Michael (ftmichael) wrote in ljrecipes,

Today is National Margarita Day in the US.

As always, all measurements are in US units. See http://www.onlineconversion.com/cooking_volume.htm for converting measurements.

* Taco Bell Chalupa Supreme: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes3/ir399.html
* Oven Breaded Pork Chops: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/02172.htm
* Pan-Roasted Chicken & Vegetables: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/02173.htm
* Potato Sausage Soup: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/02174.htm
* Potatoes and Onions with Peanuts: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/02175.htm
* Overnight Coffee Cake: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/02176.htm
* Hot and Spicy Chex Mix: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/02177.htm
* Hot Fudge Ice Cream Bars: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/02178.htm
* Low Carb Lamb Parmesan: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/lc10.htm
* Diabetic-Friendly Apple-Cheddar Popovers: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/diab10.htm
* Low Fat Fiesta Skillet Spaghetti: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/lowfat6.htm

Kelley's Cooking Tips

* To make your own corn meal mix: combine 1 cup corn meal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 4 teaspoons baking powder. You can store it in a tightly covered container for up to 6 months.

* A Perfect Pastry Crust? In your favourite recipe, substitute a 4:1 ratio of lard:butter

* When slicing a hard boiled egg, try wetting the knife just before cutting. If that doesn't do the trick, try applying a bit of cooking spray to the edge.

* When mincing garlic, sprinkle on a little salt so the pieces won't stick to your knife or cutting board.

Have a cooking question? Kelley has your answer! kelley@e-cookbooks.net

A Dual Role for Chicken
By Mark Bittman

Here is a recipe that gives you two alternatives right from the start: a straightforward Thai-style chicken sauté or a caramelised Vietnamese-style dish. Either one is spectacularly flavoured and amazingly simple to prepare.

I began by making a strong soy-based dressing, soy being one reason Asian chicken dishes have such a beautiful dark colour. With the addition of ginger, garlic and chilies, the sauce takes on a wonderful Thai aroma that makes it nearly irresistible. I could have marinated the chicken in this sauce for a couple of hours or even a day in the refrigerator, but I had no time. Ten minutes later, the chicken was browning on the stove.

When some of the smaller chicken pieces were clearly cooked through, I set them aside. They could have been eaten on the spot, with lime and cilantro. But I proceeded with my bigger plans for the remaining chicken: to add Vietnamese fish sauce, some sugar and even more garlic, ginger and chilies to the pan to make a powerful sauce.

My goal was the thin, simple caramel seen all over Vietnam, the sauce that glazes the chicken with a dark, bitter-sweet, pungent and spicy lacquer.

The completed dish was so successful that I almost forgot about the chicken that was unsauced. But a couple of hours later, when my normal state of hunger returned, I squeezed some lime over the room-temperature pieces. They were delicious. I would happily eat the chicken either way.

Southeast Asian Chicken, Two Way
1 3-pound to 4-pound chicken, cut up and trimmed of excess fat
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 to 2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 to 2 teaspoons crushed dried chili flakes
1 tablespoon corn oil
Lime wedges, optional
Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
1/4 cup sugar, optional
2 tablespoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce), optional.

1. Place chicken in a large bowl with soy sauce, 1 tablespoon each of garlic and ginger and 1 teaspoon chili flakes. Toss well to coat. Chicken may be covered and refrigerated for up to a day.

2. Put oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade, and add, skin-side down, to hot oil. Brown well on both sides, then lower heat, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. At this point, chicken can be served with lime wedges and cilantro, if you wish.

3. For Vietnamese-style chicken, remove chicken from pan, then turn heat to low, and add sugar, another tablespoon each of garlic and ginger and another teaspoon of chili, along with 2 tablespoons water. Raise heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts and sauce thickens and foams. Add nam pla and any juices accumulated around the reserved chicken, and cook a minute more, then return chicken to pan, and cook, turning pieces until they are nicely glazed and chicken is hot. Remove from skillet, spoon sauce on top, garnish with lime and cilantro, if you wish, and serve. Yield: 4 servings.

Pasta with Pesto
3 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated (2/3 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups loosely packed fresh basil
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound linguine or spaghetti, 1/3 cup cooking water reserved
Salt and pepper to taste

With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop. Stop motor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil, then process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil, blending until incorporated.

Put pesto in a large bowl. Cook linguine or spaghetti until al dente. Whisk about 1/3 cup pasta cooking water into pesto. Add drained pasta to thinned pesto with salt and pepper to taste and toss well. Serve with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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