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ROASTED FISH WITH CHUNKY ROASTED PEPPER SAUCE

This is a nice recipe I like to make, especially if I am short on time.  It goes together easily, is light and is very satisfyining as something different from my normal fare.  Enjoy!!

 

PREP: 15 MINUTES

ROASTING TIME: 10 MINUTES

OVEN TEMPERATURE: 425 DEGREES

SERVES – 4

POINTSPLUS VALUE:  5

 

Ingredients:

1 (12-OUNCE) JAR ROASTED RED PEPPER, DRAINED AND CHOPPED

16 PITTED BLACK AND/OR GREEN OLIVES COARSELY CHOPPED

¼ CUP CHOPPED FRESH BASIL

1 TABLESPOON SHERRY OR RED-WINE VINEGAR

1 TABLESPOON CAPERS, COARSELY CHOPPED

1 GARLIC CLOVE, MINCED

4 (6-OZ) HALIBUT OR COD FILLETS ABOUT ¾ INCH THICK

2 TEASPOONS OLIVE OIL

½ TEASPOON SALT

½ TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER

Directions:

  1. 1.      PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 425 DEGREES. SPRAY A SHALLOW ROASTING PAN WITH NONSTICK SPRAY.
  2. 2.      TO MAKE THE SAUCE, TOSS TOGETHER THE ROASTED RED PEPPER, OLIVES, BASIL, VINEGAR, CAPERS, AND GARLIC IN A SERVING BOWL.
  3. 3.      PLACE THE FISH IN THE PREPARED ROASTING PAN; BRUSH WITH THE OIL AND SPRINKLE WITH THE SALT AND PEPPER. ROAST THE FISH UNTIL JUST OPAQUE IN THE CENTER, ABOUT 10 MINUTES. SERVE WITH THE SAUCE.

 

NUTRIENTS PER SERVING:  215 CALORIES, 6G FAT, 6G CARBS, 1G FIBER, 33G PROTEIN

 

FILLING EXTRA:  ADD A 15½ OUNCE CAN OF RINSED AND DRAINED CANNELLINI BEANS TO THE ROASTED PEPPER SAUCE. THIS WILL INCREASE THE POINT VALUE BY 1 POINT

 

THANKS FOR READING

Kris

 

For more information about Kris Larkin at her gourmet cooking classes in the heart of The Flint Hills of Kansas see her web site.

 

 

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WINTER RATATOUILLE DIP WITH TOASTED WHOLE WHEAT PITA CHIPS

WINTER RATATOUILLE DIP

This is a really simple recipe and it is great for an appetizer to have ready when your guests arrive.  It saves great.  when the party is over, put it in the fridge to use later.  One thing my husband, Pat and I like to do is use the Ratatouille in an omelet for breakfast . . . FANTASTIC!!

PREP: 5 MINUTES

COOKING TIME: 10 MINUTES

SERVES – 9 SERVINGS OF 1/3 CUP EACH

POINTS PLUS VALUE: 1

Ingredients:

2 TEASPOONS OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

1 CUP (1/2”) CUBED EGGPLANT

1 CUP (1/2”) CUBED BUTTERNUT SQUASH#

½ CUP (1/2”) CUBED PARSNIPS

½ CUP DICED ONION

1 (14.5 OZ.) CAN DICED TOMATOES WITH BASIL, GARLIC AND OREGANO, UNDRAINED#

¼ TEASPOON FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER

¼ CUP CHOPPED FRESH BASIL

Directions:

  1. 1.     Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add eggplant and next 3 ingredients; sauté 6 minutes or until vegetables are browned.
  2. 2.     Stir in tomatoes and pepper. Cook, uncovered, 3 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates.  Stir in basil.

Calories 54: fat 1.1 g, Protein 1.5g,Carb 10.6 g, Fiber 1.7 g. sodium 190mg., Calcium 24 mg

#NUTRITIONAL BONUS: A rich source of antioxidant carotenoids, winter squash helps fight the inflammation associated with assorted metabolic disorders it also has a whopping amount of Vitamin A which supports eye health and helps fend off infections.

Processed tomatoes products not only retain most of their nutrients, but they also actually contain more bio-available lycopene than their raw, fresh counterparts.  Lycopene has been linked to the reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

TOASTED WHOLE WHEAT PITA CHIPS

 

PREP: 4 MINUTES

COOKING TIME: 6 MINUTES

OVEN TEMP: 450 DEGREES

SERVES – 4 (6 CHIPS)

POINTSPLUS:  2

Ingredients:

2 (6 INCH) WHOLE WHEAT PITAS

COOKING SPRAY (I USE OLIVE OIL)

½ TEASPOON CUMIN

¼ TEASPOON SALT

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450. Separate each pita into 2 rounds- cut each round into 6 pieces. Arrange pita wedges single layer on a baking sheet.  Coat wedges with cooking spray and sprinkle with cumin and salt.

