Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sesame-Ginger Pork Platter

½ cup soy sauce

¼ cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1½ teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 12- to 16-ounce pork tenderloins

Lettuce leaves

Green onion strips

Baguette slices

Red and green grapes

For marinade, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, sesame seed, gingerroot, and garlic. Place pork in a heavy plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Pour marinade over pork. Seal bag; turn to coat meat. Refrigerate overnight; turn bag occasionally.

Drain pork, reserving marinade. Cover and chill marinade. Place pork on a rack in a roasting pan; cover with foil. Bake in a 425° oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil; roast 10 to 15 minutes more or until thermometer inserted in center registers 160°. Cool slightly; bias-slice into ¼-inch slices. Cover and chill up to 24 hours.

To serve, arrange pork slices on lettuce-lined platter. Heat marinade to boiling; serve in a small bowl for dipping, and sprinkle with green onion strips. Serve with baguette slices and red and green grapes.

Yields: Makes about 30 slices

Sweet Pear and Cheese Crostini

16 (⅜-inch-thick) baguette-style French bread slices

8-ounces taleggio cheese, rind removed and sliced, or 4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

1 small ripe pear, cored and very thinly sliced

2 tablespoons flavored honey, such as French lavender honey, or regular honey (I use raspberry honey)

Preheat broiler. Place bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 30 to 60 seconds or until the bread is toasted.

Turn each bread slice, and top with a slice of taleggio or some of the Gorgonzola. Broil 30 to 60 seconds more or until cheese is bubbly and bread is toasted.

Top each bread slice with a pear slice, and lightly drizzle with honey. Arrange bread slices on a serving platter. Serve immediately.

Yields: 16 appetizers

Mushrooms Filled with Ham and Blue Cheese

24 large fresh mushrooms (1½ to 2 inches in diameter)

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup finely chopped cooked ham

¼ cup crumbled blue cheese (1 ounce)

3 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs

2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper

Wash and drain mushrooms. Remove stems and save for another use; reserve caps. Lightly brush rounded side of the mushroom caps with the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place mushrooms, cavity sides up, in a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.

Combine ham, blue cheese, fine dry bread crumbs, parsley, the 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and red pepper in a small mixing bowl. Spoon ham mixture into mushroom caps. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.

Bake, uncovered, in a 425° oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and filling is hot.

Yields: 24 mushrooms

Jalapeno Popper Spread

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained

2 ounces canned, diced jalapeño peppers, drained

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

French baguette, sliced

Stir together the cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in green chiles and jalapeño peppers.

Pour mixture into an 8-inch pie plate, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 375° for approximately 30 minutes. Serve with sliced baguette.

Artichoke and Chili Pepper Dip

1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

½ cup plain non-fat yogurt

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons canned, diced green chili peppers, drained

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed

Stir together artichoke hearts, yogurt, mayonnaise, cheese, chili peppers, and Italian seasoning in a medium-sized bowl.

Spray a 9-inch pie plate or an 8-inch round quiche dish with nonstick coating. Turn artichoke mixture into pie plate.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm with Pita Crisps and/or sweet red bell pepper wedges.

Pita Crisps: Cut 6 pita rounds in half horizontally; cut each half into 6 wedges. Place wedges in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp.

Savory-Rubbed Roast Pork Chops with Apple-Sage Chutney

6 pork loin chops (1 to 1 1/4-inch thick)
olive oil

Savory Rub
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion salt or garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Apple-Sage Chutney
1/3 cup thinly sliced onion
2 1/2 pounds tart apples, coarsely chopped with the skin (about 7 1/2 medium sized apples)
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped dates
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
2/3 cup green and red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover a roasting pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Drizzle pork chops lightly with olive oil, then rub both sides of each pork chop with the Savory Rub and place in foil-lined pan. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until done; or grill. Serve with warm Apple-Sage Chutney on the side.

To prepare chutney:
In a large stockpot combine all ingredients except sage. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat and simmer until thick, a little less than an hour. Stir in sage and simmer 5 minutes longer. (Makes 4 cups)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Spicy Chinese Riblettes

1 cup hoisin sauce
6 Tbsp. rice wine or white wine
½ soy sauce
1 cup sugar
½ cup tomato paste
¼ cup finely minced garlic
2 Tbsp. Tabasco
3 pounds pork baby back ribs, cut into 1" riblettes

Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients, except the riblettes, until smooth. Taste and set aside. Place the riblettes in a large roasting pan, and bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, pour the sauce over the riblettes, and toss to coat. (at this point you can place the riblettes in a bag, cool to room temperature and freeze). Return the pan to the oven, uncovered, and bake for another 45 minutes. Toss every 10 minutes so that the riblettes stay well coated with sauce.

Freezer Preparation:
Thaw riblettes in refrigerator for 24 hrs. Poor riblettes with sauce in to a roasting dish and bake in a 350° oven for 45 minutes, tossing in sauce every 10 minutes.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tortelloni, Chicken and Tomato Pesto

1/3 cup pine nuts
2 cups shredded roasted chicken
1 pt. (12oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
2 pkgs (9 oz each) fresh four cheese tortelloni
¾ cup prepared pesto sauce

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast pine nuts over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes; set aside. Place chicken and tomatoes in large pasta bowl. Cook pasta in boiling water according to directions. Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup cooking water. Add to pasta bowl with pesto sauce and reserved cooking water, toss. Sprinkle with pine nuts over top and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Frozen adjustments:

Bring pine nuts to room temperature before toasting.
Thaw chicken in refrigerator and then warm slightly in either a skillet or microwave.
Thaw pesto in refrigerator before using.


2 c. basil, packed
2 cloves garlic
¼ c. pine nuts
2/3 c. olive oil
½ c. Pecorino Romano
Sea salt & Pepper, to taste

Pulse basil, garlic and pine nuts in food processor until coarse. Add olive oil and pulse until combined. Add cheese and pulse to combine. Add sea salt and pepper to taste and finish with a touch more oil.

Chicken Pot Pie

3 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
2 cups fresh mushrooms
2 medium carrots, cut into 1" long pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1" long pieces
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 bay leafs
1 can fat-free Cream of Chicken soup
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
4 sheets Pillsbury unbaked pie crusts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll pie sheets and let sit at room temperature. Pie sheets work for standard pie plate and 8x8 square pans. Set aside.

In Dutch oven combine chicken broth, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onions, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Add cream of chicken soup and chopped chicken; cook for 5-10 minutes. Add poultry seasoning and pepper; heat thoroughly. Add peas, cook for 5 more minutes.

Carefully unroll pie crust and line baking dish. Pour 1/2 of the chicken filling, distributing evenly between pans. Don't fill completely to the top, as the top will need to be added and pinched at the edges. Carefully unroll second pie crust and cover pie. Pinch edges to liking, making sure edges are secure.

Pierce top of crusts and bake for 30-45 minutes; if edges start to brown too quickly, cover with foil. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting. Makes 2 (6 serving each) pies.

To Freeze: Follow all steps excluding baking. Cover pie, flash freeze (approx 3-5 hours), then cover with foil.

Serving Day: Thaw 24 hours in the fridge. Bake according to directions. Remove plastic wrap and foil before baking.

Recipe prepared by Mary; adapted from Amy