Friday, September 17, 2010

Creamy Parmesan Twice-Baked Potatoes

We microwaved the potatoes and used a Parmesan-peppercorn salad dressing in this easy version of twice-baked potatoes. Reheat the stuffed potatoes in the oven for a crispy top, but if you're short on time, just pop them in the microwave.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: About 25 minutes
Makes: 4 main-dish servings
  • 4 medium baking potatoes (about 10 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup bottled creamy Parmesan with cracked peppercorn salad dressing
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Green-onion tops (optional)
How to make:
  1. Pierce potatoes with fork in several places. Place potatoes on paper towel in microwave oven. Cook potatoes on High 10 to 12 minutes or until fork-tender, turning potatoes over once halfway through cooking; cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In medium bowl, mix salad dressing and sliced onion; set aside.
  3. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice each potato lengthwise in half. With spoon, carefully scoop out flesh from each potato half, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shell and making sure potato-skin shells are intact. Place flesh in bowl with dressing mixture. Place shells on small cookie sheet.
  4. With potato masher or fork, mash potato mixture in bowl until almost smooth. Spoon mashed-potato mixture into shells; sprinkle with parmesan.
  5. Bake potatoes 12 to 15 minutes or until heated through and golden on top. Arrange potatoes on bed of green-onion tops if you like.
Each serving: About 420 calories, 8 g protein, 61 g carbohydrate, 18 g total fat (4 g saturated), 5 g fiber, 4 mg cholesterol, 440 mg sodium. 

Kitchen tip: You can also make Horradish & Cheddar Twice-Baked Potatoes with this recipe above. Prepare recipe as above, except in Step 2, substitute 1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar cheese for the Parmesan.
Each serving: About 370 calories, 10 g protein, 62 g carbohydrate, 10 g total fat (6 g saturated), 6 g fiber, 30 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium. 

Hoisin Short Ribs

Serve the gravy from these scrumptious ribs over white rice or egg noodles.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 50 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 lbs. beef short ribs, cut into 3" pieces and trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlics cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) beef broth
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 package (8 oz.) carrot sticks (or 4 large carrots, cut into sticks)
  • Sliced green onion (optional)
How to make:
  1. In large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add ribs in batches, and brown. Transfer browned ribs to large bowl. Remove and discard all but 1 tablespoon cooking liquid. Add onion and cook 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, and cook 1 minute. Transfer ribs back to Dutch oven.
  2. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Add broth, hoisin sauce, honey, vinegar, and red pepper to Dutch oven. Heat to boiling. Cover, then transfer to oven. Bake until tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Transfer ribs to a roasting pan, and keep warm in oven set at low. Skim fat off cooking liquid, and transfer back to Dutch oven. Heat to boiling and cook 5 minutes. Add carrots and cook until mixture thickens, about 6 minutes longer.
Nutrition per serving: 420 cal.; 31 g pro.; 19 g fat; 27 g carb.; 33 mg calcium; 2 g fiber.

Kitchen tip: In Step 3, transfer cooking liquid to a large glass measuring cup and place in freezer for 20 minutes. As it cools, the fat will rise to the top, making it easier to skim off.

Saffron Seafood Chowder

Serve our simple, elegant chowder with slices of toasted French bread.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 lb. small red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 lb. skinless salmon fillet, cut in 1 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 lb. sea scallops, halved
  • 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/4 cup half-andhalf
How to make:
  1. In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in chicken broth, potatoes, and saffron, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in salmon, scallops, shrimp, tomatoes, peas, and orange peel, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in half-and-half and serve.
Nutrition per serving: 293 cal.; 32 g pro.; 12 g fat; 12 g carb.; 62 mg calcium; 3 g fiber.

Kitchen tip: Add a little variety by substituting cod, grouper, or monkfish.