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May menus.

What's for dinner? Since the early '30s, menus geared to offer an inviting response to this daily query have been among the regular features in Sunset. The focus now, as it was then, is on ways to serve family and friends interesting, attractive meals that make good use of seasonal foods and discriminating use of time and effort.

This month is no exception. Tamale pie gets a fresh, quicker, lighter take; pizza moves to breakfast; and Asian seasonings enliven chicken salad.

The tamale pie and fruit sauce hold if you want to prepare them a day ahead. Wake up appetites with crisp radishes and jicama slices to dip into chili-seasoned salt. To give white jicama slices a fresh look, dip narrow edges in some of the chili salt. Purchase the salsa and frozen yogurt.

Turkey Tamale Pie with Nacho Crust

2 pounds (2 large) turkey thighs or (about 6) chicken thighs, skin and fat removed

1 quart regular-strength chicken broth

3 tablespoons ground dried California or New Mexico chilies, or regular chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

2 large (about 1 lb. total) onions, each cut into 8 wedges

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) unsalted or salted stewed tomatoes

18 corn tortillas (6 1/2-in. size; about 21 oz. total)

1 cup drained pimiento-stuffed Spanish-style olives

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 package (10 oz.) thawed frozen corn

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)

1 cup (1/4 lb.) grated sharp cheddar cheese

Fresh cilantro sprigs

In a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat, bring thighs, broth, chilies, and oregano to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes; turn thighs over and add onions. Return to simmer and cook until thighs are no longer pink at bone (cut to test), about 20 minutes longer for turkey (15 minutes for chicken). With a slotted spoon, lift out thighs and onions; set onions aside. Let meat cool, then tear from bones into 1/2-inch-wide strips; discard bones.

Meanwhile, add tomatoes with their liquid to broth; boil, uncovered, over high heat until reduced to 3 3/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Dunk 12 tortillas, 1 at a time, into hot liquid to soften, about 10 seconds. Line a well-oiled shallow 3- to 3 1/2-quart casserole with sauce-dipped tortillas, overlapping to cover bottom and sides, flush with rim.

Arrange onions, turkey, and all but 1/3 cup of the olives on tortillas. Mix cornstarch smoothly with 1 tablespoon water; stir into broth mixture along with corn, raisins, and chopped cilantro. Pour broth mixture over ingredients in casserole. (If making ahead, let cool, then cover and chill up to 1 day; also wrap remaining tortillas and olives airtight and chill.)

Cover casserole tightly with foil. Bake in a 425|degrees~ oven for 30 minutes (40 minutes, if chilled). Meanwhile, stack remaining tortillas and cut stack into 8 wedges.

Uncover casserole and scatter tortilia wedges and cheese over filling. Turn oven to 475|degrees~ and bake casserole, uncovered, until cheese melts and tortillas are crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Slice reserved olives; scatter olives and cilantro sprigs over tamale pie. Scoop out portions. Serves 6 to 8.

Per serving: 441 cal. (27 percent from fat); 25 g protein; 13 g fat (4.6 g sat.); 60 g carbo.; 734 mg sodium; 63 mg chol.

Mangoes and Raspberries with Frozen Yogurt

2 medium size (about 1 1/4 lb. total) soft-ripe mangoes

1/2 teaspoon anise seed

1 quart vanilla frozen yogurt

1 1/2 cups raspberries, rinsed and drained

Slide a sharp knife lengthwise down each side of mango pits to cut fruit free. Cut peel from fruit, and any remaining fruit from pits. Cut a few mango slices and set aside. Smoothly whirl remaining fruit and anise in a blender or food processor. If making ahead, chill airtight up to 1 day.

Scoop frozen yogurt into 6 to 8 bowls. Pour mango sauce over yogurt and top with raspberries and mango slices. Serves 6 to 8.

Per serving: 143 cal. (8.2 percent from fat); 4.5 g protein; 1.3 g fat (0 g sat.); 29 g carbo.; 56 mg sodium; 56 mg chol.

Tequila or Orange Sours

1/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup water cups lime juice

1 1/3 cups lime juice

1 1/3 cups tequila or orange juice

1 1/2 quarts ice cubes

Lime wedges

In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan over high heat, bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved; let cool. If making ahead, cover and chill syrup up to 1 week. Mix syrup, lime juice, and tequila. Pour into ice-filled glasses; garnish with lime wedges. Serves 6 to 8.

Per serving: 133 cal. (0.7 percent from fat); 0.1 g protein; 0.1 g fat (0 g sat.); 11 g carbo.; 7 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

A ready-to-cook refrigerated pizza crust, the base for the breakfast pastry, makes morning baking a snap. In addition to the fruit pastry, offer more fresh grapes and nectarines for munching. Serve sparkling apple juice and hot tea: Lapsang souchong has a distinctive smoky flavor.

