Feb 7, 2008

Chiles Rellenos with Grilled Chicken and Cheese

Chiles Rellenos with Grilled Chicken and Cheese
10 Servings
20 each medium Anaheim peppers
1/2 cup olive oil

3 whole eggs
24 ounces (6 cups) ricotta cheese
20 ounces (about 5-3/4 cups) mozzarella cheese, grated
8 ounces (2 cups) pepper jack cheese, grated
8 ounces (1 cup) Asiago cheese, finely grated
1 cup cilantro, chopped
6 cups grilled chicken, julienne
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Tabasco™ sauce to taste

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
4 egg yolks
24 ounces lime soda
4 egg whites
Tomatillo Sauce
8 raw tomatillos, skin husks removed and roughly chopped
1 raw poblano chili pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
10 spinach leaves
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Final Preparation
Oil for deep frying
12 sprigs cilantro
4 ounces (1 cup) Asiago cheese, grated

Toss Anaheim peppers in oil. Broil, turning occasionally, until blistered. Place in stainless steel bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and cool until cool enough to handle. Peel the peppers. Cut a slit down the length of the peppers. Carefully remove the seeds and vein. Set aside.
Whisk eggs until foamy. Add ricotta cheese and mix thoroughly. With a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining filling ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Chill until very cold.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, combine egg yolks and soda. Add to dry ingredients and stir gently to combine. Whip egg whites to medium peak. Fold in to batter mixture. Let rest one hour.

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Final Preparation
Fill each pepper with cheese filling. Pour batter into flat container. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 350ยบ F. Dip each pepper in the batter, turning to coat completely. Drop peppers a few at a time into hot oil and deep fry for 4 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Pour 2 ounces sauce on each of 10 serving plates. Place 2 peppers on sauce. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and Asiago cheese. Serve immediately.

Feb 1, 2008

Grocery Shopping Tips

by Natalie Mitts

It's a new year and like everyone else, you've made a resolution to eat healthy and spend less money. By shopping smart for groceries you can meet both your goals. Here are some tips on how to spend less money on groceries, eat food you enjoy and lose weight.

  1. Make a calendar of meals: Decide what you are going to eat for at least a week in advance. Plan a main course and don't forget to include vegetables on the side. This way you won't waste time looking in the fridge and cupboards. You will be less likely to go out to eat every night since you already have something planned. You can also avoid eating junk food since you have a structured meal in place. Don't get tied down to your calendar, though. There is always room for switching meals if you decide to go to the basketball game or want to grab a bite with friends. When you're shopping for food, you also will avoid some of those impulse buys because you already have a plan. Whether you only plan out dinner or decide on a calendar for breakfast and lunch as well, you've got something to stick to.

  2. Make a list: Write down the items you need to buy at the store according to your menu. Remember to put some healthy snacks on the list i.e. carrots, pretzels, wheat crackers or apples. These will keep you from wandering to the vending machines when you are stuck on campus all day.

  3. Check out advertisements: Compare the advertisements from local grocery stores. Decide which one has the best deals according to what you were already planning on buying. Alter your menu if there are some sales that don't come along every day. It's important to be flexible so you can save money and still enjoy your food.

  4. Eat before you go: It's not a myth that shopping hungry causes you to impulse buy. When you eat a meal before hitting the store, you aren't as tempted by foods not on your list.

  5. Budget: Set a monthly budget for yourself when it comes to buying food. This can change if your goal ends up being completely unrealistic, but it's good to notice how much you are spending. As you shop, try to keep in mind how much each item is costing as you put it into your basket. This way you won't be completely surprised at the check out. Keep your receipts and if you are extra curious, evaluate what kind of food is costing you too much.
Now you've got a menu, a list and a price range. You're ready to shop for groceries and won't be fazed by any item not on the list.

Holiday Dating

With three festive holidays looming closer, here are some date ideas for those in the mood to celebrate.

Valentine's Day
Start off the date by writing cheesy love poems to each other. It doesn't matter if you're just friends; these are fun for everyone. Make up the details if necessary.

Buy some almond bark, heat it up and then dip sandwich cookies or wafers in it. You've got white chocolate-covered cookies at half the price of pre-made ones. Plus, they are a lot more fun to make and eat.

Finish the night with a romantic movie. We suggest watching Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in "Sleepless in Seattle." It's one that never gets old.

St. Patrick's Day
Wear green from head to toe. Girls, wear bright green eye shadow. Guys, paint your face green if you're feeling brave.

Read the Dr. Seuss classic "Green Eggs and Ham" while eating some tasty green eggs and ham or anything else you feel like coloring green. Don't worry; green food dye is not harmful to eat once a year.

Paint pictures of rainbows and leprechauns. Hang your date's picture on your fridge after it dries.

Since most Easter egg hunts are for children under 12, volunteer to help out with a local Easter egg hunt. If you have nieces or nephews in town, take them along.

Next, take a trip to the store to fill an Easter basket for your date. Split up and set a time limit and budget. The most creative person wins, but both get to enjoy their candy.

Lastly, it's a must to dye Easter eggs and eat them. Find a dye pack and make eggs interesting with stripes and polka dots. Remember to name your eggs and give them faces.

Stuffed Burgers

Stuffed Burgers with Gorgonzola Cheese and Bacon
4 Servings
1 pound ground beef
4 ounces bacon
4 tablespoons Gorgonzola cheese
Sea salt
Ground black pepper

Dice bacon and fry until crisp. Drain. Crumble Gorgonzola cheese and set aside. Divide ground beef int
o eight thin patties. Top four of the patties with the bacon and Gorgonzola, dividing it evenly. Top with the four remaining patties, close and seal the burgers. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook over a hot fire for 2-3 minutes per side.   Serve on fresh baked hamburger rolls with thick sliced tomatoes and red onions.

Tuscan Style Steak

Tuscan Style Steak
4 Servings
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, crushed
Sea salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 boneless rib eye steaks, about 3/4 pound each

In a blender, pulverize the rosemary, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour half the marinade on top of the steaks, turn and coat the other side with remaining marinade. Allow the steaks to rest for anywhere from 2 hours to overnight. When ready to cook, prepare the grill. Allow some of the excess marinade to drip off the steaks. Grill about 6 to 9 minutes per side, or until steaks are cooked to your liking.

Hearth Baked Pizza

Where: Legends Grille

What: Hearth Baked Pizza

Price: $5.45

Protein of your choice (chicken, ham, pepperoni, salmon, sausage, shrimp or steak), sauce of your choice (Alfredo, barbecue or traditional red) and unlimited toppings (variety of fresh garden vegetables)

Legends Grille is known for its delicious hearth baked pizzas, personalized to suit your taste. The cooks bake up whatever you choose for meat, sauce and toppings. We recommend the Hawaiian (pictured here) with traditional red sauce, ham, pineapple and plenty of cheese. Other favorites include chicken with barbecue sauce, pepperoni with mushrooms, Alfredo chicken or steak with peppers. Additional proteins cost $1.25 more. The pizzas are eight inches wide, so there's plenty to bring home for dinner. If you somehow saved room for more, there's even an apple dessert pizza to try.