Cappuccino Bars

Cappuccino  Bars

Cappuccino Bars

If they look like cake and taste like cake, they must be cake, right?   Well, not necessarily!   The recipe calls them “bars”, so I will, too.  Although I must admit I expected them to be more chewy, like brownies.  Once I got past the unexpected texture of these cake/bars I really loved the flavor.  It was the promise of chocolate, coffee, and cinnamon all blended together that drew me to making them in the first place.

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The word cappuccino comes from the Italian “capuchin”, a monk who wore dark brown robes; since the color of coffee frothed with chocolate and cinnamon resembles the color of the monk’s robe, the drink became known as cappuccino.

Beside the flavor combination of this recipe, I liked the idea of using a cake mix as the basis for the recipe.  I see nothing wrong with using a good quality cake mix to get a jump start on a recipe if the end result is especially note-worthy.  I think this recipe meets that criteria.  I also liked baking them in a 13 x 9 ” pan,  –and I have one with a cover–so I could carry them easily to a picnic where everyone thought they were delicious.  Not exactly patriotic in color, I decorated the tops with “stars and stripes” sprinkles and a little flag to dress them up for the Memorial Day holiday.

CAPPUCCINO BARS

Yield:   about 28 bars,  more if you cut them smaller.IMG_4147

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup  (1 stick) butter, melted or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup each packed brown sugar and water
  • 1 Tablespoon each ground cinnamon and vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 package (18.25 oz.) chocolate cake mix. ( I used Devil’s Food)

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease and flour a 13 x 9 – inch baking pan.

2.  In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except the cake mix.  Mis well to combine.  Stir in cake mix. and beat to incorporate well..  Batter will be thick.

3.  Spread into prepared pan and bake at 350* for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely.

4.  Frost or decorate the top as desired.  A drizzle of melted white or dark chocolate is nice, or frost lightly with frosting of your choice.  My version is frosted with butter cream and decorated with sprinkles.

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These are not heavy, chewy bars, but instead are light and airy with a complex flavor that will have people asking, “what is that flavor?”

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SOURCE:   Baking at Home;  Bars, Cakes and Cookies

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Shrimp Taco Dip

If you’re getting the idea that I made a lot of appetizers recently, you’d be right.  The holiday weekend brought with it invitations to two cookouts and when that happens I like to volunteer the same kinds of dishes to both events.  So it was appetizers and desserts that I brought to each cookout.

Shrimp Taco Dip with Tortilla Chips.

Shrimp Taco Dip with Tortilla Chips.

This particular appetizer was one that I found in a new cookbook that I got when I was on vacation last fall.  It fuses the flavors of a shrimp cocktail with a taco dip.  I must say that it turned out to be very popular and it disappeared quite quickly. I find that when I bring a dish to a gathering, I either forget to take a picture of it, or when I do remember it has already been half eaten, which is the case here.  So please forgive the lack of a decent photograph of this yummy dip that I served with reduced-fat baked tortilla chips. All the ingredients in the dip are on the low end of the calorie/fat scale so that I could enjoy  having some  along with everyone else.

Over half gone by the time I got to take this picture!

Over half gone by the time I got to take this picture!

I would also like to tell you about this cookbook that I found in a little gift shop when I was in North Carolina last fall.  It is one of a series whose titles all begin with the words, “Any Bitch can —”  with Bitch being an anachronym for Babe in Total Control of Herself  My book is called “Any Bitch can lose it”.  That is meant in a good way!

SHRIMP TACO DIP

Yield:   about 2 cups

Just a few ingredients go into this delicious dip.

Just a few ingredients go into this delicious dip.

Ingredients:

  • 8 – oz. less-fat cream cheese
  • 2 T. skim milk
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 2 T. Taco seasoning
  • 1  (4 – oz.) can tiny shrimp, drained, rinsed
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
  • 1 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese

1.  Mix the cream cheese and milk in a mixing bowl until smooth.  Stir in the chili sauce and taco seasoning, and combine well.

2.  Add in the shrimp, scallions, green pepper and cheese.  Stir to incorporate evenly.  Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

3.  Spoon into a serving bowl and surround with reduced-fat tortilla chips.

Shrimp Taco Dip with Tortilla Chips.

Shrimp Taco Dip with Tortilla Chips.

SOURCE:   Any Bitch can Lose it.

