Friday, January 30, 2015

Flour Too's Steel Cut Oatmeal with Pear Compote

I found this recipe in my Flour, Too cookbook, and I really enjoyed it.  Aaron didn't love it, but the rest of us did, and Aaron really liked the candied pecans.  This is one of those satisfying breakfasts for me, I could eat oatmeal every day :), and this is my first time trying steel cut oats, and I really enjoyed them.  For five servings, each serving was 506 calories.  Here's what to do:

Pear Compote:
4 pears, peeled and chopped
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla
pinch of salt

Crunchy Pecans
2 T sugar
3/4 c pecans, chopped finely

2 c whole milk
1/8 t salt
1 c steel-cut oats
dash of nutmeg
1/4 t cinnamon

Combine the pears, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small pan and cook until the pears have softened and broken down, about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a pan, bring milk, water, salt and oats to a boil over high heat, then stir, and reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.  Also meanwhile :), in a small saucepan, mix together the sugar, and 2 T water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Let it caramelize and turn brown, then add in the pecans, stirring until all the pecans are covered.  Spread on a plate and let cool.
When ready to serve, divide the oatmeal, top with the pears, and break up the pecans and divide them among the servings.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Michael Symon's Salmon Cooked In Foil

This is such an easy way to make fish, and it took almost no prep or time.  This 5 in 5 cookbook by Michael Symon has been great for us, the recipes always turn out well, and it allows us to have great food in almost no time.  I love that!  This received an 8 from all of us, and we didn't have any of the liquid the fish cooked in, so the calories are a little lower than what I figured out, 493 per serving. Here's what to do:

5 4 oz salmon fillets
salt and pepper to taste
5 sprigs rosemary
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 c olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 c dry white wine or broth or salted water
1 c torn fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 450°.  Season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper, then lay each piece onto a sheet of foil.  Top with rosemary, salt, red pepper, and a little olive oil, garlic and then season again with salt and pepper.  Form a pouch with the foil, and before serving, pour a little wine into each bundle.  Seal the packets and place on a cookie sheet.  Cook for about 5 minutes, more if desired.  Remove from the liquid, top with basil, and serve.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Flour's Eclairs

My mother was/has always been very supportive of my culinary efforts.  When I was young, like 11 or something, I wanted to make eclairs.  My mother said go ahead, but that they were difficult, and might not turn out.  They didn't.  I think the recipe was flawed, but my little eleven year old self was very sad.  We took all the components, and made a cake out of them (my mom's idea), and everything was fine, but I haven't ever attempted eclairs since.  Well, here's to Flour's recipe, which turned out amazing!  I was so happy to see my little eclairs puff up and become super light and airy.  Noah and I gave these a perfect 10, and Aaron and Owen gave them a 9.  These are super delicious, and I love me some eclairs, so I was a happy happy girl when these turned out so well.

I am just going to give the pastry dough recipe, the cream can be tropez cream or pastry cream, and this recipe called for ganache, so the pastries were 377 a piece.  Here's what to do for the dough

Pate a Choux

1/2 c unsalted butter
1 T sugar
1/8 t salt
1 c water
1 c plus 1 T flour

Preheat the oven to 400.
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, sugar, salt and water over medium heat until the butter melts.  Don't let the mixture boil.  When the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and with a wooden spoon, stir the mixture vigorously until the dough becomes thick and matte and starts to leave a film in the bottom of the pan.  Transfer the dough to a stand mixture, beat it on medium-low speed for one minute, then add in the eggs one at a time.  When all eggs have been added, turn up the speed to medium and beat for about 20 seconds, until the dough is glossy.  Pipe the dough using a pastry bag or a ziplock bag (that's what I used) with a 1-inch hole/tip.  Pipe the eclairs about five inches long, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.  After 15 minutes, turn the heat to 325, and cook for 30 minutes more.  Let cool completely, then cut the eclair in half, fill it with tropez/pastry cream and top with chocolate frosting or ganache.  Serve!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Michael Symon's Braised Pork with Brussels Sprouts Salad

So this was another Michael Symon pairing of recipes that was out of this world delicious.  We all gave this a 9, it was so rich and tangy and amazing.  I will only feature the Brussels sprouts recipe, but we had it with the braised pork shanks (I used pork chops) from Symon's Carnivore cookbook which is where the Brussels sprouts recipe came from.  This salad should be paired with any rich pork dish, according to Mr. Symon, and you will be amazed at how delicious this is.  They boys loved the Brussels sprouts too, even Jonah.  Each serving was 86 calories, for 16 servings, and here's what to do:

