A fettuccine alfredo recipe that is low(er) in fat and calories than the traditional version? Yes, please! We found one in Cook’s Illustrated’s book, “The Best Light Recipe.” As with all their recipes, the folks at Cook’s Illustrated do all the hard work for you — testing out tons of different ingredients and techniques until they find the very best possible recipe (hence the name.) Another great feature in this particular cookbook is that the authors show the difference in nutritional stats between the light recipe and the traditional version, and they explain how they achieved the lighter result. For example, classic fettuccine alfredo has about 580 calories and 43 grams of fat, while the light recipe has only 300 calories and 11 grams of fat. The key to the light version is using half-and-half thickened with cornstarch instead of heavy cream, and they omitted all the butter. Even with less calories and fat, this recipe still has the rich and creamy taste of the traditional version.
Sometimes I think that side dishes are the bane of my existence. Sometimes, I’m also a little overly dramatic. But I do find that we get bored with the same old side dishes, and I’m often looking for new and different recipes to accompany our protein main courses. This side is one of my most successful discoveries yet. The ingredients are really simple — grilled eggplant and bread, combined with tomatoes and basil — all dressed with a nice balsamic vinaigrette. The result tastes like something you would maybe have for lunch with a nice glass of vino bianco at a quaint trattoria off the square of a little town in Italy (except it would be better there because everything is Better In Italy.)
Way back when it was still winter here in Texas, we had a snow/ice storm. While we were “snowed in,” Dan wanted to cook some comfort food, but something a little different than the usual stew, chili or casserole. He found this recipe, which incorporates pork, jalapenos, tomatillos and other yummy Tex-Mex ingredients. The “verde” in this dish comes from the deliciously tart tomatillos, perfectly balanced against the spice of the jalepeno peppers.
Lamb is not something we eat very often, and this is the first time we’ve ever cooked it at home. But Dan has a very good, and very persuasive, friend who has been requesting a lamb recipe, so we were happy to oblige. We decided to do rack of lamb because that is what was available in our grocery store. Dan researched several recipes and combined certain components from each to come up with this particular dish. It turned out great, and we enjoyed experimenting with a new (to us) protein. This one’s for you, Dr. Z!
My youngest brother Adam’s birthday just happens to coincide with crawfish season in Texas. For the past several years, he has celebrated his special day by hosting a crawfish boil with lots of friends and family. And mudbugs. It’s always a great party that we look forward to attending, and this year was no exception.
- Smoked Turkey Breast, Baby Zucchini
- Smoked Turkey and Jalapeno Pizza (with leftover turkey)
Who doesn’t love Canada, our neighbor to the North, eh? After skiing a few times at Banff, we think that there are very few places on earth more beautiful than the Canadian Rockies. Canadians are, as a rule, truly nice people, and Canada has given us such gifts as the band Rush, Michael J. Fox, Tim Hortons coffee and doughnuts, hockey and Niagara Falls — just to name a few. So when we found out that this month’s Charcutepalooza challenge was going to be hot-smoked Canadian bacon, we were understandably excited. Thanks as always to Mrs. Wheelbarrow and The Yummy Mummy, the organizers of Charcutepalooza, for the inspiration (and
excuse justification for procuring a new cooking toy.)
One of the main reasons we live in Texas is the weather, which we appreciate most in the Spring and Fall. Lots of people think that living in Texas, we don’t really get to experience the four traditional “seasons,” but we do. It’s just that two of them — Spring and Fall — happen to be rather short. Here in Dallas, we are lucky enough to still be having some Spring weather, unlike our poor friends and family further south, who are already experiencing the heat and humidity for which the Houston area is infamous. No matter the weather, we grill pretty much year-round. Yet the warm (but not too warm!) temps and sunny, cloud-free days definitely have me drawn to our grilling cookbooks when searching for recipes these days. This pork recipe is one we have had many times before, but for some reason we usually only cook it during warm weather months. Maybe it’s something about the kebab itself — perhaps the idea of grilling almost your entire meal on a “stick” evokes memories/thoughts of summer days and nights roasting hot dogs and marshmallows around a campfire. We decided to enjoy this nostalgic feeling and kick off our short window of Spring with pork kebabs. Check back in about a month (or less) for recipes involving refrigeration and bitching about how it’s already too hot to be outside.
- Annual Crawfish Boil (Happy Birthday Adam!)
- Fajitas, Homemade Salsa and Chips
- Beef Kabobs and Asian Noodles
- BBQ Cajun Shrimp, Rice Pilaf, Zucchini
- Chicken Stew with Green Olives, Homemade Sourdough Bread
- Pan-Seared Tilapia with Chile-Lime Butter, Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa