Saturday, February 04, 2006

Mediterranean Spaghetti

1/2 pound lean ground beef (I used diced chicken)
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 garlic cloves -- minced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes undrained
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled Feta cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese divided
1 large egg
2 tablespoons panko, divided
Cooking spray
4 cups cooked spaghetti (about 8 oz uncooked)

Fresh oregano sprigs (optional)


Preheat oven to 375º.

1-Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the first 4 ingredients, and sauté 5 minutes. Add the wine and next 6 ingredients (wine through tomatoes). Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until thick.

2-Combine the flour, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in a medium sauce- pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cook for 7 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove milk mixture from heat. Stir in Feta cheese, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, and egg.

3-Sprinkle 1 tablespoon panko in a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Place 2 cups spaghetti in casserole, and top with 2 cups beef mixture and 1 cup sauce. Repeat layers. Combine 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon panko, and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake casserole at 375º for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh oregano, if desired.

Serving Size: about 1 1/3 cups

Coconut Chicken Curry

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced
1 sliced red bell pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons curry powder
One 12-to14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 14 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, drained very well
2 T. hot chili sauce with garlic (or to taste)
a handful of fresh cilantro


1. Pour the oil into a large skillet and turn the heat to medium-high for 1 minute. Add the onions along with a generous pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and almost falling apart. Turn the heat back to medium-high and brown the onions just a bit. Stir in the curry powder and bell pepper and cook, stirring, for another minute or two.
2. Reduce the heat to medium, add the coconut milk, and cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken cubes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.
3. Add the tomatoes, chili sauce, and cilantro and cook for another minute. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Serve with steamed white or brown rice and a salad.