, mostly because I thought it was funny that there were beans actually named “small red beans.” Obviously, I don’t spend much time in the dried bean section of the grocery store. It’s been many years since I cooked dried beans, and I was thrilled that they turned out! The beans are cooked with garlic and then mixed with water, salt, cumin, fresh flat-leaf parsley, lemon juice, and dried pepper flakes. I used an immersion blender to puree the mixture, avoiding the heartache of cleaning the food processor.

Even though this is called a “puree,” somehow I expected more of a bean spread. Had I thoroughly read the recipe, which says it is the texture of a thick soup, I would have known what to expect. This was really tasty. The parsley added a wonderful, fresh flavor. We ate it at room temperature the first time and warmed up another time. I even ate a little bit like a soup and it was good that way too.

Finally, I made Chicken Tagine with Olives and Onions. I’m not sure how appetizing this photo looks, but in real life, it was quite good.

Chicken is marinated in lemon juice and garlic and then browned before cooking in a broth of water and seasonings including thyme and parsley. While that was cooking, I cooked sliced onions in a water and tumeric mixture (I did not include the optional saffron). The onions and some olives are added to the chicken during the last 10 minutes of cooking. The recipe calls for chicken legs and breasts, but I used boneless chicken breasts instead. I served this over rice, which I don’t think is the Moroccan way to do it , but it was good. This was even more flavorful the next day.

I have not included the recipes here, but if these look interesting to you, take a look at Flatbreads and Flavors. To see what the other travelers made, check out the roundup at My Kitchen, My World; it will be posted at the end of the month.

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Tilapia Tostadas

February 26, 2010

Hola amigos! I was in Mexico a couple of weeks ago, and we had some delicious fish tacos at one of the resort’s restaurants. Back home in the cold winter weather, I found this recipe in a Cooking Light’s August 2009 issue. The cornmeal-coated tilapia is delicious and certainly more healthy than the restaurant version.

Notes:

  • The first time I made this, I broiled the tortillas as directed in the recipe. It worked fine, but they were hard to eat. The next time, I brushed them with oil and warmed them in a pan on the stove; they were easier to eat this way.
  • My grocery store didn’t have angel hair slaw, so I used regular.
  • My avocado was brown and mushy when I cut it open, so I had to go without. Boo!
  • I used defrosted frozen corn.

I don’t have any photos of the fish tacos, but here are a few from the trip.

Sunny skies and blue water

Have a fruity drink!

Have another fruity drink!

There was no shortage of fancy desserts

I need a chocolate fountain at home!

Mayan ruins at Coba. A few trips up and down will work off some calories!

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