Horseradish and Caramelized Onion Pork Sandwiches

Horseradish and caramelized onion pork sandwich.

Horseradish and caramelized onion pork sandwich.

As a spin-off from my recipe for Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin, I used the remainder of the meat to make these hearty sandwiches.  They worked into my menus for the week on an evening when Mr.  D. was working late and I needed to go out before he got home.  I was able to make his sandwich and mine leaving his covered in the refrigerator for his convenience when he got home.  His comment when I saw him later in the evening was that  “it was an outstanding sandwich”.  I had to agree with him.

Sweet onions ( I used a large Vidalia) are slowly caramelized with some complimentary seasonings and then paired with a spicy-hot creamy sauce in this fancy sandwich. The recipe calls for using a small French bread split lengthwise, but I used a small focaccia loaf.  Its heartiness and rustic texture seemed to suit the sandwich better, but the choice is yours as to what kind of bread you make it on,

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HORSERADISH AND CARAMELIZED ONION PORK SANDWICHES

Yield:   4 servings,  1-quarter of a loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon. olive oil

    These seasonings really compliment the onions.

    These seasonings really compliment the onions.

  • 4 cups vertically sliced onion  (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1  1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon red  wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 tesp. dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minces
  • 2 Tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1  ( 8-oz. ) loaf French bread, halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup torn lettuce leaves
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1  1/2 cup thinly sliced Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin (about 8 oz.), or any other sliced roast pork
Cooked roast pork, thinly sliced for a sandwich.

Cooked roast pork, thinly sliced for a sandwich.

1.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; cook 30 minutes or until onions are golden, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat, let cool.

The small of these  onions slowly cooking is fantastic.

The small of these onions slowly cooking is fantastic.

2.  Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, and horseradish; spread a layer evenly over cut side of bottom half of bread.  Arrange lettuce over the top, then onions.

Lettuce is the first layer, followed by the onions.

Lettuce is the first layer, followed by the onions.

Arrange the sliced pork over the onions,

Sliced pork goes on next, to be topped by sliced tomatoes.

Sliced pork goes on next, to be topped by sliced tomatoes.

top with sliced tomatoes, and spoon on remainder of sauce.  Cover with top half of bread.

A handful of sandwich.  So good!

A handful of sandwich. So good!

SOURCE:  COOKING LIGHT

Bacon Guacamole Deviled Eggs

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When I think of picnics and cookouts I think of deviled eggs.  The dad of my husband’s family loves deviled eggs and we always have them at every gathering; usually made the traditional way with mayonnaise, mustard, a little sour cream and a sprinkle of paprika on top.  This is the way it’s always been and we just don’t mess with a good thing.

Bacon guacamole deviled eggs,  awesome!

Bacon guacamole deviled eggs, awesome!

Along comes yours truly who’s always tampering with recipes and I saw this idea for mixing guacamole with the deviled egg filling; and since bacon also goes with eggs why not add some of that too?  Two great foods that we love can only get better when combined, right?  No matter how you look at it these had to be a match made in heaven.  Well, turns out I was right on that score.  Just about everyone at our cookout loved my new-fangled deviled eggs—except the dad.  I made a few the way he likes them just for him!

If you like deviled eggs and you also like guacamole, then I think you’re going to like these eggs very much!  Make a lot, they will disappear quickly.

BACON GUACAMOLE DEVILED EGGS

Servings:    6     Increase ingredients accordingly for larger amounts.

Ingredients;

  • 6 eggs, boiled, peeled and cut in half
    Hard-cook the eggs, remove yolks and mix with other ingredients.

    Hard-cook the eggs, remove yolks and mix with other ingredients.

  • 1 large ripe avocado, mashed
  • 2 Tbsp. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp. jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. diced tomato
  • 1 Tbsp. red  onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice ( ~ 1/2 lime)
  • 1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • salt, and pepper and cayenne to taste
  • pinch chili powder for garnish

1.  Scoop the yolks out of the eggs and mash in a bowl with the avocado.  Add the bacon, jalapeño, onion, tomato, lime juice and cilantro.  Season with salt,  pepper and cayenne.

2.  Place a tablespoon of the mixture back into the holes left by the egg yolks and serve garnished with a pinch of chili powder.

Green eggs but no ham!

Green eggs but no ham!

