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Monday, July 31, 2017

Smoked Chicken Salad

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post


This is really the best way to smoke a chicken: Cover it with rub, stick it on the grill and don’t look at it for an hour. No need even to truss it. Letting the legs and wings splay out allows them to crisp up and creates a cavity between the legs and breast where juices heat and help cook the dark meat at the same rate of speed as the white meat. Not coating the bird with oil helps the skin get dark and crisp.

For maximum flavor, you can coat the chicken with rub, place it in a resealable plastic food storage bag and refrigerate it for several hours (or even overnight). This is akin to brining. Allow the bird to come to room temperature for a couple of hours before roasting.

The recipe yields 3 to 4 cups of smoked chicken broth, which is great in sauces or soups.

You'll need 4 wood chunks (each about 3 inches by 2 inches), such as oak or hickory, and a remote probe thermometer.

Serve atop sliced tomatoes or as the filling for avocado halves; garnish each with chives or parsley.

Make Ahead: The smoked chicken broth can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. The salad can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.


Yield: Makes about 5 cups


One 3 1/2-to-4-pound whole chicken, reserving the neck, heart, gizzard and liver
1/4 cup homemade or store-bought barbecue rub
1 medium yellow onion, cut in half
1 large rib celery, cut crosswise in half
1 medium carrot, trimmed and cut crosswise in half
1 large bay leaf
1/2 small bunch thyme
1 quart water, or as needed
4 whole scallions, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 large rib celery (root ends trimmed), finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup regular or low-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

New Orleans-Style Barbecue Shrimp


For the chicken and drip-pan broth: Remove the chicken from its packaging, setting aside the parts bundled inside. Rinse the bird all over, including inside the cavity, and blot it dry with paper towels. Place the bird on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Coat the bird all over with rub, making sure to get under the wings.

Prepare the drip pan that will go under the chicken while it smokes. Place the chicken’s neck, gizzard, liver and heart in the pan with the onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf and thyme. Cover with the water.

Prepare the grill for indirect grilling: If using charcoal, light the charcoal in a chimney starter and let the briquettes burn until flames subside and a light layer of ash covers the briquettes (20 to 25 minutes). Dump the lighted coals into 2 mounds (or, preferably, into two half-moon-shaped briquette baskets) on opposite sides of the grill. Place the prepared drip pan between the piles of coals.

(If using gas, with a two-burner grill, set one burner to medium-low and leave the other unlit; with three or more burners, set the outside or front and rear burners to medium-low and leave the center burners unlit.)

Place two chunks of oak or hickory wood on each pile of coals, or use wood chips in a smoker box for a gas grill.

Place the hinged grate on the grill. Place the chicken over the drip pan, parallel to and in between the coal baskets. Let the wings and legs splay open. Insert the probe of a remote thermometer into the thickest part of a thigh, making sure that the probe does not touch a bone. Set the thermometer to 165 degrees according to the manufacturer's directions.

Cover the grill (top and bottom vents open) and cook the chicken for an hour or until the thermometer reaches 165 degrees. (The temperature inside the grill should remain between 300 and 350 degrees.)

Transfer the chicken to a platter to cool completely, first allowing any juices accumulated in the cavity fall into the drip pan below. Cover loosely.

Strain the contents of the drip pan into a bowl; discard the solids. Refrigerate or freeze the broth for future use; the yield is 3 to 4 cups. (The fat will rise to the top and congeal once refrigerated. Discard or save it for future use as well. It’s terrific for sauteing vegetables.)

Discard the skin from the chicken. Pull all the meat off the bones, being careful to discard any cartilage, sinew, veins or other unpalatable parts. It is useful to keep kitchen scissors on hand so that you can cut the dark meat into bite-size chunks as you go; this will save you from having to go back and do it later. The white meat shreds easily into bite-size pieces using your hands, but feel free to use the scissors if you prefer neat cubes. You will have about 4 cups of chicken; place it in a mixing bowl.

For the salad: Add the scallions, celery, mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper to the chicken and mix well. Cover and refrigerate the salad for several hours or overnight, allowing its flavors to meld.


From The Process columnist David Hagedorn.

Tested by David Hagedorn.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 8, using low-fat mayonnaise and sour cream): 190
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 11g 17%
Saturated Fat: 3g 15%
Cholesterol: 60mg 20%
Sodium: 290mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates: 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: 2g
Protein: 18g

Smoked Pumpkin Soup With Rum Cream

Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post


Bursting with the warm flavors of fall, this soup is velvety and rich, a lovely starter to a several-course meal. Or, with a salad and some nice brown bread and butter, a fine entree.

You'll need to soak 1 cup of apple wood chips in water for 1 hour.

Make Ahead: The pumpkin can be smoked up to 2 days in advance. Scoop out the pulp, put into a sealed container and refrigerate.



1 medium (about 4 pounds) pumpkin
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, minced
5 cups no-salt-added chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground allspice
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Dash freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
Finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon (1/4 teaspoon zest and 1/2 teaspoon juice)
3 tablespoons good-quality dark rum
Pinch sugar


For the soup: Drain the water from the wood chips.

Prepare the grill for indirect heat: If using a charcoal grill, light the coals. When the coals are hot, scatter the wood chips directly onto them. If using a gas grill, place 1 cup of the drained chips in a smoker box or an aluminum foil pouch punctured on top with a fork to release smoke. Place the smoker box or foil pouch between the grate and briquettes, close to the flame. Preheat on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium (350 degrees).

Meanwhile, discard the pumpkin stem. Cut the pumpkin in half from top to bottom. Scrape out all of the seeds and fiber.

When ready to grill, place the unpeeled pumpkin halves, flesh sides down, on the far side of the grill, away from the coals or flame. Smoke the pumpkin for 60 to 90 minutes, until a fork slides easily through the flesh.

Remove the pumpkin from the grill. When cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scrape the pumpkin flesh from its skin into a bowl. Discard the skin.

Melt the butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the shallot and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the broth, cinnamon, allspice and orange juice. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the pumpkin; cook for 10 minutes, then add the cream and nutmeg, stirring to incorporate. Turn off the heat. Let cool for about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, transfer the soup to a food processor. Puree until smooth, then strain into a clean pot. Place over low heat and keep warm. Season with the salt and pepper.

For the rum cream: Pour the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the lemon zest and juice, rum and sugar. Continue whipping until the cream is almost stiff. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Divide the soup among individual bowls; top each portion with equal amounts of the rum cream. Serve right away.

