Loaded BBQ Baked Potatoes

Loaded Barbeque Baked Potatoes

We’re going to wind out the week with another quick, easy post. Hopefully my thumb will be more on the mend by Monday! It’s doing much better, but still very sore!

This recipe is a great way to use up pulled pork or chicken! You’ve got all the elements of a fabulous barbecue dinner all rolled into one! What’s not to like?

What You’ll Need Per Person:
1 russet potato, baked
Sea salt
1/3-1/2 cup of pulled pork or chicken, warmed
1/4 cup of barbeque sauce, heated
1 ounce of cheddar or Colby cheese, shredded
1 scallion, chopped
Sour cream (optional)

Slice open baked potato and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Top with pulled pork or chicken, barbeque sauce, cheese, scallion and some sour cream. Serve immediately.

Loaded Barbeque Baked Potatoes

Notes: Pair this with a salad and you’ve got the perfect meal! If you want to make it vegetarian you could use mushrooms in place of the meat.

Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffed Tomatoes

For a while stuffed tomatoes have been calling to me. I don’t know why and it’s not something I’ve had a lot in my life, but they’ve been in the back of my mind calling “Hey Dianne…Make us!” I’ve made a stuffed tomato before, but that version just wasn’t quite what I had in mind for this go round, even though goat cheese…Well what’s not to like?

When I first envisioned this dish I had thought I would use wild rice in the mix, but as luck would have it when I went to cook the wild rice I discovered mid batch that my steamer had gone to the big steamer heaven in the sky. (What is up with my appliances/kitchen tools lately?? First my food processor, then my manual can opener, then my steamer. And my mixer keeps going in out too. What’s up with that?) So I took that as a sign and opted to use a version of lentils instead and let me tell you the substitution was fantastic!

Stuffed Tomatoes are extremely easy to make and they taste fabulous as well, so what are you waiting for?

ddtomatoweek2008
On a totally unrelated note it looks as though we may have a visit from Topical Storm Hanna over the weekend. The last tropical system that hit Maryland that had a major impact was Isabel in 2003. Alexis was four months old and we lost power for seven days! Seven very long, very icky, very primitive days! Lex looked at us after a day or so like “Really? This is getting old!” Let’s hope and pray that this time around things aren’t as bad shall we?

Oh and we have two more tomato recipes coming up this weekend! So don’t forget to check in. Hopefully the storm won’t affect posting! ;o)

Now…On to the recipe!

What You’ll Need:
1 cup of cooked black beluga lentils (Note: They are called this because they look like beluga caviar.)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of red onion, chopped
2 large button mushrooms, chopped
1 cup of baby spinach leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces pancetta, chopped
1/2 cup Pecornio Romano or Parmesan cheese, shredded, plus some for sprinkling
Tomatoes

In a large skillet sauté onion and mushroom in a little extra virgin olive oil until onion is slightly caramelized. Add spinach and garlic and cook until spinach is just wilted. Add a pinch of sea salt, some freshly ground black pepper and the pancetta and cook until pancetta is slightly browned. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

While the veggie/pancetta mixture is cooling cut the tops off of your tomatoes:

Stuffed Tomatoes: Tomatoes Ready to Hollow

Next scoop out the flesh and seeds of the tomato and set aside:

Stuffed Tomatoes: Tomatoes Ready to Stuff

(Note: There is not need to waste the stuff you scooped out. I like to put it in the freezer and use it when I make chili or tomato soup.)

Once the tomatoes are hollowed out mix cooked lentils into the veggie/pancetta mixture along with the grated cheese and stir to mix. Stuff each tomato generously and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with some shredded cheese and drizzle with a little olive oil:

Stuffed Tomatoes: Ready to Bake

Bake tomatoes for 25-30 minutes until the tomato is tender, but not mushy. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Stuffed Tomatoes: Baked

With large tomatoes this easily makes a main course. Pair it with some steamed vegetables and/or a salad and you’ve got the perfect meal!

Note: This mixture will fill 4 large softball sized tomatoes, but you could also use smaller golf ball sized tomatoes and make it an appetizer instead of a main course. If you wanted to make it vegetarian you could leave out the pancetta.

Calzones

Calzone: Baked!

Basically calzones are just a rolled up version of pizza in a pocket or mini pies so to speak, but they are fun to make and delicious to eat! Throw in your favorite toppings, add a salad on the side and you’ve got yourself a meal!

Calzone: The Inside

What You’ll Need For The Crust:
(This is my basic pizza dough recipe.)
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of yeast
1 tablespoon of organic cane sugar

Mix flour and salt in your food processor by giving it a few pulses. Add in olive oil.

In a separate container mix water, yeast and honey. Turn on food processor and pour yeast mixture into the flour mixture and process until dough ball forms.

Cut dough ball into 4 pieces and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

What You’ll Need For Each Calzone:
1/4 pizza crust
1/4 a red onion, sliced into strips
1/4 a bell pepper, diced
1 large button mushroom, sliced
Green or black olives, optional
2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of Mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons of part skim Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup of pizza sauce
olive oil
1 pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch of dried oregano
1 pinch of Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Cook red onion, bell pepper and mushroom until tender by sauteing or in the microwave. Set aside.

Take one ball of dough and roll flat:

Calzone Dough: Rolled Out

In the middle of the rolled out dough add cooked vegetable mixture and olives:

Calzone: Veggies

Next add mozzarella cheese:

Calzone: Mozzarella

Then add Parmesan cheese:

Calzone: Parmesean

And then add ricotta cheese:

Calzone: Ricotta

Last add pizza sauce:

Calzone: Sauce

Fold dough over the filling:

Calzone: Folded Over

Fold the excess dough back toward the calzone to crimp the edges and seal in the filling:

Calzone: Edges Tucked

With a very sharp knife make slits for venting:

Calzone: Vented

Brush the top of the calzone with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, oregano and/or Parmesan cheese:

Calzone: Brushed With Olive Oil, Sprinkled With Dried Oregano, Sea Salt, Parmesean And Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Each calzone makes roughly 2 servings.

Notes: You can put pretty much anything you want to into the center for your fillings. Spinach? Sure! Goat cheese? Yum! Use salsa instead of pizza sauce and cheddar cheese to make a Mexican calzone. Or you could make a fruit calzone with some cooked apples, blueberries or cherries!

Be creative! Being in the kitchen isn’t just about eating, it also about having fun!