Monthly Archives: May 2008

Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

I’m trying very hard to do the whole warm-weather-summer cooking thing. The past few years, I’ve sort of opted out of making seasonal things in the spring and summer. I think I’ve been a bit confused about cooking things that don’t involve actual “cooking.” ūüôā This was definitely a good place to start! Recipe is from Cooking Light (June 2008 Issue).

Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing
(Serves 4)

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices ripe beefsteak tomato
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (I used grape tomatoes. Close enough!)

1. Combine rind, 3 tablespoons juice, and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons juice mixture. Add remaining 2 tablespoons juice, corn, and next 4 ingredients (through crab) to remaining juice mixture; toss gently to coat.

2. Arrange 2 tomato slices and 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes on each of 4 plates. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon reserved juice mixture over each serving. Top each serving with 1 cup corn and crab mixture.


Indian night!

I love Indian food. I hardly ever get the chance to eat it because I really don’t like any of the Indian restaurants around here… but I really do love it. I was a bit intimidated to try any recipes at home, but then some recipes appeared in the May 08 issue of Cooking Light. Yippee!

The menu was:
Appetizer – Indian-Spiced Roasted Nuts
Entree – Grilled Tandoori Chicken
Side – Green Beans and Potatoes in Chunky Tomato Sauce

Indian-Spiced Roasted Nuts
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon canola oil
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
 Dash of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup blanched almonds (I just used raw almonds because I could only find slivered blanched.)
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup hazelnuts
(Note: I used all unsalted nuts)

1. Preheat oven to 350¬į.
2. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH for 30 seconds; stir until blended. Add nuts to sugar mixture; toss to coat. (I actually had to throw the nuts plus mixture back into the microwave to get the coating melted enough to…well, coat! I guess I didn’t work fast enough.) ūüôā
3. Spread nuts evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350¬į for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.

[Have I mentioned that I LOVE MY NEW CAMERA!??! I’m still figuring out how to use it, and I need better lighting, but holy cow it’s a lot better than my old one!]
Grilled Tandoori Chicken
(Serves 8 as listed here…I actually cut down by 4 to serve 2. It worked just fine!)
2 teaspoons canola oil
4 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
2 teaspoons ground coriander, divided
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2¬†teaspoons¬†finely chopped seeded serrano pepper (Note: these things are HOT! Don’t get it under your nail. Ow.)
8 garlic cloves, crushed
2 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt, divided
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
2 teaspoons salt, divided
16 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
 Cooking spray

1. Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander, garam masala, turmeric, and red pepper to pan; cook 2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Remove from pan; cool.
2. Place onion, ginger, serrano pepper, and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth. Add spice mixture, 1/2 cup yogurt, 2 tablespoons juice, and 1 3/4 teaspoons salt to onion mixture; process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Cut 3 shallow slits in each chicken thigh. Add chicken to bag, and seal. Toss to coat. Marinate in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. (OOPS, I forgot I need 8 hours; therefore, mine marinated for 1-2 hours. It just wasn’t quite as flavorful, but it was still ok!)
3. Prepare grill.
4. Combine remaining 2 cups yogurt, 2 tablespoons juice, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl, stirring well. Cover mixture, and chill.
5. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 7 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with yogurt mixture.

Green Beans and Potatoes in Chunky Tomato Sauce
(Again, serves 8 as listed here, but I pared it down to 2 servings with no problem.)

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups diced red potato
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 pounds green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 pound plum tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped (I forgot to peel them, and they were fine.)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add potato, celery, salt, and beans; sauté 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup water; cover and cook 5 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Add cilantro and tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 4 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Stir in peppers.

Macro setting rocks. I can’t decide between the close-up of my potato or my green bean. Thus, you get both. ūüôā

Hamburger Grape-Tomato Pizza

I had to put a hyphen in Grape-Tomato because the first time I said this out loud it really sounded like Grapes and Tomatoes, not Grape Tomatoes. ūüôā

It’s a recipe from Everyday Food May 2008, and also marks my first experimentation with a pizza dough ball. I bought it at Wegman’s from their pizza shop, and they sold me a frozen one so I could keep it longer. I was a bit afraid, having heard lots of horror stories… but I have to say, the dough rose just enough, cooked the whole way through, and tasted like pizza dough should taste. Yay!

Hamburger Grape-Tomato Pizza
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
All-purpose flour, for work surface
1 pound frozen pizza dough, thawed
3/4 cup store-bought marinara sauce (I used store bought pizza sauce)
1 cup grated provolone cheese (4 ounces) (4 oz. seemed like A LOT, so I didn’t use that much)
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (I used grape tomatoes)
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
1/4 pound ground beef chuck
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rub a large rimless baking sheet (or a rimmed on, upside down) with oil. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin and your hands to roll and stretch dough into a 15×11 inch rectangle (if dough becomes to elastic to work with, let it rest a few minutes). Transfer to prepared sheet.

Spread sauce evenly over dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Top with provolone, tomatoes, and if desired, onion; scatter beef over top. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake until crust is golden, beef is cooked, and cheese is melted, about 20 min. Serve immediately. (We actually saved 1/2 of it for the next tday and reheated it in the oven. It was a bit dry the 2nd day, but just as yummy!)

Only problem: it WOULD NOT become a rectangle. HAHA! Anyone want to vote for what my pizza looks like? Maybe a state, or a country….? ūüėČ

And one last picture, that I think looks kind of like a planet, or craters on the moon. (Yes, I know the thing that looks like the moon is my flash reflecting in the stove.) Perhaps I need a new hobby.

I Love Blueberries!

So…I figured it would be fun to experiment with them in a new way! I tried the Mixed Greens with Blueberry Vinaigrette from the May 08 Cooking Light.¬† Recipe is to follow…

from Cooking Light May 2008

First you have to make the Blueberry Vinegar **note…start this early because it needs lots of time to sit!

Blueberry Vinegar from Cooking Light May 2008
1 cup blueberries
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 small bay leaf (I used a dried bay leaf. It turned ok!)

Place blueberries in a small saucepan, and mash with a potato masher. Add white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, and bay leaf to pan, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 4 hours. Strain mixture through a fine sieve, and discard solids. Cover and chill. Yield: 1 cup (serving size, 1 tablespoon).¬† **note…This will stay good in the fridge for 2 weeks.¬† It’s very tasty!! They recommend using it as part of a marinade for pork, chicken, or duck.

Mixed Greens with Blueberry Vinaigrette from Cooking Light May 2008
3 tablespoons Blueberry Vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon country-style Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
4 cups baby arugula leaves
1 cup chopped frisée (Strangely, all my grocery store had was baby frisee, so I used that)
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

Combine Blueberry Vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, stirring with a whisk. Combine arugula, frisée, blueberries, and onion in a large bowl. Arrange 1 cup salad onto each of 6 plates; drizzle 1 tablespoon vinegar mixture onto each serving.  6 servings

He was so cute…one last MEGA close-up (and an experiment with my new camera ūüôā¬†¬† )