Archive | July, 2011

One Pan Lasagna

7 Jul

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound lean ground grass-fed beef
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
4 baby carrots, scrubbed
1 small yellow onion, cut into wedges
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 cup organic chicken stock
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3 ounces fresh spinach leaves, stems removed and coarsely chopped
4 lasagna noodles, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the beef and cook, breaking up with a wooden spatula, until the meat has browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic in a food processor and chop until coarsely ground but not completely smooth.

When the meat is browned, pour off any accumulated fat. Add the tomato mixture, stock, ricotta, and spinach and combine thoroughly. Bury the lasagna noodles in the sauce, and sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over all.

Bake the lasagna uncovered until the cheese is melted and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let stand uncovered for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP!

7 Jul

Broth: 1 quart chicken stock, 1 can of Goya tomato sauce
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped avocado
5 ounces (about 3/4 cup) cooked chicken, torn into pieces
1/3 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
15 corn tortilla chips

1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the chicken stock and 2 tablespoons of the lime juice to a boil.

2. Toss the avocado with the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice in a medium bowl. Add the chicken, tomato, onion, cilantro, cheddar, jalapeno, and salt.

3. Divide the chicken mixture and tortilla chips among five bowls; pour broth over each.

Mango Bread Pudding with Chai

7 Jul
Ingredients
4 cups  stale (but not dry) white bread slices, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2   large ripe mangoes, peeled (see Tip) and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (3 cups)
2 cups  fat-free milk
2   eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons  light or dark rum, (optional)
1/2 cup  packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon  ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon  ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon  ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon  ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon  ground black peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon  salt
Directions
1. Position rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Toss bread cubes and mangoes together in the baking dish.
3. Whisk milk, eggs, rum (if using), brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, pepper and salt in a medium bowl. Pour over the bread and mangoes; allow the mixture to soak for about 5 minutes.
4. Bake the pudding until it is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours. Serve warm for best flavor.
Tips:
How to cut a mango:
1. Slice both ends off the mango, revealing the long, slender seed inside. Set the fruit upright on a work surface and remove the skin with a sharp knife.
2. With the seed perpendicular to you, slice the fruit from both sides of the seed, yielding two large pieces.
3. Turn the seed parallel to you and slice the two smaller pieces of fruit from each side.
4. Cut the fruit into the desired shape.

Blueberry Tart with Walnut Crust

7 Jul
Ingredients
1/2 cup  walnuts, lightly toasted (see Tip)
1 cup  graham cracker crumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Note)
1   large egg white
1 tablespoon  butter, melted
1 tablespoon  peanut or canola oil
  Pinch of salt
8 ounces  reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1/4 cup  reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons  pure maple syrup, preferably grade B, divided
2 cups  fresh blueberries
Directions
1. To prepare crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Coarsely chop walnuts in a food processor. Add graham cracker crumbs and process until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
3. Whisk egg white in a medium bowl until frothy. Add the crumb mixture, butter, oil and salt; toss to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan. Set the pan on a baking sheet. Bake until dry and slightly darker around the edges, about 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
4. To prepare filling: Beat cream cheese, sour cream and 1/4 cup maple syrup in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. When the crust is cool, spread the filling evenly into it, being careful not to break up the delicate crust. Arrange blueberries on the filling, pressing lightly so they set in. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup over the berries. Chill for at least 1 hour to firm up.
Tips:
Tip: To toast walnuts, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes.
Note: To avoid trans fats, look for graham crackers without partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. To make crumbs, pulse graham crackers in a food processor or place in a large sealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. (You’ll need about 14 whole-wheat graham cracker squares to make 1 cup of crumbs.)

Linzer Cake (Almond Cake with Raspberry Jam Center)

7 Jul
1/2 cup  whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup  all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  salt
2/3 cup  whole almonds
2 tablespoons  low-fat milk
2 tablespoons  canola oil
1/2 teaspoon  almond extract
4   large eggs, at room temperature (see Cake-Baking Tips), separated
3/4 cup  sugar, divided
2/3 cup  raspberry jam
1 tablespoon  confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
1/2 pint (about 1 1/4 cups)  fresh raspberries, for garnish (optional)
Directions
1. To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray with flour (see Tip); alternatively, coat the pans with regular cooking spray, line them with parchment paper and spray the paper.
2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Place almonds in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add milk, oil and almond extract and pulse to combine.
4. Beat egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in 1/4 cup sugar in a slow, steady stream. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
5. Beat egg yolks and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl on medium speed until pale yellow and doubled in volume, 3 to 5 minutes.
6. Gently stir the almond mixture into the egg-yolk mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour mixture; gently stir until just incorporated. Stir about 1 cup of the whites into the batter until combined. Gently fold the remaining whites into the batter, using long, even strokes, until just incorporated and no white streaks remain. Divide the batter between the prepared pans; spread it to the edges and gently rap the pans against the counter once or twice to settle the batter.
7. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert the layers onto the rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, if using, and let cool completely, about 45 minutes more.
8. To assemble cake: Place one layer, top-side down, on a serving plate; spread raspberry jam over it. Cover it with the second layer, top-side down. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the cake. Decorate with raspberries, if desired.