Bake for 6 Minutes or until brown.

 

Calories per serving: 86, Fat .9, Protein 3.2, carb 17.7, Fiber 2.5, Sodium 318mg, Calcium 7 mg

That was simple wasn’t it?  If you would like to learn more about our cooking classes check out our website.

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HEARTY LENTIL AND INTALIAN SAUSAGE SOUP

This past weekend we had two cooking classes at The Lark Inn. Both classes cooked the same menu and I am always amazed ad how different God makes us all.  Both classes we delightful and just because of the different personalities in each class and how they interacted with one another each class had it’s own distinct dynamic and personality.  I guess that’s just one of the many reasons I love teaching these cooking classes.

Back to business.  One of the recipes we fixed was HEARTY LENTIL AND SAUSAGE SOUP.  I have always loved Lentil soup but . . . when you add the Italian sausage to it WOW!  The flavor just goes into a whole new dimention.  In addition to beinga great tasting soup , lentil soup is super (souper) healthy, packed full of fiber, very filling and only 6 points on the Weight Watchers Points Plus 2012 program.  Did I mention hearty?

Now that I have completed my sales work . . . here it is . . . you be the judge!


PREP: 10 MINUTES

COOKING TIME: 35 MINUTES

SERVES – 6

POINTSPLUS VALUE: 8

Ingredients:

2 TEASPOONS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

½ CUP CHOPPED CARROTS

½ CUP CHOPPED CELERY

½ CUP CHOPPED YELLOW ONION

2 TABLESPOONS FINELY CHOPPED GARLIC

½ POUND SWEET OR HOT ITALIAN SAUSAGE, CASINGS REMOVED

1/2 POUND MUSHROOMS (SUCH AS WHITE, CRIMINI, SHITAKE, PORTOBELLO AND OYSTER) CHOPPED

1 CUP (ABOUT 7 OUNCES) DRIED FRENCH OR BROWN LENTILS, PICKED THROUGH AND RINSED

2 ½ CUPS BEEF BROTH

2 ½ CUPS MUSHROOM OR LOW-SODIUM CHICKEN BROTH

1 CUP CHOPPED TOMATOES, WITH THEIR JUICE

1 CUP DRY RED WINE

PINCH RED PEPPER FLAKES

1/4 POUND BABY SPINACH, THINLY SLICED

½ TEASPOON SALT

GROUND BLACK PEPPER

1 TABLESPOON CHOPPED THYME

6 TEASPOONS GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE FOR GARNISH

Directions:

1)      Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent.  Add sausage and cook, breaking into small chunks, until it begins to brown.  Add mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms have released most of their liquid.  Add lentils, beef broth, mushroom or chicken broth, tomatoes and their juice, wine and pepper flakes; cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

2)      Add spinach and salt and pepper, stir well and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes more; stir in thyme.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan.

 

NUTRITION PER SERVING: 380 calories, 18g fat, 32g carbs, 10g fiber, 18g protein

 

If you enjoyed this positing, please subscribe . . . there is a lot more to come!

 

Also visit my web site for the latest schedule for our gourmet cooking classes in The Flint Hills of Kansas!  www.TheLarkInn.com

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PECAN PIE . . . CAKE

Here is another fantastic recipe we prepared in one of The Lark Inn Cooking Classes; Pecan Pie . . . Cake.  No, that’s not a typo, it is truly a cake that tastes like Pecan Pie.  Oh my gosh is it good.  this may not be the best for your New Year’s resolution for weight loss so don’t fix it for just having around the house.  Unless of course you are one of those blessed people who can eat anything at any time and will never show it in your weight.  In that case . . . make it for breakfast!

The recipe has a lot of steps to it but don’t let that scare you off.  It is really pretty easy!