Rating ****[2]


The soup recipe is from Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin; the rum cream recipe is adapted from "The Inn at Little Washington: A Consuming Passion," by Patrick O'Connell and Tim Turner (Random House, 1996).

Tested by Jeff Donald.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 6 main-course servings): 390
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 29g 45%
Saturated Fat: 18g 90%
Cholesterol: 120mg 40%
Sodium: 230mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates: 25g 8%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%
Sugar: 6g
Protein: 6g

Smoked Rotisserie Chicken

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; surface courtesy Stone Source of Washington, D.C.


Using a rotisserie device -- available at many stores that carry backyard grills -- might be the easiest, and best, way to cook a chicken on the grill. It results in unsurpassed juiciness and crispy skin without having to pay attention to the fire. This recipe is for a charcoal grill only.

You'll need an instant-read thermometer, kitchen twine, barbecue gloves (for handling hot rotissserie parts) and 2 fist-size hardwood chunks, such as apple, pecan or oak.

Make Ahead: You may have seasoning rub left over, can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.

Tested size: 4 servings


1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder (granulated)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), giblets removed
Olive oil, for brushing


Prepare a charcoal grill for opposite-sides indirect heat. Light the charcoal or briquettes; once ready, distribute them half on one side of the grill and half on the other. Place one hardwood chunk on each of the piles. Place the rotisserie base on the grill. For a medium-hot fire (400 degrees), you should be able to hold your hand 6 inches above the coals for 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

While the grill is warming up, whisk together the salt, black and cayenne peppers, garlic and onion powders, the dried thyme and sage in a medium bowl to form a seasoning rub. Brush the chicken all over with oil, then season the bird aggressively with the rub. (If you don't use all the rub, store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 month.) Use kitchen twine to truss the chicken.

Slip the chicken onto the rotisserie rod, clamping it in place, and fit the rod into the rotisserie's mechanism. Turn on the rotisserie. Close the lid. Open the top vents about halfway. Cook for about 1 1/4 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast (away from the bone) should register 165 degrees.

Wear barbecue gloves to unscrew the clamps and slide the chicken onto a platter. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.


From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.

Tested by Andrew Sikkenga.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 330
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 15g 23%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 130mg 43%
Sodium: 410mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates: 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: 0g
Protein: 43g

Smoked Salmon Vols-au-Vents

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

OCT 29, 2014

These are pretty and bright-tasting, nice for a first course or a light lunch.

You'll need 4 1/2-inch and 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutters, or make templates of that size and cut around them.

We recommend using Dufour brand puff pastry for this recipe; a single box contains 14 ounces.

Make Ahead: The pastry shells can be baked a day or two in advance and kept at room temperature in an airtight container. It's best to combine the filling just before serving.

Tested size: 8 servings

14 ounces slightly defrosted puff pastry (see headnote)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into small dice
1 medium cucumber, seeded and cut into small dice
1/2 small red onion, cut into small dice
1 tablespoon drained/rinsed small capers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sour cream, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Open the folded puff pastry dough and smooth/roll out any cracks. Use the larger cookie cutter or template to create 8 dough rounds. Arrange the rounds of dough on the baking sheets, spacing them at least an inch apart. Use the smaller cookie cutter to cut rounds inside the larger rounds, leaving them in place; as the vols-au-vents bake, vertical "walls" will form. Gather scraps and reroll as needed. Brush the dough with the egg. Bake (one baking sheet at a time) for about 12 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Cool completely.

Combine the smoked salmon, cucumber, red onion, capers, dill and lime juice in a mixing bowl; toss gently to incorporate.

Gently flatten the interior rounds, then divide the smoked salmon mixture among them. Garnish each with a small dollop of sour cream. Serve right away.

Rating ***[2]

Adapted from "Pocket Pies: Mini Empanadas, Pasties, Turnovers & More," by Pamela Clark (Sterling, 2014).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 210
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 15g 23%
Saturated Fat: 9g 45%
Cholesterol: 65mg 22%
Sodium: 300mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates: 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: 0g
Protein: 6g

Smoky Black Bean and Ham Bone Soup


There is something alluring about the deep, inky color of black beans. Their earthy flavor makes them a good match for the salt and smoke imparted by the ham bone. Think of this is a black bean version of split pea soup. All you need is a simple green salad to make it a meal.

To drink: A robust red such as Chianti Classico or Spanish tempranillo.

Make Ahead: The beans need to be soaked overnight.



2 cups dried black beans, picked over to remove any foreign bits
1 meaty ham bone, plus 1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) meat from the bone
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups water, or more as needed
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton)
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chipotle salsa or other tomato-based salsa
1/4 cup dry sherry
Sour cream, for garnish (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)


Put the beans in a bowl and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Let them soak overnight and then drain in a colander set in the sink.

Transfer the beans to a large, heavy-bottomed pot and add the ham bone. Pour the broth and water over the beans and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium; partially cover and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the beans are completely tender yet still hold their shape. Add water if the soup seems too thick. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low as needed to maintain gentle bubbling. Turn off the heat when the beans are done; let the soup cool for about 10 minutes.

Use tongs to transfer the ham bone to a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut the meat off the bone in chunks, then cut into small pieces or shred the chunks. The amount of meat you end up with will depend on how meaty the bone is. You'll need about 1 1/2 cups for the soup. Place the meat side in a bowl; discard the bone.

Discard the bay leaf left in the soup. Use an immersion (stick) blender to coarsely puree the black beans in the broth so that some are mashed and some remain whole. (If you don't have an immersion blender, puree some of the soup in a blender or use a potato masher to mash up some of the beans.)

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions, making sure they are evenly coated. Cook for 5 minutes, until they are beginning to soften, then stir in the garlic and cook for 7 minutes to further soften the onions, stirring often to prevent burning or scorching. Sprinkle in both kinds of paprika and the oregano, stirring until well incorporated. Add the salsa and cook for a minute or two, until all the ingredients are well blended.

Transfer the onion mixture to the soup, along with the reserved ham. Stir in the sherry, if using. Reheat the soup over medium-low heat just long enough for it to warm through.

Serve with sour cream and cilantro on the side, if desired.


From cookbook author Domenica Marchetti.

