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Recipes from a Busy Stay-at-Home Dad

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve always enjoyed cooking but didn’t get to do a lot of it when I was working.  Now that I’m at home and in school, I’m cooking quite a bit more, both out of necessity and because it provides a much needed sense of creative accomplishment.  Plus my family are eating healthier, even when I’m in a night class and can’t actually be at the dinner table with them.

These are some of my favorite recipes.  Most require a minimal amount of prep work and cooking.   And all of these reheat well for another meal or if, like my house, someone is always arriving home late.  Try one out and let me know what you think.

Cuban Black Bean and Ham Soup

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Cuban Black Bean and Ham Soup

  • 3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, undrained
  • 1 pound lean or low-fat cubed ham
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • ¾ cup diced red bell peppers
  • 2 tbsps minced garlic
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsps chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (10-ounce) can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 quarts fat-free chicken stock
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • low-fat or fat-free sour cream
  • cilantro for garnish

In a 5-quart stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, red bell peppers and garlic. Sauté vegetables for 3-5 minutes or until softened. Stir in ham and cook 2-3 minutes or until slightly brown around the edges. Season with cumin and cilantro. Sauté for 1 minute to allow spices to toast. Blend in Rotel and tomato paste. Add chicken stock and black beans. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If a thicker, smoother soup is desired, purée half of the soup in a blender. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of cilantro.

Source–unknown

Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce–great with chicken

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce

  • 3 tblspn extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced very thin
  • One 28 oz can Cento crushed tomatoes
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn by hand into small pieces
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

In a medium hot skillet, add olive oil and garlic.  Just as garlic begins to brown, add tomatoes.  Cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until tomatoes and oil separate.  Add basil and red pepper flakes, cook an additional 2 minutes.

This sauce is best with chicken.   Try it added to the pan with the chicken during the last 10 minutes of cooking or with a sautéed chicken breast topped with melted mozzarella cheese.  Try it with ziti or angel hair pastas.

Source–unknown

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Lime Butter

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Lime Butter

  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds of Mahi Mahi filets, approx. 1 inch thick
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime

Mix butter and lime zest into a paste.

Over medium hot grill, place filets skin side down—be sure to oil metal grate before adding fish.  In microwave, melt butter-zest mixture and add lime juice. Brush butter mixture onto filets. Cook fish 6-7 minutes on each side or until flaky.

Source–unknown

Grilled Leg of Lamb

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Grilled Leg of Lamb

  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, or 1 Tbsp dried
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 boneless leg of lamb, 5 to 6 pounds, butterflied and skewered

Can substitute lamb chops or lamb shoulder chops.  The latter are cheap and tenderize quickly and well in the marinade.

1 Put onion, garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil into a food processor and pulse to combine. (If you don’t have a food processor, just chop the onions, garlic, and rosemary very well and combine with the rest.)

2 Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper over the lamb. Place marinade and lamb into a 1-gallon freezer bag. Spread marinade over all sides of the meat. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Remove from refrigerator and let sit for 20 minutes until meat reaches room temperature.  Remove from bag.

Preheat a gas grill on high heat.  Sear each side of the leg for 4 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and cook an additional 30 minutes or until thickest part of the leg registers 130 degrees on a meat thermometer, turning every 10 minutes.

For chops, preheat grill to medium high.  Grill chops for 4 minutes per side for medium rare, 5 minutes per side for medium.

Transfer meat to cutting board or serving platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let sit for 10 minutes.  Slice and serve with the meat juices.

For a great sauce, mix one cup of sour cream with one tbsp of horseradish and one tbsp milk.

Source–http://www.elise.com

Sautéed Campari Tomatoes

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Sautéed Campari Tomatoes

  • 1 pound Campari tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tblsp minced garlic
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper to taste

Over medium high heat, add olive oil and garlic to pan.  After 30 seconds, add tomatoes.  Sauté uncovered, adding salt and pepper.  As tomatoes soften, add basil and cook until wilted.

Makes a great side dish for grilled chicken or steak.

Source–self.

Roasted Broccoli

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Roasted Broccoli—the one way I can get almost any kid to eat broccoli

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut two broccoli crowns into one to two inch florets.  In a pyrex baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, kosher salt and cracked black pepper.  Cover with aluminum foil, bake for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 5-7 minutes.  Squeeze juice of third of a lemon over broccoli and serve.

Can replace kosher salt with celery salt for a different taste.

Source–unknown