Showing posts with label sweet peppers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sweet peppers. Show all posts

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Different Corn Casserole

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Last week I gave you the classic corn casserole that I’ve been making for (gasp) thirty years or so. But recently I found myself thinking that I wanted to make something like it, but different. Funny how that happens a lot in this household.

For once I was well-stocked with supplies, so I started reconstructing the recipe.

--I wanted to add some protein and I had a handy ham slice, so I put in a half-pound of ham, cubed

--I decided to toss the whole corn, but I wanted to keep the cornmeal in the recipe because it adds a nice texture (if you use fairly coarse meal) and helps bind the whole thing together

--The original recipe calls for Monterey Jack cheese, which is sort of semi-soft. I didn’t have any, but I had a really interesting Italian smoked cheese called Scamorza with the same kind of texture, so I cubed it, because that too makes the texture a bit more varied, and in that went. I figured smoked ham and smoked cheese should work well together.




--Since I’d eliminated the corn kernels, I needed to replace the volume of the dish with something, and I happened to have some colorful small sweet peppers, so I chopped them and they went in too.

--Rather than use the lovely ceramic casserole dish that has always been home to the original recipe, I tried out the new/old Pyrex casserole I bought at a yard sale simply because I like the shape (it cost $1).

I kept the sour cream from the original, as well as the eggs and salt.



A Different Corn Casserole
Ingredients:

1/2 lb of ham steak, diced


1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cheese*, diced
1/2 cup coarse-ground cornmeal
Assorted sweet peppers, diced 
     (enough to make up about 1 cup)
1 tsp salt



*I’m going to guess that you can substitute any number of different cheeses, but I’d recommend sticking to something semi-soft, that will melt easily. Parmesan wouldn’t work, and I think Brie or a really runny cheese would make a mess. But you could try a nice orange chedder and add more color that way. Feel free to experiment!

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Generously butter a 2-quart casserole dish.

Beat together the melted butter (cooled) and eggs in a bowl. 



Mix the remaining ingredients another bowl. Add the pureed mixture and blend well.

Pour into the casserole dish and bake, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes, or until lightly browned.




I’ll admit at the beginning I was a bit worried whether this would result in a texture like the original’s, or if I’d end up with a soggy blob (remember there’s not any leavening in it). But it worked fine. It’s not a sensitive dish, so you can add more peppers, or spicier peppers, or whatever you have in your fridge and it should be fine. I liked it. My husband liked it. I think it’s a keeper!


Still waiting for the next book, A Late Frost, to come out--not until November! But don't worry, because I keep busy with at least three other series, including a brand new one (The Victorian Village series) next year.

And right now I'm in Ireland playing, er, doing research. It's a hard job, but somebody's got to do it!







Tuesday, June 19, 2012

No Crust Pizza Poppers, My Taste of Pizza Without the Carbs from Cleo Coyle



Today's recipe is my way of popping the taste of pizza in my mouth but with far less carbs and calories. Certainly, we've all heard of jalapeno poppers, but the inspiration for this idea came from another source. About ten years ago, an Italian company came up with the idea of on-the-go pizza served in a cone. 

To learn more about
The Coffeehouse Mysteries,
set in a landmark Greenwich
Village coffeehouse,
click here.
 Yes, a cone.


Truthfully, when my husband, Marc, and I first learned about this oddball concept, our jaws dropped in horror. Once we got over the shock, however, we began to have fun thinking up ways to write it into one of our Coffeehouse Mysteries
     In our 9th entry, Roast Mortem, we finally found a way. (Near the end of the book, one of our suspects is about to open a cone pizza franchise. Our amateur sleuth travels to Brooklyn to pay him a little visit, and what she discovers there upsets her far more than the atrocity of pizza served like an ice cream cone.) 
     Today's recipe is simply my way of doing cone pizza without the cone. There's not much flavor in a cone, anyway, and when it comes to toppings, I'm a sausage-and-peppers girl, and so...ta-da! Sweet pepper poppers stuffed with Italian sausage and mozzarella, and served with a little dish of warm marinara dipping sauce.  
                                              (For the full recipe, click here or scroll down.)


Or try this one...


Last year, I did a post on healthier snacking with a recipe for Crust-Free Pizza Bites (photo below). To download the recipe in a PDF that you can print, save, or share, just click here and...Eat with (low carb) joy! ~ Cleo

Crust-Free Pizza Bites 

For a PDF of this recipe that you
can print, save, or share, click here.





Cleo Coyle's
No Crust 
Pizza Poppers

How to pop the taste of pizza in your mouth
with far less carbs and calories... ~ Cleo




To download a free PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.



Ingredients: 


- Sweet Mini Peppers - I buy mine at Costco but lately I've noticed
           my local grocery's produce section is stocking them, as well.
- Shredded Cheese - I use mozzarella
- Raw Ground Meat, well-seasoned - I use Italian sweet sausage.
        It's already seasoned and I love the taste, but you can use
        any
ground beef, chicken, pork, or turkey, just be sure to season
        it up or the results may be bland. See my seasoning suggestions
        at the end of the recipe.

Use this basic ratio:
 For every 5 peppers you’ll need about 3 ounces of meat and 1 ounce of cheese. 

Directions:  Cut the tops off your mini peppers and scrape out the seeds to create a clean, hollow interior. Fill with layers of sausage (or seasoned ground beef, turkey, pork, or chicken) and shredded cheese, finishing with the cheese. Bake them in a 350 degree F. oven. Here's how...

BEST CHOICE - MUFFIN PANS: Stack filled mini peppers in an upright position, inside foil-lined muffin cups. Bake for approximately 35 to 50 minutes. The time will depend on your oven and how cooked you’d like your peppers. 


When is it done cooking? The sausage should no longer be pink and an instant read thermometer should register a reading of at least 160° Fahrenheit when stuck deep into the sausage filling. (Ground chicken and turkey should be cooked to 165° Fahrenheit.)

WARNING: The melting cheese topping the peppers may spill a bit inside your oven, so place an old baking sheet on the rack below the muffin pan. (You can certainly put the flat pan directly under the muffin pan, but the heat will circulate much better if you put it on the rack directly below it.)

Another option - Sheet Pan: On a flat, foil-covered pan, cook for (40 minutes total) 20 minutes on one side, then turn and cook another 20. NOTE: On a flat sheet, you will have to use a spoon to scoop the cheese back into each pepper. When is it done cooking? The sausage should no longer be pink and an instant read thermometer should register a reading of at least 160° Fahrenheit when stuck deep into the sausage filling. (Ground chicken and turkey should be cooked to 165° Fahrenheit.)

SERVE: These poppers are great as is, but to complete the pizza taste, you can certainly serve with a dipping sauce of warm marinara or your favorite tomato sauce.

SEASONING YOUR MEAT: To cut the calories even more on this snack, you can use raw ground chicken or turkey instead of Italian sausage, just be sure to season up your meat or the final peppers may taste bland. Using clean hands, blend the raw ground meat in a bowl with a mix of Italian seasonings, including: oregano, basil, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stuff the peppers and bake as directed in the recipe.



F o o d i e 
 P h o t o s


 







Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 




To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.


To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse: CoffeehouseMystery.com



The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 
 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.