Monday, September 27, 2010

Asparagus Risotto

Lorena's notes: I just made this for the second time. The flavors are divine - I just have to savor every bite and let the taste just melt into my tongue. It's a wonderful, full-flavored and filling vegetarian entre. To me it tastes gourmet. Please, for me, eat it slowly and take the time to savor.

p.s. It calls for freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, and it really, really is better than the pre-grated kind sold in a tub. I only know this because they don't sell the pre-grated kind in Sweden so I was sort of forced into this discovery.

p.p.s. This is from the Cooking Light website, which makes me like it even better because they sponsor a women's pro cycling team.

p.p.s. I cook the asparagus slices for 3 minutes covered in a small amount of boiling water before adding. I feel like it may be too hard otherwise.  

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

Yield:  8 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups risotto and 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese)

4 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 1/2 pounds), divided
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
2 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Place 1 cup asparagus and 1 cup broth in a blender; puree until smooth. Combine puree, remaining 2 cups broth, and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
2. Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup broth mixture; cook 2 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining puree mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total). Stir in remaining 3 cups asparagus; cook 2 minutes.
3. Stir in 3/4 cup cheese, cream, salt, and pepper. Transfer risotto to a bowl. Serve with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

CALORIES 283 ; FAT 7.7g (sat 4.4g,mono 2g,poly 0.3g); CHOLESTEROL 23mg; CALCIUM 144mg; CARBOHYDRATE 44g; SODIUM 634mg; PROTEIN 10.5g; FIBER 4.1g; IRON 2.2mg

Cooking Light, APRIL 2009

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Spinach Twist

I think this looks heavenly. And maybe it really doesn't. Maybe it just looks like a big blog of dough with spinach spewing out of it. But I think it looks delicious.

Compliments of Sister's Cafe

Spinach Twist (this link has a more detailed and even step by step photo, yum)
submitted by Erin ~
printable recipe
8 Rhodes Texas rolls, thawed and risen (or 12 regular dinner rolls)
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese
3 c chopped fresh spinach
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 egg
1/4 c parmesan cheese
2 c chopped ham
1 c sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten
parmesan cheese, if desired

Press rolls together and roll out to a 10x13 inch rectangle. Mix cream cheese, spinach, basil, rosemary, egg, parmesan cheese and ham in bowl. Spread mixture over dough. Saute mushrooms, onion, garlic, butter, salt and pepper. Spread over cream cheese mixture. Starting with the longest side, roll dough up tightly and place seam side down. Tuck ends under. With a long, serrated knife, cut roll lengthwise in half. Carefully, roll each half so the cut side is facing out. Twist halves together 3 times and then pinch ends together and tuck under. This will form a long twist. Place on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Brush with egg and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise until double. Remove wrap and bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes. Do not underbake. Cove with foil the last 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Flaky Beef Turnovers

This is the second time I've made these (and only the second time I've ever used puff pastry sheets before). Brian loves them. This time I modified the recipe a little bit to make it even better. I added a dash of liquid smoke, an extra couple shakes of Worchestershire sauce and a splash of lime juice across the meat. They're so yummy!
Flaky Beef Turnovers
6 oz beef top round boneless or 6 oz rib-eye steak, boneless
2 small potatoes, peeled, diced
3 Tbs dry onion soup mix
2 Tbs ketchup
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
6 frozen puff-pastry shells -(one 10-oz package) I used a puff pastry sheet and made the turnovers triangle shaped instead of circles.
It's important to cut the potatoes into VERY small pieces, so they get done by the time the pastry is brown. Preheat oven to 400 F (205 C). Trim beef; discard fat. Cut beef into cubes no larger than 1/2 inch. In a medium bowl, combine beef, potatoes, soup mix, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and parsley. On a lightly floured board, roll out each pastry shell to a 7-inch circle. Spoon equal amounts or about 1/4 cup meat mixture on each rolled-out shell (When making triangles instead, 1/4 cup will be way too much--I just put a couple heaping spoonfuls of the mixture on there). Brush edges with water. Fold over; press with tines of a fork to seal. Cut several slits in top of each. Place on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.
Makes 6 turnovers.

Hot and Sour Chinese Eggplant

Lorena's Notes: I substitute sesame oil and some chili sauce for the chili oil (since that is not sold in Sweden). I also added two chicken breasts and doubled the sauce in order to make it stretch a little further (probably 6 servings this way). Also added crushed peanuts for extra flavor.
Served it with rice (of course) and spring rolls. Everyone seemed to like it! It fills you up without leaving you feeling heavy.
 From the following website:
 "Eggplant is sauteed, then coated in a spicy sweet sauce. It is simple and delicious! I'm sure you'll enjoy this!"
This Kitchen Approved Recipe has an average star rating of 4.3 
Prep Time:
30 Min 
Cook Time:
10 Min
Ready In:
40 Min

4 Servings

  • 2 long Chinese eggplants, cubed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 green chile pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili oil, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Place the eggplant cubes into a large bowl, and sprinkle with salt. Fill with enough water to cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse well, and drain on paper towels.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, red wine vinegar, sugar, chile pepper, cornstarch and chili oil. Set the sauce aside.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Fry the eggplant until it is tender and begins to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour in the sauce, and cook and stir until the sauce is thick and the eggplant is evenly coated. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 153 | Total Fat: 7.8g | Cholesterol: 0mg

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fish, it's what's for dinner!

This is what we're having for dinner tonight--yes, two different kinds of fish. Why two kinds, you ask? Well, oddly enough, two different single filets of fish were cheaper than buying two filets of the same kind of fish. I was going to do the same Asian marinade for both of them but this morning, when browsing the Internet, I came across this Mahi Mahi recipe and thought it sounded really good!

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi
(This got rave reviews on

3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I did not have this, so I used 2 T cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root (I used 1/2 t ground ginger)
1 clove garlic, crushed or to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 (6 ounce) mahi mahi fillets
salt and pepper to taste

Combine first six ingredients in a small bowl and pour over mahi mahi fillets in a shallow glass dish (or a giant ziplock bag). Let sit in fridge for at least 20 minutes (mine has been marinating all afternoon). Fry fish in olive oil 4-6 minutes per side, turning only once, until fish flakes easily. Remove fish to serving platter.

Pour reserved marinade into the skillet, and heat over medium heat until the mixture reduces to a glaze consistently. Spoon glaze over fish, and serve immediately.

Asian Grilled Salmon
(This recipe was in a ward cookbook Brian's mom gave me a couple years ago. Every time I see it, it sounds good but I never think to buy salmon at the store until the other day when I finally saw it on sale.)

2 T dijon mustard
3 T soy sauce
2 T Olive Oil
1 T crushed garlic
1 T brown sugar (the recipe doesn't call for this, but I added it and it tasted much better)

Whisk together and pour 3/4 of marinade over salmon filets. Let sit in fridge for a couple hours before grilling. Use reserved marinade for serving with fish.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Let's Eat

In an effort to help make dinner preparations easier, I thought it would be nice to have each weeks menu all in one place, with their accompanying recipes. I have cookbooks that I use, and lots of recipes I find on blogs. But I either forget which blog I found the recipe on, or I have 50 windows and tabs open all week long so I don't forget which recipe I wanted to use. I thought having a blog would help condense it all and make making dinner a whole lot easier.

Not only did I want to know what i'm having for dinner all week, but I thought it would be fun to share recipes and know what you're having, too, instead of always sharing through emails. This way, they're easier to navigate through, let's hope!

Bon Appetit!!!