Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fried Goat Cheese

Yet another one for the "not health food" category. We've got lots of these, kids.

The Fiance and I love tapas. We have long debates as to where you can get the best in St Louis (I say Barcelona in Clayton, he says Modesto on the Hill), but in the end as long as there is sangria, romesco sauce, and manchego cheese, we're pretty happy. Much to my delight, I stumbled upon a cookbook on a recent Borders excursion that said the magic word: Tapas.  Mmmmmmm tapas.

We had to try the cover recipe: Fried Goat Cheese. It called to be served with Onion Confit, but onions and The Fiance are not besties. I will not tell you why, I love you all too much and the recipe is just too delicious. Forget I brought it up.
Fried Goat Cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp parsley flakes
4 oz log goat cheese, cut into 1/2 inch slices
dried bread crumbs (preferably mixed with panko)
mild olive oil for frying
    In a shallow bowl, beat the egg and parsley together with a fork. Dip the cheese slices in the egg, and then coat with breadcrumbs. Heat the oil in a deep skillet at 1 inch deep to 360F (or when it browns a cube of bread very quickly). Fry the cheese slices until golden brown, turning once, and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200F oven.
     This is uber delicious. Rich, crunchy, gooey ... true comfort food. It will be a perfect small plate for the wine tasting party we're planning on throwing in September. We'll have to make lots!

    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    My Specialty: Roasted Asparagus

    I very recently discovered that I love asparagus - a fact I learned at a wedding, actually. I was a hugely picky eater as a kiddo, so it took me about 25 years to catch on to the fact that some veggies actually taste GOOD. Upon reading this, my mother has probably just passed out. Someone revive her.

    Anyway, asparagus and I began our torrid love affair just a few short years ago, and I quickly learned how to make it at home. And if I do say so, I do a pretty good job of it. It's become my specialty. Yeah, a vegetable. Me. It's weird for me too.
    Roasted Caramelized Asparagus
    Snap the bottoms off of 1-2 bunches of fresh asparagus. Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil and drizzle or spray with olive oil. Spread the asparagus in a single layer on the sheet. Drizzle with more olive oil. Add seasonings to taste: soy sauce, garlic, smoked paprika, season salt, lemon pepper. Drizzle generously with honey. Place in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, depending on how done you like.

    The honey caramelizes in the oven and adds a fantastic sweetness to this. We eat this at least once a week when asparagus is in season in the spring. Can't get enough!

    Monday, August 10, 2009

    Coconut Banana Bread

    Yes, I said it - Coconut Banana Bread. Quite possibly the Perfect Food.


    Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    2 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
    1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
    3 tablespoons dark rum
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
    Cooking spray
    1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice

    Preheat oven to 350F.Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk to combine.Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring with a whisk; drizzle over warm bread. Cool bread completely on wire rack. Via Cooking Light

    This was just fantastic. The Fiance swooned a little bit. I made myself even a bit weak in the general area of my knees. It was particularly faboosh the next day for breakfast. It's a dessert, a breakfast, AND a snack people. Perfect Food, I am telling you what. And since it contains fruit and came from CL, we can even tell ourselves that it's Healthy.

    Thursday, August 6, 2009

    Chicken Baseballs.

    This is another find from WW. Weird name, but seriously delicious. And easy. Sold.

    Chicken Baseballs
    3 oz ff or low-fat cream cheese
    2 tsp low-fat margarine
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp garlic
    couple dashes Tabasco
    2 T skim milk
    2 T chopped onion
    2 C cubed, cooked chicken
    1 8 oz can reduced-fat crescent rolls
     In a blender or by hand, combine cream cheese through onion until creamy and smooth. Pour over chicken and mix well. Separate crescents into four rectangles and seal perforations. Split chicken mixture among them. Pull opposite corners of dough together and seal edges. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350* for 20 minutes. Adapted from WW message boards

    These are so good. I made a double batch ... The Fiance ate four.