Appetizer: Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Chilis

These were the star of dinner last week! They were easy and incredibly delicious. Don’t skip the sauce – it took the dish to a whole ‘notha level. The grill flavor and the melty, cheesy goodness with the slight heat/spice was perfection. The grilling of the jalapeno made these less spicy than I would have expected. The recipe says this serves 4 but really, this easily served 8 for us. Just writing this post makes me want to go make more – a winning recipe from Bobby Flay!

GRILLED STUFFED JALAPENO CHILIS W/GRILLED RED PEPPER-TOMATO SAUCE
From Bobby Flay/Food Network
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8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces soft goat cheese
4 ounces shredded aged white Cheddar cheese (I used regular sharp cheddar)
2 ears corn, grilled in husk and kernels removed
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
12 jalapeno chiles, halved, stemmed and seeded
1 heaping tablespoon ancho chili powder
Grilled Red Pepper-Tomato Sauce, recipe follows

Heat grill to medium.

Whisk together the cream cheese and goat cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Fold in the Cheddar, corn and green onions and season with salt and pepper. Fill each jalapeno half with about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and sprinkle the top with some of the ancho powder.

Place on the grill, filling-side up and cook until slightly charred and tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. Spoon the red pepper sauce onto a platter and top with the jalapenos.

GRILLED RED PEPPER-TOMATO SAUCE

2 red peppers, grilled, peeled and chopped
2 plum tomatoes, grilled until charred on all sides, and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the pepper, tomatoes, vinegar, honey and cilantro in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add oil and season with salt and pepper.

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Off the Shelf: June Magazine Reviews

Food Network Magazine (Stephanie): This issue is filled with an abundance of summery recipe goodness. Beverages, hotdogs toppings, condiments, desserts, grilling ideas. Some recipes that look particularly appealing to me are Chinese Beef and Broccoli, Cold Peanut Soba Noodles with Chicken, Warm Pasta-Bean Salad, Buttermilk-Pecan Ice Cream, Salted Caramel Milkshakes, and Fresh Peach Cake.

I made the Almost Famous Corn Salsa recipe. This is a copy-cat recipe for the Chipotle Restaurant’s Roasted Corn Salsa. We’re big fans of Chipotle around here, so the other night when I was making soft tacos, I mixed up this salsa to top them. It was tasty and a great addition to our tacos.

ALMOST FAMOUS CORN SALSA
(from Food Network Magazine, June 2011)
Print This Recipe

1/2 small poblano chile pepper, seeded
3 teaspoons olive oil
Kosher salt
1 cup fresh corn kernals or frozen corn, thawed
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tablespoons red onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Preheat grill to medium high. Brush the poblano pepper with 1 teaspoon olive oil and grill, skin-side down, until charred, but still firm. About 5 minutes. Cool slightly; peel and finely chop.

If using fresh corn, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn and cook until tender, 2-3 minutes; drain.

Mix the corn (if using frozen, add it here), poblano, jalapeno, cilantro, and red onion in a bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, lime juice, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

COOKING LIGHT (Stephanie): I was pleased with all the seasonal, delicious sounding recipes featured in this issue, as well–Curry Chicken Wraps with Nectarine Chutney, White Bean and Sage Pita Burgers, Grilled Apricot Halves, Curried Potato Salad, Pina Colada Sorbet, Cherry-Almond Crisp, and Rich Chocolate Pudding Pie.

I chose the Mango-Coconut Sherbet recipe. I love using my ice cream maker and I like coconut milk ice cream. My one drawback is that I’m not terribly fond of mangoes. However, they were on sale for a $1 last week, so I figured it was frugal enough experiment. The sherbet turned out great, but the mango flavor was just too strong for me. So, if you like mangoes, you are sure to like this recipe. It’s super easy and the toasted coconut on top makes this dessert look fancy. I plan to experiment with other fruits to replace the mango, because I really liked this recipe.

MANGO-COCONUT SHERBET
(from Cooking Light, June 2011)
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2 cups cubed peeled ripe mango
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted

Combine cubed mango, sugar, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and coconut milk in a blender; process until mixture is smooth, scraping sides as necessary. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions to soft-serve consistency. Spoon sherbet into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 2 hours or until firm. Before serving, sprinkle each dish with coconut.