1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T caraway seeds
1 T grainy mustard
1/4 cider vinegar
1/2 c olive oil
1 lb shaved Brussels sprouts, shredded or shaved

Whisk together the shallot, garlic, caraway seeds, mustard, vinegar, and olive oil.  Season with salt to taste.  Toss the Brussels sprouts with the dressing to coat and serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Molly Harper's Green Beans

I found this recipe in a Christmas book I read, and these are our favorite green beans ever.  We gave them a perfect 10, and I like them because they are a great way to use up canned green beans, which I always buy a bunch of when they go on sale, and then scramble to use up before they expire :).  Anyway, this recipe is actually called Aunt Linda's "Un-Vegetable" Green Beans, and there is a reason for that.  Since this is holiday food, you don't get calories, but make them anyway, they are awesome!

6 strips thick cut bacon, diced
1 gallon (about 8 cans) canned cut green beans
1 T garlic salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1 c light brown sugar

Brown the bacon, then add in the green beans, garlic, butter and brown sugar.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer and cook for 2-3 hours.  Serve and enjoy the green beans :)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Michael Symon's Angel Hair With Tomatoes and Garlic

So this was so satisfying, even though it wasn't the most amazing thing ever, it just really hit the spot for us.  My Noah bought me Michael Symon's 5 in 5 cookbook for my birthday, and this is the first recipe we tried.  Although this does take longer than five minutes, it isn't that much more than that, and this is great to have on a busy night.  I added some chicken cooked in pesto to the top, because we can't have meatless meals around here :).  Each serving was 565, and we all gave this a 9.  Here's what to do:

1 bottle pesto
1-2 lbs chicken breasts

1 lb angel hair pasta
3 T olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
1 t red pepper flakes (can use as much as 1 T)
1 T unsalted butter
1/4 c flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 c Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350.  Cover the chicken with pesto, then cook in the oven for around an hour, depending on the amount of chicken.
About 15 minutes before chicken is done, boil some water, salt it well and cook the pasta to al dente. While this is boiling, heat the olive oil, garlic, and a pinch of salt over low heat.  Add in the tomatoes and red pepper flakes, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook for two minutes.  Add the pasta to the pan, stirring the noodles into the sauce, and add some pasta water if necessary.  Remove from the heat, add in the butter, parsley, and cheese, and serve with the chicken.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Yammie's Noshery Sausage and Queso Dip

We had this dip for fun the other night, and all of us really liked it except for Owen, since I used chorizo as the sausage of choice.  We found the recipe here, and it is a very easy and tasty recipe, and I will post it the way I made it, which is a little different from the posted recipe.  Noah gave it a perfect 10, Aaron and I gave it a 9, and Owen gave it a 7.  We didn't do calories on this, because there are so many servings, but it isn't a low calorie dish by any means :).

1 lb chorizo
1 onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 a jalapeno, diced
1 can Rotel
3/4 t cumin
3/4 t chili powder
1 t onion powder
dash of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
3 T milk
6 c cheese (Monterey Jack and cheddar is what I used)
4 T cornstarch

Mix together the cheese and cornstarch.  Brown the chorizo, then add in the onion, garlic and jalapeno, and cook until the veggies are softened.  Add in the Rotel, the spices and milk.  Stir together, then add in the cheese mixture and cook until thickened and ready to eat!

We really liked this, Aaron especially really enjoyed this, and he doesn't usually like cheese sauces.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cook's Illustrated's Pear Crisp

Our boys love pears, so we decided to make pear crisp.  I found this recipe in my new cookbook from Cook's Illustrated, The Baking Book, and we really enjoyed this.  Each serving was 199 calories, and the boys gave it a perfect 10, while I gave it a 9, because although it was a great crisp, I don't love pears.  Here's what to do:

1/2 c oats
1/2 c pecans
1/2 c flour
1/4 c brown sugar
2 T sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
1/8 t salt
6 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 T sugar
2 t lemon juice
1 t cornstarch
pinch of salt
3 lbs pears, peeled, cored, and cut into bite-size pieces

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
In a food processor, pulse the nuts, oats, flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until nuts are finely ground.  Drizzle the melted butter over the mixture and pulse a few seconds, then set aside.
Whisk sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and salt together in a bow.  Toss the pears with the mixture and place on the cookie sheet.  Crumble the nut/oat topping over the pears and bake for 30 minutes, rotating the crisp halfway through cooking.  Let cool slightly and serve.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Recipe Girl's Brownie Butterscotch Trifle

