Archive for March, 2007

Tilapia Piccata


I am a big fan of Chicken Piccata; the light and refreshing lemon butter sauce with the contrasting tangy capers always played well with chicken. I honestly never thought to make piccata sauce with anything but chicken. Yes, I know,  I am so adventureous in the kitchen. I have a hard time thinking outside of the box when it comes to cooking, hence why I never enter cooking contests. My own recipes usually end up disastrous (look for a future post on stuffed chicken that will prove my point).

I found this recipe for Tilapia Piccata in the March 2007 issue of Cooking Light. Interesting. I love tilapia but only have made it a few ways- the standard broiled with lemon, butter, etc. or breaded with Italian breadcrumbs and parmesean cheese. I decided to give this a try and was so glad I did. The piccata sauce was really complimentary to the tilapia. I’ve even made it a second time since then. I served it with fresh broccoli and brown rice with diced sweet red peppers mixed in for some color.

Overall rating: 5 stars

Tilapia Piccata

From  Cooking Light
Substitute most any flaky white fish, or use veal or chicken cutlets.

8 ounces uncooked orzo (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup white wine
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon drained capers

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; stir in tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, parsley, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Set aside and keep warm.Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and flour in a large shallow dish. Dredge fish in flour mixture. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish to pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove fish from pan; keep warm.

Add wine, juice, and capers to pan; cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to pan; stir until butter melts. Serve fish with sauce and pasta.

Yield:  4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet, 3/4 cup pasta mixture, and about 1 tablespoon sauce)

CALORIES 461 (24% from fat); FAT 12.5g (sat 6.4g,mono 3.1g,poly 1.1g); PROTEIN 41.7g; CHOLESTEROL 108mg; CALCIUM 30mg; SODIUM 512mg; FIBER 2.6g; IRON 1.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45.3g

Cooking Light, MARCH 2007


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Salami Scrambles


Salami Scrambles is one of a small handful of Rachael Ray’s recipes I’ve been making for awhile now. It’s pretty much scrambled eggs with meat and cheese. The funny thing about this is that I don’t really like salami but once I cooked it up and tossed it with some eggs and cheese I did. Go figure. The creaminess of the cheese with the crispy salami is a good match. I actually never make this for breakfast- it’s too heavy. I’ve made it for a late brunch and dinner. Unfortunately, I think this was the last time I will be making this recipe because of my acid reflux problems. This absolutely killed me. I think the salami was just too greasy. But if you can handle it, it’s very tasty.

I did not use tomatoes and used alouette herb and garlic cheese. I also use shallots instead of garlic or scallions.

Overall rating: 4 stars

Salami Scrambles

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan in a slow stream
1/4 to 1/3 pound salami, deli sliced or whole mini, Genoa, dry or sopressata, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 to 3 scallions, chopped, 1/4 onion may be substituted
1 plum tomato or 1 vine tomato, seeded and chopped or 3 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomato — your preference or, depending on what you have on hand
8 large eggs
4 ounces your choice of: Boursin garlic and herb cheese, crumbled, alouette garlic and herb cheese (4 rounded spoonfuls), crumbled feta cheese, crumbled herb goat cheese – again, whatever your preference and whichever you have on hand
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
Chopped or torn basil leaves, for garnish, optional
Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and salami. Cook salami until it renders some fat and starts to turn a deep burgundy color, 2 minutes. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds, then add scallions or onions and cook 1 or 2 more minutes. Add tomatoes and cook another minute. Scramble eggs with cheese, a little salt and a generous amount of pepper. Add eggs to pan and scramble it all up together. Serve scrambles with parsley and/or basil garnish.


Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

User Rating: 4 Stars



Episode#: TM1F10
Copyright © 2006 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved

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I wanted nothing more than a popover pan from Williams-Sonoma for Valentine’s Day this year. No candy, not flowers, a popover pan. Yup, a foodie for sure. Lucky for me, I got it! My husband will always get me cookware for gifts because he knows he reaps the benefits. A popover is basically a light, airy muffin/roll. The texture and taste remind me of the shell of a cream puff pastry. They are great for breakfast plain or with jam. They could be served along side dinner as well. They look really beautiful and taste wonderful. I think I’ve read you could make popovers in a regular muffin tin but I don’t know if they would come out as airy or light. A popover pan is specially made so a burst of steam creates this unique roll. If it’s something you are truly interested in, you can find a cheaper pan online other than Williams-Sonoma. One tip I found somewhere online was to warm the pan for a few minutes in the oven before filling with batter. I did this the second time around and they came out more fluffy than the first time.