BON APPETIT (Alaina) – This issue has some wonderful, seasonal recipes and an interesting article about Gwyneth Paltrow – by the way, is there anything she doesn’t do? There are some great looking recipes for crostinis and salads and strawberries. As always, the pictures are tempting and I have yet to have a recipe not turn out from Bon Appetit. You can’t go wrong with any of their tantalizing recipes.

I especially loved the section on lettuce, cherry, and chicken. It was from there that I found the recipe I wanted to try – Cherry Clafouti. Cherries are practically my favorite fruit and since I happened to have some, I couldn’t resist. This was delicious. Not too sweet and so pretty!

CHERRY CLAFOUTI
(from Bon Appétit, June 2011)
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1 pound fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted, or frozen pitted cherries, thawed, drained
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Powdered sugar
10″ springform cake pan or eight 2/3- or 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups

Preheat oven to 375°. Butter cake pan or ramekins. Arrange cherries in a single layer in pan.

Combine milk and cream in a small saucepan; bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Set aside. Combine eggs, flour, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture; whisk until custard is smooth. Pour custard evenly over cherries in pan. If necessary, gently shake pan to allow custard to settle.

Bake clafouti until custard is set and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes for ramekins and 45-55 minutes for cake pan. Let cool 3 minutes, then run a knife around pan sides to loosen clafouti (if using a cake pan). Dust top with powdered sugar; cut into wedges and serve.

EVERYDAY WITH RACHAEL RAY (Alaina) – It’s been awhile since I have really liked an issue of this magazine but the June issue was great. There were so many interesting recipes and photos – just look at the cover!
 
There are many different burgers and sandwiches, popsicles, and many salads and sides. The Crispy Cheese w/Strawberry Salad, Antipasti Bowl, Thai Style Chicken w/Basil & Pineapple, Lemon-Scented Carbonara, and the Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Ice Pops are just a few of the delicious recipes! I decided to try one of the more unusual looking recipes – Spicy Cucumber & Blueberry Salad. It was suprisingly refreshing and delicious. The flavors really worked together!
 
 
SPICY CUCUMBER & BLUEBERRY SALAD
(from Everyday with Rachael Ray, June/July 2011)
Print This Recipe 

2 lbs. english cucumbers, halved lengthwise
Salt
1 large jalapeño chile, seeds and ribs discarded, finely chopped
4 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 cup EVOO
1 1/2 pt. blueberries
1 cup cilantro leaves

Using a hand held slicer, slice the cucumbers into half-moons about 1/8 inch thick; season with salt.

In a large bowl, combine the jalapeño, lime juice, garlic and cumin; whisk in the EVOO. Add the cucumbers, blueberries and cilantro and toss to coat.

Off The Shelf: July Magazines

Here it is time for another edition of monthly cooking magazines! We hope you enjoy!

Cooking Light (Heather) – this is a big, beautiful summer issue but I found it sad that the only thing that really grabbed me, after several perusals, was the Greek Yogurt Parfaits. There is an attractive article on main dish salads, but they all seemed exotic except for the Southwestern Cobb Salad. I did find the melon and ketchup articles helpful but found many of the other summer recipes to be things I may never attempt (filet mignon, striped bass, shrimp salad).

I will say that the article on fruit cobblers looked amazing! Blueberry-Peach Cobbler, Plum Cobbler, and Blackberry Cobbler sound like perfect desserts for summer evenings.

If you are interested in alternative burgers you will love their Lamb Burger, Poblano Beef Burger, Salmon Burger, Turkey Burger, and Brisket Burger. There are also articles on a Sydney Beach BBQ and Food in Singapore.

My take: If you are into gourmet grilling and lots of seafood this is a great issue for you.

We tried the Greek Yogurt Parfaits with wheat berries and the result was a lovely, nutritious (and festive) breakfast.

