Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Grilled Cilantro-Lime Shrimp

Grilled Cilantro-Lime Shrimp

Ever since making the salmon kebabs a few weeks ago, I’ve been thinking about adapting that recipe idea and using shrimp in place of the salmon.  Grilled shrimp on skewers seasoned with cumin and garlic, and finished with lime juice instead of the lemon.  I loved the look of the kebabs with the slices of lemon separating the chunks of salmon, so why not use lime slices with shrimp.

We loved this recipe with the shrimp.  Since I was using my grill to cook something else, while it was on I also cooked the shrimp, with plans for using them cold in a salad another day.  These would also be great served hot with a rice pilaf, and a big green salad.

These are nice served over a crisp green salad.

These are nice served over a crisp green salad.

CILANTRO LIME SHRIMP

Yield:   4 servings

Ingredients

  • 16 large, raw shrimp,  peeled and deveined
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/2  tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water, 1 hour
  • 1 or 2 limes thinly sliced

Directions:

1.  Heat the grill to medium heat and rub the grates with a paper towel sprayed with olive oil spray.   Season the shrimp with garlic, cumin, salt and half the cilantro in a medium bowl.

2.  Beginning and ending with shrimp, thread the shrimp and folded lime slices onto 4 pairs of parallel skewers to make a total of 4 kebabs.

Thread shrimp on double skewers, separating each one with a lime slice.

Thread shrimp on double skewers, separating each one with a lime slice.

3.  Grill the shrimp, turning occasionally, until shrimp are opaque throughout, about 1 – 2 minutes on each side.  Top with remaining cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice before serving.

IMG_4734

SOURCE:   adapted from Bon Appetit

Zucchini-Pineapple Quick Bread

Zucchini Pineapple Quick Breads

Zucchini Pineapple Quick Breads

Today we have another way to use zucchini.  Zucchini Bread is a popular quick bread and such a great way to get in some veggies disguised as a sweet.  This recipe is all of that and more because it also contains pineapple.  A new twist on an old favorite!

We like to eat this bread for breakfast, but we also enjoy it as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee.  The pineapple adds a little sweetness of its own, so I  cut back on the sugar to 1 3/4 cups.   The recipe makes a large volumn of batter, enough for two 8″ x 4″ pans, so you can freeze the extra loaf, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and heavy-duty foil, for up to one month.  Slices are good warmed in the microwave and spread with a little butter.

Some zucchini breads that I have had seemed to have a lot of oil in them and were very sweet.  This recipe is not like that at all.  The oil used is a moderate amount considering that you’re making two loaves.  The color of the bread is also lighter than other zucchini breads that I have had, perhaps because I used a yellow zucchini and a green one. You will note that the recipe calls for 2 eggs and 1/2 cup egg substitute.  However, you could use 4 eggs and eliminate the egg substitute.  Personally, I like using only the two eggs because it’s a way of reducing the overall cholesterol in the recipe.

On the whole we liked this bread very much as a breakfast item because it is not overly sweet.  I am expecting house guests soon and this is one of the items I plan to set out for “make your own breakfast”.

IMG_4707

Recipe:  ZUCCHINI-PINEAPPLE QUICK BREAD

Yield:  2 loaves, 8″ x 4″ each

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour  ( I use half whole wheat flour.)

    I used both yellow and green zucchini.

    I used both yellow and green zucchini.

  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1  1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 1/2 medium zucchini).
  • 2/3 cups canola oil
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2  (8-ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • baking spray

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Spray two 8″ x 4″ loaf pans with baking spray.

2.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife.  Combine flour, salt, and next 3 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

3.  Beat eggs with a mixer at medium speed until foamy.  Add sugar, oil, egg substitute, vanilla and zucchini beating until well blended.  Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.  Fold in pineapple.  Spoon batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops.

4.  Bake at 350*F for 45 min – 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack;  remove from pans.    Cool completely on wire rack.

IMG_4689

IMG_4711

SOURCE:   Cooking Light

Jumbo Pasta Shells with Cheese Filling

Baked, stuffed jumbo pasta shells.

Baked, stuffed jumbo pasta shells.

