Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Barbecue Chicken Pizza!

I'm going to have trouble finding time to post over the next few days so I wanted to go ahead and get this recipe up!

I'm a big fan of specialty pizzas and LOVE trying new combinations of toppings at local pizza places. I'm the one that always orders ham and pineapple from Papa John's simply because that's the most exotic thing they offer! :) One of my favorite types of pizza is barbecue this week we thought we'd try to create our own version at home!

We have a go-to pizza crust recipe that always turns out great so we started with that. And then we summoned our powers of total recall to try to remember our favorite barbecue chicken pizzas and what made them great. At California Pizza Kitchen, it's the smoked gouda! At Schlotsky's Deli (random, I know) it's the sliced jalapenos! And obviously the actual barbecue sauce used is key! I could go on and on but you get the idea.

So here it is, our Barbecue Chicken Pizza! I have to say, one of the best I've had! :)

Pizza Dough (see recipe link above)
2 large chicken breasts
2 T Olive Oil
1 bottle Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
7 oz smoked gouda, shredded
1/4 cup chopped red onion
Sliced jalapenos (I used pre-sliced, jarred jalapenos so I'm not entirely sure how many!)

1. Prepare pizza dough and set aside to allow to rise.

2. Cook chicken in olive oil in medium skillet until just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Allow to rest 5 minutes and then slice into strips. Further slice the strips into chunks if you like smaller bites of chicken like we do.

3. Toss chicken in just enough barbecue sauce to lightly coat.

4. Spread barbecue sauce over prepared pizza crust leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges. Just eyeball the quantity you spread until it looks right!

5. Top sauce with 3/4 of the shredded gouda. Then add chicken and red onions. Finally, top with remaining cheese, and sprinkle with jalapenos and cilantro.

6. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dixie Caviar

Just a quick post today with a quick and easy (but different) type of dip! I pulled this recipe from a recent Southern Living and had a chance to try it out this weekend when we had company. This Dixie Caviar was great on tortilla chips but also made a great salad when put on top of mixed greens!

Dixie Caviar

2 (15.8-oz.) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 medium-size green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
4 green onions, sliced
1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Italian dressing
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup sour cream
Tortilla chips

1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Seal and chill 24 hours; drain.
2. Spoon mixture into a serving bowl. Stir in cilantro, and top with sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Case of the Mondays

Mondays are especially hard after really great weekends, aren't they?!

Seinfeld was an absolute blast on Friday. The show was entirely new material and it was hilarious! Now that Seinfeld is married and has children he has all kinds of comedic observations about family life...and he gave us all what we wanted by throwing in a "Hello, Newman" towards the end of the show.

We felt like we were in an episode of Seinfeld ourselves. Any of you remember the one where Toby, Elaine's coworker and Kramer's love interest, went to Jerry's show and heckled him obnoxiously the whole time? Well, we sat by Toby (little known fact, the actress that played Toby is from Norfolk, VA! A hometown girl!). And it definitely went a little something like this:

Cut to Jerry on stage. Toby and Kramer are sitting in the audience near the front.
JERRY: Men definitely hit the remote button more than women...

TOBY (loudly): Oh, really! Really! That is so true!

JERRY: Yes, yeah...see, men don't care what's on TV, men only care what else is on TV.

TOBY: Yes! Yes! Right on! Right on!

JERRY (attempting to carry on despite Toby's interruptions): See...women really want to see what the show is before they change the channel...

TOBY: Oh, that is so true, yes!

JERRY: ...that's why men hunt and women nest.

TOBY: BOO! BOO! Hiss! Boo!

New scene - Jerry pacing the floor backstage after his act. Kramer enters.
JERRY: Hey, what's the deal? What was goin' on there? I invite you down here, I have an important show, and she heckles me?!

KRAMER: Look, she didn't mean anything.

JERRY: Well, what is the matter with her? Is she crazy?!

KRAMER: She's just being enthusiastic, that's all!

Or in our case...she was really intoxicated. But I think she had a really good time!

After the show, we met up with our friends Jordan and Barbara who came into town for the weekend. They brought Barbara's little chihuahua Martini which was the highlight of Deacon's weekend! He thought she was the most fun toy ever...she was a bit less enthusiastic about him, however. I do have to say she was a brave little 4lb girl in the face of his 65lbs of unbridled exuberance.

We celebrated Jordan's upcoming birthday a little early this weekend with these little treats! I had seen these posted on Kara's blog and tucked the recipe away a while ago. They are just so festive looking that they are perfect for birthdays! Barbara and I put these together while the boys finished up golfing...they came together really easily and were very good! The only thing I might change is the layer of melted chocolate at the was really hard to get through once they had frozen and it didn't really add that much to the final treat. So next time I'd either leave that out...or just reduce the amount of chocolate I used so it didn't get so thick! I also used walnuts, toffee chips and mini chocolate chips instead of almonds and chocolate covered espresso beans because I had those on hand.

