Sunday, March 2, 2008

A week of new dinners

Last week was ambitious week, we had a new dinner recipe for each night of the week, so here's a few of them.

The first one, Brown Rice Risotto with Lamb, we actually didn't follow the directions - we used beef (from Trader Joes) instead of lamb, chicken broth instead of vegetable juice, rosemary and thyme insted of curry powder... but our substitutions worked out well and the original recipe still looks very tasty.

Brown Rice Risotto with Lamb


  • 1 2- to 2-1/2-pound (boneless) lamb shoulder roast
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2-1/2 cups hot-style vegetable juice
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped green sweet pepper

1, Trim fat from meat. If necessary, cut meat to fit into a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cocker. Coat an unheated large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat skillet over medium heat. Cook meat in hot skillet until browned, turning to brown evenly. Drain off fat. In the slow cooker, combine vegetable juice, uncooked brown rice, curry powder, and salt. Top with carrots. Place meat on carrots.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 4-1/2 hours.
3. Add the sweet pepper to slow cooker. Cover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes or until sweet pepper is tender. Makes 8 servings.

From Better Homes and Gardens,

Crunchy Apple Salsa with Grilled Chicken



  • 2 cups chopped, cored Gala apples
  • 1 Anaheim chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • salt and black pepper

Grilled Chicken

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts

To prepare salsa, in a medium bowl combine apples, chili pepper, onion (I used white onion), lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Cover the salsa mixture and set it aside while preparing chicken. (Salsa can be made ahead, several hours or a day, just refrigerate the salsa).

To prepare the grilled chicken, in a large bowl combine white wine, apple juice, lime zest, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and turn the chicken to coat it on all sides with the mixture. Cover the chicken and refrigerate it for 30 to 40 minutes.

Heat grill. Drain the chicken and discard the chicken marinade. Grill chicken until it is cooked through, serve with salsa and that bottle of wine you opened to make the marinade.

Recipe From the Heart of Washington, I found it in my magazine from the local hospital ... :)

Fried-rice jambalaya


  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 pound dry (cooked) chorizo sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)

In a large saucepan, combine rice, 3 cups of water, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes (or depending or your rice's cooking directions). Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook until lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the sausage, peas, paprika, pepper, remaining salt, and cooked rice. Heat through, 2 to 3 minutes, while stirring. Sprinkle with the scallions, if desired. Serve hot.

We couldn't find cooked chorizo, so we used salami instead, but basically any leftover meat or chicken breast can be thrown as replacement for the chorizo. The recipes serves 4 as in 4 pretty hungry adults, because we had leftovers enough for another dinner a day later.

The recipe is from Real Simple, as is the next one, which we served with the jambalaya.

Rosemary Corn Bread

  • 2 8 1/2-ounces boxes corn-bread mix
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 8-ounce container plain yogurt
  • 2 7-ounce cans whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary leaves

Heat oven to 400 F. Lightly coat a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. Stir all the ingredients together. Spoon the batter into the pan. Bake 25 minutes or just until golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool, when cool cut into pieces.

This recipe serves 24, so I only made half as much in a square 8-by-8-inch pan. I loved the corn kernels in this bread and may actually have found my first contribution to the Thanksgiving dinners.

And if you aren't hungry now, I don't really know what to tell you ... all yummy dinners, all of them pretty quick to make and the stew simmering for nine hours sure made the kitchen smell nice all day long.


Cindy said...

OMG! I'm so impressed. They all sound delicious.

Lena said...

Thanks. I am feeling pretty good about pulling this off.

Crunchy apple-salsa with grilled chicken is probably my favorite of the bunch. A good white wine definitely helps.