Monthly Archives: January 2010

Chocolate drizzled cinnamon cookies

So I found a more “reasonable” recipe after the sugar cookie post – and what I mean is that the dough was more malleable and didn’t make me want to pull my hair out.  This was still time-consuming because I used cookie cutters but the chocolate drizzle is easier to deal with than sprinkles and decorative sugar.  I will leave that to the pros for now.  These were excellent!  I decided to double the recipe this morning and I yielded a TON of cookies!  So these are perfect to share with others :)

You will require:

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 c superfine sugar (caster)

1/2 c sweet butter (I used regular)

2 1/4 c all purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted

1. Mix together first 3 ingredients and then stir in melted butter.  Sift the flour, salt, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and then add to egg mixture.  Chill until firm.

2. Preheat oven to 375 and prep your cookie sheets.  Roll the dough out between parchment or plastic wrap to about 1/8 in  and use cookie cutters. Place on baking sheets and bake for 10-15 mins until golden.

3. Cool on wire rack.  Dip fork into melted chocolate and drizzle onto cookies.  Allow to set on parchment and then enjoy!

I had fun with these - used cookie cutters kids would enjoy!

Cookies galore - this is the second sheet out of 4 large!

***Alternately instead of the cinnamon you can use ginger or the grated zest of 2 lemons (4-6 tsp) and add to egg and sugar mixture.

***This is NOT low cal :(

Nutritional Information (per cookie):

Calories: 65

Total Fat: 2.8 g

Cholesterol: 8.7 mg

Sodium: 63.6 mg

Carbohydrate: 9.5 g

Fiber: 0.3 g

Protein: 0.9 g

Asian Pork Soup

I was going to save this till later in the week but since I was feeling a bit under the weather and needed some comfort food I had a feeling this soup would do the trick.  This was excellent and very simple.

You’ll need:

1 tbsp canola oil
12 oz lean boneless pork, cut into thin bite size strips
2 c freshly sliced shiitake mushroooms
2 c garlic, minced
3-14 oz cans chicken broth
2 tbsp dry sherry
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tsp grated fresh ginger/1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 c shredded napa cabbage
1 green onion, thinly sliced
fresh cilantro sprigs

1. In lg saucepan heat oil over med heat; add pork, cook and stir for 2-3 mins or until slightly pink in the center. Remove from pan and set aside. add mushrooms and garlic and cook until tender.

2. Stir in chicken broth, sherry soy, ginger, and pepper. Bring to boiling. Stir in pork, napa cabbage, and green onion; heat through. If desired, garnish with cilantro. Makes 6-1 c servings.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 160

Total Fat: 6 g

Cholesterol: 31 mg

Protein: 16 g

Carbohydrate: 10 g

Fiber: 1 g

Sodium: 169 mg

Wasabi-Butter Seared Tuna

Work and life has kept me from cooking the last week or so.  I’ve been flat out drained, so I took a day off today to recharge.  One activity to help my reach my goal was trying a new dish… just throwing something together… the result is the Wasabi-Butter Seared Tuna below.


2 tbsp freshly milled peppercorn

3 tbsp sesame seeds

1 stick of butter

1 cup of white wine

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp, 1 tsp wasabi paste

2 6 oz tuna steaks

Recipe for the sauce

1. Over medium-high heat reduce the white wine and white wine vinegar to roughly 20% of the original volume.  This should not take long, between 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Reduce heat to low and stir in your soy sauce and wasabi paste. Continue to stir until the wasabi is fully mixed into the liquid.

3. Add butter in 1/8th sections until the entire stick is used. Make sure to do this slowly as too much butter too fast will make the sauce thin/break apart

Quick note: As you are making the sauce make sure to continuously stir to avoid burning. Once all the butter is into the sauce remove from the heat and set aside.

For the fish

1) Mix the peppercorn and sesame seeds in a bowl. Toss your tuna to cover.

2) Sear the tuna over a medium heat, roughly 2 minutes on each side.  If needed splash with a little water (about a tsp) if needed to help along the searing.

3) Plate, cover with sauce and enjoy!

Wasabi Butter Tuna

Wasabi Butter Tuna

I decided to plate over asparagus and top off with edible flowers.  A wonderful dish for seafood lovers. The sauce had enough kick but not overwhelming.  Obviously you can make it to your desired taste…  Good stuff!

Kiwifruit Chicken Tostadas

I love blending fruit and meat together. . .and this is just one of this instances :)  This makes a great lunch or snack and for dinner you can pair with beans and/or rice.

Get started:

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (I used 1/4 tsp)

1/8 tsp salt

8 0z skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1 tsp canola oil

4 – 6 in corn tortillas or purchased baked tostada shells (I usually go for crispy!)

