Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chili Mac

Editors’ Choice Cookbook Collection. From Cover and Bake.

Serves 6 to 8.

Reserve some of the pasta-cooking water so that it can be used to thin out the chili as needed. Ground turkey (1½ pounds) can be substituted for the ground beef. If you can’t find Co-Jack cheese, just substitute equal amounts of colby and Jack cheese instead.

PLANNING AHEAD: Follow the recipe through step 4, but do not sprinkle with cheese or bake. Wrap the chili mac tightly with plastic wrap and poke several vent holes with the tip of a paring knife. Refrigerate until cool, about 3 hours, then wrap it tightly with another sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. This dish can also be frozen, tightly covered with foil, for two months. Thaw for 24 hours hours in the refrigerator before baking.

TO BAKE: Allow the covered dish to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap, sprinkle with cheese, and cover tightly with foil. Remove the foil and continue to cook until cheese begins to brown, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.


1/2pound elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked pasta)
3tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
2medium onions , chopped medium
1red bell pepper , stemmed, seeded, and chopped medium
6medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press
2tablespoons chili powder
1tablespoon ground cumin
1(14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1(28-ounce) can tomato puree
1tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
8ounces Colby Jack (Co-Jack) cheese , shredded (about 2 2/3 cups)


  1. 1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the macaroni; cook until al dente, about 5 minutes. Reserve ¾ cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Transfer the pasta to a bowl and set aside.

  2. 2. Wipe the Dutch oven dry. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink and beginning to brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain the beef through a colander, discarding the drippings, and set it aside.

  3. 3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the Dutch oven and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions, red pepper, garlic, chili powder, and cumin; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato puree, brown sugar, the reserved pasta water, and the drained beef; bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded, about 20 minutes.

  4. 4. Stir in the cooked pasta and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish (or a shallow casserole dish of similar size) and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and browned, about 15 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Crab Quiche (Wilmington, NC Jr. League)

1 unbaked 10-inch deep-dish pie shell
2 cups drained, flaked backfin crabmeat
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions with white tops
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons flour
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise (I used Duke's)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
pinch nutmeg
8 ounces shredded Swiss cheese

Prick the bottom and sides of empty pie shell with a fork; bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from oven and cool. Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Combine crab and green onions in small bowl and reserve. Mix evaporated milk and flour in a large bowl and stir until smooth. Beat in eggs. Add mayonnaise, dry mustard, nutmeg, and Worcestershire sauce and beat for a few seconds. Stir in crab mixture and then cheese, mixing well. (Mixture will be quite thick.) Pour filling into pre-baked pie shell; place on a baking sheet and into oven for 45 minutes or until firm. (If necessary, cover with foil to ensure center is set and crust doesn't get too brown.) Yields 6-8 servings.

Sweet and Sour Pork

2 lbs. pork tenderloin (cut into bite size pieces)
1 green bell pepper (cut into pieces)
1 red bell pepper (cut into pieces)
3 stalks scallions (only the white part, cut into 2 inch length)
1 piece fresh/canned pineapple ring (cut into small pieces) or 1 can pineapple chunks
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
Oil for frying


4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons corn starch
2 teaspoons rice wine


4 1/2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
3 teaspoon plum sauce
1/8 + 1/4 teaspoons Chinese rice vinegar (transparent in color)
1 1/2 teaspoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
3 teaspoons oyster sauce
3 teaspoons corn starch
3 teaspoons sugar
6 tablespoons water


Cut the pork tenderloin into pieces and marinate with the ingredients for 15-20 minutes.

Mix the sweet and sour sauce ingredients well and set aside.

In a deep skillet, add in the cooking oil (enough for searing the pork pieces). Once the oil is hot, fry the pork pieces until they turn golden brown. Dish out and drain on paper towels, if necessary.

Heat up a wok and add in some cooking oil. Add in the chopped garlic and stir fry until light brown, then follow by the bell peppers and pineapple pieces. Stir fry until you smell the peppery aroma from the peppers and then add in the sweet and sour sauce. As soon as the sauce thickens, transfer the pork into the wok and stir well with the sauce. Add in the chopped scallions, do a few quick stirs, dish out and serve hot with steamed white rice.

Grilled Stuffed Chicken-Breasts with Prosciutto and Fontina

6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (about 12 ounces each), trimmed of excess fat and skin
Table Salt for brine
Vegetable Oil for cooking grate
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 med-large shallot, minced (about 4 1/2 Tbsp.)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
3 ounces fontina cheese, rind removed, cut into four 3 by 1/2-inch sticks
6 thin slices prosciutto (about 3 ounces)
Ground black pepper
kitchen twine

1. Starting on thick side of breast, closest to breastbone, cut horizontal pocket in each breast, stopping 1/2 inch from edge so halves remain attached. Dissolve 4 1/2 Tbsp. salt in 1 1/2 quarts cold water in large container. Add breasts, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes.

2. Combine butter, shallot and sage in small bowl. Roll each piece of cheese in 1 slice of prosciutto. Remove breasts from brine, dry thoroughly inside and out with paper towels and season inside and out with pepper. Spread equal amount of butter mixture inside each breast. Place 1 prosciutto-wrapped piece of cheese inside each breast and fold breast over to enclose. Evenly space 3 pieces kitchen twine (each about 12 inches long) beneath each breast and tie, trimming any excess.

To prepare for freezing:

Follow all instructions above. Wrap each breast individually in cling wrap then place in freezer bag. Thaw in refrigerator before grilling and carefully remove wrap so as not to disturb twine ties and stuffing.

To Grill:

If using charcoal grill (recommended):

1. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal (6 quarts, about 100 briquettes) and allow to burn until coals are fully ignited and partially covered with thin layer of ash, about 20 minutes. Arrange all coals over half of grill, leaving other half empty. Position cooking grate over coals, cover grill, and heat grate until hot, about 5 minutes. Scrape grate clean with grill brush. Dip wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate. Grill is ready when coals are hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above grate for 2 seconds).

2. Place chicken breasts, skin side down, over hot part of grill and cook until well browned, 3-5 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until second side is just opaque, about 2 minutes. Move chicken, skin side up, to cool side of grill, with thicker side of breasts facing fire. Cover grill and continue to cook until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of stuffing registers 160 degrees, 25-30 minutes. Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest, tented with foil, 10 minutes. Remove twine, then, if desired, carve breast meat from bone and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

If using gas-grill:

1. Turn all burners to high, close lid, and heat until hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape grate clean with grill brush. Dip wad of paper towels in oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate. Leave primary burner (burner that will stay on during grilling) on high and turn off other burner(s). Proceed with recipe step 2 from charcoal instructions, cooking chicken with lid closed and increasing cooking time on cooler side of grill to 30-40 minutes.

Note: May also prepare stuffed with Black Forest Ham and Gruyere - substitute 1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme for sage and add 1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard to butter in step 2. Substitute 6 slices Black Forest Ham for prosciutto and Gruyere cheese for fontina.