Chipotle-Marinated Pork Tenderloin


A tenderloin is the ideal dinner for two: easy, fast and simple. And while this marinated tenderloin would be great as is with some grilled asparagus and corn on the cob, you can also transform it with the recipes that follow.

  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 ounces pork tenderloin, (see Kitchen Tip), trimmed of fat
  1. Combine chipotle and sauce, garlic, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper in a blender or mini food processor; blend or process until the chipotle is chopped and the mixture is relatively smooth. Pour into a sealable plastic bag, add pork and seal, squeezing out any excess air from the bag. Turn to coat with the marinade. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
  2. Preheat grill to high or heat a large indoor grill pan over high heat. Remove the pork from the marinade (discard marinade). Grill the pork, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally into the center of the meat registers 145°F, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

2 servings

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.

Ingredient Note: Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapenos packed in a flavorful sauce. Find them with Mexican foods in large supermarkets.

Kitchen Tip: One pork tenderloin typically weighs about 1 pound, enough for 4 servings. You can marinate a whole pound in the same amount of marinade used to marinate the 8 ounces in this recipe and have enough cooked tenderloin for 2 dinners (for 2 people). Or freeze half for up to 3 months.

Zucchini Salad with Shaved Parmesan


Drizzle grilled zucchini with a tangy lemon vinaigrette and it becomes an easy vegetable salad. Want a little heat? Add minced fresh jalapeño.

  • 1 medium lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds small zucchini, cut into lengthwise slices about ½ inch thick
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted (see Tips)
  • ⅓ cup thinly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (see Tips)
  1. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the peel from lemon with a vegetable peeler, making sure not to include any white pith. (Reserve the lemon.) Cut the peel into thin slivers. Add to the boiling water and cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a small bowl. Add oil, pepper and salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high or place a grill pan over medium-high heat until hot.
  4. Oil the grill rack (see Tips) or the grill pan. Grill zucchini slices, turning once, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Arrange the zucchini on a platter and drizzle with the reserved lemon dressing. Serve sprinkled with almonds, cheese and the lemon peel.

Makes 6 servings

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4, cover and refrigerate the zucchini, lemon peel and dressing for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Tips: To toast sliced or chopped nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Use a vegetable peeler to shave thin curls or slivers off a block of hard cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano.

To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

Sunday Sausage Strata


The “strata” in this classic casserole are layers of bread, cheese and sausage baked in an egg-rich pudding.

  • ½ pound turkey breakfast sausage, (four 2-ounce links), casing removed
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced (1½ cups)
  • 12 large eggs
  • 4 cups ( 1% milk combined with 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups cubed, whole-wheat country bread, (about 7 slices, crusts removed)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1½ cups grated Swiss cheese, (4 ounces)
  1. Coat a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish (or similar shallow 3-quart baking dish) with cooking spray.
  2. Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Add onions and bell pepper to the pan and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl until blended.
  4. Spread bread in the prepared baking dish. Scatter the sausage and the onion mixture evenly over the bread. Brush with mustard. Sprinkle with cheese. Pour in the egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake the strata, uncovered, until puffed, lightly browned and set in the center, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving hot.

12 servings

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4 the night before serving.

Chile & Beer Braised Brisket


Brisket, a naturally tough cut, becomes meltingly tender braised in beer and chiles. Try this with corn tortillas or as a filling for enchiladas or tamales. Or serve simply with rice and a green salad.

  • 6 dried New Mexico, Anaheim or ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Mexican lager, such as Corona or Dos Equis
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 pounds trimmed flat, first-cut brisket, (see Shopping Tip)
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
  1. Tear chiles into 1-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Cover with hot water and let sit until softened, at least 20 minutes. Drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place tomatoes and their juices, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and the drained chile pieces in a food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in beer.
  3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add brisket and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Pour the chile sauce over the meat and bring to a simmer.
  4. Cover, transfer to the oven and bake for 2 hours. Stir in beans and continue baking until the meat is fall-apart tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour more.
  5. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and pull apart into long shreds using two forks. Stir the shredded meat back into the sauce.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Shopping Tip: “Flat, first-cut brisket” is a far better choice for healthy eating than the fattier point cut. If the briskets at your store aren’t labeled as such, ask the butcher to help you select the right cut. You’ll need 2 pounds of brisket after it’s been trimmed of fat.

