Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekly Recipes #19

Day 1

Kebab Koobideh (Persian Ground Beef/Lamb Kebab)
Ingredients: 1 lb Ground Beef or Lamb
1 Large White Onion, Grated
1 Pinch Saffron in 1 tbs Boiling Water
1 Tbs Tumeric
1 Egg Yolk
1 Clove Crushed Garlic

Directions: Add salt, and mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate overnight.Spread the meat onto the skewer and push on well so the meat does not fall off.

Cook slightly raised over hot coals for optimal flavor until done. Serve with:

Iranian Rice with Beans and Dill Weed (Baqala Polo)

This is one of the most amazing dishes I've ever eaten. Rich and savory!
by Carol Bullock
1½ hours 30 min prep
3 cups long-grain rice, well-rinsed
8 cups water
1/4 cup melted margarine
1/8 teaspoon saffron, dissolved in 2 tbs warm water (optional)
1 lb frozen lima beans
1/4 cup dried dill weed, or 3/4 cup fresh

Iranian Yogurt and Spinach (Borani-Ye Esfenaj)
1 lb spinach, fresh or frozen
2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons margarine or oil
salt and pepper
1 cup soy yogurt

Cook lima beans until done. Drain. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Add rice to water. Boil 5-10 minutes , until rice is no longer crunchy, but still firm.
Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Drain rice in colander.

Mix beans and dill weed with the rice. Put half of the melted margarine in the bottom of the rice pot. Put the rice back into the pot, a spoonful at a time, heaping it into a mound, not touching sides of pot.

With a chopstick or similar tool, poke holes in the rice in several places. Pour the remaining melted margarine over the rice. Cover the underside of the pot lid with a dish towel, and put lid tightly on pot.

Cook rice about 20 minutes over medium heat, then turn heat to low, and cook for another 30 minutes.

The rice on the bottom of the pot should become golden and crispy.
Soak bottom of pot in cold water for a few minutes, to loosen this.
Put rice onto a serving platter, surrounded by chunks of crispy rice.
Take 2/3 cup of the rice, mix it with the dissolved saffron, and sprinkle over the rest of the rice as a garnish.

Cook spinach in lightly salted water until tender
Drain well.
Set aside.
Heat margarine or oil in a pan.
Add onions, and fry until golden.
Add spinach and fry together briefly.
Turn off heat.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Transfer to serving bowl or dish.
Mix in yogurt.

Day 2

Persian Chicken or Duck in Pomegranate Walnut Sauce (Fesenjan)
Fesenjan, also known as khoresht-e fesenjan, is typically made for special occasions in Iran. It is traditionally made with duck or pheasant in the north of the country along the Caspian sea. It is a thick, rich, sweet-sour dish that improves in flavor the next day. Pomegranate syrup, sometimes called pomegranate molasses, is available in most Middle Eastern and health food stores (make sure it does not say "sour" ) If using fresh pomegranate juice, use 1 1/2 to 2 cups and reduce the stock or water. Adding a 1/2 tsp ground cardamom or 1/2 tsp cinnamon when sautéing the onions will add a richer flavor. Add more sugar if the sauce is too tart, or lime or lemon juice if it is too sweet. A peeled and cubed eggplant is sometimes added. Sauté the eggplant along with the onions. You may need to add a little more liquid as it simmers.
by NcMysteryShopper
1 hour 20 min prep

1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup butter or oil
2 1/2-3 lbs chicken or duck (cut up, bone-in)
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 cups walnuts, finely ground in a food processor
1 1/2-2 cups chicken stock or water
2/3 cup pomegranate syrup (see notes in description if using juice)
2-3 tablespoons sugar
kosher salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Sprinkle meat with lime juice and allow to marinate for 1-4 hours.
Over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot heat an 1/8 cup (2 Tablespoons) of the butter or oil until shimmering.

Add the chicken/duck pieces a few at a time and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.
Add onions (and eggplant if using - see notes in description) and sauté in remaining butter or oil until translucent.

Stir in ground walnuts and saute for 1/2 a minute.
Add stock or water and browned chicken/duck pieces. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer 20-30 minutes.