Tested by Domenica Marchetti.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 340
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 5g 8%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Cholesterol: 20mg 7%
Sodium: 490mg 20%
Total Carbohydrates: 48g 16%
Dietary Fiber: 16g 64%
Sugar: 3g
Protein: 23g

Sunday, July 30, 2017

French Toast on a Stick


Mother’s Day is fast approaching. If you haven’t bought a gift yet, how about sharing your time and talents by making Mom breakfast in bed? This recipe is fun, colorful -- and easy to eat on a tray.

You’ll need eight 10-inch skewers.

Tested size: 4 servings

3 large eggs
1 cup low-fat milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 demi-baguette (about 12 inches) or 1/2 long baguette
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
16 strawberries
2 medium bananas
1/2 cup fresh blueberries, stemmed as needed
Maple syrup or confectioners' sugar, for serving

Use a whisk to lightly beat the eggs in a mixing bowl, then whisk in the milk and cinnamon until well combined.

Cut the baguette into ten 1-inch slices, then cut each slice into quarters, transferring them to the bowl of egg mixture as you work.

Melt the butter in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat. Tilt the skillet so the butter coats it evenly.

Carefully add half the soaked bread pieces, shaking off any excess egg mixture; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are light brown on the bottom. Use tongs or a fork to turn the pieces; cook for a few more minutes until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate.

Cook the remaining half of the soaked bread pieces (no need to add more butter). Discard any remaining egg mixture.

While the French toast pieces cool a bit, hull the strawberries, then cut each one in half from top to bottom. Slice the bananas into 1/2-inch rounds.

Carefully slide a piece of French toast onto a skewer, followed by a strawberry half, a slice of banana and a blueberry. Repeat until the skewer is full; repeat to use all the French toast pieces and fruit.

Serve right away, with maple syrup for dipping or sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Adapted from “Cooking Class,” by Deanna F. Cook (Storey Publishing, 2015).

Tested by Toni L. Sandys.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per 2-skewers: 300
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 8g 12%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 150mg 50%
Sodium: 340mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates: 47g 16%
Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%
Sugar: 17g
Protein: 12g

Fresh Fall Rolls With Cranberry Dipping Sauce

Cooking for One Nov 20, 2011 
This seasonal take on Vietnamese summer rolls uses turkey and tart apple, and it leaves out the vermicelli noodles to keep everything even lighter.

Make Ahead: You might have leftover cranberry dipping sauce; cover and refrigerate, to use as a great salad dressing.

Servings: 1 
Yield: Makes 4 rolls (1 serving)

For the sauce 
2 tablespoons homemade or canned whole-berry cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon lightly packed mint leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
Sugar (optional)
For the rolls
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 cup (2 ounces) packed baby spinach leaves
10 to 12 large mint leaves, torn into strips
3 ounces/84g cooked, skinless turkey breast, torn or cut into strips (3/4 cup)
1/2 small Granny Smith, Gold Rush or other firm, tart apple, cored and cut into matchsticks (1/3 cup)
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks (1/3 cup)
Four 6-to-8-inch round rice paper wrappers

For the sauce: Combine the cranberry sauce, lime juice, mint leaves and soy sauce in a small bowl, stirring to mix well. Taste for seasoning and adjust with lime juice and/or sugar, if desired.
For the rolls: Whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add the spinach and mint; toss to combine.
Keeping each ingredient separate, divide the spinach-mint mixture, the turkey, the apple and the carrot into four equal portions.
Pour warm water into a shallow baking dish and place a clean dish towel next to it. Soak one of the rice paper wrappers in the water until it is pliable, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer it to the towel to drain, then turn the wrapper over.
Arrange one portion of the apple and one portion of the carrot matchsticks on the lower third of the moistened wrapper, leaving a 1-inch margin at each side of the wrapper. Top with one portion of the spinach mixture, then lay one portion of the turkey strips on top. Pull the side of the rice paper closest to you over the filling, being careful not to tear the wrapper. Fold in the two sides so they overlap, then roll forward, keeping the roll as tight as possible.
Repeat with the remaining three wrappers and portions of the filling.
Eat with the dipping sauce.

Recipe Source
From Food editor Joe Yonan, author of "Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One" (Ten Speed Press, 2011).
Tested by Joe Yonan.

Nutritional Facts 
Calories per serving (using half the sauce): 350

% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 2g 3%
Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
Cholesterol: 75mg 25%
Sodium: 450mg 19%
Total Carbohydrates: 50g 17%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugar: 15g
Protein: 33g

Fried Brussels Sprouts With Paprika-Spiked Dipping Sauce

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post
Nov 14, 2012

Here's an easy hot snack that will give your guests something to nosh on as you're putting the finishing touches on the meal.
The Brussels sprouts must be washed and thoroughly dried well in advance of frying.

Make Ahead: The dipping sauce can be made, covered and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. Bring to room temperature before serving and re-blend if needed. The sprouts can be fried an hour in advance and held at room temperature. Reheat them in the oven when your guests walk in the door.
Servings: 6 

For the sauce 
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg (see NOTES)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 cup olive oil
For the Brussels sprouts
Peanut oil, for frying
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved, retaining enough of the stem so that the sprout stays together (see NOTES)

For the sauce: Combine the garlic, egg, lemon juice, salt and paprika in the bowl of a food processor or a blender jar. With the machine running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Process or blend until the mixture thickens, 2 to 4 minutes.
For the Brussels sprouts: Line a plate with paper towels.
Pour the oil into a Dutch oven or deep cast-iron skillet to a depth of 1 inch and heat over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, gently slide half of the sprouts into the oil. Fry for 2 minutes on each side, until the sprouts are browned and crisp. Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate, season with salt to taste and repeat to fry all of the sprouts.
Serve hot, with Paprika-Spiked Dipping Sauce for dipping.
NOTES: Because the eggs remain raw, use pasteurized eggs if you have food-safety concerns.
Make sure the sprouts are completely dry before frying. If any moisture remains, the hot oil will splash and sputter, and you risk burns. If the oil starts to pop, hold a large pan lid or splatter screen over the Dutch oven or skillet to contain the oil.

Recipe Source
From Zach Patton and Clay Dunn, who blog at
Tested by Emily Parsons.

Fruitcake Nuggets

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post


Coconut and sweetened condensed milk make these nuggets chewy.

Make Ahead: They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 10 days.


7 ounces/196g (2 3/4 cups) sweetened flaked coconut
2 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch
1/2 cup regular or nonfat sweetened condensed milk
1 cup candied fruit
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease the wells of 2 nonstick mini-muffin pans.

