Recipes from Jan. 15

From Herald news servicesJanuary 15, 2014 

Food Deadline Spring Rolls

This Dec. 2, 2013 photo shows chicken and jicama spring rolls with peanut sauce in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

MATTHEW MEAD — AP

Weekly recipes for Jan. 15, 2014

Pork Chops and Triple Apple Threat

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 25 minutes Makes: 2 servings.

2 pork chops (on the bone), 6 to 8 ounces each
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil or bacon fat
1 small red onion, chopped
2 large tart apples, peeled, cored, sliced about 1/2-inch thick
3/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup applejack or apple brandy
3 tablespoons whipping cream

Season the chops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Heat the fat in a skillet over medium-high heat; add the chops. Cook, turning once, to brown both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chops to a plate; keep warm.

Add the onion; cook, sprinkled with a little salt, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the apples, coating them with the fat and onions; cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, 3 minutes. They should be cooked through but retain their shape.

Stir in the apple cider and applejack; return chops to skillet. Lower heat to medium; cook at a simmer until chops are cooked through. Transfer chops and apples to dinner plates, leaving sauce in the skillet. Add cream to skillet; cook at a simmer until slightly reduced, 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chops and apples.

Nutrition: 575 calories, 35 grams fat, 11 grams saturated fat, 103 milligrams cholesterol, 43 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams protein, 670 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Chicken and Jicama Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Start to finish: 30 minutes. Makes 12 rolls.

For the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1/4 cup apricot jam
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice or cider vinegar
Hot sauce, to taste
For the spring rolls:
2 ounces dried bean or rice thread noodles
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise
4 ounces peeled jicama root
12 large rice-paper wrappers (8-inch round or larger)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 avocados, pitted and thinly sliced
1 pound cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast meat, pulled or cut into strips
12 large fresh mint leaves

To make the dipping sauce, in a medium bowl stir together the peanut butter, jam, soy sauce and vinegar. Season with hot sauce, then set aside.

Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 5 minutes, or until softened. Drain well in a mesh strainer and set aside.

Use a spoon to scrape out and discard the seeds from the cucumber halves. Cut each piece into thin strips. Set aside. Cut the jicama into thin slices, then cut each slice into thin matchsticks.

Fill a large bowl (at least several inches larger than the rice wrappers) with warm water. Soak 1 wrapper in the water until just barely softened, about 10 seconds. Carefully remove the rice wrapper from the water and lay flat on the counter. Place a small bundle of noodles along one edge of the wrapper. Top the noodles with a bit each of cucumber, jicama, carrots, avocado and chicken, then top with a mint leaf.

Roll the wrapper, starting with the filling side, folding the ends over the fillings as you roll to form a tight cylinder. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and fillings. Serve with the dipping sauce.

Nutrition information per roll with peanut sauce: 200 calories; 80 calories from fat (40 percent of total calories); 8 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated; 0 grams trans fats); 20 milligrams cholesterol; 20 grams carbohydrate; 4 grams fiber; 5 grams sugar; 13 grams protein; 310 milligrams sodium.

Hot and Spicy Artichoke Spinach Dip

Start to finish: 55 minutes (35 active). Makes about 4 cups.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
13.75-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 ounces Neufchatel (low-fat cream cheese)
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1 ounce freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 3/4 cup grated using a wand-style grater)
1/2 cup medium chopped mild Peppadew peppers (about 2 ounces), or medium chopped roasted red peppers
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
Kosher salt
Crackers or low-fat pita crisps, to serve

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.

In a medium skillet over medium-low, heat the oil. Add the onion and saute, covered, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown, about another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the artichokes until they are medium chopped, then transfer them to the skillet.

In the food processor combine the spinach, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, then process until mixed. Add the mixture to the skillet, along with the peppers and pepper flakes. Stir well, then season with salt.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and bake on the oven's middle shelf for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it is bubbling at the edges. Serve immediately with crackers or low fat pita crisps.

Nutrition information per 1/2 cup: 150 calories; 80 calories from fat (53 percent of total calories); 9 grams fat (4 grams saturated; 0 grams trans fats); 20 milligrams cholesterol; 13 grams carbohydrate; 4 grams fiber; 2 grams sugar; 7 grams protein; 540 milligrams sodium.

Pasta with Marinara Sauce

Start to finish: 30 minutes. Servings: 4.

1 chopped onion
2 cups mushrooms, quartered
2 cups zucchini, cut in bite-sized pieces
2 cups broccoli or cauliflower, cut in bite-sized pieces
2 cups bell peppers, cut in bite-sized pieces
1/2 pounds whole wheat spaghetti or other whole grain pasta
3/4 pounds ground chicken or 15-ounce can navy beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
15-ounce can diced tomatoes
15-ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 cup sliced kalamata or black olives
1 teaspoon dried oregano, basil and parsley
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place vegetables on rimmed baking sheet coated lightly with baking spray. Lightly spray vegetables with baking spray or toss with a teaspoon of oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and bake about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta per package directions.

Brown chicken in a pan and drain off extra fat.

Place all other ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add chicken or beans and simmer while pasta cooks. Top pasta with sauce and some of the vegetables and sprinkle with basil or parsley before serving.

Serve with a green salad and the remaining roasted vegetables.

Nutrition information per serving with chicken (navy beans): 524 calories (450 calories), 12 grams fat with 2.1 grams saturated (4 grams fat with 0.3 grams saturated), 85 milligrams cholesterol (0 grams), 66 grams carbohydrate (79 grams, 13 grams fiber (19 grams), 34 grams protein (17 grams); high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Iron.

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