Make the in-laws shish kebabs, cheesecake, more

Are you clueless when it comes to cooking for the in-laws? Here, "The Newlywed Cookbook" author Robin Miller serves up three dishes the whole family will enjoy: sure-fire shish kebabs, rice, corn and green chile timbales, and a chocolate-swirled cheesecake.

Sure-fire shish kebabs
Servings:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

    • Shallow dish
    • Skewers
    • Plastic wrap
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 pound sirloin steak, cut into 2-inch cubes
    • 1 large red onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 1/2 pound small button mushrooms, stems trimmed

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. In a shallow dish, combine soy sauce, mustard, brown sugar, garlic powder, and pepper. Add steak, onion, bell peppers, and mush­rooms and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 15 minutes (or up to 24 hours).2. Preheat grill or broiler.3. Remove meat and vegetables from marinade (discard marinade) and skewer alternating pieces onto metal or wooden skewers (when us­ing wooden skewers, soak them in water first to prevent burning).4. Grill skewers 8 minutes, turning frequently, or until meat is cooked through and vegetables are tender-crisp.

Rice, corn and green chile timbales
Servings:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

    • Large saucepan
    • 4 6-ounce custard cups or any small cups
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1 cup basmati or long grain white rice
    • 1/2 cup frozen corn
    • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2 cups chicken broth or water
    • Non-stick cooking spray

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and cook until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add corn, chiles, cumin, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.2. Coat four 6-ounce custard cups (or any small cups, empty tuna cans, etc.) with non-stick spray. Spoon rice mixture into prepared cups and pack down with the back of a spoon. Invert cups onto dinner plates, tap the bottom with your hand and remove cup.

Serving Directions:

Note: You can prepare the timbales in advance and refrigerate overnight (in the molds). Reheat in the microwave or set them in a large shallow baking dish (in ¼-inch of water) and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Unmold as directed.

Chocolate-swirled cheesecake
Servings:

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients

  • Equipment:

    • Medium bowl
    • 9-inch springform pan
    • Double boiler or medium bowl and medium saucepan
    • Large mixing bowl
    • Mixer
    • Toothpick or knitting needle
    • Wire rack
    • Plastic wrap
  • For the crust:

    • 1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs
    • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • Non-stick cooking spray
  • For the filling:

    • 1 6-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate morsels
    • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese (regular or nonfat), softened
    • 1 1/4 cups sour cream (regular or nonfat)
    • 1 egg
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.2. To make the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted but­ter and sugar in a medium bowl. Mix well with a fork to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan that has been coated with non-stick spray. Set aside.3. To make the filling, melt chocolate in a double boiler or medium bowl over simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly.4. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Mix on low speed until smooth and creamy. Fold in sugar and flour. Pour filling into prepared pan.5. Drizzle melted chocolate over surface of cheesecake. Using a toothpick (or knitting needle) swirl the chocolate into the filling, just until decorative swirls form (don’t over-swirl, or you’ll lose the effect!).6. Bake 1 hour, or until center is set. Turn off oven, prop open the oven door (not all the way, just slightly), and allow the cake to cool 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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