Turkey-Mushroom Burgers


Ground turkey is the standard lean alternative to ground beef–and a good one–but burgers made from it can be dry and bland. These turkey burgers are particularly moist and flavorful because mushrooms are used to extend the ground meat.

  • 2 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into pieces
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, wiped clean
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Scallion-Lemon Mayonnaise, optional
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey breast, (see Ingredient note)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1½ tablespoons coarse-grained mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 whole-wheat buns, (optional)
  • Lettuce leaves & tomato slices, for garnish
  1. Place bread in a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl. Pulse mushrooms in the food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and the mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add to the breadcrumbs and let cool completely, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare Scallion-Lemon Mayonnaise, if using.
  4. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  5. Add ground turkey, egg, dill, mustard, salt and pepper to the mushroom mixture; mix well with a potato masher. With dampened hands, form the mixture into six ½-inch-thick patties, using about ½ cup for each.
  6. Oil the grill rack. Brush the patties with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Grill until no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes per side. (An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should register 165°F.) Meanwhile, split buns and toast on the grill for 30 to 60 seconds, if using. Serve burgers on buns, garnished with lettuce, tomato and Scallion-Lemon Mayonnaise, if desired.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 5. Wrap individually and refrigerate for up to 8 hours or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.
  • Ingredient Note: Lean ground turkey breast has 110 calories and 1 gram fat per 3-ounce serving, compared to 193 calories and 11 grams fat in regular ground turkey (which may include leg meat and skin).

Scallion-Lemon Mayonnaise


Use this tangy mayonnaise as a sandwich spread or as a dip for a platter of grilled summer vegetables.

  • ¼ cup nonfat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped scallions
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, juice
  • Pinch of salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl; whisk until blended.

Jamaican Beef Patties


Patties are Jamaican fast food, a golden-yellow crust encasing a spicy beef, shrimp, chicken or vegetable filling. Traditional versions use butter, shortening, lard—or a combination of the three—to make the flaky crust. A blend of butter and canola oil cuts saturated fat with equally delicious results. The patties keep very well, so consider making a double batch to freeze for your own “fast-food” lunches.

Crust

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • ⅓ cup ice water
  • 1 large egg yolk

Filling

  • 8 ounces 93%-lean ground beef
  • 1 bunch scallions, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced Scotch bonnet chile pepper (see Tip), or to taste
  • ¼ cup fine dry breadcrumbs (see Note)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. To prepare crust: Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, 1 teaspoon turmeric, ¾ teaspoon salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and quickly rub them into the dry ingredients with your fingers until smaller but still visible. Add oil and toss with a fork to combine. Whisk water and egg yolk in a small bowl. Add to the flour mixture and stir until the dough begins to come together. Knead in the bowl a few times until it forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. To prepare filling: Cook ground beef, scallions and chile pepper in a medium skillet over medium heat, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in breadcrumbs, water, thyme, ¼ teaspoon turmeric and ¼ teaspoon salt; mix well. Let cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. To make patties: Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. On a well-floured surface, roll each piece into a 6-inch circle about ⅜ inch thick. Trim the edges to make an even circle (you might have a bowl the right size to use as a guide). Put about ¼ cup filling on half of the dough, leaving about a ¼-inch border. Fold the dough over the filling to make a half-moon shape and crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Place on a large baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Bake the patties until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Tightly wrap the dough (Step 1) and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 6 months. Tightly wrap the patties and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in a 400°F oven.

Ingredient notes: Whole-wheat pastry flour, lower in protein than regular whole-wheat flour, has less gluten-forming potential, making it a better choice for tender baked goods. You can find it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.

We like Ian’s brand of coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs, labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets. To make your own breadcrumbs, trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. (To make fine dry breadcrumbs, process until very fine.) Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, about 10 to15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs.

Kitchen tip: One of the hottest chile peppers, Scotch bonnets come in vivid shades of red, orange and green and are used throughout the Caribbean. Though they look similar to habaneros, Scotch bonnets have a citrus note that makes them undeniably different. You can control the heat of a dish a little by discarding the membranes that hold the seeds, which are the spiciest part of chile peppers, along with the seeds themselves. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling hot peppers or wear rubber gloves. If you can’t find Scotch bonnet peppers, habaneros can be substituted.