Mocha Ice Cream Cupcakes

One 12 count box of sugar ice cream cones
4 T unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup, walnuts, toasted and chopped
3 1-oz squares of semisweet chocolate, melted
3 cups coffee ice cream, softened
1/2 cup Heath Toffee Bits
1/2 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
Whip Cream

1. Using a food processor, grind the cones into fine crumbs. Mix with butter and divide among the cups of a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan. Press the crumbs about three-quarters of the way up the sides. Spoon 1 T of walnuts into each cup.

2. In a small, microwaveable bowl, melt 3 oz chocolate at medium power in intervals, stirring occasionally. Top the walnuts with the melted chocolate to cover. Freeze for 10 minutes.

3. Spoon about 2 T of ice cream into each muffin cup. Sprinkle 1 T of toffee chips and 1 T of chocolate chips onto the ice cream and flatten with the back of a spoon. Add another 2 T of ice cream and the remaining walnuts and flatten again. Add the remaining ice cream and sprinkle with toffee chips and chocolate chips and flatten. Freeze for at least 1 hour.

4. Run a knife around the edges of the muffin cups to remove the cupcakes. Before serving, top with whipped cream and a few toffee bits and chocolate chips.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bubbles and Babka

I' m well aware that this post will put me firmly in the "crazy dog person" category. Let's face it, I've been heading that way for the past 6 months since we brought Deacon home anyway. So let's just get it over with! :)

I found this Fetch a Bubble Machine online and thought it was a cute idea. I wasn't so sure how it would work or what exactly "dog safe chicken flavored bubbles" were all about but figured it was worth a try. I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to get our puppy tired out so we don't spend all evening playing tug of war or throwing the ball! Since last weekends experience with a kids' sprinkler was a total bust and just terrified Deacon (thank goodness it was on clearance since it will likely collect dust for awhile), I didn't have high hopes for the bubble maker.
At first he wasn't so sure....

But then he loved it! Replacement bubbles are already on order!

In other news, we're going to see Jerry Seinfeld perform in town tonight and I'm so excited! I'm a long time Seinfeld highschool, friends knew not to call me when Seinfeld was on. I had all the old episodes taped on VHS (complete with commercials! unimaginable!) and watched them right up until the VCR died and we got with the times and got a DVD player. We've been watching reruns on TV this week to get "mentally prepared" and this one was always a favorite. Can't wait til the show tonight!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I'm not spending too much time in the kitchen this week between evening meetings, dinner out with friends, and getting ready for company this weekend! Last night, we met a favorite couple of ours (and fellow Deacs!) at Village Tavern. Village Tavern is a fabulous little restaurant that any good Demon Deacon will remember fondly from our college town. The Village Tavern chain started in Winston-Salem and just recently opened up here in Orlando. It's been so much fun to go and remember the quaint original restaurant right off campus in Reynolda Village...and enjoy great food!

I've never had anything I didn't love at the Village Tavern. From shrimp and grits for brunch to wood-oven baked barbecue chicken pizza, they have a little of it all! I tried the Shrimp and Noodle Salad last night which featured 10 spice glazed shrimp served over greens and udan noodles in a lime cilantro dressing. Which made me think of this mouthwatering post I saw over at Susan's blog...and then I couldn't help but think of the Publix Greenwise shrimp I have in my freezer right now. So when I do get an evening free to cook again, you can expect to see Shrimp and Noodle salad on the menu for dinner! For tonight, it's simple chicken salad wraps with cucumber salad!

"Wake Forest University: Wait Chapel." Online Photograph. Britannica Student Encyclopædia. 23 July 2008 <>.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pasta Free Lasagna

Looking ahead to trips to Key West and to the Dominican Republic, we decided it was probably time to be a little more proactive in cutting a few calories here and there. We eat healthy throughout the week, but tend to overcompensate on the weekend...which tends to not be a great weight maintenance plan believe it or not!

So last week I went in search of new Weight Watchers recipes. I've always been a big fan of Weight Watchers and it's focus on eating well and making good, healthy choices. Plus, I know that if I stick to it, the weight comes off and I never feel deprived of anything. In my search, I stumbled across these guys and their "Everyday Gourmet" recipes for Weight Watchers.

