Smoky Stuffed Peppers

Smoky Stuffed Peppers

  • ·6 large bell peppers, tops cut off, seeded (I’m using Red and Yellow pepers vice the traditional Green Peppers tonight)
  • ·12 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage links, removed from casings
  • ·1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ·4  plum tomatoes, chopped
  • ·2 cups instant brown rice
  • ·1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • ·1 cup smoked cheese, such as mozzarella, cheddar or Gouda, finely shredded, divided
  1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.
  2. Place peppers cut-side down in a large microwave-safe dish. Fill the dish with 1/2 inch of water, cover and microwave on high until the peppers are just softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain the water and transfer the peppers to a roasting pan.
  3. Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth, tomatoes and rice; increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the rice is softened but still moist, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, until the rice absorbs the remaining liquid, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir basil and half the cheese into the rice mixture. Divide the filling among the peppers, then top with the remaining cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes.

Tonight, I’m serving with Green salad and fruit compote.

 

Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burgers

  • ·2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ·1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ·4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ·2 cups plum tomatoes, chopped, with juices
  • ·6  oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
  • ·1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ·1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ·2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • ·1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • ·1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
  • ·2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ·2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ·1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • ·1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ·1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ·1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ·1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ·2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
  • ·2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ·4  4-inch-square slices foccacia bread, (about 2 ounces each), toasted
  1. To prepare marinara: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in fresh tomatoes and any juices, sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in basil and remove from the heat. Transfer to a food processor and pulse to form a coarse-textured sauce. Return to the pan and set aside.
  2. To prepare burgers: Place turkey, scallions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Gently combine, without over mixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 8 thin patties about 4-inches wide and 3/8 inch thick.
  3. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and basil and place an equal amount in the center of 4 patties. Cover with the remaining patties and crimp the edges closed.
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat (see grilling variation). Add burgers and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total.
  5. Warm the marinara on the stove. To assemble the burgers, spread 3 tablespoons of marinara on each toasted focaccia, top with a burger, about 3 more tablespoons of marinara and 1 tablespoon of the remaining cheese.

Grilling Variation: To grill the turkey burgers: Preheat a grill to medium-high. Oil the grill rack. Grill the patties, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total.

Tonight I’m serving with oven baked French fries, garden salad and fruit compote.

Black-Eyed Peas with Pork & Greens

Black-Eyed Peas with Pork & Greens

  • 1 pound boneless pork chops, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup instant brown rice
  • 1 cup roughly chopped kale leaves, about 1 small bunch, tough stems removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, preferably hot
  • 1 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed

 

  1. Toss pork with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pork and cook, stirring, until just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add onion, tomato paste and rice to the pan and cook until the onion softens, about 4 minutes. Add kale and garlic and cook until the kale begins to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in broth, vinegar, paprika and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the rice is done, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the reserved pork and black-eyed peas and heat for 1 minute.

 

Tonight, I’m serving with green salad and fruit compote

Brazilian Grilled Flank Steak

Brazilian Grilled Flank Steak

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small hot pepper, such as jalapeño or serrano, minced
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 pounds flank steak (tonight I’m using Hanger steak but you can use Flatiron or Skirt)
  • 1 14-ounce can hearts of palm, drained, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 4  medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2  small hot chile, such as jalapeño or serrano, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Preheat grill to high (see Broiling Variation).
  2. To prepare steak: Combine garlic, hot pepper, oil and salt in a small bowl. Rub the mixture on both sides of steak.
  3. To prepare salsa: Combine hearts of palm, tomatoes, onion, hot pepper, cilantro, vinegar and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Reduce grill heat to medium and grill the steak 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut the steak across the grain into thin pieces. Serve with the salsa.

Broiling variation: Instead of grilling, in Step 1 position oven rack 6 inches from the heat source and preheat broiler. In Step 4, cook steak on a broiler pan under the broiler until medium-rare, turning once, about 10 minutes total.

Tonight, I’m serving with roasted seasoned potatoes, Green garden salad and fruit compote.

NOTE: This is for you Nick (My son)!

Shrimp & Lobster Avocado Salad with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette

Shrimp & Lobster Avocado Salad with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, (see Note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup cooked shrimp and or lobster meat, about 6 ounces, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and halved lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
  1. Place oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper in a blender or a jar with a tight-fitting lid; blend or shake until well combined.
  2. Stir shrimp, red pepper, and chives into the dressing. Spoon the shrimp mixture into the avocado halves, and sprinkle lemon juice over the top of each.
  3. Serve each avocado half on a bed of romaine lettuce (about 1 cup each). Dust the top of each shrimp-stuffed avocado half with a pinch of paprika.

Tonight, I’m serving with crusty bread and fruit compote.

Note: Smoked paprika is made from smoke-dried red peppers and adds earthy, smoky flavor. It can be used in many types of savory dishes. Look for different types of paprika at some large supermarkets or at tienda.com or penzeys.com.