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Crab cossets with handily assembled ingredients.

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING simple and savory for lunch or hot hors d'oeuvres? Seek no further. Dan Golling's seafood toppers are the reward for your search. They are handily assembled out of easily obtained ingredients and, according to Golling, are especially cosseting when the evenings still have a bit of chill and the creeks are running high, particularly if served with a good Sonoma County wine.

Seafood Topper

1/2 cup reduced-calorie or regular mayonnaise 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, including tops 2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Swiss cheese 1/2 pound cooked, shelled crab 4 English muffins, split and toasted Paprika

In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, onion, bell pepper, vinegar, and mustard. Gently stir in cheese and crab.

Evenly mound crab mixture on muffin halves and set in a 10- by 15-inch pan; dust crab with paprika. Bake in a 350|degrees~ oven until mixture is hot in center, about 25 minutes. Makes 4 or 8 servings.

Per serving: 218 cal. (45 percent from fat); 14 g protein; 11 g fat (4.8 g sat.); 15 g carbo.; 377 mg sodium; 53 mg chol.

IS IT TAME OR IS IT WILD? Harold Merkow calls his barbecued pork Tame Thai Tenderloin so, presumably, our rational universe also has a Wild Thai Tenderloin--which must be very spicy indeed, because the relatively modest amounts of garlic, pepper, chili paste, and cayenne in Merkow's recipe are enough to call most palates to attention. The coconut milk has an emollient effect on the marinade, softening the assertive spices with its sweet, mild nature.

Tame Thai Tenderloin

2 pork tenderloins (3/4 to 1 lb. each) 3/4 cup (half of a 14-oz. can) coconut milk 1/4 cup soy sauce 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 1/4 teaspoon Asian red chili paste (or liquid hot pepper seasoning) 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Rinse meat and pat dry. Trim fat and silvery membrane from tenderloins. Fold under thin ends of tenderloins to make each piece evenly thick; tie to secure. Put meat in a zip-lock heavy plastic bag (about 2-qt. size). In a small bowl, mix coconut milk, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, garlic, 1 teaspoon coriander, white pepper, and chili paste; pour over meat. Seal bag and rotate to coat meat with sauce; chill 3 to 6 hours. Turn meat over several times.

Lift meat from marinade and drain briefly; discard marinade. Place meat on a lightly greased grill 4 to 6 inches above a solid bed of medium coals (you can hold your hand at grill level only 4 to 5 seconds). Cook, turning often to brown evenly, until meat is no longer pink in thickest part (cut to test), 18 to 22 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in center of meat (not folded end) registers 155|degrees~.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, remaining 1/4 teaspoon coriander, cayenne, and sugar. Heat in a microwave oven on full power (100 percent) until mixture is hot, about 30 seconds.

Cut meat across the grain into thin, slanting slices. Spoon sauce onto meat to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 265 cal. (37 percent from fat); 38 g protein; 11 g fat (6.1 g sat.); 2.7 g carbo.; 737 mg sodium; 119 mg chol.

A LIGHTER, FRESHER alternative" is the banner Leslie Des Georges waves for her wild rice salad, comparing it with those made of pasta or potatoes with a mayonnaise dressing. Her claim is substantiated in the nutrition information.

In this instance, less proves to be more as rice and wild rice contribute substantial body, jicama adds texture, and mandarin orange sections with cilantro add excitement. A light, fruity vinaigrette enhances the whole.

Wild rice, the seed of a native North American aquatic grass (Zizania aquatica), although it is still more expensive than true rice, has come down in price since the plant that bears it has been domesticated.

Wild Rice Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

1 cup (about 6 oz.) wild rice, rinsed and drained 1 cup long-grain white rice 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) 2 cups julienne strips peeled jicama 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, including tops 2 cans (11 oz. each) mandarin oranges Raspberry vinaigrette (recipe follows) Salt and pepper

In a 3- to 4-quart pan, bring 5 cups water to a boil over high heat; stir in wild rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes; stir in white rice. Cover and simmer until both of the grains are tender to bite, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Uncover, drain and discard any liquid, and let rice cool.

Pour rice into a salad bowl and mix with cilantro, jicama, and onions. Drain mandarins, reserving juice.

Add 1/2 cup juice to raspberry vinaigrette, then mix dressing with salad. Scatter fruit over rice. If making ahead, cover and chill up to 6 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 10 servings.

Per serving: 178 cal. (2 percent from fat); 4.5 g protein; 0.4 g fat (0.1 g sat.); 40 g carbo.; 7.8 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Raspberry vinaigrette. Stir together 3 tablespoons unflavored nonfat yogurt or sour cream, 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel, and 2 tablespoons salad oil.
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Title Annotation:Chefs of the West; recipes
Author:Griffiths, Joan; Dunmire, Richard
Article Type:Column
Date:May 1, 1993
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