Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chipotle Chorizo Sandwich

Hm, I've noticed that everything so far this month has been a bit spicy. It is supposed to be good for your heart, but I'll try to mix it up a bit for the next recipe.

This one is no exception to the spicy rule however. It's tasty and spicy, and while there is cheese and fried things....well, okay, this one isn't great for you. And it's not really a neat meal. You could put it in a pita instead of having it open faced, but as a date food, it really depends on what you are going for. Messy food is suitable when you have been dating for a while. Because you may drop some on yourself, you may laugh, and if he laughs back...maybe he needs a little chorizo and cheese on his shirt too...

Or you guys could just eat it.

Chipotle Chorizo Open Faced Sandwich

1/2 lb chorizo
4 slices bread
4 tbsp Chipotle Olive Oil, divided
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
handful of french fried onions

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan to medium heat. Add the onions and green peppers. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are softening and becoming translucent. About 5 minutes.

Slice open the chorizo casing and discard. Add the meat into the pan with the onions and peppers, breaking it up well. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the meat is cooked through. About 10 minutes.

Stir in the cheddar cheese. Cover and let melt. Spread the last 2 tbsp of oil on your bread and put in the oven on broil until it just starts to brown. 1-2 minutes. The cheese should be melted by now as well. Stir the meat and cheese mixture to really distribute everything evenly.

Serve over the toasted bread with a sprinkle of fried onions on top of each slice.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cheesy Hearts with Vegetables

I wanted to use our cute little heart pastas for something this week. They aren't the heart-healthiest, but that's okay. The vegetables are!

Cheesy Hearts with Vegetables

1 pkg hearts pasta
3 tbsp Blood Orange Olive Oil
1/2 cup shredded or cubed cheese, your favorite (Pepper Jack here!)
1/2 cup milk or cream
1 1/2 cup regular red pasta sauce
3 cups mixed vegetables
pinch of salt

If you are using fresh vegetables, heat your pan to medium heat and slice them thinly. Toss them in the pan with one tbsp of the olive oil and the pinch of salt. Depending on the vegetables you choose, depends on how long this part takes. You want them to be cooked, but crisp. I used a frozen bag mix of corn, carrots and asparagus. It was very quick.

If you are using frozen, you will need to make sure you have cooked off all the additional water that you don't need. Add one more tablespoon of the Blood Orange Oil. If you would like it a little spicy, toss the Chipotle Olive Oil in instead.

Cook your pasta to just al dente. Drain, rinse and toss with 1 tbsp of the olive oil.

Toss the vegetables with the red pasta sauce and add in the milk or cream. Stir in the shredded or cubed cheese and cover. Let simmer about five minutes. Stir to make sure everything is melted. If not, cover and let cook until it does.

Stir it all together in a big bowl and enjoy your dinner!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Chocolate Chip Chipotle Cookies

Okay, this one might not be as heart healthy...But its cookies! And we should never apologize for cookies. Unless you don't tell someone what is in these and make them eat them anyway... Then apologize. A lot. And get that person a glass of milk stat!

Chocolate Chip Chipotle Cookies

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup Chipotle Olive Oil
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips.

Heat the oven to 350degrees.

Cream the butter, oil and sugars together until it is nice and creamy. Add the egg.

Sift the dry ingredients together, except for the chips. Slowly add to the wet ingredients, stirring well until everything is well combined. Fold in the chips.

On lightly greased cookie sheets, place little balls of dough 1 inch apart. You probably want to make these a little smaller than usual cookies. Bake about 12 minutes.

Cool for at least five minutes. Serve, with a warning.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Grapefruit and Avocado Shrimp Satay

Grapefruit, Avocado and Shrimp Satay

1 lb cooked shrimp, thawed if frozen
1 ruby grapefruit
1 avocado
1 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 tbsp White Grapefruit Balsamic

Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup Peanut or other nut butter
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp sesame seeds for garnish

Stir together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside. I like this sauce very thick, so if you want it a little thinner, add up to 1/4 cup of warm water.

Heat the Sesame Oil in a large saute pan to a medium high heat. Toss in the shrimp and stir. The shrimp should be in a single layer or you won't get the right caramelization on each one, so cook these in batches if you have to.

Cook the shrimp 1/2 - 1 minute per side, adding a little more Sesame Oil if you have to. Make sure that they have been thoroughly thawed if you are using frozen shrimp or they will be more tough than tender.

Add the Grapefruit Balsamic to the shrimp and set on high heat for around 30 seconds. Stir constantly.

Dice up the avocado and segment the grapefruit. Toss with the shrimp and drizzle with the sauce.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Be Good to Your (Sweet)Heart Month!

February is national heart health month. It is also the month of romance, courtesy of Valentine's Day. The two do not necessarily coincide in food trends! Smart food meets decadent? Well, not so much.

I have some recipes this month I think you'll like. I'm trying to throw them together so that they are pretty healthy, pretty easy, and pretty good for date food.

Some things, like the bacon wrapped chicken thighs I made last week, will have to wait for next month. That is not heart healthy!

This month has gotten off to a rocky start. Power has been out for a lot of people in PA, including me. It has given a slow start to the recipes. I know there is more snow coming. I'll try to get a little ahead in the writing so that even if I lose power again, you will still have a recipe to read. No promises though.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

It has been quite a week. My power has been out for 3 days now, so it is a bit hard to cook on my electric stove-top (they promise power by tonight!). I grabbed a few things yesterday and my food processor and came to the store to use our power. Hope that everyone else is making out better than me!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1 15oz can chickpeas, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
3 tbsp Garlic Olive Oil

Put the chickpeas, garlic, tahini and lemon juice in the food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the roasted red peppers and mix slowly, adding the olive oil in a steady stream until everything is incorporated and well blended.

If your power is still out, grab a tub of prepared hummus, a jar of roasted red peppers and some Garlic Olive Oil. Mince the peppers and stir well with the hummus and a drizzle of the olive oil.