Stir in the pomegranate juice, sugar, salt and pepper.
Taste and adjust seasoning. Sauce should have a balanced sweet-sour flavor. See notes to adjust.
Simmer another 15-20 minutes until the chicken/duck is tender, sauce is somewhat thickened and the walnuts begin to give off their oil. Serve with plain white rice.

LeAnne's notes: Don't grind the walnuts too fine, use plenty of chicken.
Day 3

Salmon Cakes

1 1/2 pounds fresh salmon
4 cups plain mashed potatoes1/2 medium white onion, peeled and chopped, about 1 cup
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons chopped dill
Zest of half a lemon
Juice of one lemon
1 egg
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place salmon skin-side down on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake in oven until salmon is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Remove skin and flake into small pieces with back of fork.

In a bowl, mix together salmon, potatoes, ginger, dill, lemon zest and lemon juice. After tasting, season with salt and pepper. Add egg and mix well. Form into 18 cakes, about 2 1/2 inches across by one inch tall.

Place panko in a shallow dish. Press salmon cakes into panko to coat evenly on both sides and set on clean baking sheet.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add salmon cakes. Do not crowd pan--you may have to do this in two or three batches. Cook until cakes begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Flip cakes and brown on second side. Divide cakes among plates and serve hot.

Nutritional information per two cakesCalories: 227; total fat: 10g; cholesterol: 61mg; sodium (not including additional seasoning): 50mg; carbohydrate: 17g; total dietary fiber: 1g; protein: 17g

Makes 18 cakes

Sauteed Spinach With Garlic and Ricotta
Not only is this dish high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium and
manganese, but it contains 211 percent of your RDA for vitamin A.

The key to flavorful spinach is to not overcook it. Remove it from heat just as it begins to wilt--the residual heat will do the rest. 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic, peeled and

8 ounces baby spinach
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon whole-milk ricotta
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in a12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add garlic and
cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach and press to flatten into pan. Let cook 30
seconds and then toss spinach in hot oil until it begins to wilt. Remove spinach from heat
and add lemon juice and ricotta. Toss to coat and then season to taste with salt and
pepper. Serve immediately.

Nutritional information per serving
Calories: 76; total fat: 5g; cholesterol: 8mg; sodium (not including additional seasoning):
102mg; carbohydrate: 5g; total dietary fiber: 3g; protein: 5g
Serves 2

Day 4


Chef Tse: This light but filling recipe comes from my husband's grandmother, who lives in Nice,
France. She's been making this recipe for over 20 years, and it remains a family favorite.
After having just one bite, I understand why.

Tomato Sauce
1 28-ounce can low-sodium diced tomatoes
1/2 pound ground sirloin, 5% lean
1/2 medium white onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
2 cups 2 percent milk, cold
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
6 (4.5 ounces) oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 1/2 ounces grated Swiss cheese
Salt and pepper
For tomato sauce

Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Pour in oil and heat until shimmering.
Add ground beef and sear without stirring until beef browns, about 2 minutes. Break up
beef into small chunks with a spatula. Continue searing until meat is completely browned,
stirring once or twice, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add onions, garlic and thyme; sauté until
onions begin to brown. Deglaze pan with white wine, scraping up any brown bits from
bottom of pan. Increase heat to high and cook until liquid has evaporated. Add tomatoes
and their juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook uncovered 15
minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard thyme sprigs. Taste and season with
salt and pepper.

For the béchamel
While tomato sauce cooks, melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Sprinkle flour
over the butter and cook 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in cold milk. Add nutmeg, salt and
pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.

To assemble
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Ladle one-third of tomato sauce into an 8x8 glass baking
dish and spread evenly on bottom. Lay two lasagna noodles side by side on top of sauce.
Spread on one-third of béchamel then top with another third of tomato sauce. Lay two
noodles on top of tomato sauce and press lightly into sauce. Repeat with remaining sauces
and noodles. Sprinkle top with cheese, and clean edges of dish. Cover with foil and bake
45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 5 more minutes.

Remove lasagna from oven and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Slice into 6
pieces and serve hot.

LeAnne's Notes: Add more herbs like basil and oregano to the tomato sauce. Make sure the bechamel has plenty of salt.