We tried out the Pasta-Free Lasagna last night. I have to confess I didn't even take pictures because I had very little confidence it was going to turn out well. I was completely surprised by this little recipe! The "lasagna" had a good flavor...I did make some adjustments to the sauce, and the fact that it uses tons o' fat free mozzarella probably helps. Put enough cheese on anything and it's bound to be good, right? :) I can see this being a sort of fall back recipe to use leftover veggies lying around the kitchen.

Pasta Free Lasagna

3 large zucchini
Nonstick cooking spray
1 T salt
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 large beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
2 T fresh minced basil leaves
1 t dried oregano
2 dashes all spice
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
1 lb shredded Fat Free Mozzarella

1. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/8 inch thick strips. Place in a bowl and salt generously, tossing once or twice to coat well. Lay strips on paper towels on your counter and set aside for 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, spray a large saucepan with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 20 seconds.

3. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, oregano, allspice, crushed pepper flakes, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to break down and the sauce thickens, about 25 minutes.

4. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350.

5. Blot moisture off the zucchini strips with paper towels. Use one third of the zucchini strips to line the bottom of a 2.5 qt baking pan. Top evenly with one third of the sauce and then one third of the shredded cheese. Repeat layers two more times.

6. Bake, uncovered, until bubbling, about 45 minutes. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Just 3 points per serving! Recipe makes 6 servings.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Last night we tried a new chicken burrito recipe from epicurious. After we both finished eating, we starting talking about whether or not this particular meal was "blog-worthy". While we finally concluded it probably wasn't, I think the basic recipe is just needs some fixin' up! I prepare a lot of Mexican at home and am always looking for new dishes....this one just wasn't as good as others we've prepared. The chicken itself had a good flavor but there wasn't enough heat. So next time, I think I would throw in some jalapeno or habenero with the poblano. And maybe some black beans. I think that's the real issue...we're both used to burritos that come fully loaded so this one just seemed like it was missing something. I should have used a better taco sauce too...Live and learn!

I did get a chance to try out the Ole Xtreme Wellness Fat Free Tortillas I picked up a while back. We both agreed they were great tortillas...and tasted even better since we knew they were fat free and had extra fiber and other good things! So while the burrito recipe maybe wasn't such a keeper, I definitely want to try the other varieties of the Xtreme Wellness Tortillas!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dog Days...

No recipe today! But here's a cute little picture of Deacon enjoying his pool!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Veal Scaloppine with Gorgonzola Sauce

I've always really liked veal (as long as I don't think too long about what it is!) And it was always one of those things I liked to order when we went out because "I never make that at home." Now that I found this delicious recipe, I can't say that anymore! The sauce for this dish was excellent...the strong cheese, with fresh basil and tomatoes was so tasty! This was a little more involved than the recipes I usually undertake on a weeknight, but it was well worth it! I think the sauce would be good over pork or chicken too.

I actually halved the recipe shown below and it made 2 good portions. We had the veal and sauce over whole wheat spaghetti...I wanted to make sure we had a way to soak up any leftover sauce! :)

Veal Scaloppine with Gorgonzola
(Source: Bon Appetit, April 1999)

1 cup beef broth
1 cup chicken broth
1 pound veal scaloppine
All purpose flour
3 tablespoons (about) olive oil
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup chopped, seeded tomatoes
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

1. Boil both stocks in medium saucepan until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Sprinkle veal with salt and pepper. Dredge veal in flour to coat; shake off excess. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, add veal and sauté until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer veal to platter; tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining veal, adding more oil to skillet as necessary.

3. Add reduced stock mixture, cream, 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, 4 tablespoons basil and tomato paste to skillet. Simmer until reduced to sauce consistency, whisking frequently, about 5 minutes. Add 1/3 cup Gorgonzola; stir until melted.

4. Pour sauce over veal. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes, 2 tablespoons basil and 1/3 cup Gorgonzola.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Balsamic Berries Over Vanilla Yogurt

I came across this recipe a while back on epicurious. I guess that goes without saying since it's from a July 1990 Bon Appetit! While I've always had a sweet tooth, I wasn't quite reading foodie magazines at the age of 10. I did make a mean homemade ice cream using my Barbie Ice Cream Shoppe around that time though!

The idea of combining balsamic vinegar and strawberries intrigued me...and I had all of these ingredients at home. Seeing the Sugar High Fridays Berries post on Susan's blog gave me the final push of motivation to try this out after dinner tonight. I used vanilla yogurt instead of ice cream to make it a bit lighter...and substituted allspice for the ground cloves. The result was a really refreshing, tasty dessert with just the right amount of sweetness!

