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Month: March 2009

Garden Minestrone

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped carrot
3 cups chopped zucchini (about 2 large or 3 medium)
1 cup fresh white shoepeg corn kernels (about 2 ears or 1 can)
4 cups chopped tomato, divided (2 15-ounce cans diced tomato)
3 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
Salt, to taste (about 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup uncooked macaroni or ditalini pasta
1 (15.5-ounce) can Cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmigiano cheese

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until softened. Add oregano, thyme, basil, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in zucchini, carrot, and corn; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.

Place 3 cups tomato and 1 can broth in a blender; process until smooth. Add tomato mixture to pan; return pan to heat. Stir in remaining 1 cup tomato and remaining 2 cans broth; bring mixture to a boil. Add salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

Add pasta and beans to pan; cook 10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach and let wilt. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Preheat grill on High for about 10 minutes. Oil the grill grates thoroughly. Put pork tenderloin on grill, close the lid, and cood 7 minutes. Flip the pork and cook 6 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cook 5 more minutes. Remove the pork and check temperature (should be 145-150 degrees). Let rest for at least 5 minutes. Cut into 1/2″ slices.

*This applies to any marinade, rub, or other seasoning method.

Poole’s Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

8 ounces all purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups sifted)
1 tsp salt
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
about 3 Tbsp ice water
5 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
6 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 bourbon
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
1 cup dark chocolate chips (65%-70% cacao)

To make the crust, combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut the butter into the flour mixture. The mixture should have a coarse, sandy texture with some pea-size butter pieces.

Mix in just enough ice water so that the dough forms into a ball. Do no knead the dough. Wrap in plastic and allow to rest in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a deep 9-inch pie dish. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Line the greased pie dish with the dough and trim the edges. Fill the pie with weights (dried beans or rice will work) and bake about 18 minutes, rotating halway through, until the edges of the crust are golden brown. Remove the pie weights and set pie shell aside.

To make the filling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs with the sugar, brown sugar, salt, butter, vanilla, and bourbon, mixing until thoroughly combined.

Layer the pecan pieces and chocolate chips in the bottom of the hal-baked pastry shell. Carefully pour the filling mixture over the pecans and chocolate chips. Bake until the filling is set (the edges should be firm and the center is still slightly jiggly), checking after 30 minutes and rotating the pie. Continue to check every 5 minutes. Allow pie to cool completely before serving.

Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 747 calories, 46g fat, 185mg cholesterol, 74g carbs, 4g fiber, 10g protein, 632mg sodium, 48g sugar