9th September 2007

Southwestern Corn and Black Bean Salad

We needed an excuse to use one of our new serving platters; a potluck provided the perfect opportunity to fill it with this tasty, simple, black bean and corn salad from Cooking Light. It is quick to make and versatile — you can use it to top bread or appetizers, serve it as a dip, or our favorite, eat it right out of the bowl.

Southwestern Corn and Black Bean Salad
1 pound dried black beans
11 1/2 cups water, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fresh corn kernels
2 cups chopped seeded tomato
1 cup finely chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

To prepare salad, sort and wash the beans. Combine beans and 5 1/2 cups water in a 6-quart pressure cooker. Close lid securely; bring to high pressure over high heat. Adjust heat to medium or level needed to maintain high pressure; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; place cooker under cold running water. Remove lid. Drain beans; rinse with cold water. Drain and cool.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in cooker over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and 2 garlic cloves; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add beans and 6 cups water. Close lid securely; bring to high pressure over high heat. Adjust heat to medium or level needed to maintain high pressure, and cook 12 minutes. Remove from heat; place cooker under cold running water. Remove lid. Drain bean mixture; rinse with cold water. Drain and cool. Combine bean mixture, corn, tomato, onion, and bell peppers in a large bowl.
To prepare dressing, combine juice and next 7 ingredients (juice through jalapeños), stirring with a whisk. Stir in cilantro. Pour dressing over bean mixture; stir gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

12 servings.

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18th July 2007

Orange-Marinated Grilled Chicken with Smoky Tomato Salsa and Green Rice

Tonight we tag-teamed dinner, with Lisa making a cilantro-tomatillo rice while I took care of the chicken and salsa. The recipes were from two different sources, but went really, really well with each other. We loved the smoky tomato salsa, it was excellent with both the chicken and the rice. The grilled chicken recipe is from Healthy Latin Cooking, and the Green Rice is from Cooking Light. We cut both of the recipes in half to serve 2.

Also, hooray! Our 50th post!

Orange-Marinated Grilled Chicken with Smoky Tomato Salsa
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz each)
salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)

2 large tomatoes
1 small onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic
2 canned chipotle peppers
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2-3 tbsp lime juice
salt and ground pepper

4 sprigs cilantro

Chicken and Marinade: Season each chicken breast with salt and pepper, and place in a 13″x9″ baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, and oil (if using). Whisk and pour over chicken. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 60 minutes.

Salsa: While the chicken is marinating, preheat the grill over high heat. Place the tomatoes, onions, and garlic on the grill and roast, turning occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the skins are charred and blistered. (Skewer the garlic to keep them from falling through the grate. Transfer to a plate to cool. When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, peel off most, but not all, of the burnt skin. (The few pieces of charred skin left will add a nice flavor.) In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chipotle peppers. Puree until smooth. Stir in the chopped cilantro and 2 tbsps of the lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, add more lime juice to taste. Let cool to room temperature.

Assemble and cook: Just before serving, preheat the grill to high heat. Grill the chicken for 5-6 minutes per side or until done. Spoon one-quarter of the salsa in a pool on each of 4 plates. Place a grilled chicken breast in the center of each and garnish with a cilantro sprig.

Green Rice
6 large tomatillos (about 3/4 lb)
2 tbsp water
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
4 tsp minced seeded jalapeno peppers
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 cups uncooked long grain rice

Discard husks and stems from the tomatillos. Cook the tomatillos in boiling water in a medium saucepan for 4 minutes or until soft; drain. Combine the tomatillos and 2 teaspoons water in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the tomatillo mixture into a 4 cup glass measure, and add enough water to mixture to measure 2& 1/2 cups. Combine the tomatillo mixture, cilantro, jalapeno, salt and garlic in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add rice; cover mixture, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and fluff with fork.

posted in Cooking Light, Healthy Latin Cooking, Main Dishes | 0 Comments

26th June 2007

Pepper-Beef Stir Fry

We were rushed for time tonight, so this recipe from Cooking Light’s SuperFast Suppers cookbook sounded perfect — it was on the table 20 minutes after cracking open the fridge. The sauce thickens nicely and certainly doesn’t taste “light”.

Pepper-Beef Stir-Fry
1 (5 oz) package Japanese curly noodles (chucka soba), uncooked
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup low-salt beef broth
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
cooking spray
3/4 pound top round steak, thinly sliced
1 tsp light sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
3 ounces snow peas, trimmed

Cook noodles according to package directions.

Combine soy sauce and next three ingredients in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Place non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. add beef. Stir-fry for 4 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan; set aside and keep warm. Coat pan with oil. Add garlic and bell pepper; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add snow peas and water chestnuts; stir-fry 1 minute. Return beef, juices, and soy sauce mixture to pan and cook 30 seconds, or until slightly thickened. Serve over noodles.

Serves 4.

posted in Asian, Cooking Light, Main Dishes | 1 Comment