Thursday, January 26, 2012

Baked Green Bean Fries

We are definitely trying to eat somewhat healthier these days and when I saw these on someone's board on Pinterest I had to give them a whirl. Loved them. So easy and we were pleasantly surprised at how good they were. Really good change from the deep-fried we get at restaurants. We had them plain, as a side dish, but I think next time I'd serve them with an aioli for dipping, too.

and now I'm addicted to Pinterest. Just what I need. More computing.

Baked Crispy Green Bean Fries
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook 
Printable Recipe

 1 pound of fresh green beans, trimmed, blanched and cooled
1/4 cup of flour
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and freshly ground  black pepper (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon of olive oil, for the baking sheet

To blanch green beans: Rinse green beans and trim off the ends. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a couple teaspoons of salt. Carefully put the green beans into the boiling water. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, more or less. Check for doneness. Immediately drain the green beans in a colander and put them into ice cold water to bring the temperature down. Drain the beans and make sure that they are dried well before using.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a nonstick cooking sheet with olive oil. Set aside.

Pour flour into one bowl or a large ziploc bag. In another bowl, beat the eggs. In another bowl, mix breadcrumbs with spices.

Take the green beans and mix them in the flour. Shake off any excess. Then dip them into the egg, a few at a time, then completely cover them in the bread crumbs. Place on the cookie sheet in a single layer. Repeat with the rest of the green beans.
Bake for 15 minutes or until browned and crispy.

 Beth at Beth Fish Reads for her fun Weekend Cooking Party. Every weekend. It's open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share! Go on over and see some fun posts.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Moo Shu Chicken and Vegetables

Another big hit. This one is fast and easy. The original recipe called for just vegetables, which is good because we do like vegetables, even the picky one loves vegetables. But I added some chicken anyway. It was excellent. I had some fresh peas and threw those in, too!

I cheated with the rice, no surprises there, and picked up some fried rice from the takeout place. I love takeout.

Moo Shu Chicken and Vegetables
Source: EatingWell - September/October 2008
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook
Printable Recipe

4 thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken cutlets cut in small pieces
3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 12-ounce bag shredded mixed vegetables like broccoli slaw
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

chopped scallions
whole wheat tortilla's
Sriracha sauce

Heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, until done. Remove to a plate. Add the eggs to the pan, stirring gently, until just set, about 3 minutes. Remove to the plate with the chicken.

Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, 1 minute. Add shredded vegetables, soy sauce and vinegar. Stir to combine. Keep cooking until the vegetables are just tender, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the reserved eggs, chicken, peas and hoisin; cook, stirring and breaking up the scrambled eggs, until heated through, another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Serve with warm whole-wheat tortillas, Asian hot sauce and extra hoisin. Warm the tortilla's for about 30 seconds in the microwave, if using. 

Beth at Beth Fish Reads for her fun Weekend Cooking Party. Every weekend. It's open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share! Go on over and see some fun posts.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs

 Brrr, it's really cold out there. For now. The way the weather has been here it could be in the 50's again next week. Or not. Either way this soup will make you happy! Great flavor, it's a nice dump soup, just dump whatever you want in there. I wanted to add a little whole wheat pasta shapes, but I forgot. Go figure, I finally made a recipe just like it was written, pretty much. If you can't find escarole, use kale or spinach. Add pasta, barley, beans, whatever you like. To me it's that kind of soup. Hearty and filling.

Light Italian Wedding Soup  
with Turkey Meatballs
Source: Martha Stewart, Everyday Food January 2012
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook

1 pound ground turkey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
32 ounces reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes in juice
1 large head escarole, or 2 small , cored, trimmed, and coarsely chopped (you can use kale or spinach, if you can't find escarole)

*Optional -- you can add small pasta, like tubetti, ditalini, shells, whatever you like. Don't overcook the pasta.

In a bowl, combine turkey, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, about a teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, more or less. Using about a tablespoon for each, roll mixture into small meatballs.

In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add broth and tomatoes (with juice); bring to a simmer. Add meatballs; cook, without stirring, until meatballs float to surface, about 10 minutes. Skim foam. Add as much escarole or kale to pot as will fit.

Continue to simmer, gradually adding remaining escarole. Cook until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes more or less. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve soup sprinkled with more Parmesan.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Roasted Mushrooms

Here's another winner from the book All About Roasting by Molly Stevens. Quick-Roasted Mushrooms with Pine Nuts and Parmesan. Usually I stuff mushrooms or saute them but this time I roasted them, it gave plain old white button mushrooms a lot of flavor. A little something different. This was outstanding.

