Thursday, September 16, 2010

wednesday - grilled sirloin and salmon, beet and carrot pancakes, and sautéed beet greens

Last night I grilled a sirloin steak (for me) and a salmon fillet (for Courtney). I had planned on topping the meats with chimichurri sauce that I had in the freezer, but it smelled a bit off when it was defrosted, so I tossed it ("when in doubt, throw it out" is a dietitian's motto, after all). So, simple grilled beef and fish--always tasty. I rubbed each with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and grilled over medium-high heat (3 to 4 minutes per side for the salmon, 5 minutes per side for the sirloin).

The real treat last night was the beet and carrot pancakes that I based on this recipe from epicurious.com and this recipe from eatingwell.com. Both recipes had great reviews at each website, and, while I was a bit skeptical as I was preparing the pancakes, they turned out to be really delicious. I used more beets than the recipes call for, so they were definitely heavier on beets than carrots. I threw in a handful of fresh basil but it really got lost among the other flavors, so you could leave it out or sprinkle fresh herbs over the finished pancakes. It really helps to have a food processor to shred the vegetables--it's a huge time-saver. I found that the vegetable mixture was very crumbly, so it helped to squeeze out excess liquid as I was forming each pancake. It was also important to let the skillet get nice and hot first so the pancakes get a nice sear--this helps hold them together when they're transferred to the baking sheet. On a side note, I also enjoyed the pancakes topped with poached eggs for breakfast this morning. Mmmm.



Since I was cooking with beets, I roughly tore the beet greens and quickly sautéed them with olive oil and garlic as an additional side dish.


Beet and Carrot Pancakes

3 cups (packed) coarsely shredded peeled beets (from 4 medium)
1 cup coarsely shredded peeled carrots (from 2 medium)
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon chopped basil (optional)
6 teaspoons olive oil, divided
Reduced-fat sour cream

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine beets, carrots, and onion in large bowl. Mix in egg, salt, and pepper. Add flour and basil (if using); stir to blend well.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Using a heaping 1/4 cup beet mixture, squeeze out excess moisture and form into pancake. Drop 4 pancakes into skillet. Press with the back of a spatula to flatten each into a 3-inch round. Cook until crispy and golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the pancakes to the prepared baking sheet. Continue with 2 more batches, using the remaining 4 teaspoons oil and vegetable mixture. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Serve garnished with sour cream, if desired.

Makes 6 servings (2 pancakes each).
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