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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Leeks in White Wine

Martha Rose Shulman  
  Time 1 hour 10 minutes 
 Yield Serves four to six 

When you cook leeks in wine, they develop great depth of flavor. This is my favorite way to prepare leeks on their own.

Featured in: Leeks: Onion Flavor, Without The Onions. 

6 medium leeks, about 2 1/2 pounds, white and light green parts only
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine, like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
 Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, mint or dill (or a combination)

1. Cut the ends and the dark green leaves off the leeks, and then cut them in half lengthwise. Place in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes, then run them under the faucet to remove any sand that may be lingering in between the layers. Cut into 2-inch pieces.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add the leeks. Parboil for two minutes and drain.
3. Spoon the olive oil into a wide, lidded skillet, and place the leeks in the skillet in an even layer. Pour in the wine, and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, and the garlic. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until the leeks are very tender but still intact and most of the liquid has evaporated.
4. Remove from the heat, and allow the leeks to cool in the juices left in the pan. Transfer to a serving dish. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle on the fresh herbs and serve.

Advance preparation: The leeks will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator. Reheat or bring to room temperature before serving.

Nutritional information per serving (four servings)
278 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 42 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 61 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 5 grams protein

Nutritional information per serving (six servings)
185 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 28 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 41 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 3 grams protein

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates

12 oz Package of Low Sodium Bacon
12 oz Pitted Dates
1/4 lbs Crumbled Reduced Fat Blue Cheese
3-4 oz Whole Almonds
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

Makes about 50

You can obviously adjust the amounts of the ingredients depending on how many of these you want to make.  You can also choose to use just one filling or both whatever you think suits your crowd the best. I knew some of our family members wouldn't like blue cheese so I went with both options. Start by preheating the oven to 375 F. Slice the dates down the middle to open one side up but be careful not to cut it in half. You'll find that some of them still have part of the pit inside so make sure you remove that as well.

Stuff either 2 whole almonds or a Tsp of Crumbled Blue Cheese into each and every sliced date. Try to close the date the best you can once you've stuffed it. Be aware that your hands and knife will be very sticky by the end of this process. When all the dates have been stuffed set them aside.

Line up your plate of dates, a cutting board with the package of bacon and your empty baking tray. Take a few pieces of bacon at a time and cut them into even thirds.

Take each stuffed date and with one small piece of bacon wrap it around the date entirely so that the bacon overlaps itself completely covering the date and its stuffing.

Place the seam of the bacon down onto the baking tray. Repeat this step lining up the dates until you have wrapped each and every one. You can put them pretty close together since they won't be expanding. Sprinkle the entire baking tray with the brown sugar.

Bake for 25 minutes in total. Since I took these with me to Thanksgiving I cooked them for about 15 minutes at home and then finished them for the last 10 minutes right before they were about to be served. Either way make sure the bacon is cooked and crispy, and the filling is warmed. Serve immediately.

Bacon, Artichoke, Ranch Lasagna

12 lasagna noodles
2 (12 oz.) cans evaporated fat-free milk
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 ½ T. dry ranch seasoning
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, chopped
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (16 oz.) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Cheese Blend
2 c. shredded Italian cheese blend
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1] Preheat oven to 350 F.
2] Lightly coat a deep 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3] Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.
4] While noodles are cooking, whisk together milk, flour, and seasoning in a saucepan over medium heat.
5] Continue cooking milk mixture, stirring regularly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
6] Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together artichoke hearts, bacon, ricotta cheese, garlic, egg, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
7] In a separate medium bowl, stir together Italian cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan.
8] To assemble, place 1/2 cup sauce into bottom of baking pan.
9] Place 3 lasagna noodles over sauce.
10] Gently spread 1/4 filling mixture over noodles.
11] Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese blend.
12] Pour 2/3 cup sauce over cheese.
13] Repeat layer with remaining ingredients.
14] For the final layer, pour the remaining sauce over the filling, and then top sauce with remaining cheese blend.
15] Cover pan with greased foil, and bake for 45 minutes.
16] Uncover, and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes.
17] Let lasagna stand for 10 minutes before serving.

bacon, chicken & chipotle mac and cheese

~ 8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 box (12 oz) penne
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
1/2 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
~ 2 cups cheddar, shredded
~ 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
~1.5 cups green beans
Sea salt
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook bacon however you like. I like to bake it in the oven so that I can do other things while it is cooking.
For the rest of the dish, I followed Alton's directions almost to a T. The only difference was that I added my bacon and chicken after the cheese and I left off the bread crumbs.

