Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tomato & Goat Cheese Tart

The flavor of this tart blew me away! While Adam just kept wishing it was pizza (this is NOT supposed to taste like pizza...), I savored every buttery, flaky bite. A tart without the need for a fancy pan - I love it!

With a summer of fresh, ripe tomatoes just around the corner, I think I'll be making this again. Though with all those calories in the all-butter crust, next time I'll make it when there will be more than just of the two of us eating it!

The recipe was from David Lebovitz's Living the Sweet Life in Paris blog. The story behind this tart is fantastic, so I will just direct you to his site, rather than reposting the recipe.

I did change up the herbs to what I had on hand - dried parsley and oregano and I don't think the flavor suffered a bit. Though feel free to disagree with me on that point.

Make this and enjoy!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chicken Tacos & More

There nothing better than a little pollo asado for Cinco de Mayo. I can eat Mexican anytime of year. For a stellar grilled chicken recipe with endless variations for use in Mexican-style cooking here is a Food & Wine magazine favorite straight from the cookbook of Dos Toros, a restaurant in New York City.

I toasted corn tortillas on the griddle, spiked a couple avocados with lime and salt, and added diced tomatoes and some freshly grated monterey jack cheese. Simply delicioso.

The food was so good I had to make quesadillas with the leftover chicken the next day. Needless to say, there wasn't much left to fill these tortillas!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Banana Cupcakes

For some reason, in the past few weeks when I've wanted to bake it's been all about cupcakes. Maybe it has to do with the pounds of powdered sugar in my cabinets (leftover from dh's Cupcake Birthday Extravaganza) or maybe it's because I'm a bit cookied-out. Either way, when I signed up to bring a dessert to our church's potluck dinner cupcakes it would be!

And not just any cupcakes -- banana cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

I feel I have the making of *my* favorite banana bread (see previous TastyKate post) down pat. But cupcakes are another beast. It's not easy to get light and fluffy from a recipe that is deliciously dense and moist. So I was on the search for the best banana cupcake recipe!

During my cupcake baking extravaganza I realized the density of my cupcakes mostly has to do with the amount of flour you add...duh! So for 12 cupcakes I usually aim for about 1 cup of flour and for 24 cupcakes it's around 1 3/4 depending on the amount of liquid the recipe calls for.

A recipe that fit the bill and had rave reviews was not hard to find. Martha Stewart has an incredible cupcake selection. You can get the recipe here.

Rather than using the honey-cinnamon frosting, which sounds amazing, I had to pair these cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I LOVE cream cheese frosting -- and I can't imagine banana or carrot cake without it!  You can get the frosting recipe I used here (I scaled the measurements back quite a bit).

So, next time you have ripe bananas, pass up the bread and make these cupcakes!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cranberry Corn Muffins

These are an easy treat during the holidays, when cranberries are plentiful! I love the tartness of the cranberries with the hint of sweetness in the cornbread. A little lemon zest lightens it all up.

~ 1 cup rinsed whole cranberries
1 box cornbread/muffin mix (I use Trader Joe's -- THE BEST!)
1 lemon, zested
+ ingredients listed on cornbread package

Combine ingredients as listed on package (usually liquid first). Add lemon zest and mix. Then add dry mix to liquid and cranberries. Combine -- but do not overmix!

Pour into muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. You should see the sides pulling away from the pan and lightly browned.

Let cool and enjoy! These are great to freeze for later, too!

(P.S. Sorry for so many poor quality food photos, these muffins look a lot more tasty in person! Maybe it's time for a quality digital camera?)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Leftover Turkey Chili

I roasted a 22lb bird for Thanksgiving this year. With a group of 8 for dinner there was quite a bit of leftover turkey. (It was all part of my grand strategy to get to try several post-turkey day recipes!)

This is a fantastic chili for a cool autumn day. The turkey really tastes delicious in it. Don't forget the cumin -- it's addition added immensely to the depth of flavor.

3 Tbl olive oil
2 small/medium onions, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 large can whole tomatoes (cut up with shears or hand crushed)
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
1 20oz can kidney beans
1.5-2 C pulled turkey (leftovers from Thanksgiving are perfect!) - no skin
3 Tbl chili powder
1 tsp chili flakes (more/less to taste)
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamin
salt to taste

Saute the onion and green pepper in olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, until tender. Add garlic. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. All spices can be adjusted to your taste. If you think it may be too much, start out with less and add it while the chili simmers. Simmer, covered for 1-2 hours. The longer it cooks the richer the flavor gets.

Serve over rice or with cornbread.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tasty Turkish Turkey Meatloaf

Friends for Dinner: Turkey Meatloaf, Parsley & Tomato Couscous, and a Trader Joe's Coastal Sauvignon Blanc (a recent fav)

I saw a recipe for Turkish Turkey Meatloaf in last week's Dining Section of the New York Times and could not resist. I've been dying to try a meatloaf recipe and this sounded scrumptious. It did not disappoint. While I will be quick to admit that the ingredients ALL came from Trader Joe's and not a local food source, many of the ingredients you could find locally. That's what I get for being in a rush...

If you are hesitant to try meatloaf at home because you think of it as dry, greasy, and generally unappetizing do not resist. This came out moist and delicious, even my meatloaf-averse companion asked for the recipe!

See the New York Times for the original recipe. Here are the few changes I made:
  • I added 1/3 C diced carrot (1 large carrot)
  • I replaced regular bread crumbs for the panko and skipped the toasting step (I just sprinkled the extra bread crumbs on top of the loaves (see next bullet) and drizzled with some olive oil)
  • Half the loaf I spread over two mini loaf pans and the other half I formed in aluminum foil in a glass cake pan to retain its shape
Great served with a side of couscous or naan ( can make your own...see my next post!)

Good luck and enjoy! Let me know what you think...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Black Beans and Rice, Not a Side Dish

I grew up eating the typically Cuban meal of pork, black beans and rice on a regular basis. My mom learned from my grandmother (...I think) and passed down the tradition to me. However, it wasn't until a recent edition of Real Simple that I realized the black beans and rice didn't need to be relegated to a side dish...that it could take center stage.

This is good news!

Eating local requires that Adam and I reduce the amount of meat we eat primarily because it is more expensive. There aren't any local, cheap CAFOs in New England that I am aware of (thank goodness!). In general, I don't mind the expense because the meat is usually from grass-fed, free range sources that have a healthier balance of fats and tend to be leaner than their CAFO counterparts; but when trying to eat local on a budget, I am thrilled when I find a meatless meal that satisfies our entire family.

Trader Joe's supplied some of the meal components including the rice (imported), kalamata olives (definitely imported) and the black beans. The lettuce came from the Harvest Coop in Cambridge, the tomatoes and green peppers were from local farms. I guess this meal still has a way to go before being considered "local."Hey, I never said this would be easy...

Perna-Cuban Black Beans
1 Tbl olive oil
1 medium green pepper (diced)
1 small-medium onion (diced)
1-2 heads of fresh garlic (chopped)
1 can black beans
1/2 tsp cumin (...a personal addition to the family recipe)
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

  1. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add the olive oil, green pepper and onion. Saute vegetables until tender (5-7 minutes). Lower the heat if necessary.
  3. Add the garlic and saute 2-3 minutes. Be sure not to burn it!
  4. Add the can of black beans (undrained), cumin, and cracked pepper. Stir to combine all ingredients. Simmer over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes. Taste and add more salt/pepper, if needed.