Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Creamy Tomato Couscous

This should look very familiar, as it's a variation on a recipe I posted not long ago.  I have this jar of marinara sauce needing to be used up, and the bulk couscous I have in the cupboard is tomato, so I thought "why not?!". 
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp butter (if desired)
  • 1/2 C uncooked couscous
  • 2 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 2 heaping Tbsp marinara sauce
1.   Bring water, salt, and butter if using to a boil in a small saucepan.  Quickly stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat.  Let stand 4-5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
2.  Combine cheeses, stir mixture into couscous. When incorporated, stir in marinara sauce.

Robyn's notes: I really quite enjoyed this, the tomato sauce gave it a little extra oomph that I liked.  I tested the recipe alone, not as the side to a meal, so I can't say what it would work best alongside.  

*** 3 Stars: Good. At least one of us liked this enough for me to make it again, but not often

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

English Muffin Pizzas

Change of plan for dinner tonight, because I've misplaced my notes for the meal I was going to make, and after wasting a lot of time looking (and some time watching the snow), I gave up and decided to just make something quick. 
  • 2 English muffins, split
  • 4 Tbsp marinara sauce
  • 4 Tbsp mozzarella cheese
  • various preferred pizza toppings
1.  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Spread 1 Tbsp sauce over each muffin half, top with cheese and toppings of choice.  Bake at 375°F for 9-11 minutes or until cheese is melted and just browning at the edges. 

Robyn's notes: be careful not to oversauce, pizza really requires far less sauce than many people think.  This is a good option when needing something quick and easy, or to use ingredients left by previous meals, especially marinara sauce.  Speaking of which, for this occasion I cracked open the last jar of store-bought sauce in my cupboard--the rest are all homemade and therefore half-pints--so the clock is ticking on using it before it needs to be tossed.  Recipes utilizing it are forthcoming, and there are several listed in Using Up Ingredients.  Vegetarian if no meat is used as a topping.

*** 3 Stars: Good. At least one of us liked this enough for me to make it again, but not often

Monday, November 23, 2015

Grilled Chicken with Chipotle-Orange Glaze

This is the recipe I bought the chipotles in adobo sauce for in the first place! 
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice concentrate, thawed (see notes, below)
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8 oz total)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
1.  Preheat grill or broiler to high, lightly oil the rack.
2.  Whisk orange juice concentrate, chipotles, vinegar, molasses, and mustard in a small bowl.
3.  Sprinkle chicken with salt.  Grill or broil chicken for 2 minutes.  Turn the chicken, brush with glaze, and cook, brushing occasionally with more glaze, 4 minutes more.  Turn the chicken again, brush with the glaze, and cook until no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 5 minutes more.

Robyn's notes: the day is not coming when I will either thaw an entire package of orange juice concentrate in order to use 1 Tablespoon or try to shave off the right amount still frozen to just thaw a bit.  So what I did was juice an orange into a thin glass early in the day, and let it sit.  The juice will separate, with much of the water rising to the top and leaving a concentrated juice at the bottom.  I poured off the watery top and used just the remaining thick juice for this recipe.  Because of my sensitivity to spice, I didn't chop up the chipotle.  I left the whole pepper in the bowl when I whisked the glaze together, so it would provide some kick but not too much.  It's a good thing, too, because this was quite spicy for me, though quite good.  After slicing the chicken for the plate I drizzled on a little extra glaze.  I broiled this, but it would be oven-free if grilled.

*** 3 Stars: Good. At least one of us liked this enough for me to make it again, but not often