Michael (ftmichael) wrote in ljrecipes,

Today is National French Fried Shrimp Day in the US.

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

* Chili's Tortilla Crunch Chicken Fingers: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes1/12151.htm
* Crunchy Pork Chops With Baby Spinach Salad: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/quick4.htm
* Roast Beef Tenderloin with Port Sauce: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes4/12193.htm
* Noodle Kugel: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes4/12194.htm
* Southwestern Christmas Salad: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/12225.htm
* Potato Latkes: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes4/12196.htm
* Creme Brulee French Toast: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes4/12197.htm
* Almond Roca Cookies: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes4/12198.htm
* Low Carb Maple Cream Squares: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/1215lc.htm
* Diabetic-Friendly Bruschetta with Feta Cheese: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/1215diab.htm
* Low Fat Banana Oatmeal Pancakes: http://www.e-cookbooks.net/recipes/1215lf.htm

Kelley's Cooking Tips

Make A Homemade Giant Hershey Kiss:

1. Select a plastic funnel the size of the kiss you wish to make.

2. Decide if you want it plain or with nuts, peanut butter, caramel, white chocolate, Rice Krispies, etc.

3. Melt enough Hershey's chocolate bars to make your kiss in a double boiler being careful not to scorch it.

4. Plug end of funnel with a mini marshmallow and rest it in a sturdy cup (coffee cup is great).

5. Add fillers, if desired, to melted chocolate and pour into funnel. Tap the funnel gently to make sure no air is trapped.

6. Cool at room temperature for several hours. Tap funnel and the kiss will slide out. Wrap in aluminum foil and tie with ribbon.

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

Duck's Day in the Pan
By Mark Bittman

Producing the type of roast duck you see hanging in the windows of many Chinese restaurants is nearly impossible at home. I've tried, believe me, and it is about as far from the minimalist ideal as
making vegetable pate.

The good news is that very similar results can be achieved, in less than an hour, if you cut up the duck. Taking apart a duck is not unlike sectioning a chicken; although the joints are a bit trickier to locate, you will find them. And with a just a modicum of attention, the duck will gain a glorious, mahogany colour that will belie the amount of work you spent on it.

Begin by braising the cut-up duck in its own fat. This is a technique (popularised, it seems fair to mention, by Paula Peck, the late cookbook writer) that renders just about all the fat. It works so well that it is my standard preparation for duck, one that results in a crisp and moist bird.

Once the bird is done, remove it from the pan and add the soy sauce, sherry and the same combination of spices that make up five-spice powder: ginger, cinnamon, cloves, coriander and star anise. You could, of course, use five-spice powder, but whole spices yield more distinctive flavours.

With these goes the secret ingredient that is the key to success in so many glazed dishes: sugar. The sugar melts, caramelises and becomes sticky, causing the soy-spice mixture to adhere beautifully to the skin of the duck.

The only danger is in allowing the cooking to go too far, because the sugar can turn from brown to black in an instant. So when the duck looks perfect, be sure to get it out of the pan. You may not get to hang it in the window, but you'll still love it.

Chinese "Roast" Duck
1 duck, 4 to 5 pounds
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Shao Xing rice wine or dry sherry
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick, about 3 inches long
5 or 6 nickel-size slices ginger
4 pieces whole star anise
2 cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1. Cut duck as you would a chicken, into 6 or 8 serving pieces; discard wing tips, back and neck, or reserve to make stock. Place duck, skin side down, in a 12-inch skillet over high heat and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. When duck begins to sizzle, cover skillet and turn heat to medium. After 15 minutes, turn duck and season skin side. After 15 more minutes, uncover skillet and turn heat to medium-high. Cook duck, turning as necessary, so that it browns nicely on both sides; this will take another 15 minutes or so.

2. Remove duck to a plate and pour off all but a tablespoon of fat; leave any solids in pan. Over medium-high heat, add rice wine and bring to a boil. Add soy sauce and 2 tablespoons water and bring to a boil; stir in remaining ingredients. Once mixture starts bubbling, return duck to skillet and cook, turning it frequently until sauce is thick and duck is well-glazed, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove duck, then scoop solid spices out of sauce. Spoon sauce over duck and serve.

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Tomatoes
3/4 pound hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 28-ounce can diced peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup purchased pesto sauce
10 ounces ziti or penne pasta (about 3 cups), freshly cooked
8 cups ready-to-use spinach leaves (about 2/3 of 10 oz. package)
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)

Heat heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion and garlic and saute until sausage is cooked through, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices to pan. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in pesto. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly oil 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish. Combine pasta, spinach, mozzarella and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese in large bowl. Stir in hot tomato sauce. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese over. Bake until sauce bubbles and cheeses melt, about 30 minutes.

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