Saturday, February 4, 2012

Apple Stroganoff.

A funny conversation on a recent morning about the French pronunciation of apostrophe led to this recipe. It’s a twist on a traditional ground beef stroganoff that uses apples instead of mushrooms and is made creamy by adding Greek yogurt.  It has a sweetness to it, thanks to apples and a little agave nectar, used to cut the tartness of the yogurt.  As I finished cooking, I commented that there would be plenty of leftovers for a second meal. I. Was. So. Wrong.  Maybe a half cup remains for someone to snack on later. Definitely a keeper.
  • 2 cups cooked pasta (I used orecchiette)
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground sea salt
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 7 ounces 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 T agave nectar

Cook pasta according to package directions; when cooked, drain and set aside.  Brown ground beef in large skillet until cooked through.  Add salt, pepper, and paprika to meat.  Stir in apples and parsley and cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until apples are heated through and starting to soften.  Stir in pasta and toss gently.  In small bowl, add agave nectar to yogurt and mix well.  Add yogurt mixture to skillet and stir well.  Turn heat to low and cook 3 to 4 more minutes, or until heated through.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Caramelized Leek & Goat Cheese Pizza.

Been noticing lately that many of my recipes are the result of having little time to cook and using ingredients that I have on hand.  When I think about what I consider to be “on hand” ingredients, I laugh a little.  Seriously, does the average refrigerator have leeks as an “on hand” ingredient?  Mine does!  I might have to write a post about my favorite, always on-hand ingredients - but that’s for another day. Today I have a recipe for an easy, five ingredient pizza (ingredient #6 is the pizza dough).
crust for one pizza (I buy prepared dough from Trader Joe’s - makes life simple!)
  • 1 bunch of leeks
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar (use the best quality you have; I use a 25 year balsamic that is good enough to drink!)
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven according to pizza crust recipe.  Prepare crust and set aside.  Thoroughly wash leeks; thinly slice white and light green parts.  Heat butter and oil over medium heat in skillet until butter is melted.  Saute leeks in butter and oil over medium heat, stirring frequently.  Leeks will turn brown as they cook.  Cook 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks are soft and fragrant.  Add balsamic vinegar, stir, and cook another 5 minutes.  Spread leeks across pizza dough; sprinkle goat cheese evenly on top. Bake 13-15 minutes, until crust is baked and cheese is soft.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar on top of cooked pizza according to taste.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Simple Nicoise Salad.

When traveling in France, I enjoyed authentic Nicoise salads almost every day.  A local French bakery, Chez Arnaud serves a delicious Nicoise here at home.  I set out to create my own recipe, with a dressing that closely matches the flavor I have come to love, but without the anchovies.
Dressing (makes enough for 4 salads)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 T dijon mustard

Salad (ingredients for 1 serving)
  • 2-3 cups mixed greens
  • 8 green beans, cooked
  • 3 small red potatoes, cooked and halved
  • 1 hard boiled egg, sliced
  • 3 ounces tuna
  • 4 to 6 olives, mixed

For dressing, whisk together oil, lemon juice, and mustard. Set aside.  Arrange lettuce on plate or in a bowl.  Top with remaining ingredients. Serve with dressing on the side.