Balsamic Berries Over Vanilla Yogurt
(Makes 2 servings)

1/2 1 pint basket strawberries, sliced
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 T sugar
2 T pine nuts
2 pinches of ground allspice
Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

1. Combine berries, vinegar, and 1 T sugar in a small bowl.

2. Combine remaining 1 T sugar, pine nuts and allspice in a heavy skillet. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar is melted and pine nuts are golden brown.

3. Scoop vanilla yogurt into bowls, top with strawberries, then pine nuts. Enjoy!

Shrimp Seagull

Can you tell that shrimp has been on sale lately? :) This dish is one of our favorites. The original recipe came from a close family friend ages ago so I've been enjoying this meal for as long as I can remember. I'm not exactly sure where the name came from....I assure you there's no poultry in the dish!

Shrimp Seagull

1-2 lbs peeled shrimp
1 green pepper, diced
1 lg onion, diced
2 lg tomatoes, diced
1/2 lb mushrooms, chopped
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 T Old Bay
Salt, Pepper and White Wine to taste

1. Combine veggies, and cheese and toss with Worcestershire sauce and spices.

2. Spread peeled shrimp in a 13x9 pan and cover with veggie mixture.

3. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until shrimp are done.

4. Pour off excess juices.

5. Serve over rice.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Shrimp Sandwiches with Tarragon-Caper Mayo

I pulled out the recipe below to use as a quick week night dinner for an evening when I had a meeting but still wanted my husband to have something to resort to other than a microwave meal! I made one for myself before running out the door...and while I thought they had a good flavor, I thought the consistency was not so great (a little too mushy). I'm big on consistency (don't like jello for example...and definitely not jello with chunks of fruit in it! eek!). Maybe more celery next time to add some more crunch?

Shrimp Sandwiches with Tarragon-Caper Mayo
(Adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2007)

3 T mayo
1 T drained capers, chopped
1 T grated Vidalia onion
2 pinches dried tarragon leaves
1 pinch celery seeds
7 dashes hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped celery hearts
3 small soft sandwich rolls
1/2 lb cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp, split horizontally
Tomato slices
Avocado slices
Romaine lettuce

1. Mix first 5 ingredients and hot sauce in medium bowl. Mix in celery and season with salt and pepper and hot sauce, if desired.

2. Spread mayo over bottom of each toasted bun. Top with shrimp, tomato, avocado, and lettuce.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tomato and Black Bean Couscous

I found this recipe on (where else?) when it was recommended as an accompaniment to the pork chops with garlic lime sauce. While I really like quinoa, I don't always have it in the pantry...couscous is another story. You can do so much with this little pasta so it is definitely a "go-to" side item in our house. The recipe below was so simple to make alongside the pork chops since it used so many similar ingredients. I've been enjoying the leftovers for lunch!

Tomato and Black Bean Couscous

2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 box quick cooking couscous (10oz)
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

2. Prepare couscous according to package directions.

3. Add cooked couscous to lime juice mixture and toss well.

4. Mix in black beans, tomatoes, scallions and cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Grilled Pork Chops with Garlic Lime Sauce

There was a break in the evening rain storm pattern we've been stuck in for the past couple of weeks last night, so we were excited to get to use the grill again (and I'm sure the neighbors were pleased that we were also able to get the yard mowed after work!). And since I pick my recipes for the week based on what is on sale in the Publix weekly ad, I had some great looking pork loin chops ready and waiting.

This was a great weeknight meal! I really liked the citrusy vinaigrette over the pork chops. It was such a simple sauce but it really added a lot of flavor and made the meal.

(Source: Gourmet, July 2007)

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 (1/2-inch-thick) boneless pork loin chops

1. Whisk together lime juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt. Slowly add oil in a steady stream whisking well. Whisk in cilantro and set aside.

2. Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper.

3. Grill over direct medium-high heat for about 6 minutes total.

4. Drizzle garlic lime sauce over pork chops and serve remaining sauce on the side.

And here's another picture of Deacon at daycare today (that's him, dead center). Probably wondering why all the other dogs are resting when he's clearly ready to play.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Salmon and Spinach

Our local grocery store has been having some great sales on salmon so it seems we're having it once a week! Which means I get to try out several great looking salmon recipes I've been hoarding. This one came together quickly and easily and was very tasty! The spice rub and garlicky spinach were a great flavor combination.

Spice-Rubbed Roasted Salmon with Lemon-Garlic Spinach
(Source: Cooking Light, December 2007)

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1 pound) skinless salmon fillet
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
Cooking spray

1 teaspoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (6-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Remaining ingredients:
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Lemon wedges (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. To prepare salmon, combine first 6 ingredients; rub spice mixture evenly over fish. Place onion in an 2.5 quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Place fish on top of onion; bake covered at 400° for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

3. To prepare spinach, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute. Add half of spinach; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add remaining spinach; cook 4 minutes or until wilted, stirring frequently. Sprinkle spinach mixture with rind and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in juice; remove from heat.

