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A culinary gamble pays off with a sandwich fit for an earl.

A culinary gamble pays off with a sandwich fit for an earl Legend has it that the sandwich invented by the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, an inveterate gambler rumored to have spent 24 hours a day at a gaming table with no substenance except cold beef between slices of bread. He simply couldn't bear to quit his gambling for the dining room, but quit his gambling for the dining a sandwich. It is marvelously portable, it economizes on china and silverware, and it reminds us to eat our bread.

Some nations look down on us for our love of sanwiches, considering us fast-food addicts, but even the fastidious French have their croque-monsieurs and Italians their tostas. Nearer home is the taco, quite possibly of more ancient lineage than any of the others. But a Thai sandwich? David Yingling's Thai Tuna Sandwiches may very well be a first. He uses cilantro, mint, cayenne, and peanut butter to put a Southest Asian spin on an American favorite that has something of a reputation for blandness. The combination seems strange at first to the Yankee palate but is easy to get used to.

Thai Tuna Sandwiches

1 can (6 1/2 oz.) chunk-style albacore tuna packed in water, drained 2 green onions (ends trimmed), chopped, including tops 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice 3 tablspoons mayonnaise 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne 4 slices thin sliced bread, toasted 4 to 6 tablesppons chunk-style peanut butter Fresh cilantro sprigs Major Grey chutney (optional)

In a bowl, mix tuna, onion lemon juice, mayonnaise, cilantro, mint, and cayenne.

Spread each toasted bread slice with peanut butter, then equally spoon tuna mixture on top> garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve with knife and fork, and offer chutney to add to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 29 cal.> 18 protein> 18 g fat> 17 g carbo.> 431 mg sodium> 25 mg chol.

Having been elected chief cook of a multi-ethnic family in Hawaii, Don Gibson was faced with a problem: the Japanese side of the family favored stir-fry while the Irish side wanted Mexican food. His solution combines Asian technique with ingredients that are basically Mexican, although a bed of cooked rice is certainly Oriented in provenance, while the sherry and cornstarch are Oriental by adoption. The seasonings--cumin, oregano, and basil--and the salsa are distinctly Mexican.

For a firmer Japanese grip, Mr. Gibson might substitute ginger and soy for cumin and oregano, omit the salsa, and serve a perfectly respectable main-line-stir-fry.

Stir-fry Mexicana

About 1 pound pork tenderloin, fat trimmed 1 medium-size onion 2 tablespoons salad oil 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced 1 medium-size red or green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin strips 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin, dry oregano leaves, and dry basil leaves 3/4 cup each prepared salsa and regular-strength chicken broth 2 tablespoons cornstarch blended with 1/4 cup dry sherry Hot cooked rice Lemon wedges or rice vinegar

Thinly slice pork, then cut slices into pieces tht are about 3/4 by 3 inches. Cut onion lengthwise into thin, crescent-shaped slices.

Place a wok or 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. wehn hot, add oil, then pork and garlic> stir-fry until pork is no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Lift from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. To wok, add onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper> stir-fry until tender-crisp to bite, 3 to 4 minutes. Individually stir in cumin, oregano, basil, pork mixture (and juices), salsa, broth, and cornstarch mixture. Stir until juices boil. Serve over rice. Season to taste with lemon. Serves 4 to 6.

Per serving: 18 cal.> 17 g protein> 6.9 g fat> 10 g carbo.> 228 mg sodium> 49 mg chol.

Readers of murder mysteries know that the scent of bitter almonds means the victim has met his doom by hydrocyanic (or prussic) acid. Bitter almonds contain a substance very like prussic acid, and the aroma and flavor of these almonds expressed in almond extract is familiar to most us in almond macaroons and marzipan. It is also the characteristics flavor and perfume of a liqueur known as amaretto. Why are we telling you this? Because amaretto is the mystery ingredient in Gary Fauskin's recipe.

Dr. Fauskin enlivens the beans with crunchy pistachios and employs almond liqueur to deliciously baffle the palate. Green beans will never be the same again.

Green Beans with Pistachios

and Almond Liqueur

1 pound green beans, ends and strings removed 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 2 tablespoons finely chopped dry-roasted, salted pistachios 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 can (5 oz.) nonfat evaporated milk or 3/4 cup light cream (half-and-half) 2 to 3 teaspoons almond-flavor liqueur 1 teaspoon cornstarch blended with 2 teaspoons water Salt

Rinse beans and cut into 1-inch lenghts.

Position a steaming rack above at least 1 inch of water in a 4- to 5-quart pan> bring water to boiling. Set beans on rack, cover, and boil gently until beans are tender-crisp when pierced, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan over medium heat. Add pistachios and stir 2 to 3 minutes. Add pepper, milk, 2 teaspoons almond liqueur, and cornstarch mixture> stir on high heat just until boiling. Taste and add more almond liqueur, if desired> keep sauce warm.

Put beans in a bowl and pour sauce over them. Season to taste with salt. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 113 cal.> 5.3 g protein> 5 g fat> 13 g carbo.> 76 mg sodium> 9.2 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Chefs of the West; includes recipes
Date:Mar 1, 1991
Previous Article:Bake-and-relax dinner; the cook's part is quick. The oven does the slow work.
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