Combine the coconut and cornstarch or potato starch in a mixing bowl; stir well to coat, then add the sweetened condensed milk, candied fruit, nuts and vanilla extract; mix well.

Drop rounded teaspoonfuls into the wells. Dampen your fingertips with water, then gently compress the mounds. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until the tops are just beginning to brown.

Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes, then use a round-edged knife to gently dislodge the nuggets; place them on the wire rack to cool completely before serving or storing.

Adapted from "The Ultimate Gluten-Free Cookie Book," by Roben Ryberg (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2010).

Tested by Jane Touzalin.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per nugget (with regular sweetened condensed milk): 120
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 6g 9%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 0mg 0%
Sodium: 40mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates: 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: 13g
Protein: 1g

Fun-See Noodles


A Chinese family-style noodle dish known as feng zhi was renamed thusly, thanks to young eaters in the Cheng household.

It calls for fuzzy melon, a gourd that looks like a cucumber but is somewhat sweeter. It is available at Asian markets.



3 ounces/84g dried bean thread vermicelli
1 handful (about 1/3 cup) dried shrimp (available at Asian markets)
Boiling water
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 medium fuzzy melons (about 1 1/2 pounds total), peeled and cut in half lengthwise (see headnote)
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1-inch piece peeled ginger root, minced
14 1/2 ounces/406ml (1 can) chicken broth, preferably College Inn brand
2 scallions, white and light-green parts, chopped, for garnish


Place the dried bean thread vermicelli in a medium bowl and cover with warm tap water.

Rinse the dried shrimp twice in warm tap water, then drain and transfer to a small bowl. Cover with boiling water (at least 1/4 cup; this will be used later). Let sit while you prep the melon.

Heat enough of the oil (1 1/2 tablespoons) to coat the bottom of a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Scoop out the middles of the melons so they resemble canoes with 1/2-inch-thick walls, discarding the seeds. Cut crosswise into 3 equal sections, then cut each section lengthwise into several thick strips.

Drain and rinse the shrimp, reserving no more than 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid.

Add the shrimp and rice wine to the skillet; cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until lightly caramelized.

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil, then the melon and ginger; toss to coat. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the melon has softened and slightly caramelized.

Pour the broth into the skillet, stopping just before the can is empty so the fat from the broth stays in the can. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, then add the shrimp soaking liquid and stir to mix well.

Drain the bean thread noodles, which should still be a bit stiff. Add to the skillet and stir to moisten, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until the noodles soften and absorb just about all of the liquid. Stir to incorporate the melon and shrimp into the noodles, then transfer to a serving bowl.

Garnish with the scallions; serve hot.


From Ed Cheng of Glenn Dale.

Tested by Ed Cheng.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 6): 150
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 5g 8%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Cholesterol: 18mg 6%
Sodium: 352mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates: 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber: 6g 24%
Sugar: 3g
Protein: 3g

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fish Fillets in Spicy Vinegar Sauce, Beijing Style

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

JUN 25, 2014

If Chinese takeout were always delicious, this is what it would taste like. Better, the strong flavors of ginger and vinegar are ideal for a fish fillet that has already been in the refrigerator for a few days or has been stored for a long time in the freezer.

This recipe also works well with freshwater fish that can have a muddy flavor, such as catfish.

Make Ahead: The mushroom caps need to soak in hot water for 30 minutes, until they are spongy.

Where to Buy: Black or dark soy sauce is thicker and more assertively flavored than regular soy sauce; find it at Asian markets.


Tested size: 4 servings


3 dried Chinese mushroom caps, stemmed
1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons dry sherry
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 pounds skinned white-fleshed fish fillets, such as red snapper or striped bass, cut into 1-by-2-inch pieces
Peanut oil or canola oil, for frying
1/2 cup cornstarch
4 small dried chili peppers
1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 scallions, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths, including some of the dark-green part
4 ounces ground pork
Lettuce leaves, for garnish (optional)
4 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons black soy sauce (see headnote)
2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
1 cup no-salt-added chicken broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil


For the fish and marinade: Soak the mushroom caps in hot water for 30 minutes, until spongy. Drain and cut into 1/4-inch strips.

Whisk together the ginger root, salt, white pepper, sugar, dry sherry and egg in a medium bowl. Add the fish and toss to coat. Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels, then seat an oven-safe wire rack on top; place on the middle oven rack and and preheat to 200 degrees.

Heat a few inches of the oil in a wok over medium-high heat until it is quite hot but not smoking. The oil is ready when lively bubbles form around a standing chopstick.

Coat each piece of fish in the cornstarch, shaking off any excess. Fry in batches until golden brown; use a slotted spatula to transfer to the wire rack in the oven.

Turn off the stove-top heat. Carefully remove all but 3 tablespoons of oil from the wok.

Reheat the remaining oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Once it shimmers, add the dried chili peppers, ginger, garlic and scallions; stir-fry for about 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the mushroom strips and the pork; stir-fry until the meat loses its pink color, about 4 minutes.

For the sauce: Whisk together the sugar, vinegar, black soy sauce, rice wine or dry sherry and broth in a liquid measuring cup. Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a separate cup until the cornstarch is completely dissolved, to form a slurry.

Pour the sauce mixture into the work; cook, stirring, until it almost comes to a boil, then stir in the cornstarch slurry; cook until the sauce has thickened, about 1 minute.

Place the fried fish in the wok and toss gently to coat. Swirl in the toasted sesame oil.

Transfer to a serving platter lined with lettuce leaves, if desired; serve hot.


Adapted from "The New Classic Chinese Cookbook," by Mai Leung Thayer (Council Oak Books, 1998).

Tested by Helen Horton.

Fish in Wine Sauce With Potatoes

Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post


This classic Bordeaux recipe is a one-pan meal.

Serve with a Sancerre, such as Domaine Michel Thomas Sancerre 2009, or a white graves, such as Pessac-Leognan.



1 1/2 pounds skin-on snapper fillets (may substitute rockfish or sea bass)
Sea salt
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dry vermouth
3 tablespoons minced shallots (from 1 or 2 shallots)
2 to 3 tablespoons no-salt-added or homemade chicken or mixed-poultry broth
3/4 cup peeled, cooked red- or purple-fleshed potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 medium red bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Freshly ground mixed peppercorns


Pat the fillets dry on both sides. If desired, use a knife to score the skin; that will help prevent the fillets from curling as they cook.

Season lightly on both sides with salt.

Lightly coat the fish with flour on both sides, gently shaking to remove any excess flour.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cook until the butter has melted and has just begun to turn brown.

