January 20, 2010

Meal rut

I'm bored with my usual meals, it's time to pull out the recipes and get new ideas for dinner. Here's a few I tried this week.

This first one was a success. Frank and I both enjoyed it. Even the leftovers were tasty today for lunch.

Pasta with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

1 pound brussels sprouts
2 slices of bacon, diced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 pound spaghetti
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Season generously with salt.

Trim the ends off of the brussels sprouts and remove the toughest outer leaves. Shred them in a food processor or slice them as thin as possible with a knife.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the pancetta and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, until fairly crispy and cooked through. Clear some space in the middle of the pan and add the shallots and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, until the shallots are soft.

While the shallots are cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente.

Add the brussels sprouts and the chicken broth to the large skillet, season with salt and pepper, and toss all of the ingredients together. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the brussels sprouts are tender but not too soft, about 5 minutes.

When the pasta is finished cooking, drain and add it to the skillet. You can add a splash of the pasta water (or more broth) if the mixture seems dry. Add the pine nuts, toss everything together, season to taste, and serve.

This next combo was a complete failure. Bland, bland, bland. I tossed my plate and made PB&J. Frank scraped his stuffing out of the chicken and add BBQ sauce, and made BBQ chicken for dinner. The broccoli would've been better with no bread crumbs, it would've been best had I stopped after steaming.

Oven Roasted Stuffed Chicken Breasts

1 cup part skim milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6 boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking dish. In a bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, walnuts, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and oregano.
Slice a pocket into the chicken breasts, and stuff with the ricotta cheese mixture. Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, and brush with oil. Bake 45 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Smoky Gouda-Sauced Broccoli

1-1/4 pounds broccoli, cut into spears
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
3 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 teaspoons butter, melted

Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan. Add water to just below the bottom of the steamer basket. Bring water to boiling. Add broccoli to steamer basket. Cover and reduce heat. Steam for 6 to 8 minutes or until just tender.

Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan cook and stir the onion and garlic in the 1 tablespoon hot butter until tender. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Stir in the milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Gradually add cheese, stirring until melted.

Transfer broccoli to a 1 1/2-quart au gratin dish or 2-quart square baking dish. Pour sauce over broccoli. Combine bread crumbs and the 2 teaspoons melted butter; sprinkle over sauce. Bake, uncovered, in a 425 degree F oven for 15 minutes or until crumbs are lightly browned. Makes 6 servings.


Dave P. said...

Good timing. I've got a stalk of brussel sprouts (that the right term?) at home now. Wasn't sure what to do with them this time around. Your recipes looks really good.

Kellee said...

I saw them on the stalk for the first time last month at Trader Joe's. Pretty wild. I was so used to them in bags or clam shells.

This BS spaghetti was tastier than one I've made before. I came across another to try that is very similar to this one.

Spaghetti with Pancetta and Brussels Sprouts
Makes 4-6 servings.


16 oz. spaghetti
2 oz pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
about 1 dozen Brussels sprouts, shredded (about 2 cups)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook spaghetti until al dente according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, preheat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add pancetta, and a dash of olive oil if your pancetta is particularly lean. Cook until just starting to brown.

Add garlic and onion and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add Brussels sprouts to pan and cook until tender and slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and quickly saute until just softened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drain spaghetti, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Add noodles to Brussels sprout mixture. Toss until coated, adding pasta water a bit at a time if necessary. Divide onto plates. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Unknown said...

I've tried those (at least one is from a recent Bon Appetit, right?) but my fave brussels sprouts are either oven roasted with a little olive oil & sea salt, or sauteed with bacon & garlic.

Kellee said...

I'm not sure where they originated. I follow a bunch of cooking blogs and they've shown up there.

I agree, those are my favorite ways to prepare BS, too. Tossing 'em with spaghetti makes it entree, which is great when you want more than a side.

Dave P. said...

I've done the oven roasted with olive oil and salt the last few times. They come out well that way. Now I need something new. This looks like it.

Unknown said...

My husband loves brussels sprouts but dislikes pasta, so....I don't make it often as a main course. But then, I could eat a bowl of brussels sprouts with garlic bread or a filet of fish on the side and call it dinner.

I tried growing them last year. I think I planted at the wrong time - they grew but never sprouted, and oh the beetles were terrible!