This one-dish meatless  meal has always been considered a comfort food in my mind, and one that I’m more likely to make during the colder months of the year.  However, I had all the right ingredients, but in small quantities,  so I put together a smaller-sized version, while I was cooking on the weekend, refrigerated it, and had it ready to pull out and stick in the oven on a weeknight when I knew I would be having a busy day.  The ingredients for the filling are some of the same ones as for the stuffed portabellos, therefore I had open containers that needed to be used up.

This meal takes me back to my years living at home when my mother made it often with her homemade marinara sauce.  That’s usually what I do also, but as I said this is my “quickie” version.  I don’t think that I would have included it here on the blog except for Mr. D’s urging.  My thoughts are that most people must know how to make stuffed shells,  but Mr. D. thinks otherwise.  He says it is excellent and I should share it, so here is how it all goes together.

JUMBO PASTA SHELLS WITH CHEESE FILLING

Yield:   Serves 4 – 5

Ingredients:

  • 16 – 20 jumbo pasta shellsIMG_4714
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed as dry as possible
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 jar  (30 0z. ) prepared spaghetti sauce or homemade marinara suce

Directions:

1.  Prepare pasta as directed on the package.  Undercooked a little so they keep their shape is good.  Drain.  Rinse with cold water. Drain and arrange on a kitchen towel in a single layer ready to fill.

2.  Meanwhile mix together the ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, and the Parmesan cheese.  Add egg, spinach and seasonings and mix to blend well.

Ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, cheese and seasonings.

Ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, cheese and seasonings.

3.  Using a smallish spoon, fill the shells with the cheese mixture.

4.  Lightly spray a square baking dish ( 9″ square) with baking spray.  Spoon sauce into the bottom of the dish, enough to cover the bottom in an even layer.  Arrange the shells in a single layer on the sauce.

Arrange filled shells on a layer of sauce.

Arrange filled shells on a layer of sauce.

5.  At this point,  if you will be baking the casserole at a later time,  cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you plan to bake it.  If baking now, continue by pouring 1 – 1 1/2 cups more sauce over the shells and bake at 350*F for 30 minutes or until hot.  Sprinkle with additional mozzarella cheese.   Turn off the oven and allow the dish to remain in the warm oven to melt the cheese.

Hot and melty, just out of the oven.

Hot and melty, just out of the oven.

6.   To bake at a later time:   remove the casserole from the fridge about 1 hour ahead to bring to room temperature.  Preheat the oven and then bake as above,  sprinkling on the mozzarella at the end of baking time.

Note:  a serving is 3 – 4 shells per person.   Serve with a side salad and garlic bread if desired.

So good---with just a salad.

So good—with just a salad.

SOURCE:    Family recipe, source unknown

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Can we talk for a few minutes about pickles?   Dill pickles, that is.  Many people that I know love anything pickled, but I’m not one of them.  I like pickled beets well enough, but I love dill pickles!!   Years ago I remember helping my mother make pickles and it seemed like a lot of work.  I know there was some cooking involved, the hot vinegar bath, I think.  And I remember those little round dill seeds and black peppercorns.  It has always seemed lots easier to just buy the kind I like at the grocery store.

So I’m very proud of myself when I say I made refrigerator dill pickles, and they were so easy.  Nothing at all like what I remember. This recipe is so ridiculously simple, I wonder why I never heard of it until just this year.   I can’t believe I got these fantastically crisp and fresh pickles with only a few ingredients.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles.

You can use traditional cucumbers or pickling cucumbers for this–whatever you like.   Some of the pickling cucumbers end up being quite fat and round, so I used regular cucumbers because I wanted long spears.   If you have 10 minutes you can make these pickles.  Just watch me!

REFRIGERATOR DILL PICKLES

Yield:   about 3 – 4  16.oz. jars of pickles

About the jars:  They can be any jars saved from other products and repurposed,  just be sure they are really clean with no lingering odors.  It’s wise to wash them in the dishwasher prior to using again.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 – 4 medium-large cucumbers, washed well
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons kosher salt

Directions:

1.  Add 1 minced or pressed clove of garlic and a few sprigs of dill to the bottom of each jar.  Don’t stress over exact amounts.  They will be great.

