April 6, 2010

recipe experiment: artichoke dip

Posted in party foods, recipes, Weekly Recipe Experiment tagged at 4:24 pm by Brit

Every time I host a get-together at my apartment, my friends beg me to make this artichoke dip that I first introduced to them on Superbowl Sunday.

Ingredients:

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
3 6-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño chili

Preparation:

Using electric mixer, beat first 8 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Fold in artichokes, mozzarella cheese, green onions and jalapeño. Transfer to 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place pita triangles in single layer on baking sheet. Brush with oil. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Maintain oven temperature.

Bake dip until bubbling and brown on top, about 20 minutes.

Rating: 5 out of 5 spoons

Notes:

I substituted havarti cheese for the mozzarella and left out the jalapeno chili … I felt it would overrun the cheese taste (which, I absolutely couldn’t have).

February 19, 2010

recipe experiment: creamy veggie dip

Posted in party foods, Weekly Recipe Experiment tagged at 2:06 pm by Brit

I know, I’ve been posting a shit load of recipes lately. My subconscious must be on a cooking kick…bear with me.

Again, another recipe from Superbowl Sunday. No football-watching is complete without a veggie tray and obviously a pre-bought one would absolutely not suffice.

From Southern Living

Ingredients

1/2  cup  mayonnaise
1/2  cup  sour cream
1/4  cup  drained, chopped jarred roasted red bell peppers*
1/4  cup  finely chopped onion
1/4  cup  finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/8  teaspoon  garlic powder
1/8  teaspoon  pepper
1/8  teaspoon  hot sauce
Baby carrots, celery sticks, radish slices

Preparation

Stir together first 9 ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Serve dip with baby carrots, celery sticks, and radish slices and whatever other healthy goodies you fancy.

Notes:

Being a garlic fiend, I added in a bit more than called for. I also left out the red peppers…not a fan of peppers and putting the green ones in there was about as far as I was willing to go.

Rating:

3 1/2 spoons

February 9, 2010

recipe experiment: fancy pigs-in-the-blanket

Posted in party foods, Weekly Recipe Experiment tagged at 6:06 pm by Brit

I hosted Superbowl Sunday at my apartment this past weekend. Going against my friends’ advice to just order pizza (how dare they suggest that!), I donned my apron over my football jersey and practiced my Martha Stewart skills by making a bunch of homemade finger foods, one of them being a fancy twist to the traditional pigs-in-the-blanket.

What you need:

Puff pastry

Sausage or frankfurters preferably in some sort of flavor (I used organic apple and Gouda sausage)

Your favorite cheese (I used Havarti)

Dijon mustard

Roll out puff pastry. Cut dough into rectangles that are long and wide enough to wrap around an entire sausage/frank. Spread a think layer of Dijon mustard on each rectangle. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll dough around sausage and seal seam by pressing dough together. Cut franks crosswise into thirds and arrange on greased baking sheet. Bake in oven on greased baking sheet at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Sorry I don’t have a picture…my guests attacked them before I could get my camera out.

Rating: 4 out of 5 spoons

4-spoons1

January 11, 2010

recipe experiment: pecan-crusted chicken

Posted in Chicken, Weekly Recipe Experiment tagged , at 4:15 pm by Brit

Who would’ve thought syrup and chicken go together like peas and carrots?

I had the girls over for dinner to celebrate our dear friend Marie’s birthday (Happy Birthday Marie!), and I made this recipe.

Ingredients:

4 skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons real maple syrup

1 cup chopped pecans

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. On waxed paper, combine pecans, flour, and salt.
  2. Brush chicken breasts all over with maple syrup. Coat chicken breasts completely with nut mixture.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and stir in the vegetable oil. Add chicken, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes until chicken is browned on all sides and tender.

Rating:

3 out of 5 spoons

Notes: I used chicken tenders as opposed to chicken breasts. The pecans burn very very easily, so the less time you have to cook them, the better.

I also smashed the pecans into even smaller pieces so they’d stay on the chicken better. If you have a food processor, put them through that for best results.

