Sunday, April 27, 2008

Creative Leftovers

I can't take any credit for these recipes whatsoever. All I did was finally get my act together enough to try something out of a magazine I received over 1 year ago. Here are two recipes from Everyday Food intended for the same week. They use many of the same ingredients and were delicious and healthy. I love the efficiency!

Roast Beef with roasted vegetables

3 red bell peppers, cut into strips
2 yellow bell peppers, cut into strips
2 medium red onions, cut into wedges
3/4 lb new potatoes, cut into 1" chunks
3 whole garlic cloves
2 garlic cloves, cut into slivers (~12)
2 T. olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
2.5 lb eye-of-round beef roast
3/4 t. dried thyme

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place peppers, onions, potatoes and whole garlic on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with half the oil, season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat.
2. Using a paring knife, make small slits in top and sides of roast; push in garlic slivers. Coat beef with remaining oil, 1.5 t. salt, 1/2 t. pepper and thyme. Either place on same tray with vegetable or separate dish, depending on size.
3. Roast beef and vegetables 50 minutes for medium rare (I like my meat cooked a little more, so I did 1 hour and got a nice medium). Toss vegetables occasionally.
4. Cut half of the roast into thin slices and serve with vegetables. Reserve half the roast for the recipe below.

Beef and Mango Wraps

1 T. Dijon mustard
3 T. lime juice
1 T. olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 mango, peeled and cut into strips
4 cups loose spinach leaves
cooked beef, reserved from above, thinly sliced

1. In a large bowl, whisk together mustard, lime juice and oil; season with salt and pepper. Add onion, bell pepper and mango. Toss to combine.
2. Lay tortillas out on a flat working surface. Line each with spinach, arrange beef slices in the center and top with mango mixture.
3. Serve with black bean salsa and chips!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Not exactly in season

Last week my husband went to the grocery store over the lunch hour to pick up a few things we were needing for dinner that night. Because so many have graciously provided meals for us the past few weeks, I haven't done much cooking on weeknights. Last Wednesday was an exception, though. We had decided to make paninis. I got a panini press for Christmas a couple years ago, and we've just begun to discover the joy of pressed sandwiches, especially when made with really good bread. We especially enjoy grilling some red pepper slices on the press and then adding those to sandwiches made with turkey and pepper jack cheese. Yum. Anyway, my husband was supposed to get some meat from the deli and then a couple sweet potatoes, which we were going to make fries out of. That was the plan. When I got home and pulled the potatoes out of the bad, it was immediately apparent that these were not sweet potatoes, but regular old potatoes. Not to be disuaded, we cut them into wedges and coated them with cornflakes and seasonings and baked them in the oven. They tasted pretty good, but they weren't the sweet potato fries we were looking forward to. So, since we were having company for lunch on Sunday, we decided it would be a good time to try again. This time I went to the store, thinking that sweet potatoes cannot be nearly as elusive as my husband made them out to be. However, he was right. The label said sweet potatoes, but the bin contained regular potatoes. However, the grocery store usually carries these pre-wrapped sweet potatoes (I think for microwaving). Anyway, I broke down and paid extra for the plastic wrap so that we could enjoy our fries. This was much too long of a story, and now it's time for the recipe. We love these fries...just wish we could find sweet potatoes all the time.

Sweet Potato Fries
(This recipe is scaled for two people. Sometimes a little extra coating is needed. It doesn't hurt to double that part of the recipe.)

2 tablespoons beaten egg
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large sweet potato (14 ounces), peeled
2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions: In a shallow bowl, whisk egg and water. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, cayenne and pepper. Cut sweet potato into 1/4-in. strips. Add to egg mixture, a few at a time, and toss to coat. Add to the crumb mixture, a few at a time; seal bag and shake to coat. Arrange potato strips in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; drizzle with oil. Bake at 450° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, turning occasionally. Sprinkle with salt. Eat hot if you can!