SOURCE:  Adapted from a recipe on ZIP LIST

Hoisin Barbecued Chicken and Broccoli

Hoisin BBQ Chicken and Broccoli with Rice Pilaf.

Hoisin BBQ Chicken and Broccoli with Rice Pilaf.

This holiday weekend is pretty well accepted as the start of the summer cook-out season, and we are no exception.  On Saturday we cooked out at home, and on Sunday we attended a family cookout.  After the parade today there will be another cookout.  Of course I always bring along a variety of goodies to these events.  This week I’ll be telling you about my contributions, but to start the week off I’d like to share with you this recipe for Hoisin Barbecued Chicken and Broccoli.

The flavors in this dish will remind you of Chinese takeout, but my goodness, so much better!.  But you’ll have to make it to believe it.  The Hoisin Barbecue Marinade is addictive, it will have you licking your fingers.  You may want to double it to serve as a dipping sauce on the side or to drizzle over some rice.  I’m sure it would also be delicious with grilled pork or shrimp.  The chicken cooks quickly because you pound boneless chicken breasts out to about 1/2-inch thickness.  In my version I used skinless, boneless thighs and just pounded them a little for uniform thickness.

HOISIN BARBECUED CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI

Yield:   Makes about 1 1/2 cup marinade,   serves 4

Boneless thighs, broccoli and all the seasonings for the marinade.

Boneless thighs, broccoli and all the seasonings for the marinade.

Ingredients for marinade:

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce (any kind you like)
  • 2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4  cups broccoli florets
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

1.  In a small bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients and whisk to blend.

2.  Place the broccoli florets in a zip-top plastic bag and add 1/2 cup of the marinade.  Seal the bag, toss to coat, and set aside to marinate.  Place the chicken in another zip-top bag and pour in remaining marinade.  Seal the bag, toss to coat, and marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

3.  Prepare a hot fire in your grill.  Spray a grill wok or other grill pan with cooking spray.

4.  Place the wok in the kitchen sink.  Pour the broccoli and sauce into the grill wok and let drain.  (You can reuse the marinade from the broccoli, if desired.)  Place the grill wok on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the baking sheet beside the wok.  Discard the chicken marinade.  Take the baking sheet out to the grill.

Broccoli goes on first to get a head-start on cooking.

Broccoli goes on first to get a head-start on cooking.

5.  Place the wok on the grill and close the lid for about 2 minutes.  Open the grill and toss the broccoli with wooden paddles or tongs  several times while grilling, for a total of 12 – 15 minutes.   Place the chicken on the grill and cook for  2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side.

Chicken pieces browning up nicely.

Chicken pieces browning up nicely.

This is Mr.D. doing his "grill" thing.

This is Mr.D. doing his “grill” thing.

When everything is done, place the food on the baking sheet and bring into the kitchen to serve.

6.  Place broccoli in a bowl, sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and toss.  Arrange the chicken on a platter around the broccoli.  This meal is nice with a serving of lemon rice, or other kind of rice pilaf.

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SOURCE:  Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens

Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cakes with Lemon Sauce

Blueberry Lemon Corn Cakes with Lemon Sauce

Blueberry Lemon Corn Cakes with Lemon Sauce

This recipe makes the cutest little individual cakes, with a creamy lemon sauce poured over them.  More cake-like than muffin and not very sweet they are surprisingly sophisticated for your most elegant summer gatherings.  The addition of cornmeal to the batter provides some crunchiness and the zesty lemon flavor combines perfectly with the delicate flavor of blueberries.

Slightly crunchy from cornmeal, and studded with blueberries.

Slightly crunchy from cornmeal, and studded with blueberries.

This is the dessert I mentioned in yesterday’s post that completed the pork tenderloin meal, but I think these would also be great for an outdoor picnic too.  Most people seem to enjoy it when they are served their own perfect little cake, so bake these in small custard cups or ramekins that hold between 5 – 6 ounces.  To serve them, turn upside down on a serving plate or shallow dessert dish, and spoon some of the lemon sauce over the top.  I particularly enjoy them when they are still somewhat warm; or they could be briefly heated in the microwave before serving.

BLUEBERRY LEMON CORNMEAL CAKES

Yield:  makes 8 small cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or nonfat plain yogurt (not Greek)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup blueberries, rinsed and dried

To Make the cakes:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease eight  5 to 6 -ounce ramekins or baking cups.

