Friday, May 31, 2013

Southwest Stuffed Peppers

 
Southwest Stuffed Peppers
6-8 - Sweet Red Peppers
2 Tablespoons-Divided - Olive Oil
1 - Medium Yellow Onion, Chopped
1 Tablespoon - Garlic, Minced
1 Pound - Ground Turkey or Ground Beef
1 Envelope - Mild Taco Seasoning
1 Teaspoon - Salt
1/4 Teaspoon - Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon - Dried Ground Cumin
2 Cups - Cooked Brown Rice
1 (15 Ounce) - Can Petite Dice Tomatoes, Drained
1 (7 Ounces) - Can Corn, Drained
1 (7 Ounces) - Can Ortega Chilies
1 (15 Ounce) - Can Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
1/2 Cup - Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 Cup - Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
1 1/2 Cup - Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and ribs. Coat peppers with cooking spray (Pam) inside and out.  Place into a baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam as well. Set aside.
2. In a large saute pan, over medium  heat, cook the onion is 1-2 tablespoons of oil until soft.  Add garlic, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook 3-5 minutes.
3. Increase heat to medium and add ground beef.  Cook until there is no longer any pink in beef.  Stir in taco seasoning, salt, pepper, cumin, brown rice, diced tomatoes, corn, ortega green chilies, beans, sour cream, and cilantro.
4. Fill peppers with filling.  Bake about 45-50 minutes or until the peppers are soft.  Remove from oven and top peppers with cheddar.  Return to oven and cook until cheese is nicely melted.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Marbled Lemon Blueberry Butter Cake

 
Marbled Lemon Blueberry Butter Cake
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1½ tsp lemon extract
7 egg whites
3 cups cake flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1¼ cups milk
Fresh blueberries, for decoration
Lemon blueberry preserves (below)
Lemon buttercream frosting (below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of three 8 inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
In a mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest and lemon extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg whites 2 or 3 at a time, beating well between additions and stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk gently to blend. In 2 or 3 alternating additions, beat the dry ingredients and milk into the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times. Beat on medium-high speed for about 1 minute to smooth out any lumps and aerate the batter.
Scoop 1 cup of the batter into a small bowl. Divide the remaining equally among the 3 prepared pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula. This gives you a smooth surface to work with. Add 2½ tbsp of the lemon blueberry preserves to the reserved batter and blend well. Drizzle heaping teaspoons of this blueberry mixture over the batter in the pans. Use a skewer to swirl the blueberry mixture in short strokes to drag it down through the lemon batter without mixing it in.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until a cake tester or skewer stuck in the centre comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Lat the layers cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack, peeling off the paper and leaving to cool completely.
Lemon Blueberry Preserves
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Puree the blueberries with any juices that have exuded in a blender. Pass the puree through a coarse strainer to remove the skins.
In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the blueberry puree with the sugar, lemon juice, zest and ginger. Bring to a gentle boil over a medium heat, stirring often for 20 minutes, or until the preserves have thickened and are reduced to 1 cup. To check the proper thickness place a small amount of a saucer and put in the freezer until cold. Drag your finger through it. If a clear path is made through the preserve then it is ready. Let the preserves cool before using. (Can be made up to 5 days in advance).
Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
2 eggs
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil without stirring, occasionally washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from the heat.
In a large mixer bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beast the eggs briefly. Slowly add the hot syrup in a thin stream, pouring it down the sides of the bowl; be careful to avoid hitting the beaters or the syrup may splatter. When all the syrup has been added, raise the speed to medium,-high and beat until the mixture is very fluffy and cooled to body temperature. This can take 15-20 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and gradually add the softened butter 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, beating well between additions. As you’re adding the last few tablespoons of butter, the frosting will appear to break, then suddenly come together like whipped butter. Beat in the lemon juice, and the frosting is ready to use.
To Assemble
To assemble the cake, place a layer, flat side up, on a cake stand. Spread half of the lemon blueberry preserves over the top. Place a second layer on top of the first and spread the remaining preserves over it. Finally place the third layer on top and frost the top and sides with the lemon buttercream.
Decorate with fresh blueberries and serve.
Makes one 8 inch triple layered cake.

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