Gently add 2 or 3 of the fillets, skin side up, to the skillet, being careful not to crowd them. (Work in batches as needed.) Cook for 2 to 4 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish), developing a lightly browned crust, then turn over the fillets and cook for 2 to 4 minutes on the second side. The fish should be barely firm when lightly pressed.

Just before the last of the fish is done, carefully pour in the vermouth, then evenly scatter the shallots around the fish. Use a wooden spatula to dislodge any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Transfer the fillets to a warmed platter.

Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and enough broth (as needed) to create a base for a sauce. Add the cubed, cooked potatoes and diced red bell pepper; reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and cook for a few minutes, stirring, so that the liquid is barely bubbling and the vegetables become fragrant. Stir in the herbs and remove from the heat.

Pour the vegetables and sauce evenly over the fish fillets. Season lightly with a few grinds of the mixed peppercorns.

Serve hot.


From Rob Stewart of Arlington.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 330
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 15g 23%
Saturated Fat: 6g 30%
Cholesterol: 85mg 28%
Sodium: 180mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates: 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: 1g
Protein: 36g

Five-Spice Chicken and Scallion Kebabs

Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post

NOURISH AUG 29, 2012

Skewered foods are the way to go when you want the food to look special and you want to control portion size. One skewer can suffice per person: You'll have about 3 ounces of meat on each skewer.

The fun part is the seasoning. Here, Chinese five-spice powder packs a lot of flavor. A mix of hoisin sauce and toasted sesame oil makes a quick glaze. The scallion pieces add color and flavor and cook along with the chicken.

Serve with rice, sliced scallions and grilled mushrooms.

Make Ahead: The chicken needs to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 8 hours.



1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (trimmed of fat and tendons), cut into 1-inch cubes
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for the grill
About 8 scallions, white and light-green parts, cut crosswise into 1-inch lengths
1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons water


Combine the five-spice powder and salt in a 1-gallon resealable plastic food storage bag, shaking lightly to blend the mixture. Add the chicken cubes, vinegars and olive oil. Seal, pressing as much air out of the bag as possible. Massage to make sure the chicken is evenly coated. Refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours.

Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 4 or 5 seconds. Lightly coat a grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.

Have ready six 10-inch bamboo skewers. While the grill is heating, thread the cubes of marinated chicken and the scallions onto the skewers, starting and ending with the chicken. You should have 5 or 6 cubes of chicken on each skewer. Discard the marinade.

Combine the hoisin sauce, toasted sesame oil and water in a small bowl.

Lay aluminum foil on the grill so the parts of the skewers not covered with chicken will be shielded from the heat by the foil. Position the skewers on the grill. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, then turn the skewers. Brush the cooked side with the hoisin sauce mixture.

Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Turn them again and brush with the sauce mixture; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Check for doneness. If the chicken isn't done, cover and cook for 3 to 6 minutes or until fully cooked; continue to brush lightly with the sauce mixture on any parts of the skewers not already coated with the sauce. The size and shape of the cubes will affect the cooking time. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees in the thickest piece of chicken.

Serve warm.

Rating *****[1]


From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per skewer: 140
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 6g 9%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Cholesterol: 45mg 15%
Sodium: 160mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates: 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: 2g
Protein: 18g

Five-Spice Smoked Short Ribs With Shanghai Barbecue Sauce

Michael Temchine for The Washington Post


To make these ribs right, you'll need a smoker and 2 cups of wood chips or chunks that have been soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained.

Grilling expert Steven Raichlen cooked the ribs in the smoker for 2 to 2 1/2 hours over low heat (250 degrees); he could have added hot coals to increase the temperature in the smoker when it came time to apply the barbecue sauce. But because he had a second grill going, he transferred the meat to the hotter grill and basted the ribs until they were a rich dark brown with a good crust.

Alternatively, he says the ribs can be cooked over indirect heat at a medium temperature (350 degrees) for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, then moved over direct heat and basted for the last 3 minutes of cooking.



3 to 4 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, each 2 to 3 inches long (6 to 8 pieces)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons ground white pepper
1 cup hoisin sauce
1/3 cup Chinese rice wine (Shaoxing) or dry sherry
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar, or more to taste
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger root
2 scallions, white and light-green parts minced, plus 1/4 cup scallion greens for garnish

Slow-Cooking Ribs

For the ribs and rub: Place the ribs in a large mixing bowl.

Combine the sugar, five-spice powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl and stir to mix. Generously sprinkle the rub on all sides of the ribs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes while you make the sauce and set up the smoker.

For the sauce: Combine the hoisin sauce, wine or sherry, soy sauce, sugar, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, ginger and scallions in a nonreactive medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick and rich-tasting.

Set up a smoker for direct and indirect heat; add a drip pan (add beer to the drip pan, if desired); preheat to low (250 degrees).

When ready to cook, brush and oil the grate. Toss 1 cup of the soaked and drained wood chips on the coals. Place the ribs in the center of the grate over the drip pan and away from the heat.

Cover with the smoker lid and smoke the ribs for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until they are dark brown, cooked through and tender enough to pull apart easily. Replenish the coals and wood chips as needed, using the remaining 1 cup of wood chips. When the ribs are done, the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones by about 1/4 inch.

Just before serving, add hot coals to the smoker to increase the temperature (to 400 to 450 degrees). Brush the ribs on all sides with the sauce and move them directly over the fire. Alternatively, the ribs can be transferred to a separate grill that is preheated to medium-high, or 400 to 450 degrees. Grill for 1 to 3 minutes per side, until the sauce is sizzling; watch carefully so the sugars in the barbecue sauce don't burn. Transfer the ribs to a large platter and sprinkle with the 1/4 cup scallion greens. Serve with the remaining barbecue sauce on the side.

Rating *****[1]

Adapted from "Primal Grill With Steven Raichlen," his new television cooking series.

Tested by Steven Raichlen.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 6, with 2 tablespoons' sauce): 238
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 10g 15%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 55mg 18%
Sodium: 1535mg 64%
Total Carbohydrates: 16g 5%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 19g

from-Scratch Horseradish Sauce


Fresh horseradish is sinus-clearing. This sauce is easy to make and is a wonderfully stout companion to grilled and roasted beef. See the Tiger Sauce VARIATION (below).