2.  Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk together the remaining ingredients except the berries, then stir into the dry mixture until just combined.  Fold in the blueberries.  Divide the batter among the baking dishes/ramekins.

3.   Bake the cakes for 24 – 26 minutes, until the centers are firm to the touch.  Transfer to a rack to cool.

LEMON SAUCE

This recipe for lemon sauce can be made with either water or half milk.  The water version has a brighter lemon flavor; when made with milk it’s a little creamier.  That is how I made mine.

YIELD:  Makes  1 1/2 cups or about 10 servingsIMG_4122

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, salt and nutmeg.  Gradually stir in the water and milk, then bring to a simmer over low heat until the mixture thickens and becomes translucent.   Remove from the heat.  Stir in the butter, lemon zest and juice and serve.

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SOURCES:   For the cakes:   King Arthur Flour Baking Co.

For the sauce:  all recipes.com

Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Herb-crusted Pork Tenderloin with Roast Vegetables.

Herb-crusted Pork Tenderloin with Roast Vegetables.

After being disappointed in how my pork tenderloins were turning out I was about ready to give up trying to prepare one that was enjoyable, when I came up with the recipe for Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Sauce.  Since I first posted that recipe back in February I have found another recipe that we like so well, that I have made it twice already.   This one keeps all the meat juices inside, by sealing the outside with a layer of mustard, and a coating of well-seasoned bread crumbs.

I’ve used Parmesan cheese in place of the Romano, and honey-mustard instead of Dijon, and it is great either way.  A traditional way to serve it would be with mashed potatoes and a salad.  However I like to add a mixture of compatible vegetables into the pan with the pork and roast everything together as a one-pan meal, and then serve a side salad.

Succulent is the best description for this pork tenderloin.

Succulent is the best description for this pork tenderloin.

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HERB-CRUSTED PORK TENDERLOIN

Yield:    4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup Panko crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Romano cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1  ( 1-lb. ) pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • cooking spray

1.  Preheat oven to 450*F     Lightly spray a shallow baking dish, large enough to hold the pork.

2.  Combine Panko, parsley, cheese, and thyme in a shallow dish.  Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.

3.  Combine Dijon mustard, fennel seeds, and garlic in a small bowl. Rub pork all over with the mustard mixture, then dredge with the crumb mixture,  patting to make it adhere.

"Frost" the pork with the mustard mixture, then cover with the seasoned crumbs.

“Frost” the pork with the mustard mixture, then cover with the seasoned crumbs.

4.  Place pork in the prepared pan, and bake at 450* for 25 – 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160*  (slightly pink).  Let stand a few minutes before slicing into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Note:   To roast vegetables in the pan with the pork, use a deeper baking dish, and lay the vegetable mixture into the dish.  An example mixture might be carrots, sweet potatoes, onion, and fennel all cut into chunks that will cook in the same time as the pork.

Mixed vegetables in the casserole.

Mixed vegetables in the casserole.

Once in the baking dish I drizzle all over with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and an herb mixture.  Toss to coat evenly, add about 1/2 cup water to the bottom of the dish, then place the seasoned pork on top of it all.

Place the pork on top.

Place the pork on top.

When I made this meal just recently, my husband declared it to be “fabulous”.  For dessert, I made  Blueberry Corn Cakes with Lemon Sauce.  Stop back tomorrow when I will be describing how to make that perfect ending to a perfect meal.

A feast, indeed!

A feast, indeed!

SOURCE:  Cooking Light

Cauliflower-Broccoli-Cheese Soup

A quick post today featuring a soup that I made this past weekend when I had an abundance of broccoli and cauliflower on hand that needed using up.

Cauliflower-broccoli-cheese soup.

Cauliflower-broccoli-cheese soup.

After spending the morning outside spreading mulch and pruning some shrubs, Mr. D. and I were starving and ready for a break.  In just about 30 minutes I was able to have this thick, vegetable soup on the table ready for us to devour.  If you use frozen vegetables it takes even less time to make.  I didn’t realize a “made from scratch” vegetable soup could be ready in such a short time, and be so delicious.  It has only 150 calories per serving, and is low in fat and carbohydrates, yet satisfies and is filling.  To make it vegetarian, switch out the chicken broth and use vegetable broth instead, and omit the cheese.