Carmelized Pear Bread Pudding

7 Jul
Ingredients
1 cup  whole almonds, toasted (see Tip)
1 1/4 cups  whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Note)
1 cup  all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  salt
2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup  honey, divided
1/3 cup  canola oil
4 tablespoons  unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1   large egg
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
3 tablespoons  toasted sliced almonds, (see Tip) for garnish
Directions
1. Process whole almonds in a food processor or blender until finely ground (you will have about 1 1/4 cups ground). Transfer to a large bowl and add whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt; stir until just combined. Beat 2/3 cup honey, oil and 3 tablespoons butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add egg and vanilla and beat until blended. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; stir to combine. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
3. Roll tablespoons of dough into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Press the tip of your index finger in the center of each cookie to make an indentation. Bake the cookies, in batches, until set and barely golden on the bottom, 13 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 30 minutes.
4. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup honey and 1 tablespoon butter in a small bowl until creamy. Use about 1/4 teaspoon to fill each cookie and top with 2 sliced almonds, if desired.
Tips:
Tip: To toast whole almonds, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F , stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes. To toast sliced almonds, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes

7 Jul
Ingredients
4 ounces  dark or bittersweet chocolate, (60-75% cacao), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons  unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon  granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons  light cream
2 teaspoons  instant espresso powder, or granules dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water, divided
1 tablespoon  light corn syrup
1 large  egg
2 tablespoons  canola oil
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon  salt
5 tablespoons  confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons  all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon  unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1-3 teaspoons  very hot water
Directions
1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously coat the mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. Place chocolate and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. (Alternatively, see “No Microwave?” below.) Microwave on High for 1 minute. Stir well, then continue microwaving on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until the remaining chocolate melts completely.
3. To prepare filling: Stir together granulated sugar, cream and half the espresso mixture in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High just to steaming, 20 to 40 seconds. (Alternatively, combine in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until just steaming.) Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add corn syrup and half the melted chocolate (reserve the other half for the batter); stir until completely smooth. Cover and transfer to the freezer until cold and firm, about 30 minutes.
4. To prepare batter: When the filling has been chilling for 20 minutes, whisk egg, oil, vanilla, salt and the remaining espresso mixture in a medium bowl until very smooth. Return the remaining chocolate mixture to the microwave. Microwave on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until just warm again (do not overheat). In two batches, whisk the egg mixture into the warm chocolate until well blended. Sift confectioners’ sugar, flour and cocoa over the batter and whisk in just until smoothly incorporated.
5. To assemble cakes: Remove the filling from the freezer. Spoon half the batter into the mini muffin cups, about 1 rounded teaspoon per cup. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon filling onto the center of each (reserve the rest for the sauce). Divide the remaining batter evenly among the muffin cups, about 1 rounded teaspoon per cake. Smooth out the batter to cover the filling.
6. Bake the cakes on the middle rack until the edges look dry and puffed but the centers still look very underdone and puddinglike, 6 to 9 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack until firm, about 2 minutes. Place a cutting board on top of the pan and invert the mini cakes out onto it. If the cakes are stuck to the pan, run a knife around and under them to loosen.
7. To prepare sauce & serve: Thoroughly stir very hot water into the reserved filling, 1 teaspoon at a time, until very smooth and slightly fluid. Serve the warm cakes drizzled with the sauce.
Tips:
No Microwave? Melt chocolate in a double boiler instead: Place chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling water. Gently stir until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove from the heat and stir until it melts completely.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare through Step 5, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. After baking (Step 6), the cakes will keep in the pan, tightly covered with foil, for up to 1 day. The sauce (Step 7) will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To serve, reheat the cakes in the covered pan at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Reheat the sauce in a microwave on Medium for about 20 seconds.