Monday, May 23, 2011

Sesame-Pork Fajitas

1 package pork tenderloins (2 tenderloins)
4 tsp dark sesame oil
2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 moo shu shells
Cooking spray
1/4-1/2 cup hoisin sauce

Trim fat off pork and cut into strips. Combine pork and next 5 ingredients in large ziplock baggie; seal and shake well to coat pork. Marinate in fridge for 20 minutes. Warm moo shu shells according to package directions. Coat a medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add pork mixture and stir fry 5 minutes or until done. Divide pork mixture evenly among shells. Drizzle hoisin over pork mixture and roll up.

To Freeze: Prepare pork in marinade and freeze. Have moo shu shells and hoisin on hand for serving day.

To Serve: Thaw pork mixture. Following remaining recipe directions.

Baked Ziti

from Cooks Illustrated

NOTE: The test kitchen prefers heavy cream, but whole milk can be substituted by increasing the cornstarch to 2 teaspoons and increasing the cooking time in step 3 by 1 to 2 minutes. Either whole-milk or part-skim mozzarella can be used, but avoid preshredded cheese, as it does not melt well. Do not use nonfat cottage cheese, it will break down when baked.

1 pound whole-milk or 1 percent cottage cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 pound ziti or other short, tubular pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces low-moisture mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)

(1) Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the cottage cheese, eggs and 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese together in a medium bowl; set aside. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta; cook, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the pasta and leave it in the colander (do not wash the pot).

(2) Meanwhile, heat the oil and garlic in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and oregano and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Off the heat, stir in 1/2 cup of the basil and the sugar, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

(3) Stir the cornstarch into the cream in a small bowl; transfer the mixture to the now-empty pot set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup of the tomato/oregano/basil/sugar sauce, and 3/4 cup of the mozzarella, then stir to combine. Add the pasta and stir to coat throughly with sauce.

(4) Transfer the pasta mixture to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and spread the remaining tomato/oregano/basil/sugar sauce evenly over the pasta. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over the top. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

(5) Remove the foil and continue to cook until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Let cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons basil and serve.

Siamese Chicken Curry with Broccoli and Peanuts

Béchamel Sauce: (I doubled)
2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
1/4 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
1 cup of half and half

2 cups broccoli flowerets
2 TBS corn oil
1 ounce green Thai Curry
1/4 tsp
2 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp garlic (I use a bit more)
1 1/2 pound chicken breast
4 TBS soy sauce
OPT: 1/2 tsp sriraja (Thai hot sauce) or tabasco
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
Hot cooked rice or lo mein noodles

Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the flour, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir over low heat for several minutes. Add the half and half all at once and stir over medium heat until the sauce thickens and bubbles. Set aside. If not using immediately, cover flush with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.

Blanch the broccoli for 1 minute in boiling salted water. Drain and set aside. Have assembled the rest of the ingredients for the curry.

In a large skillet, heat the corn oil. Stir in the curry paste and cook for 1 minute over low heat to blend. Turn the heat to medium high and add the chicken, salt, sugar, and garlic. Stir fry the chicken until the sugar begins to caramelize, increasing the heat if necessary.

Immediately add the soy sauce and continue to stir fry until the liquid has almost evaporated and the chicken is cooked through. Blend in the reserved Béchamel sauce. Add additional milk if the mixture seems to thick, 2TBS at a time. When the sauce is smooth add the broccoli and quickly heat through. (I don't heat the broccoli through for freezing). Taste and add the additional hot sauce if desired. Stir in the peanuts and serve at once over rice or noodles.