BLACKBERRY AND RED WINE GELATIN

Gelatin is not among my weaknesses, but blackberries…oh my. And an occasional glass of red wine…quite nice. Here, I combined the two for a beautiful, elegant, and delicious side dish that was all the dessert anyone could want. But that’s just my opinion 🙂

Blackberry and Red Wine Gelatin

1 cup sweet red wine

2/3 cup granulated white sugar

12 oz fresh blackberries, divided (frozen work well too, but thaw first)

1 cup water

2 envelopes Knox unflavored Gelatine

1) To a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, add wine and sugar; stirring continuously to dissolve sugar, bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, add 8 oz blackberries (reserving 4 oz for garnish), and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally

2) Meanwhile, add water to large bowl, sprinkle gelatin over surface; let sit 5 minutes

3) Slowly stir blackberry-wine mixture into gelatin mixture, then pour into a loaf pan; cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3-4 hours until set

4) To more easily unmold gelatin, set loaf pan in a shallow pan of hot water a few seconds to loosen gelatin from bottom and sides, then invert pan onto serving plate; garnish gelatin with reserved blackberries and serve immediately

Yum!

Servings: 6-8

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HOT-OR-COLD CHICKEN POTATO SALAD

Hot or cold, you can’t go wrong with this potato salad. Hot, it’s fabulous as an entree–think “casserole.” Cold, it’s a fabulously tasty side. If you decide to prepare it as a side, skip the baking step and mix in the cheese as the final step before refrigerating and, prior to serving, sprinkle parsley over top. Scrumptious!

Hot-Or-Cold Chicken Potato Salad

1-1/2 lbs small potatoes (I used the itty bitty honey gold potatoes)

2 tbsp olive oil

1-1/2 lbs chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp dried tarragon

3/4 cup light mayonnaise

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp champagne wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup grated Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly oil a medium-sized casserole dish

2) Put potatoes in large saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium and cook 15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through but still on the firm side; remove from heat, drain water, and set aside

3) Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken and sprinkle salt, pepper, and tarragon over top; cook, stirring often, 5-6 minutes until chicken is cooked through; remove from heat and set aside

4) To small mixing bowl add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice; mix until well combined; set aside

5) Quarter potatoes and place in large bowl; add chicken and pour mayonnaise sauce over top; gently mix ingredients, careful to not break up potatoes; spoon potato-chicken mixture into casserole dish and bake in oven 20 minutes; sprinkle cheese over top and bake additional 5 minutes until cheese melts; remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley, and serve

Servings: 4 as an entree; 8-10 as a side

BLACK EYED PEA AND SUN-DRIED TOMATO SPINACH SALAD

This was a winner at our Christmas dinner, so much that I’ll probably serve it again for New Year’s dinner. Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is, after all, a Southern tradition. Thank goodness it’s such a tasty one!

Black Eyed Pea-Sun Dried Tomato Spinach Salad2

1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, chopped (reserve 3 tbsp oil)

1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

6 cups baby spinach

1) In medium-sized bowl mix: black-eyed peas, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, vinegar, reserved sun-dried tomato oil, and mustard; refrigerate 1 hour

2) Place spinach in large salad bowl, spoon black-eyed pea mixture on top and lightly toss; serve

Servings: 6-8 as a side

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

CAST-IRON FLATBREAD (A LA NAAN)

I’ve wanted to make flatbread for some time, but there’s the matter of yeast. When I came across a recipe for naan-like flatbread from http://www.chewoutloud.com, I decided to give it a try–with a few changes. As for the yeast, it didn’t seem like a huge risk since, even in the face of failure, the end product is flat regardless, right? Well, I’ll never know, because this naan-like flatbread came out less flat than when it first landed in the skillet AND it tasted better than imagined. Now to work up a sweet tooth version–maybe cinnamon…brown sugar…honey…

2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast

2 tsp sugar

1-1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus a bit extra for rolling out dough)

1 cup warm water

1/4 cup Greek non-fat yogurt

1 tbsp olive oil (plus a bit extra for oiling bowl and coating cast iron skillet)

stick of butter (though you’ll only need about 2 tbsp)

sea salt

1/4 cup shredded 3-cheese blend (parmesan, romano, asiago)

something green (minced fresh parsley, cilantro, or oregano–or dried)

1) To the bowl of a stand mixer, add yeast, sugar, salt, whole wheat flour, and all-purpose flour; mix with paddle attachment on low for 15-20 seconds until combined; add warm water, Greek yogurt, and olive oil; mix on low 30-45 seconds; replace paddle attachment with dough hook and mix dough on medium speed about 8 minutes until smooth (if dough sticks to sides of bowl during mixing, add 1 tbsp flour at a time until dough comes together)

2) Lightly oil large bowl; add dough to bowl and turn to completely coat; cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in warm place; let rise until dough doubles in size (I had a beautiful almost-over-the-top mound of dough after 1-1/2 hours)

4) Heat large cast-iron skillet over medium heat and lightly brush with olive oil

5) Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, divide into 8 equal portions, and roll into 8 balls; place dough balls on wax paper and cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying out

6) Working one dough ball at a time, roll into a 6″ circle; place dough circle in skillet and cook until small bubbles begin to rise, about 30-45 seconds; turn dough with a spatula and cook until bottom is golden brown, about 1 minute; turn dough again; peel part of wrapper back from stick of butter and rub butter over top of flatbread; sprinkle flatbred with salt, cheese blend, and that “something green” and cook 1 minute; remove from skillet and cook remaining flatbreads; keep warm in oven

Servings: 8 (16 if you can limit yourself to only half)

Recipe adapted from: www.chewoutloud.com