This was a great recipe and a great way to use up chicken that is not boring. We get in a rut of having the same things, so this way a nice change.

Bacon, Egg & Chicken Breakfast Sandwich

1 teaspoon of butter (for cooking the eggs)
butter (for your english muffins)
2 large eggs
1 piece of american cheese
2 pieces of swiss cheese
3 med-large chicken tenders (we use Bell & Evans which are the best ever and we get them from Whole Foods)
2 english muffins
3 strips pre-cooked bacon (we use the Kirkland Bacon from Costco)
salt and pepper to taste

Place your chicken tenders in the oven and cook per package directions. Remove from the oven and cut in half , or to a smaller size so they will fit on your english muffins. Set aside while you cook your other ingredients.

Place your eggs in a bowl and scramble lightly with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Put eggs in a small skillet with 1 teaspoon of butter and cook until fried on both sides.

This is the important part... butter your english muffins and place on a baking sheet with your precooked bacon. Turn on the broiler and cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until bacon is all bubbly and english muffins just start to brown on the edges.

Take out of the oven and pat bacon with a napkin to remove excess grease. Put your cheese on the english muffins and add your bacon on top of that. Top your bacon with your fried eggs and add the chicken on top of that.

There you go... you now have a Bacon, Egg & Chicken Sandwich!

Serve immediately and enjoy!


serves 8

1 large leek, root end and dark green leaves cut off, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into half moon
1 handful gape tomatoes, halved
4 slices thick cut smoky bacon, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3 eggs
Kosher salt and cracked pepper
1 1/4 cup fat free evaporated milk
Pie dough (handmade or store bought)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the pie dough in a 9 inch pie plate and crimp the edges, chill for 30 minutes. Line with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights (can use dried beans if you do not have pie weights).
Bake about 20 minutes, remove the foil and weights and continue to bake another 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool.
Place the chopped leek into a large bowl filled with cold water. Swish them carefully and allow them to sit a few minutes to release the dirt and grit that is between the leaves.
Scoop out with your hands and lay them on a clean kitchen towel. Roll the towel and squeeze the moisture out. Set aside.
Meanwhile cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once bacon has rendered its fat and begun to crisp slightly, remove it with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the leeks and saute being careful to not brown the leeks. Once the leeks begin to soften add the halved tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes to let the tomatoes release some of their juices. Remove from heat.
In a bowl combine the eggs, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and evaporated milk. Whisk until completely blended.
Spoon the leeks and tomatoes into the pie crust and sprinkle with the cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the top and bake on a baking sheet for 40 to 50 minutes or until the filling is set.
Allow to cool 20 minutes before serving.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Bacon Stuffed Clams

recipe inspired by Cathy Lowe's Stuffed Clams

Preparation: 10 minutes                            
Serves: 8 (one clam each)

4 slices of bacon minced
1 small onion minced
1/4 cup of Italian parsley minced
1 cup of Italian Seasoned Bread crumbs
2 6.5 ounce cans of chopped clams or 13 ounces of fresh clams chopped
1 cup of clam juice
1 lemon
Tabasco sauce
1/2 stick of butter

1) Put oven rack in the middle and turn on broiler.

2) Sauté bacon and onions together in a medium size skillet until both are lightly browned.

3) Add parsley, bread crumbs, clams, and a little at a time of the clam juice to the bacon and onions heat through.  You want to make the mixture moist with the clam juice but you don't want it to be soaked. You probably will not need to add the whole cup of juice. Remember moist, not soggy.

4) Shake a dash of Tabasco sauce and lemon into the mixture, stir.

5) Use a large serving spoon to stuff clam shells or ramekins. Pack tightly.

6) Place stuffed shells on a large baking sheet and put a dot of butter on each stuffed clam.

7) Broil until lightly brown, approximately 5 minutes, check constantly.