Thursday, January 10, 2008

Jalapeño Poppers

I'm not usually the kind to crank out hors d'ourves, actually these were Karen's idea...I liked these so much I think we'll be making these a lot. They're hot without being brain-melting painful (well, perhaps the odd one is if you don't seed it with care), crunchy, and savory. Easy to make too.

* 2 sprays olive oil cooking spray, divided
* 2 oz light cream cheese
* 1/2 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
* 1 Tbsp fat-free mayonnaise
* 8 small jalapeño pepper(s)
* egg whites from two eggs
* 3/4 cup cornflake crumbs


* Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

* In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese and mayonnaise; mix well and set aside. Halve jalapeños lengthwise and remove seeds. (Don’t rub your eyes.) Stuff jalapeño halves with cream cheese mixture.

* Place egg substitute in a shallow dish. Place cornflake crumbs in a separate shallow dish. Dip stuffed jalapeño halves into egg substitute and then roll in cornflake crumbs to coat.

* Transfer jalapeños to prepared baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.

* Bake until filling is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve hot. Yields 2 poppers per serving.

For you WW freaks, each popper is 1 point.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Roasted Pork Loin with Maple-Mustard Crust

Cider Brine:

4 cups apple cider (or apple juice I guess)
1/2 cup pickling or kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 pounds (or so) of pork loin

Bring the brine ingredients to a slow boil, stir until everything is dissolved, then cool to room temperature. Put the pork into a large ziploc and add the brine, press the air out so the pork is in constant contact with the brine. Put in the fridge for 8 to 18 hours.

For the roast:

1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbs grainy Dijon mustard
2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F. Combine the crust ingredients. Pat the pork dry with a paper towel. Brush the pork all over with the mustard mixture. Roast the pork for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350 F and continue cooking until internal temp (thickest part) is 145 F.

Served with the Brussels Sprouts from the previous post, and some finely chopped potato and carrots that I had in the roasting pan, with the pork loin on top of them.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Thyme

First, here's the recipe.

Ok, so, what's with the bad reputation of Brussels Sprouts? It's one of those "yuck foods" you see in children's stories. They're great. Like cabbage only sweeter and seemingly less sulfurous...although that only comes from overcooking anyway. Certainly more elegant-looking then cabbage. I've just had these for the 1st time in my life, seriously. I don't know how I made it to 35 without having these. Will be making them a lot now.

Any why boil them? This method has got to be much better.