POBLANO-KIELBASA-CORN CREPES

I don’t believe there’s any filling that doesn’t taste better in a crepe, whether it’s of the sweet variety or the savory. Though my guys are far more accustomed to fruit-filled crepes, they thoroughly enjoyed the poblano, kielbasa, corn, and red onion in these. Definitely a make-it-again recipe.

Poblano Corn Kielbasa Crepes

4 Poblano chiles

3 eggs

2/3 cup flour

1 cup milk

2 tbsp melted butter, plus a little extra for cooking crepes

1 tbsp olive oil

8 oz Polska Kielbasa sausage, chopped

1 medium-sized red onion, chopped

1-1/2 cups corn (I used shoepeg white corn)

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2) Place Poblano chiles on baking pan and roast 20 minutes until blistered

3) Meanwhile, to blender add eggs, flour, milk, and butter; blend 30-60 seconds until batter is smooth

4) Heat large skillet over medium; lightly brush skillet with butter; pour enough batter in pan to make 5″ diameter crepes; when crepes set and little bubbles form on surface, flip and immediately transfer to plate (you should end up with 14-16 crepes, though you can make larger ones if you prefer); set aside

5) Peel and seed roasted poblanos; slice into bite-sized strips

6) In large skillet over medium-high, heat olive oil; add kielbasa sausage and red onion and cook 5 minutes; add poblano chile and corn and cook 3 minutes; remove from heat

7) Assemble crepes as follows: divide sausage-poblano mixture evenly between crepes, spooning onto one half of each crepe; top with cheese; fold each filled crepe in half and again to form quarters; place on plates and immediately serve

Servings: 4

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ALMOND-SCATTERED SCALLOPS OVER CORN-TOMATO RELISH

I don’t always get scallops right, but more on that in a moment. This dish is perfect summer fare–tasty, light, and quick and easy to prepare. As for getting scallops right (a lovely sear), the trick is to remove excessive moisture before cooking by setting them on a paper-towel-lined plate in the fridge for an hour or so. It makes all the difference. So yum!

Almond Scattered Scallops over Corn Tomato Relish

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

3 scallions, sliced thin

1-1/2 cup frozen kernel corn, thawed (or fresh, of course)

1/4 cup white cooking wine (or non-cooking wine, naturally)

1 tbsp butter

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1 cup diced tomatoes

sea salt

ground black pepper

12-16 extra-large scallops, patted dry

1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)

lime or lemon wedges

1) To large skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp); heat over medium-high; add scallions and corn and cook, stirring a time or two, 3 minutes; add the cooking wine and, when it boils, reduce heat to low; stir in butter, parsley, and tomatoes and lightly season with salt and pepper; let simmer while preparing scallops

2) To large skillet, add 1 tbsp reserved olive oil; heat over high, add scallops, and cook 2-3 minutes each side (to achieve a good sear, move only when flipping to opposite side); remove from heat

3) Divide corn-tomato relish between 4 plates; arrange 3-4 scallops on top and scatter with almonds; serve with lime or lemon wedges and enjoy!

Servings: 4

ROASTED RED PEPPER AND CORN QUICHE IN A WHITE POTATO CRUST

After the happy success of Roasted Red Pepper Quiche in a Red Potato Crust some months back, I decided to go there again, but this time with a few changes and additions. I do believe we have another winner 🙂

Roasted Red Pepper and Corn Quiche in a White Potato Crust

Roasted Red Pepper and Corn Quich in a White Potato Crust2

olive oil cooking spray

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

3/4 lb small white potatoes, sliced thin (about 1/4″ thick)

3/4 cup grated Colby-Monterey Jack blend cheddar cheese, divided

1/2 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup diced onion

3 roasted red peppers, 1 diced, 2 cut into 1/4″-1/3″ strips (I used jarred)

6 eggs

1/2 cup half-and-half

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp minced chives (or parsley)

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees; lightly spray deep dish pie pan with cooking spray

2) Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium, add potatoes, lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover with lid, and cook 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until just cooked through and golden brown; remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes

3) Line bottom and sides of pie pan with potatoes; sprinkle half the cheese (reserving half) over potatoes and bake in oven 10 minutes