CAULIFLOWER-BROCCOLI-CHEESE SOUP

Yield:   4 servings

Total time to make;  about 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tsp. canola oilIMG_4086
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lb. frozen broccoli and cauliflower or 5 cups fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk
  • 2 oz. reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 cup seasoned croutons
  • ground nutmeg for garnish

1.  In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat, add onion and cook until just beginning to brown.  Add garlic and continue cooking until onions are lightly browned.

2.  Add chicken broth, broccoli and cauliflower;  cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook for 10 – 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

3.  Puree mixture with and immersion blender or a regular blender.  Return mixture to saucepan, add milk and heat through.

4.  Remove from heat and stir in cheese.  Season with pepper.  Sprinkle each serving with nutmeg and garnish with a few seasoned croutons.

Quick to make;  filling and nutritious.

Quick to make; filling and nutritious.

Seasoned croutons add a little crunch to an otherwise smooth soup.

Seasoned croutons add a little crunch to an otherwise smooth soup.

Nutritional Profile:  150 calories, 6g. fat. 2g saturated fat, 15 g. carbohydrates, 4g sugars, 8g protein.

SOURCE:   found in a circular from my local grocery store

A Girl, A Grill, and a Portobello

Once upon a time there was a girl (me), a grill (ours), and a portobello (mushroom).  But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself—-

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I look forward to having dinner outside on the deck.  I can smell the smoky aroma of something sizzling on the grill; and I start to salivate just thinking about it.  The only glitch in all of this is my somewhat shaky relationship with the grill.  I depend on Mr. D. to fire it up and tend to whatever there is cooking on it while I finish the other parts of the meal in the kitchen.  I admit I’m a “girly girl”  and leave things like barbecue tools, fire starters and oven mitts to the man of the house.  As a result we usually grill outside on the weekends or holidays when he is around.

On this day, however, my menu called for grilling portobello mushroom caps along with some vegetables for our meatless evening meal.

Grilled portobellos with Chopped Salad.

Grilled portobellos with Chopped Salad.

Big, meaty portobello caps remind me of hamburgers, so I was excited at the prospect of cooking them on the grill. I thought I could handle that, so I prepped the vegetables and cleaned the mushrooms in anticipation of my big moment(s) at the grill.

With a little smile on my face, thinking about the surprise I had in store, I went out to start the grill.  After removing the cover and lifting the lid, I was ready to turn it on—-open the gas tank, rotate the start dial to High, and press the starter button.  NOTHING HAPPENED.  Try it again, repeat the previous actions.  Still nothing. I know there’s gas in the tank.  Review the directions in the manual. I seem to be doing everything right.  Try one more time.  Still nothing.  I GIVE UP!  I think I need grill starting lessons.   Back into the kitchen I go to see how I can salvage a grilled meal not made on the grill.

Fortunately I have a grill pan and, although on the small side, I was able to make use of it to cook the various components for our dinner. Where everything was slated to go on the grill at one time, using the grill pan I cooked it  in stages and then put it all together for what turned out to be a very nice dinner .  A salad of grilled vegetables and beans tops portobellos smothered in cheese.

This was the happy ending!

This was the happy ending!

This is a meal that is low in calories (312), fat (20g), and carbohydrates (25).   I think the meal would have been a little more tasty if it had been cooked on the grill because of the flavoring the vegetables would have absorbed, but we enjoyed it just the same.   The directions I give here are the ones that go with the recipe for grilling outside, but the pictures show how I improvised.  LOL!

GRILLED PORTOBELLOS WITH CHOPPED SALAD

Yield:   4 servings

Ingredients for a meatless meal on the grill.

Ingredients for a meatless meal on the grill.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, or 2 tsp. dried dill
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps, gills removed
  • 1  15 oz. can small white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 small bell peppers, quartered and seeded
  • 1 medium red onion cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, such as cheddar, fontina, or swiss

Directions:

1.  Preheat grill to medium high.

2.  Combine lemon juice, oil, dill, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Prepare the dressing.

Prepare the dressing.

Add mushroom caps and turn to coat.  Remove the mushrooms from the bowl.  Add white beans;  stir to coat.

