BHG Delish Dish

Stirring Up Ideas In The Kitchen

January 2013

Hi there, this is Carlos, one of the food editors for Better Homes and Garden’s special editions. Now, it’s no secret among my colleagues and friends that I’m loco for Mexican cuisine, especially those wonderful South of the border sandwiches called tortas!

I also love experimenting with my trusty slow cooker, so it was a happy day recently when I was able to marry these passions together in one awesome recipe: Cola-Chipotle Pork Tortas.

These delicious Spanish grinders consist of sandwich rolls stuffed with Mexican quick pickled onions called cebollas encurtidas, sliced avocado, and lots of tasty pulled pork that’s been braised in a heady mixture of cola, spices, garlic, and chipotle chile peppers. That’s where the slow cooker comes in.

The pork, a 5-pound roast, is simmered in the slow cooker along with the cola marinade until it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender, about 8 hours on low. Trust me, the aroma is divine! I especially appreciate being able to start the pork in the morning and have it ready to eat when I get home from work. Ah, the magic of slow cooking! Then, all that’s left to do is shred the pork and assemble the tortas!

This makes enough for eight sandwiches although I like to use the pork in tacos and enchiladas as well. I recommend taking the time to make the quick pickled onions but you could also substitute with purchased pickled jalapeños or deli sliced peperoncinis.

For more great recipes, check out this sensational slideshow for weeknight-easy Mexican dishes. You can also find  our latest Mexican magazine here or at newsstands everywhere.


Happy New Year everybody! I hope your holiday season was full of delight, and that you’re excited about the upcoming year.

Now that the Christmas decorations have been put away, and the cookie jar has been emptied out, my husband and I are looking forward to getting back into our normal routine, including a diet un-rich in Puppy Chow, Sugar Cookies, and Peanut Butter Blossoms. Somehow these rich, sugary treats become standard fare for us every holiday season!

One way I’ve gotten us back on track is by menu planning on Sunday mornings for the upcoming week. First I pick out at least four recipes to make for dinner, and brainstorm ideas for lunch, and then I make one trip to the grocery store to shop for all the ingredients. I can’t tell you how much time and money this saves me versus stopping by the grocery store every evening, or turning to take out when I can’t think of anything to make for dinner or lunch.

One dish I always have on my menu plan is a hearty, healthy soup like Minestrone. Chock-full of yummy veggies and satisfying flavors, I love making a big batch to enjoy on Sunday night, then packing leftovers for healthy, filling lunches all week long. It’s a perfect meal for this time of year when we’re all looking to eat a bit lighter, but don’t want to walk around starving all day!

I am particularly obsessed with the Minestrone recipe here on BHG.com. I am not joking when I tell you it only takes 15 minutes to make! Bonus points for the ingredient list containing fridge and pantry staples like chicken broth, canned beans and tomatoes, dry pasta, and fresh spinach.

This Minestrone recipe is a great base for adding any and all veggies to. I tossed in frozen corn and peas to pack in even more nutrients, but zucchini, carrots, celery, and onion would make this great tasting soup, even better.

To add staying power, consider adding cooked ground turkey breast, lean ground beef, or spicy Italian sausage. Minestrone by nature is a great “kitchen sink” soup – so throw everything in that you’ve got!

Click here for the Minestrone Recipe >

(Changes made to the original recipe: used crushed tomatoes instead of diced, replaced water with chicken broth, used Great Northern Beans instead of cannellini, and added 1 cup frozen corn and 1/2 cup frozen peas. I also added a small piece of parmesan cheese rind for extra flavor!)


 

Can you believe it’s almost the middle of January? 2013 seems to be moving even more quickly than 2012 did. One thing I do look forward to after the holidays is the Golden Globes. It’s another excuse to get together with friends for a fun show, a few snacks, and a couple drinks. Don’t we all need an excuse to place our New Year’s diets on hold for an evening? This year’s Golden Globes Awards Show is even more exciting for me because it’s being hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Not only are these gals amazing women, they also know how to tickle your funny bone. I think we are all in for a night of fun and laughter.

As I’ve said here, I’m a huge fan of any party that can be hosted by only serving appetizers – easy foods and small bites packed with flavor. You just can’t go wrong. While not totally ignoring everyone’s desire to lose those holiday pounds, I’ve collected some appetizers from the BHG recipe archives that are sure to please your guests. All of these finger foods are delicious and perfectly elegant for a memorable and star-studded evening!

1. Spicy Mustard Stir-Fry Bites // 2. Party Potatoes with Creamy Aioli // 3. Cheesy Mexican Fondue // 4. Hoisin-Garlic Mushrooms // 5. Caribbean Cocktail Sausages // 6. Herbed Deviled Egg Bruschetta // 7. Fresh Arugula Bruschetta // 8. Spicy Grilled Shrimp // 9. Strawberry-Goat Cheese Bruschetta // 10. Spicy Melon Skewers // 11. Jalapeno, Crab, and Corn Dip // 12. Corn Cakes with Garden Relish

 

To top it all off, an awards show party needs a little bling. I don’t know about you, but gold is my color this year. It’s vintage, it’s fresh, and it adds a little sparkle. I’ve found some gold accessories that will bring a bit of sparkle to your Golden Globes Party and keep your future parties feeling festive!