Make Ahead: The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


Yield: Makes a scant cup


A scant pound fresh horseradish root
2 tablespoons water, or more as needed
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar, or more as needed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
Baltimore Pit Beef


Peel the horseradish root, discarding the tough ends. Cut the peeled root into 1/4-inch dice. Transfer to a food processor and add the water. Pulse until the texture is a bit like that of wet coarse sand, about 1 minute.

Transfer to a bowl. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt, stirring to incorporate. Taste, and adjust for texture and flavor as needed; for example, if you want it to be looser, add a little water.

VARIATION: To make Tiger Sauce, a common sauce used in Baltimore for the city's classic pit beef sandwiches, add 1/4 cup of mayonnaise when mixing the vinegar and salt.

Rating *****[2]

From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.

Tested by Jeff Donald.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per tablespoon: 15
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 0g 0%
Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
Cholesterol: 0mg 0%
Sodium: 120mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates: 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: 2g
Protein: 0g

Friday, July 28, 2017

Grasshopper Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Julia Ewan


Creme de menthe provides a subtle hint of mint and pale green color in these easy cookies. Drizzle chocolate on top to dress them up. Four ounces of crushed candy canes may be substituted for the liqueur.

STORE: In an airtight container for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days; bring cookies to room temperature before eating or drizzling with the melted chocolate. The cookies may also be frozen in a tightly sealed plastic container for several weeks.


2 cups flour
1 cup confectioners' sugar
10 tablespoons/140g (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 20 pieces
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon green creme de menthe
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces/112g semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sugar

Position oven racks in the upper third and middle of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine 1 3/4 cups of the flour and the confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a stand or electric mixer. Beat on low speed for 10 seconds, then add the chilled butter, 1 piece at a time; beat for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is mealy in texture. Add the egg yolks, creme de menthe and vanilla extract; beat for about 30 seconds to mix well, until a dough starts to form. Add half of the chocolate and beat for 15 seconds.

Lightly flour a work surface with some of the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Transfer the dough to the work surface and knead it gently to finish incorporating the chocolate, if necessary. Shape the dough into 2 logs that are about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cut each log into 12 slices that are 1 inch thick. Use the palms of your hands to roll each slice of dough into a smooth, round ball, then flatten each ball in the palm of your hand into a circle 2 3/4 to 3 inches in diameter.

Place the sugar in a small bowl. Press 1 flat side of each dough circle into the sugar to lightly coat, then place 8 pieces of dough, sugar side up, evenly spaced, onto each of the 3 prepared baking sheets. Bake on the top and middle racks for 6 minutes, until lightly golden brown around the edges (no need to rotate the baking sheets halfway through; the cookies will not seem done, and that's okay); hold the remaining dough at room temperature. Transfer the baking sheets to a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

While the cookies are cooling, melt the remaining chocolate in the microwave or in a small metal bowl suspended over a saucepan of very hot water over medium heat. Use your fingers or the tines of a fork to drizzle the chocolate over the cooled cookies. Let the chocolate set before storing the cookies. (If you plan to freeze the baked cookies, do not decorate with the melted chocolate; let frozen cookies come to room temperature before decorating.)

Adapted from "I'm Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas," by Marcel Desaulniers (Wiley, 2007).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 135
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 7g 11%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 39mg 13%
Sodium: 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates: 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 2g

Greek Chicken, Tomato and Green Bean Saute

Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post

NOURISH AUG 15, 2012

The flavors are Greek; the cooking method is Chinese. The fusion results in a dish that is full of flavor. It's a good way to use up late-season green beans, which can be a little tough.

It's also one of those dishes that seems to improve as its sits and doesn't need to be piping hot. It's good even at room temperature, so get it ready and then relax for a few minutes until it's time for dinner. If it gets cold, reheat just until warmed through.

Serve over rice, noodles or lightly toasted slices of Italian bread.



1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons mild olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed and cut into strips 1/4-inch thick and 1 to 1 1/2 inches long
1 medium (4 or 5 ounces) onion, diced (1 cup)
3/4 pound plum (Roma) tomatoes, peeled and seeded, then cut into 1/2-inch dice (1 cup; see NOTE)
Finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons (at least 1 1/2 teaspoons zest, 3 tablespoons juice)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
1 cup homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons chopped dill
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese


Bring a medium pot of salted water to a rapid boil over medium-high heat. Have a large bowl of ice water and a clean, dry towel at hand.

Add the beans to the pot and cook for 6 minutes, then drain the beans and immediately transfer them to the ice water. Let the beans cool for 5 minutes, then drain them and transfer them to the towel to dry.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the chicken to the hot oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes without stirring until the chicken browns. Use a spatula or tongs to turn the chicken pieces over; cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken until all of it is cooked.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the saute pan or skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste; mix well and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the sugar and broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; cook for 3 minutes, then add the green beans and par-cooked chicken and stir to combine. Cook for 3 minutes.

Whisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl, then stir it into the chicken mixture until it has thickened.

Remove from the heat; stir in the dill and feta. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.

NOTE: To peel tomatoes, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Cut an "X" in the bottom of each tomato and remove the stem. Working with one at a time, place the tomato in the boiling water for 15 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to quickly transfer it to the ice water. The skin should simply slip off.


From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 5): 260
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 11g 17%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 75mg 25%
Sodium: 340mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates: 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%
Sugar: 5g
Protein: 26g

Greek Feta Corn Bread

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

NOV 10, 2015

Chef William Wright of Helen Greek Food and Wine in Houston makes this corn bread as a stuffing base for several of his restaurant's recipes. It's also great for snacking or serving with a hearty bowl of chili.

Make Ahead: The corn bread can be wrapped well in plastic wrap, then frozen for up to 1 month.

Tested size: 20 servings; makes one 9-by-13-inch pan

9 1/2 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
3 large eggs
2 1/4 cups regular or low-fat buttermilk
2 ounces crumbled Greek feta cheese

Blistered Banana Peppers With Cheese

Place the butter in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or a medium cast-iron skillet; transfer to the oven while it's preheating to 400 degrees, so the butter melts.

Meanwhile, whisk together the cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.

Combine the honey, eggs, buttermilk and 4 tablespoons of the melted butter in a large liquid measuring cup, stirring to blend. Carefully tilt the heated baking dish so that the remaining butter completely coats the inside of the dish. (Use paper towels to swipe it up the sides of the pan, as needed.)

Pour the honey mixture into the cornmeal mixture, stirring just enough to form a batter that's free of dry spots, then pour that batter into the baking dish, making sure to spread it evenly into the corners. Scatter the feta on top. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes (the greater amount of time if you're using the skillet) or until the corn bread is set and slightly browned at the edges.

