Wednesday, September 30, 2009


My fellow SBers probably miss their starchy carby treats as much as I do, so I'm sure that these suggestions will create a flurry of activity in Carbquik sales.

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits
* makes 16 biscuits *
2 c Carbquik
2 oz cold butter
1/2 c shredded lowfat cheddar cheese
1 pinch garlic powder
1 pinch salt
1/4 c TJs ff half and half
1/4 c water

-Preheat oven to 450 degrees
-Cut the cold butter into the Carbquik with either a pasty cutter or two knives, till the mixture resembles coarse meal.
-Add the shredded cheese, a pinch of salt, and garlic powder and blend well.
-Mix the cream with water to equal 1/2 cup of liquid, pour into dry mix
-Mix till dough forms and comes together, but do not overwork the dough.
-Drop the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet approx 1 ounce size portions.
-Bake in hot oven 8-10 minutes till biscuits are golden brown.

Blue Cheese Bites (not quite so healthy. . . )
* makes 4 dozen *
2 4 ounce packages crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup butter-softened
1 1/3 cups Carbquik Mix
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
Walnut or pecan halves (optional)

Beat cheese and butter at medium speed of electric beater until creamy. Add Carbquik, poppy seeds and red pepper, beat until blended.

Divide dough in half-shape each half into 8" log. Wrap in wax paper and chill 2 hours or until firm.
The dough can be rolled into logs, chilled overnight, and sliced and baked the next day.
You can omit the chilling time by rolling the dough out to 1/4" and using a 2" biscuit cutter to cut out rounds.

Preheat oven to 350. Cut each log into 1/4" slices, place on ungreased baking sheets. Press a walnut or pecan half into each slice-if desired. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Cool 1 minute on pans-remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Carbquik Beer Batter (onion rings here I come . . . )
1 pound fish fillets
4 tablespoons Carbquik
1 cup carbquik
1/2 cup low carb beer
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon salt
Canola oil for frying

Low Carb Tartar Sauce (ew)
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Sour Cream
3 tablespoons pickle relish, no sugar added
Heat oil (1 1/2 inches) in heavy saucepan or deep fryer to 350ºF. Lightly coat fish in the 4 tablespoons of carbquik.
-Mix remaining ingredients with hand beater or wire whisk until smooth. (If batter is too thick, stir in additional beer, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.)
-Dip fish into batter, letting excess drip into bowl.(Being very careful not to break the batter using a very light touch on the fish, or use a fork to spear the fish)
-Fry fish about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown; drain. Serve hot with Low Carb tartar sauce.

Carbquik Banana Bread
2 1/3 c Carbquik
1/2 c Splenda
1/2 c Steel's Nature Sweet Brown Crystals
1/3 c canola oil
3 eggs
1 tbs milk
3 large, very ripe bananas
1 tbs vanilla extract
3/4 c chopped nuts

Mix together Carbquik, Splenda, brown crystals, oil, eggs and milk; beat well. Stir in bananas. Add vanilla and nuts. Bake in loaf pan at 350 degrees 55-60 minutes. Let cool on rack 15 minutes, then invert on plate or rack.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Walnut Chicken Stir Fry

I was craving something with an Asian flair, so last night brought us to Walnut Chicken Stir Fry. The walnut oil added a great new flavor which I can't wait to try in or on other dishes and dressings. I upped the veggies from the original recipe and scrapped the whole idea of "greens." I meant to serve it up with that yummy brown rice from TJs, but I didn't have any. Glad I upped the veggies to make up for it.

Walnut Chicken Stir Fry

chicken breasts, skinless, boneless - I used the tenders; enough for two people
2 tablespoons walnut oil - this might be my new favorite toy
3 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped walnuts - toasted
1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 medium onion
1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 package (4 ounces) broccoli flowerettes (or more!)
1 green bell pepper
a couple of handfuls of snowpeas

In a large bowl, combine 1 tablespoon walnut oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce. Set aside. Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch strips. Add the chicken to the large bowl, stir to coat. Cover, then place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Cut the peppers and onion into 1 inch strips.

In a small bowl combine the ginger with the reduced sodium chicken broth, and the remaining low-sodium soy sauce and garlic. Set aside.

In a large skillet (or Wok), heat the remaining walnut oil over medium high-heat, when hot, but not smoking, add the chicken (discard all remaining marinade), cook until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken, set aside. Now stir fry the onion and peppers until onion is tender, add the broccoli, cook until tender, add broth mixture and stir to coat and start to cook the garlic. Then add in chicken, cook stirring constantly until chicken is brought up to desired serving temperature. Turn off heat, add walnuts, and stir thoroughly.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Twain Harte Pasta

