Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm Going to Try this One this Week


For the dough:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

2 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained and crumbled (drippings reserved)

1/2 pound fresh spinach leaves, washed

2 tablespoons minced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup cottage cheese, farmer's cheese, or ricotta cheese


Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch ground nutmeg

1 egg, lightly beaten

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on high speed until very smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, little by little, and the salt, and process until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly. Form the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

Heat 1 teaspoon of the reserved bacon drippings in a medium nonstick skillet and, when hot, add the spinach. Cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach is wilted and has released its liquid, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a colander to drain. When the spinach has cooled enough to handle, squeeze to release any excess water, then transfer to a cutting board and finely chop. Set aside.

Add 2 more teaspoons of the bacon drippings to the same skillet, then add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the reserved spinach, crumbled bacon, cottage cheese, pepper, nutmeg and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and lightly grease a baking sheet.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, working on a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/8-inch. Using a biscuit cutter or a small glass as a guide, cut the dough into as many 3-inch circles as possible. Place a teaspoonful of the spinach filling in the center of each dough circle. Using your fingers, lightly moisten the edges with some of the beaten egg-water mixture, then fold 1 side over so that the edges meat, and press to seal. Crimp the edges using the tines of a fork and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all of the empanaditas are assembled. Brush the tops of each empanadita with some of the beaten egg and bake uncovered until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

Serve either warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Two Recipes in One ~ Enjoy!

2 sides pork spareribs (about 6 pounds), separated
1 (28-ounce) can chunky tomato sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place the spareribs in the bottom of a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Reserve 6 tablespoons for BBQ Pizza.
Pour the mixture over the spareribs. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.

Reserve 1/2 of the ribs and pull the meat from the bones for the BBQ Pizza recipe.

1 store bought pizza crust
6 tablespoons BBQ sauce
1 cup cooked BBQ pork, diced or shredded
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
2 tablespoons pickled jalapeno rings
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Roll out the pizza dough and place on a pizza pan or large baking sheet. Spread the BBQ sauce all over crust. Top with the pork, corn, jalapenos and cheese.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts and the crust is golden. Top with fresh cilantro.

Serve with a simple green salad.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Spicy Southern-Style BBQ Chicken

5 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ketchup
2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon molasses
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoon vinegar, white
3/4 teaspoon pepper, cayenne
1/8 teaspoon pepper, black
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 clove(s) garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds chicken, pieces (breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks), skinless

1. Combine all ingredients except chicken in saucepan.
2. Simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Wash chicken and pat dry. Place it on large platter and brush with half of sauce mixture.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for one hour.
5. Place chicken on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and broil for 10 minutes on each side to seal in juices.
6. Turn oven to 350 degrees F and add remaining sauce to chicken. Cover chicken with aluminum foil and continue baking for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Five Layer Mexican Dip

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon minced chipotle pepper in adobo
4 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups corn kernels (10-ounce box frozen corn)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
2 ripe avocados
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion
1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeno pepper, optional
3/4 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until they soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.

Put half of the onion mixture into a food processor with the black beans, chipotle pepper, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, cumin, water and salt. Puree until smooth. Set aside.

Add the corn to the skillet with the remaining onion mixture and cook for about 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro leaves.

In a small bowl mash the avocado with the remaining lime juice. In a medium bowl toss together the tomatoes, scallion and jalapeno, if using. Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.

Spread the black bean dip into the bottom of an 8 by 8 glass baking or serving dish. Top with the corn mixture, spreading it out to form a single layer over the beans, repeat with the avocado, then the tomatoes. Top with cheese. Serve with baked chips.

Per Serving:
Calories 140; Total Fat 8 g; (Sat Fat 2 g, Mono Fat 3 g, Poly Fat 0.7 g) ; Protein 5g; Carb 16 g; Fiber 5g; Cholesterol 6mg; Sodium 245 mg

Nutrition Information
Nutritional Analysis per Serving
Calories 140
Total fat 8g
Saturated fat 2g
Monounsaturated fat 3g
Polyunsaturated fat 0.7g
Protein 5g
Carbohydrates 15g
Fiber 5g
Cholesterol 6mg
Sodium 245mg