Serve warm, or cool completely before storing.


From William Wright, executive chef of Helen Greek Food and Wine in Houston.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (using low-fat buttermilk): 140
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 7g 11%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 45mg 15%
Sodium: 230mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates: 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%
Sugar: 4g
Protein: 4g

Greek Meatballs (Keftethes)

Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post


When you lightly coat these meatballs with flour and fry them, they have a different flavor than when you grill them in a meatball grill basket, as the Tsipianitis family does. They use a stainless-steel model available at Williams-Sonoma.

Make Ahead: It’s preferable to let the uncooked meatball mixture rest in the refrigerator for a few hours or up to 1 day, to let the flavors meld. The uncooked meatballs can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.



1 pound (80/20) ground beef
1 pound lean ground lamb
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 medium onion, minced (about 2 cups)
Leaves from 1/2 bunch (about 1 1/2 ounces) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried Greek oregano
3/4 to 1 cup Italian-style dried bread crumbs
Freshly squeezed juice from 2 lemons (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for the meatball grill basket or for frying
1/2 cup flour, for dusting the fried meatballs (optional)
Lemon wedges


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Use a fork to combine the beef, lamb, eggs, onion, parsley, salt, pepper and oregano in a mixing bowl; add a 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs and the lemon juice; incorporate but do not overmix. The mixture should hold together yet not be overly moist. Add some or all of the remaining bread crumbs only if needed. Use a 1 1/2-tablespoon disher or a spoon to scoop 16 equal portions (about 2 ounces each). Use your lightly oiled hands to better shape them into round meatballs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.

If you wish to grill the meatballs, prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly over the cooking area. You should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 5 or 6 seconds.

Use olive oil to liberally grease the inside of the meatball grill basket.

Place the meatballs in the grill basket. Close the latch on the basket; grill for 10 to 15 minutes; if desired, open the basket and use tongs to transfer the now-firm meatballs directly on the grill grate to cook for a few minutes until crisped on the outside. Transfer to a platter; immediately squeeze lemon juice over the meatballs, then sprinkle lightly with salt. Serve hot.

If you wish to fry the meatballs, heat enough of the oil so that its depth will cover the sides, but not the tops, of the meatballs. Heat the oil over medium-high heat to a temperature of 375 degrees. Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels.

Spread the flour on a plate. Use your clean hands to slightly flatten the meatballs (to promote even cooking). Dip one side, then the other in the flour; pat lightly to get rid of any excess flour.

Fry 6 or 7 patties at a time; cook for about 8 minutes on the first side, until crisped and browned on the bottom; turn them over carefully and cook for about 7 minutes on the second side, or until cooked through. Transfer to the paper-towel-lined plate to drain, then sprinkle with salt and juice from the lemon wedges. Serve hot.


From Demetri Tsipianitis of Rockville.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per meatball: 180
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 12g 18%
Saturated Fat: 5g 25%
Cholesterol: 95mg 32%
Sodium: 240mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates: 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: 1g
Protein: 12g

Greek Chicken Wrap

JUN 26, 2002

Although 35 minutes may sound like a lot of time to slap together a sandwich, this one is worth it, with the contrasts in textures and flavors of an authentic souvlaki but with fewer steps. Cutting the chicken into bite-size pieces enables a minimum of marinating and cooking time. Garnish with thinly sliced red onion, crisp lettuce or diced tomato.



1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano (may substitute 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 lemon, juice only
1 medium cucumber (about 8 inches) peeled or unpeeled, halved and seeded
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (do not substitute nonfat or low-fat yogurt)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, or to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint or flat-leaf parsley
4 flatbreads, such as pita bread, flour tortillas or lavaash


Have ready metal skewers, or bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes.

Place the chicken pieces in a shallow dish. Set aside.

In a measuring glass, whisk together the oil, oregano, salt, pepper and all but a few drops of the lemon juice. Pour the mixture over the chicken and set aside, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 and up to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, grate or chop the cucumber. Wrap it in paper towels and squeeze it dry. Combine in a bowl with the yogurt, garlic, mint or parsley, and salt to taste. Taste; adjust the seasoning as needed and, if desired, add a couple of drops of the reserved lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate.

Wrap the breads individually in foil; set aside. Preheat the grill or broiler.

Slide the chicken onto the skewers, discarding the marinade. Transfer the chicken and the foil-wrapped breads to the grill or broiler and cook, turning as necessary, until the chicken is cooked through and the bread is warm, 8 to 10 minutes.

Place the skewers on a platter and pass the breads and the sauce on the side. To assemble, unwrap a piece of bread, leaving the foil around the exterior. Hold the exposed bread against a skewer and then slide out the skewer, leaving the chicken nestled in the bread. Spoon the cucumber-yogurt sauce on top.


Adapted from "Simply Good Food" by Clare Ferguson (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2002).

Tested by Renee Schettler.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 423
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 21g 32%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 83mg 28%
Sodium: 857mg 36%
Total Carbohydrates: 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 30g

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Marinated Tuna With Mango, Apple and Lime

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post


Although this is technically a tuna salad, it would be a disservice to call it that. Here, fresh, rosy raw tuna is briefly marinated with lime while you prep the crunchy salad ingredients and a quick coconut milk dressing. So it might be a seviche, except there's enough to make it an entree.

We bulked up the original recipe with fennel -- you could use thinly sliced green cabbage instead -- and added leaves from Chinese celery, which lend crunch and color. Cutting the apple in this different way -- julienne, with bits of red peel on the end -- makes the garnish look pretty. The fruit adds a touch of sweetness.

Serve with rye-toast crackers.

Where to Buy: Palm sugar is available at natural foods stores and Whole Foods Markets. Chinese celery is available at some Harris Teeter stores as well as Asian supermarkets.

Tested size: 4 servings

One 12-ounce/336g piece good-quality raw tuna
1/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt, plus more for garnish
1 lime
1 medium red onion
3/4 cup low-fat coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon palm or raw cane sugar
1/2 fresh red Thai chili pepper
1 large fennel bulb
4 to 6 stems Chinese celery (see headnote)
2 Ataulfo (Champagne) mangoes
8 stems cilantro
1 Gala or Honeycrisp apple
1 scallion

Cut the tuna lengthwise into 4 equal portions; cut each portion into 1/4-inch slices. Place them in a glass or ceramic bowl. Season with the salt. Finely grate 1/2 teaspoon zest from the lime, then squeeze in 1 1/2 tablespoons of lime juice, letting them both fall into the bowl. Toss to coat, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the red onion in half, then into very thin slices. Place the slices in a medium bowl and cover with water; let them sit for 5 minutes, then drain.