My dad, Aaron, Owen and I gave this a 9, Noah gave it a perfect 10, and my mother gave this a 7.  I used my favorite brownie recipe, and then followed the instructions from The Recipe Girl's cookbook about adding butterscotch ice cream topping to the whipped cream.  You then layer the brownies, whipped cream, more butterscotch topping, and salted nuts a few times, until you run out.  Easy peasy, and super delicious.  I don't have any calories unfortunately, but we really enjoyed this one.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Picky Palate's Soft Gingerbread Cookies

These were voted the boys' all time favorite cookies, and I loved them myself.  We all gave them a perfect 10, and this is such a great recipe which can be found here.  I only made the slightest change, I increased the cinnamon to 2 t and reduced the ginger to 1 t.  Everything else stayed the same, and each cookie was around 160 calories.  Owen liked these so well that he is asking for them for his birthday, so yeah, these are good :).

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Perfect Scoop's Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

This is such a great homemade ice cream recipe!  It's also one of the creamiest ones ever, and still super simple.  Since it uses cream cheese, this doesn't need a custard base, which makes it super simple and time-saving.  I found this recipe in The Perfect Scoop, and I followed the recipe exactly for the ice cream, and only made a slight change to the blueberry sauce recipe.  Owen gave this an 8, my mother gave it a 7 (neither of them like blueberries), Noah and I gave it a 9, and my dad, for whom I made it, gave it a perfect 10.   We made 12 servings, and each serving was 197 calories.  Here's what to do:

8 oz cream cheese softened
1 lemon, zested
1 c sour cream
1/2 c half and half
2/3 c sugar
pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Chill and churn in an ice cream maker.  Layer with the blueberry sauce.

2 c fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 t cornstarch
1 T water
1 T lemon juice
1/4 t vanilla

Heat the blueberries and sugar until the blueberries begin to release their juices.  Mix the cornstarch with the water and lemon juice until lump free, then stir the slurry into the blueberries.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a few minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Chill and then mix into the churned cheesecake ice cream.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Border Cookbook's Crab Enchiladas

This was a fast, easy meal that we all enjoyed.  It wasn't anyone's favorite, but we all gave it a solid 8.  This came together in just a few minutes, and then baked for 25 minutes in the oven, so not a lot of work.  Each serving was two enchiladas, and the calories were 365 per serving.  Here's what I did.

2 T butter
1/2 onion chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 jalapeno, diced
1/2 t dried espazote
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 lb Krab (use real crab if you can afford it :))
12 corn tortillas
cooking spray
Salsa verde
1/2 c grated cheese
cilantro for top

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray a 9x13 pan.
Melt the butter and add in the onion, garlic, jalapeno and espazote.  Saute briefly, then add in the cream cheese and cook until the cream cheese is soft.  Mix in the crab and set aside.  Spray the tortillas with cooking spray, then warm them in the oven for 3 minutes.  When all the tortillas are soft and warm, spoon the crab mixture in, roll them and put them in the pan seam side down.  Top with the salsa verde, cilantro and grated cheese.  Bake for 25 minutes, then serve with desired toppings.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Michael Symon's Apple and Celery Root Salad

This is one of those recipes that surprised me.  It sounded pretty good, and Michael Symon recommended it with pork, so when I made some porchetta, I decided to have this on the side.  I found it in Michael Symon's Carnivore cookbook.  It is such a great complement to rich ham/pork, and very easy to put together.  I bet it would be even easier if one had a mandolin, which I don't, because the most time-consuming part was the chopping.  This made eight servings, and each serving was 161 calories.  This also still tasted great the next day, so we could have it as leftovers with our pork.  Anyway, here's what to do:

2 Granny Smith apples
1 celery root, peeled and cored
1/4 c cider vinegar
1 shallot, minced
2 T whole grain garlic mustard
1/2 c olive oil
2 T chopped fresh tarragon
1 c baby spinach
Slice the apples and celery root into thin match sticks.  Toss with the vinegar and a large pinch of salt.  Mix together the shallot and a large pinch of salt in a small bowl.  Whisk in the mustard, olive oil, and tarragon.  Pour the dressing over the apple mixture and toss to combine.  Let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes.  When ready to serve, add in the spinach.