Of course the recipe called for something I didn't have on hand, cremini mushrooms. But white buttons worked out so well in this, I'd use them again. The whole dish took less than twenty minutes using the high heat method. Funny but high heat usually means burnt in my case. Not these, they came out perfectly fine, there were no leftovers, and the smoke alarm never went off. You can also serve on toasted baguette slices, just chop it a bit.  And it would be nice chopped on top of some whole wheat pasta.

Roasted Mushrooms with Pine Nuts and Parmesan
Source: All About Roasting by Molly Stevens
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook
Printable Recipe

1 tablespoon pine nuts (I used a bit more)
1 pound cremini or button mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or use less dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Watch them carefully, they tend to burn rather quickly. Transfer to a plate to cool. Chop them if you like. I left them whole.

Put the mushrooms in a mixing bowl and drizzle with melted butter and olive oil. Sprinkle with the chopped thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the mushrooms to coat. Spread the mushrooms in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven and roast for about 10 minutes. Turn them and then roast for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the mushrooms to a serving dish and toss with the pine nuts. Grate the cheese over and serve. 

Beth at Beth Fish Reads for her fun Weekend Cooking Party. Every weekend. It's open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share! Go on over and see some fun posts.



Sunday, January 8, 2012

Stuffed Zucchini

Tomatoes and zucchini go so well together. Add some cheese and bread crumbs and you've got one fantastic dish! This was excellent. And so easy. I was looking forward to leftovers, but there weren't any. So I made them again.

Zucchini Boats
Source:  Proud Italian Cook

3 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise, ends trimmed
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
plain bread crumbs
fontina, provolone or mozzarella (or any good melting cheese), diced
a little white wine (optional)
olive oil for drizzling
basil, chopped

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine the garlic, oil, salt and pepper.

Scoop out the seeds of the zucchini in the center with a spoon. Brush the surface with the oil mixture. Arrange the tomato halves down the center of the zucchini, pour a little bit of white wine in the dish, then sprinkle with the bread crumbs.  Bake for about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and place the cheese in between the tomatoes. Turn broiler on and place them back in the oven. Broil until golden and bubbling. Remove and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan. Garnish with chopped basil.


Thursday, January 5, 2012


One of my all-time favorite cookbooks would be All About Braising by Molly Stevens. So when she recently came out with All About Roasting, it was on the top of my wish list! I have the book only a few days and already made two dishes. Both simple. Both easy. Both fantastic. And I have at least ten more recipes bookmarked!  

Roasted Snap Peas with Toasted Sesame Salt. I made it exactly, well pretty much exactly, as it was written and it went over big. They loved it. No leftovers to pick at tomorrow, the picky one would have had a third helping. We all thought it was that good.

Roasted Snap Peas with Toasted Sesame Salt
Source: All About Roasting by Molly Stevens
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook
Printable Recipe

1 pound of sugar snap peas, peel off the fibrous center string, if it's there, trim stem ends)
2 tablespoons white or black sesame seeds (or both)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven  to 475°F.

Arrange the snow peas on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for about 14 minutes, or until they are browned and crisp in spots and starting to shrivel. While they roast, spread the sesame seeds out in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Toast until they start to turn golden and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Remove immediately from the heat and let them cool on a plate. When cooled, mix them with the salt in a mortar or spice grinder. Not too fine. As soon as the peas are done, transfer them to a serving bowl and sprinkle the sesame salt mixture on top of the roasted snap peas. Serve hot, warm or even cold!

Beth at Beth Fish Reads for her fun Weekend Cooking Party. Every weekend. It's open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share! Go on over and see some fun posts.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Frozen Cocktails

A frozen chocolate cocktail. 

When I saw it at ValSoCal I knew I would be making this for New Year's Eve. I need more practice with the sugar on the glass but otherwise these were a big hit!  I added a little chocolate syrup to make it more chocolatey, some silver sugar to make it a little more festive and it was a delicious way to celebrate the New Year!

Frozen Hot Cocoa Cocktail
Source: ValSoCal
4 ounces of hot cocoa mix
3 cups of milk
3/4 cup vanilla vodka
4 to 5 cups ice
chocolate syrup, for garnish
mini marshmallows, for garnish
chocolate shavings, for garnish
sugar, for the rim
hot cocoa mix, for the rim

Put some water into a saucer. Dip the rims of the martini glasses into the water and shake off any excess. Dip them in the sugar to rim the glass. You can also rim the glass in hot cocoa instead of the sugar.

In a blender, combine cocoa mix, milk, vodka and 6 cups of ice and blend until smooth. Serve in martini glasses and garnish with the mini marshmallows, chocolate syrup and some chocolate shavings!

Happy New Year Graphic -- more clip art can be found here


 Mosaic Monday  at the Little Red House 


Back to top