Friday, July 9, 2010

Quick Pickles

Serves: 16 
Total Time: 45 min


1 1/4 pound(s) pickling cucumbers, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1 cup(s) cider vinegar
1 cup(s) white vinegar
1 cup(s) light brown sugar
1 cup(s) slivered onion
2 clove(s) garlic, slivered
1 teaspoon(s) dill seed
1 teaspoon(s) mustard seed


1.  Place cucumber slices in a colander set in the sink. Sprinkle with salt; stir to combine. Let stand for 20 minutes. Rinse, drain and transfer to a large heatproof bowl.
2.  Meanwhile, combine cider vinegar, white vinegar, brown sugar, onion, garlic, dill and mustard seed in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the hot liquid over the cucumbers; stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to bring to room temperature.

Pickling on Foodista

Guiltless Guacamole

Yields: 3 cups
Prep Time: 15 min

1 can(s) (15 to 19 ounces) white kidney beans (cannellini), drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon(s) (or to taste) lime juice
1  jalapeño chile , seeded
1/2 cup(s) loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup(s) coarsely chopped sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Maui)
1  ripe avocado, halved and pitted
2  plum tomatoes
Baked tortilla chips or fresh-cut vegetables


1.  In food processor with knife blade attached, puree beans and 1 tablespoon lime juice until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl.
2.  In same processor, place jalapeño, cilantro, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; pulse until juicy and thick.
3.  With spoon, scoop avocado from peel into bowl with beans; mash with fork until mixture is blended, with some chunks remaining.
4.  Cut each tomato crosswise in half. Squeeze halves to remove seeds and juice. Coarsely chop tomatoes. Stir tomato-and-onion mixture into avocado mixture until blended. If you prefer a little more zip, stir in additional lime juice to taste.
5.  Guacamole is best served as soon as it's made, but you can also cover and refrigerate up to 1 hour. Serve with chips or vegetables.

Avocado on Foodista

Grilled Spicy Filet Mignon Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing


3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chili paste with garlic
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 (12-ounce) filet mignons
Freshly ground pepper

Whisk soy sauce, lime juice, chile paste, and peanut oil together in a small baking dish. Add the steaks, turn to coat, cover, and let marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes before grilling.

Heat grill to high. Remove steaks from marinade and pat dry. Season both sides with pepper and grill for 3 minutes per side or until slightly charred and cooked to medium-rare doneness. Remove from the grill, let rest 5 minutes, and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.

1 head Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
3 cups mizuna leaves, torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup chiffonade Thai basil or regular basil, optional
1/2 English cucumber, halved and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 carrots, julienned
5 radishes, thinly sliced
8 each yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved
Ginger Lime Dressing, recipe follows
Salt and ground black pepper
While steak is resting, combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with half of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter, top with the steak, and drizzle the remaining dressing over the top.

Ginger-Lime Dressing:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit 10 minutes before using.

Filet Mignon on Foodista

Vegetable Gratin

Prep Time: 40 min
Inactive Prep: 5 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min
Total:1 hr 45 min


  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, small diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon minced thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 Japanese eggplants, peeled in alternating 1-inch strips, leaving some of the skin on, sliced diagonally into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 3 small zucchini, ends trimmed, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan


In a large saute pan set over medium heat, add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the onions and saute until translucent, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the tomatoes and cook until they start to give off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Add the sugar and cook until there is almost no liquid left, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Lay the eggplant and zucchini out on a flat surface and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.
In another large saute pan set over medium high heat, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil just starts to smoke, add the eggplant in 1 layer and cook just until golden brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. You might need to do this in batches. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Blot the top with additional paper towels.
In the same pan, add more olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil just starts to smoke, add the zucchini in 1 layer and saute until just browned on each side, about 1 minute per side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
In a shallow roasting pan or baking dish, spread half of the tomato sauce evenly over the bottom. Begin layering the eggplant and zucchini along the outside of the baking dish so they are overlapping slightly. Continue until the pan is full and the eggplant and zucchini is used. Cover the top with the remaining tomato sauce, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan evenly over the top, covering completely.
Place the baking dish inside a large baking dish. Pour hot water into the larger baking dish about half way up the sides to make a water bath. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Cranberry Pancakes

Total Time: 20 min


1/2 cup(s) fresh cranberries
1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
2 cup(s) whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon(s) yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon(s) sugar
1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
1/8 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg, or 1/4 teaspoon vanillaextract
6 tablespoon(s) nonfat milk
2 tablespoon(s) pasteurized egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) walnut or canola oil


1.  Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add cranberries; boil for 2 minutes. Drain and cool for 5 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg (if using) in a large bowl.

3.  Whisk milk, egg substitute, oil and vanilla (if using) in a small bowl until combined.

4.  Coarsely chop the cranberries; stir into the milk mixture. Stir the milk mixture into the dry ingredients just until combined.

5.  Coat a griddle or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Using 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake, cook 2 pancakes at a time until bubbles dot the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until browned, 1 to 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining batter.