Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuna & Artichoke Stuffed Tomatoes

This no-bake stuffed tomato recipe takes no time to prepare and is perfect on a hot summer day!

Serves 4
  • 4 large beefsteak tomatoes = 4 grosses tomates "coeur de boeuf" 
  • 2 cans (5 oz. each) white tuna (in water), drained = 2 boites (140 g chaque) de thon, égoutté et émietté
  • 1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped = 1 boite (400 g) de coeurs d'artichauts, égouttés et coupés en morceaux
  • 2 tablespoons capers = 2 cuillères à soupe de capres
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil = 1 cuillère à soupe d'huile d'olive
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar = 1 cuillère à soupe de vinaigre balsamique
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper = sel et poivre

With a sharp knife, slice off the top of each tomato. If need be, also cut a thin piece off the bottom to make the tomatoes sit flat on a plate. With a spoon, scoop out the pulp and chop roughly. Place in a bowl and add the tuna, artichoke hearts, capers, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spoon the mixture evenly into the tomatoes. Place the tomato tops back on and serve. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Roasted Summer Veggie & Goat Cheese Panini

My summer lunches are pretty much salads, panini and more salads, and more panini! Easy peasy... and delicious!

There isn't much of a recipe here. Just get a bunch of your favorite summer vegetables. Bonus point if they come from your own backyard! Okay, farmers markets are good too. Zucchini, summer squash, red/orange/yellow bell peppers, eggplant, whatever you have on hand. Dice them up, spray them with olive oil, and dried herbs (thyme, rosemary or oregano), roast them in a 450°F/230°C oven for 30 minutes. You can do this ahead of time. I always make a huge batch (at night, when it's cooler outside!) and store leftovers in the fridge.

When ready for lunch, sprinkle or spread goat cheese  (feta works too) on a slice of bread, add a nice portion of roasted veggies, season with freshly ground pepper and top with another slice of bread. Brush both sides of the sandwich with a little olive oil. Grill in a panini press (or use a grilling pan) until the bread is golden brown and the cheese melts. Transfer to a plate and serve right away. Enjoy!

Other panini ideas:
- Giada's Prosciutto, Spinach and Fontina Panini
- Giada's Tuna and Artichoke Panini
- Closet Cooking's Fig and Brie Panini
- Pioneer Woman's Grilled Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini
- WholeFoods' Cuban-Style Panini

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Speedy Tabouleh

Tabouleh is a Middle Eastern salad made with couscous or bulgur, tomatoes, and lots of fresh herbs and seasoning. Any variety of couscous will work but I like using pearl couscous (also known as Israeli couscous). By adding chickpeas and cucumbers, I bump up the protein and green content and transform this traditional mezze into a more substantial meal.

I love my tabouleh minty and lemony, but feel free to substitute parsley if you prefer, and add a little more olive oil. Using Persian (mini) cucumbers and grape tomatoes means less chopping and saves time, hence the “speedy” in the title.

This refreshing vegetarian/vegan salad can be prepared ahead of time and is perfect on a hot summer day.

Serves 4-6
  • 8 oz. (uncooked) pearl couscous = 225g de couscous
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil = 2 cuillères à soupe d'huile d'olive
  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed = 150 g de pois-chiches
  • 4 Persian cucumbers, chopped (about 2 cups) = 4 mini concombres, coupés en dés
  • 10 oz. grape tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups) = 275g de tomates cerises, coupés en deux
  • ¼ cup (packed) chopped fresh mint (or parsley, if you prefer)= 15-20 gr de menthe, ciselée (ou de persil, selon votre préférence)
  • Juice from 2 large lemons = jus de 2 gros citrons
  • Kosher salt, to taste = sel
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste = poivre fraichement moulu

To cook pearl couscous: heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan, sauté pearl couscous until lightly browned (about 4 minutes). Add 2 ¼ cups boiling water. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until water is absorbed (about 12-14 minutes). Remove from heat and cool completely.

In a medium bowl, combine the cooked/cooled pearl couscous, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes and mint.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, remaining olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together to coat evenly.

Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Slow-cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken

There are lots of recipes for pulled chicken (or pork) in the slow-cooker. They are all pretty similar in that they use a mix of chicken, spices and barbecue sauce. Beer (or sometimes Coke) seems to be that secret ingredient you can't really taste but that makes the dish extra good. I don't buy sodas but I did have beer in my fridge (oh well, what can I say!) so that's what I used. I didn't have time to make my own barbecue sauce but if you do, by all means, go for it!

You can easily go to the pool or the park while this is cooking, but I happened to be home and boy, the smell coming out of my slow-cooker was a-ma-zing! I couldn't wait for dinner!

I piled the pulled chicken on whole-wheat slider buns and served potato salad and coleslaw on the side. Delish!

Makes enough for about 4-6 regular sandwiches or 8-12 sliders
  • 3 large or 4 medium skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ½ lbs) = 3 ou 4 escalopes de poulet (environ 700 gr au total)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder = 1 cuillère à café d'oignon en poudre
  • 1 teaspoon paprika = 1 cuillère à café de paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder = ½ cuillère à café d'ail en poudre
  • Salt & pepper (about ½ teaspoon each) = sel et poivre (environ ½ cuillère à café de chaque)
  • ½ cup of beer (I used JB Summer Brew) = 120 ml de bière
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (I used Trader Joe's Kansas-Style Bold & Spicy) = 240 ml de sauce BBQ

Sprinkle chicken with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Place into slow-cooker, pour beer and barbecue sauce on top. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove from slow-cooker and shred on a cutting board with two forks. Return to slow-cooker, switch to keep warm and let sit uncovered for about 30-45 minutes until most of the barbecue sauce is absorbed.

Serve on buns, with additional barbecue sauce if you wish. Enjoy!