Of the 150 or so cookbooks in my kitchen's library (I'm old school: I prefer my cooking instructions via Gutenberg rather than Jobs), I'm guessing that there are maybe 25 or 30 that are regularly pulled from the shelf. A half-dozen or so of those are referenced with some frequency. The rest? I'll crack them if I'm looking for inspiration, or give them a berth on my nightstand for bedtime reading, or recycle-and-replace with compelling new (or at least new to me) titles.
In the summer months, "The Herbal Kitchen" definitely belongs in that most-looked-at camp. In the seven years since Seattle chef Jerry Traunfeld published this beautiful and useful title (it's still in print), I've probably made a third of its recipes, some of them so often that I could prepare them from memory, including crostini topped with smoked trout and marjoram, smoked salmon stuffed eggs dressed with dill and chives, fettuccine tossed with herbs and ricotta, a rich basil-zucchini gratin, gin and tonics muddled with rosemary, a fizzy basil-lime soda and scallops served on a colorful summer succotash.
Traunfeld wrote the book near the tail end of his 17-year tenure at The Herbfarm, the extraordinary suburban Seattle farm/restaurant; since then, he has moved on to establish the critically acclaimed Poppy in that city's Capitol Hill neighborhood ("Traunfeld takes humble to haute levels," raved my pal Providence Cicero in the Seattle Times).
What I appreciate most about "The Herbal Kitchen" is that it's a home cook's book, not a restaurant chef's book. The recipes reflect Traunfeld's passion for garden-fresh herbs and vegetables, but he translates his expertise into layman's language and crafts workable, approachable recipes. Also, it's so seasonal that I'm tempted to carry the book along when I'm shopping the farmers' market.
Cooking from "The Herbal Kitchen" has been a learning experience, too. Like many cookbooks, Traunfeld devotes his first chapter to a brief herb tutorial, followed by some key techniques. Here's one that I found immediately useful: "When culinary school graduates first start working in my kitchen, they invariably want to chop herbs to dust," he writes. "Even many home cooks are inclined to finely mince fresh herbs, as if they shoulid look like the tiny flakes from jars of dried herbs. Easy does it! When you over-chop herbs they bruise and loose their identity. Unless you are making a pesto or puree, lean towards a coarser chop. Herbs can better express themselves in a dish if you can recognize them."
It has been ideal grilling weather this week, so I naturally turned to Traunfeld to tell me what to make for dinner. Easy: Chicken, marinated overnight in citrus, olive oil and herbs, served with a farmers market salad fortified with orzo. And it was easy. Rather than deal with a whole chicken -- which isn't exactly difficult, I know -- I bought the pieces I most prefer: drumsticks and thighs. The results were delicious, and the leftovers made for an excellent chicken salad.
As for the salad, I had picked up sweet corn and basil at the farmers market, so the rest was easy; I pulled it together while the grill was pre-heating (I sort-of skipped the refrigerate-for-an-hour instruction, although Traunfeld is right: it was even better the next day at lunch). I also cut the mixture of olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice in half (I was almost out of vinegar), and that worked well.
When we were clearing the table, all I could think was, 'Why don't we eat this way all year round?' And it got me thinking about my next "Herbal Kitchen" recipe: a lavender pound cake. I've already bookmarked page 242.
GRILLED CHICKEN WITH BEFORE AND AFTER MARINADE
Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. From “The Herbal Kitchen” by Jerry Traunfeld (William Morrow, $34.95).
1 tbsp. lavender buds, fresh or dried
1 tbsp. thyme leaves
1 tbsp. savory leaves (or substitute rosemary)
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. chopped shallots
2 tsp. kosher salt
¼ c. plus 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
4 ½ lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces without the back
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine lavender, thyme, savory, lemon zest, shallots, salt, olive oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice and pulse until mixture becomes a coarse puree. Spoon about 1/3 of marinade into a small container, stir in remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, cover and refrigerate until chicken is cooked. Toss chicken pieces with remaining 2/3 of marinade and refrigerate in a covered bowl or re-sealable freezer bag for at least 8 hours or as much as 24.
Start a charcoal fire in a kettle grill or preheat a gas grill to medium. When grill is hot, cook chicken, with grill lid down most of the time, until skin is well browned on both sides and meat is cooked through. Check chicken frequently, rotating it often and keeping it away from hot spits so that skin does not burn (breast pieces will likely cook faster, so remove them first to keep white meat from drying out, and continue to cook dark meat and wings until meat starts to pull away from bottom of drumsticks). Brush all chicken pieces with reserved marinade and serve warm or at room temperature.
