Barbecue-Flavored Onion Rings

There were a few greasy spoons in CA that made the best onion rings.  Not something I’d order all the time, but every once in awhile, a greasy cheese burger with onion rings is the perfect meal.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, April 2008.

No substitutions were made.

BBQ onion rings 1

Barbecue-Flavored Onion Rings

3 tblsp all-purpose flour
1 tblsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp allspice
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 lb Vidalia or other sweet onion, cut into (1/4-inch thick) slices, and separated into rings
1 1/2 c dry bread crumbs, divided
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

BBQ onion rings 2

Combine flour, sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, paprika, allspice and eggs in a large bowl.  (A) Dip onion rings in flour mixture. Place half of onion rings in a zip-top plastic bag; add 3/4 c bread crumbs, shaking bag to coat onion rings.  Repeat procedure with remaining onion rings and remaining 3/4 c breadcrumbs.

(B) Arrange onion rings in a single layer on 2 baking sheets coated with cooking spray.  Lightly coat onion rings with cooking spray.  Bake at 450 for 5 minutes.  Rotate pans on racks; bake 5 minutes.  Turn onion rings over; lightly coat with cooking spray and back 5 minutes.  Rotate pans and bake 5 minutes or until crisp.  Serve immediately.

BBQ onion rings 3

cartoon-strawberry-9These are a less greasy, more flavorful version of one of my favorite guilty pleasures.  They paired perfectly with turkey cheese burgers.  My only wish is that I had a mandolin slicer to make perfectly sliced rings.

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Black Bean Soup

Almost every time we have lunch or dinner at Panera Bread, husband will get their black bean soup.  I wanted to try this recipe to see how he’d like it.

The recipe is from Cooking Light, November 2010.

No substitutions were made.

black bean soup 1

Black Bean Soup

1 c dried black beans (about 6 oz)
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 c chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 c water
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
14 oz organic vegetable broth
4 oz can chopped green chiles, drained
1/4 c tomato paste
3/8 tsp salt

Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven.  Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil.  Cook 2 minutes; remove from heat.  Cover and let stand 1 hour.  Drain beans.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over med-high heat.  Add onion and garlic to pan; saute for 3 minutes or until tender.  Add beans, 2 1/2 cups water, oregano, red pepper, cumin, broth and chiles; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.

black bean soup 2

Place half of bean mixture in a blender.  Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender.   Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters).  Blend until smooth.  Pour pureed soup into a bowl.  Repeat procedure with remaining coup.  I used my immersion blender for this.  Return to pan.  Stir in tomato paste and slat; cook 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

black bean soup 3

cartoon-strawberry-9This is a spicy soup!  But in the very best way possible.  Everything blended down gives it a creamy consistency and is perfectly spiced.  Husband was a big fan of this soup and it paired well with our fish tacos for dinner.

ps – photographing dark brown soup in a pot?  kinda boring and not very pretty…

Quick Barbecue Chicken

I’m feeling the need to use up all the food in my house before I go and buy anything else.  Or at least to find recipes that fit the ingredients I have on hand.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, September 2008.

Substitution made, noted below.

quick BBQ chix 1

Quick Barbecue Chicken

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 (8 oz) bone-in chikcen bread halves – I used boneless, skinless chicken breast
Cooking Spray

quick BBQ chix 2

Prepare grill.

Combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well.  Loosen skin from chicken by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat; rub spice mixture evenly under skin over meat.  Lightly coat skin with cooking spray.  Place chicken, breast side down, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 30  minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165 degrees, turning twice.  Let chicken stand 10 minutes.  Remove skin and discard.

quick BBQ chix 3

Since I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, here’s what I did.

Using a grill pan, heated to med-high heat.  Brushed spice mixture on both sides of chicken breasts. Cooked breasts in grill pan, for a total of 20 minutes.  Served with sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli.

cartoon-strawberry-9These spices compliment each other very well, and so easy to throw together.  I made green salad and topped it with the leftover chicken for husband and I the next day.  This rub would also be great on pork chops or steak.

Honey-Glazed Almonds

Husband and I are both big fans of the almond.  He loves an almond covered in dark chocolate.  I love almonds covered in yogurt.  So I thought this would be a great alternative for both of us in the “covered almonds” department.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, November 2011.

One change, noted below.

Honey-Glazed Almonds

1 1/2 c raw, unblanced almonds
1 tblsp sugar
1 1/2 tblsp honey
1/2 tsp ground chipotle chile powder – I used cayenne pepper.
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the almonds in a medium nonstick skillet; cook over medium heat for 6 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a 2-cup glass measure.  Microwave at HIGH for 30 seconds.

Add honey mixture to pan, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Arrange almond mixture on prepared baking sheet in a single layer; let stand 10 minutes.  Break apart any clusters.

 

We both really liked these.  The spice adds a little kick of an aftertaste.  This would be a great recipe to triple and give out as a homemade Christmas present.

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

I have intended to make this recipe about two dozen times, and something always seemed to deter me.  The biggest thing was not having a broiler pan, so I finally broke down and bought one (20% Bed Bath & Beyond coupon!).

This recipe is from Cooking Light, September 2010.

I did not alter the recipe in any way.

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Cooking Spray
6 tblsp honey
2 tsp cider vinegar

Preheat Broiler

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat.  Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray.  Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.

Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well.  Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken.  Broil 1 minute.  Remove chicken from oven and turn over.  Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture.  Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

 Husband isn’t normally a fan of chicken thighs, but he really liked this dish.  I loved the speed in which this can be prepared (everything was ready in approx half and hour), and I loved the spicy sweetness of the chicken.