Here’s the recipe:

PREP:  35 MINUTES

BAKING TIME: 25 MINUTES

OVEN TEMP:  350 DEGREES

SERVES –12 SERVINGS

Ingredients FOR CAKE:

3 CUPS FINELY CHOPPED PECANS, TOASTED AND DIVIDED

½ CUP BUTTER, SOFTENED

½ CUP SHORTENING

2 CUPS SUGAR

5 LARGE EGSS, SEPARATED

1 TABLESPOON VANILLA EXTRACT

2 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR

1 TEASPOON BAKING SODA

1 CUP BUTTERMILK

¾ CUP DARK CORN SYRUP

1 RECIPE PECAN PIE FILLING

1 RECIPE PASTRY GARNISH

Directions FOR CAKE:

  1. 1.     Sprinkle 2 cups pecans evenly into 3 generously buttered 9-inch round cake pans; shake to coat bottoms and sides of pans.
  2. 2.     Beat ½ cup butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.
  3. 3.     Add flour and baking soda to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour.  Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in remaining 1 cup finely chopped pecans.
  4. 4.     Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks forms; fold one-third of egg whites into batter.  Fold in remaining egg whites. Do not overmix. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  5. 5.     Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until done.  Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Invert layers onto wax paper-lined wire racks.  Brush tops and sides of layers with corn syrup, and cool completely.
  6. 6.     Spread half of Pecan Pie Filling on 1 layer, pecan side up.  Place second layer, pecan side up, on filling; spread with remaining filling.  Top with remaining layer, pecan side up.
  7. 7.     Arrange Pastry garnish on and around cake.

 

PECAN PIE FILLING

 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES

COOKING TIME:  5 TO 7 MINUTES

CHILLING TIME: 4 HOURS

 

Ingredients FOR PECAN PIE FILLING:

½ CUP FIRMLY PACKED DARK BROWN SUGAR

¾ CUP DARK CORN SYRUP

1/3 CUP CORNSTARCH

4 EGG YOLKS

1 ½ CUPS HALF-AND-HALF

1/8 TEASPOON SALT

3 TABLESPOONS BUTTER

1 TEASPOON VANILLA EXRACT

Directions FOR PECAN PIE FILLING:

 1.Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a heavy 3-Quart saucepan until smooth.  Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute or until thickened.  Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla extract.  Place a sheet of wax paper directly on surface of mixture to prevent a film from forming, and chill 4 hours.

Yield: about 3 cups

Note:  to chill filling quickly, pour filling into a bowl.  Place bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice.  Whisk constantly until cool (about 15 minutes).

ENJOY!!

If this positing was interesting to you visit my website: http://www.thelarkinn.com/CookingClasses.html

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SPICY ROAST CHICKEN WITH TOMATOES AND MARJORAM

Spicy Roast Chicken with Tomatoes and Marjoram

We fixed a super great chicken dish in our October Cooking Class at The Lark Inn.  It is a “Spicy Roast Chicken with Tomatoes and Marjoram” and is very simple to prepare, very low on calories and fat and . . . it’s YUMMY!  Another thing that I like about this recipe is that with the tomatoes, it plates very nicely . . . it looks great spread around on a nice platter!

Our class had a great time fixing it and . . . eating it!

Here is the recipe:

SPICY ROAST CHICKEN WITH TOMATOES AND MARJORAM

 

PREP: 15 MINUTES

COOKING TIME: 35 MINUTES

OVEN TEMP: 450 DEGREES

SERVES –4

Ingredients:

24 OUNCES OF WHOLE CHERRY TOMATOES

¼ CUP OLIVE OIL

5 GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED

¾ TEASPOONS OF DRIED CRUSHED RED PEPPER

2 TABLESPOONS OF DRIED MARJAROM

4 CHICKEN BREASTS – BONELESS BUT WITH SKIN ON

SALT AND FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER

Directions:

Kris looks on as students work in one of The Lark Inn's many cooking classes.

 1.     Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Prepare pans with either a silpat lined baking sheet or parchment paper for chicken.

  1. 2.     Toss the olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, crushed red pepper and marjoram in a large bowl to combine.
  2. 3.     Place chicken on prepared baking sheet.
  3. 4.     Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken, arranging the tomatoes in a single layer around the chicken.
  4. 5.     Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  5. 6.     Roast until chicken is cooked through and tomatoes are blistered, about 35 minutes.

Enjoy!!

If this recipe sounds interesting to you, check out my web site: http://www.thelarkinn.com/CookingClasses.html

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WINTER FRUIT SALAD

I introduced this Winter Fruit Salad at my “Fall Harvest” cooking class.  the combination of fruits and spices is perfect for anytime . . . but especially cold weather.  Though it is served cool, at room temperature, it’s savory blend of flavors will warm you up on any winter day.

This is very light, simple to prepare and is perfect to serve with a heavier meals.  Another option is desert.  I love this so much that I serve it as a appetiser or as a stand-alone dessert.