CORN, ORZO AND BASIL SALAD
Serves 6 to 8.
Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. From “The Herbal Kitchen.”
½ medium red onion, finely diced
¼ c. white wine vinegar
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. kosher salt
¾ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 ears sweet corn, shucked
8 oz. orzo pasta
¼ c. plus 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced into ¼-inch pieces
1 ½ c. torn leaves of sweet basil or lemon basil
In a large mixing bowl, combine onion, vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper and reserve. On a large cutting board, hold ears of corn upright and cut off kernels, which should yield about 5 cups kernels. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add orzo, and when it is just tender, after about 8 minutes, add corn kernels and cook until water boils again. Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water. Stir olive oil into bowl with dressed onion. Toss in pasta and corn, red bell pepper and basil until evenly combined. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
"It's a tsunami of blue out there."
That's the first thing John Cuddy said to us when we got out of the car last weekend at his Rush River Produce in Maiden Rock, Wis. Cuddy doesn't seem to be a man prone to exaggeration, so he's not kidding when he says that this year's blueberry crop appears to be one for the record books.
I've been visiting this nothing-else-like-it U-pick destination for more than a decade, and I've never witnessed anything that comes close to the abundance of this summer's output. To say that the farm's 10,000-plus plants are heavy with fruit is an understatement.
This summer is also unusual in that the crop is maturing on a stepped-up schedule.
"In 25 years, I've never seen so many berries, so early," said Terry Cuddy, John's spouse and fellow blueberry enthusiast. Again, she's not overselling. She directed me down to the rows of Nelson berries (a variety after my own heart), which usually mature in early August. Last weekend, many Nelson berries were already starting to turn blue.
Yes, the picking has never been easier at the Cuddys' strikingly picturesque farm, where colorful, well-tended flower gardens give way to neat rows of bushes ("We've got nine miles of blueberries," is the farm's party line) cascading down rolling hills and melding into spectacular Rush River valley views. The abundance means that pickers don't have to go to too much effort to get their fill; with very little effort, three of us filled two boxes (one of them is pictured, top) in less than an hour, roughly seven pounds of summer treasure.
The Cuddys cultivate more than a dozen northern blueberry varieties, which translates into berries of varying sizes and flavors. They also have a small side business in currants (red, black and white) and gooseberries.
The farm is roughly 70 miles southeast of the Twin Cities, and is open Thursday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Although the place is brimming over with berries, it's still best to call ahead and check on availability: 715-594-3648. Cost is $4.50 per pound (or $9 per pound for pre-picked berries), cash or check.
Pack a picnic lunch, or, if it's Friday, Saturday or Sunday, stop into Maiden Rock and enjoy inexpensive sandwiches or quiche on the front porch at the Smiling Pelican Bakeshop (one note: cash only). Don't miss a slice of one of baker Sandra Thielman's extraordinary pies. We made quick work of a fantastic buttermilk-lemon pie topped with blackberries and some of the farm's blueberries (pictured, below); my only regret of an otherwise perfect day is that we didn't buy a second slice.
Once we got all those blueberries home (the gentle scent that filled the car was semi-intoxicating), I wondered if we'd gone a little overboard. But after handing out a few stashes to friends, I picked up a box of quart-sized freezer bags and jumped into the freezing process.
It's easy. The first step is filling a small baking tray with a single layer of berries -- and taking a few moments to weed out the duds -- and freezing them for at least an hour, enough time to transform them into cold marbles.
It's a time-consuming and slightly awkward process -- fortunately, I've got a jelly roll pan that just squeezes within the confines of our side-by-side freezer. But in the end, it's better to take the extra step than simply freezing fresh berries by the bag; the berries won't be stuck together. I choose quart bags vs. gallon bags for a reason; it's more convenient to thaw only what's needed, and who ever needs an entire gallon of blueberries?
The fruits of our labors yielded 14 quart-sized bags, minus all the snacking (and baking, see below) that we did prior to filling the freezer. Not bad for 45 minutes work.
I did manage to set aside a few fresh berries for some weekend baking. This coffee cake went fast.
Judging from its popularity, I'll be making this recipe for months. It's a good thing I've got all those berries in the freezer.
EASY BLUEBERRY-PECAN COFFEE CAKE
Serves 12 to 16.
3 c. flour, plus extra for pan
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
Freshly grated zest from 1 lemon
12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pan
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1 1/2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 c. chopped pecans
3 tbsp. ground cinnamon
3 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) melted butter
To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour bottom and sides of a 9- x 13-inch pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and lemon zest and reserve. In bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour in thirds, alternating with sour cream and mixing until just combined; do not overmix. Gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
To prepare topping: Sprinkle pecans evenly over top of batter. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle mixture over top of pecans. Evenly pour melted butter over top of cake, then run a knife through batter to allow butter to run down into cake. Bake until top is lightly browned and springs back from a light touch, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Can healthy food taste good?
Absolutely, judging by the results of the recent recipe competition among Minneapolis Public School employees, sponsored by HealthPartners yumPower program, which is working with MSP in a pilot effort to get students to eat more fruits and vegetables. Go carrots! Rah-rah broccoli!
The winning recipe and two finalists will appear on the lunch menu of MPS students next fall. First place went to Nicole Kuhse, above, a first- and second-grade teacher at Marcy Open School, for her Turkey Butternut Squash Chili, which is a favorite on her family's Thanksgiving table. Finalists were Nancy Alholm, who works in special education, for Wild Rice Chicken Salad and Cyndi Fraedrich, who works in community education, for Salmon With Avocado Mango Salsa, whose food will also appear on the school-lunch menu.
Get your kids ready for the recipes by preparing these dishes at home first.
TURKEY AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH CHILI
First place winner in competition among Minneapolis Public School employees. From Nicole Kuhse.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground turkey breast
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
3/4 c. chicken broth
1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chiles
2 (14.5 oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans
1 (15.5 oz.) can white hominy, drained
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tbsp. chili powder, or more to taste
2 tbsp. cumin
2 tbsp. garlic salt
Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic; cook and stir for 3 minutes (be careful not to burn garlic). Add turkey and stir until crumbly and no longer pink.
Add squash, chicken broth, chiles, tomatoes, kidney beans, hominy and tomato sauce. Season with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt.
Bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes, or until squash is soft.
WILD RICE CHICKEN SALAD
Serves 4 to 6.
Finalist recipe, from Nancy Alholm.
1 c. uncooked wild rice
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 c. water
3/4 c. dried cranberries
3/4 c. dried apricots (diced same size as cranberries)
1 c. mandarin oranges (if canned, drain well)
2 to 2 1/2 c. red seedless grapes, cut in half
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 c. light oil (canola or safflower)
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 to 3 green onions, finely sliced, including some of the greens, to equal 1/4 c.
Cook wild rice according to package directions. Rinse with cool water and drain well. Place in a large bowl.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil to medium; lightly salt and pepper chicken. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn chicken over, reduce heat, add 3/4 cups water, cover and continue cooking until internal temperature is 165 degrees (10 to 12 minutes).
Remove chicken and let cool. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken to wild rice. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Add cranberries, apricots, oranges and grapes, and mix well.
To make dressing, combine in a jar the oil, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and green onions. Shake thoroughly to dissolve sugar. Pour dressing over salad and stir until well coated. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Before serving, sprinkle sliced almonds on top.
SALMON WITH AVOCADO MANGO SALSA
Finalist recipe, from Cyndi Fraedrich.
1 whole salmon, filleted into 2 boneless halves
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
2 avocado, chopped
1 large mango, chopped
1/4 c. chopped red onions
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
Juice from 1 lime
1 c. quinoa
1 1/2 c. water
Lemon and/or lime slices, for garnish
For grilled salmon: Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper, and drizzle with lemon juice. Grill skin-side down over indirect heat or broil until fish looks opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 30 minutes on grill or 10 to 20 minutes under broiler.
For salsa: Mix mango, red onions and cilantro together, mashing avocado slightly. Squeeze in lime juice and toss.
For quinoa: Rinse quinoa in a mesh sieve under cold water, bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil. Add quinoa, stir, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff with fork.
Serve fish over a bed of quinoa, topped with salsa, with lemon and/or lime slices on the side for garnish.
Given the U.S. Supreme Court's strange and sudden obsession with broccoli, I thought it might be timely to share this delicious and easy-to-prepare recipe, which makes great use of the in-the-news vegetable.
