Thursday, July 29, 2010

Weekly Recipes #27

Look for tubes of prepared polenta in the refrigerated part of the produce section.

Yield: 4 servings
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
1 (18-ounce) tube of polenta, cut into 8 slices
1 ripe peeled avocado, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled queso fresco
1/2 cup refrigerated fresh salsa
Lime wedges (optional)

1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine 1 teaspoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, chile powder, and pepper; rub evenly over steak. Add steak to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.

2. While steak rests, brush remaining 1 tablespoon oil over both sides of polenta slices; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add polenta to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Arrange 2 polenta slices on each of 4 plates; divide avocado evenly among servings. Top each serving with about 3 ounces steak, 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, 2 tablespoons queso fresco, and 2 tablespoons salsa. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Summer Peach and Tomato Salad

Simplicity has never looked so beautiful. A stunning combination of skin-on peaches and heirloom tomatoes of various colors, sizes, and shapes creates a sweet-savory salad that pairs well with grilled pork.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

1/3 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
3 ripe peaches, pitted and each cut into 8 wedges (about 1 pound)
1/2 pound heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, cut into thick wedges
1/2 pound heirloom cherry or pear tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup small basil leaves or torn basil

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Combine vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over peach mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.

Antioxidant compounds in citrus fruits and herbs may reduce the formation
of HCA compounds. Here, we leave the skin on for moisture while grilling, then discard.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 breast pieces or 1 leg and 1 thigh)

1 (4-pound) roasting chicken
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup Sauternes or other dessert white wine
1/4 cup minced fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large garlic cloves, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Cut the chicken into drumsticks, thighs, and breasts; cut each breast in half crosswise to form 4 breast pieces total. Reserve wings and back for another use.

2. Combine rind and next 7 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, and stir with a whisk. Place juice mixture in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour. Remove chicken from bag, and discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt.

3. Prepare grill to medium-high heat. After preheating, turn the left burner off (leave the right burner on), or arrange charcoal on one side of grill for indirect heat.

4. Place chicken on grill rack covering right burner; grill over direct heat 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Move chicken to grill rack covering left burner; grill over indirect heat 10 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°. Discard chicken skin.



Heat the oven to 400°F. Combine the butter and brown sugar in a bowl and microwave until the butter and sugar have melted together, about 30 seconds. Stir in the mustard, honey, and soy sauce.
Toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon of the oil, the Parmesan, and some salt and pepper. Place the stalks in a baking dish and roast until they're al dente, 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in an ovenproof skillet over high heat. Season the fillets with salt and pepper and add them to the pan, flesh side down. Cook them until browned on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Then flip them, brush on half the honey mustard, and place the pan in the oven. Bake until the salmon is firm and flakes easily (but before white solids begin to form on the surface), about 5 minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and brush them with more honey mustard. Serve the salmon with the asparagus.

Basque-Style Chicken

This recipe is inspired by the Basque region of France and Spain. If tomatoes are in season, substitute one or two medium tomatoes for the tomato paste.

1 5-pound chicken cut into 8 pieces, skin removed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 medium red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3 red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon unsalted tomato paste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken on both sides with salt. Heat a large, oven-safe soup pot over medium-high heat. Pour in oil and heat until shimmering. Add chicken in a single layer and sear until nicely brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate.

Return pan to heat and add onion, garlic and a pinch of salt. Sauté until onion softens, and deglaze the pan with its juices, about 3 minutes. Add peppers and another pinch of salt; sauté for another 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Pour in balsamic vinegar and wine, scraping up any brown bits on bottom of pan. Bring to a boil and cook until 2 to 3 tablespoons of liquid remain. Set chicken on top of vegetables and pour in any accumulated juices from plate. Scrape down sides of pan, cover and bake in oven 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, divide vegetables among eight plates and place chicken on top. Serve hot.

Serves 8

Nutritional information per serving
Calories: 157; total fat: 4g; cholesterol: 60mg; sodium (not including additional seasoning): 95mg; carbohydrate: 6g; total dietary fiber: 1g; protein: 21g

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