2 c shredded romaine

3 kiwifruits chopped and/or 2 plum tomatoes chopped

1/2 c shredded reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese

1. In a small bowl combine cumin, red pepper and salt.  Brush all sides of the chicken with oil and sprinkle evenly with cumin mixture.

2. Place on a grill uncovered for approx 12-15 minutes and turn halfway through until no longer pink.

3. Cut chicken in bite size strips and assemble on top of tostadas with lettuce, fruit/tomato, and cheese.   Makes 4 servings.  (Of course with recipes like this you can always make more depending on how much you happen to have on hand. I say you’ll need more, these are delicious!)

A little sweet and a whole lot of savory!

***I was worried while grilling that there wasn’t enough of the cumin mixture on there.  I made sure the chicken wasn’t dry so a lot of the flavor still came through.  I think next time I would make a bit more of the cumin mixture and even add a bit more red pepper because I love kick but that’s about all the tweaking I would do.  Oh!  And if you didn’t care about the low cal of course add sour cream and avocado and even a little cilantro/red onion.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 208

Total Fat: 6 g

Cholesterol: 43 mg

Protein: 19 g

Carbohydrate: 21 g

Fiber: 4 g

Sodium: 238 mg

Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Bread

Seems like I can’t go one week without baking something for breakfast – but that’s a good thing, right?  This bread sounds rich, but it’s not.  It has just the right amount of peanut butter/chocolate flavor to leave you satisfied.

You’ll need:

3/4 c packed brown sugar

1/3 c creamy peanut butter

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 egg whites

2 tbsp canola oil

1 c all purpose flour

1/2 c whole wheat flour

1 c fat free milk

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tbsp fat free milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 and prep your loaf pan.

2. In large bowl, combine brown sugar, peanut butter, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Beat with electric mixer until combined.  Beat in egg whites and oil until combined.  In a small bowl, combine flours and alternately add this and 1 c milk to peanut butter mixture beating on low speed after each addition.  Transfer 1/2 c of the batter to small bowl and stir in cocoa powder and 1 tbsp milk.

3. Spoon half the light-color batter evenly into prepped loaf pan.  Then drop all the chocolate batter by small spoonfuls on top of batter in pan.  Spoon remaining light-color batter over it.  Using a narrow metal spatula, swirl batters to create a marbled effect.

4. Bake for 50-55 mins or until inserted toothpick in middle comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack for about 10 mins and remove from pan and continue to cool on wire rack.  Makes approx. 12 servings.

I probably could've done better with the "marbling" effect but still tastes delish!

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 181

Total Fat: 6 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Protein: 5 g

Carbohydrate: 28 g

Fiber 1 g

Sodium: 177 mg

Pasta Bolognese over Egg Noodles

Having had an impressive Bolognese sauce at Bravo! I wanted to give this one a go in my kitchen. I finally settled on the base recipe found here.

All the goods!

All the goods!

Needed for the sauce:

1 cups grated carrots

1/2 large red onion, diced

1/2 white onion, diced

1 shallot, diced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 pound ground beef

1 tablespoon oregano flakes

1 tablespoon dried basil flakes

1/2 6-ounce can tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup red wine

1 tbsp, 1 tsp Worcestershire

salt, pepper to taste

1 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes

1/2 cup half-n-half

Fresh Parmesan cheese

Let us get right to it!

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add grated carrots, onions and shallot and cook for three minutes.

    Onions, Shallots, Carrots.. oh my!

    Onions, Shallots, Carrots.. oh my!

  3. Add ground beef and cook for a few minutes until brown.
  4. Mix in oregano and basil.
  5. When the meat is browned and combined with other ingredients add tomato paste and heat.
  6. Add garlic and stir to combine.
  7. Add red wine and stir together.
  8. Add Worcestershire and stir.
  9. Add canned tomatoes.
  10. Finally add in half-n-half, stir, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

And there you have it, you are done! Bolognese sauce over Egg Pasta

Bolognese Sauce Over Egg Pasta

Bolognese Sauce Over Egg Pasta

Enjoyable dish, one that seems to get better after the sauce has sat for a few days. Make some of the kick-ass garlic bread and you are ready to go.

Seared Tilapia with Lemon-Tarragon Sauce and Spinach Orzo

Although I much prefer “meatier” fish like salmon or mahi-mahi, this was very, very good.  The tilapia is seasoned very well here and so it doesn’t have that “fish” smell and taste to it.  And I love it when I find recipes that have an accompaniment included!

For Tilapia:

1.5 lbs fresh/frozen tilapia or other lean whitefish

1 tsp seasoned salt ( I used more though)

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 c dry white wine

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp snipped fresh tarragon or 1/4 tsp dried tarragon, crushed

1. Rinse fish, pat dry and sprinkle with seasoned salt.  Prep your skillet with oil and cook fish until it flakes easily (approx 4-5 mins total).  Set aside in dish and keep warm.

