(Family Features) If you’re looking for a new take on home-style cooking, then George Duran has the recipe for you. Duran is a popular Food Network host and chef who likes to take favorite American dishes and give them a delightful twist. PBJ Bread Pudding, Cheeseburger Frittata and Tex-Mex Lasagna are just a few of the dishes he’s twisted.
“Comfort food is something that brings Americans together,” said Duran, “but I noticed that I was going to be limited with the number and originality of recipes I could introduce. (After all, how many ways can you make a PBJ sandwich?) That’s when I decided to take classic American flavors and twist them into a gourmet dish.”
Duran says that keeping these 10 must-have ingredients in the pantry makes it easy to turn a midnight snack into a work of art: curry paste, nonstick cooking spray, bacon, ground cumin, coconut milk, red wine, chipotle hot sauce, pine nuts, fresh cilantro, and vanilla ice cream.
In his new book, “Take This Dish And Twist It: Comfort Food with New & Unexpected Flavors” (Meredith Books; November 2008), Duran re-imagines familiar foods and makes them fantastic in over 100 recipes.
Break out of the ordinary by adding fun along with flavor to your favorite comfort foods. Your taste buds will be glad you did.
Pepperoni Pizza Soup
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Broil: 3 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 (10.75-ounce) cans condensed tomato soup
- 3 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 11⁄2 cups dried elbow macaroni (or other short dried pasta such as ditalini or alphabets)
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
- 1⁄3 cup diced pepperoni
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
- dried oregano
- Preheat broiler.
In large pan put soup, water, and garlic; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in macaroni, green onion, oregano, and pepperoni; cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until macaroni is almost done.
- Pour soup into 4 oven-proof bowls. Top each with 1⁄4 cup mozzarella cheese, 1⁄4 cup cheddar cheese, and some oregano. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
- Or serve soup in a small round, crusty loaf of bread. Cut top off bread and scoop out insides. Fill with soup, top with cheeses, and broil as directed above. Try different “toppings” as well, such as mushrooms, onions, and sausage.
Granny Smith Guacamole
Prep: 10 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
- 3 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
- ½ cup finely chopped Vidalia onion
- ½ cup snipped fresh cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- Bottled hot pepper sauce, to taste
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
- Kosher salt or table salt, to taste
- Assorted dippers (baked fruit crisps, apple chips, and/or tortilla chips)
- Scoop avocado flesh into bowl; add onion, cilantro, lime juice, and hot pepper sauce. Mash with fork until it reaches the desired consistency. Stir in apple and season with salt to taste.
- Serve with dippers.
Source: Meredith Corporation
(Family Features) When planning a get-together with friends, finding the right playlist and inviting your favorite people over is easy, but planning the perfect menu can be daunting.
Whether it’s game day, the season premiere of your favorite show or just a casual night in, if you’re craving something satisfying and delicious, one simple solution is Mrs. T’s Pierogies.
You can easily add a creative twist to your menu by serving up bite-sized Bacon-Wrapped Pierogies, featuring Classic Cheddar Mini Pierogies, which are perfect for sharing. Or try adding some flare to your nachos by substituting chips with pierogies. Available in 15 tasty varieties, these potato-filled pasta shells are loaded with flavor and are the perfect canvas for all your favorite ingredients and spices.
Find more recipes to enjoy with your friends at MrsTsPierogies.com.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 32 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 box (12.84 ounces) Mrs. T’s Mini Cheddar Seasoned with Bacon or Mini Classic Cheddar Pierogies
- 14 slices bacon, sliced in half
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (optional)
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Defrost pierogies by placing in boiling water for 2 minutes or refrigerating overnight.
- Wrap half slices of bacon around each pierogy. Arrange pierogies on baking sheet. Sprinkle with brown sugar, if desired. Bake 16-18 minutes, or until golden brown, turning once.
- Optional: Saute wrapped pierogies 8 minutes, or grill 5 minutes until browned.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
- 2 boxes (16 ounces each) Mrs. T’s Classic Cheddar Pierogies
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Pico de Gallo (recipe below)
- guacamole (recipe below)
- sour cream (optional)
- pickled jalapeno peppers (optional)
Pico de Gallo:
- 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 small, diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 small, ripe avocado
- 1 seeded and minced jalapeno
- 1/2 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- To make nachos: Saute pierogies in butter over medium heat, approximately 8 minutes on both sides.
- Preheat broiler. On large, oven-safe plate, arrange hot pierogies; sprinkle with black beans and Monterey Jack cheese.
- Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with Pico de Gallo and guacamole, and sour cream or pickled jalapeno peppers, if desired.
- To make Pico de Gallo: Mix together all ingredients and set aside. Serve on top of pierogies.
- To make guacamole: Cut avocado in half and remove seed. With spoon, scoop out inside; place in bowl.
- Mash avocado with fork until slightly chunky.