Pour the coconut milk into a liquid measuring cup. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of palm or raw cane sugar, then finely grate 1/2 teaspoon of lime zest into the cup. Squeeze in a tablespoon of lime juice. Seed the 1/2 red Thai pepper, then cut it into thin slices; add them to the cup, stirring to form a dressing.

Discard the fennel bulb’s core, then cut the bulb into very thin slices, breaking them up as you distribute them in a mixing bowl. Tear leaves from the Chinese celery (to taste) and add them to the bowl.

Peel the mangoes. Cut or shave the flesh into thin slices, adding them to the bowl of fennel. Add the drained red onion.

Drain the tuna, discarding the marinade. Add the fish to the mango mixture. Pour in three-quarters of the coconut dressing and toss to coat. Divide the salad mix among individual plates. Tear the cilantro leaves and tender stems, letting them fall over each portion.

Cut out and discard the core of the apple. Cut the apple in half, then into thin slices. Cut the slices into matchsticks, catching a bit of the peel on the ends if you can. Trim the scallion, then cut the white and light-green parts on the diagonal into thin slices, scattering them over each portion.

Pour some of the remaining dressing over each portion. Garnish with the apple. Season with a sprinkle of the flaked sea salt. Serve right away.

Based on a recipe from “Savour: Salads for All Seasons,” by Peter Gordon (Jacqui Small LLP, 2016).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 260
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 8g 12%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 30mg 10%
Sodium: 230mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates: 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%
Sugar: 19g
Protein: 22g

Mark Grande's Grilled Tuna With Wasabi Sauce

Mark Finkenstaedt

OCT 31, 2007

David Buddemeyer coordinates a Ravens tailgate once a year for his high school buddies. For the game, Baltimore Ravens fan Mark Grande picked up big-eye tuna from Frank's Seafood in Jessup and cut it into thick steaks. He marinated them for a few hours in teriyaki sauce, then packed the tuna in resealable plastic food storage bags for the trip to his tailgate spot.

He served the grilled tuna to his pals with a sauce made by his business partner's daughter, 15-year-old Michele Klima, of Howard County.



1 5-pound piece big-eye tuna fillet
1 bottle (21 ounces) store-bought teriyaki sauce, preferably Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki
Black and/or white sesame seeds (optional)
2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3/4 to 1 1/2 tablespoons wasabi paste
1/2 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 dashes oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash garlic powder
Low-sodium chicken broth (optional)


For the tuna: Cut the fillet into 1 1/4-inch-thick steaks. Place the steaks in several large resealable plastic food storage bags and add teriyaki sauce to each one. Seal and massage through the bags to coat evenly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a medium container with a lid, combine the mayonnaise, wasabi paste to taste, soy sauce, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder, stirring to mix well. If the mixture seems too thick, add a few tablespoons of chicken broth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to cook, prepare the grill: If using a gas grill, heat it to medium-high. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area for direct heat. Oil the grate.

Shake any excess marinade from the tuna steaks and place them on the grill. Sprinkle them with sesame seeds, if using. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, then turn over and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the desired degree of doneness. Serve hot, with the sauce on the side.


From Mark Grande of Sherwood Forest.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (with 1 teaspoon sauce): 418
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 15g 23%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 108mg 36%
Sodium: 179mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates: 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 66g

Matzoh Balls Stuffed With Chicken Liver

Bill O'Leary - The Washington Post

MAR 24, 2010

If you're looking for a twist on tradition, try this recipe from Israeli celebrity chef-restaurateur Israel Aharoni. A few caveats: Make sure the stuffed matzoh balls are lightly browned on all sides before transferring them to the chicken broth; that will help keep the balls from falling apart in the soup. Close the matzoh ball mixture around the chicken liver completely, to avoid any breaks. And don't worry if the balls are not completely round. They will float, and they will taste great.

Empire brand chicken schmaltz (rendered fat) is usually available in the frozen kosher section of large grocery stores. For a shortcut, use firm, prepared chopped chicken liver from your favorite delicatessen.

Make Ahead: The matzoh ball mixture needs to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour. The chopped liver mixture can be assembled and refrigerated for up to 5 days. The matzoh balls can be refrigerated, separate from the broth, in an airtight container for up to 1 day. Reheat in the broth over low heat.


Yield: Makes 10 to 14 matzoh balls


1 1/2 cups plain matzoh meal, preferably Streit's (may substitute about 4 matzohs, finely ground in a food processor)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Leaves from 1/3 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
3 tablespoons chicken schmaltz, liquefied (may substitute vegetable oil; see headnote)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup water or club soda, or more as needed
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
4 ounces fresh chicken livers, trimmed of sinew and excess fat, then rinsed
10 cups low-sodium chicken broth, preferably homemade (see related recipe)

Passover Chicken Broth


Combine the matzoh meal, eggs, parsley, 1 tablespoon of the schmaltz and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl; mix well, then add the water or club soda and stir to incorporate. The mixture should be like a soft, coarse dough. Add water as needed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the chopped liver: Melt a tablespoon of the schmaltz in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until softened. Add the chicken livers and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the livers are cooked through. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor; let cool slightly, then pulse a few times to form a coarse mixture. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Heat the chicken broth in a large pot over medium-high heat until it almost comes to a boil.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of schmaltz in a medium skillet over medium heat.

Roll about 2 tablespoons of the matzoh ball mixture in your hands to form a ball. Use a finger to poke a hole in the center; fill with about a teaspoon of the chopped liver mixture. Close the matzoh ball mixture around it, sealing the hole and re-forming a ball. When you have made about 6 to 8 of them, place them in the skillet and cook for a few minutes, until lightly browned on all sides, using a fork to gently turn them as needed.

Transfer to the barely bubbling broth and cook for about 12 minutes. Transfer to individual bowls and serve with the broth; or transfer to a container, cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.


Adapted from "The Foods of Israel Today," by Joan Nathan (Knopf, 2001).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per matzoh ball (based on 14) : 250
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 10g 15%
Saturated Fat: 3g 15%
Cholesterol: 120mg 40%
Sodium: 180mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates: 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: 1g
Protein: 14g