Place sprigs of dill in bottom of jars.  Add a clove of garlic.

Place sprigs of dill in bottom of jars. Add a clove of garlic.

2.  Cut the cucumbers into spears or whatever shape you like.  Add the spears to the jars, packing in as many as  you can without having to force them in.

Pack the  jars with cucumbers.

Pack the jars with cucumbers.

3.  In a large liquid measuring cup or pitcher, combine the water, vinegar, and salt.  Stir well until the salt is dissolved.  Pour the mixture into each jar over the cucumber spears so they are completely covered.  Top with an additional few sprigs of dill, if desired.

Add vinegar brine, then more dill on top.

Add vinegar brine, then more dill on top.

4.  Screw on the lids of the jars.  Repeat with remaining cucumbers, making additional brine as needed  (it only take a few seconds.)

5.  Refrigerate for two days.  Enjoy!   Continue to store in the refrigerator….presuming there are leftovers, of course.

Oh my gosh–these are fantastic.  As soon as you finish one your mouth wants another.  We couldn’t stop eating them.  Mr. D. says they are better than “real pickles”.   What ever that means, I think it’s a compliment.

A great sandwich deserves a great pickle!

A great sandwich deserves a great pickle!

I will be starting my next batch before the first batch is gone, because I won’t be able to wait the two days for a second batch to “cure”.    Ya gotta plan ahead when you love something this much!!!

SOURCE:   Adapted from Delicious Meliscious via Annie’s Eats

Grilled Flank Steak with Salad

Grilled Flank Steak and Salad

Grilled Flank Steak and Salad

Big flavor, great color, and easy preparation are the hallmarks of a weeknight entree, and this dish has them all.

Flank steak is the main attraction, but don’t belittle the lowly vegetables that make up the salad.  They are the supporting cast that round out this meal, and they all work beautifully together, just like a perfectly performing dance ensemble.   oooh, excuse the reference, but my competition is coming close, and I’ve got dancing on the brain.   😀

I really like this meal for another reason; it’s a dieter’s dream.   Here, a chile-spiked salad adds zest to simply grilled beef.   Low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat, this flank steak supper is filled with beneficial fats, iron, and protein.  There are only 232 calories,  12.4 g fat,  and 6.4 g. carbs.  WOW!   You’re gonna love it!

It cuts like butter!!!

It cuts like butter!!!

GRILLED FLANK STEAK WITH SALAD

Marinate the flank steak in a zip-top bag.

Marinate the flank steak in a zip-top bag.

Yield:   serves 4

Ingredients:

For the steak:

  • 1 flank steak, about 1 pound – 1 1/4 lb.
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Mix everything except the steak together in a large zip-top bag.   Pierce the steak all over on both sides with a long-tined fork.  Add the steak to the bag, rotating to make sure all surfaces of the steak are covered by the marinade.  Refrigerate for a minimum of an hour and up to 4 hours.

For the salad:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices

    Fresh and crunchy salad

    Fresh and crunchy salad

  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, or heirloom tomatoes cut into chunks
  • 2 cups torn Bibb or butter lettuce
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup vertically sliced red onion (or sweet onion)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced seeded serrano chile ( can be omitted).
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1.  Prepare the grill by wiping the grates with a paper towel sprayed with a little olive oil.  Close the cover and get it hot.

2.  Remove steak from the bag, and discard the marinade.  Sprinkle the steak with a little salt and pepper.   Grill about 6 minutes on each side until desired degree of doneness.

Doesn't that look fabulous?

Doesn’t that look fabulous?

Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

3.  To prepare salad:  combine cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, and onion in a large bowl.   Combine cilantro and the remaining ingredients.   Drizzle cilantro mixture over the salad vegetables.   Toss gently;  serve with the steak.

4.  Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.   Drizzle any steak juices over slices on the serving platter.

It is fabulous--cooked medium rare.

It is fabulous–cooked medium rare.

IMG_4755

SOURCE:   Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens

Cracker Jack Sundaes

Cracker Jack Sundae

Cracker Jack Sundae

I didn’t want my ice cream maker to feel neglected or that I was playing favorites with my ice-pops mold, so I decided to pull out all the stops and really make a fabulous ice cream and then use it to make these beyond fabulous sundaes.