4) Meanwhile, to same large skillet over medium heat (you may need to add a bit more olive oil), add corn, onions, and diced roasted red pepper (reserving strips); cook 7-8 minutes until veggies soften; remove from heat and set aside (should be about the same time you remove potato crust from oven)

5) To medium-sized mixing bowl, add eggs, half-and-half, thyme, salt, and pepper; beat until well combined; pour over potato-cheese crust; spoon corn-onion-red pepper mixture evenly over eggs; arrange reserved strips of red bell pepper over eggs in a lattice pattern (it won’t resemble lattice when it comes out of the oven, but the lower horizontal strips hold up the upper vertical strips for a pretty striped look); bake in oven 35-40 minutes until eggs are set; sprinkle reserved cheese over top and bake additional 5 minutes; remove from oven, sprinkle with chives (or parsley), and serve with a garden salad

Servings: 4 hearty dinner-sized servings

BLACK BEAN POBLANO RELLENOS

It’s been ages since I’ve made these Black Bean Poblano Rellenos, and what a mistake it was to wait so long to revisit them. Granted, a couple of my guys (I won’t name names) just like the black bean-chorizo-egg stuffing and the corn-onion-cheese polenta, but I like the whole enchilada–er, Relleno. Though it might not look filling, it is, so much that, regardless of which flavor of Ben & Jerry’s lurks in the freezer, I am not doing dessert 🙂

Black Bean Poblano Rellenos

4 large whole poblano peppers (dark green)

1 tbsp butter

1/4 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup frozen corn

1-1/2 cups milk

1/4 cup quick-cooking polenta

1/4 tsp sea salt

pinch ground black pepper

2 tbsp shaved Parmesan cheese (or grated)

8 oz chorizo sausage (I used Ole Mexican Foods brand)

1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

8 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup grated Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 cup salsa (store-bought)

1) Preheat broiler; place poblano peppers on broiler-safe pan and broil 3-4 minutes each side until skin browns and blisters (keep an eye on them!); remove peppers from oven and place on plate to cool (leave broiler on)

2) In medium-sized saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add onions and corn and, stirring occasionally, cook 3 minutes; add milk and, stirring often, bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, add polenta, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese and, stirring often, cook 3-4 minutes until mixture thickens; reduce heat to lowest setting to keep warm

3) When poblanos are cool enough to be handled, peel away the tough, blistered skin, cut a slit in peppers, and scrape out seeds; place on broiler-safe pan

4) To large skillet over medium-high heat, add chorizo sausage and cook, stirring often, 4-5 minutes until cooked through and crumbly; add black beans and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes; pour beaten eggs in skillet and stir until lightly scrambled; remove from heat

5) Stuff peppers with chorizo-black bean-egg mixture and sprinkle Colby-Monterey Jack cheese over tops; broil 3-4 minutes until cheese melts (keep an eye on them!); remove from oven

6) Divide polenta mixture between 4 plates; place a stuffed poblano pepper atop each serving of polenta and spoon salsa alongside; serve it up!

Servings: 4

BEEF AND BLACK BEAN MEXICAN PIZZA

A pizza crust topped with beef, black beans, red bell pepper, corn, and tomatoes. What’s not to like? Although Black Bean and Chicken Tostada Pizza remains one of my favorite pizzas, this one comes pretty close. Definitely a keeper.
Beef and Black Bean Mexican Pizza

DOUGH (or you can buy pre-made pizza dough)

1 tsp active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp olive oil

PIZZA

1 lb lean ground beef

2/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1/3 cup matchstick carrots

1/3 cup diced red bell pepper

1/3 cup frozen corn, thawed

1-14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

2 tbsp taco seasoning

3/4 cup quartered grape tomatoes

1 cup salsa (I used mild)

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

3 green onions, sliced thin

DOUGH:

1) Dissolve yeast in water and let sit 10 minutes

2) To large bowl, add flour, salt, and olive oil; stir to combine; add water-yeast mixture and stir until dough comes together (I do this by hand); place dough in lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise 1 hour

PIZZA:

3) Preheat oven to 450 degrees

4) To large skillet over medium-high heat, add ground beef and onion and cook 5-6 minutes until beef is lightly browned; reduce heat to medium and stir in carrots, red bell pepper, corn, black beans, cilantro, and taco seasoning and cook 5 minutes; stir in grape tomatoes and immediately remove from heat; set aside

