Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tortellini with Salmon, Peas and Red Bell Pepper Sauce

I am a huge fan of one pot meals. Meaning, I can get the veggie, meat and carb all in one dish. I wouldn't say I am huge fan of casseroles, but stir frys and dishes like this turn my crank. Especially if it includes things like fish, which I want my family to eat more of. Enjoy!
2 cups roasted red-bell pepper soup (Pacific has a nice roasted red bell pepper and tomato soup)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt (the recipe called for 1/2 cup of cream, you can make your substitutions as desired)
1/2 lb. salmon, roasted, grilled or pan seared and cubed
1 cup peas, frozen
1 lb. cheese tortellini
pinch of kosher salt
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Place soup, garlic salt, pepper and yogurt in a wide skillet. Heat over low to simmer, and add salmon and peas. Meanwhile, cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain well. Add tortellini and salt to sauce and heat one to two minutes. I always add the peas right before I am ready to serve so it cools down the kids dish and cooks the peas all in one! Serve with Parmesan and pine nuts as garnish.
4 servings.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Uncle Jeffs Great Green Gobs of Guacamole

This recipe is courtesy of "Uncle Jeff" an amazing cook, BBQ expert and restaurant owner. If you are ever in Layton Ut, you MUST visit Holy Smoke BBQ! That's his baby. We are SOOOO lucky to have him in our family because his BBQ is unmatched and this Guacamole is the BEST I've ever had. We also love his sense of humor which you will get a hint of in his typing of this recipe. Thanks Jeff for sharing!

Great Green Gobs of Guacamole

Makes about 4 cups

The best—really the only—avocado to use is the variety called Hass, small, nubbly, black-skinned ones from California. (There are those of you who think that nothing good has ever come from California, but hey, these are the same folks that gave us Disneyland and Hollywood Squares.) They should be just ripe, giving slightly to thumb pressure. If there are no Hass avocados or if they are not perfectly ripe, make something else. If there are no ripe tomatoes, omit them, if you can’t find fresh cilantro, so be it: If the avocados are good you won’t miss the cilantro—much. Dice the onions very fine. (If you have time, dice them, and let them sit in cool water for about 30 minutes. Drain well and continue. This will give you onions with a less overpowering flavor.)

Mash the avocados with a fork to produce a coarsely bumpy texture. Never, ever should guacamole be smooth.

Keep it simple. No sour cream, mayonnaise, cottage cheese, garlic salt, Tabasco sauce, lime juice, black olives or grated carrots.

Prep the ingredients in advance and make the guacamole just before you want to eat it. —it only takes 5 minutes. Never stash it in the refrigerator. There’s no such thing as leftover guacamole—eat it or throw it out. It will be garbage long before tomorrow.

1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion.
1 cup finely chopped clean fresh cilantro leaves
2 to 4 fresh jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 perfectly ripe Hass avocados
6 perfectly ripe Italian plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1. In a blender or food processor combine the onion, HALF the cilantro, the jalapenos, and salt. Puree until smooth.

2. Halve, pit and peel the avocados, in a medium bowl, using a fork, coarsely mash them. Stir in the puree from the processor; then stir in the diced tomatoes, and remaining cilantro. Taste and correct the seasoning—guacamole needs to be properly salted to really out the taste of the avocado—use at once.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Apple Oatmeal Muffins with Streusel Topping

I tried this recipe this weekend because I've been on a muffin kick. This recipe was really healthy, moist, hearty, and yum. These would also freeze well and you can pop one in the microwave for a warm, comforting breakfast on the go.

Makes roughly 12 muffins

2 c quick oats
1/2 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c white flour (you can use 1 1/4 c white flour if you don't have whole wheat)
3/4 c brown sugar
2 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnimon
1 c buttermilk
2 T vegetable oil
1 egg beaten
1 c peeled and shredded apple

Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together all dry ingredints. Then add buttermilk, beaten egg, and vegetable oil. Stir in the shredded apple last and stir until just combined. Spoon into muffin tins filling them full almost to the top.
Combine steusel ingredients and blend with a fork or fingers. Sprinkle over muffin tops.
Bake at 400 degrees for 23-25 minutes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A-mazing Homemade Whole Grain Bread

This recipe is a little more work than some, but it is definitely worth the extra effort. It requires making a starter dough the day before, so it takes some planning. The things I don't like about this recipe, is that it takes forever to make and uses too many bowls. The things I do like about this recipe, is that it is the best homemade bread I've ever had....PERIOD. Nuff said. Enjoy.

Starter Dough

2 c cooked whole grains (I used a cooked 5 grain cereal, or you can use plain oats)
2 c water
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 T sea salt
1 T dry yeast
1 c whole wheat flour (more or less)

Blend grains and water in blender or food processor until creamy; pour into a large mixing bowl. Mix in oil, salt, and yeast. Add enough flour to make the mixture look like thick cooked cereal. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave for 12-24 hours at room temperature. Once the dough is fermented, it can be refrigerated for up to a week before using to make bread. If you do refrigerate the starter dough, make sure it comes back to room temp before going to the next step.

To Make the Bread

1/4 c sweetener (maple syrup, honey, or raw sugar)
2 c whole wheat flour
3-4 c unbleached white flour or whole wheat flour

After the 12-24 hours, add sweetener to starter and stir. Add whole wheat flour, stirring it in. As you add the white flour the mixture will be too difficult to stir. Knead it by hand in the bowl and continue to add white flour. When dough is less sticky, transfer it to a floured surface and knead 10-15 min or until dough is soft and springy, but not too sticky. (If you have a bigger Kitchenaid, you can just let it go with the dough hook for 10 min) Wash and dry mixing bowl and oil it. Place dough in bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

To Make Loaves

Lightly oil 2 loaf pans. Divide dough in half. Punch down and loaf the dough in the following way:
-flatten half the dough into a square on your working surface. Press out all air bubbles by slapping dough with the palms of both hands.
-Fold the flattened dough into a triangle and press it down again. (think making a paper airplane)
-Fold 2 corners into center and press again
-Fold top point into the body of the dough and press it down again.
-Pick up the dough and begin rolling it into itself. This stretches the dough and creates a tight roll with no air pockets. Seal the seam by flattening it with the heel of your hand.
-Shape the dough into a nice loaf and place in the pan seam side down. Repeat punching down and shaping with the other half of the dough.

To bake the bread
1 t water
1 t honey or sugar
1 t vegetable oil
1/4 t salt

Mix water, honey, oil and salt in small cup or bowl and coat the top of each loaf with this mixture. Cover and let rise in pans for 45-60 minutes until the loaves double in size. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 45-50 minutes. If you have an instant read thermometer, the internal temperature of the bread should be about 200 degrees. Bread will come out of pans after 5 minutes of cooling. Let cool 30 minutes before slicing (if you can wait!)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hills Fav Meatballs

I am making meatballs tonight and I thought I would post my favorite go-to meatball recipe. If you read the list on ingredients, you can tell these are going to be good!

1 lb ground beef
3/4 c seasoned CROUTONS crushed...crush them first, then measure out 3/4 c
( I use a yummy garlic or cheese crouton)
1 egg
2 cloves garlic
3 T Worcestershire
1 T yellow mustard
1 t red pepper flakes
1 t extra virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and mush until well combined. Then roll into tablespoon size balls. These have a kick so if you want to take the heat down I would omit the pepper flakes.

These can be cooked in a skillet with 1 T butter and 1 T oil for 20 minutes turning often, or cooked in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or boiled about 5 minutes per side. We eat these with marinara, BBQ sauce, or gravy...they are good any way you decide.
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