GREEK YOGURT PARFAITS
(Cooking Light, July 2010)
Print this recipe

1 cup uncooked grano (or wheat berries, brown rice or barley)
12 cups water, divided
1/4 cup orange blossom honey (I used local honey)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
4 cups plain 2% Greek-style yogurt (I strained 6 cups plain yogurt through cheesecloth for an hour or so to thicken it)
2 cups fresh berries (such as blackberries, blueberries, or sliced strawberries)

Soak grano in 6 cups water overnight. Drain. Place in a medium saucepan with remaining 6 cups water over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until grano is just tender. Drain well. Stir in honey and salt.

Spoon 1/4 cup yogurt into each of 8 parfait glasses. Top yogurt with 3 Tbsp. grano and 2 Tbsp. berries. Repeat layers with the remaining ingredients.

Serves 8.

Everyday Food (Heather) — This issue is a devoted to summer fun and food and I found it very inspiring. You will find an article on wax beans, recipes for potato salad, picnic sides, beautiful summer drinks, summer roll how-to’s, main dish salads, grilled pizzas (my new fascination), an amazing array of burgers, dinners on the grill (complete with desserts), uses for tomatoes and cucumbers, and cool fruit desserts.

I’ll be keeping this issue close by for future summer inspiration.

At first glance I thought the Antipasti Sandwich was too complicated for my budget, but when I realized I could create a cheap date for my husband and I by making this, I didn’t have to think twice. It was so delicious! Of course a big part of making a good sandwich is finding good bread and I just happened to luck out on that one. So, if you try this sandwich, be sure to look for a loaf that will do the recipe justice.

ANTIPASTI SANDWICH
(Everyday Food, July/August 2010)
Print this recipe

coarse salt and pepper
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 red bell pepper
1 loaf crusty bread (about 1 pound), sliced in half lengthwise
1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or garbanzo)
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound mortadella, prosciutto, or thinly sliced deli ham
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered or sliced
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan (1 ounce)
1/2 cup pepperoncini, drained and halved if large

Sprinkle a double layer of paper towels with salt and place zucchini on top. Sprinkle with salt and roll up like a newspaper. Let sit 10 minutes to draw out excess liquid.

Over a low gas flame or under the broiler, roast bell pepper until skin is charred, 10 minutes, turning frequently. Place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let sit 10 minutes. Rub bell pepper with a paper towel to remove skin, then core, discard seeds, and slice fresh into strips.

Pull out about 2 cups bread from inside loaf halves. In a food processor, combine beans, garlic, lemon juice, and oil and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Completely cover inside of both bread halves with an even layer of bean puree.

Arrange zucchini on bottom half of bread. Top with meat, parsley, roasted pepper, artichokes, Parmesan, and pepperoncini. Sandwich with top half of bread and wrap tightly in plastic. Place on a baking sheet in refrigerator. Place another baking sheet on top and weight with several heavy cans. Let sit at least 3 hours (or up to overnight). To serve, unwrap and cut into wedges with a serrated knife.

Serves 6 to 8. (My sandwich served almost 3)

Bon Appetit (Alaina) – What a wonderful issue filled with delicious looking photos and recipes. There were many dishes that are perfect for summer entertaining and grilling – there is a whole grilling section! There are a few versatile sauce recipes which looked so good. There is also a fantastic drink and dessert sections – the dishes look absolutely wonderful.

After perusing the issue and looking at the lovely pictures, I decided to make the grilled corn. It was excellent except for the fact that the corn I purchased was rather disappointing. I have yet to enjoy a truly excellent ear of corn this summer and to be fair, it’s a bit early for it. But the butter on this was simple to make and the flavor was delightful!

GRILLED CORN with HONEY-ANCHO CHILE BUTTER
(Bon Appetit, July 2010)
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8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
8 ears of corn, husked

Ingredient Tip: Ancho chile powder is available in the spice section of many supermarkets and at Latin markets.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in small skillet over medium-low heat. Add chile powder and cumin; stir 10 seconds. Transfer to medium bowl; stir in honey and cool.

Add oregano, coarse salt, granulated garlic, onion powder, and 6 tablespoons butter to butter mixture. Mix until smooth. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill corn until charred in spots, turning often, about 13 minutes. Transfer corn to platter. Serve with honey-ancho butter.

