It’s been a little while since I posted the recipes for the wonderful dinners that Chuck and I have been eating. Well, tonight’s dinner was stellar, and I couldn’t wait to share the recipes with you.
The first recipe, Gooey Jalapeño Poppers, comes from the current issue of Shape Magazine. Jalapeño poppers on a diet? Well, these are baked jalapeño poppers … and yes, they are good!
Now, just to be honest, I didn’t think they were “gooey” per se, but they were crunchy and filled with cheesy goodness! The best part? Three jalapeño poppers and some sour cream to dip them in was only 3 Weight Watchers points … seriously! These are definitely going on our “must make again” list.
Oh, and one other note, I normally don’t eat reduced-fat cheese, but I thought we’d give it a try to stay true to the recipe … and in the recipe, it tasted fine. However, I also ate an ounce by itself and quickly realized why I don’t eat reduced-fat cheese … yuck. We’ll use up what we purchased when we make more poppers, but then it’s back to full-fat cheese for us!
Jalapeño poppers pre-baking (top photo) and post-baking (bottom photo):
The second recipe, Pinto Bean & Andouille Sausage Stew, comes from the January/February 2009 issue of EatingWell. Now, we didn’t follow this recipe to the tee, but we noted below where we diverged. And the main reason we did is because we had some frozen chorizo sausage links from one of our favorite local farms, Farrar Out Farm, in our freezer, and we’re making a concerted effort use what we have on hand. We also had some shoulder bacon from Farrar Out Farm, and we used this in place of the bacon called for in the recipe.
Farrar Out Farm sells their products at both the Kirkwood Farmers’ Market and the Maplewood Farmers Market in the summer; you should definitely check them out!
Gooey Jalapeño Poppers
6 jalapeños, halved, seeds and ribs removed
1/2 cup shredded 75% reduced-fat cheddar [We used Cabot]
1/4 cup reduced-fat whipped cream cheese
4 scallions, finely chopped and divided
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs
4 large egg whites
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray [We used our olive-oil mister]
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream [We used “light” sour cream]
1. Preheat broiler on high; place wire baking rack on foil-lined baking sheet. Place jalapeños on wire rack and broil for about 2 minutes or until they start to char. Cool completely. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a small bowl, mix cheddar, cream cheese, and half the scallions. Using a teaspoon, fill each pepper half with the cheese mixture, packing tightly.
3. Put flour and panko in separate dishes. In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy, but not quite holding peaks.
4. Working in batches, dredge jalapeños in flour and shake off excess. Add to egg whites and coat, being careful not to let filling come out. Add a few at a time to panko and coat.
5. Lay jalapeños on wire rack and season with salt and pepper. Coat lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until breading is golden and cheese is melted.
6. In a small bowl, stir remaining scallions into sour cream. Season with salt. Serve with hot poppers.
Makes six servings; one serving = 2 pepper halves and 1 1/3 tbsp sour cream.
Pinto Bean & Andouille Sausage Stew
1 pound dry pinto beans [We used 1/2 pound pinto beans and 1/2 pound Alubia Criollo beans, both from Rancho Gordo]
1 tablespoon peanut oil or canola oil
12 ounces andouille sausage, diced [We used 8 ounces chorizo sausage instead]
3 slices bacon, chopped
2 cups diced onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced green bell pepper [We left this out]
1-3 teaspoons minced chile pepper, such as serrano or jalapeño [We used 1 whole poblano pepper]
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 large ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced [We used canned tomatoes as fresh are not yet in season]
8 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest
Juice of 1/2 lime
1. Pick over beans to remove any pebbles or broken beans and rinse under cold water. Place in a bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.
2. Heat oil in a large heavy casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is almost crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and set aside in the refrigerator.
3. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, over medium heat, until soft and lightly brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add bell peppers and chile pepper to taste; continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture is soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in paprika. Add tomatoes and cook until they release their juice, about 2 minutes.
4. Drain the beans. Stir the beans and 8 cups water into the pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Stir in the reserved sausage and bacon along with salt and pepper. Continue simmering, adding a little water if the beans are dry, until the beans are very soft and beginning to break down, about 30 minutes more. Stir in lime zest and juice.
Makes 8 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each.
One serving of this chili is only 7 Weight Watchers points per serving, so we had a very hearty meal for a small amount of “points” tonight. Give these recipes a whirl; I think you’ll like ’em!