Overall rating: 5 stars!! yum yum yum


Perfect Popovers It’s easy to prepare moist, airy popovers with crisp, golden domes when you use the right pan. Our aluminized-steel pan delivers a quick burst of heat, which converts the moisture in the batter to steam, causing it to “pop over” the sides and rise dramatically. The tapered cups are set apart to promote air circulation. For best results, don’t overfill the cups; do place the pan on the center oven rack; and don’t open the oven door during baking.Popovers are a classic accompaniment for the Thanksgiving feast, and they’re also delicious for breakfast, paired with butter and jam. Or serve them alongside soups and stews.

4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
6 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
Unsalted butter for serving (optional)


Preheat an oven to 450°F. Spray the wells of a standard 6-cup popover pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour 1/2 tsp. of the melted butter into each cup.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, then whisk in 2 Tbs. of the melted butter.In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, then whisk in the egg mixture. Whisk vigorously until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide the batter among the prepared cups and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and bake for 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and invert the pan onto a wire rack.Let the pan cool, then spray the wells with nonstick cooking spray, pour 1/2 tsp. of the melted butter into each one, and bake the remaining batter. Serve immediately with butter. Makes 12 popovers.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

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What’s your favorite cookbook?

I haven’t bought a new cookbook in quite some time and was looking for some suggestions. What are your favorite cookbooks?

Here’s some of mine from my collection:

The Joy of Cooking – The most handy and practical cookbook I own and a great gift for any cook.

The Good Home Cookbook – One of my newer finds. Good, ol’ American food.

Betty Crocker Cookbook (One day my mother will let me have her original copy! Or I’ll just have to get on ebay.) This is the book I learned from. I was making the chocolate chip cookies when I was barely tall enough to reach the counter.

Dom Deluise’s Eat This…It’ll Make You Feel Better – Yes, laugh if you must, but I loved this cookbook when my mother got it when I was a teen. It taught me how to make the Italian dishes I didn’t know how to make. I still use his biscotti recipe.

Around the Table: Easy Menus for Cozy Entertaining – A bridal shower gift from my cousin/maid of honor. Offers some good, home cooking based on types of events. Yes, there is a recipe in there for franks and beans but there are more advanced ones as well!

Breakfast in Bed – Found this at Pier One many years ago and purchased it for my best friend Melissa. Liked it so much, purchased my own! We both continue to use it on a regular basis.

So let me know what are some of your great finds and maybe I’ll end up purchasing them! Thanks!

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Santa Fe Meat Loaf


Every year for my husband’s birthday I ask him what he’d like for his special birthday meal. I’ll cook him whatever he wants as I am almost always the menu planner in our household. For a few years in a row now, he’s asked for meat loaf, the traditional, comfort food style. But this year he asked me to make a meat loaf that was completely nontraditional. He asked if I’d make again Cooking Light’s Santa Fe Meat Loaf, which is ground turkey based, with a salsa topping and a cheesy, peppery middle. Although surprised he didn’t want his ordinary meat loaf (and mashed potatoes of course), I wasn’t surprised to hear he wanted me to make this again. The first time I made it a few months ago, we loved it. I would say however, some of the steps in the beginning are time consuming, but worth it. In fact, I just watched Bobby Flay’s Throwdown on the Food Network and they did meat loaf and both competitors advised the best way to make your meat loaf was to saute your vegetables instead of including raw.

This recipe turns out a moist, cheesy meatloaf with a little kick. The only substitutions I made were using diced green chilies instead of the ones in Adobo sauce as I can never find them. Cooking Light has a yummy pic and some fantastic reviews. This is a great alternative to the tried-and-true classic comfort food. Enjoy!

Overall rating: 4 stars


Santa Fe Meat Loaf

From Cooking Light
Slicing the loaf reveals a hidden layer of cheese. Leftovers are especially good on a sandwich. Serve with tossed green salad and corn bread.

Cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/2 pound 7% fat ground turkey
1 pound ground turkey breast
3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
2/3 cup mild chunky salsa, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6 slices 30%-less-fat center-cut bacon (such as Oscar Mayer), cooked and crumbled
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup (3 ounces) reduced-fat finely shredded Mexican-style four cheese blend (such as Kraft 2% milk)

Preheat oven to 350°.Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, and garlic to pan; sauté 1 1/2 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in chipotle chile; sauté 30 seconds. Remove from pan; cool. Combine onion mixture, turkey, turkey breast, breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup salsa, oregano, bacon, and egg whites in a large bowl.

