Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ham And Cheese Pinwheels Plus A Review of Flatout Multigrain Flatbread

I have made this recipe for ham and cheese pinwheels a number of times and they are always well received.  For a change of pace, I thought I would make them with some Flatout brand flatbread instead of tortillas.  I made a double batch and used three of the Flatout multi-grain bread.  Below is a photo of the finished pinwheels.
The pinwheels were well received at the party I brought them too and there were no leftovers to take home.

However, I don't think we are likely to buy these again. It is a good product but for only two people, 18 pieces of flatbread is a huge quantity.  So my review of them is this:

Good product, good taste and useful, but for two people, the package at Costco is just two big. For larger families or for parties, this is a good product to buy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peppers And Tomatoes Stuffed With Quinoa And Chorizo

While watching the most recent season of "The Next Food Network Star", I was intrigued by a dish of chicken and quinoa stuffed peppers.  I thought the idea of using something hearty and healthy to stuff peppers with sounded like a great idea, but I thought I could put my own spin on it. After some thought, I decided to use cooked chorizo as the meat in the dish.

But that was not the only way I experimented with the dish. While discussing this idea with my wife, she suggested adding a poblano chili to the stuffing and I thought that was an excellent idea. Then, to round out the flavors, we put in some chopped onion.  Finally, since my wife is not fond of cooked peppers, we stuffed some tomatoes to suit her tastes. The final dish was as follows:

1 small sweet onion chopped
1 pound chorizo
1 poblano, seeded and chopped
1 cup quinoa, cooked according to directions
About 1 tablespoon of chia (Available from Costco)
Peppers and tomatoes, tops cut off and centers cleaned for stuffing

Oven was preheated to 350 degrees.

The chorizo and onion were sauteed together, until the chorizo was cooked through. The chopped poblano was then added and cooked for a few moments. Finally, the cooked quinoa was added, along with chia.  The filling was mixed together and then the vegetables were stuffed.

The stuffed vegetables were placed in the oven and cooked until the tops were browned a bit, about 20 minutes. (Please feel free to cook these to your preference).

Aside from being good eats, I thought the results were attractive:

This was definitely a success. The stuffing of the quinoa and chorizo was flavorful and very satisfying.  As a stuffed vegetable dish this was wonderful, but my wife also had some of the stuffing for leftovers later and she commented it also works well as a stand alone dish.

This was easy, flavorful, and fun and it works well using both the peppers and the tomatoes. It is our guess that this would probably also work well with squash.

If you are looking for a hearty, meaty use of quinoa, this a great idea and I highly recommend this.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sacrilegious Black Bean Burger With Bacon And Pepper Jack Cheese

We are huge fans of the Morningstar Farms Chipotle Black Bean Burgers.  They are delicious, easy to cook and nutritious.  One day I suggested to my wonderful wife that they would be great with bacon and cheese and she was a bit taken aback.  While we are definitely meat eaters, she thought the idea of putting meat and cheese on a vegan product was blasphemous.  I, however, thought it sounded pretty yummy and we went ahead and did it.

The bacon and spicy cheese went very well with these burgers.  The flavors and textures all complimented each other very nicely and it was an exceptionally satisfying combination.

My wife made the comment to me that this was a great way to serve these burgers and I am sure we will do something like this again.

If you like meat, this is a great way to have some serious fun with these black bean burgers

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Costo Coupon Book For October 13 to November 6

Courtesy my wonderful friends at Addicted To Costco, here is a link to this month's coupon book.

Among other items, both the Take and Bake pizza and the Palermo frozen pizza are on our list.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Leveraging Caprese Salad: First A Great Salad, Then A Great Sandwich

We are quite  fond of the Belgioioso fresh mozzarella that we get from Costco.  One of our favorite dishes with it is a Caprese salad.  As you can see from the photo below, it is as beautiful as it is delicious.

As delicious as this salad was, there was so much of it we didn't finish it in one meal and that gave me an idea.  I thought it would make a great base for a sandwich so we got some sandwich rolls and toasted them lightly.  Then, on the bottom half, we put some cappocolla and topped it with some of the leftover caprese salad.  It was then put under the broiler just long enough to melt the cheese a bit and warm everything up.  
The finished product definitely met my expectations.  The flavors from the salad had blended together very nicely and by just warming it through with some gentle melting, the cheese was soft, warm and delicious.  Finally, the Italian lunch meat made this a complete sandwich. This was an absolute success and I am positive we will do something like this again.

Also, it is a great example of making one dish and leveraging it into multiple meals in different ways.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Dinner To Celebrate The Anniversary Of Our First Date: Baked Salmon, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Now that I am settled into my new 1st shift job, I have a lot more time to spend with my lovely wife.  Normally, to celebrate the anniversary of our first date, we go out of town or have dinner out. But my wonderful wife thought it would be romantic to have a nice dinner at home and watch a movie, and I concurred.

However, as much as we wanted a nice dinner at home, we had no desire to spend three hours in the kitchen, so we came up with this elegant, simple and quick meal to celebrate eight years together as a couple.

For the main course, my wife  took some Kirkland Signature Atlantic Salmon and cooked it in parchment paper with butter, dried dill, salt, pepper and a little lemon juice. She set the oven to 350 and baked it for 20 minutes.  While that was going, I snapped some fresh green beans and my wife cooked up some pancetta from the local Italian deli.  After steaming the beans, we added the pancetta to them and they were good to go.

For the potatoes, I made some Honest Earth potatoes we bought from Costco and dressed them up with bacon bits and dried chives.  The resulting dinner, along with being tasty, was also quite attractive.

The salmon comes in individually wrapped portions, which made the preparation of them simple, neat and quick.  The potatoes were also a snap to prepare, but as I said, adding the chives and bacon (real bacon!) made them more upscale.

The salmon was tasty and a great value for the dollar and we have already decide to make a meal like this again for entertaining my mother.

Once again, Costco gave us some great food at a great price that was easy to cook with.