$10 specials: Many times, as usual, what looks good in a magazine or online doesn’t look good in our wallets. Listed below are two recipes that can feed a family of four for less than $10.00.
Sausage and Caramelized Onion Bread Pudding: Makes 4 servings. $1.60/serving
1 1/3 cups 1% low-fat milk
¼-teaspoon dry mustard
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
8 (1-ounce) slices day-old French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups chopped yellow onions (or swap for sweet onions)
¼ cup apple juice
4 ounces turkey Italian sausage
¾ cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided (or substitute your own favorite shredded cheese)
1)Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add bread; toss gently to coat. Let bread mixture stand 20 minutes.
2)Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3) Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the casings from the sausages. Crumble the sausage into the pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; let stand for about 5 minutes.
4) Add the sausage mix and cheese to the bread mix; stir well to combine. Spoon into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with the cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Pork-Potato Hash with Eggs: Makes 4 servings. $1.81/serving
12 ounces pork country-style ribs (about 2 ribs)
1 1/4 – teaspoons salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-½ cups water
6 garlic cloves, crushed
4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed red potatoes (roughly 1 ½ pounds)
1 cup chopped onion
1-tablespoon olive oil
4 large eggs
¼-teaspoon ground red pepper
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
1) Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork evenly with ½-teaspoon salt and black pepper. Coat pan with the cooking spray. Add pork to the pan and cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Add 2 ½ cups water and garlic to the pan; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour or until pork is fork-tender. Remove pork from pan, reserving cooking liquid and garlic. Place cooking liquid in a bowl. Cool pork slightly. Remove meat from bones; shred with two forks.
2) Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and onion to the pan and sauté for 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender and liquid evaporates. Stir in the shredded pork and ½ teaspoon salt. Working with 1 egg at a time, carefully crack eggs over potato mixture, about 1 inch apart in pan. Sprinkle eggs evenly with remaining salt and ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Sprinkle with the green onions.
Healthy tips for the holiday season
Halloween candy, the Thanksgiving feast and let’s not forget the foods of Christmas or Hanukkah. The amount of food we are about to eat will expand our waistlines faster than if we were to inject Great Stuff into our bodies. Here are some simple tips for making life easier for the furniture and ourselves.
1) For soups: Puree part of the cooked vegetables until very smooth. Return the puree to the pot and you’ll instantly have a thicker, creamier soup. For a pureed soup, add a peeled, diced potato or uncooked rice before simmering; the starch thickens the soup when you puree.
2) For desserts: Try grilled fruit, like pineapple or peaches, brushed with honey instead of using chocolate as a topping for ice cream or other frozen desserts. Also, drizzle with pureed berries and sprinkle with nuts (toasted for a richer, nuttier flavor.)
3) Baking with less fat: The exact proportions vary by recipe, so start experimenting. Replace a portion of the fat (like shortening or oil) with a fruit puree (like applesauce, mashed bananas, or pureed pears). Sour cream can often be replaced with nonfat yogurt and cream with buttermilk.
4) Salad dressings: Use a rice vinegar; which greatly reduces the amount of oil that’s needed because it much less acidic than red or white wine vinegar. Also, try substituting fresh lemon juice or orange juice for part of the vinegar.
Run day easy meals
The morning to just before sunset on Halloween can be stressful and you may, heck probably will, not have the time to sit down for a flavorful, satisfying repast. Well, not to fear, I have some easy to make, tasty solutions. The recipes can be made in advance. I won’t bother listing desserts, as we all know that we’ll be dipping into the Tot’s candy bucket as the night progresses.
Molasses-Almond Granola with Yogurt: Yields 3 cups (serving size: 1/3 cup)
2 cups regular oats
½ cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons wheat germ
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup dried currants
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons molasses (the darker the better)
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
1) Preheat the oven 325 degrees F.
2) Combine the first 3 ingredients in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarsely chopped. Combine oat mixture, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; toss well. Spread oat mixture on a baking sheet; bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove mixture from baking sheet; stir in currants.
3) Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat paper with cooking spray. Combine cranberries, sugar, molasses, canola oil, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Pour the cranberry mixture over the oat mixture, tossing to coat. Spread the granola evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes or until the mixture is lightly browned. Remove granola from oven, and cool completely. Store granola in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
4) To serve for breakfast, mix 1/3 cup into plain or your favorite flavor of yogurt.
Brushetta with Arugula, Yellow tomato, and Nectarine Salsa: Serves 5
½ loaf of French bread, cut into 1-inch slices
5 Garlic cloves, with tops cut off to expose core
1) Toast the bread and once it comes out rub the inside of the garlic on the slices. Set aside and keep warm.
1- ½ cups ½-inch cubes pitted white nectarines
1 -¼ cups chopped yellow or orange tomatoes, 8 – 9 ounces (I usually just use the red type, easier to find and cheaper.)
½ cup coarsely chopped arugula
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1-tablespoon olive oil
1 3- to 4-inch long Serrano chile, seeded and minced (optional)
1) Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let sit in refrigerator for at least an hour to let flavors combine.
2) When serving, spoon some of the salsa on top of the bread. Serve immediately.
Bacon, lettuce and cherry tomato salad with Aioli dressing: Serves 6
Note: Aioli is just mayonnaise with added ingredients.
5 ounces applewood-smoked bacon (about 6 slices)
12 cups torn romaine lettuce (from 1 large head; about 13 ounces)
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and/or pear tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove, pressed
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
1) Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; transfer to paper towels. Crumble the bacon coarsely. Pour off all but 1-tablespoon drippings from the skillet; reserve skillet.
2) Place the lettuce and tomatoes in a large serving bowl. Heat bacon drippings in the skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, then mayonnaise and vinegar; whisk until blended, 30 to 40 seconds. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over lettuce and tomatoes and toss to coat.
3) Sprinkle bacon over salad. Serve immediately. Serve with grilled or toasted bread.
Chicken Parmesan Burgers: Serves 4
10 ½-inch thick slices French bread (4 inches in diameter); 8 slices toasted, 2 slices crust removed, diced
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons minced fresh basil, divided, plus 12 large basil leaves
¾ cup purchased refrigerated marinara sauce
12 ounces ground chicken (white meat)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon grated onion
¼ teaspoon salt
4 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
4 large radicchio leaves
1) Blend diced bread and Parmesan in a processor to fine crumbs. Transfer to pie dish; mix in 2 tablespoons minced basil.
2) Mix marinara and 2 tablespoons basil in small saucepan. Transfer 1 ½ tablespoons sauce to a large bowl. Add chicken, ½ tablespoon oil, onion, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Sprinkle with pepper; blend. Shape into 4 ½-inch thick patties; coat with crumbs. Heat sauce over low heat.
3) Heat 1- ½ tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook patties until bottoms are crusty, 4 minutes. Flip over the patties and top with cheese. Cook 3 minutes. Cover; cook until cooked through and cheese have melted, about 1 minute.
4) Assemble burgers with bread, radicchio, basil leaves, and warm marinara.
Grilled Flank Steak with Onions: Serves 6
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1-tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 – teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-½ pounds raw lean flank steak
¾ teaspoon table salt, divided
1 large red onion, cut into ¼ inch slices
1) In a shallow glass dish or sealable food storage bag, mix vinegar, oil, oregano, garlic and pepper. Add the steak; turn to coat, making sure that the steak is coated with the vinegar mixture. Cover dish or seal bag; marinate in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
2) Heat outdoor grill.
3) Remove steak from marinade; discard the marinade. Sprinkle the steak with ½ teaspoon salt. Coat onions with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt.
4) Grill steak, turning once, until medium rare, about 15 minutes or longer for desired degree of doneness. Let steak rest for 10 minutes.
5) While steak is resting, grill the onions, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and tender, about 7 to 9 minutes.
6) To serve, thinly slice steak against the grain and place on a serving platter; scatter onions over the top. Yields about 3 ½ ounces of steak and 1/3 cup onions per serving.
In order to get to Heaven, one must first go through the Gates of Hell.