5) Lightly oil large circular pizza pan; roll out pizza dough to fit pan; bake crust in oven 3 minutes

6) Remove crust from oven and evenly spread with salsa; spoon beef-bean mixture over salsa; bake in oven 8-10 minutes until crust is golden; scatter cheese and green onions over top and bake additional 2 minutes until cheese melts; remove from oven, slice, and serve

Servings: 4

SHRIMP AND FISH TACO FREE-FOR-ALL

Since we were having friends over for dinner and a respite from cold-weather casseroles seemed in order, I decided to make a free-for-all (buffet style) meal of tacos. Don’t be intimidated by the number of garnishes listed. Choose the ones you like and have at it. I will say, though, the pineapple was a very pleasant addition to the array and definitely ratchets tacos up a notch. Enjoy!

Shrimp and Fish Taco Free For All1

Shrimp and Fish Taco Free For All2

2 tbsp ground cumin, divided

2 tbsp ground coriander, divided

2 tbsp ground paprika, divided

2 tsp red pepper flakes

2 tsp sea salt, divided

1 tsp ground black pepper, divided

1 lb jumbo shrimp (peeled, deveined, and tails removed), cut into 3 pieces each

12 oz fish (I chose cod), cut into 3/4″ square pieces

1 cup grated monterey jack cheese

1 cup shredded lettuce (I used iceberg for the crunch)

1 firm but ripe avocado, diced

1 large tomato, diced

1 cup diced fresh pineapple

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 cup light sour cream

1 cup store-bought salsa

2-3 scallions, sliced thin

1-4 oz can sliced jalapenos, drained

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

1 lime, sliced into 8 wedges

olive oil cooking spray

18 corn tortillas

2 tbsp olive oil

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees

2) Divide first 6 ingredients between 2 large zip top plastic bags; shake to mix; add shrimp to one bag and fish to other; shake again to coat shrimp and fish; refrigerate

3) Put cheese, lettuce, avocado, tomato, pineapple, corn, sour cream, salsa, scallions, jalapenos, cilantro, and limes in small individual serving dishes; arrange dishes on side table or counter for serving

4) Lightly spray skillet over medium heat with olive oil spray; warm both sides of each tortilla in skillet, 20-30 seconds, until soft and lightly golden (spray more olive oil every few tortillas); transfer tortillas to paper-towel-lined plate; when all tortillas are warmed, stack on serving dish, cover with aluminum foil, and place in oven to keep warm

5) To large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil; add fish and, stirring gently and often, cook 4-5 minutes until done; transfer fish to medium-sized bowl, cover with aluminum foil, and place in oven to keep warm

6) To large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil; add shrimp and, stirring often, cook 3-4 minutes until done; transfer shrimp to medium-sized bowl

7) Set out dishes of fish, shrimp, and tortillas alongside garnishes and serve free-for-all style

Servings: 6-8

CHILI-LIME AND 3-CHEESE GRILLED CORN

Not long ago, I served this corn with Tamale Pie and it went over big with my guys (though I used finely crumbled feta cheese which I do like better than the 3-cheese blend used this go-around). When I made the corn this time, I served it with artichokes for a nearly-vegetarian dinner. A delicious new way to eat this juicy, crunchy veggie!

4 ears fresh corn, husks and silk removed (or frozen corn–thaw first)

1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (I used Kraft reduced fat with olive oil)

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp lime juice

olive oil cooking spray

1/2 cup shredded 3-cheese blend (Parmesan, Romano, Asiago–or feta)

1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro

1) Microwave corn on high, two ears at a time, for about 6 minutes, turning once during microwaving

2) Meanwhile, in small bowl combine mayonnaise, chili powder, and lime juice; set aside

3) Heat grill pan over medium heat and lightly spray with cooking spray; place corn on grill pan and, turning a few times, cook 3-4 minutes until you have pretty grill marks; remove corn from grill pan

4) Using a pastry brush, brush mayonnaise-chili mixture over corn cobs; sprinkle with cheese and cilantro; serve at once

Servings: 4