3.  Place mushroom caps gill-side up on the grill with peppers, onion and zucchini.  Using a grill pan to contain all the vegetables, with the exception of the mushroom caps, keeps them from falling through the grates.  Grill the vegetables, turning once or twice, until they start to char and soften;  About 8 minutes for the mushrooms and 6 minutes for the rest.

Roasting peppers and onions smell sooo good!

Roasting peppers and onions smell sooo good!

Grill the zucchini to get some nice grill marks.

Grill the zucchini to get some nice grill marks.

Portobello mushroom caps on the grill.

Portobello mushroom caps on the grill.

4.  Turn the mushrooms gill-side up again.  Fill each one with 1/4 cup cheese and grill until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute more.

Fill the mushroom caps with cheese and let it melt.

Fill the mushroom caps with cheese and let it melt.

5.  Chop peppers, onion and zucchini and add to the bowl with the beans;  toss to combine.

Chop the veggies and add to the beans and dressing.

Chop the veggies and add to the beans and dressing.

Top each mushroom with about 1 cup of the grilled salad.      Oh, Yum!  this was sooo good.

All's well that ends well.

All’s well that ends well.

P.S.  This post would have been more aptly named “Along Came a Spider”,   because on investigation Mr. D. found a spider’s nest in the gas line that blocked the flow of gas to the starter button.  Defeated by a spider.   Dang!

SOURCE:   EATING WELL

Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata

The series of posts Eat Out at Home continues with this recipe for Chicken Piccata, a dish readily found in most any Italian restaurant.  Since I had a package of chicken cutlets to use I was torn between making Chicken Parmesan or Chicken Piccata.  Somehow the Parmesan recipe seemed a little heavy and more suited to cold weather, so this one won out,  since the light lemony sauce of this recipe seems to go with spring.

This recipe is quite simple to make and takes very little time.  It requires only  basic cooking skills, so even if you’re a newcomer in the kitchen, you will be successful.  Preparing the chicken cutlets ahead of time is a time saver. You can pound them out and dredge in flour in advance, then refrigerate them till its time to cook the meal.  Because cutlets are lean and cook in just a few minutes, they produce  very little drippings to use in a sauce, so dredging in flour first, then cooking them will help them to brown and  the flour acts as an emulsifier to slightly thicken the sauce.  The addition of lemon, white wine, chicken broth and capers creates the classic piccata flavors.   Knowing how to make this dish assures you of success when serving guests, since many people know about this entree, but are unaware of how easy it is to make.

A common way to serve chicken piccata is with pasta.  Linguine is a good choice as it will get coated by the sauce.  In my version I added some baby spinach to my nearly cooked pasta in the last minute of cooking,  just so it got a little wilted .  Drain the pasta/spinach combo, place in a large bowl or serving dish and place the chicken cutlets with their sauce poured over the top.   Molto Delicioso!

Chicken with its sauce poured over pasta with spinach.

Chicken with its sauce poured over pasta with spinach.

CHICKEN PICCATA

Makes  4 servings.   Increase all quantities accordingly to make more servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise and pounded into cutlets.  (I was able to purchase a package of 4 chicken cutlets ready for use at the supermarket.)
  • salt and pepper

    Chicken cutlets, white wine, lemon, garlic and capers produce the classic flavors of this dish.

    Chicken cutlets, white wine, lemon, garlic and capers produce the classic flavors of this dish.

  • all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. drained capers
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • fresh lemon slices
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish

1.   Season cutlets with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.  Add oil to a sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat.

2.  Saute cutlets 2 – 3 minutes on one side.  Turn cutlets oven and cook the other side, covered,  1 – 2 minutes.  Transfer cutlets to a warmed platter and keep warm.  Pour off any fat from the pan.

Browning the cutlets.

Browning the cutlets.

3.  Deglaze the pan with wine and add minced garlic.  Cook until garlic is slightly brown and liquid is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with wine and garlic.

Deglaze the pan with wine and garlic.

4.  Add broth, lemon juice, and capers.  Return cutlets to pan and cook on each side for 1 minute.  Transfer cutlets to serving dish.

5.  Finish sauce with butter and lemons.  Once butter melts, pour sauce over cutlets.

Finishing the sauce with butter and lemons.

Finishing the sauce with butter and lemons.

6.  Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Chicken Piccata served with pasta and spinach.

Chicken Piccata served with pasta and spinach.

SOURCE:    CUISINE at Home