Serves 6 to 8.
Note: For a variation, add a 13-oz. jar of roasted red peppers (drained, rinsed, patted dry and chopped medium) after stirring in the Colby and Cheddar cheeses. From "The Cook's Country Cookbook" by the editors of America's Test Kitchen.
2 slices white sandwich bread
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 large bunch (2 lbs.) broccoli, florets trimmed to 1-inch pieces, stalks peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper
3 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 c. whole milk
1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 c. shredded Colby cheese
1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
To prepare topping: In a food processer, combine bread and butter and pulse until coarsely ground, about six 1-second pulses; set aside.
To prepare filling: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and broccoli to boiling water, cover and cook until broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain broccoli and leave in colander; set aside.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, mustard and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour and cook, stirring occasionally, until flour turns golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, whisking often, until large bubbles erupt at the surface and mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in Colby and Cheddar cheeses. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread broccoli in a 9x13-inch baking pan (or shallow casserole dish of a similar size). Whisk cheese sauce again briefly and pour over broccoli. Sprinkle with bread-crumb topping. Bake until golden brown and bubbling around the edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool for 5 minutes and serve.
The Pillsbury Bake-Off crowned another $1 million winner — a pumpkin-ravioli dessert —for its 45th annual contest. Here’s the winning recipe, along with a few other category winners. Hungry for more? See www.bakeoff.com.
No Minnesotans were in this competition of 100 finalists, for the first time since the Bake-Off began 62 years ago. Minnesota had its most finalists in 1984, 13 of them.
Pumpkin Ravioli With Salted Caramel Whipped Cream
Serves 12 (2 ravioli each).
Note: This $1 million grand prize-winning recipe came from Christina Verrelli of Devon, Pa. It won the Sweet Treats category as well.
• 4 tbsp. butter, melted, divided
• 2 (3-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 c. canned pumpkin (not the pie filling)
• 1 egg yolk
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla
• 1/4 c. sugar
• 5 tbsp. flour, divided
• 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
• 1/3 c. pecans, finely chopped
• 2 cans refrigerated crescent roll dough (seamless sheets)
• 1 c. heavy cream
• 1/8 tsp. salt
• 5 tbsp. caramel syrup, divided
• 4 tbsp. cinnamon sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 large cookie sheets with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and pumpkin with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until smooth. Add egg yolk, vanilla, sugar, 3 tablespoons flour and pumpkin pie spice; beat on low speed until blended. Reserve 4 teaspoons of the pecans; set aside. Stir remaining pecans into pumpkin mixture.
Lightly sprinkle work surface with 1 tablespoon flour. Unroll 1 can of dough on floured surface with 1 short side facing you. Press dough into 14- by 12-inch rectangle. With paring knife, lightly score the dough in half horizontally. Lightly score bottom half of dough into 12 squares (3- by 2 1/4-inches each).
Spoon heaping tablespoon of pumpkin filling onto center of each square. Gently lift and position unscored half of dough over filling. Starting at the top folded edge, press handle of wooden spoon firmly between mounds and along edges of pumpkin filling to seal.
Using toothpick, poke small hole in top of each ravioli. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut between each ravioli; place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon flour, dough sheet and filling. Brush ravioli with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Bake 9 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat cream and salt with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in 2 tablespoons caramel syrup until stiff peaks form. Transfer to serving bowl; cover and refrigerate.
Remove ravioli from oven. Sprinkle ravioli with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar; turn. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.
To serve, place 2 ravioli on each of 12 dessert plates. Drizzle each serving with scant teaspoon of the caramel syrup; sprinkle with reserved chopped pecans. With spoon, swirl remaining 1 tablespoon caramel syrup into bowl of whipped cream. Serve warm ravioli with whipped cream.
Nutrition information per serving of 2 ravioli:
Calories 380 Fat 25 g Sodium 440 mg
Carbohydrates 35 g Saturated fat 13 g Protein 4 g Cholesterol 70 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1½ bread/starch, 1 other carb, 4½ fat.
Indonesian Chicken Turnovers with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Makes 8 (2-turnover) servings.
Note: Linda Blakely of Berne, N.Y., won the Crisco is Cooking category with this.
