Posts Tagged 'roasted red peppers'

Asparagus, Roasted Red Pepper, and Arugula Salad

Asparagus, Roasted Red Pepper, and Arugula Salad
From Simply Salads by Jennifer Chandler

This tasty salad makes an elegant presentation for a dinner party first course.  Arrange on a platter for a wonderful buffet offering.

For the White Balsamic Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For salad:

1 bunch (about 1 pound) asparagus, tough woody ends snapped off and discarded
1 package (5 ounces) Baby Arugula salad blend
1 roasted red bell pepper, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

For the White Balsamic and Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette:

In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar and mustard.  Slowly add the oil in a steady stream, whisking to emulsify.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad:

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until vibrant green and crisp tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain the asparagus and immerse in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain again and set aside

On each plate, place a bed of arugula. Layer the asparagus on top.  Arrange the peppers on top of the asparagus. Generously drizzle with the vinaigrette to taste.  Garnish with the olives and red onion.

Makes 4 appetizer salads




Grilled Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Sandwich

There is no better comfort food than warm melted cheese oozing between two slices of crisp buttered bread…that is unless you make it ultra-indulgent by using pimento cheese!


Grilled Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Sandwich
From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

For the Jalapeno Pimento Cheese:

1/2 cup cream cheese (4 ounces), at room temperature
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely diced roasted red peppers (1 peppers)
2 tablespoons seeded and finely diced fresh jalapenos
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dash of hot sauce (optional)

For the sandwich:
8 slices white bread
8 teaspoons unsalted butter

To make the pimento cheese: In a large mixing bowl stir together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sugar until smooth. Add the cheddar cheese, red peppers, and the jalapenos. Stir, mashing with a fork, until well combined and relatively smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a dash of the hot sauce if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble the sandwich: Evenly butter one side of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices, buttered side down, on a work surface. On each slice, evenly spread 1/2 cup of the pimento cheese. Top each sandwich half with 1 of the remaining buttered slices of bread, buttered side up.

Preheat a griddle (or a large skillet) over medium heat. Place the sandwiches on the warm griddle and cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using a flat spatula, carefully turn the sandwiches over. Cook until the second side is golden brown, about 4 minutes.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: I prefer the texture of the pimento cheese better when I grate the cheddar cheese myself. But if you are in a hurry, you can use packaged grated cheese.

This recipe makes approximately 3 1/2 cups of pimento cheese. Pimento cheese will keep for up to 4 days in your refrigerator. (That is if it lasts that long!)

Back-to-the-Basics: I love the kick that the jalapenos give to this pimento cheese. But if you prefer a milder version, omit the jalapenos.


Flank Steak Roulade

I love dishes that look so much harder than they are to make!  When I serve them, my guests ooohhh and aaahhh over how impressed they are with my cooking skills.  Little did they know, the dish was so simple, my daughter could have assembled it!

My flank steak roulade is the perfect example of such a dish.  It makes a beautiful presentation at the table, has a delectable combination of flavors, and is a cinch to prepare!

Here’s the trick.  You take a flank steak and place it on a cutting board. Generously season it with salt and pepper to taste, layer your favorite filling ingredients, and then roll it up like a log.  Finally, I tie it up with cooking twine to ensure it holds it shape. That’s it. See, I told you it was simple!

I prefer to brown the roulade on all sides before placing it in the oven.  I think it adds flavor and texture to the meat.

For the filling, I like to use ingredients that add flavor, texture and color.  Vibrant spinach and roasted red peppers make a statement.  French fried onions add both flavor and texture to the mix.  Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese add creaminess.

Feel free to substitute ingredients that you have on hand. Sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sautéed mushrooms, goat cheese and fresh herbs are all delicious filling alternatives.  Worried about fat?  Omit the cheese.

This delicious dish that is much easier than it looks will definitely impress your company.


Flank Steak Roulade

1 flank steak, pounded about 1/3-inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups fresh spinach
3/4 cup FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions
1/2 cup drained and diced roasted red peppers
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the flank steak on a cutting board.  Generously season with salt and pepper. Place the spinach in an even layer over the steak. Next layer the FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions, roasted red peppers, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese on top of the spinach. Roll the steak tightly into a log.  Tie with kitchen twine every 2 inches along the length of the roll. Generously season the outside of the roulade with salt and pepper.

Place the oil in a large, oven-proof sauté pan and warm over medium-high heat until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pan. Sear the roulade until well-browned on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place the roulade in the oven to finish cooking, about 20 to 25 minutes for medium. (If you like it more well done, leave it in longer.)

Let the roulade rest for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the kitchen twine. Slice into 1-inch thick slices and serve.

Serves 4 to 6.

Cooking Tip: Be sure to let the roulade rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. This ensures a juicy steak.

Variations: For the filling, feel free to substitute ingredients that you have on hand. Sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sautéed mushrooms, goat cheese, and fresh herbs are all delicious filling alternatives.

Do Ahead: The roulade can be assembled and refrigerated one day in advance.





Jennifer Chandler

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