4. Place salmon on a platter. Arrange onions and spinach evenly around salmon. Sprinkle salmon with chopped fresh cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summer Colds

For the first time in 28 years, I was sick on my birthday. Thanks to a fabulous summer cold, I spent most of the day feeling like my head weighed 10,000 lbs. My husband tells me the cake was good, and I'm hoping it's still good when I regain my sense of taste! :)

In an even more amazing twist of luck, I had to call Poison Control on my own behalf this morning. I finally decided to take my temperature since I've been feeling i did but when I pull the thermometer out it read 93 or something ridiculously low. So I'm thinking, well that's unusual...And then I notice the tip of the thermometer is broken. But to make entirely sure I dump the cap over (I do my best rational thinking first thing in the morning) and out comes the mercury and the glass tip. Mercury! Hooray!

So I look up on the internet how to clean up mercury and read about how I should pretty much get my affairs in order because I've likely ingested it and I've definitely touched it. I'm supposed to have goggles, rubber gloves, an eyedropper and a full hazmat suit according to the sites I found...and sadly, have none of those at home. So I'm freaking out, cleaning up mercury with some tape and ziploc baggies and my husband is asking me if he should take me to the hospital. I have no idea because I already feel sick and the internet says a symptom of mercury poisoning is short term memory loss!!?! So how do I know if I have it?! Anyway, my husband gets poison control on the phone, and I have to explain the whole sordid affair to them. Turns out the mercury in thermometers is ok (it's elemental mercury) and will just pass through my system if I did ingest any. I wanted to reach through the phone and hug the lady on the other end. And then I went out and bought a digital thermometer.

In other news, Deacon enjoyed the day. He got a new, blue dinosaur so he wouldn't feel left out! And I think it must be a birthday miracle because the dino is still intact.

This is what he did with his last stuffed toy in just under 5 minutes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Grilled Steak with Spicy Cilantro Sauce

One thing you can count on in Florida in the summer is the heat (my gosh, the heat) and afternoon rain storms. I LOVE thunderstorms...but only when I can enjoy them from the comfort of my home! Lately, though, we've been stuck in an irritating pattern of steady rain from 5pm to 8pm. This is not good for a) my plans to use the grill for dinner...and b) my 7 month old puppy...which brings us to c) my sanity.

Thank goodness there was just enough break in the rain the other night to allow us to grill these amazing steaks and a few pineapple slices! The rain and thunder started back up shortly after everything hit the table...but then it's just romantic!

I bought these Publix Greenwise brand strip steaks and was so excited to find this recipe. I made the full amount of marinade even though I was only making 2 steaks and the result was delicious! Don't skip the cilantro sauce! It was excellent drizzled over the steaks and also on top of brown rice!

(Adapted from Gourmet, June 2001)
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
2 (1-inch-thick) boneless beef top loin (strip) steaks, about 3/4 lb each
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Juice from 1 lime
1 minced, seeded fresh habanero
1. Stir together 3/4 cup soy sauce, sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and red pepper flakes in a 9- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish until sugar is dissolved, then add steaks, turning to coat. Marinate steaks, turning once, 1 hour.

2. Stir together cilantro, vegetable oil, lime juice, remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, and chile if using.

3. Grill steaks on a lightly oiled rack 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare over medium to medium-high heat. Let steaks stand on a cutting board 5 minutes, then top with some sauce and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices.

4. Serve remaining sauce on the side over brown rice.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tomato-Zucchini Tart

I'm always looking for different ways to prepare vegetables. My husband isn't as big a fan of the green stuff as I am, so finding creative and tasty veggie recipes is a must in our house! He loves to grill so I can usually get away with having a mixed veggie grill tossed in a little bit of pesto. And now we can add the following recipe to the list of vegetable dishes he likes (he actually went for seconds so this is a pretty big deal).

Tomato-Zucchini Tart
Source: Southern Living, August 2007

1/2 (15-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 medium tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch tart pan according to package directions; trim excess. Prick bottom and sides of piecrust using a fork.

2. Bake piecrust at 450° for 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool.

3. Sauté zucchini in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes or until tender. Arrange zucchini in bottom of prepared piecrust. Arrange tomatoes on top of zucchini.

4. Stir together basil, cheese, and mayonnaise. Drop by teaspoonfuls evenly on top of tomatoes, and spread gently. Sprinkle with pepper.

5. Bake at 425° for 10 to 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese mixture is slightly melted.