Wednesday, June 22, 2011

White House Turkey Lasagna with Spinach

By Paul Briand

Who wouldn’t want to eat like the president and his family at the White House?

But we’re not talking the lavishness of an official State Dinner here.

We’re talking about a healthy dinner dish prepared for President Barack Obama and his family by White House Chef Sam Kass.

Kass was on NBC’s “Today Show” a few weeks ago to talk about and demonstrate this recipe for White House Turkey Lasagna with Spinach.

It was a hit in our not-the-White House, as dinner one night with family and as leftovers.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound fresh ground turkey
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, crushed
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
16 cooked whole-wheat lasagna noodles
15 ounces low-fat ricotta or low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten
2 cups fresh spinach, washed, but not dried
1 pound low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried basil

1 .Preheat oven to 400 degrees;
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent;
3. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more;
4. Add ground turkey and cook for about 10 minutes;
5. Add damp spinach, stir until wilted;
6. Add plum tomatoes, tomato paste, and season with salt and pepper; let simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes;
7. Stir in basil and parsley; set aside;
8. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and egg; season with salt and pepper and set aside;
9. Ladle one-quarter of the turkey mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; spread to cover;
10. Add 1/4 of lasagna noodles, one-third of the mozzarella, one-third of the ricotta mixture;
11. Repeat process two more times; top with remaining lasagna noodles;
12. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over top; transfer to oven and bake until bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes;
13. Let stand about 5 minutes before cutting; serve.

Digg this

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Barbecue Meatloaf

By Paul Briand

I’m not sure what the best part of this dish was -- having it hot out of the oven the night it was made, or having the leftovers in sandwiches the next day.

It was a big hit both times, which speaks to how much we liked this take on good, old fashioned, old reliable meatloaf.

This one comes via, and I liked creating the barbecue sauce essence from scratch.

Note: I didn’t need a two-pound meatloaf, so I used a pound of meat (combination of ground beef and turkey) and used one slice of bread instead of two, but kept everything else in the recipe pretty much the same in terms of quantities.

2 lbs ground beef (or a combination thereof of pork or beef, or maybe veal)
2 tablespoons prepared mustard ( cheap old yellow will do)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 small onion, minced
1 garlic cloves
2 pieces bread, torn into small pieces
bacon fat ( for pan-greasing)
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees;
2. Grease a loaf pan;
3. In a medium-large mixing bowl, put all main ingredients in and mix until it’s sticky and combined;
4. Put into the loaf pan, smooth the top out a bit if you would like. Bake for an hour or until it reaches 165 degrees on a meat thermometer;
5. While it’s in the oven, mix up the sauce ingredients. Just before meatloaf is done (10 minutes or so), spoon/brush sauce over the top, return to oven and let it go in there for the remaining time/temperature.

Digg this

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Balsamic Baked Haddock

By Paul Briand

My health club is proactive about good health -- as it should be.

One of its ideas is a bulletin board of health tips that includes printed out recipes of healthy meals.

I liked what I read in this recipe after finishing a workout -- something about the combination of balsamic vinegar and blue cheese.

This recipe from all calls for tilapia. But I substituted it for haddock, a more native and locally fished species. I also substituted the salad greens in the original recipe for cooked spinach.

My wife Jane ranked this dish as among the “best of the best”, nominating it for the Eats@Home Hall of Fame.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 (8 ounce) haddock fillets
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 package baby spinach, steamed

1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees;
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and red pepper in the oil until onion is tender and golden, and peppers are slightly soft, about 10 minutes;
3. Stir balsamic vinegar into the vegetables; season with salt and pepper;
4. Rub haddock fillets with 2 teaspoons olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper;
5. Place fillets in a small baking dish, and top with the balsamic onion mixture. Sprinkle fish evenly with blue cheese;
6. Bake in preheated oven until fish flakes easily. Serve atop spinach.

Digg this

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Grilled Shrimp with Tomato Salad

By Paul Briand

When it comes to looking for good recipes to try and write about, my wife Jane is a valued co-conspirator.

In part, she knows I’m always on the hunt for something new. But largely, I think, she knows how she benefits with another delish dish on the table.

This recipe comes from the Relish magazine her newspaper, the Eagle-Tribue in Massachusetts, puts into Tuesday’s edition once a month. You can find the recipe online at here.

This recipe oozes summer. Grilling shrimp. A light, tasty vinaigrette. And tomatoes galore.

One note: I couldn’t find yellow pear tomatoes at my supermarket. So I substituted a yellow bell pepper. It offered the same color effect to the salad, and had the added bonus of adding texture and a crunch to the salad that it wouldn’t have had otherwise.

For the vinaigrette:
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon honey
For the shrimp:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
White pepper
For the tomato salad:
2 beefsteak tomatoes
4 Roma tomatoes
12 red grape tomatoes, cut into halves
12 yellow pear tomatoes, cut into halves
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons basil, cut into thin ribbons

1. To prepare the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk well;
2. To prepare the shrimp, combine olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and shrimp in a large bowl;
3. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes. Add white pepper;
4. Heat grill to medium-high. Thread shrimp on skewers;
5. Place shrimp on grill rack and cook on grill 2 to 3 minutes, until just pink. (Or grill jumbo shrimp directly on the grill.);
6. To prepare salad, toss grape and pear tomatoes into vinaigrette. Sprinkle with pepper. Slice beefsteak tomatoes and Roma tomatoes into 1/8-inch-thick slices and place on serving plates. Spoon grape and pear tomatoes and vinaigrette on top and garnish with basil. Serve with shrimp.

Digg this