When I made this recipe, I spread out the dough too thinly. The result is tasty, but crispier than I wanted. So, please pay attention to my instructions and not the pictures!
Agatha Christie had a truism when it came to stories: a gun shown in the first act must be used by the third act. What she meant was that something as significant as a gun simply cannot be shown in the story if that gun is not going to eventually be used. It’s too confusing for the audience.
I found a similar situation here. I mentioned that I purchased a canned mackerel, prior to smoking the whole mackerel. I honestly thought I would never open that can . After all, I had all this delicious smoked mackerel.
Then, I made the mistake of overestimating the preservative effects of smoking. My beautiful mackerel – the amount I planned to use in this risotto – had spoiled. But, I still had that can. And, I’m extremely happy to say, it worked beautifully.
Another miscalculation of preservation time led to maybe my favorite part of the dish. I normally would have used onion, but the onion I bought was starting to look…scary. It seems that the holiday season has caused me to lose track of time! At any rate, this led to me using garlic instead. The result is a terrific roasted garlic flavor that pairs well with all the other elements.
This recipe uses a pressure cooker, which certainly isn’t necessary to make a risotto, but which I found very useful to make the dish quickly.
This is a fairly simple recipe to execute, but the way the pieces go together really blew me away. Here’s where I will try to explain why it had such a profound effect on me.
When I made the Chicken Ropa Viejo, I naturally ate some of it. The taste is terrific, but I have to admit that the leanness of the chicken breast puts it ever so slightly on the dry side. This isn’t an issue, since I expect to enjoy it with a slew of different things (like guacamole, salsa, and so on). But, I did notice.
The mofongo recipe that follows technically doesn’t need to have any meat in it. It can be seen as sort of a garlic mashed potatoes, with plantains in place of potatoes. I tried some before I mixed in the chicken, and it was tasty…but also pasty: the starch of the plantains made this inevitable.
So, it was a surprise to find that mixing the two together actually improved both. The starchiness of the mofongo seemed to bind to the chicken and provide the moisture that it (somewhat) lacked. And, the savoriness of the chicken elevated the plantains beyond where they would have been on their own.
It actually gets better. While this chicken mofongo is terrific as-is, it also takes very well to salsa, guacamole, sour cream…and I can honesty see rolling some up in a tortilla and having it that way.
As a side note, I understand now why mofongo recipes always call for green plantains. One of the plantains I bought ripened, and seriously tasted just like a banana. The sweetness would have been distracting.
Now, the part I’m not so thrilled about. I’m baffled as to why Weight Watchers says that 1 plantain is 10 points, whereas bananas are 0 points. The carbs (31 to 27) are similar, as are the calories (110 to 90), and the nutritional value is comparable. I would have expected this to weigh in significantly lighter than Weight Watchers says it is.
This is one of my favorite things to make. I can’t claim credit for the recipe, since it’s based on Ina Garten’s fantastic Spanakopita recipe. Other than substituting healthy ingredients wherever possible, one big change was adding garlic. Wow, did this add to the taste! It’s almost like eating garlic bread with spinach on it.
When some people want to thicken a soup, they add flour or cornstarch. Others might add milk or cream. I prefer to add more of the main ingredient: I use probably double the amount of mushrooms here compared to what you’ll see in a “normal” recipe. The sheer volume makes the soup thick without adding anything that’s bad for you. Best of all, it adds even more mushroom flavor.
I went heavy on the garlic in this recipe because I wanted to be able to taste it. This is still a very mushroom-forward dish, but the roasted garlic notes are unmistakable. Use half as much garlic if you want the garlic to be more subtle.
Chicken Tikka Masala is typically made with chicken thighs, which is how I always made it before becoming more health-conscious. But, the flavors of the tikka sauce are so good that I didn’t notice the difference between the thigh and the healthier chicken breast.
I’m so happy with how this turned out, but part of me is disappointed that I couldn’t do this as a 0 Weight Watchers point recipe. The only two things contributing points this recipe are: a small amount of light butter to sauté the ginger and garlic; a scant amount of oil was needed to grill the chicken; and, skim milk is needed to provide a small amount of creaminess. The milk wasn’t entirely necessary, but removing it still didn’t get me to 0 Weight Watchers points per serving, so I left it in (4 points for butter and 1 point for oil / 6 servings).
This recipe isn’t as hard to make as it might seem. You can do the marinade the night before, and you can just buy the cauliflower rice if you want to save the time there. By the way, I didn’t season the rice because I wanted the Tikka to stand out.
As prepared, this is 216 calories per serving (6 servings) and loaded with protein (25 g), potassium (758 mg), and vitamin C (85% of your RDA).
This was several years in the making. I’ve always had this idea of making the colors of the Italian flag, although that idea has always been to do it with pasta. But, in my continuing quest for healthier options, I decided to make a gnocchi with rutabaga. I decided to add a potato at the last minute because I wasn’t sure how well it would bind without the starch.
I recall seeing this win the best dish on an episode of Top Chef last season, and I was waiting until I had good quality corn to make it. My in-laws have been bringing over massive amounts of corn straight from the farm lately, and I can’t possibly eat it all. Or can I? This is easy to make, and so good.