Food Network Magazine (Alaina) – Well, I already gave you a coleslaw recipe yesterday from this inspiring issue. The pull-out was for different kabobs and they have great ideas! I’m looking forward to using a couple of the kabob recipes for a family dinner later this month. The magazine features many summer drinks, great grilling and cook-out recipes, a variety of side dishes, and a delightful collection of desserts.

 One section was especially intriguing – 30 ideas for serving hotdogs. And so, the recipe I chose came from there. I was so surprised at how truly wonderful this recipe came out – the tomato and basil with the hotdogs provided an excellent flavor combination. And I’m excited to try some the other great ideas! [On a side note, I purchase hotdogs at Costco that are nitrite/nitrate-free, msg free, and are all beef hotdogs. They are very good, fairly affordable, and I feel okay about serving them to my family! ]

BRUSCHETTA HOTDOGS
(Food Network Magazine July/August 2010)
Print This Recipe

Toss 2 diced tomatoes with 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, some torn basil and salt. Serve grilled hot dogs on toasted Italian buns; top with the tomato mixture and drizzle with olive oil.

Market Fresh: Sweet Corn

Ah, corn. Doesn’t it make you think of summer?!! My parents always thought it was the sweet corn on Long Island that was the best. No matter where we got it, it certainly seemed better when bought from a stand by the side of a hot, dusty road.

My favorite corn memories are from my teenage years when an older friend would invite me to lunch with him and his wife. His first question always was, “How many ears can you eat today?” I think my record was five. We always ate the corn with plenty of salt, pepper and butter (which this friend mixed together on the side of his plate first) and accompanied by a huge cantaloupe, a plate of sliced tomatoes, and another plate of sliced cucumbers soaked in vinegar. It couldn’t have been more simple, nor more delicious.

This recipe for Mexican-Style Corn on the Cob is bursting with summer flavor. It is super easy and looks beautiful.

MEXICAN-STYLE CORN ON THE COB
(William-Sonoma Comfort Food)
Print this recipe

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
2 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
zest of 1 lime
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

6 ears fresh corn

pure ancho chile powder or other chile powder for serving (optional)

kosher salt

Using a rubber spatula, in a small bowl, mash together the butter, cilantro, lime zest and juice. (Note: I could not get the lime juice to incorporate into the butter so would leave it out next time.) Cover butter and let stand while you prepare the corn. (The butter can be prepared, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Remove the husks and silk from the ears of corn. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the corn and cook until the kernels are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a serving platter.

Serve the corn piping hot, with the cilantro-lime butter, chile powder, and salt on the side for diners to add as they like.

Serve 6.

Creamed corn is absolutely delicious made from fresh corn. A friend made some for us after the birth of one of our children and I couldn’t believe she had gone through the trouble of making it from fresh corn. But, after tasting it, I also couldn’t believe how good the corn was and decided any effort was worth the results.

This dish would be better made with fresh corn that has very tiny kernels. The corn I used had large, salt and pepper-type, kernels and I felt it was just a bit tougher than it should have been.

CREAMED CORN WITH CHIPOTLE CHILES
(adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Vegetables)
Print this recipe

6 ears fresh sweet corn
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup finely diced white onion
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced plus 1 tsp. adobo sauce (optional)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. sugar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream

Remove the husks and silk from the corn. Using a large, sharp knife, carefully cut the ear in half crosswise. One at a time, stand the halves, flat end down, on a cutting board and cut the kernels from the cob. Transfer the kernels to a bowl. Using the dull edge of a knife, carefully scrape the wet pulp from the corn cobs into the bowl.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, 5-6 minutes. Add the chipotle chiles, adobo sauce, corn kernels with pulp, oregano, and sugar. Pour in 1/2 cup water and add a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender but still has a bit of crunch, 10 minutes. Uncover and cook until the water evaporates, 2-3 minutes.

Add the cream to the pan, raise the heat to medium-low, and cook until the liquid is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Transfer the corn to a warmed serving bowl and serve right away.

Serves 4.

Weekend Fare: Vegetarian Salad

**Off the Shelf will be appearing tomorrow instead of today and will be the June magazine edition!**

I will admit that I didn’t set out to make a vegetarian dinner but somehow I managed to have some spoiled chicken. So, the dinner plan changed and we weren’t too sorry to see the meat go. This recipe does not require any cooking which is awesome for a hot summer day. We enjoyed it for an evening dinner on the deck. The bright colors are a beautiful addition to any table.

