Wednesday, May 25, 2011

White Bean and Roasted Veggie Chimichangas with Three-Cheese Sauce

So I have a double whammy today.  First, since it's strawberry season here in Mississippi, here's a quick little three ingredient recipe idea.

You will need some Nutella, fresh strawberries, and some good bread, like say a loaf of ciabatta (my preference) or maybe a loaf of French bread.  Cut the bread into slices and toast on a baking sheet under the broiler until golden brown.  Spread some Nutella on the bread, then top with sliced strawberries.  Place under the broiler just until the strawberries are warm and start to sizzle.  (This is tricky because if you don't watch it, the Nutella can get black really quick.  A kitchen torch would be so much better for this job if you have one.)

I'm telling you, my daughter and I just love this and it's so quick and easy.  You could even use a whole grain bread to bump up the nutrition factor, but I prefer a chewy bread.

Alright, here's one of my latest recipes, White Bean and Roasted Veggie Chimichangas with Three-Cheese Sauce.  I seriously need to incorporate vegetables into my diet, but I struggle with this.  I loved the way this turned out the other day.   These chimichangas could be topped with something much less fattening than a cheese sauce, but I wanted something creamy and rich on them to cut all the healthy.  Just kidding.  Can you tell I need a diet makeover?  But yes, they could be topped with something lighter like a salsa; however, there is nothing really Mexican about them except for the tortilla and the name.  This would be a great recipe to make your own and stuff anything in them that you had in your refrigerator.  These veggies are what I had in mine.

White Bean and Roasted Veggie Chimichangas with Three-Cheese Sauce

1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Nonstick cooking spray
8 large (10-12 inch) flour tortillas
Three cheese sauce:
1 1/4 cup whole milk, plus more to thin out if necessary
1 (8-ounce) container chive and onion cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup gorgonzola crumbles

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the zucchini, squash, bell pepper, and onion on a large baking sheet.  Drizzle with 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and thyme.  Toss with hands to evenly coat, then spread into an even layer.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until vegetables start to get golden.  Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the cannellini beans.  

Spray another large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Heat the tortillas in the microwave until they are warm and pliable.  Place about 1/2 cup of the vegetable mixture into the center of one of the tortillas. Fold the right and left side of the tortilla over the filling, then fold the bottom edge over and roll up tightly.  Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.  Brush the chimichangas with the remaining tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Cook the milk and cream cheese in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth, whisking often.  Stir in the parmesan cheese until melted, then stir in the gorgonzola.  (If cheese sauce is too thick, thin out with a tablespoon of milk.)

To serve, place 2 chimichangas on each plate.  Drizzle with the cheese sauce.  4 servings.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Coconut Cream Pie

Hi all!  I just found out I am a finalist in Cooking Channel's Perfect 3 Contest.  My entry is a coconut cream pie, affectionately titled "Lorie's Ultimate Coconut Cream Pie."  This pie is very near and dear to my heart because, after having many failures with coconut pies, I started experimenting and I managed to create what was my idea of the ultimate coconut pie.  To me, a good coconut pie has to have a nice, flaky crust and a smooth and luscious thick cream filling that tastes like coconut, not just like vanilla pastry cream that has coconut stirred into it.  To top it off, I simply must have freshly whipped and sweetened cream because I'm a whipped cream girl, not a meringue girl.

I would love it if you would take a look and if you think it sounds like something you might like, cast your vote for me.  Grand prize is a trip to New York in June to film a segment with Kelsey Nixon for the Cooking Channel.  Voting goes through May 26 and you can vote up to ten times a day.

I will be back soon with another recipe!

Lorie's Ultimate Coconut Cream Pie

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