Tuesday, April 21, 2009

From the Cooking Light Archives: Moussaka, Salt-Roasted Chicken and Crispy Baked Halibut

I dug into my cooking light recipe archives which are housed in an oh-so-fancy shoebox last week and found a bunch of winners! The Crusted Halibut with Chile-Cilantro Oil is great for a quick weeknight dinner, while the Moussaka and Roasted Chicken are a little more labor and time intensive.

Cornflake-Crusted Halibut with Chile-Cilantro Aioli

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup fat-free milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 cups cornflakes, finely crushed (panko is a great substitute if you don't have cornflakes in the pantry)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
4 lemon wedges

To prepare aioli, combine cilantro, mayonnaise, serrano, and minced garlic, stirring well.

To prepare fish, combine milk and egg white in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Combine cornflakes (or panko), flour, salt, and black pepper in another shallow dish.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip fish in milk mixture, and dredge in cornflake mixture. Add fish to pan, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve fish with aioli and lemon wedges

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 fish fillet, about 1 tablespoon aioli, and 1 lemon wedge)

Potato and Lamb Moussaka
adapted from Cooking Light

Cooking spray
2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (use a mandoline if available)
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound ground lamb
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup milk (skim or lowfat is fine!)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Crumbled Feta Cheese (to sprinkle on top)

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add one-third of potato slices to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Transfer potato to bowl. Repeat procedure with cooking spray and remaining potato slices.

2. Preheat oven to 350°.

3. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, garlic, and lamb to pan; cook 3 minutes or until lamb begins to brown. Add bell pepper, tomato sauce, salt, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and parsley; cook 10 minutes.

4. Arrange half of potato slices in a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange lamb mixture over potatoes; top with remaining potato slices. Combine milk and eggs in a small bowl; pour over potato mixture. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until top is golden and set. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with feta.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 piece)

Salt-Baked Chicken

2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1x2 inch strip dried tangerine peel
1 tangerine, halved
1 4 1/2 to 5 lb. roasting chicken
5 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon honey
2 green onions coarsely chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped

Combine 2/12 cups boiling water and tangerine peel in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes.

Removed and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Trim excess fate. Starting at the neck cavity, loosen skin from breat and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub 1 tablespoon salt under skine; let stand 5 minutes. Rinse chicken under cold water; pat dry with aper towels. Let sit 5 min-1 hour

Preheat over to 425 degrees

Combine remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, shallots, ginger, wine, soy sauce, oil and honey in a small bowl. Rub 3 tablespoons shallot mixture inside cavity of chicken. Place coarsely chopped onions and 1 or both halves of the tangerine inside cavity. Rub remaining shallot mixture under and on top of loosened skin.

Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour reserved tangerine water into the bottom of the roasting pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees and skin has turned a dark golden brown color.

Let stand 15 minutes. Slice and serve.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I like Pork Butts and I cannot lie

I've been thinking about making Momofuku Chef David Chang's recipe for Bo Ssam (Korean Roasted Pork Butt) for months and finally had the excuse last weekend. Let me preface this by saying that the full spread requires lots of dips and relishes and whatnot, but the Pork Butt is so good on its own that it doesn't need much dressing up. So if you don't have the time or energy to create the entire Korean buffet of accoutrement, don't worry, the Pork is a tender, crispy, savory-sweet meal by itself. The simple roasted butt recipe could be adapted to a barbeque preparation with the addition of a bottled or homemade bbq sauce, or made into tacos (you can also do this with your leftovers if there are any).

The raw bone-in butt (which is actually a cut from the shoulder) with skin is amazingly piggy-like.


Bo Ssam (Pork Butt)
1 (8- to 10-pound) bone-in pork shoulder or pork butt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon coarse salt
7 tablespoons light-brown sugar
12 oysters, shucked, for serving
1 cup Kimchi for serving (I used store-bought)
1 cup Kimchi pureed, for serving (I didn't bother pureeing)
1 cup Ginger-Scallion Sauce for serving
1 cup Ssam Sauce for serving
2 cups steamed short-grain white rice, for serving
3 to 4 heads Bibb lettuce, leaves separated, washed well, and spun dry
Sea salt


Place pork in a large bowl or roasting pan. In a medium bowl, mix together granulated sugar and 1 cup coarse salt. Rub sugar mixture all over pork and cover bowl with plastic wrap; transfer to refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Transfer pork to a large roasting pan, discarding any accumulated juices (or drain accumulated juices from roasting pan that pork is in). Transfer roasting pan to oven and cook, basting every hour with rendered fat in roasting pan, until meat is tender and easily shredded with a fork, about 6 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together remaining tablespoon coarse salt and brown sugar; rub mixture all over pork.

Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. Return pork to oven until sugar has melted into a crisp crust, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot with oysters, kimchis, ginger-scallion sauce, ssam sauce, rice, lettuce, and sea salt.

Ssam Sauce

Note: For convenience, I used Sriracha instead of the two different pastes.

Makes 1 cup

1 tablespoon ssamjang (soybean and chile-pepper paste)

1 1/2 teaspoons kochujang (Korean chile-pepper paste)

1/4 cup sherry-wine vinegar

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Sauce may be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Ginger-Scallion Sauce

Makes about 3 cups.

2 1/2 cups thinly sliced scallions (from 1 to 2 large bunches)

1/2 cup finely minced peeled fresh ginger

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce

3/4 teaspoons sherry-wine vinegar

3/4 teaspoons coarse salt

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl; let stand 15 to 20 minutes before using. Sauce may be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Peeps plus!

Think the best way to eat peeps is to wait for them to get stale and crunchy? Think again. My now second favorite way to eat a peep is after it has had a little chocolate bath. This is an easy and very fun recipe for Easter -could easily be combined (or the peeps consumed) while dyeing eggs.

Melt one bag of milk chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli) in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan with one inch of barely simmering water. This amount of chocolate should easily coat 16-20 peeps.

Immerse peeps in chocolate and set to dry on wax paper. They are ready to eat as soon as the chocolate is dry and also taste good after sitting in the freezer. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

No, you cannot have bread with that: Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Haroseth Stuffing for Passover

Half-way through eating his game hen, my husband said "I really wish I had a hunk of bread so I could sop the juices up." And he's right, the sherry jus sauce for this dish is delicious, but if you're making if for Passover, there's no bread allowed for sopping...which he should know being the only jewish member of our dyad. Ah well, if you are still looking for a main dish to serve at your seder, I definitely recommend the Spice-Rubbed Cornish Game Hens with Haroseth Stuffing and Sherry Jus from this month's Gourmet Magazine. You can leave them in the oven during the first part of the Haggadah and then person gets their own little bird to carve up and eat (it isn't the neatest dish, but it is tasty and fun)!

Note: my hens took a while to produce any pan drippings. Don't panic if you can't baste them.

Spice-Rubbed Cornish Game Hens with Haroseth Stuffing and Sherry Jus

by Melissa Roberts

Yield: Makes 8 servings
Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 1/2 hr

1 tablespoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 (1 1/4-to 1 1/2-pounds) Cornish hens
1 1/3 cups apricot, date, and pistachio haroseth
1 cup medium-dry Sherry
1 cup water

reheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.

Whisk together spices, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and oil in a small bowl.

Pat hens dry and stuff cavity of each with 1/3 cup haroseth. Place hens in a large flameproof roasting pan and rub all over with spice mixture, including underneath skin of breast meat (loosen skin gently with your fingers). Tuck wings underneath body, then secure legs together with a wooden pick or tie with kitchen string.

Roast hens 20 minutes, then brush with pan drippings. Continue to roast, basting every 10 minutes, until juices run clear when a thigh is pierced, 25 to 30 minutes more (45 to 50 minutes total). Transfer hens to a cutting board.

Straddle roasting pan across 2 burners and boil drippings, scraping up brown bits, 2 minutes. Carefully add Sherry (it may ignite)

and boil 2 minutes (or until flames subside). Add water and boil, stirring, until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer sauce to a measuring cup and let stand 1 minute, then skim off fat (or use a fat separator).

Serve hens, halved if desired, with sauce on the side.

What to drink:

Yarden Galilee

Cabernet Sauvignon '05

Straddle roasting pan across 2 burners and boil drippings, scraping up brown bits, 2 minutes. Carefully add Sherry (it may ignite)

and boil 2 minutes (or until flames subside). Add water and boil, stirring, until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer sauce to a measuring cup and let stand 1 minute, then skim off fat (or use a fat separator).

Serve hens, halved if desired, with sauce on the side.

And now for some full disclosure. I couldn't find shelled, unsalted Pistachios for the haroseth stuffing. Plus, I would be hesitant to buy them anyway because of the salmonella scare. Feel free to substitute cashews, as I did.

Apricot, Date, and Pistachio Haroseth

by Melissa Roberts

Yield: Makes about 3 cups
Active Time: 15 min
Total Time: 15 min

2/3 cup whole almonds with skin, toasted and cooled
2/3 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
1 cup dried apricots (preferably California/Pacific), coarsely chopped (5 ounces)
2/3 cup pitted dried dates, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cream Sherry
1 (3- by 1/2-inch) strip orange zest, finely chopped (1 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Pulse nuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add dried fruit and pulse until chopped. Add Sherry, zest, and spices and pulse until incorporated.

Haroseth can be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.