Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Brussels Sprouts

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I was trying out this recipe for use as a party appetizer, and it was a true success story. The Brussels sprouts are blanched in hot water for a few minutes to bring out their bright green color. Once removed from the pot, they are cut with an X about halfway down. A mixture of goat cheese and garlic is piped into the middle and then the entire thing is wrapped in bacon. I usually buy center cut bacon, but for this recipe I suggest using a longer cut. Pop these in the oven for 30 minutes and out come these tasty little morsels. Serve with the picks that secure the bacon for easy handling. I do suggest that you try to find Brussels sprouts that are all about the same size for this recipe. Such a perfect idea for Thanksgiving when you can find them fresh “on the stalk” at your grocer.


BACON-WRAPPED STUFFED BRUSSELS SPROUTS (Serves: 8)

Ingredients

  • 18 large Brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed and loose outer leaves discarded
  • 4 ounces cream cheese or goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 9 slices bacon, halved crosswise
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 2 minutes to blanch.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain in a sieve. Pat the Brussels sprouts dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel. Using a paring knife, cut an “X” in the top of each Brussels sprout, cutting halfway down through the sprout.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Blend the cheese and garlic in a small bowl. Spoon the cheese mixture into a small resealable plastic bag. Cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners of the bag. Place the cut-out corner of the plastic bag in the “X” of each Brussels sprout and squeeze in a dollop of cheese mixture.
  4. Wrap a piece of bacon around each sprout vertically, covering over the cheese. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the sprouts and sprinkle with the pepper.
  5. Bake the sprouts, flipping them over halfway through the baking time, until the bacon is evenly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with toothpicks.

~ RodaleWellness.com ~

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Pan-Fried Broccoli Stems

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CHIPSNever throw away your broccoli stems again. Peel the tough skin on the stalks and cut into 1/8th inch slices. If you slice on the diagonal you will create more surface area and a more attractive final product. Pan fry using the broccoli stems in olive oil for a couple of minutes, turning as they brown, and removing to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste and serve. A wonderfully tasty, healthy snack or side.


PAN-FRIED BROCCOLI STEMS (Serves: 4)

Ingredients

  • 4 to 8 thick broccoli stems
  • About 4 tablespoons grape seed oil or olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Peel broccoli stems and slice crosswise, very thin, about 1/8 inch. (Don’t slice paper-thin because then it’s too easy to burn them.)
  2. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat and add enough oil to coat well (about 1/8 inch of oil in the pan). When oil is hot add broccoli stems in a single layer. (Don’t add too many at a time because they will cook quickly and you need to turn them all over before they burn.) Turn heat down to medium-high and cook broccoli stems until edges are lightly brown, then flip over with tongs. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute more and remove from oil. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and let cool for about a minute before eating.
  3. Continue with all of the broccoli stems, adding oil as needed.

~ CookingNYTimes.com ~

Butter-Steamed Broccoli With Peppery Bread Crumbs

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I have prepared steamed broccoli plenty of times, but never using this method. You begin with butter melted in a large skillet over medium-high heat. To that you add 3″ broccoli spears and season them with salt to taste. Now add one cup of water to the pan, turn the heat up to high, and cover the skillet with a lid. It takes about 5 minutes for the broccoli to steam to crisp-tender. Remove the broccoli to a plate, sprinkle with the peppered bread crumbs, and shave some parmesan on top. This turned out to be a wonderful side — an interesting method to add flavor to the broccoli. Save the stalks from your broccoli and stay tuned for a recipe for Pan Fried Broccoli Stems.


BUTTER-STEAMED BROCCOLI WITH PEPPERY BREAD CRUMBS (Serves: 4-6)

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups coarse bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 large head or 2 medium heads broccoli (1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, for shaving

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread bread crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes, turning pan and stirring crumbs occasionally to ensure even browning. Remove from oven and transfer crumbs to a bowl. Stir in black pepper and salt to taste. Set aside at room temperature.
  2. Cut off thick stems of broccoli and save for another purpose, such as soup. Cut broccoli tops into 3-inch-long spears of approximately equal size.
  3. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter, add broccoli spears and season with salt. Add 1 cup water, turn heat to high and cover skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Cook rapidly until firm-tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes. The broccoli should absorb all the butter and water. (If there is any buttery liquid left, spoon over broccoli just before serving.)
  4. Transfer broccoli to a serving platter or a large wide shallow bowl. Sprinkle generously with peppery crumbs. Using a vegetable peeler, shave Parmesan into rough shards and scatter over the top.

~ CookingNYTimes.com ~

Byrdhouse Marinated Tomatoes and Mushrooms

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FOOD 1Time to use up some mushrooms, green onions and cherry tomatoes. I love the All Recipes site because it allows you to search by ingredient. This salad recipe incorporates all three with a simple vinaigrette that brings out the best in everything. As an afterthought we added some leftover ciliegine mozzarella balls. It was pretty spectacular and a nice addition to our meal. Served here with Roast New York Strip Loin with Garlic-Herb Crust and Butter-Steamed Broccoli With Peppery Bread Crumbs.


BYRDHOUSE MARINATED TOMATOES AND MUSHROOMS (Serves: 3)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 (8 ounce) package fresh mushrooms
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Directions

  1. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, vegetable oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl; add the tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and basil; toss until evenly coated. Cover and chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours. Stir before serving.