I’ve made quite a few good ice creams in the past, but this one is so different from anything I’ve made before, that I just had to share it with you.   The ice cream is actually popcorn flavored.   The cream mixture is first steeped with popcorn before the base is finished and frozen.  As a result, the ice-cream is infused with popcorn flavor, making this frozen treat a little sweet and a little savory.  When you combine it with a handful of caramel corn and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce it makes a dessert that is both unique and memorable.     If you happen to be a popcorn/caramel corn lover, this could be kind of addictive.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!

CRACKER JACK SUNDAES WITH POPCORN ICE-CREAM

Yield:   about 6 servings

Ingredients:

For the ice cream:

  • 1  3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • about 5 cups prepared popcorn (1/3 cup unpopped kernels, if you make your own.)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

To serve:

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream with the milk and 1/2 cup sugar.  Heat over medium heat until warmed and bubbles form around the edges.  Remove from the heat, stir in the prepared popcorn, and cover.   Let the mixture steep for 30 minutes.

Return the pan back for the burner over medium heat.  In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar.  Whisk until smooth.  When the mixture in the pan is warmed through again, slowly pour into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly.   Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over medium heat.  Cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon (170* -175*F on an instant read thermometer).  Pour the custard through a mesh strainer into a storage container.  Stir in the vanilla and salt.  Let cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate until completely chilled.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

To Make Sundaes:

Place a scoop of the popcorn ice cream in the bottom of a sundae glass/dish.  Drizzle with some caramel sauce.  Place another scoop of ice cream, and drizzle with more sauce.  Sprinkle on a handful of Cracker Jacks/ caramel corn.   Top with whipped topping as desired.   SIGH!!

Cracker Jack Sundae

Cracker Jack Sundae

IMG_4732

SOURCE:  heavily modified from  Almost Bourdain, via Food Network

Zucchini-cheese Pancakes

Zucchini-Cheese Pancakes

Zucchini-Cheese Pancakes

For everyone who is a gardner growing zucchini, you are probably starting to say “gad zukes, what will I do with it all?”  If you are not inundated with zucchini now, you most likely will be very soon.  So I’m going to feature some recipes that utilize zucchini in the starring role.  Look for them on Thursdays, which I am designating as “Theme Thursdays”.   After zucchinis, I’ll see what other food items there might be that I can do the same thing with.  It’s kind of fun to see how many different ways a particular food can be incorporated into the various categories of dishes.

Last summer at the farm stands near me, I saw a few yellow zucchini, and I tried one.  Except for the color it is the same as the green variety.  This year, I’m seeing a lot more of them.  In fact my neighbor was selling some really large ones for $1.00 each.  Of course, I bought several, thinking how apt they would be to feature on a blog called “Delicious on a Dollar”.  Watch for them to show up in some of these posts.

Yellow zucchini.

Yellow zucchini.

Today we will start with these pancakes that are moist, savory and delicious hot from the griddle;  or warm,  at room temperature….even cold.  They can be for breakfast,  or dinner, whenever you are in the mood for some non-traditional pancakes.

For breakfast with sausages.

For breakfast with sausages.

I have experimented with these pancakes and added an ear of cooked corn, cut from the cob.  They were delicious served with salsa and sour cream.  You can also vary the cheese used and get a somewhat different flavor.   And if you don’t have scallions, try grating a sweet onion instead.   Many recipes that use zucchini have you squeeze the liquid out of the zucchini, but this recipe doesn’t require that as long as you cook the batter just after it is made.  If you let it sit a while the zucchini will add too much moisture and the batter will become wet.  If that happens, just add some more flour to compensate.

Recipe:  ZUCCHINI-CHEESE PANCAKES

Yield:   about 20 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup chopped chives or scallions;  about 1 bunch scallions trimmed and chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried basil**
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano**
  • 4 cups coarsely grated zucchini; about one 10″ zucchini
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ** substitute 2 tsp. Pizza Seasoning for the dried herbs, if desired. reducing salt to 1  1 /2 tsp.
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, cheddar, Monterey Jack or other cheese  ( or a combination).

