Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Snow Day Cooking/Baking

I got busy on Monday after feeling the guilt of doing nothing- busy cooking that is!

First up: Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. TE said it was lacking "something:" which is probably fat, or sausage flavor ;-) Any additional flavors/spices would go great with this- it is a pretty simple garlic flavored bean dip. Note the photo highlights TE's Christmas gift from me- an immersion blender! It was perfect for this use. Sorry for the lame tupperware bowl... I need to work on plating things better that I am showing off on this blog...

Homemade Hummus
1 15oz can of chickpeas
1 medium red bell pepper
1 head of garlic
1tsp olive oil (for roasting garlic)

Roast pepper and garlic/oil in [toaster] oven at 350 for 25min
Peel skin from pepper and remove garlic cloves from head and blend with chickpeas
Season with salt to taste

Next I made an EW recipe for dinner. Pork with mushrooms and thyme. It was yummy and a keeper for my cookbook-in-progress. I served it with a side of quinoa topped with feta cheese and grape tomatoes- mmm!

Pork Chops with Mushrooms and Thyme

2 5-ounce boneless, center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed and pounded to 1/4 inch thick (I bought them thin already- and used only 5oz total)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (about 4 ounces)-- I used 10oz baby bella mushrooms
1/2 cup dry vermouth (I used 1/4c sherry cooking wine)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (I used dry)

1. Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add the pork chops and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to 2 serving plates; tent with foil to keep warm.
2. Swirl oil into the pan, add shallot and cook, stirring, until soft, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Add vermouth and cook for 15 seconds. Stir in mustard, thyme and any juices that have accumulated from the pork; cook until the sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, 1 to 2 minutes more. Spoon the sauce over the pork chops and serve immediately.

And finally I made Swag Bars- a recipe makeover from the most recent Cooking Light. I am happy to report that these yummy bars turned out very well considering that I changed almost every ingredient :)

Swag Bars- Liz's Changes

1 3/4 cups creamy peanut butter (I used chunky)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light-colored corn syrup
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) chopped lightly salted, dry-roasted peanuts (I used a mix of 3oz cashews and 3oz pecans)
3 1/2 cups (4 ounces) whole-grain flaked cereal (such as Total), finely crushed (I used 2.37oz fiber one cereal, and 1.63oz graham crackers)
Cooking spray
1/3 cup (2 ounces) chopped dark chocolate (I used semisweet)

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook 4 minutes or just until mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in peanuts and cereal. Spread mixture evenly into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.
2. Place the dark chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until chocolate melts, stirring every 20 seconds. Drizzle chocolate evenly over peanut mixture (my chocolate didn't drizzle- I had to smear it). Score into 36 bars while warm (I waited until they cooled and it was v. difficult! I used TE's muscle power).

1 comment:

meg said...

i recently started making my own hummus too-i love it! just this week however i discovered that canned chic peas have a TON of sodium in them! who knew? so i bought a low sodium can instead and didn't add any salt. i bought a bag of dried chic peas for next time. we'll see how that goes.....