Enjoy!!

 

WINTER FRUIT SALAD

 

PREP: 15 MINUTES

SERVES – 8 MINUTES

 

Ingredients:

3 TABLESPOONS PACKED BROWN SUGAR

1 TABLESPOON GRATED LEMON ZEST

2 TABLESPOONS LEMON JUICE

1 TEASPOON GROUND ALLSPICE

3 BRAEBURN APPLES, LARGE DICE

2 CUPS FRESH CUBED PINEAPPLE

2 BOSC PEARS, LARGE DICE

½ CUP CURRANTS

¼ CUP SLICED ALMONDS

 

Directions:

 Combine the brown sugar, lemon zest and juice, and allspice in a large bowl.  Add the apples, pineapple, pears, and currants; toss to coat.  Sprinkle with almonds.

 Note:  Cover and refrigerate the salad up to 2 hours in advance, but don’t sprinkle it with the almonds until just before serving.

 

This is very light and is perfect to serve with a heavier meals.  Another option is desert.  I love this so much that I serve it as a appetiser or as a stand-alone dessert.

Enjoy!!

For more information about my cooking classes visit my website:  The Lark Inn Cooking Classes

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WEDDING WEEK AT THE LARK INN – TUESDAY

TUESDAY – FAMILY BEGINS TO ARRIVE!

 The Lark Inn was dark on Monday.  Partially for preparation of the coming week but primarily so that Pat could have dinner with his single daughter one last time.  A time to share and encourage and be encouraged.

 Kris’ mom and sister Kelli flew in this morning.  Later, her brother Kevin, his wife Heather and kids, Treavor, Billy and Richard flew into LAX.  This gave Pat one more opportunity to reconnect with his 8 gazillion friends he made on the San Diego Freeway when he was doing his commute years ago.  The traffic cooperated; although, all flights were delayed so Kevin and the little boys and Pat had coffee at the international terminal and made up stories about the various people we saw.  What a great place for people watching and . . . if you are going to people watch, Kevin, the consummate story teller is a world-class people watcher!!

 Number of Guests                   15

 Menu:

Veggies with Dipping Sauce

Apple Smoked Pork Chops

Smashed Potatoes

Garlic Sautéed Green Beans

Rice Salad

Angel Food Cake with California Strawberries ala mode


Veggies with Tomato Basil Dipping Sauce

 

Shopping List:

1 Assorted Fresh Veggie Tray with Celery, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes

1  Cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise

½ Cup Sour Cream

½ Cup Chopped Fresh Basil

1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste

1 Tablespoon  grated Lemon Rind

 Stir together last 5 ingredients.  Cover and Chill for at least 1 hour.  After Chilling out under a blanket, cover and chill the dipping sauce for at least 1 hour up to 2 days.  Serve with your veggies . . . now than you have chilled out!

 Apple Smoked Pork Chops:

  Shopping List:

2 Packages of 10 Center Cut Pork Chops

Fred’s Rub

Season the pork chops heavily on one side with “Fred’s Rub”*

Cover and put the seasoned chops in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

 Start smoker with apple wood in the smoke chamber and crank the heat up to high.  On my Treagor electric smoker, that is about 425 to 450°.

 Once smoker has reached at least 425° put the chops on the grate, seasoned side down.

Cook for about five minutes and turn.

Continue to cook until temperature in the middle of the chop is 145° and remove and cover in foil.

Let stand for at least 10 Minutes before serving.

 Alternate cooking method:

Because of the small size of my smoker and the large number of guests for dinner I also fired up my gas grill on high.

I put half of the pork chops on the smoker, seasoned side down and the other half on the grill, seasoned side down.

I cooked them for about five minutes, turned them and cooked them for another 5 minutes or so.

Then, I switched; moved the chops from the smoker on to the grill and those from the grill on to the smoker. 

 Tip:  You might want to use a tray to put one of the groups of chops on to make room for the other set of chops . . . otherwise you could become trapped in a terminal do-loop of making room on the grill for the smoked chops . . . but there isn’t room  . . . I better move them . . . but there isn’t room . . . so I better move them . . . we don’t want to have to send someone over to rescue you.  If you think this may be a problem . . . you should probably not cook pork chops alone!  This is especially dangerous if alcohol is involved.

 Once you have finally navigated the switching process, cook them for another 5 or so minutes on each side until the internal temp reaches 145°.