- Mix in jalapeno, tomato, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Serve on top of pierogies.
Source: Mrs. T's Pierogies
(Family Features) - Surprise! You already know this mild-tasting, delicately textured fish that swims wild in clean, icy Alaskan waters. You just didn't realize it.
Like the boy next door who's so friendly and easy going he's taken for granted - until his superman talents are revealed - genuine Alaska Pollock is finally making a name for itself. A kissing cousin to cod, this whitefish is the one you love to eat in so many good things, from fish sticks and fish tacos, to fish sandwiches, fillets and surimi seafood. It's a rock star in fish and chips, too.
Versatility is where Alaska Pollock scores top points. Alaska Pollock is flash-frozen within hours of harvesting and processed for breaded fish sticks, frozen fillets or surimi seafood. Its mild flavor and snow-white, tender flesh are particularly kid-friendly and appealing.
On the nutrition side, Alaska Pollock is a terrific source of protein and minerals, making it especially popular during Lent. Low in fat and calories, it's a product worth seeking out year-round.
Add sustainability as another plus for Alaska Pollock, harvested from the largest sustainable fishery in the world. Alaska Pollock fishery managers strive - and have for more than 30 years - to maintain the quality and capacity of the biannual catch while protecting the species' habitat and ecosystem in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. The result of their long-term dedication is an abundant, economical fish.
The versatility of Alaska Pollock is highlighted with the cross-cultural flavors in the trio of recipes here. Traditional Thai ingredients such as red curry paste, ginger, green chiles and coconut milk spark Thai Fishermen's Stew, a zesty dish with built-in warmth for an evening meal. Classic south-of-the-border seasonings give Alaska Pollock Fish Stick Tacos lively flavor with plenty of family appeal. What's not to like about pairing fish sticks with guacamole, taco seasoning, lime juice, green onions and cilantro? Or prepare Alaska Surimi Seafood Breakfast Bake. It's an easy-to-make frittata-type dish that matches Mexican seasonings with Alaska surimi seafood.
Add everything together and there's no question genuine Alaska Pollock is one tasty fish worth looking for in all its delicious forms. To find more recipes featuring this versatile fish, visit alaskaseafood.org.
- 8 frozen Alaska Pollock fish sticks (about .75 ounces each) or 4 frozen breaded/battered fish fillets (about 1.5 ounces each)
- 8 taco shells or flour tortillas (5- to 6-inch each)
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 cup prepared guacamole
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Mexican or taco seasoning
- 1 lime, cut in 8 wedges
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- Prepare fish sticks/fillets according to package directions.
- In each taco shell, layer 1/4 cup lettuce, 2 tablespoons guacamole, 2 tablespoons tomato, and 2 fish sticks or 1 fish fillet.
- Sprinkle on small amount of Mexican or taco seasoning. Squeeze juice of a lime wedge over fish.
- Top with 1 tablespoon cilantro and 1/2 tablespoon green onions.
Calories: 322g Total Fat: 18g
Cholesterol: 10mg Protein: 8g
Carbohydrates: 34g Sodium: 260mg
- 1 large bell pepper, cut into strips
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 can (4 ounces) sliced black olives, drained
- 1/3 cup sliced green onions
- 12 ounces Alaska Surimi Seafood (Imitation Crab)
- 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons Cajun, Creole or Mexican seasoning
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby Jack or Mexican cheese blend, divided
- 8 eggs
- 3/4 cup water
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Spray coat 9- to 10-inch baking dish. Place peppers, mushrooms, olives and green onions in baking dish. Sprinkle seasoning over Alaska Surimi Seafood; stir to coat. Add surimi and 3/4 cup cheese to baking dish. Blend eggs and water; pour over surimi. Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
- Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until puffed and center is firm.
Calories: 324g Total Fat: 19g
Cholesterol: 374mg Protein: 25g
Carbohydrates: 14g Sodium: 1171mg
Servings: 4 to 6
- 2 bottles (8 ounces each) clam juice
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) organic
- tomatoes with basil and garlic
- 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
- 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
- 1 can (14 ounces) regular or light coconut milk
- 1-1/2 pounds Alaska Pollock fillets, fresh, thawed or frozen
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- In Dutch oven, combine first 7 ingredients. Simmer covered 15 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and continue to simmer but do not boil.
- Meanwhile, preheat broiler oven to 450°F. Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska Pollock under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Brush both sides of fillets with oil and place in baking pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heating element until opaque, about 5 to 6 minutes for frozen Alaska Pollock or 3 to 4 minutes for fresh/thawed fish. Cook just until fish is opaque throughout.
- Remove fillets from pan and break into large chunks. Stir into stew; bring to a simmer. Sprinkle with basil leaves and serve piping hot.
Calories: 241g Total Fat: 10g
Cholesterol: 83mg Protein: 25g
Carbohydrates: 10g Sodium: 839mg