Thursday, September 16, 2010

Turkey Burgers and Wilted Brussels Sprouts Salad

The September 2010 issue of Cooking Light magazine is loaded with "147 recipes and tips for the fast, healthy cook".  I've turned down the corner on just about every other page and look forward to testing out all of these fast, healthy recipes.  First for testing was Lamb and Turkey Pita Burgers.  Ground lamb is not something I store in my freezer, but I do always have plenty of ground turkey.  All of the other ingredients in this recipe are easy to find in your pantry which is why this is a great recipe to have in your last minute dinner file.  What makes the burgers different from other turkey burgers is tomato paste and spices-ground cinnamon and ginger.  Oh, and the yummy lemon and cayenne mayo sauce is just an excuse to ask for seconds!  Of course you can always substitute the mayo with Greek yogurt and if you like lamb, stick with the original recipe.  Ground turkey is on sale at both Dominick's and Sunset Food's.

I served this with Wilted Brussels Sprouts Salad, a recipe I created after hearing about eating shredded brussel sprouts from a friend.  I love roasted brussels sprouts which can take a long time to cook.  The most time consuming piece of this recipe is shredding the brussels sprouts.  You could save time by using a chopper or food processor, but thinly slicing with a sharp knife works best.  Shredded brussels sprouts and shallots are lightly sauteed in olive oil, salt and pepper, then dressed with a lemon vinaigrette.  Sauteing the sprouts caramelizes them same as roasting but because they are shredded your cooking time is reduced by about 30 minutes.  This is perfectly delicious with just the lemon vinaigrette, but if you wanted to take it over the top you could add toasted pecans right before serving, or saute the sprouts with cooked chopped bacon or pancetta and dress with a honey Dijon vinaigrette.

Lamb and Turkey Pita Burgers
(picture copied from site)

Wilted Brussels Sprouts Salad

1 pound brussel sprouts, shredded
1-2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 lemon

Saute brussels sprouts and shallot in 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes or until sprouts wilt slightly and begin to caramelize.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  In a large bowl add zest and juice from one lemon.  Whisk in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to zest and juice in a slow steady stream until mixture is emulsified.  Add brussels sprouts and shallots to the bowl and toss in dressing.  May be served warm or at room temperature.  

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Red Curry Peanut Sauce

This recipe from the July 2010 issue of Bon Appetit is not to be missed!  There are a ton of peanut sauce recipes out there, but the difference here is in the curry paste.  It is sauteed with fresh garlic, ginger, and onion before adding peanut butter, coconut milk, stock, and lime juice to finish the sauce.  Curry paste adds a wonderful layer of flavors with green or red chili, lemongrass, coriander, cumin and other ingredients that gives anything you add it to that little something extra.  We enjoyed the Red Curry Peanut sauce with sauteed shrimp and rice noodles, but it is perfect for a barbecue.  Make the sauce in advance, grill any kind of meat on skewers and serve with reheated sauce.  Guests will think this is just another satay platter, but soon will be looking for anything to use as a vehicle for eating more sauce!  

(picture copied from link)

 Curry paste is easily found in the grocery store Asian food section in a red and green version.  I think one is spicier than the other, but either will work with this peanut sauce.  I recommend Jif Natural peanut butter.  I am thrilled they finally came out with a product that doesn't contain hydrogenated oils and it as smooth as the original.  No clumpy "all natural" peanut butter that is stored in the refrigerator and it is about half the price of some it's competitors.