Quick Fruit and Ricotta Pizza

1 package (10 oz.) refrigerated pizza crust dough

2 ounces paper-thin slices prosciutto

8 ounces (1 cup) partskim ricotta cheese

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

2 medium-size (2/3 lb. total) nectarines or peeled peaches, pitted and thinly sliced

3/4 cup dark seedless grape halves

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Unroll dough and press evenly into an oiled 14-inch pizza pan (or 10- by 15-in. pan). Bake on bottom rack in a 425|degrees~ oven until crust is well browned, about 8 minutes.

Cut enough prosciutto into 1/4-inch strips to make 1/4 cup; set remainder aside. Mix ricotta and peel; drop in 1-tablespoon portions over crust. Arrange nectarines, grapes, and prosciutto strips on crust. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over pizza. Bake until fruit is hot to touch, about 5 minutes longer. Accompany with remaining prosciutto. Cut into wedges. Serves 6.

Per serving: 234 cal. (22 percent from fat); 11 g protein; 5.6 g fat (2.5 g sat.); 35 g carbo.; 487 mg sodium; 17 mg chol.

Fried bean threads make an intriguing base for this salad; or you can use the nofrying alternative.

Sweet and Spicy Asian Chicken Salad

1 medium-size pineapple (3 1/2 lb. with crown and peel, 1 1/2 lb. without)

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger

1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon Oriental sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies

1 teaspoon anise seed, crushed

6 boned, skinned chicken breast halves (2 lb. total), rinsed and drained

3 quarts (about 8 oz.) rinsed and crisped mesclun salad mix (or lettuce pieces)

3/4 cup shredded carrots

1/3 cup finely cut shreds fresh mint leaves

Fried noodles

(directions follow)

Peel pineapple; quarter lengthwise and core. Cut half the fruit into slender spears and set aside. Cut remaining pineapple into chunks. In blender or food processor, smoothly puree pineapple chunks, ginger, soy, sesame oil, chilies, and anise. Pour into a 9- by 13-inch pan. Turn chicken pieces in sauce and arrange in a single layer. Bake in a 425|degrees~ oven until breasts are no longer pink in thickest part (cut to test), 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix mesclun with most of the carrots and mint; arrange mixture around rim of a large platter. When chicken is cooked, lay pineapple spears on mesclun, put noodles in center, and lay chicken pieces on noodles; sprinkle with remaining carrot and mint. Pour chicken juices into a small bowl; ladle sauce onto portions of salad. Serves 6.

Per serving: 407 cal. (33 percent from fat); 37 g protein; 15 g fat (2.1 g sat.); 31 g carbo.; 637 mg sodium; 88 mg chol.

Fried noodles. Inside a bag, pull apart 3 ounces dried bean thread noodles (cellophane noodles, sai fun) in sections no more than 1/2 inch wide. Pour 1 inch salad oil (2 to 5 cups) into a wok or deep 5- to 6-quart pan. Bring to 400|degrees~ over medium heat. Add threads, 1 handful at a time, pushing into oil with tongs. Noodles swell immediately. When crackling noise stops, in 3 to 5 seconds, turn threads over and cook until crackling stops again, about 5 seconds longer. Transfer with a slotted spoon to drain on towels. Repeat to cook remaining noodles. Use hot or cool; when cool, you can wrap noodles airtight and hold up to 1 day.

(Or omit fried bean threads and use noodles from 5 packages, 3 oz. each, instant Oriental noodle soup mix; break noodles into big chunks. Save seasoning for other foods.)

To use our nutrition information

Sunset recipes contain nutrition information based on the most current data available from the USDA for calorie count; grams of protein, total fat (including saturated fat), and carbohydrate; and milligrams of sodium and cholesterol.

This analysis is usually given for a single serving, based on the largest number of servings listed for the recipe. Or it's for a specific amount, such as per tablespoon (for sauces), or by a unit, as per cookie.

The nutrition analysis does not include optional ingredients or those for which no specific amount is stated (salt added to taste, for example). If an ingredient is listed with an alternative, the figures are calculated using the first choice or a comparable food. Likewise, if a range is given for the amount of an ingredient (such as 1/2 to 1 cup butter), values are figured on the first, lower amount.

Recipes using regular-strength chicken broth are based on the sodium content of salt-free homemade or canned broth. If you use canned salted chicken broth, the sodium content will be higher.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Author:Johnson, Elaine
Date:May 1, 1993
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