1. Dahlia Candleholder // 2. Gold Wishbone Napkin Ring // 3. Gold Stripe Cocktail Shaker // 4. Gold Trim Glassware // 5. Gold Flatware // 6. Gold Mercury Glassware // 7. Gold Glitter Twine // 8. Square Lacquer Trays // 9. Gold Die-Cut Masks // 10. Gold Brioche Mold // 11. Metallic Gold Taper Candles // 12. Honeycomb Glassware

What’s your favorite way to add a touch of sparkle to your parties?

Cheers!

Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm 

 


The weight loss season is upon us again. I’m happy to say, thanks to some stellar new magazines, my arsenal of healthy recipes has never been so robust. It’s Sheena, food editor for bhg.com, joining in again. Given the frigid temps outside, I’ve been consuming bowl upon bowl of cozy soups. While visiting my parents we hosted a soup potluck for my extended family. Having tasted this 211-calorie Butternut Bisque with Spicy Pear Salsa in the Test Kitchen, I knew my family would love it.

We were serving quite a crowd so we doubled the recipe and took some shortcuts. To kill two birds with one stone, we pre-chopped a bunch of bacon and tossed it on a baking sheet all at once to cook in the oven to be used for this soup and other recipes. Rather than spending the time to chop 3 pounds of squash for our doubled amount, we opted for purchased, ready-to-use butternut squash. Other than that, the recipe was so simple we didn’t need anymore shortcuts.

My family is made up of a mix of adventurous eaters and those who think a salsa served on top of soup is absurd. Thinking I couldn’t sway them all, we served the crab-filled bisque in the slow cooker with the bacon and pear salsa in separate bowls.

A couple of my uncles required a bit of convincing to add the pear salsa, but eventually I got everyone to try it. And, no surprise, this soup was the hit of the party! I, of course, didn’t hesitate to add all the toppers. The pear salsa adds unbeatable bright freshness and, as we all know, everything is better with bacon!

For more delicious recipe inspiration for this resolution season be sure to check newsstands for Eat Well, Lose Weight magazine. Or click here to download a digital copy.


Now that you’ve put away holiday decorations, let’s gear up for Valentine’s Day. Do you hate me for that? You might slightly, but not for long, not with this Chocolate & Butterscotch Mousse Cake that’s inspired and adapted from this Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mousse Pie. Yes, I flipped the pie to a cake and made it butterscotch instead of peanut butter since I have a peanut allergy.

Yes, there are a few tweaks, the good thing is it’s all easy ones. I started by using the chocolate cake recipe from here and poured the batter into 2 jelly roll pans lined with parchment and then baked it for 16 minutes. To make sure the cake was nice and even, I took another jelly roll pan and gently placed it on top  and lightly pressed down on the cake. From there I stamped out 6 inch circles by using the bottom of a cheesecake pan. If you don’t have one, you can easily use cardboard cutouts for a stencil.

Next up was making the mousse. The mousse, as I mentioned, is from this recipe here (see notes below for adjusted ratios). What I think you will really like about this mousse is it’s quite easy to make. Along with that it comes out nice and light, giving the cake crumb a nice textural contrast.

Adaptations and Instructions:

Start with the cake recipe here.

Ratio adjustment for the mousse (original recipe here):

Chocolate Mousse

  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 3/4 cups)
Butterscotch Mousse
  • 1 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 8 oz. butterscotch chips
Instructions:
  1. To make chocolate mousse: Place cream and chocolate in sauce pan. Stir over low heat until mixture is smooth and fully blended. Transfer mixture  to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of mixture (this will prevent a skin from forming). Refrigerate chocolate mousse for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Remove from refrigerator and transfer to a stand mixer and beat on low, gradually increasing the speed every minute. Beat until light and fluffy (do not over beat or the mousse will appear curdled).
  3. To make butterscotch mousse: Place cream and butterscotch chips in sauce pan. Stir over low heat until mixture is smooth and fully blended. Transfer mixture  to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of mixture (this will prevent a skin from forming). Refrigerate butterscotch mousse for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and transfer to a stand mixer and beat on low, gradually increasing the speed every minute. Beat until light and fluffy (do not over beat or the mousse will appear curdled).
Assembly:
  1. After rounds have been cut out, place one  layer on plate; spread mouse on top of each layer, alternating between the two flavors. Leave the cake as an open torte or you can finish like the picture by covering the sides with this chocolate frosting recipe then covering the sides with chocolate sprinkles.

Happy New Year from The Forest Feast! Out here in the woods, the celebrations continue so I am making these breadsticks for a gathering this weekend. They are super easy, and will wow your guests when served warm, fresh out of the oven. You can buy pizza dough, or make your own.

Ingredients
  • 1  package refrigerated pizza dough (approx 14 oz)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 – 3 tablespoons seeds or nuts, chopped (I used cashews and sunflower seeds)
  • Coarse salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease two large baking sheets. Unroll pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. Using your hands, shape dough into a 12×9-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with some of the egg. Sprinkle with seeds and lightly sprinkle with salt. Use a floured long knife or floured pizza cutter to cut dough crosswise into 1/4- to 1/2-inch wide strips.

2. Place strips on prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Makes about 24 breadsticks.

The Forest Feast is a blog by Erin Gleeson full of simple, colorful vegetable based recipes with photos and watercolor illustration. After working for many years as a food photographer in NYC, Erin moved to a cabin in the woods where she is currently working on The Forest Feast Cookbook.

 


© Copyright , Meredith Corporation. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Data Policy | Terms of Service | AdChoices