Preparation:

1.  Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat;  If you have an electric griddle, set the heat to 400*F.

2.  Beat the eggs with the oil, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.

3.  Add the herbs, scallions, zucchini, and cheese, stirring to combine.

4.  Stir in the flour.  This will be a very thick batter.

A very thick batter.

A very thick batter.

5.  Grease the hot griddle lightly.  Drop the batter in 1/4 cupfuls onto the griddle; spread the batter to about 3 1/2″ to 4″ diameter.

Spread batter to about 4" rounds.

Spread batter to about 4″ rounds.

6.  Cook the cakes for 3 minutes, or until they’re brown on the bottom, and bubbles have appeared on their tops.  The top surface will appear somewhat dry and set.  (My pancakes did not get bubbles on top.  Lift the edges, and peek at the bottom.  If brown, turn them over.)

Turn over when they start to get brown.

Turn over when they start to get brown.

7.  Flip the cakes, and cook them for about 3 – 4 minutes on the second side, or until they’re as moist/cooked as you like when you break one open.

8.  Continue cooking until you have used all the batter.

9.  Serve warm with butter and grated cheese, salsa and sour cream, or applesauce.  Store any leftovers, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator.  Reheat in a toaster or toaster oven, if desired.

Serve with butter and grated cheese.  YUM!

Serve with butter and grated cheese. YUM!

SOURCE:   King Arthur Flour

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

During the hot summer months, one of my very favorite beverages is iced coffee.  I never mind if there is morning coffee left over, because I know I will enjoy it later in the day over ice with a little cream added.  I never gave a thought to the possibility that there might be another way to make iced coffee.  Therefore when this little recipe was delivered to my e-mail inbox I took notice and decided to try it out.

The coffee called for is a strong chicory coffee, –not sure what the connection is with Vietnamese.  Anybody know?   Anyhow, I happen to have in my cupboard a can of Cafe du Monde, a strong chicory coffee that is served in New Orleans at Cafe du Monde.  Happily I had what I needed and could make it without a trip to the market for some necessary ingredient.  I made it on the weekend when Mr. D. would be home to share it with me because the recipe makes about 6 cups, counting all the ice you put in.

To make this short story  shorter:  we liked it,  it was cool and refreshing,  and after drinking it we were WIRED for the rest of the day—-got lots done!!!!       If you want a “pick-me-up”,  this could be it.

VIETNAMESE ICED COFFEE

Cafe du Monde from New Orleans, LA.

Cafe du Monde from New Orleans, LA.

Yield:   6 cups, about 48 oz.

  • 2 cups strong, brewed chicory coffee  (such as Cafe du Monde)
  • 1/2 cup half and half or light cream
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 cups ice

To Make:

In a blender, combine the coffee, half and half and condensed milk.  Add the ice.  Blend until smooth and frothy, about 30 seconds.  Transfer to tall glasses and serve immediately.

Strong coffee flavor, cool and refreshing!

Strong coffee flavor, cool and refreshing!

SOURCE:   Martha Stewart

Kitchen Basics: Making Blueberry Sauce

Blueberry Sauce

Blueberry Sauce

We eat lots of blueberries in the summertime when we can get them at the “pick-your-own” farm.  They are such delightful little blue orbs; sweet, juicy, and so healthy for us with their antioxidants.  They make a fabulous snack right out of your hand–I do that while I pick, but I know you won’t tell on me.   Good as they are in their natural state, something magical happens when you cook with them.  The flavor changes completely and they release a vivid pink-purple juice.   I just love the color.

IMG_4677

As beautiful as this looks, it tastes even better!

If you’ve ever eaten a blueberry pie, you know what I mean.   But when you have blueberry sauce on hand, you have dozens of uses for it, all of them so delicious.