I don't know what else to call this since I think it was the pasta sauce that was the magical ingredient here. I have scoured the interwebs trying to find this sauce to refer to it here, but I can't remember what it's called and Twain Harte Market's website doesn't work quite like Safeway's. (Mel, if you feel like digging through your trash and reading the label for me, please post it in the comments!).
Melissa & Piia and I had some girl talk to catch up on so we decided to have a nice healthy South Beach dinner over at Mel's. She had all sorts of goods to choose from in whipping something up, and I brought over some of my homemade pesto. We cooked up some whole wheat rotini. I baked some chicken with Italian spices and gourmet sea salt on Mel's gorgeous Le Crueset grill pan which I covet, even though some of my fellow home cooks struggle with them. I browned the chicken on both sides (four breasts) and then popped it in the oven at 350 until it looked done.
We heated up this magical sauce from TH Market, and I added about 3/4 of a cup of my homemade pesto to the full can of sauce. We cut up the chicken, tossed that with the other 1/4 cup of pesto that I thinned out a bit with some extra olive oil and then added it to the sauce and pasta. A sprinkling of parmesan and voila. It was possibly the best pasta I have had in a long time. Thank God Mel sent home leftovers since I am about to pull a Dickerson and eat it for breakfast.
We also had a great salad with oranges (expertly supremed by Piia), sliced dried apricots, avocado, tomatoes, and red onions with a citrus vinaigrette. Num.

Olive Oil Poached Halibut

I was just recently in New York and had a five star dining experience at a spot called Dovetail on the Upper West Side. I had the most amazing piece of fish I think I've ever had in my life (aside from my scallops maybe). It was halibut, poached in olive oil, with tomatoes, peas, mint, and those little itty bitty mushrooms I think are so cute (shimeji or clamshell maybe?). It was heaven.
I have only ever cooked a piece of fish once in my life I think (not counting shellfish), and I have never poached anything on purpose - only when overcrowding a pan.
That said, I am quite sure that I am capable enough of following directions to poach halibut successfully in olive oil. I found a great recipe from epicurious, but I'm not that wild about the caper/lemon/parsley pairing. Meh. I found another recipe with a pistou of summer veggies which sounds much more interesting, but still. . . . I dunno. And it's so many steps! Maybe I'll go French on its ass? Or hi, what about this? Hey video recipe! Nice to see you.
So now I'm definitely thinking tomato basil - maybe with some capers as well. Oh, I have some great sundried tomatoes I need to use up, those could be fab.
Or something somewhat corn based? Corn, peas and tomatoes could be nice as well. Decisions, decisions.

I found this great recipe that I think will work perfectly for this fish, and probably tons of other stuff.
Basil Mint Oil
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon coarse salt (preferably sea salt)

Have ready a bowl of ice and cold water. In a saucepan of boiling water blanch herbs 5 seconds and with a slotted spoon immediately transfer to ice water to stop cooking. Drain herbs well and pat dry. In a blender purée herbs with remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour oil through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids, and discard solids. Oil may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring oil to room temperature before using.

I think I will use tomatoes, peas and corn as a succotash of sorts, and then finish the fish with the basil mint oil. Quinn will love me forever and forgive that one time when I drunkenly called him controlling.

It was by no means as life changing as the fish at Dovetail, but I think for my first try I did alright. I may have poached the fish a bit too long, I'll keep a better eye on it next time. I served it on a bed of tomato, sugar snap pea, and white corn succotash with basil mint oil. It could have been a little saucier. . . maybe next time I'll include a beurre blanc type sauce? I'm sure this way was healthier though!

Oven Poached Halibut with Succotash of Summer Vegetables
serves 3-4
1 lb halibut fillets (this was two fillets in my case) - pick the sustainable kind!
3 ears of corn
3 big handfuls of sugar snap peas - maybe a pound?
cherry tomatoes - halved if small, quartered if large
shallot - finely minced (about 2 tbsp)
2-3 cups of olive oil (don't use your priciest evoo here; the regular olive oil will do)
salt and pepper

Basil & Mint Olive Oil (see recipe above)

Preheat your oven to 250.
Pat the halibut dry and season both sides with Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Place fillets into a glass baking dish and poured in enough oil to come half way up the sides of the fish (perhaps this is where my texture problem came from; maybe I need to cover the fish completely as some other recipes suggest, but that's a lot of oil).
Put on a large pot of water to boil for the corn.
Make the Basil & Mint Olive Oil.
Put the corn in the boiling water for 5 minutes or until done. (some people say 3 minutes, some say 15) Allow to cool and then cut corn kernels away from the cob.
Shell some of the peas - I shelled the big fat ones and snapped the smaller ones into 3/4" pieces.

Heat up a tbsp of oil in a large saute pan and add shallot. Add the peas and sautee for a couple of minutes til crisp tender. Add corn back into pan to heat up, add tomatoes and stir together.

Plate a large scoop of succotash onto the plate and nestle fish on top. Drizzle with basil mint oil.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009


NOT South Beach by any stretch of the imagination, but it is Weight Watchers approved; that's gotta count for something right? I think these are as close as SB gets to fudge.
A friend of mine made this over the weekend and it is pretty freaking delicious. Chocolatey with a great creamy texture, if a bit sweet.

1 2/3 cup(s) sugar

2 tbsp reduced-calorie margarine

12 oz semisweet baking chocolate, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

14 large marshmallow(S)
  • Coat an 8- x 8-inch pan with cooking spray.

  • Stir together sugar, evaporated milk and margarine. Bring to a boil in a sauce pan, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

  • Stir in chocolate and marshmallows. Remove from heat and stir until smooth.

  • Pour into pan and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into 36 squares and serve. (Leave fudge in refrigerator or freezer for a firmer consistency.)