October 12, 2009

weekly recipe experiment: apple-themed dinner

Posted in dessert, pork, Weekly Recipe Experiment tagged , , at 1:32 pm by Brit

I recently went apple-picking in beautiful upstate New York (more on that later) and came home with a bag full of freshly picked apples.

With an abundance of apples, I decided to have an apple-themed dinner for this week’s recipe experiment. I made a delicious apple cinnamon pork tenderloin for dinner and apple crisps for dessert, topped off with some fresh, hot apple cider we got from the orchard.

Apple Cinnamon Pork Tenderloin recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries or raisins

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the pork tenderloin in a roasting pan or casserole dish. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir. Spoon the apple mixture around the pork tenderloin. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Remove the lid and spoon the apple mixture over the tenderloin. Return to the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until pork tenderloin is browned and cooked through. A meat thermometer in the center should register at least 150° to 160°.
Serves 4.
My pics 156
 
I made a few changes in the recipe. Instead of cranberries and raisins (not a fan of either) I just added in more apple, and to keep the apple/starch/cinnamon/sugar mixture from being too dry, I added in about half a cup of apple juice. It caused the remnants on the baking dish to burn (pain to clean, sorry honey!) but it definitely made it juicier (i.e. yummier) than what it would have been without.
 
 
Apple Crisps Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)
  • 2 pounds firm Macoun apples (6 apples)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel, core, and cut the pears and apples into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and add the zests, juices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch oval baking dish.

For the topping:

Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.

Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.

Picture of Apple and Pear Crisp Recipe

 

Ratings:

Apple Cinnamon Pork Tenderloin: 5 out of 5…Yes, it was that good.

4spoonsspoon 

Apple Crisps: 3 1/2 out of 5

3.5 spoons

July 31, 2009

weekly recipe experiment: cheddar burgers with red onion jam

Posted in burgers, Weekly Recipe Experiment tagged , , , , at 8:49 am by Brit

After a hectic last couple of weeks, I wanted to make something super low key for dinner, but I also wanted to make something worthy of your time, so I went with a dressed-up burger.

I don’t even really like onions, but they were really tasty in this recipe.

Cheddar Burgers with Red Onion Jam

 

Ingredients

Jam:

  • 1  teaspoon  olive oil
  • 4  cups  vertically sliced red onion
  • 4  teaspoons  sugar
  • 4  teaspoons  red wine vinegar
  • 3/4  teaspoon  chopped fresh thyme

Burgers:

  • 3/4  teaspoon  chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1  pound  extra-lean ground round
  • Cooking spray
  • 4  (1/2-ounce) slices white cheddar cheese
  • 4  (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns, toasted
  • 4  teaspoons  canola mayonnaise

Preparation:

1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

2. To prepare jam, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in sugar, vinegar, and thyme. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until onion is very tender. Remove from heat.

3. To prepare burgers, combine oregano, salt, garlic powder, and beef. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Place on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cook 2 minutes. Turn patties over. Place 1 cheese slice on each patty; cook 2 minutes or until done.

4. Spread cut sides of each bun with 1/2 teaspoon mayonnaise. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun; top each with 1/4 cup onion jam and bun top.

cheddar burger with red onion jam

cheddar burger with red onion jam

This recipe is really easy, and is great for a quick weeknight meal. I give it 4 out of 5 spoons:

4spoons

 

July 9, 2009

weekly recipe experiment: cheese fondue

Posted in fondue, Weekly Recipe Experiment tagged , at 3:54 pm by Brit

My little sister gave me a fondue set for Christmas and I have yet had an opportunity to break it out, but this past weekend, I finally did. I’ve made cheese fondue in a regular pot over the stove before, and, honestly, it was not good. And after doing this recipe, I’m convinced that it was tasty mostly thanks to the fondue set, so thank you Ally!!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese;
  • 8 ounces Swiss chesse; shredded
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 can beer

Just pour all of the ingredients into the fondue pot (or regular pot if you dare) and simmer till it’s melted. Make sure you stir every so often to keep the cheese from burning.

