Thursday, January 7, 2010

Roasted Green Beans

This has become a new favorite. What a GREAT way to eat a veggie and a no fuss way to make it! I found this on Recipezaar so I will take no credit for it. Since each green bean variety has a slightly different taste, the final outcome will taste different depending on the variety you use. Use what you like, it is a no fuss recipe.

Roasted Green Beans Recipe
Yield: 4-6 (or just 2 hungry monsters)

Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs blue lake green beans (or your favorite variety)
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil (just enough to lightly coat the beans..not fry them)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or leave out if you're watching salt intake)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (or leave out)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. (Can be made in toaster oven as well)
  2. Wash, dry well, and trim green beans.
  3. Put the beans in a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper if using. Toss with your hands to evenly coat the beans.
  4. Spread them out into 1 layer on the cookie sheet or toaster oven safe pan.
  5. Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning after 15 minutes, until beans are fairly brown in spots and somewhat shriveled. Timing will vary if you use a toaster oven. Just keep an eye on them.
  6. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Pomegranate Tea Cakes with Lime Glaze

I was looking to experiment with a different flavor of cupcakes for a potluck. As this was for Indians, I knew I would need a recipe that wasn't too sweet. I really wanted to make a pomegranate cupcake and after a web search, stumbled on this one. It was a BIG hit! I've made these so many times and am thinking of making them for my two year old's birthday. The only modification I made was to reduce the sugar in the glaze (1.5 cups seemed a little too sweet for me). The original recipe and post can be found on Kitchen Chick's blog.

Pomegranate Tea Cakes with Lime Glaze
Yield: 12 regular cakes with 12 mini cakes (depending on how you fill it)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 C all purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 3/4 C pomegranate juice (divided into 1/2 and 1/4 cup portions)
  • 4 tsp grated lime peel (divided into two 2 tsp portions)
  • 1/2 C thick yogurt
  • 1/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Beat sugar and butter with mixer until well blended. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in 1/2 cup pomegranate juice and 2 tsp lime peel. Mixture may appear curdled. Beat flour mixture in until it is just blended. Stir in yogurt.
  4. Drop batter into muffin pans. I used an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin pans about 1/2 way. Bake until tester comes out clean. ~25 minutes, possibly longer.
  5. Let cool for 15 minutes or so. After cooling, use a toothpick to poke small holes into the top of the teacakes to allow the glaze to seep in.
  6. Sift powdered sugar into medium bowl. Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, vanilla, and 2 tsp lime peel.
  7. You can either remove the cooled teacakes from the pan or leave them in the pan. Pour glaze over each tea cake until top is covered and glaze drips down the sides. (The glaze does it make it sticky so I chose to leave them in the pan to add the glaze.)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Happy New Year!! Another wonderful year full of good eating begins. It has been made even more wonderful by the addition of a new gadget to my kitchen...a garlic press! Oh how it delights. But the adventures of the garlic press are for another post.

This post is about a simple salad you can make a day ahead and enjoy the entire week. I've made it for gatherings and it is always a hit. I cheated the last time and used a Bird's Eye Frozen black bean, corn, and pepper mix. Hey, I had a lot going on and it was an easy way to go. It worked so well, that I'll use it again! I found the recipe courtesy of chowhoud.com.

Corn & Black Bean Salad
Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients:
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn, cooked for 2 minutes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2–1 jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Toss everything together. Serve cold or at room temperature. It actually is better the next day.