Nutritional information per serving
Calories: 298; total fat: 11g; cholesterol: 46mg; sodium (not including additional
seasoning): 101mg; carbohydrate: 32g; total dietary fiber: 2g; protein: 18g
Serves 6

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen (Bookgroup)

The Sugar Queen The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Book group pick for the month. I wasn't sure I would finish it, not that interesting for the first 50 pages. The book is set in a small ski town in N. Carolina. Josey, the main character, still lives at home at age 27. She is completely at her mother's beck and call, her mother constantly puts her down and keeps her from having a social life. This book is the story of how she meets two women and a man who bring her out of her shell.

Predictable romance, but kind of sweet. I wouldn't recommend it because there are too many other books that are so, so much better

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Weekly Menu #18 - Darla

Curried Vegetable Samosas with Cilantro-Mint Chutney LeAnne's Notes: These were very delicious. The chutney was fantastic. Recommend trying other fillings.

White Pizza with Broccoli and Mushrooms LeAnne's Notes: Make sure the sauce is seasoned well.

LeAnne's Notes: Added chicken, really added a nice texture.

Ma Po Tofu with steamed broccoli
This recipe was in April 2010 Cooking light and for the life of me I could not get it to come up on their web site. Tried google and recipe finder no luck hope you have better luck
1 (140z) pkg form tofu drained
1-2 T Sriracha (hot chili sauce)
1 1/2 T of mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 T black bean garlic sauce
2 t sugar1 cup chicken broth
1 T corn starch
2 T less-sodium soy sauce
1 t chili oil
1 T canola oil
4 ounces ground sirloin
1 T finely chopped garlic
2 t grated fresh ginger
2 cups hot cooked white rice
8 oz steamed broccolini
1/4 c fresh cilantro leaves
1) Place tofu on paper towels; cover with paper towels. Top with a heavy skillet; let stand for 30 min Discard towels, Cut tofu into 1 in cubes
2) combine sriacha and the next 3 ingredients Combine broth and next 3 ingredients, stirring until smooth
3) Heat canola oil in large skillet over med-hi heat. Add beef; sitr fry 3 min Add ginger and garlic; stir fry for 3 0 secs. . Add sriracha mixture;cook 1 min stirring occasionally. Add broth mixture; bring to boil. Cook 1 min stir in tofu, Serve with rice and broccolini, sprinkle with cilantro
LeAnne's Notes: Delicious. Tasted just like something served in a chinese restaurant. I would use different meat next time, either sliced beef or chicken.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Weekly Recipes #17 - Heather

Indian-Style Tofu and Cauliflower with Chutney
LeAnne's Notes: Delicious vegetarian dish.
Spring Salad with Grapes and Pistachio-Crusted Goat Cheese
Gyoza with Soy-Citrus Sauce
Black Bean Burgers with Mango SalsaI know I sent black bean burgers last time...but the mango salsa looked to could also do it with beef burgers
LeAnne's Notes: Didn't make the burgers, but did make the salsa, which was tasty.

LeAnne's Notes: Very good.

The Memory of Running - Ron McLarty

The Memory of Running The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I listened to this book. It was an entertaining story about a man who loses his parents in car accident. He reflects on his life as he rides a bike across the U.S. to claim his sister's body. The one thing that really bothered me about the books was his preoccupation with women's breasts. Other than that, very good.

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The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book. It is set in a future U.S. where the new territories pay tribute to the government. Each year a boy and girl from each territory are sent to the capitol to participate in a fight to the death, The Hunger Game. The territory of the winner is given extra food, etc. Reminded me a little of the Running Man by Stephen King.

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Weekly Menu #16 - Nathan

DAY 1:

LeAnne's Notes: Great staple dish.

Avocado, Orange, and Jícama Salad

LeAnne's Notes: Good, but not great. Probably won't make it again.

DAY 2:
Mexican Chopped Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

LeAnne's Notes: So incredibly good. Another staple salad.

DAY 3:

Sugar Snap Peas and Potatoes with Parsley Pesto

LeAnne's Notes: Excellent

DAY 4:

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Honeydew Salsa

LeAnne's Notes: Loved the salsa