~ AllRecipes.com ~

Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Brussels Sprouts

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chopsI modified this recipe to utilize the sliced apples that were leftover after we made the Apple Rose Pie. I prepared the pork chops by combining several spices along with brown sugar and fresh rosemary to create a rub. I allowed them to rest for about an hour before I placed them on a baking sheet. I added the seasoned apple slices around the chops and put them in the oven to bake for about 15-20 minutes. I have to say that the rub on the chops was a little heavy on the palette for me. However, my son and hubby enjoyed it, and I was happy to have used up the apples that I had on hand. I guess it was a Win-Win. Served here with Fried Cabbage.


PORK CHOPS WITH ROASTED APPLES AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS (Serves: 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in, center-cut pork chops
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Gala apple (8 to 9 oz.), cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • Vegetable cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together first 5 ingredients, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. rosemary, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a small bowl. Rub each pork chop with 1/2 tsp. olive oil; rub both sides of each pork chop with brown sugar mixture (about 2 tsp. on each chop).
  2. Whisk together apple cider vinegar and remaining 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. rosemary, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a small bowl; slowly whisk in remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil until blended. Place apples, Brussels sprouts, and 1/4 cup vinegar mixture in a large bowl, and toss to coat.
  3. Place pork chops in center of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) heavy-duty aluminum foil-lined sheet pan; place apple mixture around pork chops.
  4. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes; turn pork chops over, and bake 10 to 14 minutes more or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 140°. Transfer pork chops to a serving platter, and cover with foil to keep warm. Stir apple mixture in sheet pan, and spread into an even layer.
  5. Increase oven temperature to broil, and broil apple mixture 3 to 4 minutes or until browned and slightly charred. Transfer apple mixture to a medium bowl. Toss together apple mixture and remaining vinegar mixture. Season with kosher salt, and serve with pork chops.

~ MyRecipes.com ~

Roasted Asparagus Mushroom Carbonara

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What do you do when you have a bundle of fresh asparagus and some mushrooms that you need to use up? I guess you get out some pasta and create a carbonara! Cut up the veggies and pop them in the oven for a few minutes to roast. In the meantime, crisp up the bacon over medium heat and put some pasta on to boil. Remove the bacon from the pan and reserve 1 tablespoon of fat for the carbonara sauce. You begin by sauteing some fresh garlic and then adding some of the water reserved from the pasta. The cooked pasta is added to the garlic as well and tossed until warmed through. Make sure you start with a large pan that can accommodate all of the ingredients for this dish. Once the pan is removed from the heat you add an egg/parmesan/pepper mixture and toss with the pasta until the sauce thickens. Add in the roasted vegetables and voila! You have a saucy pasta dish that is delicious, flavorful and loaded with goodness.


ROASTED ASPARAGUS MUSHROOM CARBONARA (Serves: 6-8)

Ingredients

  • 1-½ pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound dry spaghetti
  • 4 large eggs
  • 8 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Sea salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the asparagus and mushrooms on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss gently to evenly coat.
  3. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables start to caramelize, stirring halfway.
  4. While the vegetables are roasting, bring 6 quarts of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid before draining the pasta.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, add the bacon to a large sauté pan and cook over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden and crispy, and most of the fat has rendered off. Turn off the heat and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan and a generous amount of the fresh cracked pepper until well-combined.
  7. Return the sauté pan to medium heat. Add the garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  8. Add ¼ cup of the reserved cooking liquid to the sauté pan. Toss in the spaghetti and heat for a few minutes until the bubbling has subsided and much of the water has evaporated.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg mixture to the pasta while quickly stirring. Continue stirring until the egg mixture has thickened, adding additional cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick.
  10. Season with black pepper and sea salt to taste. Gently toss the spaghetti with the roasted asparagus and mushrooms, and serve immediately. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

~ TipHero.com ~

Tomato and Eggplant Tian

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This recipe was so simple and surprisingly tasty. I added a step by peeling and slicing the eggplant and then placing them on a baking sheet with a sprinkle of salt. The bitterness of the eggplant is minimized by letting the eggplant rest in this way for an hour or so. Just make sure to rinse the eggplant with cold water before cooking. The eggplant and onion slices are browned on the stovetop before they are assembled with the tomato slices in a square casserole dish. After a quick 20 minutes in the oven grated parmesan is sprinkled across the top and then returned for a few minutes under the broiler. And that’s it folks . . . A beautiful combination of flavors that can serve as a vegetarian main dish or as a side.


TOMATO AND EGGPLANT TIAN (Serves: 4)

Ingredients

  • 20 bocconcini (mozzarella balls)
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 15-ounce jar plum preserves
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 20 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes

Directions

  1. Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant slices, season with salt and cook until golden on both sides. Remove to a plate and repeat with the onion slices
  3. Rub a small baking dish with the garlic clove. Layer the eggplant, onions, and tomato slices in rows in the baking dish. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake until heated through and the tomatoes are soft but still hold their shape, about 20 minutes. Remove the baking dish and set the oven to broil. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the shredded cheese and broil to melt and brown the cheese, about another 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.

~ FoodNetwork.com ~