• 8 tbsp. canola oil, divided
• 3/4 c. finely chopped onions
• 2 c. shredded rotisserie chicken
• 1 tbsp. curry powder
• 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, divided
• 1 (6-oz.) can pineapple juice
• 1/4 c. canned crushed pineapple
• 1/4 c. raisins
• 1 tbsp. shredded coconut
• 2 tbsp. coarsely chopped bread-and-butter pickles (not pickle relish)
• 2 cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
• 1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
• 2 tbsp. soy sauce
• 2 tbsp. sugar
• 2 tsp. white vinegar
• 1tbsp. finely chopped green onion with top
In 10-inch skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the onions; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, or until onions are softened. Add chicken, curry powder, garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in pineapple juice, crushed pineapple, raisins, coconut and pickles. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 350 degress. Unroll both cans of crescent dough; separate dough into 8 rectangles. Firmly press perforations to seal. Press each piece of dough into 7- by 3 1/2-inch rectangle.
Cut each rectangle crosswise into 2 squares. Place about 2 tablespoons of chicken mixture onto center of each square; fold dough in half diagonally to form a triangle. With fork, seal edges. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 11 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown.
Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, combine peanut butter, remaining 5 tablespoons oil, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and green onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with wire whisk, or until thoroughly heated.
To serve, place 2 turnovers on each of 8 plates. Drizzle each turnover with 1 teaspoon of the sauce. Serve with remaining sauce. Sprinkle turnovers with additional chopped green onion, if desired.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 510 Fat 33 g Sodium 900 mg
Carbohydrates 37 g Saturated fat 7 g
Protein 15 g Cholesterol 35 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Diabetic exchanges: 1½ bread/starch, 1 other carb, 1½ lean meat, 5½ fat.
Salmon Crescent Sushi Rolls
Makes 24 appetizers.
Note: Roll up salmon and rice in crescent dough to create an appetizer to dip in classic sushi toppers. This recipe, from Julie McIntire of Independence, Mo., won the GE Imagination At Work Award.
• 1 can refrigerated crescent roll dough (seamless sheets)
• 8 oz. salmon fillet (about 5- by 3- by 3/4 inches), skin removed
• 3/4 c. cooked white rice
• 3 tbsp. sesame seeds
• 1/2 medium avocado, pitted, peeled, cut into 8 slices
• 3/4 tsp. wasabi paste
• 3 tsp. soy sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll dough sheet; press into 10- by 14-inch rectangle. Cut dough in half lengthwise.
Cut salmon lengthwise into 6 pieces. To make each roll, spoon half of rice evenly down 1 long edge of each dough piece in a 1-inch strip to within 1/4 inch of edge. Place 3 pieces salmon evenly over rice, overlapping salmon to fit if necessary. Starting at long side topped with salmon, roll up; pinch seam to seal. Sprinkle sesame seed on ungreased cookie sheet; roll and press each log in sesame seed to coat. Place rolls, seam side down, on cookie sheet.
Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Transfer rolls to cutting board. Using serrated knife, cut each roll into 12 slices. Cut each slice of avocado into thirds; place 1 slice on top of each roll. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 60 Fat 4 g Sodium 125 mg
Carbohydrates 6 g Saturated fat 1 g
Protein 3 g Cholesterol 5 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: ½ bread/starch, ½ fat.
Sausage-Pomodoro Brunch Bake
Note: Start with crescents. Pile on the sausage, tomatoes, two cheeses and eggs. Bake and voila! You’ve got brunch. From Maria Vasseur, of Valencia, Calif., winner of the Breakfast & Brunches category.
• 1 (12-oz.) pkg. bulk reduced-fat pork breakfast sausage
• 1/3 c. refrigerated basil pesto
• 1 can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
• 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
• 1/3 c. crumbled feta cheese
• 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
• 6 eggs
• 2 tbsp. milk
• 3 tbsp. shredded fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook sausage 6 to 8 minutes over medium heat or until no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in pesto. Set aside to cool.
Unroll crescent dough into 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish. Press dough in bottom and 1/2-inch up sides. Press perforations to seal. Spoon sausage into dough-lined dish. Sprinkle tomatoes and feta cheese over sausage. Top with mozzarella cheese.
In medium bowl, beat eggs and milk with wire whisk until well blended. Pour egg mixture evenly over ingredients in dish. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until dough is golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh basil.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 390 Fat 27 g Sodium 890 mg
Carbohydrates 16 g Saturated fat 9 g
Protein 20 g Cholesterol 205 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 3 fat.
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