Remove, cover with foil and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

*Fred’s Rub

 Fred’s Rub was created by Pat’s dad; Fred Larkin who, perfected the art of steak grilling on his “Hastybake” charcoal grill.  At one such time, over a half a century ago Fred was paid a visit by the Grilling Gods!  They took him into their landing craft and while rocketing through the galaxies, performed horrible experiments on Fred.  Being the powerful and courageous man that he was, he fought them all off and commandeered their ship, flying it back to planet earth.  Though he was free in body, he was still theirs in his mind . . . all he could think of was seasoned salt, garlic salt and pepper . . . seasoned salt, garlic salt and pepper . . . seasoned salt, garlic salt and pepper .  Then it came to him; he was supposed to put the concoction on his steaks and then grill them . . . FRED’S RUB WAS BORN!!!  Fred’s Rub is  only available through the Lark Inn and is about a zillion dollars a bottle.  But, if you want to make it, here is the top secret recipe:

 1-1/2 Parts Seasoned Salt

1 Part Garlic Powder

¼ Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper for each ½ cup of rub

 Please remember; if you divulge this top secret recipe . . . the Grilling god’s may pay YOU a visit!!!


Smashed Potatoes

 

Shopping List:

5 – 7 lbs. of Yukon Gold Potatoes* (About 3 per guest)

Fred’s Rub

 * Tip: for you Californians or other folks not from the south or the Midwest; “New” Potatoes are the same as red potatoes.  New potatoes will have a more “earthy” (no it’s not just from the dirt) flavor and the Yukon Gold will tend to be a bit sweeter.

 Select however many potatoes you want (for tonight’s group of 15 we used 40 – 45).  Wash the potatoes and boil them until they are about 90% done.

While the potatoes are boiling, start your oven set to Broil at 450°.

Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil spray.

Once the potatoes are finished boiling, drain them and let cool for a few minutes.

For smashing the potatoes you will want to find either a spatula (egg turner) or a solid faced potato masher and spray the face with olive oil.

One at a time, place the potatoes on the cookie sheet and smash them just until they break open . . . . sort of like a tomato.  They will look like a little split open bulb.

Spray (or drizzle) olive oil over the potatoes and sprinkle with Fred’s Rub.

 Hint: use the Fred’s Rub sparingly on potatoes and vegetables as it has quite a bit of salt in it.

 Put the cookie sheet with your potatoes in the oven with the rack in the top position.

Allow to broil for about 10 minutes, until they reach your desired amount of golden crispiness.

Remove from the oven and serve.

Garlic Sautéed Green Beans

 Shopping List:

3 lbs. of Crisp, Fresh Green Beans

4 Cloves of Garlic

Wash the beans and snap them into sections about 1 to 1/12 inches long.

 Hint:  Snapping green beans means that you bend them until they break (do I have to explain everything?!).  If they only bend, they are too ripe.

 Dice up four cloves of garlic (you could substitute 2 teaspoons of minced garlic)

Drizzle olive oil in your large skillet (or possibly two depending on the size of your skillets) Heat the skillet up on medium/high heat.

When the skillet is warm, throw in the green beans along with the garlic and drizzle with a bit more olive oil.

Turn the beans frequently to avoid burning and cook until just al dente

 Tip:  For my friends from the south Al Dente is not short for Albert Dente.  This means that you don’t cook the bean until they is mushy.  You only cook them until they are just tender enough to stick a fork in them . . . (I have to say it) as in “Stick me with a fork, I’m done!”

 When finished, remove from the skillet and serve

 Serving:

We serve everything family style with each item in a bowl or platter of it’s own which requires those at the table to work together so that everything is passed in the same direction.  I have faith in you control freaks out there . . . this is a simple one for you!

 Wine:

With the light pork meat and veggies, you will want a fairly light wine; for my palette, either a nice Chardonnay or Pinot Noir will work great.


Angel Food Cake with California Strawberries ala mode

 

Shopping List:

          3 Sugar Free Angel Food Cakes (if not available, regular will do)

          3 Pints of FreshCaliforniaStrawberries

          1 Qt. Light Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Slice the cake into ¾ inch wide slices and place in a small bowl.

Wash, cap and slice the strawberries and pour over the cake.

Scoop out a large tablespoon of ice cream and put on the top of everything.

 Tip:  For an delightful variation of this, heat your grill to high heat.  Be sure that your grates are oiled with canola oil to reduce sticking.  After you slice the angel food cake just put on the grill for about 20 seconds per side . . . I think you will like the results.

 For information about cooking classes with Kris Larkin go to: www.TheLarkInn.com


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