VEGETARIAN SUMMER SALAD
Print This Recipe

1 can black bean, drained & rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 avocadoes, diced
1/4 c. red onion, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Mixed greens

Combine all ingredients except the mixed greens and toss with the vinagrette. Serve over mixed greens.

LIME VINAIGRETTE
1/4 c. canola oil
2 limes, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste

Whisk ingredients together to blend.

Market Fresh: Slow Cooker Vegetables

This week, we will be sharing recipes for your slow cooker (aka crockpot). I don’t use my crockpots (yes, I have more than one – a 4 qt., 6 qt., and a little dipper) nearly enough. The house smells great and dinner is so simple when I take the time to put it in early in the day.

One lady took slow cooking to a whole new level in 2008 and has continued to provide recipes suitable for the crockpot ever since. Her family is gluten free which means that all of her recipes can be made gluten free. You can check out her site A Year of Slow Cooking for many, many recipes. I have adapted two of her recipes for vegetable side dishes for today’s edition of market fresh! There is also a Crock Pot Recipe Link Up over on Smockity Frocks today, so check out that site for another list of crockpot recipes.

SLOW COOKER LEMON BROCCOLI
(adapted from crockpot365)
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2 lbs. broccoli florets
1 c. slivered almonds 
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 Tb. olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Use a 4 quart crockpot for best results. Wash and trim broccoli, and add to crockpot. Peel garlic, and add with salt and pepper. Add almonds. Squeeze lemon juice evenly over the top and add lemon zest. Toss with wooden spoons.

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or on low for about 4. This is finished when broccoli has reached desired tenderness.

SLOW COOKER SOUTHWEST SWEET POTATO & CORN MEDLEY
(Adapted from crockpot 365)
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3 lg. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
12 oz.  frozen corn (or 1 can, drained)
1/4 c. chopped onion
2 limes, juiced
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 Tb. chopped fresh cilantro plus more for serving

This is a good recipe for a 3-4 quart crockpot. If you have a larger one, consider doubling for leftovers, or stay close by so the sweet potatoes don’t over cook and turn to mush.

Place sweet potato into the crock. Add diced onion, drained corn, and fresh cilantro. Sprinkle in the chili powder and salt. Squeeze the limes, and then toss all ingredients together.

Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, or on high for 3-4. This is done when the potatoes have reached desired tenderness. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro sprinkled on top.

Market Fresh: Haiti

In lieu of our normal market fresh post, we decided that we would focus on Haiti today. Our hearts are heavy for the people of that country and both of us have spent helping our children to learn about Haiti and understand the disaster and devastation that has occured there.

As part of helping my 4 year olds in there study of Haiti, I decided to make several Haitian recipes. They helped out with the fried bananas. We enjoyed the food but more importantly it gave us a chance to continue our conversation about the needs of that country. A special thanks to Islandflave.com for the recipes. I adapted all of them from that site.

CORN MEAL (MAISE MOULINE)
Print this Recipe

1 cup corn meal
4 cups water
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 finely chopped onion
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp parsley
1 tbs. oil
salt, black pepper, and hot pepper to taste

Saute garlic and onion in oil.
Add water and bring to a boil in a medium pot.
Combine remaining ingredients.
Whisk mixture repeatedly to avoid clumps.

CORN FRITTERS
Print this Recipe

1 can corn (15 oz), drained
pinch of salt
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter
3 eggs

Mix flour, butter, salt, water, and 3 eggs.
Pour corn into batter and mix well. Drop by tablespoons into very hot oil.
Brown, drain on paper toweling. Serve with tomato sauce.  (We had ours plain.)

FRIED BANANAS
Print this Recipe

3 Very ripe bananas
1 Tb. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tb. sugar
1/8 tsp. baking soda
sugar for topping (optional)

Mix bananas (we mashed the bananas), flour, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and soda in a medium size bowl.
Place spoonful of batter in very hot oil and fry until golden brown. Sprinkle sugar.