Friday, April 23, 2010

Italian Stuffed Peppers

I have had a few days off of work this week and I had some extra time to do cooking.  I hadn't posted much this month due to house hunting and some family obligations, but hopefully I am getting back on track.  I had a bit of a headache today so I wanted to make something simple, yet different to prepare.  So of course I brought out the Crock Pot.  I only made 6 peppers, but three were more than enough for us!  It was so filling and delicious.

Source:  Taste of Home:  Everyday Slow Cooker & One Dish Recipes 2009


6 large sweet red or green peppers
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 c. cubed part-skim mozzarella cheese (1/4 in. cubes)
1 c. uncooked converted rice
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 c. beef broth
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese


Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds; set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the beef, mozzarella cheese, rice, onion, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper; spoon into peppers.  Transfer to an oval 5 or 6 qt. slow cooker.  Pour broth over peppers; top with tomatoes.

Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until a meat thermometer reaches 160 degrees and peppers are tender.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Salmon with Cilantro Pesto

Can you believe it that I have never cooked salmon before?  That is why I am so thankful for starting this blog almost 6 months ago.  I have experimented with so many different foods that I love eating in restaurants, but was always afraid to eat at home.  The main thing I have learned from this blog is that I CAN make recipes that taste just as good as what a restaurant serves.  This salmon dish was amazing.  It was delicious, healthy, and as simple as can be to prepare.  Enjoy!

Source:  Annie's Eats, adapted from The Fresh Market


2-4 salmon fillets
1 clove garlic
1 cup cilantro, loosely packed
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. lime juice
1-2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped


Preheat oven to 400°. Add garlic, cilantro, olive oil and lime juice to food processor. Blend until creamy. (Alternatively, if using a blender – mince garlic before adding to the blender.) Grease a baking dish with olive oil. Place salmon fillets in the baking dish. Spread the cilantro pesto on salmon fillets, sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with chopped tomatoes. Bake 15-18 minutes.

Crab Cakes

I think I could eat some type of seafood everyday and never get tired of it.  I usually buy pre-made crab cakes at the grocery store to accompany some type of seafood dish that I make, but this time I decided to try to make them all on my own.  They were so much easier than I thought they would be.  I found a delicious recipe from Annie's Eats that I knew would not fail.  I was right!

Source:  Annie's Eats, from Williams Sonoma


3 or 4 slices French or Italian bread
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ cup minced green onions
1 lb. fresh cooked lump crabmeat
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. salt
cayenne pepper, to taste
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
lemon wedges, for serving


Remove the crusts from the bread and discard. Cut or tear the bread into small pieces and put into a food processor fitted with the metal blade or into a blender. Pulse a few times to make coarse crumbs; you should have about 2 cups. Place the crumbs in a large bowl and set aside.

In a small sauté pan over low heat, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter. Add the green onions and sauté until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onions to the bread crumbs along with the crabmeat and parsley. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream and eggs until well blended. Whisk in the lemon juice, mustard, salt and cayenne pepper. Slowly add to the crab mixture, stirring continuously so the bread crumbs are evenly moistened. Form into 8 or 12 oval or round cakes about 1 inch thick. Put the flour on a plate or on a piece of waxed paper. Lightly and evenly coat each crab cake with the flour, shaking off any excess.

In a large sauté pan or fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 2 Tbs. butter with the vegetable oil. When hot, fry the cakes in batches, turning once, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a warmed plate and keep warm until all the cakes are cooked. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.