Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Flatbread Pizza

When I am on my own for dinner my favorite food to make is an individual flatbread pizza. I whip up a quick homemade pizza sauce and load it up with fresh toppings. With a drizzle of olive oil and fresh basil flatbread pizza is my favorite summer meal. The key to any homemade pizza is the cheese. Do not use the pre-shredded stuff! It makes such a difference to shred your own. Or, you can buy a log of fresh mozzarella and slice it thinly. It melts so beautifully over the toppings it seems decadent without having to use a ton of cheese. And whatever you do, don’t forget a pinch of kosher salt and pepper on top of the pizza; it causes the veggies to burst with flavor. Enjoy this summer meal!

Summer Flatbread Pizza

Simple and delicious pizza that lets summer’s bounty shine!
Prepared naan flatbread (I prefer Target’s Archer Farms garlic naan)
Pizza sauce, recipe follows
Fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Garlic, thinly sliced
Onion, diced
Zucchini, diced
Tomatoes, chopped
Bell pepper, diced
Basil, julienne (thinly sliced)
Extra virgin olive oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Top the naan with sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, and veggies, along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is crisp on the edges. Remove from oven, sprinkle with Parmesan and fresh basil and drizzle with olive oil. Cut into wedges and enjoy!

Pizza sauce
Makes about 2 cups, enough for 2 large pizzas

1 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. dried Italian herbs
Salt and pepper

Place olive oil, basil and herbs in a saucepan on low heat. Bring up to a sizzle until it smells fragrant but do not allow garlic to brown, about 5 minutes. Pour in crushed tomatoes, stir, and increase heat to medium. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and simmer until slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Turkey Jasmine Burgers

I love lightening up traditional recipes with healthy ingredients that not only make you feel good, but taste amazing too. These turkey burgers are the best I’ve ever had. Lean ground turkey is jazzed up with Asian ingredients that lend tons of fresh flavor. The sesame oil especially gives it a delicious, salty bite, and the jasmine rice makes the patty tender and moist. The sweet and tangy cucumber salad and a smear of smooth wasabi mayo take this burger over the top. These ingredients may seem unusual for a turkey burger, but the combination is mouthwatering! Even my beef burger-loving husband ate every bite and asked for more!

Turkey Jasmine Burgers
An Asian spin lends loads of fresh flavors to a traditional turkey burger.
Serves 4

Cucumber salad
1 cucumber -- peeled and thinly sliced rounds
1/2 red onion -- thinly sliced
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
1/3 cup steamed jasmine rice
1/4 cup panko
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tsp. Siracha or other Asian chile sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
4 sesame hamburger buns

Wasabi Mayonnaise
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon wasabi powder
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon peel

Cucumber salad: Toss cucumbers, onions, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Let it marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.

Burger: Mix ground turkey, rice, panko, green onions, egg, sesame oil, soy sauce, Thai chile, and sugar very well. Make into 4 patties. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute burgers until cooked through, approximately 5 to 6 minutes per side (depending on how thick you make them). Or, throw them on the grill!

Wasabi mayonnaise: While burgers are cooking, toast buns, and mix mayonnaise, with wasabi powder, ginger, and lemon peel in a small bowl.

Drain cucumber salad well. Smear 1 tablespoon wasabi mayonnaise on toasted bun halves, spread with a layer of drained cucumber salad, then top with burger and cover with bun top.

Recipe adapted from Food Network

Monday, June 4, 2012

Spinach-Poblano Enchiladas with Chicken

I made these enchiladas for the first time a few weeks ago during a personal chef cookdate. They looked so delicious that I just had to create them at home. They were a huge hit! The filling is creamy and flavorful from the smoky roasted poblano peppers, loads of spinach, and Mexican cheese. As fantastic as the filling is, the sauce takes this dish over the top. If you've never made your own enchilada sauce get ready for a real treat! Yes, it takes some time, but it isn't difficult and the results are totally worth it. This sauce starts by roasting tomatoes, onions and garlic then blending the roasted veggies with Mexican chile peppers. Once blended you cook the sauce in a saute pan to bring the flavors together. It is incredible, so deep in flavor from the oven roasting and the authentic chiles. You'll never used canned sauce again! Make a double batch, this sauce would be amazing on any enchilada or other Mexican dish. After the enchiladas are assembled they are smothered in monterey jack cheese and baked until bubbling. Served with rice and guacamole, this is an unforgettable Mexican meal!

Spinach-Poblano Enchildas
A creamy filling topped with a smoky flavorful homemade enchilada sauce, this is my favorite enchilada recipe ever!

Serves 4

1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup half and half
2 roasted poblano chiles, chopped (instructions follow)
1 16 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large chicken breast, cooked and diced (optional)                                
1/2 cup queso fresco (or other Mexican cheese)                                  
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice                                   
8 6" flour tortillas
2 cups Tomato Chile Sauce, recipe follows
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 green onions, sliced, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°

Saute onion in 2 T. butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, 3 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and pepper; saute 1 minute. Add flour; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Gradually add half and half, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Add poblano, spinach, and diced chicken; cook 5 minutes.. Stir in crumbled cheese and lime juice.

Assemble enchiladas. Warm tortillas in microwave until flexible (if needed). Spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Dip tortillas in 1 cup chile sauce, fill each with 1/3 cup filling, roll, place in baking dish, and top with 1 cup sauce and shredded cheese. Bake enchiladas for 20 minutes until cheese is bubbling. Garnish with sliced green onions.

To make Roasted Poblano Chiles
, heat oven to broil. Place chiles on a sheet pan close to the broiler, and cook on all sides, turning occasionally, until blackened and blistered all over. Put in a plastic bag and seal. Let stand until cool enough to handle, at least 20 minutes. Remove chiles from the bag and rub to release the skins, discard skins and seeds. Chop chiles for recipe.
Tomato Chile Sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or water)
2 dried pasilla pepper, seeded*
2 dried guajillo chiles, seeded
2 cups onion, chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 pound roma tomatos, quartered
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Bring broth to a boil.. Pour over chiles in a bowl; let stand 30 minutes, or until soft. Drain; reserve broth.

Combine onions, garlic and tomatoes on a greased sheet pan. Roast in oven for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Combine chiles, roasted tomato mixture, oregano, vinegar, and salt in a food processor; pulse to chop. Add reserved rehyfrating broth to chile mixture; process until smooth.

Heat in a large nonstick over medium heat until hot. Slowly add sauce to pan and fry 1 minute. Reduce heat; simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

*Ingredient note: I found both dried pasilla peppers and dried guajillo chiles at my grocery store near the mushrooms in the produce section. They last forever and you'll use them again to make this sauce!