So tag along with me while I make some blueberry sauce.  The berries can be frozen or fresh.  Isn’t that great?  because when you run out in the middle of winter, you can make more with frozen berries.  However, since this is prime time for fresh blueberries,  I’m making it now.   Be sure to make plenty, store it in sealed jars or well-sealed containers, and use it any of these ways:

  • pour over vanilla ice creamIMG_4674
  • use on waffles or pancakes
  • swirl into yogurt
  • top a cheesecake
  • use as the filling in a layer cake
  • spoon over fresh sliced peaches
  •  your own ideas…..

Recipe:  FRESH BLUEBERRY SAUCE

Yield:  makes about 2  1/2 – 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fresh blueberries

    Blueberries and lemon, so good together.

    Blueberries and lemon, so good together.

  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup orange or lemon juice

1.  Combine the blueberries and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

2.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the orange or lemon juice in a small bowl, and whisk until smooth.

3.  Cook the blueberry mixture, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to release their juices.

4.  Stir the cornstarch mixture into the blueberry mixture.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 minute more.  The mixture should thicken and bubble.  Do not over cook.

5.  Remove from the heat.  Cover and chill.  Store in tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

We love it over lemon frozen yogurt.

We love it over lemon frozen yogurt.

SOURCE:   Preserving the Abundance,  Hometown Cooking

Stuffed Portabellos

Lasagna-stuffed portabellos.

Lasagna-stuffed portabellos.

We are big fans of stuffed mushrooms at our house.  I often make them as a side dish to serve with steak, or as appetizers when entertaining.  One day, however, I took special note of portabello mushroom caps and realized how many bites of stuffed mushroom you could get with just one cap.   Hey, maybe, just maybe, one of these jumbo s’rooms could become a whole meal. 😀

Well, that’s all it took for my imagination to go flying off in several directions trying to think up the perfect filling that would turn a mushroom cap into a meal.  I finally settled on lasagna as the answer.  I would take all the parts of lasagna that we love i.e.., the sauce, cheese and flavor; and leave out the pasta i.e.., calories and carbs, turning this into an inside-out vegetarian lasagna-stuffed mushroom.   Anything involving tomato sauce and gooey melted mozzarella cheese, is a winner with me.   I’ve made these several times now, testing the recipe, and I’ve determined that it’s ready for public unveiling.  Served with a side salad, we think they’re super for supper.   I hope you do too.

Please note that in the accompanying photos, I made only two caps as they were really large and definitely a meal in themselves.

After baking:  melty, cheesy,  goodness.

After baking: melty, cheesy, goodness.

LASAGNA-STUFFED PORTABELLOS

YIELD:   4 – 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 6 large portabello mushroom caps
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6  oz. mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2/3 cup drained chopped frozen spinach  (This time I used kale, precooked and chopped fine,)
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup tomato sauce, or pizza sauce

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 425*F.   Line a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish with foil.   Remove stems from the mushrooms and carefully scrape the gills from the caps with a spoon or paring knife; discard.   Place the mushroom caps on the baking sheet.

2.  In a small bowl, combine the garlic and olive oil.  Brush the garlic-oil mixture over the inside of the mushroom caps.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Brush caps, inside and out, with seasoned olive oil.

Brush caps, inside and out, with seasoned olive oil.

Roast the caps for about 10 minutes.   Remove from the oven, maintaining the oven temperature.  If excess liquid has collected inside or underneath the caps, blot it away with a paper towel.

Roast for 10 minutes.

Roast for 10 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, Parmesan, about 3/4 of the mozzarella, spinach, and Italian seasoning.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix to evenly incorporate.  Divide the mixture into the roasted portabello caps, spreading gently to fill them evenly.

In goes the ricotta cheese filling.

In goes the ricotta cheese filling.

Top each with 1 – 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce.   Sprinkle the tops with the remaining mozzarella cheese

Cover it with a little tomato sauce, then mozzarella cheese.

Cover it with a little tomato sauce, then mozzarella cheese.

4.  Return to the oven and bake 10 – 15 minutes more, until the cheese is melted and the filling is warmed through.  Serve with additional tomato sauce, as desired.

After baking:  melty, cheesy,  goodness.

After baking: melty, cheesy, goodness.

Make a meal on a meaty mushroom, and a side salad.

Make a meal on a meaty mushroom, and a side salad.

SOURCE:   Carolyn’s Originals