Weekly recipes for January 18, 2012
Start to finish: 20 minutes. Servings: 8
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds Chinese long beans
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Splash of Sriracha sauce
7 ounces cooked lobster meat, chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
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In a wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high, heat the vegetable oil. Add the peppercorns, five-spice powder and garlic. Heat, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
Add the beans and toss to coat. Add the water, oyster sauce, and soy sauce and cover. Allow the beans to steam for 5 minutes, or until just tender. Add the sesame oil, Sriracha, lobster meat and sesame seeds. Toss together and cook until just heated through. Serve immediately.
Mango Curry Chicken
1 3 1/2-pound chicken cut up, or equivalent weight of bone-in, skin-on pieces
1-2 tablespoons Thai curry paste (green or red) or Indian curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
6-10 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1-1 1/2 cups dry white wine or chicken broth, divided
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 cups frozen mango chunks (no need to thaw)
Place chicken pieces in a large bowl with curry paste or curry powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Massage chicken so it is well coated. (For more flavor, do this in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate the chicken overnight before cooking.)
Film a large skillet (it must accommodate all chicken in one layer) with vegetable oil and place over high heat. When oil is hot, add chicken pieces, skin-side down, and turn down to medium-high. Cook until skin is nicely browned, about 10 minutes, but don't move chicken for at least 5 minutes.
Turn chicken pieces over and add garlic to pan. When the garlic just begins to color, add 1/2 cup wine or broth. When it simmers, turn heat to low and cover pan tightly. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through, checking periodically to see that liquid is at a bare simmer. If liquid cooks off, add a little more wine, broth or water. Chicken breasts will cook quicker than legs; remove them when they are done.
When chicken is cooked through, remove to a platter and cover with foil. Tilt pan to spoon off most of the fat, then place over high heat and add remainder of wine or broth and half the cilantro. As liquid simmers, use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add mango chunks to the pan, turn heat to medium and cover for a few minutes so the mango gives up excess moisture. Uncover pan and cook until mango turns a deeper yellow and the sauce becomes a little syrupy. Taste sauce for salt, then pour it over chicken and garnish with remaining cilantro.
Blueberry Corn Muffins
These muffins are not very sweet, the better to appreciate the flavor of the berries. You can also substitute raspberries for the blueberries. Makes 12 muffins.
1 cup cake or all-purpose flour (see note)
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk, warmed (microwaved for 30 seconds)
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed and blotted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12-muffin tin.
In a small bowl, thoroughly combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a large bowl, whisk the egg, melted butter and oil until well blended. Stir in the warm milk. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir until blended. Fold in blueberries.
Spoon batter into muffin tin. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges of the muffins are golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Remove from tin and cool a little before serving.
Note: Cake flour makes lighter and fluffier muffins, but all-purpose flour works too.
Clafoutis is a distinctive rustic French dessert that is sort of a cross between a soufflé and a popover. Serves 8.
2 cups (about 12 ounces) frozen, pitted cherries, thawed and blotted
Butter and flour to coat pan
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
Pinch of salt
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a shallow, 10-inch porcelain pan or 9-inch glass pie dish. Distribute the cherries in an even layer in the prepared dish.
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla and about half the milk. Whisk to a smooth paste. Work in the rest of the milk, the butter and the salt. Pour the batter over the cherries.
Bake about 45 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy. (It will deflate as it cools.) Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar just before serving.
After the banana and the frozen fruit, this recipe is infinitely flexible: use more or less milk, yogurt or orange juice; substitute soy or rice milk; or agave syrup or maple syrup for the honey. Serves 2.
2 cups any combination of frozen fruit
1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
1 cup milk
1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
2-3 tablespoons honey, or to taste
Put all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
Spicy Sausage and Arugula Penne
Start to finish: 20 minutes. Servings: 6
12 ounces penne pasta
1 pound spicy Italian sausage meat
1 large yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 5-ounce package arugula
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and ground black pepper
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain and set aside.
In a large saute pan over medium-high, brown the sausage meat and onion until cooked through, about 10 minutes. As it cooks, use a wooden spoon to break up the meat into bite-size chunks. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and arugula, then toss well. Add the pasta and toss until heated through and the arugula just begins to wilt.
Add half of the cheese and a splash of the reserved pasta cooking water. Toss well, adding more water if desired to create a sauce. Serve topped with the remaining cheese.