Thursday, March 24, 2011

Homemade Pimento Cheese

Recently my husband and I took a weekend trip down to Charleston, SC for a friend’s 60th birthday celebration. The night before the party we took the opportunity to try one of downtown Charleston’s exceptional restaurants. We chose Magnolias and we were not disappointed. My husband was particularly awed by their grilled filet of beef topped with their house made pimento cheese. We had never thought of pimento cheese as a topping for steak and my honey just loved it. So, guess what he requested the next time we grilled steaks?
There are probably many places I could have just picked up some pre-made pimento cheese, but where’s the fun in that? So after perusing various recipes on the internet, I decided on this which I adapted from several different recipes. We both really like how it turned out and we used the leftovers on our sandwiches instead of sliced cheese and other condiments foe the rest of the week. My particular favorite was turkey, pimento cheese and bell pepper.

8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 c extra sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1 c sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/4 c pepper jack cheese, grated
1/2 c light Duke’s mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
4 oz chopped pimentos
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
3 dashes hot sauce
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients except half of the grated cheese in a food processor until smooth.
Once blended put the other half of cheese in the processor and pulse until combined. I like to do leave it a little chunky. If you want it completely smooth that is fine.
Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Red Flannel Hash

I don’t know if I was an overly picky eater as a child, but I do remember not being very open-minded. I wanted to stick with foods I knew. The basics. So, when I saw this bright purple recipe in the latest issue of Cooking Light, and thought, “Wow! That sounds delicious and I would really like to try something different”, it made me think of my Mommy. She spent years trying to get me to try new things with little success. She might even be annoyed at how easily this magazine convinced me to try something so different. Sorry Mom! I think it’s like when you can’t get a new jar open. You try and try and try, but you can’t get it to budge. So, you finally breakdown and ask your husband to help and he pops it open no problem. Psssh! You definitely loosened it for him. Get it Mom? I’m the jar and I guess Cooking Light magazine is your husband? Just go with me on this one. Thanks for loosening my lid Mom!

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 8 ounces ground turkey
• 1 cup chopped red onion
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 cups shredded red cabbage (about 1/2 small head)
• 2 cups grated beet (about 3 medium beets or 1 to 1-1/2 canned beets drained)
• 1/2 cup water
• 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add beef to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring to crumble.
2. Add onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until translucent.
3. Add cabbage, beet, water, vinegar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook about 10 minutes or until cabbage begins to wilt and liquid almost evaporates. I chose to cook this a little bit longer to make the cabbage a little tenderer. I recommend that you taste the cabbage until it is cooked to your liking. I think I cooked mine for about 15-18 minutes and it still had a bite but was definitely not crispy any more.
4. Spoon 1 1/4 cups hash into each of 4 serving bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon yogurt and 1 1/2 teaspoons dill.

Nutritional Information (thanks Cooking Light for always providing this info!):
Calories 187 • Fat 9.8g (sat 2.2g, mono 6g, poly 1g) • Protein 14.3g • Carbohydrate 12.7g • Fiber 2.9g • Cholesterol 31mg • Iron 1.9mg • Sodium 577mg • Calcium 50mg

Adapted from Cooking Light March 2011 issue