Friday, September 2, 2011

Southwest Stir Fry

2 TBS olive oil

1.25 lb. nice looking steak (top, sirloin, etc), sliced against grain into fajita-size pieces

2 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, finely sliced

1 red pepper, diced
1 large jalapeno, diced

2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 can red beans, rinsed & drained

1 lime, halved


shredded lettuce
shredded cheddar cheese
Cholula hot sauce

Heat olive oil in large heavy skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add steak & cook until just slightly pink. Add garlic, green onions & both peppers; saute until fragrant & peppers are just starting to soften. Stir in tomatoes & beans & heat through. Squeeze lime over meat & vegetable mixture & cook 2-3 minutes more.

Warm tortillas.

Serve with compliments.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Savory Pesto Appetizer Cheesecakes

1/4 c dry bread crumbs
2 TBS freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 - 8 oz package Neufchatel (or light cream cheese)
1/2 c ricotta cheese
3/4 c shredded 5 cheese Italian blend
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1 large egg

prepared pesto sauce*

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In small bowl, combine breadcrumbs with Parmesan. Spray 6 4-inch tarlet pans with non-stick cooking spray. Divide crumb mixture among pans & shake to evenly coat bottoms.

Using an electric mixer, beat Neufchatel, ricotta, 5-cheese blend & pepper in a large bowl until light. Add egg, beating until well blended. Gently spoon into prepared pans, smoothing evenly. Drop 3 teaspoons of pesto onto batter; swirl through the batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.

Place tartlet pans on a baking sheet & place in preheated oven.

Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with just a bit of cheesecake on it, about 20 minutes. (Be careful not to over-bake it until it tests clean.) Transfer to rack and cool completely. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Gently remove cheesecakes from pan (flip onto small plate, then invert back onto serving plate).

Serve with sliced baguette or flatbread crisps.

*I used Traditional Basil pesto in 3 cheesecakes & Fire-roasted Tomato pesto in the other 3 for variety.

Fire-Roasted Tomato Pesto

1-15.5 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
1/2 c lightly packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Place drained tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic, balsamic vinegar & red pepper in small bowl of food processor (or blender). Pulse until smooth. Drizzle in oil & continue to pulse until well combined. Add Parmesan & pulse until smooth.

Use as you would any other pesto sauce.

Makes about 1 & 1/2 cups.