30 July 2010

I had heard about Mexican Lasagna before, and thought it sounded really good. Instead of looking up a recipe, I just kind of created my own.

Mexican Lasagna

1 tbsp olive oil
½ small onion, diced
2 lbs. ground turkey (93/7)
¼ cup taco seasoning, or the packet
¼ cup flour
2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
3 large (9") flour tortillas
shredded cheese
shredded lettuce
sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for a few minutes. Add turkey and break up. Cook until turkey is cooked through, stirring often. Turn off heat and add taco seasoning and flour.

Meanwhile, either sautee or steam zucchini slices until slightly soft.

In an 8x8” glass dish, layer meat, zucchini, cheese, and tortillas, trimming tortillas to fit if necessary. End with cheese on top.

Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with lettuce, salsa, and sour cream.

Makes 4 servings.

Now, you may be thinking, "Zucchini in a Mexican lasagna? Weird!" It wasn't part of the original recipe that I came up with, but the second time I made it, I had a zucchini in the fridge that really needed to be used that day. And I was trying to figure out some way to incorporate a vegetable into this dish, so I thought, what the heck? I love the flavor of zucchini and I thought it might work in here. And I think it did. When Jim first saw that it had zucchini in it, he thought it was weird, but then when he tasted it, he liked it.

I use ground turkey, but obviously you can use ground beef if you wish. I am just trying to use more ground turkey lately for health reasons and in this dish you can't tell a difference at all.

Note (added 09.18.10):

This recipe won me a recipe contest! I entered it into a contest at TriedandTestedRecipes.com and I won! I won a $50 Amazon.com giftcard. Nifty!

This has become my new favorite potato dish lately. If you own a mandolin, it's pretty easy to throw together. And it is super tasty.

Honey Mustard Potato Slices

1 ½ lbs. potatoes, thinly sliced
½ cup honey mustard dressing
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Transfer to a large bar pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until tender.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts:
Serving size: ¾ cup
Calories: 242
Fat: 10g
Sat. fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 404mg
Carbohydrates: 37g
Fiber: 2g
Protein: 3g

I highly recommend using a mandolin to slice the potatoes. I use the thickest setting on mine and it's perfect. The original recipe called for peeling the potatoes, but the second time I made this, I tried it with the skin on and I liked it just fine. So I don't bother peeling them anymore.

The honey mustard dressing I use is Ken's Honey Mustard Dressing.

29 July 2010

Oven fries recipe from the Cook's Illustrated cookbook, Perfect Vegetables.

Oven Fries

4 large russet potatoes (or 6 small), scrubbed and cut into ½” x ½” lengths
5 tsp peanut or vegetable oil, divided
Salt and pepper

Rinse cut fries in a large bowl or colander under cold running water until water runs clear.

Put ½ tsp of the oil on each of two rimmed baking sheets. Spread the oil evenly over the entire surface. Place both sheets in the oven and preheat oven to 450°.

Fit a large pot with a steamer basket and fill pot with enough water to reach just below the bottom of the basket. Bring water to a boil over high heat and add the potatoes to the basket. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pot and spread them out in a single layer on clean kitchen towels. Pat the potatoes dry.

Toss the potatoes and the remaining 4 tsp oil in a large bowl to coat. Season liberally with salt and pepper and toss again. Remove one baking sheet from the oven and place half the potaotes on the sheet, cut side down, so they are spread out and not touching each other. Place the baking sheet back into the oven and repeat with the second pan.

Bake until the potatoes are golden brown and have begun to puff, about 25 to 30 minutes. Halfway through cooking, flip the fries over to the other cut side and reverse the baking sheets (from top to bottom). Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

These are really good. They got super brown and crispy, but were still soft and fluffy on the inside, perfect! That's why you have to steam them first. It may sound complicated, but it really isn't. The original recipe didn't say to flip the fries over halfway through baking, but when I checked on them to switch the pans, I noticed that the side touching the pan was getting really brown, so if I hadn't flipped them, I think they would have burned on one side and been pale on the other. They were perfect this way. I'll definitely be making these again.

If you read this blog very often, you know that I dislike peppers, except for one. For some reason, I have a real aversion to bell peppers, jalapeƱos, etc, but I love the flavor of chipotle, which is a smoked jalapeƱo. You buy it in little cans in the Mexican section of the grocery store. It's packed in a flavorful tomato-based sauce called adobo. A few months ago I made this recipe using that. (I am playing catch-up from all the time I didn't blog while I was pregnant and my baby was born.)

Chicken with Chipotle Pan Sauce

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup shallots, finely minced
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup low-fat sour cream
2 tsp chipotle in adobo, minced
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Sprinkle chicken with salt. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 to 8 minutes or until no longer pink in center, turning once. Remove chicken; cover losely with foil to keep warm.

Add shallots to pan; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until soft. Add stock; boil until reduced to about 2 tbsp. Whisk in sour cream and chipotle. Spoon sauce over chicken; sprinkle with cilantro.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 chicken breast half with ¼ of the sauce
Calories: 260
Fat: 13g
Sat. Fat 4g
Cholestrol: 85mg
Sodium: 400mg
Carbs: 6g
Fiber: 0g
Protein: 30g

I didn't jot down any specific thoughts about this dish like I usually do, but I remember that I liked it. You can easily control the amount of heat by adding or reducing the chipotle. This is a nice change from the usual chicken dishes.