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Chef’s Blog

Bacon-Wrapped eggs with Polenta

Polenta

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup minced green onions
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
  • 1/2 cup (packed) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

Baked eggs

  • 20 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon
  • 6 ounces extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

For polenta:
Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add green onions and stir until wilted, about 1 minute. Add 3 cups water and salt; bring to boil. Gradually whisk in polenta. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and creamy, stirring occasionally, about 13 minutes. Stir in cheese and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cool to lukewarm. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate; polenta will become firm.)

For baked eggs:
Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; fry until beginning to brown but still pliable, about 4 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Cool slightly. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon drippings for Spring Greens with Sherry Vinaigrette.

Line sides of eight 1 1/4-cup custard cups with 2 slices bacon each, forming collar. Place 1/2 slice bacon on bottom of each cup. Divide polenta among cups, about generous 1/3 cup each. Press polenta over bottom and up sides of bacon. Mix cheeses in bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese mixture over polenta in each cup. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Crack 1 egg into center of each cup. Sprinkle eggs with remaining cheese, green onions, thyme, and black pepper. Transfer cups to rimmed baking sheet. Bake until egg whites are almost set, about 20 minutes. Let eggs stand at room temperature 5 minutes (eggs will continue to cook).

Run small sharp knife around edge of cups; tilt cups and slide bacon, polenta, and egg onto plates and serve.

Chili-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs with Espresso Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons hot Mexican-style chili powderGold Sequin Sleeveless Tea-length Tulle Flower Girl Dress
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds baby back pork ribs
  • 1 12-ounce bottle dark beer
  • 1 18-ounce bottle good-quality barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend. Rub spice mixture all over ribs. Place ribs in heavy large roasting pan.

Boil beer in medium saucepan until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour beer around ribs. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake ribs until fork-tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Combine barbecue sauce, 1/2 cup water, brown sugar, and espresso powder in heavy medium saucepan. Simmer until flavors blend and sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. (Ribs and barbecue sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then cover separately and refrigerate.)

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Brush ribs with some barbecue sauce. Grill ribs just until heated through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer ribs to platter. Bring remaining sauce to simmer. Brush ribs with more barbecue sauce. Serve ribs, passing remaining barbecue sauce separately.

 

Asian Salmon Bowl with Lime Drizzle

Ingredients

  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4 salmon fillets (4 ounces each), skin removed
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 packages (5 ounces each) baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds

Preparation

Heat oven to 400°F. Cook rice as directed on package. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté garlic and pepper flakes until garlic is lightly golden, 1 minute. Add syrup, juice and soy sauce; cook until bubbling, 3 minutes. In a bowl, combine cornstarch and 1 teaspoon water; stir into garlic glaze. Cook until slightly thick, 1 minute. Arrange fillets on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spread 1 teaspoon glaze over each fillet. Roast until just cooked through, 12 minutes. In a medium skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Add 1 package spinach; sauté until just wilted. Remove from pan; set aside. Repeat with second package spinach. Divide rice among 4 bowls; top each with 1/4 spinach and 1 salmon fillet, broken into large pieces. Drizzle with remaining sauce; sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds.

Greek Marinated Fried Chicken – Kotopoulo Tiganito Marinato

Ingredients

  • 1 frying chicken, weighing no more than 3 pounds, skinned and cut up for frying
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled if dried, chopped if fresh
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried 6 juniper berries, crushed
  • 6 coriander seeds, crushed
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Olive or peanut oil (or a combination), for frying
  • Parsley or fresh oregano sprigs and 1 1emon cut into wedges, for garnish

Preparation

One: Wash the chicken and pat dry. Put them in a large non-reactive glass or stainless steel bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, wine, garlic, onion, bay leaf, oregano, juniper berries, coriander seeds, and a few liberal grindings of pepper. Whisk until well-mixed and pour over the chicken, fuming the chicken until it is uniformly coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate, marinating for 2 hours or overnight.

Two: Drain the chicken, pat dry, and sprinkle liberally with salt. Spread the flour on a plate or place it in a paper or large Zip-lock plastic bag. Fill a large cast-iron skillet with enough olive or peanut oil (or combination of both) to come halfway up the sides, about 1 inch deep. Over medium-high heat, bring the oil to 375°F (hot but not smoking).

Three: Beginning with the dark meat roll the chicken in the flour or drop it a few pieces at a time into the bag of flour, close the top, and shake until it is coated. Shake off the excess flour and slip the chicken into the hot fat

Four: Fry until the bottom is sealed and beginning to color, about 4 minutes. Turn, and brown the second side. Reduce the heat to medium (325°F) and fry, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through and golden, about 15 minutes more.

Lift the chicken from the fat and drain well on a wire rack. Transfer to a platter and garnish with the sprigs of herb and lemon wedges and serve at once.

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