2.  For sauce, add wine and lemon juice to skillet making sure to scrape up any crusty bits from the fish.  Whisk in mustard and tarragon and heat through. Serve over fillets.  I yielded 6 servings.  Enjoy!

For Spinach Orzo:

Prep 8 oz dried whole wheat orzo, drain.  Immediately toss orzo with 5-6 oz package of baby spinach, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel and 1/4 tsp salt.  Season to taste with fresh ground pepper.

Mmmm. . .good!

Nutritional Information (for both together):

Calories: 294

Total Fat: 7  g

Cholesterol: 57 mg

Protein: 28 g

Carbohydrate: 28 g

Fiber: 7 g

Sodium: 448 mg

Curried Beef with Apple Couscous

So after about a one week hiatus here is what I will introduce.  Ohhh. . .this was fantastic! Not too spicy, not too sweet – just an even blend of spice and flavor.  Additionally, this was extremely simple to make.

Here you are:

1 lb boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 in thick

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp canola oil

2 medium red/green sweet peppers cut into thin strips

1 med onion, coarsely chopped

1 tbsp curry powder

1 c water

3/4 cup apple juice

2 tsp instant beef bouillon granules

1 c whole wheat couscous

1 med tart green apple (Granny Smith), coarsely chopped1/3 c chopped dry roasted peanuts

1. Lightly sprinkle steak with salt/black pepper and place on grill until desired doneness (mine was med-well/well).  You can also use your broiler.

Using the stovetop grill. . .

2. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet heat oil over medium heat.  Add sweet pepper and onion; cook for 5 mins.  Add curry and stir for one minute.  Add water, juice, bouillon granules and bring to boiling.  Stir in couscous and apple; remove from heat.  Cover and let stand about 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Fluff couscous with fork.

sauteeing the vegetables - nothing better than peppers and onion!

fluffing the couscous. . .

3. Slice steak and serve over couscous mixture and top with peanuts. Makes 6 servings.

Dinner is served!

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 340

Total Fat: 9 g

Total Cholesterol: 46 mg

Protein: 25 mg

Carbohydrate: 44 g

Fiber 7 g

Sodium: 430 mg

Home made Naan

The Butter Chicken from the other day needed a final touch – Naan.  Since I do not have a tandoori oven I thought “Well, damn, I’m out of luck when it comes to making home made Naan.”  Not so!

Using my personal search assistant I quickly found this recipe, no tandoori oven needed!

1 cup plain flour

2 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing

I’ve made some small changes to the recipe.  You’ll, I think, be position for better results.

1. For the dough, sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a bowl. In another bowl, mix together the milk and oil.

2. Mix the flour mixture and pour in the liquid mixture. Slowly mix together, incorporating the flour from the edges of the bowl, making a smooth and soft dough.

3. Knead well for 8-10 minutes.

4. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea-towel and leave in a warm place for at least an hour

5. Cut ball into the number of pieces you desire. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

6. Roll the dough balls out quite thinly. Sprinkle over your chosen topping and press into the surface of the dough.

7. Place the naans onto the a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then broil for 2. Turn if one naan is more brown than another.

8. Brush with butter and serve!

Home Made Naan

Home Made Naan

Quick, easy and ready for any dish.

Indian Butter Chicken Over Basmati Rice

Ok, time for yet another new dish – Indian Butter Chicken. Having never even eaten the dish before, I wasn’t sure who it was supposed to turn out… talk about a shot in the dark!

Here we go – Ingredients

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons peanut oil

2 shallot, finely chopped

1/2 white onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon ginger paste

1 tablespoon garlic paste

3 teaspoons garam masala

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 bay leaf

1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 cups half-and-half

2 cups tomato puree

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

2 pinches black pepper

For the chicken:

2 tablespoons peanut oil

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

2 teaspoons garam masala

2 pinches cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup water

Let’s start making the sauce:

1) Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and onion until translucent.

2) Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger and garlic pastes, garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

3) Add tomato sauce, cook for 5 minutes, make sure to stir.

4) Add in half-and-half and yogurt, stir.

5) Reduce heat to low, simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

6) Remove from heat and set aside.

The Butter Chicken Sauce, cooking away.

The Butter Chicken Sauce, cooking away.

For the chicken:

1) Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.

2) Cook chicken for about 10 minutes.

3) Reduce heat, and season with 2 teaspoons garam masala and cayenne.

4) Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced, and chicken is no longer pink.

5) Stir cooked chicken into sauce.

Chicken cooking (the action shot!)

Chicken cooking (the action shot!)

6) Next you’ll mix together the cornstarch and water, then stir into the sauce. Cook for 10 minutes.

7) Serve over basmati rice and enjoy

Indian Butter Chicken!

Indian Butter Chicken!

From what I was told by my resident Indian food expert, my wife, the dish was quite good.  I would agree.  I really enjoy the garam masala in the dish and the sauce is so… rich… fantastic.