Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lighter Spaghetti and Meatballs

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cool Time: 1 hour 
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Grade: A-

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: America's Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010

These meatballs were some of the best Turkey meatballs I've ever made.  What I didn't love was the sauce.  It wasn't the recipe's fault.  I have come to realize (finally!) that I don't really like chunky sauces, and I should just stick with a more smooth and thick sauce.   From now on I'm going to sub my own favorite tomato sauce when I try out these recipes.

Anyway, the recipe is not terribly different from CI's regular meatball recipe, but uses 93% turkey.  I will definitely make these again with my own sauce, and probably make a double batch to freeze some for later.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Cool Time: 5 minutes

Grade: A-

Make Again:Maybe

Recipe Source: Light & Healthy 2010

I believe this is makeover of a recipe that originally appeared in Cook's Country and is in the Best of 2010 book.  I wanted to try the recipe from the Best of book, but I see no reason to use that recipe when this one is lighter and plenty good.

This is good, but more work than I really want for a side dish. I think I might use the recipe for just a cheesy rice and then serving steamed broccoli on the side, which people can mix in if they want.

The recipe uses low fat evaporated milk (I only found non-fat) and lower fat cheese (I used regular, but less).   The recipe was very flavorful, but probably not super low calorie, when you remember that it is a side dish.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Black Bean Burgers

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Grade: A

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: America's Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010

I have no idea if this recipe originated somewhere else.  I didn't find it from searching on the various Cook's Illustrated web sites.

These are good.  I subbed roasted peppers for the fresh and also scallions for the shallot.  It all worked well.  The one problem with the recipe was that it said that the breadcrumbs should cook for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.  That would be way too long for me.  They started to burn within 7 minutes.  I prepped other ingredients while they toasted, so this was a pretty quick recipe.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cool Time: 10 minutes
Assemble Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minute

Grade: A

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: Cook's Illustrated (May 2003)  
Recipe Source: Cover & Bake 

I first made these years ago and I really liked the recipe.  I've made them several times since then, but have never added my thoughts here.  I do prefer a red sauce over a green sauce, so I love this recipe much more than my last enchilada attempt. 

I lightened the recipe by using half the cheese and boneless breasts instead of thighs.  I also used less sauce because I made it too spicy this time. 

The one tip I took from the green sauce recipe, which is somewhat similar in many ways, was to cook breast whole, then tear the cooked then cooled chicken in larger pieces first, then chop more with a knife.  I liked that method.

These are really good and I will continue to use this recipe.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Dream Bars

Crust Prep Time: 8 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Topping Prep Time: 8 minutes
Bake Time: 35-40 minutes
Cool Time: 2 hours

Grade: A

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: Best of America's Test Kitchen 2010

I'm not sure where this recipe first appeared.  The author was from Cook's Country but I don't find this on that website. It may be from this Baking book.

I found a copy of the recipe here: Dream Bars

Anyway, these were absolutely delicious.  You must like coconut to enjoy these.  They are rich and delicious.  I have to admit to skipping the pecans in the topping.  I did add them to the crust.  I don't love pecans and I actually burned them during toasting, since I left the kitchen and forgot!  They were fine without, but the nuts probably added a little structure. 

The recipe is super simple.  It takes a bit of time to go through the steps, but only 16 minutes of work.  (Although probably actually more if want to toast the pecans and not burn them.)

I'm not sure how well these freeze yet, but if that works, this might go to an A+ recipe.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Chicken Francese

Total Time: 50 minutes

Grade: A-

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: Cook's Illustrated (September 2005)

This is really good, but breading chicken cutlets always is messy.  Otherwise I would make these more often.  The sauce takes up a good portion of the cooking time here (may 1/3), and it is pretty lemony.  I might even skip the sauce in the future, and try for something simpler.