Thursday, June 23, 2011

BBQ Kidney Patties, Zucchini-Tomato Gratin and Grilled Caesar Salad Tartines

It's one of those rare occasions when I know what I'm going to make for Sunday dinner long before the weekend. This Sunday's menu revolves around the Grilled Caesar Salad Tartines recipe found in the July/August 2011 Vegetarian Times magazine. When I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to make it. Having been grilling veggies for recent dinners it is only reasonable that I'd be up for grilling salad. I'll be doubling the recipe since the original serves four and there are usually eight of us for dinner.

With that decided, I started thinking about what might complement the grilled salad. I also had been wanting the Kidney Bean burgers that I've made a few times in the past; I think the last time I made these was on June 12, 2010. But, because there is bread involved with the salad, I don't really want burgers. Also, I want to change the taste up a bit. So, I'm going to use a Classic BBQ Rub recipe in with the kidney beans mixture and just make patties for our protein.

And, I felt we needed just a little something more. When I came across a Zucchini-Tomato Gratin recipe from the July/August 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine, I thought "perfect." I'm also going to make the Blue Ribbon Stuffed Crust Blueberry Pie which I've made a few times - yummy.

I guess that all in all I'm cooking a lot for dinner this Sunday. But, it really shouldn't be too big of a deal. I'll prep the kidney bean patties, make the gratin, and have everything but grilling the romaine done for the salad before going to my sister's house. I'll also have the pie already made. When I get to my sister's all I'll need to do is grill the patties and romaine and dinner will be served. I'll be sure to let you know how it all turns out!

Grilled Caesar Salad Tartines
Serves 4

Vegetable Oil, for brushing grill
3 1/2 Tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1 Tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1 oz for shaving into curls
1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 romaine hearts, each halved
4 large slices crusty Italian bread (1/2 inch thick)
1 clove garlic, halved

1- Brush grill grates with oil, and preheat grill to medium.
2- Whisk together yogurt, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Stir in 3 Tablespoons Parmesan; season with pepper.
3- Whisk together olive oil, remaining 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, and remaining 2 teaspoons mustard in separate bowl. Brush oil mixture over romaine halves. Grill 6 minutes, turning once, or until brown around edges. Transfer to a platter.
4- Grill bread 1 minute on each side. Rub garlic halves over toast slices. Spread yogurt mixture on toast slices, and top with grilled romaine halves. Shave Parmesan curls over top.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

After Dinner Thoughts

Today I made Cheesy Italian Tortellini again. I last made this dish on December 27, 2009, for my Dad's birthday. On that blog I commented on the original recipe and the adjustments I made that day. Below is how I adapted the recipe today.

Cheesy Italian Tortellini

2 jars of Tony's in Saint Louis Pasta Sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
10 oz sliced baby portobello mushrooms
10 oz sliced white button mushrooms
10 oz sliced steakhouse mushrooms
2 carrots, sliced into coins
3 stalks celery, diced
About 1/2 red onion diced
About 2 Tablespoons Garlic Pepper
2 16 oz packages frozen tri-colored cheese-filled tortellini
4 cups shredded Mozerella/Provolone blend cheese

1- In large skillet, saute carrots, celery, and onion in approximately 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add mushrooms, brown, stirring occasionally, until juice cooks off.
2- Spray 4 to 5 quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Combine mushrooms, marinara sauce, garlic pepper, and tomatoes in sprayed slow cooker; mix well.
3- Cover; cook on low setting for 3 to 4 hours.
4- About 15 minutes before serving, add tortellini to slow cooker; stir gently to mix. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover; cook on low setting for an additional 15 minutes or until tortellini are tender.

This dish always turns out to be quite delicious and incredibly easy to make! Cindy, my sister, made a lovely salad. And, we had the nutella crescents and the raspberry filled crescents. Everyone enjoyed everything.

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day

Tomorrow is Father's Day and I'll be going over to my sister's house. I'm either taking the meal already prepared or cooking the meal at her house; I haven't decided that yet. Today I'm deciding what to make and visiting the grocery to pick up any ingredients I don't already have on hand.

Last things first - I know what we're having for dessert. The original recipe is from Pillsbury and is called Chocolate-Filled Crescents. My friend Becky made these for Bunco with a slight adjustment. I'm following Becky's twist: instead of chocolate chips, she used a layer of Nutella topped with a thin layer of almond paste for the filling. YUMMY! Becky baked them for 13 minutes at 350. I'm also thinking of making a few Raspberry Crescent Twists.

While figuring out dessert has been a snap, the main dish is harder for me to come up with. I have been cooking these past two Sundays, I just haven't blogged about it.

Last week I made grilled cauliflower and a simply delicious Three Bean Salad. Each dish was really good. The three bean salad is going to be my go-to recipe for potlucks this summer; I may even make it for the girls float trip I'm going on in July. Grilled cauliflower was a real hit too. I sliced 2 cauliflower heads, thinly coated the slices with olive oil, salt, and pepper and then grilled them to a nice carmelization; I also grilled some large baby protobello mushrooms alongside the cauliflower. Everything was a hit.

Two weeks ago I made a cheese tortellini with grilled vegetables dish that I was very happy with and that I made up myself!
Cheese Tortellini with Grilled Vegetables
2 1 lb packages frozen cheese tortellini, cooked to package directions, rinsed with cold water
1/4 cup Greek Feta salad dressing
1 medium eggplant, sliced in rounds
1 medium yellow squash, sliced in rounds
1 medium zucchini, sliced in rounds
8 oz package medium baby portobello mushrooms, cleaned and halved
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1.5 inch squares
1 lb fresh green beans, washed and ends trimmed
Olive oil

1- Toss the prepared tortellini with the salad dressing and refrigerate until ready to serve with vegetables.
2- Toss cut vegetables with olive oil. Heat grill to medium.
3- Grill like-sized vegetables together, leaving beans for last. Grill to desired consistency.
4- Toss vegetables with tortellini. Serve warm or cold.

This recipe makes a lot, so if you don't have many people to feed or if you don't want a lot of leftovers, adjust your ingredients appropriately.

So, back to Father's Day. Hmmm...I'm still not sure beyond dessert, but I'll let you know how it all turns out!

Carpe Diem!