Recipes from January 30, 2013

From Herald news servicesJanuary 30, 2013 

Weekly recipes for January 30, 2013

Fit for Football Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Makes: 20 squares; Preparation time: 30 minutes; Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 ancho chilies, stemmed, seeded and diced, or two small cans chopped green chilies
6-7 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
1 package reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix
1 can (19 ounces) medium red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) fat-free, reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
3 cups reduced-fat cheddar-jack cheese or favorite cheese, shredded
6 (12-inch) flour tortillas

For garnish:

Sour cream
Sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion and chilies and saute until tender. Stir in the shredded chicken and taco seasoning mix.

In a bowl, mix together the enchilada sauce, sour cream and soup. Set aside 1 1/4 cups of the sauce. Stir 1 cup of the remaining sauce mixture and 1 cup of the cheese into the chicken mixture.

In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, spread some of the remaining sauce on the bottom of the dish. Layer 2 tortillas in the bottom of the dish overlapping one another and extending over the sides. Drizzle with some sauce and spread half of the chicken mixture on top. Repeat with another layer of 2 tortillas and chicken. Top with a final layer of tortillas, tucking it under the overlapping edges of the other tortillas as you would when adding a top crust on a pie. Spread the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the cheese bubbles and the dish is heated through. Remove from the oven and let stand 30 minutes before slicing -- it will still be warm. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and sliced green onions, if desired.

Sweet and Sticky Short Ribs

Start to finish: 1 1/2 hours (plus marinating). Servings: 12.

1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 cloves minced garlic
3 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into long, thin strips (1/4 inch thick by 1 inch wide)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the hoisin, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, five-spice powder, sesame oil and garlic. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture in a small bowl. Add the short ribs to the original mixture and toss to thoroughly coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight.

When ready to cook, heat the oven to 275 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil and place a rack over each pan.

Arrange the short ribs on the rack and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until tender. Brush the ribs with the reserved 1/2 cup of marinade and increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Return to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes, or until browned and caramelized. Thread a skewer through each piece of meat to serve.

Meyer Lemon Margarita

Start to finish: 2 hours (10 minutes active); Servings: 8

1 1/2 cups Meyer lemon tequila (see recipe below)
1 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (4 to 5 lemons)
3/4 cup triple sec
1/2 cup Meyer lemon simple syrup (see recipe below)
6 cups ice cubes
8 lemon twists, to garnish

In a pitcher, combine the tequila, lemon juice, triple sec and simple syrup. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

When ready to serve, fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice and pour in 1 cup of the margarita mixture. Shake, strain into two 6-ounce martini glasses and garnish each with a twist. Repeat for the remaining margaritas.

Meyer Lemon Infused Tequila

Start to finish: 4 days (10 minutes active); Makes one 750-milliliter bottle

8 Meyer lemons
750-milliliter bottle 100 percent blue agave blanco tequila

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest (colored layer of skin only) from the lemons in large strips. Place the zest in a large glass jar, then add the tequila and cover tightly. Let stand for 4 days to allow the flavors to blend, tipping the jar back and forth a couple times a day.

Strain out the zest, and the tequila is ready to use. Stored in a glass container or its original bottle, it will keep its vibrant color for 1 to 2 months.

Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup

Start to finish: 15 minutes; Makes 1 cup

2 Meyer lemons
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest (colored layer of skin only) from the lemons in large strips.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the zest, sugar and water, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture reach a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Strain out and discard the zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Keeps for several weeks.

(Recipes from Rick Bayless and Deann Groen Bayless' Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks, W. W. Norton & Company, 2012)

Deviled Ham with Pickled Peppers

Prep: 15 minutes Makes: About 1 1/4 cups

From Salty Snacks by Cynthia Nims. The flavor will be best if made at least 2 hours in advance; can be prepared up to 3 days ahead.

Combine 8 ounces thick-cut ham, diced, and 2 tablespoons chopped jarred pickled peppers in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. (The mixture should be somewhat coarse, not a smooth puree.)

Add 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Pulse to blend. Taste for seasoning, adding a little vinegar or mustard to taste. If dry, add a little mayonnaise for a spreadable texture.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature with crackers.

Rosemary Pecans

Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 12 minutes; Makes: 3 cups

"Don't let the simplicity of this recipe fool you, these nuts are simultaneously salty, rich, crunchy and deliciously complex, thanks to the rosemary," writes Jared Koch in The Clean Plates Cookbook.

Arrange 3 cups raw pecan halves on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees until brown and fragrant, about 12 minutes. Transfer while still warm to a bowl; add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary and fine sea salt to taste, tossing to coat. Return pecans to baking sheet to cool.

'KFC' Korean Fried Chicken Wings

Prep: 30 minutes; Cook: 40 minutes; Makes: 36 pieces

Adapted from a recipe by chef Phillip Lopez published in New Orleans Chef's Table (Lyons, $24.95) by Lorin Gaudin.

Melt the pepper jelly over low heat in a saucepan; sweet Thai chili sauce can sub in.

2 stalks lemongrass
5 cloves garlic, whole
1 cup soy sauce
1 piece (3 inches long) ginger, sliced
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup salt
18 jumbo chicken wings, tips removed, cut into 2 sections
2 cups non-glutinous rice flour
Peanut oil for deep frying
3/4 cup (6 ounces) jarred pepper jelly, melted or sweet Thai chili sauce
1 tablespoon each: toasted sesame seeds, chopped chives

1. Heat a large stockpot of water to a boil over high heat. Add lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, lime juice and salt. Cook, 5-8 minutes. Turn down to a simmer. Add chicken wings; blanch, 3 minutes only. (This will release some fat from the skin and make the skin tighter for frying.) Remove with slotted spoon; shock in ice water. Dry; tamp dry with paper towels.

2. Toss the wings in rice flour to coat well. Submerge wings, in batches, in hot oil at 350 degrees; fry until fully cooked inside, about 7 minutes. (Alternatively, place wings on a baking sheet and roast in a 375 degree oven, rotating the pan halfway through, 15-20 minutes.)

3. Place hot wings in a bowl; add melted pepper jelly or chili sauce. Stir to coat wings. Arrange wings on serving platter; sprinkle with the sesame seeds and chives.

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