Place half of turkey mixture in an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange cheese over top, leaving a 1/2-inch border around outside edges. Arrange remaining turkey mixture over cheese, pressing edges to pack. Spread the remaining 1/3 cup salsa over top of meat loaf. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cut into 12 slices.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 slices)

CALORIES 288 (33% from fat); FAT 10.5g (sat 4g,mono 3.3g,poly 1.6g); PROTEIN 31.5g; CHOLESTEROL 88mg; CALCIUM 256mg; SODIUM 876mg; FIBER 1.4g; IRON 2.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 14.8g

Cooking Light, MARCH 2006

Comments (2)

Stuffed Pepper Soup


Nothing beats a cold, wintry day than a steaming bowl of soup. I’ve been making this Cooking Light recipe for Stuffed Pepper Soup for a few years now. My mother often made Stuffed Peppers while I was growing up and still does and it remains one of our family favorites. But who would have thought to make a soup out of it? This recipe was actually a reader submitted recipe and we really enjoy it in our household. I usually double this recipe and then freeze some. I also spoon the rice into the soup once it’s in individual bowls so it does not absorb the liquid. The only alteration I make to this recipe is using brown rice instead of white. On this particular occasion I also used a red pepper because I didn’t have enough green ones. Also, I drain the ground beef after it’s browned to reduce some of the grease even though I usually use the lowest fat content of ground beef. This recipe is definitely a keeper! And yes, it actually tastes like a Stuffed Pepper! Enjoy!

Overall rating – 4 stars


Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

From Cooking Light
“I like this recipe because it’s a good way to get my husband to eat vegetables. This is a comforting soup for a cold day with corn bread or another hearty bread, and it gets better the day after.” -Chris Sunderman, Morgantown, WV

1/2 pound ground round
2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can less-sodium beef broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can tomato soup, undiluted
1 1/2 cups hot cooked white rice

Heat a small Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add chopped green bell pepper and onion; cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in black pepper, less-sodium beef broth, diced tomatoes, and tomato soup; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes.Spoon 1/4 cup hot cooked white rice into each of 6 bowls; top with 1 cup soup.

Yield: 6 servings

CALORIES 219 (30% from fat); FAT 7.2g (sat 2.6g,mono 2.9g,poly 0.8g); PROTEIN 11.7g; CHOLESTEROL 26mg; CALCIUM 39mg; SODIUM 444mg; FIBER 3.2g; IRON 2.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27.5g

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2004

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Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt Cake


Occasionally at my work, we have little parties where a group of us will bring in baked goods. We’ve done it for Halloween, the December holidays, and now for Valentine’s Day. Because I knew I was making a labor intensive meal for Valentine’s Day (see Rack of Lamb post), I wanted to make something relatively simple and easy. For some unknown reason, I wanted to make a bundt cake. Maybe it’s because I think the word bundt sounds funny. Or reminds me of the scene in My Big, Fat Greek Wedding. All I knew was that I wanted to make a bundt cake and it had to have chocolate in it. I headed over to Williams-Sonoma’s website this time to check out the recipes for bundt cakes and found a recipe for a Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt Cake. It sounded easy enough and the picture looked yummy. The aromas wafting through my kitchen as it baked were heavenly. After I took it out of the oven, I shaved some pieces off the bottom before I inverted it out of the pan and it was warm, moist, intensely chocolate and I was in love. I decided to skip the glaze and just give it a sprinkling of powdered sugar right before I served it. Besides the omission of the glaze, I mistakenly used fat-free sour cream instead of regular but didn’t notice any weirdness or taste difference.

I made the cake on the night before Valentine’s Day knowing there was an impending snow storm heading our way. Unfortunately, the cake didn’t make it into the office on Valentine’s Day because I was stuck at home in an ice/snow storm. Now my next step was my mistake. I decided to put the cake in the fridge and not take it out until the next morning to bring to work. I brought it into work and took the first slice before I let everyone know it was there. It was cold, dry, and hard and just didn’t taste good at all! I immediately placed it in the microwave for 10 seconds and it saved it. It brought back the softness and moistness and really made all the difference. Because I didn’t want everyone to think I was an awful cook, I had to put a note with the cake to microwave it for 10 seconds because it had been in the fridge overnight. Yes, I know, big dork. But everyone did seem to enjoy and follow my lead in microwaving their piece. I would definitely make this again but I would make the glaze next time. And not put it in the fridge!

Overall rating: 4 stars

Williams-Sonoma Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt Cake
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

For the glaze:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs. chocolate liqueur

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Whipped cream for serving


Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 325°F. Grease and flour a decorative 10-cup Bundt® pan.

To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; repeat until well blended. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 30 to 45 seconds. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the granulated sugar, beating until blended. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating each addition until incorporated before adding more, until the mixture is thick and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes; stop mixer occasionally and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla.

Reduce the speed to low and fold in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour, until just blended and no lumps of flour remain. Then gently fold in the chocolate.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are about 1 inch higher than the center. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and cool the cake upright in the pan for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the granulated sugar and water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate liqueur.

Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Generously brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool to room temperature, then dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Top slices with a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 16.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.


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