For our dipper choices, we used apples, soft pretzels, and hot dogs, but this is just what you personally like. Bread, pepperonis, beef tenderloin cubes, and broccoli would also be yummy dipped in the cheesy deliciousness.

cheese fondue

cheese fondue

I give it 3.5 out of 5 spoons

3.5 spoons

 

June 10, 2009

weekly recipe experiment: blt chicken with rosemary-lemon mayo

Posted in Chicken, Weekly Recipe Experiment tagged at 8:03 am by Brit

I love a good ol’ classic BLT sandwich (I mean really, who doesn’t?). This recipe from Bon Apetit magazine takes that go-to we all love, gives it a little twist, and makes it into a delicious gourmet meal.

photo by bon apetit
photo by bon apetit

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 5 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 large plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 5-ounce package mixed baby greens
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

 

Prep:

Blend first 3 ingredients in small bowl. Season mayonnaise with salt and pepper.

Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Add tomatoes and cumin. Increase heat; cook 2 minutes. Add greens; toss until barely wilted, about 1 minute. Sprinkle vinegar over and toss to blend; season with salt and pepper. Divide among 4 plates.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place panko in shallow bowl; press chicken into panko to coat on both sides. Heat oil in another large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté until cooked through and golden, about 4 minutes per side. Place chicken atop greens and serve with mayonnaise.

meal

Notes: Too much cumin in the recipe. Cumin is an extremely strong spice, so I put in about half of what the recipe calls for and it was still very effective. Also, I drained only some of the bacon grease from the skillet. When you sautee the greens in it, it gives it a nice additional flavor, but too much and it’s just, well, greasy. Overall, not my best recipe, but it was pretty damn good. My guest absolutely loved it so perhaps I’m my own worst critic. I give it three out of five spoons:

3spoons

January 22, 2009

weekly recipe experiment: rosemary-apricot pork tenderloin

Posted in pork, Weekly Recipe Experiment tagged , at 4:00 pm by Brit

Courtesy of Fitness magazine

Rosemary-Apricot Pork Tenderloin
Ingredients
Nonstick spray
1 tablespoon country Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apricot fruit spread
1 pound pork tenderloin
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking pan with nonstick spray. Combine the mustard and fruit spread in a small bowl; microwave until the spread is soft. Make a lengthwise cut in the tenderloin about three-fourths of the way through; open the two sides like the pages of a book. Spread half the mustard mixture over one cut side of the pork; top with the apricots and sprinkle with half the rosemary. Tie the roast closed every couple of inches with cooking string and place it seam side down on the baking sheet. Spread the remaining mustard mixture over the outside of the pork and sprinkle with half the remaining rosemary. Bake in the center of the oven for 24 minutes. Just before serving, remove the string and cut the roast diagonally across the grain into 1/2-inch slices. Sprinkle with the remaining rosemary.

recipe21

Notes: I made roasted red potatoes for the side. Just covered them in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and popped in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. This recipe was excellent, though watch out for overflowing apricots…if they’re not in the pork loin completely, they’ll burn.

Rating: 4 out of 5

4-spoons1

January 12, 2009

weekly recipe experiment: chicken teriyaki meatballs

Posted in Chicken, Weekly Recipe Experiment tagged , at 5:42 pm by Brit

Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs with Edamame and Snow Peas, courtesy of Real Simple.

real simple

real simple

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1 1/4 pounds ground chicken
2 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 pound snow peas, halved crosswise (3 cups)
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preparation:

Cook the rice according to the package directions.Yield: Makes 4 servings

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, scallions, and ginger. Shape into 16 meatballs.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs, turning, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the peas and edamame. Cook, tossing, for 2 minutes. Return the meatballs to skillet.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce and sugar. Add to the skillet and simmer until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve over the rice.

Tip: To keep the ground chicken from sticking to your fingers, wet your hands before forming the meatballs.

photo

 *Notes: Way way way too much ginger! If I were to do this again, I would use about half the amount. Honestly, I didn’t find this recipe very tasty, nor did my guest, but we could just have tastebuds for unhealthy foods!

Rating: 1 out of 51spoon

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